EastEnders fans were left divided by the shocking demise of Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell in its much touted New Year’s Day episode.
It was no secret that actresses Rita Simons and Sam Womack were expected to bow out of Albert Square during the New Year’s Day show, after it was recently revealed that a new producer had decided to kill off the characters.
But viewers had been in the dark about just how they were going to meet their maker.
A trailer, which had been released a couple of weeks before, offered fans a couple of red herrings.
In the clip, the girls are seen speeding around in an open topped sports car, so some believed they were going to lose their lives in some kind of Thelma and Louise homage.
But another moment in the trailer saw the two gals drunkenly chatting on the roof of a mansion, suggesting that they might plunge to their deaths.
In the end, the girls lost their lives when they decided to go for a midnight dip in the gloomy hotel swimming pool.
First of all, Roxy, who had been planning on spending a night of passion with Max Branning, jumped into the pool for an inexplicable dip, but never resurfaced.
A panicked Ronnie, who was giving new hubby Jack some time to read his kids a bedtime story up in their hotel room, decided to dive in after her, still in her flamboyant lace dress.
However, the drenched dress seemingly became so heavy that she was unable to save herself or her sister and both of them drowned.
Although it was beautifully shot, viewers were less impressed by the dramatic conclusion to the much hyped episode.
One angry watcher Tweeted: “That was pathetic, sack all of your writers, what a rubbish death… forget about sacking all these actors sack the writer.”
Others were curious about WHY the girls died.
“I’m confused,” SJ said. “did Ronnie’s dress get caught in a vent or something? Why did Roxy drown in the first place?”
While another fan called Lucy raged: “why would Roxy randomly die? Just like that?”
She added in another tweet: “Sack the writers, producer, director….the lot. Absolute crock of sh*t. So Disappointed. Totally random and unbelievable.
Another viewer echoed Lucy’s calls for a new producer… “Terrible ending for the Mitchell sisters, get this producer out now.”
Mark Moore – who we’re guessing isn’t from the band S Express – said: “Did you get a child to write that ending? Dreadful stuff and disservice to you fans and the characters.”
But while many viewers were furious about the way the sisters left the show, many praised the show for the beautiful direction by Toby Frow.
The final scenes saw Jack Branning reading Cinderella to his two children, punctuated poetically by scenes in which Ronnie and Roxy ran around the mansion where Ronnie had got hitched hours earlier.
When the two girls lose their life, the camera pulls back to reveal their floating bodies caught up in the massive veil of Ronnie’s dress that swirls around them beautifully in the murky pool.
The Girl Is Noone said “EastEnders did the most with the visuals. The last shot of Roxy and Ronnie in the pool was iconic.
While Harriet B-W said: “That final shot of Ronnie and Roxy in the water! Award worthy stuff. That beautifully sinister image was iconic.
An hour after the episode was screened, Samanatha Womack, who has been rather vocal about being written out of the series, Tweeted she was “honestly broken”.
“I’m sorry I can’t respond to any comments. I’m honestly broken. An appropriate end to the darkest year ever.”
Meanwhile the BBC came under attack again after the episode when it posted an alternate ending to the episode on Snapchat!
As the closing credits rolled on the show, a voiceover told fans to head to Snapchat to see a different conclusion.
But when viewers got to see the clip, they were furious because it was a clip that lasted just seconds and hinted that Ronnie lived and that Roxy would be found dead across a pool table.