EastEnders fans are overjoyed by the news that Kim Medcalf is back filming as the legendary Sam Mitchell following her extended break, but what brings Sam back to Albert Square, and what troubles await her when she gets here?
What does EastEnders have in store for Sam as she returns?
When Sam left Walford back in April, things on the Square were remarkably different. Lola Pearce was still alive, Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) had not yet had her baby and Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) was still the sole owner of the Queen Vic.
Knowing that Lily was soon set to give birth to her grandchild, Sam wanted to be able to help son Ricky (Frankie Day) and contribute to the baby’s upbringing.
In order to do this, she accepted a job managing a hotel back in Spain, much to Ricky’s disappointment.
Since then, fans have been wondering when she will return to the show.
While many thought she would be back in time for the birth of baby Charli – that’s after Charli XCX, not Charlie Slater – they were soon proved wrong when Ricky announced that she couldn’t get away from work.
So what is it that will bring her back to the Square, and what possible storylines will she face?
Now, we could say that Sam will return to see baby Charli and everything will be wonderful. However, this is EastEnders, so we have a feeling that that won’t be the case.
Viewers will know that Ricky recently surprised dad Jack (Scott Maslen) by announcing that he was changing his surname from Mitchell to Branning, given that he’d always felt more like a Branning than a Mitchell.
Unfortunately, we can’t see this going down well with Sam.
The Mitchells are a very close bunch, and their family name is of the utmost importance for them, so for Ricky to want to change his will surely cause a stir.
Will Sam start an argument over the issue that could isolate her from her family for good?
Sam’s brother Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) is set to marry Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace), but that could all be in jeopardy given that he recently cheated on her with Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit).
Everybody loves a wedding, so could Sam fly back to watch his brother say ‘I do’? If he gets that far, that is.
If Phil’s dirty little secret is revealed, like Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) is threatening, he will likely want his family around him as he deals with the fallout.
Could Sam come running back to support her big bro?
Lily has been having a tough time dealing with Stacey’s (Lacey Turner) overbearing behaviour since giving birth to Charli, and has been left feeling as though her baby will love Stacey more than her.
Though Stacey has agreed to back off and let Lily make her own mistakes, will she faces the same levels of interference from Sam when she arrives back on the scene.
Given her track record with upping sticks and leaving Ricky, we can’t imagine Lily will have too much of a problem with Sam in that department.
However, Stacey’s reasons for being overprotective were valid, given that she has a stalker on the loose. In fact, he’s just moved in next door, and has made it very clear that he intends on sticking around.
A number of fans are concerned that stalker Theo’s (William Ellis) behaviour may continue to escalate, resulting in him kidnapping baby Charli.
Will it be the abduction of her new granddaughter that brings Sam back to the Square?
We’ve seen Sam go to great lengths to get revenge on unsavoury characters before when she held rapist Lewis at gunpoint, so could she be the one to stop Theo once and for all?
A new relationship
Sam Mitchell has been somewhat of a maneater during her time on the show, but there’s one particular relationship that fans would like to see revisited.
Zack Hudson (James Farrar) cheated on girlfriend Nancy Carter with Sam back in 2022 and fans have been pointing out the chemistry between the characters ever since.
Sam proved to be a pillar of support for Zack during his HIV diagnosis, with the pair remaining firm friends until her exit.
With Zack’s current partner Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) set to leave the Square at some point in the near future, will Zack be left single?
Could Sam and Zack’s friendship develop into something more as she supports him through a break up?
Or could history repeat as Zack ends up cheating on Whitney with Sam, resulting in her leaving the Square to get away from them both? So many possibilities!
Now, we’ve all heard of The Six by now, but has anyone considered the possibility that they may actually become The Seven?
The Six are the group of women who are set to murder one of the men who has wronged them on Christmas day, as teased in a first-of-its-kind flash forward episode back in February.
We’ve talked about Sam getting revenge on unsavoury characters already, and what better way to do that than by joining the squad of girlies who want to see men ‘get what they deserve’?
Sam is the queen of camp, so we can absolutely picture her stepping off a plane on Christmas day and walking straight into a crime scene in the Queen Vic.
Not only that, but a significant clue in the flash forward episode hinted that Sam may be connected, by drawing parallels to the murder of Dirty Den, which we have explored in great detail before.
Could Sam’s grand return see her thrust into one of the biggest murder storylines in EastEnders history?
Whatever her return will lead to, we can’t wait to see Sam back on our screens!