The week begins with Em and Ed preparing a picnic to ‘enjoy’ with High Tension Nic, Horrible George, the other brats and assorted Grundys. There’s sandwiches, cake and juice boxes. They sound pretty excited about the nuptials. “Everyone’s happy for us.” “Not everyone, I don’t think Will will turn up at the stag.”

    Meanwhile, over at Greenwood Cottage, William can’t find his binoculars. Nic sounds like her usual relaxed self – like a violin string wound to breaking point. She has a wee go at trying to persuade Will to stand best man for Ed. No dice. “You’ve got to get over this, Will.” She tries to get him to come to the picnic.

    The picnic is at the cricket match against Paxley. Will is playing. Joe eats all the sandwiches. The Grundys as cricket fans is a bit of a stretch. They are even looking forward to next week’s single wicket.

    Jennifer is visiting David about the village accounts of the Flood. She tells David that there’s a mole at Berrow Farm, called Stefan, who wants to meet at a coffee shop in Borchester on Tuesday morning. Intriguing. “All this secrecy has made me uneasy,” says Jennifer and wants David to come.

    Back at the cricket, William has hit a four. “I have to admit, he’s playing well,” says Ed, grudgingly. Will comes off the pitch and even Ed congratulates him. Things are thawing a bit.

    It’s dawn on the Green, and arch-birder-rivals Robert and Jim meet at the start of the thrilling bird competition.

    At the shop, Deep Pip meets Rex Fairbrother (the brother she doesn’t fancy). She passes on some info about some land he might want to rent now the Ed deal has fallen though. She wants them to come to the Young Farmers. Mainly, Toby – although Rex hints that his brother is a bit of a player when it comes to the ladies.

    William is helping Robert on the birding competition. Joe corners him and asks him to change his mind about being Ed’s best man. “I’m sorry, but you’re wasting your time.” “You’re a good boy. William,” begs Joe, but to no avail. William is stubborn.

    Jim and Robert meet by chance during the frenzy of the birding competition. Jim is getting a load of texts. It turns out Lynda is scoring for the competition. The Brampton Buzzards are in the lead. Whoever they are. It’s very tense – as any high-stakes competition must be.

    Joe shows Emma Bartleby’s decorated trap. “I’ve put fresh straw down.” There is still some concern about Clarrie’s outfit. He shares his desire to reunite the batting brothers at the wedding. “There both as bad as each other,” sighs Em.

    The white heat finale of the birding competition ends at a sewage works in the gathering dusk. Jim and Robert clash again –they have both arrived together. Jim has lost Kenton as his driver and has pulled out the “trusty Riley”. This is the first mention of the car since the flood – I am so pleased is survived, but I can’t see how it did as Jim was flooded out.

    Deep Pip turns up at the Bull to meet a fairly cold Jolene. She wants the Bull to run the bar at the next Young Farmers’ Social. “We’d love to.” This might help heal the rift between Ambridge’s other battling brothers. The result of the birding competition comes up, someone else won, but Robert and Jim came equal together.

    At the secret meeting at the bad coffee shop in Borchester, Jennifer and David meet Stefan, the Deep Throat from Berrow Farm. He swears them both to anonymity. He tells them that he saw Rob block one of the culverts with black plastic and corrugated sheeting just at the start of the heavy rain “Someone could have died.” He leaves quickly. It looks like the Evil One was trying to divert flood water away from the Megadairy… Detectives David and Jennifer discuss it after Stefan leaves. Was Rob doing the dirty deed on Charlie’s orders? David resolves to question Charlie.

    Jolene bumps into Ruth at the shop. It doesn’t go well. “I know Kenton thinks David let him down.” “Because he did.” There is no thawing in relations at all. “David betrayed Kenton, and I can’t see him ever forgiving him.”

    Keira is being a brat – Emma hands her over to Helen to play with the Synthetic Child. Emma is still worried about Ed and Will.

    David meets with Charlie and describes the Evil One’s culvert meddling activities. Charlie tells David that this was the culvert he almost drowned in. He doesn’t name Rob, but Charlie isn’t stupid,

    Emma meets with Will, to also try and persuade him to stand best man for Ed. “We all wish you could be best friends.” He’s still prickly, but maybe softening a bit.

    Charlie hauls the Dark Lord in to the office and questions him about the culvert. “You can’t possibly believe that’s true. Some of the locals will do anything to blacken the name of this enterprise.” He tries to stop Charlie’s investigation. “Is this really worth your time?” As Charlie almost died in the culvert, he’s not to be diverted like the culvert. After the meeting, the Evil One heads to the Green to meet Helen and tells her about Charlie and David’s accusations. “What kind of person would take such a stupid risk?” What kind, indeed.

    “I’ve never seen such a beautiful bride, “ coos Susan at Emma’s fitting. “Every stitch done with love.” Fallon turns up with an outfit for Clarrie. Susan and Fallon love it. “This is all going so well, “ beams Emma. Fallon is still worried about the stolen bunting. Did Rob use it to block the culvert? Maybe he used Scruff’s sodden corpse as well.

    Will has finally agreed to stand best man for Ed, but he has refused to go to Ed’s stag at the Bull.

    Because of the missing bunting, Emma’s hen night turns into a sewing bee and everyone beavers away making new bunting over wine before a carry out curry from Hurry Curry.

    Will spends the night working on his speech. “I can do it, but I don’t have to like it.” High Tension Nic ratchets up her pressure a couple of notches and lectures him about his behaviour.

    As the Great Day dawns, Will is with Ed, trying to be friendly. “You’ll be alright, you couldn’t be more nervous than I was when I was marrying Emma. I can see you make her happy – I could never have.” They make up – finally, finally, finally.

    Emma turns up in her trap and does a turn round the Green. After, Will and Emma have a chat. “You look amazing, Em.” “Oh, Will, I’m sorry I put you through all that.” Will is happy with the way things have turned out. “I hurt you.” “Nic healed me.” At last – the Grundys are a full family again. “That’s the best start to my wedding day I could have wished for.”

    The wedding goes very, very well. Tears are shed. Neil makes a good speech. “If there’s a prouder man in Britain, I’d like to meet him.” William makes a funny one – including a ferret anecdote and toasts the groom, instead of the bridesmaids. Clarrie is overcome. “This day has been everything I wanted.” Tom tops the day with a honeymoon as a present.


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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