Will Linda ditch Mick and opt for a fresh start with Mr. Branning?
EastEnders star Kellie Bright has spoken about the difficult Christmas ahead for her character Linda Carter, who will be forced to decide whether her future lies with husband Mick or Walford lothario Max Branning.
Recovering alcoholic Linda has subsequently found comfort in Max’s arms, with the pair sharing several illicit kisses.
In the run-up to Christmas, Max (Jake Wood) is set on starting a new life with the former landlady, and stuns her with a life-changing offer.
Reveals Bright: “Linda feels pretty heartbroken about her relationship with Mick. I think she honestly believes he is not in love with her anymore.
“She’s drawn to the fact that Max is making her feel good. He is very charismatic and attentive, and at the moment, he is offering her all the things that Mick isn’t.
“For me, the truth behind this storyline is that she’s an alcoholic, and she’s fairly newly sober. It’s only been a few months of sobriety, plus she’s been in lockdown. Without even being aware of it, she hasn’t really dealt with her sobriety.
“I think she’s transferred her addiction from alcohol to Max. Alcohol used to take the pain away, and fill that void that she feels she has inside of her.
“She’s not able to do that because she can’t pick up a drink anymore. But she’s doing exactly that with Max.”
Putting up a fight
Linda’s not ready to walk away from Mick without a fight. She tells him how she’s been feeling and, when he fails to respond, she grabs a bottle of whisky, hoping that the thought of her falling off the wagon will spur him into action.
But it’s not looking good on Christmas Day, with Mick choosing to spend the festivities at Gray’s house with Shirley and Tina.
As Linda licks her wounds, little does she realise the hell her husband is going through.
Mick’s struggle continues
Mick turns to Katy for support – the former care worker who abused him – who once again tries to blame his problems on Linda. But he remains haunted by his past, and decides he must confront his fears, head on.
At the same time, Linda has a decision of her own to make – does she keep plugging away with Mick or take a chance on Max?
Adds Bright: “I think Linda’s really reluctant to take the next step with Max. She thinks it’s too much, too soon.
“I think she feels like she’s on a rollercoaster with Max, and she doesn’t really know how to get off it, or slow it down.
“This is not her thing. Linda Carter has only ever loved one man. She’s only ever been with one man. So it is very out of character.
“She is not well versed in these sorts of things; she’s really just bumbling along, and taking it all day by day.
“The whole way through, she’s desperate for Mick to turn around and go ‘What the hell are you doing? I want you back!’ But he doesn’t.
“In the end, she thinks ‘What am I waiting for? He doesn’t want me.”’
During Christmas week, EastEnders will air on Monday 21st at 8pm, Tuesday 22nd at 7.30pm and Christmas Eve at 9pm.
Christmas Day will be a double episode at 9.10pm. There is also an extra episode on Boxing Day at 8.45pm on BBC1.
During New Year week, EastEnders will air on Monday 28th at 8.35pm, Tuesday 29th at 7.30pm and New Year’s Eve at 7.30pm.
There will be an hour long episode at 8pm on New Year’s Day on BBC1.