EASTENDERS’ Max Branning will blackmail Phil Mitchell and lock horns with Mick Carter in a final twist before he leaves next week.
It was confirmed back in September that Max – who is played by Jake Wood in the BBC One soap – would be leaving in a huge new storyline. So what will his exit plot be and when is he leaving? Here’s the lowdown…
What is Max Branning’s exit storyline?
Viewers will see Jack tell Max he cannot tell Linda about Mick’s abuse next week as the soap kicks off his exit storyline.
But Max hatches a plan and searches Jack’s house, growing delighted when he stumbles upon a USB stick.
Max then threatens Phil with the incriminating evidence, pointing out how long Phil could end up in prison and telling him what he wants in exchange for his silence.
What is he after?
Later, Max tells Linda that he’s got a surprise that may help her and she realises in horror that he knows about Mick’s abuse.
After quizzing Max, Linda is furious to discover that Jack told him about the abuse.
Jack heads over to Mick’s to apologise but Mick storms out, heading to find Max.
It all kicks off as Mick punches Max after he accuses Linda of staying with Mick out of pity – and threatens to kill him.
Later, Mick tells Linda they can’t move on with Max around, leading her to tell Max never to speak to her again and leave Walford.
Max announces he loves her but Linda makes clear her heart lies with Mick.
Viewers will then see Max make a huge decision as he walks away from Walford holding little Abi.
What will it be?
When is Max Branning leaving?
Jake Wood has already filmed his final scenes, which will air in mid-February.
The actor appeared on Good Morning Britain at the end of last year to reveal ITV’s 1 Million Minutes campaign advert to combat loneliness, which he directed.
When host Piers Morgan asked Jake when his EastEnders exit will air, the actor replied: “I think about mid-February, I am filming now for another two weeks so it will be about mid-February.”
Why is Jake Wood leaving EastEnders?
It was confirmed back in September 2020 that Jake would be leaving the soap in a huge storyline after 15 years playing Max.
He told fans at the time: “I have loved playing Max Branning who amongst other things in that time has had 4 marriages, 10 affairs, 4 children (2 dying from falling from the roof of The Queen Vic), been buried alive, watched unwanted DVDs at Xmas and perhaps most traumatising of all…shared a hot tub with Ian Beale.
“I have made some truly great friends whilst on the show and I’ll miss everyone there. I’m grateful they have left the door open for Max and I’m excited to see what new horizons are around the corner.”
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Executive producer Jon Sen previously said in a statement about Jake’s departure: “Jake is a truly wonderful actor and EastEnders have been extremely lucky to have him for so long.
“We have a big storyline for Max that starts in the coming weeks and we are all very excited to see that play out.”