EastEnders heartbreak as Ben Mitchell risks relationship in villainous twist?

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EastEnders fans are convinced Ben Mitchell (played by Max Bowden) will become the BBC soap’s latest villain after his dad Phil looks set to serve a life sentence behind bars. In the latest instalment, Phil asked his son to take over the family businesses while he’s in jail, and Ben agreed he would do whatever it takes to keep them running. However, Ben has been struggling with the painful memories of a homophobic attack on his husband Callum Highway (Tony Clay). Will the character, who has clearly buried a lot of anger following the assault, try and live up to his dad’s reputation by becoming Albert Square’s newest brute in a revenge twist?

Soap fans have been speculating that Ben could turn into the next east-end baddie once his dad is in prison. 

Viewers recently saw how Phil was hopeful about there not being enough evidence on his involvement in Vincent Hubbard’s (Richard Blackwood) murder to charge him. 

However, when the inspector broke the news to Phil that they’d spoken with Aiden Maguire (Patrick Bergin), he began to weave a web of lies.

When he returned home to Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace), he said he’d only be spending half a decade behind bars at the very most as he didn’t want to worry her.

Meanwhile, Ben has been finding it difficult to cope with flashbacks of a homophobic attack on his husband who was brutally assaulted while he froze. 

But when he met up with Phil, he kept his emotions hidden and Phil explained he was facing a substantial amount of time in prison. 

Phil realised it was the right time to ask his son to take over the family businesses, including any criminal enterprises. 

The thug told Ben: “What I need is for you to step up, to run the businesses, the chicken shops… everything.”

“There’s no one I’d rather, the way you carry yourself, Ben I’m proud of you.

“You’ve just got to promise me one thing. That you’ll take care of the family, that you’ll look after everyone.”

However, Ben’s husband then walked in on their conversation and sensed something sinister was discussed between the pair. 

Phil left the couple and Ben explained to Callum that his dad had asked him to take care of the finances until he’s a free man. 

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“Dad’s asked me to step up, to run the business,” Ben stated, to which Callum replied, “and you’ve said yes”.

Ben snapped: “It ain’t up for discussion. I’m doing it for dad.”

Many BBC One viewers were stunned by Ben’s cutting response and have taken to social media after becoming convinced he will turn into a gangster, which could tear him and Callum apart. 

Some were concerned Ben would seek revenge on the yobs who attacked his husband in a dramatic twist. 

Rylan Glendenning tweeted: “I’m pleased that Ben was given free rein of the businesses. I know he’s struggling but this will help him to take his mind off things. Callum’s set to appeal to Phil next week. Firstly; we know Phil won’t listen and secondly; Callum should have told Ben first. #EastEnders” 

@Tweetertots added: “Phil ‘only-knows-Ben-when-he-needs-something’ Mitchell also, a nice way for him to dump his prison sentence and demands on Ben at a time when Phil should know he needs support. Before wrapping it all up with ‘no hysterics’. Nice! #Eastenders #Ballum”

June said: “With Ben agreeing to help Phil, it gives him purpose – makes him feel like he can be of help, useful to someone – he gets control back & it takes his mind off how he’s been feeling. He gets to be head of the family & feel safe in this role. It’s a very Ben move to me. #EastEnders”

EastEnders airs on BBC One on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

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