EastEnders spoilers: Max Branning ‘reunited’ with long-lost family member in exit twist

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Max (played by Jake Wood) has lost many of his family members on EastEnders over the years, with none of his children living with him on the Square. Unfortunately, his eldest son Bradley Branning (Charlie Clements) and youngest daughter Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) fell to their deaths as a repercussion of their father’s scandalous actions. With Oscar Branning (Charlee Hall) living with his mother, the only adult relationship the father-of-four could have with one his children is with Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa). However, with the pair cutting contact with each other two years ago, will they be reunited as the loveable rogue bids farewell to the BBC soap for good?

Lauren made an exit of her own after laying her sister Abi to rest, with both Branning siblings having been involved in the same accident during the Christmas Day episode in 2017.

The troublemaker had told her father he had missed the funeral, as her mother Tanya Branning (Jo Joyner) had blamed him for causing their daughter’s death and didn’t want him to attend.

Eventually, he realised he had been duped and following the service, he forgave his eldest daughter before she told him she couldn’t live in the same place as him any more.

Now living in New Zealand with her son Louie Beale, the mother-of-one hasn’t had the greatest relationship with Max and has indeed cut all contact with him.

During the soap’s 35th anniversary episodes back in February, it was revealed she had been speaking with her uncle Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) instead of her father.

This set the cat amongst the pigeons between the brothers as Max couldn’t understand why his daughter wouldn’t speak with him.

Some months down the line and the scheming Walford resident will be making plans to move on and leave the horrors of his past behind him.

Wanting to make amends with his daughter, the father-of-four could reach out to her and ask her if he moves to New Zealand, would they be willing to give their relationship another chance.

Knowing she wouldn’t have to make a physical return to the Square, Lauren could agree to his terms and support his decision to make an exit.

When the time’s right

Jacqueline Jossa

However, there could still be a return for Lauren in some format as she could be seen speaking with her father via video call.

With all the coronavirus restrictions in place at the moment, this could be a more acceptable way for the beloved character to make her comeback.

Appearing on the Celebrity Juice Halloween special on Thursday night, actress Jacqueline, 28, confirmed her alter-ego would make her way back to the Square sometime in the future.

The soap star said: “When the time’s right, yes, the character needs to be missed before you can come back.”

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Max’s exit would be the perfect time for his daughter to return as it would be a poignant closure to his 15 years in Walford.

The father and daughter’s storylines were constantly being drawn together, with the mother-of-one being the character to expose the love rat’s affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

However, with links to the Square as the father of her son Peter Beale (Dayle Hudson) is a resident, Lauren could be the one to move back if her father’s plan to heal their relationship doesn’t work.

So, could a full-time return be on the cards for the beloved troublemaker despite her father’s exit from the weeknight serial drama?

It was announced last month actor Jake, 48, would be stepping down from the role of Max over the Christmas period.

Paying homage to his time on the show, the soap star said: “I have loved playing Max Branning who amongst other things in that time has had four marriages, 10 affairs, four children, been buried alive and perhaps most traumatising of all…shared a hot tub with Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt).

“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,” he added, but the door is being left open for the actor to make a return in the future.

EastEnders continues tonight at 8:35pm on BBC One.

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