The Platt family are never short of drama, and this Christmas will be no different, with Bethany right in the middle of things. Failing to seduce her crush Gary (who’s secretly seeing her mother Sarah!) at a hotel, Bethany is left humiliated when her feelings are exposed. When she tells Sarah about her feelings for Gary, Sarah then calls things off with her love interest. Bethany goes on to take a pile of diet pills to deal with the stress before collapsing, before a mystery man named Nathan arrives to save a day. If rumours are to be believed, Nathan will begin to groom Bethany in the hopes of pimping her out to his friends, with a dark sex ring storyline bringing everybody into the New Year.
Meanwhile, Nick and Peter continue to clash and, when Nick discovers a present that Peter wrapped, he assumes it’s for Leanne before launching himself at Peter and engaging in a brawl for all of the Street to see. What may cause them to stop – at least for a few minutes – is the return of Toyah Battersby. Announcing that her and Leanne’s Christmas Day plans are cancelled because her marriage has come to an end, Toyah reveals she’s been cheating on her husband Toby, who arrives in the hopes of putting his relationship back together.
Anna’s life is also put at risk as, when she’s left alone on New Year’s Eve with Jack, she stumbles around in the dark at the top of the stairs before she takes a tumble down the entire flight. Jack panics and tries to find help, but could be too late to help save Anna. Phelan is sure to be thrilled.
It’s not all bad news however, as Norris begins a social media campaign to find Mary’s long lost son, who eventually returns from South Africa to reunite with his mother. She’s faced with a big decision however when he asks Mary to move to South Africa with him and his wife – which path will Mary choose?
During a chat with Billy, Phil Mitchell lets a bombshell slip which leaves Jay stunned. The Mitchell patriarch goes missing once more just before Christmas, but it doesn’t take long for Denise to find him at his late mother Peggy Mitchell’s grave. She’s not sympathetic in her approach however, delivering some tough love in the hopes he can pull himself together. As his health deteriorates, the Mitchell family do their best to ensure a smooth Christmas, but nothing is ever that simple on Albert Square. When a social worker arrives to make sure Jay is being looked after properly, Sharon’s forced to do her best to defend the family home, as Phil isn’t around.
Over with the Carter family, lies and manipulation begins to catch up with Lee who is going to finally be forced to deal with the consequences of his stupid decisions. Pushed to the edge, there’s no telling what he’ll do to get away from his demons. He’s not the only one facing the past however, with Max Branning making a return and the Beales on alert that he could take swift revenge after being wrongly sent to prison.
There is also of course the exit for fan-favourite characters, Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell. Exactly how they’ll be leaving the soap is still up in the air, with show bosses recording multiple scenes that won’t actually be ever used to ensure paparazzi are put off the scent. As the wedding approaches, Roxy decides to drop a major bombshell, and exactly where the two will go next is anybody’s guess.
No mistaken kisses say secret for long in the world of soap, so when Moira and Pete share a stupid smooch, the news quickly travels around the pub whilst Moira drowns her sorrows in drink like never before. Driving away but under the influence of alcohol, Cain fails in his efforts to stop his ex, before she quickly runs Pete over who pushes Jacob out of the way of the vehicle. Emma is anxious to find out just how Pete will recover – if at all – and as Cain takes the blame for the accident he tries to do his best to make sure Moira can find solace in something or someone other than in alcohol.
Elsewhere, Zak and Lisa continue to get closer, and as Joanie leaves without Zak, could there be a big, romantic reunion on the cards for the iconic soap couple? Joanie’s departure isn’t good news for everyone however, as she takes Kyle with her without telling Cain, much to the father’s horror.
There’s a glimmer of hope for joy in the Thomas household this year, despite Ashley’s rapid deterioration in health. A discovery by Gabby means that a smile may be put on the faces of everybody, at least for a few hours.
At the New Year Home Farm party, Chrissie is concerned about all of the guest who’ll be attending. Hoping to sabotage her sister Rebecca’s event, Rebecca gets revenge by playing an interesting and revealing show to all in attendance.
Finally, as Jacob recovers from his shock of nearly being hit by the van, it soon becomes apparent that there are major consequences as he collapses, is taken to hospital and something drastic is discovered as the root of his strange health.