The Evil One has enlisted the help of the Pyrex Kid in the shop, stocking the yoghurts. Rob uses the time to drip poison into Pat’s ear about Helen’s refusal to take her anti-depressants. Pat invites them for Easter dinner and Rob turns them down. Alf turns up to defuse the situation. Pat then wants to throw a tea party for Cruella’s farewell (finally), which Rob agrees to.

    Elizabeth calls a very hung-over Lillian, having worked out that Lillian is responsible for nominating her as Borchester Businesswoman of the Year. She’s thrilled and Lillian wants to take her out to the Bull for lunch. “Hair of the dog, darling.” At lunch, Lillian is buoyant as she’s managed to flog one of her rental properties and they’re both singing the praises of Wayne’s cooking. At the bar, creepy Alf fires heavily into Lillian.

    Back at Blossom Hill, Rob tries to interest Henry in attending the grim Dotheboys Hall that Rob went to. He sells it well and the Test Tube Child sounds enthusiastic and is sworn to secrecy about telling Helen.

    At Brookfield, David talks about farming stuff with Johnny whilst watching Bert plow. Ruth is at the shop with Rex, the sensible one of the Fairbrother Brothers, buying Easter eggs. Later, Toby and Rex find the Mobile Automatic Egg House in flames. The Fairbrother Brothers are devastated. There are a hundred hens turning up tomorrow and nowhere to put them. “Somebody must have started the fire.” But who? And why? Toby wants the hen delivery to go ahead and move them into the caravan that they are living in and move into a tent. Determined young man.

    Bert is at Carol’s, knackered as he’s been up all night knocking up temporary nesting boxes to house the Faribrother’s burnt-out flock in the caravan. PC Burns comes to the conclusion that the Hen House fire was arson. The hens arrive and are installed in the modified caravan. The brothers lean heavily on David put them up. David avoids the issue by suggesting Abridge Hall. They can’t afford it, so the tent it is. David runs Bert home and is invited in for tea and Mrs. Tregorran’s fruit loaf. He can’t as Ruth as a problem with the blower.

    Carol and Kathy are sorting out huge amounts of ratty costumes at the Village Hall, having been transferred from Lynda’s attic. There’s a lot of joshing, before they settle down to slag of La Snell and her dictatorial dictats.

    At breakfast, Clarrie is proud of Ed’s competence certificate in operating some sprayer machinery like he’s got a First from Cambridge and cooking endless sausages for Alf. Alf volunteers to come to church with her. Clarrie feels that Alf is “a changed man.”

    Lynda in totally stressed about her Flood Memorial Garden plans and Eddie does his best to placate her. She feels the weight of the whole village’s expectations. “I now know how the druids felt when planning Stonehenge.” “Steady on.” This stress in thrown into high gear when she finds that Bret is going to open HIS garden at the same time she is.

    Kirsty corners Helen outside the shop. “Helen, I’m worried about you.” She manages to escape when Lynda turns up, now stressed about the Pageant as well as the garden. Later, Kirsty tries again and Helen again tries to fob her off. Kirsty is still horrified that Rob hit her and tells Helen that she rung the Women’s Helpline on her behalf. Helen is furious that Kirsty has broken her confidence, but Kirtsy is unbowed in her concern - “The way Rob is behaving is dangerous.” “All couples have their ups and downs.” Kirsty makes her take the Helpline number.

    Eddie has installed a ‘wood burner’ in Lynda’s Shepherd’s Hut and it doesn’t work. Once Ed comes home, Eddie takes him out the have a look. Clarrie finds that twenty pounds has gone from her purse…

    At the doctor’s, Helen is again advised against a home birth. She is deemed ‘high risk’ after her previous C-section, and is “strongly advised” to come to hospital. The Dark Lord materialises to pick her up. Helen doesn’t sound too pleased to see him.

    At Pat’s tea party for Cruella, Henry tells Helen “I hate you, you’re going to send me away.” The party is a bit frosty after that. Cruella is critical of the school until Helen finds out about Rob’s Boarding School plans and screams and shouts about Rob. “If he takes Henry away from me, I’ll kill him.” She steals Cruella’s car keys and races off to confront the Evil One, hotly tailed by Cruella and Pat. Helen is furious and livid with Rob. Rob tries to lie his way out of it (as does Cruella in the car with Pat), making the Boarding School idea seem like a vague plan, rather than a done deal. “Your erratic behaviour is putting our baby at risk.” “Sorry Rob.” “Sit down and take some time to think about the damage you have caused.”

    Lynda makes a beeline for (Bert’s Cottage) to find out what he’s up to garden-wise. She finds out that the Fairbother Brothers are staying with him. She tries to persuade Bert to change his date for his grand garden opening. He digs his heels in firmly.

    Alf accompanies Clarrie to Easter service at St. Stephen’s. “Forgive and forget, that’s the key,” is the message Alf gets from the sermon. Clarrie confronts him about the nicked twenty pounds. “I took that money and I’m ashamed.” He promises not to do it again and he promises not to tell the family. They both agree to start again with a clean slate

    “Mummy hasn’t been very well recently,” explains Helen to the Pyrex One, who is still worried about being sent away. She promises that this won’t happen. “Don’t worry Mummy, I’ll look after you.” Later, Rob takes Henry off to Pat and Tony’s. Helen calls the hospital and changes her mind about the home birth. Rob returns and snatches her car keys. “I need to protect you from yourself.” He leaves and she immediately calls Kirsty’s Helpline. “Is it safe for you to talk?” says sensible-sounding Anita. Helen has difficulty explaining what has been happening, but Anita has been down this road before. “Has he ever hurt you physically?” “Just once.” She then tells her about the marital rape. “None of this is your fault.” She loses her nerve and cuts the call short just has the Dark Lord returns. Although less than coherent on the phone, you get the feeling that she has finally started to realise that her dream has begun to crumble and how manipulative and controlling the Evil One actually is. She actaully stands up to him a bit. “Have you started supper?” “Why don’t you make it.” The (small) fightback has started…


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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