AFTER a night out on the town ends in violence, Ben Mitchell struggles to cope with the trauma.
Thankfully, the return of an EastEnders legend will help him come out of his toughened shell.
The most recent weeks have been rocky for both Ben (Max Bowden) and Callum (Tony Clay).
Despite their recent wedding in May, 2021, the couple have gone through their share of hurdles and insecurities.
A recent encounter with a mysterious and attractive man has also put their bond to the test once again.
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Tension was already looming when Ben's old flame had returned to Walford.
With the promise of a brand new year, Ben suggests he and Callum treat themselves to a night out, believing they deserve to have fun.
Overhearing their conversation, Even Unwin (Heather Peace) subsequently invites herself alongside Stacey Slater, played by Lacey Turner.
The group then encounters Ash Panesar (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha), who joins in on the fun.
But as the happy crowd sets out to enjoy their evening, heading towards the Walford tube station, things take a horrifying turn.
Things kick off in Albert Square as the group is brutally attacked, a few weeks following Keegan's own assault.
In an upcoming episode of the BBC soap, expected to air in January, 2022, both Callum and Ben are left to deal with the lingering consequences of the attack, with the latter struggling considerably more than his husband.
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While the pain is evident, however, Ben refuses to open up about how he feels.
Desperate to help his other half deal with his own feelings, Callum is left facing a wall.
Yet the return of a familiar face on EastEnders is vowed to finally push Ben out of his comfort zone.
Ben will be surprised to see that Pam (portrayed by Lin Blakley) has decided to pay him a visit after hearing about the attack.
Pam and Ben had grown close when the mechanic began a relationship with Paul, the former's grandson, played by Jonny Labey.
After a dramatic love triangle involving Abi Branning, Ben chose to be with Paul.
Their love story was brutally put to an end after Paul died during a night out.
Paul was killed off during an off-screen homophobic incident in July, 2016.
Undoubtedly, Ben's own experience with violence has acted as a painful reminder of his former boyfriend's tragic death.
But will Pam's return encourage him to express and process his feelings?
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