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EastEnders Max Branning’s return hinted amid Linda baby paternity heartache

EastEnders bad boy Max Branning (Jake Wood) sends a surprise gift to a gobsmacked Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) in upcoming scenes.

Its the Queen Vic landlady's birthday and she’s surprised to get a present from the misper and she clocks the postmark as Frankie Lewis (Rose Ayling-Ellis) suggests throwing a party.

Linda declines but Frankie forges ahead regardless inviting Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) and her dad Rocky (Billy Conley) but leaving out Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth).

Sonia quickly realises that mischievous Frankie’s playing cupid and warns Kathy.

Mick (Danny Dyer) and Linda agree it’s too risky to tell Rainie Highway (Tanya Highway) that Max sent a gift from Croatia.

When they return home, they’re horrified that Frankie’s thrown Linda two parties in one drawing unwanted attention to her pregnancy.

Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) and Rocky are sharing a laugh, but he’s smitten when café owner Kathy shows up.

As Jack Branning (Scott Marsden) arrives Mick and Linda have to decide to tell Jack what they’ve found out about Max.

Linda tells Frankie she’s not happy about the surprise party and Nancy tells her mum she owes Frankie an apology.

Nancy thinks it’s time Frankie and Shirley knew that Max is the father of the baby as the party scenario could have been avoided, but Linda refuses.

EastEnders fans were reduced to tears after Rainie discovered that baby abi had been snatched by Max in recent scenes.

The funeral director screamed in pain as Jack broke the news that his brother had kidnapped Abi in Paris and she was gone.

Max hasn’t been seen since earlier this year when he left the Square for good.

He left Abi behind with her great aunt Rainie and husband Stuart to care but last week his brother Jack Branning took baby Abi to visit him in France.

During their time in the French capital, Max took his granddaughter and fled, leaving Jack to return to Walford alone.

Fans know that Linda is currently expecting Max's baby following their unexpected fling at the beginning of the year.

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Linda and her husband Mick have since agreed to tell everyone that the baby is Mick's.

The couple were horrified to learn about Max kidnapping Abi earlier this week and decided to keep their baby news away from the dad to be.

With Max sending Linda a gift, does this mean the former Albert Square business is set to make a return to Walford?

EastEnders continues Tuesday on BBC One at 7pm

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