Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami) in EastEnders spent lockdown with the Slaters and it didn’t take long for us to realise it wasn’t exactly an easy time for him.
Kush’s life in Albert Square has been full of ups and downs; he arrived in 2014 and quickly became a popular resident, but was also involved in an affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner), and played a key role in the hard-hitting storyline that saw his brother Shakil (Shaheen Jafargholi) killed after being stabbed.
We began seeing Kush playing poker apps a few weeks ago, and we recently discovered that the time he’d spend on these apps during lockdown has now turned into something serious as he his compulsion to play these games begins to spiral out of control. Kush is someone who wants to provide for his family, and with Suki Panesar (Balvinder Sopal) constantly pestering them about increasing the rent, and the Slater children needing new items for school, or the latest tablet, Kush has increased the amount of time on his gambling apps, with seemingly positive and negative outcomes for him.
It was revealed a few months ago that Davood Ghadami would be leaving the show next year, and rumours on just how his final scenes will play out have already began.
With his problem slowly spiralling out of control, let’s take a look at what we know so far about Kush’s addiction, and how he could exit Albert Square:
He runs away
It’s no secret Kush has gotten himself into bother with his money, and given Davood’s exit isn’t until 2021, the bad times are really only just beginning for the market stall owner.
We’ve seen Kush get angry in the past when it comes to defending the people he loves, but if the situation escalates so badly he finds he is unable to protect himself from the people he owes money to, would his exit simply involve him running away from Walford? Running away is certainly an easy option, and it also leaves the door open for Davood to return in the future, perhaps he will leave and join his mum, Carmel (Bonnie Langford) in Dubai?
Kush ends his life
It’s possible that if Kush gets himself into so much debt and his fixation gets so out of hand, he sees no other option but to end his life. Gambling is estimated to be the cause of 500 suicides in the UK every year so if this is the way Kush’s final scenes play out, it would be an incredibly powerful way to show how severe gambling addictions can get.
This would also be a way for EastEnders to tell highlight the stigma around men’s mental health. If Kush pretends nothing’s wrong, and convinces people he’s fixed his dilemma but is secretly really struggling, his exit would be an important way to encourage a conversation, and will no doubt have a huge effect on the Slaters too.
Kush gets killed
We’ve already seen Kush’s paranoia growing when he saw a hooded figure wandering around the Square recently, so if Kush gets himself into difficulty with the wrong people, maybe Davood’s departure will see Kush killed?
Of course, if he is killed, it will mean Davood won’t be returning to the soap, but if a mysterious hooded figure isn’t the result of Kush getting killed, who could it be? With Kat (Jessie Wallace) being involved in some scenes with Phil (Steve McFadden) soon, there is that small matter of her still hiding the secret that it was actually Stacey who hit him in the Arches. If these scenes eventually involve Phil finding out the truth about his attack and that the Slaters have spent so long lying to him, could he hire someone to kill Kush as a revenge plan?
Or will a certain Panesar be the reason Kush leaves the Square?
Panesars and Ruby
The Panesars have clashed with the Slaters since the very moment they laid eyes on each other, and with Suki constantly upping their rent to try and make them crack, it’s a given that she is prepared to do whatever it takes to destroy them.
Suki is smart, and with the fury she has towards the Slaters and Ruby’s (Louisa Lytton) determination to run them out of Walford also, encouraging Kush to join a poker game in upcoming episodes doesn’t come as a difficult challenge. Right now, and with Davood Ghadami revealing to us in a recent interview that he doesn’t think Kush ‘believes he has a problem. It’s going to take some time to realise, I think he’s in denial. He thinks it’s just a little flutter here or there’, this addiction has really only just started, and with Suki and Ruby knowing what Kush’s enjoyment of poker games might lead to, if they destroy him, they get what they want, and destroy the Slaters.
If they won’t go as far as hiring someone to kill Kush, maybe they will be the cause of Kush facing a life behind bars?
Suki will stoop to new lows in order to get what she wants (need we remind you she put her own son in prison a few weeks ago), so if the feud between the Slaters and Panesars grows, will Suki organise a crime to take place in order to put Kush in prison, and win? Or maybe a crime takes place and Suki successfully frames Kush and sees him arrested for a crime he didn’t commit?
Alternatively, taking Kush’s gambling addiction into account, it’s possible he may get arrested following some money complications. Maybe money laundering? We’ve already seen him steal money out of the till in Ruby’s club, would Kush get so bad he plans to steal a large sum of money from someone to fund his habit?
With Kush’s exit a while away, this slow burner storyline is highlighting the intensity of a gambling addiction, and when it comes to Kush and so many people like him, it’s showing how something that started off as a bit of fun can escalate hugely into a bigger issue if it isn’t kept under control.
Kush’s final scenes will no doubt be a powerful watch, and given how much the Slaters are relying on him, the aftermath of his exit will probably leave the family in huge amounts of trouble.
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