EastEnders fans have flocked to heap praise on stars Jessica Plummer and Toby Alexander Smith after chilling scenes in last night’s (Monday 9 March) episode.
During the episode Smith’s character, Gray Atkins, continued his terror campaign against his wife, Chantelle (Plummer), after being suspended from his job as a solicitor.
Gray became increasingly angry with Chantelle during the 30 minutes, accusing her of judging him and pitying him, before grabbing her roughly by the hair and blaming her for his downfall.
A terrified Chantelle, aware of her husband’s darkening mood, tried to desperately appease him before he launched at her.
‘Everything started going wrong the minute we moved here,’ he spat at her. ‘And why did we do that? So we could be near your precious, precious family.’
As Gray geared up to hit her, Chantelle quickly told him that it was all her fault.
‘You’re right. It’s all my fault,’ she said as he relaxed his grip on her hair. She then convinced him to try and prove his law firm wrong and win Whitney Dean’s murder case by himself.
‘If anyone can, you can,’ she added, desperate to stop the attack before it got any worse. ‘I know you can because you are brilliant. You’re kind and good.’
Her words stopped Gray in his tracks and fans headed to Twitter to praise the chilling scenes.
One viewer commented: “Chantelle having to massage Gray’s ego while he’s pulling her hair was so grotesque but brilliantly acted by both.”
Another agreed, writing: “the chantelle and gray storyline feels so real jess and toby are doing such an amazing job with portraying the storyline.”
A third added: “Tough scenes to watch between Chantelle and Gray! He does not deserve her! But Jessica and Toby were fantastic! Great Episode!”
And a fourth tweeted: “tobys a good actor tbf and im thinkin gray is definitely gonna kill chantelle ...”
It was revealed last year that EastEnders planned to tackle the issue of domestic violence and coercive control with Chantelle and Gray who arrived last March.
EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC One.