Viewers finally learned the circumstances behind Reiss Colwell's (Jonny Freeman) secret marriage in tonight's EastEnders (Tuesday 9th May) – before Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) ultimately decided to walk away.


When Rocky Cotton (Brian Conley) confronted Reiss over his lies, Sonia overheard and threw him out of her house when he admitted he was married. As the BBC soap continued, Reiss woke up after spending the night in his car. Knocking on Sonia's door, he was met by her friend and ex-husband Martin Fowler (James Bye), who ordered Reiss to get lost.

In the café, Reiss emerged from the toilets only to hear Rocky talking to Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) and Eve Unwin (Heather Peace) about his behaviour. But Eve saw the crestfallen look on Reiss's face, and felt sorry for him.

Finding him back in his car, Eve invited him into the Slater house where she gave him the chance to explain even as he conceded that what he had done was wrong. Later, Eve urged Sonia to hear him out, and Martin and Rocky were concerned to see Reiss driving Sonia out of the Square.

Sonia was soon led into a care home, where she came face to face with Reiss's wife Debbie, who was unresponsive as she laid in her bed. Reiss placed a loving kiss on Debbie's forehead and explained that she had recently had an infection. He went on to tell Sonia that he had found Debbie in the bath after suffering a stroke.

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As Reiss acknowledged that he had cheated by pursuing a relationship with Sonia, experienced nurse Sonia reminded him that Debbie may well be able to hear what he was saying. And it has to be said that, while we came to empathise with the newcomer over the course of the episode, in a lot of ways the situation makes his pretence even worse.

After leaving Debbie's room, Sonia told Reiss that she understood some of what he was going through, having treated people who had suffered from stroke before. But she was still angry that he had lied, and Sonia confirmed that she and Reiss were over before walking away. Is this really the end of the line for them?

You can find more information about stroke symptoms, as well as advice and support by visiting the Stroke Association website.

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EastEnders airs Mondays to Thursdays at 7:30pm on BBC One and from 6am on BBC iPlayer. Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.

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