EastEnders character attacks intruder with hurling stick in unexpected plot development
Viewers have been left baffled by EastEnders favourite Sonia Fowler returning to Albert Square from her recent trip to India wearing a leprechaun hat and wielding a hurl.
Friday's dramatic scenes saw actress Natalie Cassidy's character make a violent entrance in the BBC One soap by assaulting an intruder with the piece of Irish sporting equipment.
Her appearance and choice of weapon was made all the more startling because when she left Walford her destination was India, not the Emerald Isle.
This fact did not escape fans on social media, with some suggesting she may have had a stopover in Dublin on the return leg of the journey.
The character, an NHS nurse, had taken the trip to India to spend time with her daughter Bex after struggling with the toll of the coronavirus pandemic, working long and distressing shifts.
"Sonia with a leprechaun hat and a hurley is the last thing I'd expect to see on British telly if I'm honest," remarked one Twitter user.
A fan commented: "Sonia hitting your man over the head with a Hurley stick while wearing a leprechaun hat was not how I thought this episode was going to end!"
"I turned on Eastenders for 4 seconds and Sonia was hitting a man over the head with a hurley while dressed as a leprechaun. What the actual," one user said.
"Okay but Sonia coming back from Ireland with a Hurley and belting it across someone's head is the most Irish thing ever to happen in an English soap," wrote another fan.
A few others thought they had solved the puzzle.
"She's obviously been to see Dot in 'That Ireland' en route from India. Hence the tourist Leprechaun hat + (very handy) hurley! Love Sonia," wrote one.
Never one to let a marketing opportunity escape, Butlers Hurleys account tweeted: "Great to see a hurley on Eastenders tonight. Sonia is definitely ready for the championship."