Max is shocked when he learns the truth about Tanya, but can he repair his broken family? Cora is left shattered when Tanya finally opens up about the death of her father.
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-Well, ain't he coming now?
-Course he's coming!
Jack, can I have a word?
Er, not now, Dot. We got a bit of family crisis on our hands.
She's upstairs. In the bathroom.
Don't just stand there.
Do you really think this is a good idea?
MAX KNOCKS ON DOOR
Tan, it's me, it's Max.
Tan, can you open the door, please?
If you don't open this door, I'll kick it down. I mean it.
-Tan. Tan, what have you done?
-Get off me!
-Babe, have you taken these?
-Have you taken these?
-Why can't you just leave me alone? Get off me!
Make yourself sick. Make yourself sick!
-I haven't swallowed them!
It's all in hand. Just go downstairs, please.
What's happening? What did he say?
-He... He just told me to come down.
-Let's all go and sit in here.
Yeah, come on, Carol's right.
I thought everything was fine. Tanya, she's always been, you know, so capable. Such a good mother.
-Yeah, did for my mother, that.
-She was a smoker too.
-Oh, I'm Derek, by the way.
You must be Jim's eldest boy. How do you do? Let me introduce myself.
My name is Dorothy.
-I'm your stepmother.
-Well, I'm charmed.
Oh, allow me.
Oh, thank you.
Lauren says you're sick.
Says you got cancer.
-I don't wish to talk about it.
-Is she right? Is it true?
-What do you care?
-Have you got?
-Yes. I'm riddled with it.
-So am I. So am I.
It's like a little monster inside me. Just growing and spreading.
Yeah, but you been to the doctor, ain't you?
You been to hospital? Cos Lauren said you've been having treatment.
What do you want from me?
Lauren's crying her eyes out, begging me to come sort you out.
-Look at you. You're a mess!
-You're helping, are you?
This ain't you, Tan. I just want...
-..want you to...
For me to be well? Cos I'm not. I'm not well.
I've got cancer.
Just like my dad. There you go, I said it.
There you go, I've got cancer. Cancer. Cancer. You happy now?
I've accepted it. I am sick. Well done. Job done.
You got through to me.
-Cervical. Cervical cancer.
They can sort that one out, can't they?
Just cos they've got doctors and hospitals and drugs and things don't mean they can cure it.
Just cos you see a doctor or get on a list, it doesn't guarantee anything.
Has it advanced?
Not getting any better.
Then how come you ain't getting treatment?!
-Because I decided against it.
-Why would you do that?
I just did. End of interrogation. End of conversation.
-Where you going?
-Why won't you leave me alone?! Who are you, anyway?
You're not my husband.
You're nothing. You are just someone who used to be in my life.
-And I'd like you to leave now.
-Where are you going, Tan?
Away from you, is that all right?
Why can't you just leave me alone? Why won't you just go away?
So how long you had it?
I don't know. A few months.
-A few months?
-Yes, about that.
-What, so you knew before I left?
-Um, no I don't think so.
Is that it? What? You knew and you didn't say anything?
What would you have done, Max? What?
Stuck around? Is that it? Been a good and loyal friend?
Is that why you just changed your mind about us? That night?
-Is that why you told me it was over?
-You said you'd been at the doctors with Oscar.
-I don't want to talk about this.
-Is that what happened?
What, so you found out then you just broke it off with me?
What difference does it make?
Why didn't you just tell me?
Cos I didn't want you around.
I didn't want to break up with Greg, and move in with you and have you lumbered with a dying woman.
-You've got a disease. Don't mean you're dying.
-Sick, all right. A sick woman, a sick woman.
I been around it, Max. I've seen what's it like.
A disease doesn't just destroy the body,
it rots a marriage as well.
It takes all that love and it turns it into politeness and resentment.
I've seen it. I've seen it with my mum and dad.
So you think I would have just run off and abandoned you?
No. I think you would have stuck it out. But I would have known, Max.
I'd have seen it in your eyes, that look. You'd have smiled at me, have driven me to the hospital,
and inside you'd have been going, "What have I done?"
"One minute I'm romping round the bedroom with my ex,
"the next I'm lumbered with this diseased old cow." And then...
Then you'd have started looking around, wouldn't you?
Thinking about someone else.
You wouldn't have wanted me.
I was willing to throw everything up in the air again, take a risk.
All I wanted was to be with you.
Even if you'd ended up with an invalid on your hands?
-You wouldn't have been disgusted?
-Of course I wouldn't.
It takes months, a year, sometimes longer to go through treatment.
There's chemo, radiotherapy, and there are side effects.
I mean, you get to look like this.
You get to be scared and weepy,
and there's this horrible regime of drugs and you feel sick, you look sick, and exhausted,
and it's on your mind the whole time.
