EastEnders Max Branning lashed out last night after a surprise visit from his son, Oscar, left him doubting his revenge plan.
He’d already been struggling with Father’s Day and being far away from Oscar, but was stunned when his lad turned up in The Vic to surprise him.
Max’s brother, Jack Branning, who incidentally, Max is also trying to ruin as part of his revenge plan, had gone to collect Max’s son as a thank you to Max for all his help. (We’ll leave the fact that he managed to get from London to Devon and back in the space of a morning out of it!)
Thrilled to see his lad, Max made a fuss of him and it even turned out Oscar was a chip off the old block when he proved to be a whizz at bluffing in poker. Maybe inheriting Max’s lying gene isn’t the best thing for the kid, though!
As it came to the time to bid goodbye to Oscar, Max found it tough to see his boy so upset as he asked when he could see his dad again.
With Jack offering Max comfort over Oscar’s hurt, confiding in Max once again how he understood as it had been hard saying goodbye to Matthew, Max couldn’t look him in the eye, knowing he was the one who engineered the whole thing.
As Jack was leaving to drive Oscar home, Max thanked him for what he’d done. And Jack responded that it was “the least he could do” because Max is a good man. He also said how glad he was they’d repaired their relationship as brothers.
It was a touching moment – if we weren’t aware that Max doesn’t feel that way at all and is trying to bring Jack down.
Once the house was empty, Max was tidying up the poker game when the enormity of what he was doing, and the people he was doing it to, hit him.
He smashed everything to the floor and then stood surveying the scene, wondering what to do.
We saw at Christmas Max burned himself with a cigarette to cope with his demons, so could the self-harming begin again? Has it ever really stopped?
One thing is for sure, he seems to be in way too deep to put a stop to his plot now.
The Chairman of Weyland & Co are putting the pressure on him to finish the job quickly, his associate in prison, who was Max’s cellmate, also wants things sped up.
Despite Max’s bravado to them that he’s fine with it and he couldn’t care less, it’s clear he actually does care.
When he spoke to Metro.co.uk recently, show boss Sean O’Connor revealed that the incident with the cigarette wasn’t the last we’ll see of Max’s self-harm storyline.
“The reason he is self-harming is because the revenge he is planning is hurting him profoundly and that means that we will care about him.
“Despite the fact he intends to damage people around him that he also loves.
“The revenge that he is planning is of an epic nature but the very thought of it causes him heartbreak.”
Can Max reconcile his feelings of guilt over his plans to buy up and destroy Walford with the fact he still cares? We’re not so sure…