Max returns to Walford just as Tanya teeters on the brink of self-destruction - but will Max discover the truth? Cora and Rainie are left reeling by a terrible revelation.
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Dad, it's not what you think. I'm not pregnant.
So, what's this? Hmm?
-What is that, a stick of rock?
-It's nothing to do with me.
What are you doing here, Max?
I had a call.
Worried, he was. About this family, about what's going on.
-Nothing's going on.
-Seems that way, yeah(!)
-Shut up, will ya, Abi? I don't want to hear another word from you.
Look at the state of you.
You let yourself go, ain't you?
Jack's told me. Getting drunk in the Vic. Letting your kids run wild.
Where's Oscar? Is he shooting up in the playground, is he?
-I'd like you to leave now.
-And what about this, Tanya?
-You just going to forget about this?
-It's not mine.
-Yeah? So whose is it?
A mate's. She gave it to me,
asked me to hide it. I'm covering for her.
-I smell a porky.
-Who is this mate?
Just tell me Abi, or I'll go out buy another one and make you do it right here.
Lola. Lola Pearce. She's pregnant and Jay's the father.
-So it's got nothing to do with you, has it?
No, nothing. So you can go out and get another test,
another ten, and I'll prove it.
-Yeah, well I might just do that.
-Yeah. Yeah, why don't you, Mum?
Because then everything will be all right, won't it?
You won't be a total bitch to live with, a total misery,
taking everything out on me. Always disappearing, lying, treating me like dirt.
That is enough.
-I think we're all sorted here, Max.
Sorted? I couldn't be less sorted!
She got nicked.
Great. What, is that true?
I only did it cos she pushed me.
You don't understand what it's been like, Dad, since you left. It's been horrible.
Sorry, Abi, but you asked me to go. What, you forgot?
-I was upset, it was a shock.
-Especially to Vanessa.
-Yeah, where is Vanessa?
-She don't live here any more. She's moved on.
-What about Lauren? Where's Lauren?
I don't know what you think you're doing coming back here, Max,
but you're not wanted, right? You're not needed.
So, whatever Jack's told you, it was an exaggeration,
he's got it all wrong, cos everything is in hand, so why don't you just crawl off
back to wherever you came from. I think that would be best.
I'm sorry to intrude. But the door was open.
And I found this little tyke
-earwigging in the hallway, didn't I, eh?
-Hello, mate. All right?
Lovely to see you all again.
What's he doing here?
Always the charmer, eh? Your wife, Max?
Or should I say ex-wife?
How are you, Tanya?
You're looking peaky.
We met at the wedding. Derek.
I'm Max's older brother. Glad to see the years have been so kind.
That's what 40-a-day does for you.
40-a-day. I like that one, I'll use that.
now, you haven't changed a bit.
Yeah, right. Last time I saw you, Derek, I was 17.
Skinny little legs. I remember you very well.
now, you must be Abi.
Ain't she the spit of our mum, eh, Max?
Ain't she the spit?
You're beautiful, darling. Beautiful.
I'm your uncle Derek, by the way.
Your dad's been staying with me for a bit.
Abi, can you take Oscar upstairs?
Ain't this nice, eh? Together again after all these years, the family.
You ain't my family.
That's true. That's very true.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
That's my trouble, me. Always shooting off at the mouth.
Never know when to keep this shut.
Like I said, I don't want to intrude.
Just wanted to see how you're doing. You all right?
Yeah, I'm fine, yeah.
-Just having a little chat.
-Course, yeah, course.
Only, er, we got a certain little lady in the car.
She ain't the most patient girl in the world.
So, when you're ready. No rush. In your own time.
Ladies, it's been an absolute pleasure.
Lorraine. I'll see myself out.
That your new bit, Max?
Kind of. Sitting there, bold as brass.
Well, that's Max for you.
Always had a thing for a blonde. Ain't you, Max? You and blondes.
-You got a thing for 'em.
