The Grundy pigs are fattening nicely (what are they going to do if Caroline and Oliver ever turn up again?), but Eddie is still moping about Lynda’s shepherd’s hut and the shiny chimney. “We’ll be lucky to make any profit at all.” And he’s STILL planning on paying back the money taken from the church by his light-fingered brother. Ed tries to encourage him and offers to call Lynda as a mediator (Lynda always had a soft spot for Ed). Ed manages to persuade her to at least take delivery of the hut.

    The Pyrex Kid is missing Helen and the Dark Lord. “When will daddy get better?” He’s made a boat for mummy’s birthday, which upsets Pat and Tony. The Echo hacks are still circling Bridge Farm like ink-stained news vultures.

    Adam and Brian have heard that the Evil One is out of the ECU. Adam mentions Ian’s concern. Yes – what of Ian’s concern? Talk then turns to the dreary cricket team (decimated by recent events). Adam tries out his Mob Grazing presentation on a still-skeptical Brian, the old stick in the mud.

    The shepherd’s hut is finally delivered to Ambridge Hall. Lynda still isn’t sure. “Nice and cozy – the folding bed,” enthuses Eddie about his badly-converted pasting table. To distract her, they talk about the stabbing. “Helen’s always been a bit odd.” Eddie tries to touch Lynda for payment. “It’s unfinished business” – Lynda stays firm.

    Tom and Pat discuss the Synthetic Child and his return to school. Pat is upset and Tom has spotted articles in the papers about Rob’s birthday limo turning up at Blossom Hill. “You’ve made it hard for yourself – sacking Jazzer. Why did you have to be so stupid?” Then we get to the nub of her upset. “Why didn’t she want to see us – even on her birthday. I think we’ve lost her and I don’t think we’ll ever get her back,” sobs Pat.

    Neil is in the Bull, watching a forlorn Jazzer, nursing a solo pint. Homeless and jobless (apart from his milk round). “He’s a natural pig man,” moans Neil. Jim turns up and delivers a lecture about St George to no-one’s great interest, apart from Kenton who wants some stuff for his St George’s Day beano at the pub. Jolene arrives and tells Neil that Josh has been in, promoting Fairbrother eggs. Neil is upset and storms out.

    Pat calls Helen’s barrister, fishing for information about why Helen doesn’t want to see her family. At Helen’s first meeting with Anna Tregorran, she is very concerned about the Pyrex Kid’s welfare. Helen’s mind is still all over the place. ‘No, I can’t do this – no no no no. I’m no good.” The barrister is very patient, trying to get to the facts, but Helen is a crying mess. No real progress is made. Her train of thought is massively de-railed and she keeps changing the subject – concern about Henry, worries about where she’s going to give birth, apologizing, questioning her worth as a mother. She is still no closer to presenting a cogent statement. Anna reports back to Pat about the lack of progress. ‘I’m sure she’ll respond when she’s ready.”

    “No exactly the Ritz,” moans Cruella about Rob’s general ward. The Dark Lord sounds angry and tail-lashy – particularly about his stoma. Cruella tries to calm him. Rob might be out this weekend. He wants to see the Pyrex Kid – soon. “I can’t wait to see his little face again.” And set his story straight against Helen.

    Rex and Deep Pip are admiring the hens. Even Rex has noticed how pissed off Neil is with Josh. Josh has told him he wants to buy out Neil and Hayley and put his hens in with the Fairbrother flock. Pip thinks that Josh’s heavy marketing of the Fairbrother eggs is a plan to drive the price of the Neil business down so he can buy it cheaply. Josh is not Gordon Gekko. Rex and Pip drive over to pick up the mobile freshly-finished mobile egg mobile built by Bert. “We make a good team,” hints Rex.

    Pat and Tony are at the hospital delivering Henry to the Dark Lord’s clutches. They meet. “How are you, Rob?” It’s awkward. Very. “I’m just grateful to be alive.” Pat asks if he has a message for Helen. Doesn’t appear so… Cruella turns up and gives Pat both barrels. “There’s no need for you to come again.” She will deliver the Synthetic Child to Rob’s claws is he wants to see his step-son (and prime witness) again. They beat a hasty retreat, upset and hurt. Pat brings up memories of John and Greg. “I’m not sure I have the strength to do it again.”

    Lynda calls Eddie. ‘It’s collapsed.” The pasting-table fold-down bed has fallen apart, “the first time we used it.” Used it how, Lynda? Eddie and Joe rush round for repairs. “I trusted you to build an authentic piece.” After a day’s work, Lynda seems happy. Eddie suggests bouncing up and down on it to stress-test the new, sturdy daybed. Lynda primly declines.

    Deep Pip meets Tom for lunch, all sympathetic about his sister’s plight. Then Pip tries to rope him into her grazing experiment. “It’s so nice to talk about something else.” Even dreary pasture systems.

    Lillian is cooing over Justin – he’s moved into the Dower House and Lillian is thrilled. Brian isn’t so pleased –especially about the fact that as the Dower House is rented out, Lillian will be a continuing wine-guzzling presence at Home Farm.

    After the BL board meeting, Lillian whisks Justin off to Underwood’s - furniture shopping for the Dower House. They jump up and down on a bed – Lillian giggles a great deal. I think she’s very keen on (rich and powerful) Justin. She tries to persuade Justin to plug the Alf Grundy-sized hole in the Village Hall curtain fund.

    Lizzie calls David, finalizing plans for her 49th. birthday meal. Will the good doctor be there? No. It’s a fully quorate Archer evening – even Jolene and Kenton are there. Liz toasts “absent friends” and they toast the queen.

    Jazzer is moaning about the St George’s flags everywhere in the Bull. “You had Burns Night, didn’t you?” counters Kenton. Eddie turns up, dog tired from Lynda’s hut work. Kenton’s St George’s Day costumes are delivered – Jolene (and not surprisingly Jazzer) refuse to wear the dragon costume. Joelene wears the chain-mail and Kenton has to wear the green scales. Jolene teases him mercilessly.

    DS Truly Madley Deeply meets the Dark Lord to discuss Helen. “She’d been acting strangely for a long time.” He slowly drips poison into the DS’s ear. “She’s a danger to everyone – especially Henry.” The hot bath incident is mentioned. He’s just awful. He also tries to turn the cop against Kirsty, hinting heavily at a Sapphic relationship ‘twixt Helen and Kirsty. He makes out that is was he who was isolated and alone – “I was surrounded by her family.” We don’t get to hear his take on the Events in Question. The detective actually sounds reasonably balanced and maybe, hopefully, slightly cynical. The Evil One even manages to squeeze out a few tears. ‘What did I ever do to her – all I did was love her.” Wow, he’s so good at being so bad.


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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