His character Max Branning left Walford after realizing that he couldn’t put aside his feelings for Linda Carter (Kellie Bright), who had returned to her husband Mick (Danny Dyer) after their affair.
Determined to win Linda’s affection, he tried to blackmail Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) into giving Mick the pub The Queen Vic.
He hoped the gesture would prove his love for Linda, but the stunt failed and Mick confronted him in the pub and warned him to stay away from his wife.
“If I see you again, you’re a dead man,” he said.
Linda later confronted Max and urged him to leave Walford for good.
But Max declared his love for her in denial and said to her: “You are clinging to something that doesn’t work.”
Their argument culminated in her telling him: “If you want to do something for me, then let me wake up tomorrow in a place where Max Branning doesn’t.”
– BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) February 19, 2021
Max eventually agreed to leave Walford, but decided to leave his granddaughter Abi in the care of Rainie Highway (Tanya Franks).
Wood made his EastEnders debut as Max in June 2006, but briefly played Jackson, a young homeless man, 16 years ago.
Show bosses previously confirmed Wood’s contract would not be renewed, meaning Max would leave Walford in 2021.
They added that he would leave in a dramatic story but would not be killed.