EastEnders Carmel Kazemi (played by Bonnie Langford) has been in turmoil since her teen son Shakil (Shaheen Jafargholi) was tragically stabbed to death last month and is overcome with grief.
The matriarch has been struggling to control her emotions and will spark concern in upcoming episodes when her family organise Shakil’s funeral service.
A distraught Kush (Davood Ghadami) will be left to plan the burial himself when Carmel refuses to acknowledge it and instead focuses her energy on opening her youth club project.
But the market trader becomes increasingly worried when Carmel does not show up for a meeting with Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) at the funeral parlour.
Later when Carmel finds out that Keegan (Zack Morris) has been having a difficult time since her son’s death she reaches out to him.
However, he rejects her support and accuses her of using the youth club as a distraction.
After the explosive run-in with Keegan, Carmel approaches Jay and demands that he cancel the tributes and tell everyone they are not welcome at the church.
Carmel wants to be alone with Shakil, forcing Kush to overrule her on the day of the funeral, insisting the day go ahead as planned.
A desperate Kush begs her to attend the procession, but Carmel worries everyone when she is a no show as the service is about to start.
Denise Fox (Diane Parish) anxiously searches to find Carmel in time, but will she persuade her to attend the funeral?
Davood, who plays Kush, spoke about the harrowing scenes and the lead up to the penultimate episode with Radio Times.
He revealed: “Kush’s main focus since the death of his brother has been his mum. As much as it’s a distraction for Kush, he’s concerned that she’s not coping well and tries to put all his efforts into making sure the funeral is well prepared, for her benefit as much as anyone else’s.”
Yet, he is sadden by Carmel’s lack of effort, Davood said: “He can’t hide his disappointment in Carmel for not wanting to plan Shaki’s funeral.
“Kush feels the pressure to arrange all the most important and individual aspects of the funeral and he feels that’s something his mum should want to do for her son. Although he’s sympathetic to her emotional state he can’t help but feel frustrated.”
EastEnder’s poignant knife crime storyline comes at a time when more than 70 murder investigations have been launched since the start of 2018.
Speaking about the knife crime epidemic, Davood insisted: “The fact that this subject is so current and so relevant adds another dimension, and allows us to create something really meaningful.
“Knife crime is a problem across the UK and in particular, London. I think EastEnders has been bold in showing this horrifying issue manifesting itself in Walford.
“It has helped me understand, and hopefully the viewers at home too, the devastating effect that knife crime has on the friends and families of those often young boys and girls.
“It has certainly had a huge impact on me.”
EastEnders continues Friday on BBC One at 8pm.