The stalking of Roy continues. Tracey has turned up to watch him rake leaves. She has a bottle of wine (Roy’s favourite, thanks to Susan’s inside shop info). She makes him open it and they start walloping the vino in the kitchen at lunchtime (Roy won’t let her get into the lounge). Tracey is very flirty and giggly. Roy isn’t. Tracey things “fate has thrown us together.” Luckily, Kirsty turns up just as Tracey is about to launch herself. Kirsty plays gooseberry until Tracey gets the hint and leaves. “Give me a bell, won’t you?” “You saved my life, Kirsty,” sighs Roy in relief. Kirsty is worried that she’s beginning to show.

    Jennifer and Lillian are seeing in some new tenants and then on to a jewel sales event at Lower Loxely. They spot a vaguely familiar face… The event is very expensive, but Justin is coughing up for Lillian. Jennifer is distracted by the memory of the face they saw in the village. She can’t place it. Suddenly the penny drops – it was Stefan she saw. “I wonder what he’s doing back here?” Jennifer tells Lillian about Stefan telling her and David about (maybe) Rob diverting the culvert to flood the village and involving Charlie to try and investigate. ‘If it was serious, Charlie would have followed it up.” This is the first Lillian has heard of this.

    Susan serves Helen in the shop. Jim is all excited about spotting some dreary bird and Susan bangs on about her new lipstick. “Spring Shimmer from Underwoods” Surely, volunteering at the shop is a living hell for Jim? He is made to admire the chosen family pictures- three of them now framed and installed. Susan has photographed the photographs from several angles to show everyone. “The frame’s nice,” says Jim. Where has “Yachts at Sunset” gone? Johnny arrives and buys them out of cheap lager, whilst Slow Freddie lurks outside. The lager is for the secret Lower Loxley party. Freddie has also lied to Elizabeth about his disastrous maths re-sit result.

    Helen meets Kirsty at the park. Kirsty is still grumpy about Helen finding out about the pregnancy. Kirsty still doesn’t want to discuss it with her. They tramp up to the bird hide and eventually Kirsty talks to Helen – she’s worried about Helen trying to make her get back with Tom. Helen promises that she won’t. “You will be a wonderful mother,” says the husband-stabber. Kirsty confesses to hiding who the father is from her parents. “At least he’s no Rob.”

    Ian and Adam get up (in separate rooms, still). Ian heads to work and is cornered by Lilly, looking for ‘left-over’ canapés “maybe with smoked salmon” for “a friend.” He suggests the obvious – go and ask at Lower Loxely. Ian quickly works out what is going on, but promises to keep schtum for her.

    Toby is trying to make his potential gin shed vermin-proof at Hollowtree. He’s rushing to get it ready for an environmental inspection. He tries to rope Deep Pip into helping. No dice. He runs off to see Bert. ‘Are you busy for the next few days?” “Very.” Toby, now desperate, runs back to Pip – “I’ve run out of options.” Pip suggests asking Rex. Toby reluctantly agrees.

    Elizabeth visits Jill – going stir crazy with the enforced rest because of the sprained ankle. They go for a drive to try and cheer her up. They pass Toby and Rex working on the gin shed. I wonder how Toby persuaded Rex? Elizabeth stops the car and waxes lyrical about the past and Jill’n’Phil. Then she works it back to question Jill about her hatred of the Faribrothers and her upset about Phil’s first marriage, the fact that she was ‘second’ and Grace’s death (a mere 62 years ago) and her place in the family. She is worried that Jill is driving Pip away.

    Kirsty visits Tom unexpectedly. She makes him swear that he will never propose marriage again. She does still want him to be a friend and to come to the next baby scan.

    Stefan turns up at the Dark Lord’s office unexpectedly, too. He wants his money. Rob refuses. “You’re not getting anything from me. Go to the Police – you’ve got nothing.” Stefan threatens to talk to Justin and then the Press. “I want everyone to know that you drowned Ambridge to save some cows.’ Stefan now wants twice what he asked for. He has until four on Friday. Just ass he leaves, Lillian comes in. Was she outside the door the whole time? “Who was that?” “Some sales rep.”

    The secret Lower Loxely party starts. Pheobe is helping with the catering. Meanwhile, at Honeysuckle Cottage, Ian is fretting about playing the ‘cool uncle’ about the party and not telling Elizabeth. Lilly is trying to pair everyone off. Johnny is trying to make another stab at the Amber situation – the girl that humiliated him at the fashion show. Johnny needs Slow Freddie as a wing-man, but he’s holed up in his room. Freddie isn’t keen in spite of Johnny’s pleading, but Johhny invokes Pargetter honour and Freddie relents. Adam and Ian attempt a surreptitious drive-by at Lower Loxely and are caught by Lilly. “Come in for a drink.” They arrive at the party just as Slow Freddie takes over the music and everyone starts dancing. Lilly is pissed off that her posh cocktail party has turned into a mad rave. Amber has run off with someone else. Freddie runs down to the lake for a skinny dip. It’s January. Ian and Adam end up staying and having a good time. They arrive home in high spirits and for the first time since the split, go to bed together.

    Uptight Rob is being asked for figures about a proposal for a broiler unit. He sounds very nervous.

    Kirsty is ambushed by desperate Tracey, wanting to pass a message for the non-communicative Roy. Tracey decides to help Roy and tells her that Roy isn’t interested. Tracey is immediately suspicious and gives Kirsty both barrels. “You are trying to break me and Roy up.” “ There is no Roy and you.” Tracey suggests that Kirsty is trying to keep Roy for herself and then calls her fat.

    Elizabeth arrives back at Lower Loxely the day after the party and the twins are all innocent. Elizabeth isn’t stupid – she notices that the entire house is spotless. She then finds some empty beer cans outside and has noticed that the security CCTV camera system showed no activity for five hours. She quizzes the kids closely, but the angelic children get away with it.

    Justin and the Dark Lord meet about the broiler unit, late of Friday afternoon. Rob is trying to get away so he can get away and meet Stefan. He squirms and keeps making excuses to try and leave. Justin finally puts him out of him misery and tells him that he knows that he’s is off to meet Stefan why and that he knows about Rob’s hand in drowning the village. There then seem to be three stages to Rob’s reaction to this. Firstly, he starts mewling on about trying to protect the business. Justin will have none of this - “You’ve made a complete hash of it.” “I thought you appreciated loyalty.” Secondly, Rob starts begging – trying to save his job. Then he works out that Lillian overhead his meeting with Stefan and that he can’t worm out of this one. The Evil One’s true colours appear and, using his special ‘serpent’ voice, starts slagging off “women in that family.” The smell of sulphur fills the office and Justin sacks him, promising to make sure that Rob won’t work anywhere Agribusiness once he’s spread the word. “You’re finished here, Rob – for good.”


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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