Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) is a true hustler. He’s always coming up with ideas to make money for the Queen Vic’s. So, when he came up with the “Wife/Husband/Partner Swap” now known as Ball & Change, I had doubts about the storyline. How interesting could a spouse/partner swap be? My doubts vanished quickly as I watched Walford’s unlikely couples compete for the “grand” prize.
Thanks to Mick, we got to learn about different couples and watch them interact with other characters. (EastEnders was limited in character interactions last year. Since Oates & Sen have taken over, the community feel is back in Albert Square. )
Here are my three reasons why Ball and Change was a success and the spark for future storylines:
Swap couples opened up to each other
We got to see Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) open up to Ash Panesar (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha) about her relationship with Adam Bateman (Stephen Rahman-Hughes). Ash even recognized Honey’s symptoms of bulimia. She encouraged Honey to take charge of her life because she deserved better. Mick finally got to have a conversation with complete sentences during a discussion with Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton). In fact, it was probably the calmest discussion he’s had in a while with a woman (since Whitney Dean). Which brings me to the second reason…
Mick got to see how other women act in real life
Since Linda (Kellie Bright) locked eyes on Mick as a preteen, she’s been one of the few women that Mick has experienced. He grew up surrounded by the women ins family and Stan Carter. All he knows is how Linda, Shirley, and Tina respond to situations. Mick has the chance to talk to Honey and Ruby. Those scenes were fabulous for one reason— Both women gave Mick a chance to complete his sentences, and they listened to him.
It was a seamless way to get Mick and Linda to interact with other characters
Mick and Linda were created as a strong family unit that stuck together. That meant both characters rarely interacted with the rest of Walford for their storylines and scenes. All of their storylines dealt with their family or the threat of losing the Queen Vic. When Bright left for maternity leave, we had the joy of seeing Mick interact with other characters in Walford. (Shoutout to my Mickney Fans! ) We’ve reached the point where Mick and Linda need to explore other options. I want to see the chemistry Dyer and Bright have with other actors. It’s time for the Carter household to be upended.
I think Ball and Change will keep delivering. In fact, the best part is still yet to come! We not only have the Christmas episodes, but we also have Ball and Change dinner party. Rumor has it that Mick will see Linda in her full “drunken stupor”. I think this storyline has shown the beginning of Mick and Linda’s new lives without each other and the catalyst for Walford 2020 storylines.