Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide and sexual abuse that some readers may find upsetting.
EastEnders spoilers follow.
Linda Carter and Max Branning have consummated their affair in EastEnders.
The unsettling scenes aired during Friday's (December 18) episode, after her latest attempts to rekindle her romance with husband Mick (Danny Dyer) were rebuffed.
Linda (Kellie Bright) had come face-to-face with Katy Lewis (Simone Lahbib), not knowing anything about the abuse Mick suffered at her hands as a child.
Katy continued her manipulations by trying to get Linda on her side, telling her that Mick was constantly singing his wife's praises.
Katy later suggested Mick stop looking back at traumatic events from his past in order to get his marriage on track, insisting he should only share his concerns over past events with her.
Linda took Katy's words as a sign that Mick might want to save their marriage, so she later dressed up for what she intended to be a romantic evening.
While it initially looked like the old passion would sweep the couple away, Mick ultimately recoiled in revulsion when they kissed.
"I still want you, Mick. Don't you want me?" she begged, with a tearful Mick demanding: "Please stay away from me."
Linda was crushed by her husband's rejection, so she told him she would be going to stay with a friend for the time being.
In actuality, she returned to Max Branning's (Jake Wood) eager and waiting arms. After sweet-talking Linda with compliments about her beauty, the two ultimately slept together.
"You deserve to be happy," he told her.
The pair consummating their affair is sure to have significant consequences going into next week's Christmas episodes and beyond, considering that Jake Wood has now filmed his final scenes as Max.
Soap bosses are also planning a powerful New Year's Eve episode for Mick that will see him contemplating suicide when he feels he has nobody left to turn to.
EastEnders continues on Monday (December 21) at 8pm on BBC One.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
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