A jittery, unsettled week in Ambridge starts with Henry’s weekly visit to Bridge Farm. The remaining occupants of the farm seem to have settled in to the routine of his visits pretty well, but meanwhile at the prison, Helen has taken a mental turn for the worse. The hoped-for move to the Mother and Baby Unit has unsettled her and she’s back to being fractured and stressed. “I can’t believe this is happening to me. How did I get here?” Patient Anna (working on a Sunday) tires to get her to focus again.

    Once the Synthetic Child is back in the clutches of the Blossom Hill mob, Tom calls a family pow-pow at Bridge Farm. They can’t go on as they are – something has to give and Tom has decided that in terms of work to profit, it’s the pigs that have to go if they can ever manage to re-open the shop. Johnny is upset by the idea.

    Back in prison, Anna asks Helen about the baby. “ Are you looking forward to meeting him?” “No, not really,” replies Helen. Ominous. Helen has to decide on a birth partner – someone outside the prison who can be with her when the baby comes. She wants her mum – impossible as she’s a witness for Helen’s prosecution.

    “The dry matter yield’s pretty good this year,” opines Deep Pip having been given a line from the Agricultural Story Editor. Johnny arrives at Brookfield as Tom has generously offered his labour to David after the helping hand he gave Bridge Farm last week. Ruth and David drone on about silage, but Johnny’s focus is still on the impending loss of the Bridge Farm pigs. At Bridge Farm, rock-solid Peggy tries to calm a troubled Pat, worried about Helen (who has now been moved to the Mother and Baby Unit) and the fact that she is barred from being her birth partner. Peggy has decided to head up to the Unit with Tony. He tries to talk her out of it, but “I have made a decision,” says Peggy. So it’s now set in stone.

    Once the pigs have been sold, Tom will consider opening the shop. Johnny has a final try with Tom to try and get Jazzer back and a shot at getting Tom to enter the Food and Farming Awards. Tom snaps back – it’s a big no to both ideas.

    Tom and Johnny have hit the Bull for lunch. Jolene seems to have invented a girlfriend for Wayne to try and calm down Kenton’s little green-eyed monster. Adam joins them and then Jazzer walks in. “I’ll take my lunch outside please, Jolene,” sniffs Tom and stalks out. Johnny tells Jazzer about the sale of the pigs. “My girls?!?” Johnny tries to persuade him to go and speak to Tom. He’s too stubborn and dare I say pig-headed and Johnny is crestfallen.

    “I miss her. I want to be with her. I wish she wasn’t so far away,” moans on Pat and remembers all about the birth of Helen (a breech). “All her life, I’ve been letting her down.” We can’t blame Pat for not noticing “something dark going on at Blossom Hill” (Kirsty’s words) as she was very skilfully manipulated by the Dark Lord and his ‘loving concern’.

    MR is making sandwiches for George and Kiera – it’s coming up for MR and Ed’s first wedding anniversary. Clarrie wants to have a ‘bit of a do’ on Sunday for them. Because of the success of Ed’s Elven Glades in the Millennium/Aldridge Woods, Eddie and Jo have bought a load of Elf tat and are flogging it at market, complete with green capes and false ears. Classic Grundy.

    Lillian and Jennifer are on their way to tea at Fallon’s café and to talk about the catering for the party. Jennifer is very stressed about her anniversary party. “Brian has invited half the county.” And also about her ninety two year old mother travelling all that way to see Helen. When they get to the café, Fallon’s not there, but MR is prepared for them and has lots of samples for them to try. After, they go for a walk and consider Fallon and MR’s efforts a ‘work in progress’.

    Very early in the morning, Tom catches Johnny trying to sneakily enter Tom’s scotch eggs in the Food and Farming Awards – or so he thinks. He shuts him down. Later, he finds out that Saint Johnny was actually entering Helen’s Borchester Blue. Awww.

    Peggy and Tony and staying in a shitty hotel (complete with muzak), close to Helen’s mother and baby unit. Peggy is being a rock as Tony has begun fretting as much as Pat. Back at Bridge Farm, Kirsty and Tom are fretting, too. “I could tell right away that she wasn’t herself.” Kirsty tells Tom about her call to the helpline and coersive control and the burner mobile. Tom promises to tell Anna.

    Deep Pip and Ruth are milking. Pip is all excited about Hunky Mathew arriving this evening. Later, she turns up at Bert’s to see Toby. He’s making a film about the eggs with a drone. Bert is impressed with the photographs from the drone, apart from showing up his bald spot. The filming doesn’t go well as Toby wants to do some sneaky filming of a rival egg producer and Pip doesn’t agree. She is upset by Toby’s underhand methods and then further upset as she is ditched over the phone by Hunky Mathew. Always on the cards, Pip. IF Toby hadn’t cocked things up with his guerrilla film making antics, he would now be perfectly poised to pounce. Bad timing.

    Anna is visiting Helen. She’s now overdue on her birth date. She’s a little more settled – there’s a garden and no locks on the doors. “I’m glad I’ll be having a boy, it will be easier to give it away.” Dark, Helen, very dark. Anna swings the fractured chat round to talk of Cruella and the Dark Lord. She mentions the helpline and the burner phone and Kirsty and Ian and Rob’s displeasure in Helen seeing her friends. Anna is patient and tries to tease out the truth. Helen manages to avoid the topic in the most dramatic fashion possible – her waters break.


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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