Even if you forget it, just for a minute, it's there, waiting to come back at you.
You go to bed at night, you're not thinking, "Oh, what shall I wear,
"That nice negligee that gets hubby excited?"
You're in your big thick pyjamas.
D'you want that?
D'you think you could love that?
You know, at least I would've liked to have been given a chance.
That's a chance I couldn't take, Max.
You're not a tender man, Max, you're not. You're not kind.
You're not the type of person that's like...
That's kind and patient and loving and who'd just be there
-with nothing but love in his heart. You're not.
-I've changed, ain't I?
-Everything that's happened, it's changed me.
Three kids together. You don't think that means anything to me?
You don't think you should have taken a risk? Given me a chance?
-You don't want to be vulnerable? It's selfish.
You got three kids and people that love you.
Don't you think you should let them help?
And burden them, burden them all? No! What good would that do?
Who's that going to help, Max? Not them.
I know how it feels. I know what it does to you. And I won't have that for my kids.
I don't want that for anyone I love.
So you do love me?
This isn't about you, Max. This is about what happened to me. My dad.
This is what I...
-It's about what I did.
-You were Florence Nightingale. You did your best.
Babe, him dying weren't your fault.
What, you think it was?
She knows what I did, don't you? She's going to make me pay for it.
Cora, please... just tell me what she's talking about?
I killed my dad. I helped him to die.
Max, I'd like a moment alone with my daughter. If you don't mind?
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know, Cora.
-I don't think that's a very good idea.
Nothing bad's going to happen. I promise.
Ain't you even going to look at me?
Is she OK?
-Yeah, I don't know, Lauren. Yeah, I think she is, yeah.
-Should we go up?
Don't go up, Abi, she's talking to your nan.
I'm glad you're back.
Girls, I'm sorry. Come here. Come here. Come on. I love ya.
-Why would you have done that?
-Cos he was in pain, Mum. He wanted me to.
-He asked me to.
-He would never have done that. Not William.
I knew him inside out. He was my husband.
-Did you really know him that well, Mum? In the end?
-I was there.
-I was around. You keep telling me I wasn't but I was.
-You weren't there, Mum.
You were out, you were working, you were out down the club.
Someone had to bring the money in. He wasn't going to, was he?
We had to eat. I had to put food on the table.
-And a bet on the horses.
-I never did that once your dad was ill!
-We used to find the stubs in the bin, Mum.
-Once or twice, maybe.
You don't criticise me. Not after what you've done.
So what? I was still a young woman
with a sick husband and a coupla kids.
I was scared out of my mind. A coupla drinks. The odd punt.
It got me through.
He didn't blame you.
My dad, he was the sweetest, kindest man that ever lived.
Used to make me feel like the most precious thing.
When he was dying I tried to make him feel the same. But it didn't work.
Being ill, Mum, it's hard.
It's gruelling, it's painful, and it's there all day, all night.
That's what I learnt.
Them long nights.
That's where I learnt what life was really about, Mum. By his bedside.
So you topped your father, then you lied to everyone when you got ill. That what you learnt?
I didn't "top" him, Mum!
Then what did you do? Tell me. I think I've got a right to know.
You were out.
He'd done this little drawing for you, you know, like he used to,
of the view from his window, on a little card.
Then he put it on the window sill and I seen it and picked it up and looked at it and...
He'd written in it...
He'd written, 'Thanks for being such a lovely wife'.
And that's when he asked me to do it. He asked me to help him end it.
Put him out of his misery.
-And you just said yes?
-Of course not.
I fought with him and I begged him.
But he was just so sweet.
Cos he wasn't scared or angry. He was just...
..wrung dry, Mum.
So I got on the bed and we had a cuddle and, um...
He just held me like he used to when I was little.
But I could feel him, Mum. I could feel his arms and his ribs.
He was stick thin, weren't he?
He weren't like a man, it was...
There was hardly nothing left of him.
And I remember he put his arm round me
and I could see this vein in his wrist, just pulsing.
This bluey green vein and his white skin. It was just...
..like it was almost too much effort to pump the blood round.
Then I looked in his face and he didn't look scared.
Just had these kind eyes.
And I said I'd do it. I said I'd help him.
So I, uh... I put a pillow under his head,
and I made sure he was comfy and...
I gave him a little kiss on the cheek.
Then I gave him the drugs.
Way more than he should have had.
It was like nothing had happened.
I remember the lights.
I could see the lights from the flats opposite, just glittering.
And I sat there for hours, just holding his hand.
Then I fell asleep and...
..when I woke up, he'd gone.
What happened to the card?
I suddenly feel very old.
Very, very old.
I'm sorry, Mum.
No. No, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being who I am.
Must've been a terrible burden for you, having me as a mother.
-He loved you. Right till the end.
-And I loved him in my own way.