Yeah, well...used to.
-Well, how long's he going to be?
-I dunno, do I?
I'm not a mind reader.
-I think I'm just going to nip over and see me brother Jack.
-Can I come too?
Nah. You stay there.
Put the radio on. Listen to a tune, eh?
Pat! Hello, love.
Don't run away.
Oh, look, clumsy.
Ain't you going to say hello?
Ain't so often you see a face from the past, is it?
-All I want to do is speak to Lauren, so where is she?
-I don't know.
She's a teenager, Max.
I never know where she is, she treats this place like a hotel.
-Call her then, on her mobile.
-She left it here.
Phone her mate then, phone Whitney.
-She's not at Whit's.
-When's the last time you saw her?
-I saw her earlier, actually.
See? You think we need you to come back here and rescue us.
Well, we don't. I've told you to get out because I don't want you in my life.
You want to see the kids, fine, you do that,
but you wait on the street and you do not come through that door again.
-Yes, that door.
-Door of my house?
What, my front door? The house that I live in?
-Not any more.
-Babe, I ain't going anywhere
until I've seen Lauren and know what's going on,
and that my kids are safe and happy.
And if they ain't, Tan,
if I think you ain't doing a proper job,
I'm going to take this big, fat wad of fifties
and I'm going to put it in the hand of the best brief I can find.
Derek knows a few, as you can imagine.
And I'm going to take my kids and we'll live somewhere nice.
Nice house. Big garden.
Good school. And you, Tan, can come visit at weekends.
If I let you. Do you understand?
Get out. Just get out.
Cora. Stick the kettle on, will you? Got a bit of a thirst, here.
-Max, I'm telling you.
-What you telling me?
What you going to do?
You going to hit me, are you? Go on.
You going to bury me alive?
This family, this family, they ain't got a clue what a psycho you are.
Everyone thinks you're a perfect housewife. Tanya, mother of three.
Well, you ain't.
You ain't at all.
You're a mess.
-And a hypocrite.
Cora, babe. I don't see that kettle on.
Get out or I'm calling my stepson down. He's a mechanic,
and he'll kick you into kingdom come if you don't get out in five seconds.
Hit me with his spanner, will he? I've had worse.
Ricky! Ricky, come down here!
Don't look like he's in.
I'll call the police. I'll call 'em right now...
No, you won't.
You know how I feel about the old bill, Pat.
They bring me out in a rash, and you wouldn't do that to an old mate, would you?
-Dad, I think maybe you should go and wait outside.
-Oh, do you?
So, one minute it's, "Hello Dad, I missed you,"
next minute, it's, "I think you should go and wait outside."
You're worse than her. You and your sister.
-Don't "Dad" me.
I ain't heard that word for three months.
It's been a relief.
Tan, I ain't going to move from here till I've seen Lauren.
What do you want? I ain't got no money.
Well, I can see that.
Otherwise you wouldn't be wearing this tat, would you? What's that?
'Bout half a quid down the market, is it? Hmm?
-What do you want?
I don't want nothing. I just happened to be in the area,
saw you and thought it'd be nice to catch up.
Catch up? Me and you? Like that's going to happen.
You know, Pat, as the years go by,
old enemies take on a different hue,
d'ya know what I mean?
They begin to seem more like...
What's the word?
Old friends, old muckers.
See, loads of my mates are gone now.
Dead and buried.
Not many people left from the old days, is there?
Maybe if you'd been nicer to people, to your family.
Well, as you know, I've been away. Courtesy of her majesty.
Ten years does something to a man, Pat.
You'd be surprised.
You'd be surprised what I'm like now.
Why, I'm like a little angel now.
I've even got a pair of wings under this jacket. D'you want to see 'em?
You don't scare me.
Then why are you trembling?
Is that...? Oh, look!
Ain't she lovely?
Bianca, all grown up.
Carol's little girl, eh?
-Carol's and David's.
He around too, is he?
Now, I'd like to see him.
