Cindy secretly returned to EastEnders nine years ago and you missed it

The plot twists continue to be delivered during this week’s EastEnders, as Tuesday’s (August 29) episode of the BBC One soap has revealed that Cindy Beale (Michelle Collins) was in Walford nine years ago – and we completely missed it.

The beloved character made a shock return a few months ago, allowing viewers to learn that Cindy wasn’t dead, but had been living undercover as Rose Knight ever since her arrest over 20 years ago.

It was only this week that Cindy made her way back to Albert Square after discovering that Peter (Thomas Law) had left France for England to find his new sisters – Anna and Gina Knight (Molly Rainford and Francesca Henry).

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While Ian (Adam Woodyatt) got on the Eurostar to follow his partner and son back home, Cindy was coming face to face with the likes of Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) and then eventually her ex-husband George (Colin Salmon), who had a lot of questions for Cindy.

And in tonight’s episode (available to watch now on BBC iPlayer), they were answered.

Prior to Cindy’s return, we knew that Rose Knight had walked out on the family nine years ago, but didn’t know why.

In the barrel store, after Cindy told George about her hidden identity, we flashbacked to April 19, 2014 – the day after Lucy Beale was murdered.

Cindy and George were living in Spain but it was clear the relationship had reached a difficult patch.

As George and a younger Gina and Anna headed out, Cindy was left on her own watching the news.

The character then received a phone call from Mary – her police handler – who had mentioned daughter Lucy.

She then grabbed a bag and left the house, with that being the final moment George saw Cindy until 2023.

Back in Walford, Cindy was seen hiding behind the bushes in the Square garden watching a distraught Ian Beale, who was only hours into the Who Killed Lucy Beale? saga.

Cindy was then found by Mary, who told her to get into the car and leave.

The choice to break cover not only put Cindy’s life at risk, but Mary then told her that if she returned to the Knight family, they could also be in danger.

It ultimately answered why Cindy left George, Anna and Gina all those years ago, but something tells us George isn’t going to forgive easily…

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