Jack Branning confronted Charlie Cotton over his secret plot to take his son Matthew in tonight’s EastEnders, but has he done enough to warn him off? And more importantly, just how is Jack’s brother Max involved in all this?
Having discovered her grandson came to Walford with the intention of taking his and Ronnie’s kid Matthew back to Ireland, Dot could take the guilt no more as Jack sang Charlie’s praises to his stepmum and she revealed Charlie’s true agenda.
Fuming Jack left Mrs B babysitting and marched over for a testosterone-fuelled showdown with Charlie, who admitted he’d already taken legal advice and was intent on getting custody of Matthew (despite the fact he’d not bothered with him for two years, and didn’t even realise his mum had been dead for five months. But anyway…).
The two alpha males squared up and were on the verge of fisticuffs until Dot called Jack home, breaking up the epic tension.
In the final scene of the episode, a calmer Jack issued a veiled and very measured threat to Charlie out on the street that he wouldn’t let anyone take his children. And as moody Mr Cotton walked away, the camera panned to Max sitting in his car having earwigged the whole conversation…
Viewers already know Max manipulated Dot into calling Charlie in the first place, under the guise of ‘helping’ Jack as he was struggling to cope with Matthew, Amy and Ricky. His ambiguous expression confirms he’s pulling the strings with this whole situation, but for what purpose? Why would Max want to mess with his own sibling’s life so soon after losing soulmate Ronnie? Does he hate him that much? Is it something to do with Max’s job at the mysterious Weyland and Co? Have they got it in for Jack for some as yet undisclosed reason?
Or is it connected to Fi Browning and the Vic freehold saga? Or his cosying up to Carmel the minute she started working with the planning department at the council?
Has Charlie realised he’s met his match after his barney with Jack, or will he stick around in Albert Square to fight for his son?
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.