I listened to the Sunday episode at my mother’s – not really paying attention to start with because “nothing ever happens on the Sunday episode.” I was wrong.

    The Pyrex Kid is acting up – Helen is trying to get him to bed. Kirsty sneaks in with a pie. Helen is planning a special dinner for the Dark Lord, after which she’s going to leave him. Great plan, Helen. Why not call him AFTER you’ve left? Like from Ulan Bator or at some safe distance. The Evil One arrives early and Kirsty legs it. He spots the pie asks who brought it - Helen says Peggy brought it. She’s made tuna bake for dinner. He heads for a shower and spots that she’s been packing a bag. He storms back downstairs, enraged. She manages to fob the bag off as packing for the pregnancy. During “one of the tastiest meals you’ve ever cooked” a row develops. “This started long before I was pregnant. You try to control me!” She points out his evil ways and of course he denies it. Helen tells drops the bombshell on him that she’s met Jess. “The best thing she’s ever done is get away from you.” “You’re as mad as each other.” Rob then totally loses it, the fangs, tail and horns appear. He does his best to verbally destroy her. “You wanted me.” “I know, I’m sorry,” snobs Helen, her resolve crumbling a bit. Things calm down for a spell. “It’s not your fault – you’re not well. You completely belong to me.” The Synthetic Child wakes up and Rob heads off to deal with him. Helen tries to ring Kirsty on the ‘burner’ phone and Rob returns to finds it. “Take the pie out of the oven.” “Let it burn.” The fight escalates once more and Helen tells him she’s leaving. The Dark One pulls a knife out of the drawer. ‘Do what Greg did – end it now! Beacus that’s the only way you’re leaving” He gives her the knife. Bad move, Rob. Only when he starts towards Henry, does Helen stab him. Twice. Then she settles Henry down watching cartoons. ‘What’s wrong with Daddy? Is he hurt?” Helen then calls Kirsty and tells her she’s stabbed Rob. “I had to make him stop. He’s dead. I killed him.” Kirsty arrives like a shot. “Try to explain to me what happened.” Kirsty tries to take control. Helen is hysterical. Kirsty checks on the fallen Rob and then calls for an ambulance and the police. Rob is not dead. PC Burns turns up – some real crime to deal with after bunting theft and hen house fires. Helen is totally confused and hysterical. Harrison is calmly in change.

    At Bridge Farm Pat and Tony are settling down for the night, when they get a phonecall…

    The cops have called them to take Henry. The ambulance guy tells the DS that “someone wasn’t messing around – he’s lucky to be alive.” The DS arrests and cuffs Helen who is still hysterical. Peggy and the rest of the family are milling about behind the police tape. They see Rob being stretched out. PC Burns takes Pat and Tony into Blossom Hill and hand over Henry. They can’t believe that Helen has been arrested. Just as they get Henry, a sobbing and wailing Helen is dragged out in cuffs. “They’re just taking her on a little trip,” Pat explains to Henry.

    At the Cop Shop, Helen is DNA swabbed and appears much calmer. Kirsty is there, too. She does her best to defend Helen’s actions, but DS Joanne Maybury seems to be building a case against Helen – the ‘burner’ phone is viewed with suspicion, as indicative of pre-meditation. “You’ve never personally witnessed Mr. Titchener being violent?” “No.”

    During the medical exam, the doctor finds some red marks on Helen’s arms.

    The long night continues at Bridge Farm. They are still confused by Helen’s behaviour. “It just isn’t right, Tony.” Kirsty arrives. “They can’t actually think she stabbed Rob.” Kirsty fills them in on the hell that Helen has been living through. ‘Why didn’t we know anything about this?” After Kirsty tells them about the slap and the Helpline, the penny drops for Tom about Rob’s behaviour.

    A lawyer friend of Usha’s (Dominic) turns up at the Cop Shop to represent Helen. “I have to honest with you, Helen, you could be here for a while.” DS Maybury interviews Helen with her solicitor. “You intended to leave your husband – why was that?” “No comment.” The initial Q&A continues in this vein.

    At the hospital, Cruella has arrived with her husband, Bruce. Bruce sounds just as bad as Rob – and everyone thought Cruella was evil.

    The press have descended on Ambridge. Fallon’s tearoom has been over-run and Pat and Tony’s phone is being rung off the hook. DS Maybury arrives to interview them. Tom tells her about his suspicious about the Dark Lord. “He’s a bully.” Pat and Tony pitch in about the Private School row. “Helen’s a fragile person.” Not helping, Pat, not helping. The DS wants them to bring Henry to the Cop Shop for an interview.

    Susan captures PC Burns, her antennae thrumming with gossip potential. She fills him in on Helen’s “highly strung” past.

    At the hospital, the full extent of Rob’s injuries are explained to his deeply dysfunctional parents. He’s still unconscious. Helen gutted him – it looks like he’ll be wearing a bag for the rest of him life.

    Harrison quizzes Fallon about Helen’s “troubled” past – anorexia, topped boyfriends, etc.

    The elder Titchner’s arrive at Bridge Farm. “Are you Tony?” Brian fires heavily into the elder Archers - “Are you proud of the daughter you’ve raised?” They’ve been to the Police and told them that Cruella heard Helen threaten to kill the Dark Lord (during the Private School row). Ouch.

    The Synthetic Child is sensitively interviewed by some kid-friendly fuzz. “He did brilliantly.”

    “Flood Hero Stabbed” is the screaming twenty-point front page of the Courier.

    DS Maybury tries to interview Helen again, but she goes through her “no comment” routine. The DS tries everything to break her and finally gets a result when she mentions that they know that Helen threatened to kill Rob. Nothing coherent comes of this and Maybury stops the interview.

    Pat is fretting that she was so unaware about Helen’s problems – Kirsty sympathises, but puts it down to Rob’s manipulative nature. Peggy wants to send flower to Rob. Chris talks her out of it.

    The Crown Prosecution Service are keeping Helen in custody and have charged her with attempted murder.

    Susan is in the shop being supportive of Rob with Cruella, who is buying the shop out of cleaning products. Peggy arrives and is blanked badly by Cruella as she sweeps out. Weirdly, she’s moving in to Blossom Hill.

    At court, Pat and Tony watch in tears as Helen is formally charged. “We musn’t look worried, it’s all going to be fine.” The prosecution want Helen to be remanded and the defence don’t want to apply for bail. “Take her down.”

    Cruella is busy scrubbing up Rob’s blood at Blossom Hill, having probelms with the stained grouting, when Peggy turns up to try and make amends. “Are you sure you can stay here?” Even though Peggy is from the Other Side, she is so kind-hearted that Cruella stops scrubbing and breaks down.

    Kirsty and Tom form an alliance to support Helen.

    The rest of the family, including Peggy, meet at Bridge Farm. Peggy tells them that Rob’s critically ill with an infection and that if he dies, Helen will be facing a murder charge.

    So…most of the village think Rob is charm itself and that Helen is a neurotic and fragile woman. The only one who knows even the partial truth is Kirsty. If Rob dies, Helen will be a murderer and if he lives, will he be able to talk his way out of his terrible behaviour? Or will be blow up on the witness stand? What of the Flood? The hunt sab? Will Shula and Tom help the defence? Can we silence Susan?

    What a week.

    1 Comment

    • 1. Apr 12 2016 5:12PM by louise

      Still reeling. It is quite the Best radio series ever and that includes Mrs Dale's Diary !

      The tension just goes on and on. Helen, Please speak

The Week In Ambridge

The Week In Ambridge

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I am a new listener to The Archers - my Mother started me at birth, so I have only been listening for 46 years. Apologies if I get things wrong.

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