Since late April, beginning of May, John Yorke and company have hinted at a huge EastEnders storyline involving a stabbing death. The show is working with Brooke Kinsella, MBE, a former actress on the show. Kinsella’s brother, Ben Kinsella, was stabbed to death in June 2008. The soap’s goal is to highlight the increase in knife-related homicides in the U.K. and the families behind the tragedy. Two characters, Shakil Kazemi and Keegan Baker, will be the victims of this crime. I’m hopeful that EastEnders will do a good job of promoting knife violence awareness. However, I’m skeptical about the way the storyline has unfolded.
Monday’s EastEnders episode (140518) was the first in a long while where Shakil Kazemi (Shaheen Jafargholi) appeared on screen with his mother, Carmel (Bonnie Langford), brother Kush (Davood Ghadami), and best friend Keegan Baker (Zack Morris). Shakil has less than four episodes left before he dies in a knife attack.
Shakil was a longterm character. We watched him deal with the issues that teenagers face every day. It seems odd to give this character 4 days. We have only four days to remember why we enjoyed Shakil’s time on the show. Of course, instead of the violent act coming out of nowhere, it’s coming after multiple spoilers.
Shakil’s Last Days
I watched last Thursday’s episode (170518) with mixed feelings. Shakil dies in less than three episodes. His mother Carmel acted like the “Caring Over-Opinionated” mother trying to get Shakil to enroll in a summer program. It was the perfect plot device for… Blaming Keegan for Shakil’s decision not to attend. We now have the “blame portion” of this stabbing storyline. But did we really need it? Carmel would’ve blamed Keegan eventually because he wasn’t the right friend for her son. I’m sure she will blame him once she finds out about the stolen bike.
If the storyline had run over a longer period of time (instead of the weekly spoilers), Yorke wouldn’t need to add this random detail. It seems out of place because we haven’t seen Shakil in school for at least a month. That’s why I’m skeptical about the success of this storyline. Yorke is killing off yet another important character. He’s trying to tell this important story over 4 days. How important is the message if so little time is given to show a powerful storyline?