EastEnders boss reveals if she intended to kill anyone else in Hunter's siege

Tragedy struck during the latest episode of EastEnders, as Hunter Owen (Charlie Winter) orchestrated a hostage situation at the Vic so that he could exact revenge on Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) for the part the former cop played in his incarceration. Things soon got out of hand, and the young man lost his life as a result. However — given the spectacle of the siege — was Hunter the only intended casualty?

Following his escape from prison, Hunter made it his mission to get revenge on Jack — much to Mel’s (Tamzin Outhwaite) dismay. After absconding once more with his mum’s gun, the young man broke into the Branning household in search of his arch-nemesis, attacked Denise (Diane Parish) and headed round to the Queen Vic to take Jack down once and for all.

After locating his rival, Hunter took all those present in the Vic hostage, and threatened to pull the trigger should any of them try to escape. However, a scuffle soon ensued and a shot was fired — and it was Ben (Max Bowden) who was on the receiving end of the stray bullet.

It all came to a tragic end for Hunter when — after taking Louise (Tilly Keeper) hostage — he was fatally wounded by a gunshot.

With Hunter dead and Ben in a bad way, it’s safe to say that the siege will have huge ramifications moving forward for those involved, but the big question on our lips is — given the sheer scale of the whole thing — were any other Walford residents set to be killed off during the explosive scenes?

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, EastEnders boss Kate Oates said: ‘No, I think because we know what story the siege kicks off — it’s about what comes next and where those stories lead. Every one of those dynamics leads into another big story that propels us through for months’ worth of material, so losing anybody would’ve been losing that, so no it was the right balance for it.’

With plenty more drama set to unfold in Walford in the coming weeks and months, it’s clear that Kate was thinking from a strategic point of view about what was best for the soap. Killing off too many characters could’ve not only run the risk of severing some of the great narrative arcs that are currently being pursued, but it could’ve also damaged the new dynamics — and the sensational sense of community which the soap currently possesses — as a result.

What’s more, Hunter’s death in itself will provide plenty of great material and story avenues for all those that were involved in the siege. With actress Tamzin soon set to depart from EastEnders, it’s also possible that Hunter’s demise will prove to be instrumental in Mel’s upcoming exit.

EastEnders continues Monday 9th September on BBC One. 

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