EastEnders fans have long been wondering what would become of Ben Mitchell, and viewers FINALLY saw the troubled character leave last night.
Rather than being killed off in typical EastEnders style though, we saw Ben take a cross channel ferry from Dover, headed for France.
He took cash stolen from Phil and the heist with him to kick-start his new life on the continent, but there was a familiar face on board with him too.
The recently returned Mel Owen, played by Tamzin Outhwaite, had tracked what Ben believed to be an undetected exit, and approached him on the ferry to suggest he change his mind over leaving.
While the pair seemed friendly at first, things soon took a darker turn with Mel telling Ben that he’d be dead within a week if he got through customs with the cash and Ben responding by calling Mel ‘unhinged’.
Ben attempted to sever ties by throwing his phone in the sea but a chillingly confident Mel called someone as she walked away from the determined escapee, simply saying: “He’s all yours.”
Things took another twist when Ben arrived in France only to be stopped at customs expecting for his ill-gotten gains to be discovered.
In a tense scene, Ben waited as an official opened the parcel he was carrying but found only a stack of Walford Gazette newspapers.
That meant he’s been double-crossed by somebody, but, fortunately, he pulled out a smaller wad of cash hidden elsewhere.
Not that it all ended on a good note though, as viewers saw crime boss Ciara Maguire waiting for Ben as he left.
That means plenty of questions remain, not least where the real cash is and whether Ben escapes alive, but it also means a fond farewell to Harry Reid, the fifth actor to play the role of Ben Mitchell.
Harry took to Instagram and Twitter to thank fans, filming a short video just before the episode was broadcast.
“I wanted to say a few words as my last episode of EastEnders is going on air in ten minutes,” he said in the short clip.
“I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported me over my time on EastEnders,” he continued. “To all of the fan groups and all of the little photo collages you’ve done and the videos and everyone here on Instagram, all social media, that has really documented my time there and I really appreciate it.
“I’ve loved my time on EastEnders, I’m looking forward to seeing the episode tonight. So thank you for your support, I hope you enjoy tonight and thanks again, have a great weekend.”
Viewers were sad to see the actor depart, with one fan telling Harry they would ‘miss you so much’ and another saying he was ‘the best version’ of Ben Mitchell.
Harry responded with a Tweet saying the fans’ support had been ‘amazing’.
We’re sad to see you go too, Harry. Come back soon!