EastEnders has delivered sackfuls of shocks this Christmas, not least of which was Max Branning and Stacey Fowler falling back into each others’ arms a decade after their affair rocked the Square.
It looked as if the pair might finally end up together as Stacey seriously considered leaving husband Martin for her former lover, until Tanya turned up as everyone was digesting their Christmas dinner and revealed the horrifying extent of manipulative Mr Branning’s maniacal revenge plot.
Despite insisting to Stacey he’d told her everything, Tanya’s reappearance forced Max to admit he’d neglected to mention he’d left Jane Beale to die in a burning building and been responsible for the death of Steven Beale. Unsurprisingly, reeling Stacey rejected Max, disgusted at his lies, and the reunion was off.
The dramatic Christmas Day episode ended with Max, Tanya and Stacey staring in horror as Abi and Lauren fell off the Queen Vic roof as they attempted to stop their father taking his own life, having realised he’d gone too far in his quest for revenge against the community who framed him for the murder of Lucy Beale.
So where does that leave Max and Stacey? Was their Christmas Eve hook-up really just a one-off? “I think it’s very hard to put those embers out altogether,” teases EastEnders’ executive consultant John Yorke. “There’s always something there between those characters, but it will probably take a back seat for a while because we’ve got some really big plans for Stacey with Kat, Big Mo, Jean and more of the Slater family coming back, so that’s all going to kick off.
“What reunites the clan is the need to sort Stacey out once and for all…”
Could that be to stop her making a big mistake with Max? If Lauren and Abi don’t survive their rooftop plunge will Stacey provide comfort to her old flame, wrecking her marriage to Martin in the process? All will be revealed in early 2018.
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