I think I still owe him something, as far as I can remember.
I'd like to pay him back.
He... He don't live here. In fact, I don't see him any more.
Oh... Lost touch?
That's sad when that happens.
Well, if you do hear from him, you send him my regards, eh?
Tell him I haven't forgotten.
Tell him I'm a man who likes to pay his debts.
Who's this, eh? Is this the mechanic?
-You got some explaining to do.
-What's he doing here?
He's just leaving. Now where were you?
-Maybe we should go upstairs.
-No. I want to know where you were, right now.
OK, well, I've been at the hospital, Mum.
-Yeah, that's right. I went looking for you.
-But you weren't there.
-What's she talking about?
-Nothing. I've had this flu,
and we thought it was something, but it wasn't,
and I've just been a little run down, I've let things go a little.
Is that it? That all you're going to say?
That's all I've got to say and so have you.
I've just been under the weather, that's all.
How can you go on lying? You're lying to them, you're lying to me.
-Don't you care?
-Don't you even care what happens to you?
-I'm warning you.
Will you keep your mouth shut?
No, I can't. I just... I can't.
I warned you. I warned you!
Just get out.
Go on, get out. Get out of my house.
I don't want to see your face any more,
I don't want you anywhere near me.
-You, get here. Get upstairs.
-Leave her alone!
-You need to calm down.
-Don't you get involved.
In fact, all of you, get out. Abi, take her.
Take your Nan, and get out, get out, get out!
She's got cancer!
Mum's got cancer.
She's had it for months.
She's really, really sick.
CAR RADIO PLAYS
Turn that music down.
MOBILE PHONE RINGS
What's got into you?
-Where'd Derek go?
-To see your brother.
Oi, don't just leave me here.
It's been a long time.
A long time since...
Well, since I've seen all of you.
I did try to keep in touch, from time to time. Wrote letters.
I even called. But you know what?
-I got no reply.
-Well, maybe it was my message to you, Derek.
Keep your nose out of my life.
You're still not hacked off about your wedding, are ya?
About your fella?
I thought he was long gone, from what I heard.
Yeah, see, Max has been filling me in on your love life.
Let me see, what did he tell me?
The last one was a pensioner,
the one before that a kid, teenager...
Black boy. Mind you, you always liked a bit of that.
The only reason I'm not kicking you out is Max. I need him to be here.
Only for a visit. Not to stay. See, Carol, he's with me now.
My compadre, yeah.
When I got out, things had changed. Weren't the same any more.
Streets crawling with Lithuanians. Thought they were the boys.
Top dogs. But we showed 'em a thing or two, me and Max.
-Me and my brother.
-What have you done?
Trying to earn a crust, like we all have to. Ain't that right, Pat? Tell me, what you charging now?
Not that I'm interested, I'm just curious. Is it in-calls or out-calls?
Or you just back on the streets?
-You think you're so clever don't you?
No, I don't. But I will not be judged by ex-whores
and slappers who've had a bag of kids
by a bunch of different fathers.
I been away a long time, yeah.
But I've changed.
I'm a reformed character. Turned a new leaf over.
And all I want, all I would appreciate,
is a little bit of support, a little bit of loyalty,
from my own flesh and blood. Is that too much to ask, is it? Eh?
A little loyalty from my nearest and dearest when I'm down on my luck.
Is that too much to ask from my baby sister after all these years?
-It's not as bad as what Lauren says.
-She's got cancer.
-How do you know?
She told me. She told me two months ago.
I didn't want you to worry, darling. I didn't want any of you worrying.
Could...could you die?
No. No, of course not. I'm OK.
I'm really OK.
-You got cancer, you ain't OK.
-It's in hand. I'm having treatment.
No, you're not. I been to the hospital, Mum. I know.
She was having chemo and radiotherapy, but she's just stopped.
-She's not even trying to get better.
-Is this true?
-Not exactly, no.
-They just told me, Mum.
