Max Branning (Jake Wood) waves goodbye to Walford for good this week as ex-lover Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) gives him an ultimatum. After heated showdowns with Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) and Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden), what damage will Max leave behind him?
Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) is on a mission to expose Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) after finding out what she's been hiding, and Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) looks to the future.
Here are all your EastEnders spoilers for 15th - 19th February 2021.
Max blackmails Phil
Realising it'll take more than flowers and chocolates to win back Linda, desperate Max concocts an elaborate plan to impress her. Finding the USB stick Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) is hiding containing evidence of Phil's crimes - as leverage to keep Mr Mitchell away from little Raymond - Max smugly thinks this is his lucky day.
Confronting Phil with the USB, Max threatens to show the cops (not corrupt ones like his brother) unless he does him a very big favour. Phil is reluctant, but Max hints to Linda whatever he's asked of Phil will be good news for her and Mick, considering what they've been through. L twigs Max must knows about her husband's abuse and ascertains it was Jack who told him after Mick confessed to the police. Which sees Max's plan spectacularly backfire!
Linda orders Max to leave Walford
Mick fumes at Jack for blabbing such a big secret, and punches Max when he accuses Linda of staying with her other half out of pity for his childhood trauma. Warned by Mick he's dead if he goes near his missus again, Max retreats with his tale between his legs.
Linda insists, once and for all, their fling was a mistake and demands he leave Walford for good and allow her and Mick to move on. After being reminded by Stacey of son Bradley's death 11 years ago to the day (remember that 25th anniversary live episode?), Max reflects on the mess he's made of his life and heads to the tube station with little Abi. It's goodbye to Max as Jake Wood exits the soap after 15 years, but the character has one last surprise up their sleeve in his final episode…
Phil and Sharon back together?
Teaming up to murder Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) proved to be quite the bonding experience for Phil and Sharon, and has bizarrely brought the warring couple back together. With the ink barely dry on the divorce papers, could they be ready to put the past behind them and try again?
Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) seems to think so, and after noticing Shaz fluttering her eyelashes in her ex's direction encourages her to give their marriage another shot. Has she forgotten all the fighting, infidelity and fury? Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace), meanwhile, mocks Sharon could do better. Phil is forced to admit to Sharon he's being blackmailed by Max, so will that bring them closer or make it harder for them to move forward? Don't expect the future to be simple for these two.
Stacey exposes Ruby
It all starts to unravel for Ruby, as Iqra Ahmed (Priya Davdra) tells Martin Fowler (James Bye) his attack last year was all down to his wife colluding with the Panesars to stage a fake robbery at the club as an insurance job. As Martin fills in Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami), who then tells Stacey and also admits Ruby helped him and Arthur try and flee the country. Ms Allen has certainly been busy, it's a miracle she has time for those fantastic blow-drys.
Stace seethes, and reckons Rube is probably pretending to be pregnant to trap Martin, so she storms over to the club to have it out with her frenemy about her litany of lies. Making out she wants to call a truce, Stacey soon reveals the real reason for her visit - has Ruby finally been caught out?
Elsewhere on EastEnders
- Tiffany Butcher-Baker (Maisie Smith) catches the eyes of a group of sharp-suited city lads out on the razz at the club, but she bats them off flashing her wedding ring. Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) observes the situation with her housemate, and is struck by an idea. What has the evil spawn of Nick Cotton got in mind this time, and how does it involve Tiff?
- They've been flirting for weeks, so Peter Beale (Dayle Hudson) knows he's got to up his game to make Ash Panesar (Gurlaine Kaur Garcha) properly interested. So what does he do? Runs round the Square in nothing but a cape while still tanked up from the previous night. As you do. Unfortunately the buff Beale trips and knocks himself unconscious, bruising his head and his pride. Then at the hospital, their blossoming romance takes an unexpected turn…