EastEnders summer spoiler preview: Returns, revenge, exits and showdowns

Forget summer lovin’. This year is all about showdowns, fury and tragedy (Picture: BBC/Insertions.us)

Sunshine and lollipops couldn’t be further from the summer menu in EastEnders as the show is determined to pack a huge punch over the coming months.

In coming weeks, the Mitchell family is going to be sent spiralling into an explosive meltdown, a familiar face returns for their lost love, a raft of dramatic exits are planned and there are showdowns aplenty as secrets are exposed and new ones unfurl.

Since the return of Mitchell family titan Phil (Steve McFadden), things have been at boiling point for the clan and, with several bombs (figuratively this time) ready to detonate, not one member will be left unscathed.

The horrific attack on Ben (Max Bowden) at the hands of Lewis (Aidan O’Callaghan) looms large and, when Sam (Kim Medcalf) tracks the rapist now, justice is on the cards.

But Mitchell justice tends to be of the more violent kind and a colossal confrontation should be expected.

As Phil squares up to Lewis, how far is he prepared to go? And how will Ben feel about how things unfold? Will he thank his dad – or disown him?

How far will Phil’s revenge go? (Picture: BBC)

Elsewhere, Ben’s husband Callum (Tony Clay) remains unaware of what has happened to the man he loves.

But with things continuing to get out of hand, will this change?

Sam has also been hiding betrayals of her own from Phil and, in the wake of him discovering the drugs deal she made at Peggy’s, it can only be a matter of time before the web she has woven is ripped apart.

And Phil also has an upcoming wedding to plan for. He and Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) are dead set on making it down the aisle, so it would be best for Phil if his recent dalliance and love declarations with ex Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) didn’t come to light.

That’s not the only cause for concern either, as Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) rides into town in time for the big day.

But is he looking to renew his relationship with Kat – and does she feel the same way?

Another guest of interest at the wedding is Little Mo’s son Freddie (Bobby Brazier), but why is he suddenly back in the fold after all this time?

With so much anger and aggression consuming the Mitchell family, Phil will be given a lot of food for thought.

Digging deep into the Mitchell past (Picture: BBC/Insertions.us)

Everything fractured, he will be forced to reflect on his own behaviour and how it impacts those around them.

And this will trigger a very special episode for fans, as we step back in time to see Phil and Grant’s upbringing from a much younger Peggy (Jaime Winstone).

Next week, another couple of much loved faces will resurface as Stacey (Lacey Turner) meets up with Big Mo Harris (Laila Morse) on holiday – and she is with Stacey’s recuperating mum Jean (Gillian Wright).

The getaway also sees Stacey spending time with her ex Martin Fowler (James Bye) but does Kheerat Panesar (Jaz Deol) have some cause for concern?

He certainly has other reasons to be worried as his relationship with mum Suki (Balvinder Sopal) continues to reach new lows.

Shattered by the rejections of her children, Suki is vulnerable and finds herself at the mercy of perverted businessman Ranveer.

Suki is under threat – but she fights back (Picture: BBC)

As she fights back, she leaves him for dead with a timely wallop. Has she become a killer, or will he come through this?

And what of her on/off relationship with Eve Unwin (Heather Peace). Could Eve be the shoulder to cry on that Suki needs?

Could Eve be heading for heartbreak as she gets too close?

Matters complicate further with the arrival of Ranveer’s son Ravi (Aaron Thiara), who we last saw in prison.

But what brings him to the Square? And what trouble will he bring?

Fractured relationships are also the order of the day at the Queen Vic. With Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) seemingly back on her feet, things seem to be cautiously thawing between herself and her husband Mick (Danny Dyer).

Just how much should we be reading into recent pictures at a hotel?

It seems like Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) should be on her guard, but that’s nothing compared to the truth of the crash which could topple her at any moment.

Will the past come back to haunt Janine? (Picture: BBC)

The truth has to come out sooner or later and with Mick set for a dramatic exit before the end of the year, will this colossal secret be the epicentre?

Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) continues to struggle with his post natal depression, particularly since the departure of his wife Rainie (Tanya Franks).

A cause for concern, how much can Stuart cope with as he deals with that and also the looming threat of his cancer?

It’s no secret that Ricky is also departing the show – but will the ending be tragic for Stuart?

And speaking of tragic, Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold) will be at the centre of a devastating storyline in which she suffers a brain tumour.

In sad scenes, it seems that the character will deteriorate leading to an emotional goodbye.

Exactly how it plays out – and who with – remains to be seen, but the ramifications for those left behind are bound to be felt hard.

Dana Monroe (Barbara Smith) is also saying goodbye, as she looks to her future with a place at university.

But, is there unfinished business with Bobby Beale (Clay Milner Russell)? Where do their feelings lie?

Will his heart be broken as she says goodbye?

Unfinished business but where does Bobby fit in? (Picture: BBC)

Jada Lennox (Kelsey Callidine-Smith) will also be departing in coming months although her final story remains shrouded in secrecy while Kim Fox-Hubbard (Tameka Empson) adjusts to the arrival of Howie Dane’s (Delroy Atkinson) son Denzel (Jaden Lageda).

And she isn’t the only one as Amy (Abbie Burke) soon develops a soft spot.

With the summer seeing several bubbling strands collide, residents are reeling from the results of blistering clashes and discoveries.

But they can’t reflect for long; as even bigger shocks are on the way as they move into winter…