SusanThere is talk about action and there is talk that is constitutive of action. This opening scene
gives us talk about the action, even if it is talk from the key participants. As the later scenes unfold
the talk becomes the action and constructs the main events of this episode of EastEnders. This shift
from talk about to talk that is the action and then later back to talk about it is a key marker of scenes
going through different stages of the problem - solution - evaluation model.
give more ADVICE
Yeah, well next time get his side of it first
react to the advice
Well that's the problem. He won't even talk to me about it.
You're the one that wanted family life. Now you got it, moody teenagers and all. Just deal with it
ay. If I come home to another evening of you two sulking I am turning round and going straight out
Scene 5 follows up on Scene 1 by illustrating the lack of trust and respect that exists between
father and son. The issue is unimportant; other stall holders getting away with noise levels that
Matthew would never be allowed. This is not to turn into an actual story line. It is simply there to
provide the viewer with on going current evidence of the family problems that these people are
Scene 7 is a scene of male bonding between Michael and Sanjay. This can be defined locally
as a scene where there is no action and only agreement between the participating characters. The
progress that Susan and Michael have been making is represented for us, encapsulation again. Some
scenes take place to unfold the drama, others to ensure that the listener is up with the state of
The disbelief that Matthew is not pleased to see his parents close to reuniting is expressed
by Sanjay as the prevailing wisdom, male wisdom at least; Michael is not disagreeing. This is very
much the first part of the problem. The son seems unhappy that his parents are getting closer. Well,
it makes for a good story doesn't it? So the family problem is restated, what does Matthew want? -
He should be happy to see his parents together again!
Scene 13 shows us moves towards problem resolution. Now, instead of scenes commenting
on previous action and talk, this scene is constitutive of the key action that is needed. Matthew and
Michael need to talk, at least Susan and Michael think so. Michael offers to take his son to lunch.
Michael's way of talking, his solution to the problem isn't the one that Susan envisaged. A smart
viewer will know this as the father - son scene unfolds. It will be made very obvious before the
episode ends in any case.
You going to lunch
Why, do I need your permission
Come on I'll treat you.
Michael prevails and eventually the offer is accepted.