EastEnders fans all spot the SAME heartbreaking twist as Max Branning exits

Jake Wood exits EastEnders as Max Branning

Max Branning has left Walford for good, leaving fans devastated...

EastEnders fans have been left in tears after Max Branning left Walford in tonight's episode. But there is one twist in particular that has got everyone talking.

Max's exit was always going to be a tear jerker, especially after we have been watching him on our screens for the last 15 years.

Jake Wood exits EastEnders as Max Branning

Fans have been left in tears after Max left Abi behind in Walford with Rainie (Picture: BBC)

The episode saw Max (Jake Wood) forced out of Walford after his plan to win Linda Carter's heart totally backfired.

EastEnders star Jake Wood on Max Branning's exit: 'This might be the last time you see me on screen!' 

Despite him double crossing Phil Mitchell and landing his brother Jack in hot water at work, Max's plan to get The Vic back for the Carters didn't make Linda change her mind about wanting to fight for her marriage with Mick.

Realising that there was nothing left for him in Walford anymore, Max made the decision to leave.

Abi Branning EastEnders

The sad look that Abi gave Max before he went left fans in tears (Picture: BBC)

End of an era

After packing up and collecting little Abi, he headed off out of the Square, but not before a surprise twist that has got fans taking.

Instead of leaving with his granddaughter Abi, Max made the surprisingly selfless decision to leave her in Walford with Rainie and Stuart, knowing they would be able to offer her more stability that he could for now.

The fact that Max went without Abi left fans in tears...

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After Rainie scooped Abi up and took her indoors, Max walked out of Walford for the last time, knowing that his granddaughter was safe.

Future return?

But what's next for Max? Could he return one day now that the door has been left well and truly open?

Jake Wood exits EastEnders as Max Branning

Max has gone, but the door has been left open for a potential return one day (Picture: BBC)

Jake Wood told us that he wouldn't rule out making a comeback one day... "I’m very pleased they kept the door open, but I haven’t got any plans to go back at the moment so we’ll see what happens further down the road.

"I’m excited about what’s next, but I’m in no rush to get into anything straight away.

"It’s been 15 years of hard graft and not being at home very much, so it’s just nice to have a bit of a break."

EastEnders airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One - see our TV Guide for full listings.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.