EastEnders: Rainie and Max’s shock passion – is she really falling for him?

The Brannings' sham marriage and battle for baby Abi takes a surprising turn

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The fake marriage between EastEnders’ Max and Rainie Branning threatens to be exposed again next week when the couple clash over the custody battle for baby Abi, but as Rainie surprises her husband with a passionate kiss could tension lead to passion, complicating the relationship even further?

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Mindful she and Max need to be more convincing as husband and wife, on Monday 2 July Rainie hosts a dinner party with brother-in-law Jack and his girlfriend Mel Owen. Overdoing the dutiful wife act, edgy Max tells Rainie to rein it in, and when Jack and Mel sense the pair need some private time they head upstairs – and Rainie plants a passionate kiss on a stunned Max!

In a double bill on Thursday 5 July, Max has to remind Rainie they can’t lose focus of their goal of securing custody of his dead daughter Abi’s baby girl and there must be no distractions – like surprising snogs for example.

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Meanwhile, news spreads around Albert Square that Stacey and Martin Fowler have provided a reference for the Brannings’ custody case, causing gobby Donna Yates to lay into Rainie accusing her of being an unsuitable parent.

Rainie sees red and gets revenge on the surly stallholder by planting stolen cigarettes from the Minute Mart on her stall and ensuring market inspector Mr Lister finds them and thinks she’s a thief.

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Realising Rainie is behind her spot of aggro, Donna storms over for a showdown where Max presents a united front with his fake wife. However, once Donna leaves he rails at Rainie for causing trouble and threatens she won’t get her precious payout if she continues to jeopardise their scam.

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When Donna gets fined for selling stolen goods, Robbie Jackson begs uncle Max for help to get his girlfriend off the hook, and Max agrees to pay the fine as long as Donna doesn’t reveal Rainie’s involvement. This leads to yet another furious row between Max and Rainie – but how long until the explosive, fiery exchanges turn to genuine attraction for the unlikely pairing? And even if they keep it strictly professional, do they have any hope of winning custody of the baby?

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