Max Branning (played by Jake) was last seen on EastEnders weeks ago following the devastating storyline that saw his daughters Abi Branning (Lorna Fitzgerald) and Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) hospitalised after a horrific New Year’s Day fall.
Abi was left braindead and Max was forced to make the terrible decision as her father to switch off her life support, just as his ex-wife Tanya Branning (Jo Joyner) also returned to the BBC soap.
Traumatised by the loss of her sister, a recovering Lauren then left Albert Square in an attempt to give her son Louie a new life.
Unable to cope, Max followed suit but his return this week has showed the character in an entirely new place.
Revealing he’d married a mystery woman who turned out to be Tanya’s sister and his former sister-in-law Rainie (Tanya Franks), Max left Walford residents utterly baffled.
Now the actor has revealed there’s much more to come as the plot’s backstory is explored.
Posting on his Twitter account after the episode, Jake was eager to share his feelings with his 452,000 followers.
He said: “Thanks for all the love people, plenty more twists and turns to come #EastEnders.
“So happy to be working with Tanya Franks as I’ve always been a massive fan of her work,” he added.
While bosses are yet to reveal the truth about how the pairing came about, many fans are sure there is something more sinister at play.
When Abi died Max promised he would raise her newborn daughter as his own, affectionately also named Abi.
But given Max and Tanya’s fraught relationship, the latter is sure to be none-too-happy about the arrangement.
Could Rainie be hiding an ulterior motive in her match with Max, and is she simply trying to get close to her niece’s daughter?
And is Tanya behind everything ready to snatch the child away from a grieving Max?
“Max and Rainie?! She’s got to be using him to get baby Abi for Tanya?! #EastEnders @bbceastenders,” one viewer posted.
While another said: “I’m surprised they hadn’t paired Rainie and Max up before now and I love the fact Robbie [Jackson] was the only one who knew about the whole thing #EastEnders.”
“Omg! I didn’t expect Max to marry Rainie! All to get back at Tanya!.. Max, you are bad!! EastEnders never fails to shock! #eastenders #bbc1 #shocking,” a third speculated.
Actress Tanya also spoke out on the development, saying: “She’s going down a road that I would never have foreseen in the past, so as long as they keep challenging me with new aspects of Rainie then I’ll always enjoy it.
“I think Max and Rainie are working really well together,” she added to Radio Times.