With a cataclysmic end to 2017, the coming year for EastEnders is shaping up to be absolutely huge. With John Yorke firmly presiding over the popular soap, huge returns and a dramatic exit kick off 2018 in style and there is much more to come beyond that.
What brings Mel Owen back and who is she connected to? Is Tiffany Butcher being honest with Whitney Dean when she shows up without warning? What is in store for Ben Mitchell as he departs? Where does Max Branning go from here following the death of his daughter Abi? And can Mick Carter recover after Aidan Maguire’s criminal job goes spectacularly wrong?
Here are the big plots that you have to look forward to…
Hot on the heels of the departures of Lauren and Abi Branning, Ben Mitchell is set to make a dramatic exit from the show as he becomes embroiled in Aidan Maguire’s plot and also the return of Mel Owen. Quite how he fits into it all remains to be seen but it will be the catalyst for some unmissable final scenes for Harry Reid as he bows out.
Mel is back – and she means business
Mel is heading back to Walford and she is on a mission relating to her 15-year-old son, Hunter. Mel most definitely does not want to be back where old ghosts are still floating around but she means business. How will Phil, Ian and her old pal Billy react to her return?
And which other characters will she find herself embroiled with as she arrives back fighting?
The big job has huge consequences but who is shot?
Aidan has put the final parts of his big plan into action and New Year’s Day will kick off a huge chain of events for the men involved. With Mick almost not making it to his post, it is just the beginning for everything going badly wrong.
But as things spiral quite spectacularly out of control, the consequences are huge for those who have fallen under Aidan’s spell. And big truths may be about to be revealed. But as a gun is pulled and a shot rings out, tragedy may strike.
The Ahmeds settle in
Masood is all smiles and cheer as he arrives home for the New Year with his relatives Mariam and Arshad in tow. But as he introduces them to the community, they end up embroiled in a serious situation that makes them doubt whether their move was the right decision.
Can they settle in to life in Albert Square? And can Masood build bridges with Carmel after having to turf her out?
Tiffany is in trouble
Whitney is set to get a surprise visitor early in the New Year when Tiffany rocks up on her doorstep without warning. It’s clear that she has experienced some trouble but she is somewhat cagey with details and it soon becomes clear that she is hiding something from Whitney.
Can Whitney get to the truth about what is going on?
Can Max be redeemed?
Max has lost everything – in the wake of the tragic events that have befallen Abi and Lauren, he is a broken man. As he tries to deal with the harrowing aftermath of what his actions and decisions led to, he hits a rock bottom that he didn’t think possible.
Can anyone bring him back from the brink?
Woody comes home but Whitney has moved on
Woody abandoned Whitney for the new job in Spain and since then she has attempted to move on from him. So when he does eventually come back with his tail between his legs, he is going to have some explaining to do.
Is there any chance for them to get back on track or will Whitney tell him where to go? The fact that she has a new love interest on the horizon doesn’t bode well for Woody…
All over for Stacey and Martin?
With Stacey and Martin’s marriage in crisis following her night of passion with old flame Max, a family is in tatters – and it looks like the end of the line for them. Can they pick up the pieces or have they both established that their marriage can’t be saved?
And where will this leave the children? Show boss John Yorke has suggested that the relationship between Max and Stacey won’t be a focus – so will Stacey be going it alone in the New Year?
The Slaters are home
Kat is heading back – and she won’t be alone as Mo and Jean are joining her. However, Alfie and her kids will be notably absent so what is the story and what brings her back?
As the Slaters work on helping Stacey through her crisis, they also have another all new member of the brood. And as the show focuses more on strong women, there are feisty scenes ahead.
Big stories for Karen, Sharon and Stacey
The show boss also promised big storylines ahead for Sharon and Stacey as well as pledging a future for the Taylor clan. While we currently have no details on what’s ahead, anything that gives Letitia Dean, Lacey Turner and Lorraine Stanley a chance to shine is fine by us.
The Carters are going to lose another member of the family in the new year as son Johnny makes his departure – meaning all of the kids will have flown the nest. But what takes Johnny away?
Hopefully the Carters have had enough of a terrible year to rule out tragedy.
Billy’s betrayal exposed
Billy and Tina’s night of passion together is a ticking timebomb just waiting to turn Honey’s world upside down and potentially destroy her marriage. Okay, so a few of Billy’s secrets have been sneakily phased out such as his post stealing phase and his obsession with Lucy but this is one secret that is bound to have consequences.
Will it all be over for him and Honey when the truth emerges?
What about Jay?
One secret we’re not too sure where we stand with is that of Jay’s parentage. Since Phil told Jay that he killed his dad and then it emerged that he had been lying, we have found out no more – but surely this is a story that will finally be wrapped up in 2018?
As for who, what, where, when and how – your guess is as good as ours on this one!
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