EastEnders: Lauren leaves Albert Square for good next week?

Steven is determined to stop her - by any means necessary...

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EastEnders’ Lauren Branning announces she is leaving Walford next week after confessing she doesn’t love boyfriend Steven Beale any more. But will possessive Steven really let her go without a fight? 

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After getting very cosy the previous week with boss Josh Hemmings and almost doing the dirty, Lauren has realised her relationship with Steven is doomed to fail and confides in Josh she’s going to end it. What she doesn’t realise, however, is that paranoid Mr Beale has been tracking her every move and listened in to her conversation about how she’s stopped loving him… 

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In next Tuesday’s episode, Lauren plans to finish with Steven but chickens out when he surprises her with a bunch of flowers. She ends up having a confessional chat with dad Max and comes to the decision to take her son Louie and move back to New Zealand. 

Meanwhile, jealous Abi is stirring it up as she tries to steal Steven all for herself, following their recent emotionally-charged dalliance. Despite Steven rejecting Abi, the bitchy Branning refuses to give up and continues to pursue her sister’s lover. 

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When Abi bumps into Josh in the cafe, his behaviour piques her suspicions that Lauren is up to something and when she later catches up with her sister, she realises she’s on the verge of dumping Steven.

But it appears Lauren is being deliberately sneaky and avoiding Steven so she doesn’t have to tell him face to face… Does she think she can leave the country without him noticing she’s gone? 

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On Friday, Lauren prepares to say goodbye to the Brannings and leave Walford – but will Steven manage to confront her and stop her from going? Can he convince her to save their relationship? Will he admit he knows she aborted their baby, thanks to blabbermouth Abi? And will Abi reveal she slept with Steven behind her back? 

Whatever the outcome of this messy situation, Lauren and Steven’s relationship surely doesn’t have much life left in it. One wonders why they got together in the first place, and as it took place off screen while they were in New Zealand the last time, we may never know.

It’s hard to invest much more than we already have in this ill-fated romance between two damaged and fairly unlikable people, but with the plot properly ramping up it looks like the end of the relationship will bring some big emotional fireworks to Walford…  

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