There is a lot on the minds of some of our EastEnders favourites next week, with Ben Mitchell (Max Bowden) battling a secret illness, Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) finding herself at another rocky impasse with Zack Hudson (James Farrar), and Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) fearing the next steps of a potential pregnancy.
Viewers know that Ben is fighting bulimia, with no-one knowing what he is going through, and as family stresses continue to mount, it becomes even tougher to handle.
However, he finds himself with some allies as Honey (Emma Barton) notices his behaviour around food due to her own past with an eating disorder, while Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) helps him confide in her about his rape ordeal, while she reflects on her own.
But as Ben tries to take a stand and fight back at his demons, will he share what is going on with husband Callum (Tony Clay)?
Elsewhere, Zack’s excitable suggestion that they could try for a baby leaves Whitney having to let him down – she can’t go through that agony again.
It’s a matter that is going to test their future as they look at separate paths – can they weather this latest storm.
And in other baby news, Sonia is wondering how Reiss (Jonny Freeman) might react to them possibly having a child of their own.
Finally, there is delight all round as Yolande Trueman (Angela Wynter) makes a welcome return – is there hope for a reunion for Patrick (Rudolph Walker)?
Monday August 7
Ben is struggling with his feelings of inadequacy ahead of Jay’s parental hearing and is evasive when Billy tries to organise a celebration in The Vic that night.
Later, Ben looks certain to miss the court date altogether as he takes his frustrations out on the gym bag until George intervenes. He advises Ben to be there for Lexi, no matter how he feels. Jay is relieved when Ben makes it after all, but later, at The Vic, Honey picks up on troubled Ben’s behaviour around food.
She follows him home and tries to get Ben to open up to her, sharing her own experiences with bulimia. But unable to share his pain, Ben lashes out and orders Honey to leave. After she’s gone, Ben breaks down, feeling horribly alone.
Sonia has no idea why Reiss is so off with her, unaware that he thinks she’s cheated. She’s still reeling over his comments about not wanting to be a dad, worried that she’s pregnant already.
Back at No 25, Whitney is there supporting Sonia – who is taking a pregnancy test – when she catches Reiss trying to hack into his girlfriend’s phone. During a furious confrontation. Devastated Sonia reasons that Reiss wants kids – just not with her.
Kim recruits Patrick to dish out love advice in her latest ‘Kimfluencer’ video. Reluctant Patrick starts dispensing relationship wisdom on camera until he’s interrupted by the arrival of a special visitor – Yolande.
Her boyfriend Anton has thrown her out and she wants to stay with him, but nervous Patrick isn’t sure that’s a good idea. Bruised, Yolande leaves in a huff.
Elsewhere, Kat is frantic when she hears Freddie is off to visit Little Mo. Before he leaves, she tells him to remember how hard Little Mo has fought to protect him.
Tuesday August 8
Honey advises a worried Callum to try to get Ben to open up to him but refuses to break Ben’s confidence. Unaware that she’s keeping his secret, Ben sees them together and lashes out at Honey, only for Billy and Jay to step in.
Lexi insists that Ben must apologise to Honey, and they later go for a coffee. Honey begs Ben to let Callum in, and it looks like Ben will do so until a difficult conversation with Phil provokes Ben into purging again.
However, Callum arrives home early and catches Ben but when Callum tries to talk to Ben, things go horribly wrong.
Kim wants to know why Patrick isn’t fighting to win Yolande back. Meanwhile, Denise is trying to convince her to stay.
After a heart-to-heart with Yolande, Denise begs Patrick to take the chance to tell Yolande how much he cares before she leaves forever.
Patrick has a big decision to make – put his heart on the line or let his true love go back to Birmingham and a man she doesn’t love.
Reiss goes on a charm offensive to win Sonia over, but nothing works until he’s totally honest with her.
On Peach’s due date, Zack gets good news – his viral load is now undetectable. As he and Whitney spend time at their daughter’s tree, Zack suggests they could try for another baby.
Whitney breaks his heart when she later reveals she can never put her body through that again and doesn’t want to try for another baby.
Wednesday August 9
Kat is shocked to find Ben in a terrible state as he punches a bag at the Boxing Den. She soon discovers why he’s so upset and offers her perspective as a fellow survivor of rape.
Kat warns Ben he’ll destroy himself and everyone he loves if he doesn’t seek help. Ben reluctantly agrees try a support group, with Kat accompanying him. Later, he returns home, where Callum is waiting for him. He begs Ben to let him in and share what’s going on.
Whitney and Zack have a difficult conversation about their future and children. Meanwhile, Sonia and Reiss have a heart-to-heart.
Yolande and Patrick go to the laundrette to talk, where they consider whether they are each other’s future or just ghosts from the past.
Thursday August 10
Ben and Kat go to the assessment, where he finally starts talking about his mental trauma.
Chelsea advises devastated Whitney to keep talking to Zack so they don’t lose each other. But when she speaks to him, it’s clear Zack thinks they are too far apart on this issue. Sharon finds Whitney in tears and later confronts Zack.
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