Sam Mitchell: Love Is Deaf, Dumb and Blind

By Michael McCarthy

What can a girl do when the years start piling up and there is no man in her life?

If you happen to be Samantha Mitchell, got the duchess of Albert Square, Peggy Mitchell, for your mother, Phil and Grant for big brothers, and you jump on the carousel, take the first horse that presents itself, and then spend the ride trying to grab that elusive golden ring.

Sam has a terrible record where men are concerned. As a teenager in love, she and Ricky Butcher eloped, only to find that they had nothing in common but sex.

An older but not necessarily wiser Sam tries to bond with Beppe di Marco, the love-them-and-leave-them stud of the Square. Sam has been that leaf in the wind, blown from one man to another, and every time she tells herself: .He is the one, my soul mate.. Our Sam is the puppy in the pet shop window, wagging her tail each time a smiling face appears at the window.

Sam drifted in and out of the Square, seeking new places in an effort to meet the right man.

Then Peggy runs into her daughter in Spain where she works as a pole dancer in a Spanish cabaret. Mother shepherds her wayward child back to Walford for a new beginning. You have to give it to Sam, she.s no wallflower. Hope always springs eternal after each new beginning. A career as a model fizzles out.

Den Watts returns to Albert Square just in time to bed Sam in his war with Phil, a rivalry over who owns the Vic. Nature hates a vacuum, so when Phil goes on the run framed by Dirty Den, Sam is left in charge of all of Phil.s many businesses, legit and otherwise. Sam takes to her new responsibilities with the can-do spirit of a Mitchell. She.s out to prove to the Square and to herself that she.s up to the job.

She supervises Alfie at the Vic, Gary and Minty at the Arches, the caff, and the pool hall, and looks ravishing in a smart business suit. Sam is so busy she just hasn.t got the time to fret about no man in her life. Billy and Minty are her loyal right and left arms.

Then Andy Hunter, the man we love to hate, shows up in the community. A suave ladykiller, Andy sets his sights on Kat Slater, only to be quite literally left at the altar when Kat runs off with her best mate Alfie, the man in the moon.

If you think that a woman scorned is dangerous, then you don.t know Andy, a firm believer in that old adage, .Revenge is best served ice-cold..

In his case, a tape of him and Kat making love as a belated wedding present for Alfie, the man who stole what belonged to Andy. Andy establishes his presence on the Square by buying the betting shop. Then he turns his attention to pursuing Sam, the lady who controls all of Phil.s many businesses. When it comes to business and pleasure, Andy is all business. To one of his associates, Andy likens Sam to a pet dog Andy controls. Meanwhile, Sam is being swept off her feet, while Billy and Minty try to warn her before it.s too late. Sam won.t have any of it . she.s in love: hook, line and sinker. And no one is able to rescue her from Andy.s wiles.

Andy proposes, Sam accepts, the stage is set for an all-stops-out party. Peggy orchestrates the festivities and gives Sam her blessing; Andy passes muster.

Andy manages to talk his blushing bride into signing Phil.s money over to him as he is now family. But Marcus, Phil.s attorney, talks Sam out of signing over all the money to Andy.

While Andy and Sam are out to dinner at a four-star restaurant, two of Andy.s goons work over Minty at the Arches. Sam visits Minty in the hospital, and asks Andy if he was responsible. Andy denies he was involved, and blinded by love, Sam believes him. When Sam leaves Minty.s room Andy warns Minty not to interfere, or next time Minty might be dead.

Sam has no idea just how vicious Andy can be if he is crossed. Andy is isolating Sam from family and friends. The more he covets Phil.s empire the more desperate he becomes and the more likely Sam is to be the victim.

Will Andy .Gaslight. Sam? Remember the movie when Charles Boyer drove his wife Ingrid Bergman insane? How about Cary Grant looking like a sleek leopard climbing a circular staircase, carrying a glass of .milk. on a silver tray for his suspicious wife Joan Fontaine? Is either scenario the means of Andy finally ridding himself of Sam for good? .Murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ..

Stay tuned.

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