The everyday lives of working-class inhabitants of Albert Square, a traditional Victorian square of terrace houses surrounding a park in the East End of London's Walford borough.
Ali gets a happy surprise. Dr Legg counsels Lofty to be a better neighbour and voices concerns about the future of Albert Square. Lou's talk with Pete and Kath doesn't go the way she expected. Sue is getting fed up with all the calls for Ali at the Cafe.
Kath celebrates her birthday. The stranger looking for Mary is still hanging around. Ian’s cooking is well appreciated. Michelle has started work. Lou starts doing her own research into what is wrong with her – much to the amusement of others. Sharon is upset about Den and Angie’s goings ons. Ian’s film night surprises everyone.
Lou has shingles. Mary apologises to a relieved Lofty. Tony comes to Debbie’s rescue in the kitchen. Angie and Den come to an agreement, for Sharon’s sake – but will they honour it? Dinner at Debbie and Andy’s opens new doors for Naima.
Naima has her first driving lesson with disastrous results. Tony is upset after a visit from Angie and Den and Angie promise Sharon things are going to change. Sharon’s nose is out of joint over Michelle and Kelvin seeing each other again but she refuses an invitation to dinner from Ian and seems to have other ideas. Lofty’s well meaning gesture is not welcomed by Mary. Den and Angie seem to have put the spark back into their marriage.
Lou wakes up screaming from a nightmare. Den is disappointed with himself. Dr Legg shares some deep concerns about Pauline with Arthur. Ian’s term as the Queen Vic’s latest chef looks to be coming to an end. Michelle gets a new look. Tony warns Michelle off Kelvin, at least until exams are over, meanwhile Sharon moves in for the kill.
Michelle and Kelvin plan a night out in the West End, but one aspect of their plan has Andy in a tizz. Lou is still laid up. Saeed and Naima’s pledge to discuss everything together hits a snag. Dr Legg throws cold water on Sharon’s latest plans and Arthur “pours oil on troubled waters” when he tries to talk to Michelle about Kelvin. Two gifts end up in the hands of the wrong people and has another Fowler gone missing?
Sharon is in Michelle’s bad books. Nothing is going right for Andy and Kelvin may have pushed his luck too far with Tony. Ali goes to see Den about a car but Debbie makes a point that will throw a spanner in the works. Lou’s demands are getting everyone down and Pauline is still not getting the support she needs, leading to possibly tragic circumstances.
An ambulance takes Pauline to the hospital. Ali and Sue try to get money for the car Naima crashed not only from her, but also from Saeed, Den and Angie! Andy's stolen bike is found by the police.
Lou moves in with Pete and Kathy. A group of teenagers beat up Ian. Arthur doesn't like Michelle to go out with Kevin.
Michelle, Pauline and Arthur have separated and are scouring the streets of Southend showing pictures of Mark to everyone they see. It is a cold damp day and they are looking miserable and discouraged but trudge ahead.
Den gets an early call from David in Ilford. Angie thinks it was Jan but is even more irritated when she learns that Den is up to his eyebrows in some dodgy goods again.
Angie is at the Walford nick giving her statement about the car accident and they telephone Den since she says she took the car without permission. He lies and tell them that he gave her the car to use. Later Quick comes to the Vic and tells Den that as an accessory after the fact he'll be in trouble as well if he doesn't tell the truth. Den goes back to see the WPC and changes his story.
Den and Kathy go to court with Angie leaving Debbie to take care of the pub lunches and Simon and Lofty to manage the bar. Debbie goes a bit overboard trying to fancy up the plates which go unappreciated by Arthur, Pete and the others. The case is delayed and Den returns in the late.
Ali calls about the flat at 47B to arrange for a look. Sue is anxious to see it so it is agreed that they can see it the same day. Ali gets the key from Naima and they have a few embarrassing moments about what happened when Ali helped her move her things out. It seemed that they had sex in the empty flat.
Debbie spends the day getting a big dinner prepared for Roy and collecting for the ladies darts team publicity. As darts team secretary, she collects a pound from each member. Sue is still upset about the flat and tells her she isn't playing any more since Angie is a bad influence.
As Ali and Sue open the café before dawn, Beresford and Victor get out of their Merc and force their way in. Victor puts Ali's arm in a lock and Beresford calmly explains Mr Scanlon's scheme to provide the immigrants protection for £10 per week and tells them to think about it for 24 hours.
Andy is surprised when Debbie brings Naima home followed by DS Quick who is lugging a Zed bed for the front room. He is quite upset when Debbie informs him that in order to help with the finances since she quit her job, she decided to take in a lodger.
Beresford and Victor are waiting outside the café in Beresford's Mercedes when Ali and Sue open up. Victor goes in to collect the first weekly £10 protection money. Sue quickly gives him the money over Ali's protest. They then go to Tony's house and Beresford goes in. Tony laughs at his insurance scheme and hits him very hard in the stomach.
Den closes the bar early after Jan appears with the news that her dad died. As soon as Angie realises who the new arrival is she shoots upstairs and sits in the darkened kitchen. With all the tension at the pub, Simon goes home with Lofty to spend the night while John Fisher sleeps on the sofa upstairs at the pub.
Sharon comes downstairs to the bar and just stares at Jan who tries to explain how her situation with Den happened. Sharon doesn't say anything but listens rather sympathetically. When Jan decides it's time for her to leave she asks where she could freshen up. Sharon says upstairs and Jan smiles saying not "up there" (where Angie was). She asks about "down here" and Sharon motions toward the corner saying "but the water's cold".
Lou tells Ethel that she gave Simon Albert's watch. Pauline overhears and is upset with Lou for giving the watch to Simon. Pauline claims it should have been given to her as she was the first born. Lou is taken back by this objection and says nothing.
Some thugs show up in the Square looking for Simon. Angie hits up Dot for her sleeping pills to add to her collection. The café and shop are vandalised with red paint and most everyone including the postman pitch in to help clean up.
Angie plumbs the depths of despair when Den tells her he's moving out. Wicksy's true motive for returning to the Square comes to light when he tries to con Pete into giving him a loan.
Ethel puts posters around the square trying to find her missing little Willie. Angie sends her off early from her cleaning at the pub so she can look for him.
Den returns early morning in a cab as Angie covers for him telling Sharon he is walking Roly. Sharon is in a bad mood and nasty to both of them. John Fisher comes by early on his day off to pick up the rest of his gear. He has been worried about Angie since the night before and probably wants to see that she is OK.