EastEnders spoilers: Syed and Christian exit, Cora's daughter Ava is alive, plus Derek is humiliated

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EastEnders spoilers: Syed and Christian exit, Cora's daughter Ava is alive, plus Derek is humiliated
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The secrets and lies are stacking up next week. To begin with, we have a depressed and distressed Cora keeping quiet on what it is that’s troubling her. There she sits, silently smoking cigarette after cigarette, while Tanya frets about what the problem can be. 

In an effort to provide a distraction, Tanya shows Cora a card she received from Rainie wishing her luck for the wedding – a touchy subject following Rainie’s supposed actions with the bridesmaid dress. Thinking her sister is mocking her, Tanya asks her mum for Rainie’s number. Worried Tanya will find out the truth, Cora claims not to have it. 

But after Cora causes further concern later in the day by coldly telling Lola to wash her hands of Lexi, Patrick becomes determined to get to the truth. Cora eventually reveals to him that today would have been her first-born daughter Ava’s 48th birthday. The biggest shock comes, though, when she admits that she lied to her family: Ava wasn’t stillborn. Cora actually gave her up for adoption.

Max is also keeping things back from his nearest and dearest, as Derek makes clear when he threatens to blab his brother’s dirty secret: “It’s gonna be pretty hard walking up the aisle without your knee caps,” he glowers. 

Derek is in this threatening state of mind after facing humiliation thanks to Max’s actions. It all comes about after Max tracks down Derek’s supposed first love Jackie Bosch and stages a reunion – only to find that her recollection of the past isn’t as romantic as Derek’s. 

After recalling Del’s bad breath and wandering hands, the elder Branning brother makes a swift exit and warns Max that if he crosses him again, he won’t be keeping quiet.

Gang leader Alexa is also causing trouble. She makes a jibe to Lola about Lexi being in care, which enrages the already emotional mum. Thankfully, Jay stops Lola from lashing out. 

Later, Billy finds Alexa alone in the playground and tries to appeal to her, telling her that Lexi deserves to be with her true family. Alexa is clearly affected by Billy’s words but quickly reverts to her former nastiness when she sees Lola approaching: “This is witness tampering. It’s not gonna go down well in court,” Alexa snarls. Lola is livid with Billy and fears that he may have jeopardised their case.

Finally, Christian and Syed reach crisis point after saying an emotional goodbye to Yasmin. First, Christian makes plans to move to America, which prompts Syed to accuse him of hypocrisy and throw his belongings into the Square. Zainab then tries to convince Syed not to give up on his marriage, but he is adamant that it’s over. 

Luckily, a frustrated Lucy and Zainab concoct a plan that involves locking Christian and Syed in the Argee Bhajee and forcing them to talk through their issues. Christian throws Syed’s betrayal in his face: “You married me on a lie,” he yells. But Syed soon tires of the arguing – “I don’t want to fight anymore,” he pleads. 

But, with Christian about to depart for the airport, can the pair salvage their marriage? Or will they finally be ending their relationship once and for all?