It’s Christmas again in EastEnders, but don’t go expecting it to be all peace and goodwill for the residents of Albert Square. This year, we’re promised secrets and lies being exposed, while families are torn apart. To make things easy, we’ve picked out the 10 big storylines hitting Walford at the close of 2017:
Max wants to murder Ian and Phil With his revenge plan unravelling, Max tries to claw himself out of an impossible situation. But this could prove perilous for Ian and Phil as an increasingly unhinged Mr Branning has murder in mind.
Who is Max’s Christmas angel? But it’s not all about violence where Max is concerned – he also finds himself in the arms of his very own Christmas angel. But is this a reference to his most recent love interests Fi Browning and Carmel Kazemi or someone else entirely?
The Brannings are destroyed forever An unearthed piece of evidence looks set to trigger Max’s ultimate downfall on an apocalyptic scale that will leave the Brannings in bits. It’s been ten years since that classic Max/Stacey affair reveal – might EastEnders be about to top that? With Lauren and Abi heading for the exit door, it’s bound to be explosive.
Mick and Linda renew their vows? The Carters look set to lose their beloved Queen Vic, but vow to make their last year in Albert Square their best yet and start throwing everything into their vow renewal. Will all go to plan?
Is Mick headed for prison? The Queen Vic landlord’s association with criminal Aidan Maguire might solve all his problems, but the risks come with deadly consequences. Is Mick headed for a jail cell after getting in over his head?
Phil and Vincent cross Aidan? This week’s episodes have seen Phil’s cell mate introduced to EastEnders – and by Christmas, he’ll have embroiled several Albert Square regulars in a less-than-legit plan. Phil and Vincent take their place in the spotlight for this plotline, which sees tensions simmer in the group as it starts to look as though Aidan’s plan might not be as foolproof as he’s making out.
An explosive new year The BBC1 soap always keeps a big shock up its sleeve for its new year episodes. And we’re being promised that 2018 will begin with a big bang.
Mel’s return? The Christmas press release hints at “auld acquaintance” being forgot and never brought to mind. An innocent reference Auld Lang Syne? Or a hint that Tamzin Outhwaite might be about to make her big comeback as Mel? Only time will tell…
The Taylor family expands
Karen will encounter her sister Kandice, as played by S Club 7 singer Hannah Spearritt. Recent location pictures indicated that Kandice is more well-to-do than her sibling – are we sensing a culture clash on the horizon?
Peace for Kathy
Executive consultant John Yorke has promised that Kathy will “finally put her demons to bed for good”. Let’s hope that predatory James Willmott-Brown gets his comeuppance.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on EastEnders below. Beneath that, there’s our exclusive Week in Walford review show
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.