EastEnders have hinted how Mel Owen will leave Walford in spoilers ahead of next week's episodes. Actress Tamzin Outhwaite announced her decision to step away from the BBC One soap at the beginning of the year, but there's guaranteed to be plenty of drama before she goes. Next week, viewers will see Mel play a very dangerous game as she does everything she can to protect son Hunter, who has returned home after escaping prison. But everyone knows that the world of soap is anything but simple, so could Mel's decision to help Hunter be to her detriment? Only time will tell.
Monday 26 August
Ben spots Mel on the Square and is determined to find out about Lisa, but she is quick to brush him off, before returning home to Hunter. However, later on, Ben sees her heading for the basement where Hunter is hiding, and follows her. Elsewhere, Whitney makes a shock discovery after finding Callum's letters from Chris, and demands answers. Callum can't bring himself to tell her the truth. Knowing something isn't right, Whitney struggles to get excited as she plans her hen party with Sonia and Tiffany, but is later reassured by Sonia. Also in Walford, the Slater family are in turmoil as Stacey's still on the run, leading Jean to seek solace with Daniel.
Mel is determined to protect Hunter
Tuesday 27 August
Mel continues to try and keep Hunter's spirits up, but is shocked when she is stopped on her way to work by Sharon, Billy and Ben, who tell her that they know Hunter's escaped as it's front page news. Sharon confronts Mel but Ben's suspicions grow after seeing her shifty behaviour the previous day. Mel's in turmoil and things go from bad to worse for her when the police arrive with some shocking news. Elsewhere, Linda's concerned for Mick and books him a doctor's appointment.
Whitney worries about her relationship
Thursday 29 August
Whitney's hen party takes place while Callum celebrates his stag, and Mick feels pressure to make sure that he has a great time. However, the stags are shocked as, while Mick delivers a speech, one of Stuart's surprises doesn't go according to plan. At the hen party meanwhile, Sonia admits to Tiffany that she's planning a big surprise. Mel feels pressure and is determined to flee with Hunter, and things get worse when Billy tells her that other prisoners have been caught. Max overhauls his look to impress Ruby, and makes a big decision about his future.
Mel says goodbye to Amy
Friday 30 August
Mel makes final preparations to leave Walford and as she covers her tracks at work, her behaviour makes Sharon suspicious. Mel manages to say goodbye to Amy before she goes, realising how much she's leaving behind. Max realises that baby Abi is his priority.
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.