Get Johnny Week

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Johnny and Danny plan their revenge on the Mitchells

"Get Johnny Week" is a week-long storyline in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, which was first screened at the end of March 2006. The storyline refers to the character of Johnny Allen (Billy Murray), and also features the characters of Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton), Grant and Phil Mitchell (Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden), and Jake and Danny Moon (Joel Beckett and Jake Maskall).

Storyline development[edit]

"Get Johnny Week" is an EastEnders storyline that reunited the popular characters Phil and Grant Mitchell (aka the Mitchell brothers) in 2006. Actor Ross Kemp, who played Grant continuously from 1990 to 1999, was persuaded to return to EastEnders for a three-month period in the spring of 2006 and "Get Johnny Week" was the storyline that marked his return.[1]

The storyline saw the Mitchell brothers embroiled in a revenge bid against the gangster Johnny Allen.[2] It was dubbed "Get Johnny Week" by the programme makers, and the storyline was featured heavily in a BBC advertising campaign before and during the airing of the storyline.

The beginning of the storyline saw a stark personality change in the character of Grant.[3] Typically the more volatile and aggressive of the two brothers, in his absence from the show Grant had become a more diplomatic "peacemaker"; traits that were previously seen more commonly in the character Phil.[3] Actor Ross Kemp has commented on his character's personality change: "Grant tells Phil that, while he was in Brazil, he had therapy, so he becomes an amateur psychiatrist for a couple of episodes. Then, he reverts to his true form of thumping everyone!...Grant's like Phil and Phil's like Grant this week. Grant becomes the more careful and meticulous one, while Phil's the hot-headed brother for a change."[3]

Grant's personality change prompted criticism, with one reviewer branding the character's "new touchy feely attitude to life" as "implausible".[4] Another commented "This new unimproved family-friendly "come on give me a hug" Grant gives me the creeps. In just one crazed week the demented EastEnders scriptwriters undermined TV's top tough guy to such a profound extent that I can't see how he'll ever recover. With Phil and Grant reunited for the first time in six months, we were all looking forward to some classic Mitchell mayhem. In fact we had a right to expect carnage from the terrible twins. But what did we get? Grant's nauseating revelation that he underwent therapy to stop being so violent and antisocial."[5]

Plot[edit]

The day begins with Phil waking up from a nightmare in which he has blood on his hands, and soon realises that he is seeing images of the recent murder of Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman). Phil and his brother Grant decide to go and play a round of golf, but stop at a roadside café in Essex where they sit and discuss their problems, namely Phil's struggle to avoid a relapse in his alcoholism, over lunch. A strange man walks into the café and makes a sarcastic joke about Phil and Grant's bald heads, remarking: "Right Said Fred have reformed." The stranger follows Phil into the toilets and starts singing "I'm Too Sexy". Phil reacts by punching the stranger and knocking him out. When they leave the café, Grant tells Phil that he has been seeing a therapist in a bid to confront his demons. They pass a large house in the countryside and Phil orders Grant to stop. Phil announces that he is ready to confront his demons and that they have arrived at Johnny Allen's house.

Phil scours Johnny's house in a bid to break in, while Grant begs him to stop being stupid. Phil explains that he is keeping the promise that he made with Dennis's wife Sharon (Letitia Dean) to avenge Johnny Allen for Dennis's murder, which Johnny had ordered. Johnny spots Phil on his CCTV system and quickly finds him. Phil attacks Johnny but Johnny manages to overpower him with a stick. Grant soon arrives on the scene and finds Phil being threatened by Johnny and his accomplice, Danny Moon. Grant beats up Danny, while Johnny re-enters his office and starts arguing with his daughter Ruby, who is angry with him for being an alcoholic. Phil finally intimidates Johnny into admitting his involvement in Dennis's death, and begins to throttle him.

Phil and Grant face execution at the hands of Danny.

Phil's anger towards Johnny gets more intense and he threatens to shoot him, but Grant stops him from pulling the trigger just in time. Danny once again tries to defend Johnny but receives another beating from Phil and Grant, and stays at the house while Johnny flees in his car. Phil and Grant give chase to Johnny and follow him to a deserted goods yard, where Phil almost runs him over. Johnny escapes and then Grant and Phil get into an argument. Grant insults Phil for being a bad father and almost gets run over himself, but Phil smashes the car into a pile of skips instead. The skips collapse on Phil's car but he emerges unscathed. Johnny returns from where he had left the Mitchells and holds them at gunpoint.

Armed with a gun, Johnny frogmarches Phil and Grant to a soundproofed cell back at his house. Grant soon establishes that Johnny is intent on killing them both. His fears are confirmed when Johnny orders Danny to lead them away into the nearby woods to kill them both and then bury their bodies. Phil hears a gunshot and opens his eyes to see Danny lying dead on the floor. Phil turns his head to see Jake (Danny's brother) standing there with a gun. Jake is devastated at killing his brother, as he only wanted to stop him from killing someone. After the Mitchells leave, Jake buries Danny's body in the woods. Meanwhile, Ruby discovers mobile phone footage of Dennis's murder. She announces that she has informed the police about Johnny's crimes and that they are on their way to the house. Johnny is arrested and immediately confesses to the police that he murdered Andy Hunter (Michael Higgs) and ordered Danny to kill Dennis.

Aftermath[edit]

Johnny is eventually convicted of killing Andy and ordering the murder of Dennis. He receives a sentence of life imprisonment and the judge recommends that he should spend at least 27 years behind bars before being considered for release, but six months into his sentence, he suffers a heart attack in prison and dies in hospital the next day, after taunts from Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ross Kemp signs to EastEnders", BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-02-24.
  2. ^ "EASTENDERS", The Sun. URL last accessed on 2007-08-19.
  3. ^ a b c "Ross Kemp", BBC. URL last accessed on 2007-07-17.
  4. ^ "Return of The Mitchell Brothers...", 020magazine.com. URL last accessed on 2007-03-02.
  5. ^ "GRANT'S TURN FOR THE WUSS", Sunday Mirror. URL last accessed on 2007-08-19.