Next week’s episodes of EastEnders will see an increasingly panicky Jane Beale take to the witness box at Max’s trial and make a shock statement. But what exactly is she going to say?
Show bosses are keeping the details of Jane’s testimony under wraps, but it seems that she’s determined to ensure that Max doesn’t go down for a crime he didn’t commit.
“She can’t let this happen. Tanya is Jane’s best friend. And Max is Tanya’s ex-husband. So Jane feels that she has to do something,” says actress Laurie Brett.
But what can Jane do? She has to make sure that Max is found not guilty – so one option will be to finally crack and drop Bobby in it. As each episode goes by, Jane seems to end up confessing to random residents of Albert Square that Bobby did the deed, so maybe she’ll spill the beans in front of a packed courtroom.
The sticking point there is that Jane has spent all this time ensuring that Bobby remains ignorant of what he’s done. So to reveal all in such dramatic fashion would surely be an out-of-character move?
Another gambit may be to pin the blame on somebody else. Jane doesn’t want to see Max banged up because of those links with Tanya, but would she feel so bad if it were another familiar Walford face in the frame? After all, she didn’t exactly come running home to leap to Jake Stone’s defence when he was charged. Maybe the now-dead Nick Cotton could have the demise of Lucy added posthumously to his list of ill deeds?
Perhaps she could even say that she saw a mysterious man (albeit one who didn’t look like a bald car dealer) in the Square on the night in question. But why would Jane have taken so long to admit this?
But all Jane really has to do in order to get Max off is give the guy an alibi. She doesn’t have to point the finger at anyone else if she, personally, can account for Max’s whereabouts at the time of Lucy’s murder. So could she say, maybe, that she bumped into him on Bridge Street? CCTV footage might prove otherwise, so that’s a bit tricky.
No, the best thing for Jane to do is to play on Max’s long-standing reputation as a womaniser and love cheat. Her course of action is simple: just say she was sleeping with Max. Viewers may know that, at the time of Lucy’s murder, Jane was prising that jewellery box from Bobby’s grip. But she could – possibly, maybe – convince the jury that she was actually between those Branning bedsheets?
OK, so Max was having an illicit fling with Lucy in the run-up to her death, but since when did he believe in monogamy? It’s actually more like Max to have been stringing several different women along at the same time.
The argument against this is the fact that Jane doesn’t want to cause Tanya unnecessary distress. And having it away with her ex might nark Tan just a little. But, hey, at least she’s used to Max being a dirty hound. If it’s between that and Max being banged up for life, then it’s surely the lesser of two evils…
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
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