6 EastEnders spoilers: Lola Pearce meets her mum amid tragic news for Lexi
Plus, Whitney hears worrying news, Jack goes too far, Zack finds a confidant, Reiss has hopes for Sonia, and Denise looks for comfort.
**This article contains discussions around pregnancy complications, terminal illness and HIV which some readers may find distressing**
There's devastation in Walford next week, when terminally ill Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) decides the time has come to tell daughter Lexi (Isabella Brown) that she is dying. But amid this painful conversation, she comes face to face with her long-lost mum Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit).
Meanwhile, pregnant Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is given cause for concern at a check up for her baby, while Zack Hudson (James Farrar) finds support from ex Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf). Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) takes shocking action over the revelation that his young son Ricky Jr (Frankie Day) is to become a father, while other half Denise Fox (Diane Parish) spends more time with Ravi Gulati (Aaron Thiara).
And Reiss Colwell (Jonny Freeman) is hoping that Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) will extend an invitation his way when he makes a suggestion.
Read on for all your EastEnders spoilers from 30th January - 2nd February 2023.
6 EastEnders spoilers next week
1. Lola Pearce tells Lexi the heartbreaking truth
Lola is concerned for Lexi when she pretends to be ill to stay off school. Lexi's dad Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) takes her in anyway, but soon receives a call to pick her up. The youngster reveals she wants to be with her mum 24/7 until she's better, and this prompts Lola to decide it's time to be honest with Lexi and tell her that she's dying from the brain tumour she has been diagnosed with.
The young mother braces herself for the toughest moment of her life, and the news hits poor Lexi like a ton of bricks. But instead of crying, she demands to go back to school, furious that Lola has lied to her yet again. Later in the week, it transpires that a girl from Lexi's school is being nasty to her about Lola's video blogs, upsetting her. How will Lexi cope with this, as well as the knowledge that she is going to lose her mum?
2. Emma Harding seeks out daughter Lola
In the aftermath of Lexi hearing the truth, she is approached by Emma in the playground. But Lexi is unaware that the woman is her grandmother, as Emma offers her some comforting words. Emma then heads to Fox & Hair, booking an appointment and asking specifically for Lola. The following day sees Lola back at the salon, and she's oblivious as she welcomes her new client. She doesn't recognise her mum, and Emma doesn't reveal their connection.
But before the appointment, Lola starts to feel unwell, forcing Denise to step in and explain that Lola has health problems. Later, Emma watches Lola's new vlog in shock. She returns to the salon on the pretence of needing a nail appointment, and ends up quizzing Lola. The two women discuss Lola's vlog, but when will Emma admit her true identity? And how will Lola react when she discovers that Emma has sought her out under false pretences?
3. Whitney Dean's baby worry as Zack Hudson is distracted
Although he is currently struggling over the news that he is HIV positive, father-to-be Zack is reminded of his financial obligations to Whit and their baby next week. He tries to help without her knowing, asking Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) to give Whitney the buggy she needs without telling her who it's from. Kat can't understand why Zack won't be there in person, but he is soon concerned as to why Sam stayed in Walford, panicking over the cause of her stress.
When he probes further, Sam is suspicious - and she realises the message from the clinic was about Zack, who tells her he has HIV. Sam offers Zack support as they talk about his diagnosis, and he reveals the shame he feels. But Sam is furious when he admits he hasn't picked up his medication, and she advises him to be honest with Whitney.
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Meanwhile, when she experiences spotting, Whitney panics. Kat offers to go with her to the hospital for a check up. Once there, the doctor tells Whit that her ultrasound has flagged up a situation with the baby. What does the scan reveal? Whitney is dazed as she takes in the news, but Zack hasn't returned her calls. She's surprised when Kat suggests she doesn't write him off just yet, letting slip about the buggy. Kat collars Zack and he says he's heading straight over to see Whit. He apologises, and Whitney explains her news about their unborn child. Will Zack tell Whit the truth? And will their baby be okay?
4. Jack Branning goes too far
As everyone comes to terms with the bombshell that Ricky Jr is the father of Lily Slater's (Lillia Turner) baby, Jack makes a series of big mistakes. When he discovers that his son has offered to support Lily in bringing up their baby, all hell breaks loose. Denise pleads caution, but as usual Jack won't listen.
He demands a meeting with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) and Martin Fowler (James Bye), where he insists that they must all talk some sense into Lily. Stacey stands her ground, saying that abortion is now off the table. Later, Jack runs into Lily and tells her what her life will be like as a teen mum.
Stacey is furious when she hears and storms over to see Jack, banning the Branning family from having anything to do with the baby. Ricky Jr is devastated and calls mum Sam, while Denise warns Jack over his behaviour. Jack is heartbroken when Ricky Jr moves in with Sam. He's desperate to take his son home, and Denise enlists Stacey's help to persuade Martin to talk some sense into Jack over accepting Lily's choice.
As Jack finds Ricky Jr skiving from school later in the week, will matters between father and son be resolved? Will Jack reign in his problematic behaviour, and how will the Slaters react when Martin reveals he's been offered a few weeks' work in Turkey at this very difficult time?
5. Affair for Denise Fox with Ravi Gulati?
Jack's rage only widens the gap between himself and civil partner Denise, who was tempted by Ravi's attention not so long ago. Stressed by the tense events at home, Denise is again offered a shoulder to cry on by the flirty Ravi - but when she arrives home to tearful stepdaughter Amy Mitchell (Ellie Dadd), Denise feels guilty about enjoying Ravi's attention. Patrick Trueman (Rudolph Walker) is worried about the growing distance between Denise and Jack, and offers some romantic advice. Jack takes the hint and plans a day date, but as he's distracted by Ricky Jr, will he make it to Denise on time?
Later in the week, Denise is incensed when Sam suggests the dress she's returning to the market is too young for her. Fed up, she decides to have a night out with sister Kim Fox (Tameka Empson). Ravi is delighted when he sees Denise pitch up at Walford East for drinks. Is she heading for an affair with the businessman?
6. Reiss Colwell has a proposition for Sonia Fowler
Reiss tries to help Sonia with her money troubles after she learned she owes a whopping amount of inheritance tax on the house. He suggests she gets a lodger, and when Sonia later enthuses about her evening with him to Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth), Kathy muses that he might have been hoping to be her lodger himself. When Sonia's prospective lodgers are not quite what she was looking for, it looks like Reiss might be in with a chance - until final candidate Jed gets her seal of approval.
Her faith in Jed is soon shaken and Reiss dares to hope Sonia will evict the other man. But as Jed manages to turn the situation around, Reiss is jealous as he begins to compete for Sonia's attention. Will she realise what he really wants?
If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can visit the British Pregnancy Advisory Service for more information and contact 03457 30 40 30 for support. For help, support and guidance around HIV, visit the Terrence Higgins Trust charity website.
EastEnders is also working closely with Brain Tumour Research and Macmillan Cancer Support on Lola's storyline, and you can find help and support by visiting the above websites.
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