I never loved anyone like I loved him.
And he DID love me.
He loved me for exactly who I was.
Never any criticism.
You couldn't make him up, your Dad.
He never said a cruel word.
Look at you.
A mother and a wife. With all this.
Look what you've become.
-Even lumbered with me, you're still a success.
-I'm not a success, Mum.
Course you are. Three kids. A man who loves you.
No, there's no man. I messed that up years ago.
Make no mistake. Max loves you.
He loves you right down to his fingernails.
For all his faults, he's the one for you.
And if you want, he'll be there for you.
Look, what we talked about.
You don't mention it to anyone.
Put this away.
For safekeeping. I might like to look at it now and again.
I'll handle Rainie.
Where are you going, Mum?
Come on, get up.
Look at you.
Look at you.
Look how beautiful you are.
Your got your Dad's eyes, girl.
He would've been proud of you.
As long as you do one thing.
-You fight this.
You go back to the hospital.
For your kids.
Will you do that?
Yeah, she's gonna do that, Cora.
I'm gonna make sure of it.
Listen to this man.
He knows what he's talking about.
Me and him.
We ain't leaving you for a minute, not till you're well,
up and about, giving us orders, telling me where to bin me fags.
I ain't gonna lose you an' all.
Don't let me down, Max.
I'm relying on you.
-The girl needs to rest. We can talk to her tomorrow.
What about what she said?
You don't mention that to anyone. You hear me? It never happened.
Shhh. I need a cigarette.
Nothing like a crisis to bring a family together, eh?
You know, I often think about our dalliance at Tanya's wedding.
How sweet that was.
I don't remember.
Right, now, take this.
Now, there's a bus station round the corner.
Go back to Leyton.
I thought we were going to Manchester.
Well, you thought wrong, didn't ya? Go on, on your way.
What you doing? You going?
No. What gave you that idea?
I ain't going nowhere. Not till Max is sorted.
I got a responsibility, as the eldest.
Now we have gotta pull together and get our boy through this.
All together. Like a proper family.
The Brannings, together again at last, eh?
Yes? Yes? Come here.
It'll be like old times.
What I said about my Dad...
Nah, it'll keep.
We'll talk about it tomorrow.
-Yeah. Or the day after that.
-What d'you mean?
-Well, it's like Cora says. I'm sticking around.
And you, madam, you're gonna go back to the hospital.
We're gonna get you well.
What about your friend? The blonde?
That's not my friend.
I ain't been near another woman.
Don't feel sorry for me, Max.
I love you, Tanya.
I do, I love you.
Just like I always have.
If you'd told me, I never would have gone away.
I would have stuck by your side every minute of the day.
Out of duty?
Out of love.
You are as beautiful to me now as you ever have been.
-What, you don't you believe me?
I'm just so tired.
Well, lie down.
Go on. Just lie down.
What are you doing?
I'm lying down.
In my bed.
Next to my wife.
-I'm not your wife, though.
-Well, you are in here.
You never stopped being my wife.
Not for a minute.
Feels right, don't it?
Just you and me.
Why don't you lean on me?
Go on, lean on me. Go on. It's not that difficult.
How does that feel?
It's all right.
Feels good, don't it?
I ain't leaving you, ever.
Do you understand?
Even if you ask me to.
Then I won't ask.
It's my wedding ring.
Never could bring myself to throw it away.
Don't look bad, does it?
Go to sleep, Tan.
I'm gonna hold you all night.
Everything's gonna be all right.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media
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Max kicks the bathroom door down, alarmed to see pills in the sink before trying to make Tanya be sick. Tanya is initially reluctant to talk before admitting how sick she is, likening it to ‘a monster growing inside’ of her. Desperate to be left alone Tanya escapes to the bedroom where Max attempts to calculate when Tanya was diagnosed, realising it was the day she ended their affair. Tanya explains she never told him as she’s seen the effects of cancer first hand, aware that an illness can rot away at a marriage. She knows Max would have stuck by her but knew he’d resent being lumbered with a ‘diseased old cow.’ Tanya brings home the realities of looking after a cancer patient, asking whether Max could still love her like that, Max tearfully conceding he should be given the chance to try. Max vows to stand by his wife, putting his wedding ring back on and telling her everything will be alright. Cora questions Tanya about what happened to William. Tanya recalls how while Cora was out drinking or gambling Tanya had to sit and watch her dad die, remembering how thin and pale and weak he became before finding a drawing William drew for Cora the day he died. Tanya explains how he asked her to do it and although she begged him not to, in the end she saw what a struggle it was for him just to stay alive. After giving him an overdose she stayed with him until the very end. Cora softens towards Tanya, commenting on what a success she is. She tells her that Max is the one for her before making her promise to fight this. Derek announces to his family that he plans to stick around, the Branning brothers reunited.