-You had no right.
-You had no right going there.
-You lied to me.
It's none of your business what I do and what I don't.
I might be your mum, Lauren, but I am my own person.
-I've got a right to make my own decisions.
-OK. To what?
-Stop the treatment? The only thing keeping you alive?
-It doesn't always work.
You think things are really simple, but it's not. It doesn't always work.
Course it does. That's why they give it. It worked for that Siobhan,
-your mate. She's been on it for months.
-Siobhan's dead, Lauren.
She's dead. I went to go and have my chemo, she'd died of pneumonia.
That's what it did for her.
Why didn't you tell me?
I thought you and me, we got close. I thought you trusted me.
-I thought I was looking after you.
-Why? I told you not to.
I told you I didn't want that. The only thing I wanted,
the one thing I wanted was for you to keep your mouth shut,
but you couldn't, could you?
No, you had to go blabbing to all and sundry. Well done, Lauren(!)
-Mum, what are you doing?
NONE of you, none of you understand.
She is worried about you. She is worried sick! Can you not see that?
No-one asked her to.
She is your daughter. I am your daughter.
Do we not have a right to be worried about you?
Do you think so little of us? Well, of me?
-Do you not trust me at all?
-It's not a matter of trust, Abi. It's not. It's...
I know what it's like to be the one that knows, right?
I know what it's like to be the kid worrying about the parent.
Believe me, darling, it is not very nice.
It's not very pretty. Well, you're going to find that out, now that she's told you.
-You're wrong. You're wrong.
-I'm going to check on Lauren.
I don't know. Coming back... I don't know.
-Maybe they're better off without me.
-What, your kids are better off without their dad?
They sent me away, didn't they? They don't want me here.
They weren't singing and dancing to see me.
I know it's upsetting, but you got to toughen up, mate. They need you.
-Then I'll send for 'em.
-Where you going?
-That's right. This is just a stop-over.
-Bit of luck, sis, you won't have to see me for another ten years.
-What about Max?
What is it they said in that old film, Pat?
-You should come up and see us some time.
Can't. Things to do, people to see.
-But Max needs to stay here, his kids are here.
You know you really disappoint me, Carol, you really do.
Just like you did years ago.
if you'd have only listened to your big brother,
you'd be in a palace now.
Me round, Sunday lunch, carving. We could've been so close.
Disappointing, Carol. Very disappointing.
-And if you hadn't stuck your nose in, I might...
It is fun to talk 'em over, isn't it? Eh?
-Pat, it's been charming as always.
-Leave Max alone.
He's my little brother, and he's in need.
You'd rather they'd have known for months, eh?
Worried sick about their mum, like me and Rai was as kids?
-Is that what you wanted?
-Least we didn't lie to you.
No, you shoved it in our faces, didn't you? Couldn't cope, so you dumped it on us.
You don't lie to your kids, your mum... You don't think I had a right to know?
Oh, would that have got you to move out? Is that what it would have taken?
-Cos I'm damn sure you wouldn't have stuck around to help.
-How d'you know?
Never even give me the chance. Me or Rainie.
-She's right, Tan.
Yeah, of course, Miss Self-obsessed here,
she'd have been a lot of use(!)
You're my sister. If you're ill, I've got a right to know.
What for, Rai? What? So you could help out round the house, like you do?
-Help with the children and money?
-You've never even given me a chance.
Not once. Even when Dad was ill, you never let me have a look in.
Wanted a look in, did you? Nursing a dying man? You'd have loved that(!)
A dying man? Your dad. Dying of cancer under your nose
and yet you are still stupid enough to stop your treatment.
It didn't do him any good, did it?
You've got three kids. You got responsibilities.
You don't get it, do you, Mum?
There is no perfect cure to cancer, all right?
You could do the radiotherapy,
you could do the chemotherapy, right? And it can still kill you.
You can think it's gone. And then bam -
it was just hiding and you're dead within a week.
Like my mate. Like Dad.
