EASTENDERS’ Lacey Turner made a dramatic return to the soap tonight, with Stacey Fowler slapping husband Martin and calling him a “b*****d”.
The character has been lying low since the summer after she smashed Phil Mitchell around the head with a wrench and left him for dead.
In that time, actress Lacey has been on maternity leave, but tonight she reappeared in a dramatic scene with Martin.
The stallholder is being blackmailed by Ben Mitchell, who still has the wrench Stacey use to attack Phil with, and is desperate to protect his wife, even if that means separating from her.
After Ben made it clear he would kill Stacey if Martin doesn’t carry out shady jobs for him, Martin paid her a visit at her hotel and tried to sabotage their relationship.
He told her: “My life was better before I had anything to do with you or your family.”
Martin lied that he wanted to prioritise his own family, as he felt they played second fiddle to the Slaters.
But Stacey didn’t buy it and sensed something else was behind Martin’s character change.
She said: “Something is going on. Is it Phil? Is it Ben? Are they threatening you?”
Martin refused to tell the truth, and after Stacey said she’d return to Walford to find out for herself, he desperately told her he’d slept with someone.
He insisted Stacey didn’t know her, but she fired back: “There’s no way you’d be here trashing our marriage if I didn’t know who she was.”
And when she pushed the point, he said: “Sonia. It’s true. We’ve spent a lot of time together the last few weeks.
“What happened to Bex has just bought us closer.”
His and Sonia’s daughter Bex attempted to take her own life earlier this month.
Stacey was willing to forgive him, referencing her own infidelity in the past, but Martin insisted Sonia was the one he wanted.
Upset, she fumed: “You b*****d,” and slapped him.
She then thanked him for showing his true colours before she was too old to find someone else.
Viewers were stunned by the exchange, with one writing on Twitter: “No Martin! Don’t break Stacey’s heart #EastEnders”
Another posted: “Martin Fowler. You COWARD. #EastEnders”.
As a third said: “Martin is an absolute stinking idiot FFS #EastEnders”.
Manipulative Ben seized his opportunity to use Martin for his own gain when he promised to sort out the messy situation he and Stacey found themselves in following the attack on Phil.
Ben’s actual plan was to frame Keanu Taylor for the attack, but it all backfired and protective Kat Slater ended up confessing to Phil that she hit him.
Ben has continued to keep hold of the wrench, reminding the Slaters that its covered with Staceys prints and not Kat’s.
Having already served time for killing Archie Mitchell, Stacey knew she’d be heading back to prison if Ben exposed the truth, and so chose to go on the run with Martin and their children.
Is this really the end for Martin and Stacey?