He had a good innings. He didn't suffer that much.
-Why do you harp on about it?
-Because I was there.
Every night, right till the end.
This ain't about him.
It's about you.
You don't know, Mum.
You don't know what it was like. How bad it got.
Week after week.
He had it quick in the end.
-He had a peaceful death.
One minute he was there, next minute he was gone.
Why do you have to go on and on
about such a terrible thing?
Because he didn't just go, Mum.
What? What do you mean?
You wouldn't understand.
Try me. I might surprise you!
-I doubt that very much.
Dad didn't just slip away.
He was in agony.
He was in pain from the minute he opened his eyes
to the minute he went to sleep.
In the end, the drugs...
-even the drugs couldn't stop it.
-So, what you saying?
I had to help him. I HAD to help him.
Help him what?
I had to help him die.
I killed him. I helped him. I helped him.
I helped my own father to die.
There, you wanted the truth and now you know,
now you know everything.
And now I'm going to pay for it.
I'm going to pay for what I done and I'll die like he did,
but there'll be no-one to help me.
I'm going to have to do it all by myself.
Tell her that's not true. Listen...
Tell her you just said that to hurt her. Tanya.
it's true. I'm sorry.
What you going to do? Where you going?
Mum, do something!
Mum, what're you doing in there?
-Let's go and talk to Tanya.
-There he is.
-Where you been?
Still keeping in trim I see.
Don't need to. Got the genes, didn't I.
-You want to take me on, do you?
You big wuss, I'd knock you out any day of the week.
Jackie boy, Jackie boy, lovely to see you.
And you, mate.
Oi-oi, here she comes, look. Face like thunder.
What do you reckon, sis?
-The Branning brothers, back together after all these years.
-You all right?
-Yeah, yeah. I'm all right.
-You spoken to Tanya?
-Tried, yeah. Got a door in my face. Don't need that.
Oi, let's go to the pub, talk it through.
-Love to, Jack, but we got to scoot, ain't we, Max?
-You can't leave.
Beautiful car. Bird. Open road. What's to stop us, eh?
-What about Tanya and the kids? Max?
-Hop in, Max.
-I'll call you.
-Derek, let's go.
-She ain't answering!
Go and get your dad.
-What, Lauren? What's wrong?
-It's Mum. You've got to come now, Dad.
I can't. Sorry. She don't want me around. Let's go.
She's got cancer.
She's got cancer, Dad.
She's had it for months and she's stopped having treatment.
Please. Please don't go, Dad.
I need your help.
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Max attempts to take control of the situation but is appalled by what he hears. Max comments on the state of Tanya, telling her she’s let herself go. Derek enters, re-introducing himself to the family. Max asks his brother to wait in the car where we see a blonde woman waiting. Tanya tells Max that she doesn’t need rescuing but Max is adamant he’s staying, threatening to get a brief and take the kids away from her as she’s not the perfect housewife she makes out to be- she’s a psycho. Lauren arrives back tearful and angry at her mother. When she almost reveals Tanya’s secret, Tanya slaps her before chucking Max out and losing control with the rest of her family. During the commotion Lauren blurts out that their mum has cancer. As the family come to terms with Lauren’s announcement Tanya puts on a hard front. During an emotional chat with Cora and Rainie, Tanya relives what it’s like to watch a parent die, criticising Cora for dumping their dying father in their faces before letting out a long held family secret-she helped their father to die. As Cora and Rainie struggle to take it all in Tanya locks herself in the bathroom and reaches for a bottle of pills. Unable to open the door Lauren runs to stop Max leaving, tearfully telling her dad that Tanya has cancer. Pat is terrified to see Derek back on the Square. Forcing his way into her home Derek restrains Pat from calling the police, Pat visibly scared by his threatening presence. When Carol arrives, Derek informs her of what a disappointment she is, upset by her lack of loyalty and support. Carol admits it’s too late for that before warning him to leave Max alone.