By Campbell Mitchell, Jan 15 2017 11:43AM
We begin the week looking for rusks. Helen is taking Jack to the Contact Centre for the first time. Tom has is own concerns, but is worried about Helen bumping into the Dark Lord.
Susan is still having trouble deciding on her family photo. Tracey has come over to help. Then she heads to the Bull to stalk Roy.
Helen arrives at the centre with Tom in tow. After Jack heads off, Tom tells Helen about the Kirsty pregnancy – and it’s his kid. As neither of Helen’s sprogs were conceived as the result of consensual sex, I’m not sure that she’s the best person to ask advice from. To be fair, Helen is as outraged by Tom’s thoughtless proposal of marriage as Kirsty was.
Meanwhile, at the Bull, Johnny is telling Roy that he has noticed how ‘different’ Tom has been. Tracey arrives and makes a beeline for Roy. Johnny runs to the bar, leaving the lovebirds together. Tracey says she wants “seconds”, but “we need to get to know each other better.” Tracey asks him back to Susan’s for lunch and that’s enough to scare him off.
Tom and Helen are leaving the centre and the Evil One materialises. He wants to give the kids presents. Helen remains strong and gets rid of him, but does take the presents.
At Susan’s lunch, the latest gossip (according to Neville Booth) is that there’s a lurker in the village. Tracey is disappointed about Roy’s exit, but thinks that he’s “shy” and that this makes him “intruiging.” She’s up for the challenge. “I’ll crack him.”
Jill is having tea with Ruth. She has spotted some distant Christmas cards, still up on top of a bookcase. Given Ruth’s housekeeping, they may not be this year’s. Jill is determined to get them down.
Deep Pip unexpectedly visits Rex. Rex is on a major economy drive and is cooking vats of lentil dahl. Pip asks about why he’s short of coin. Rex spills the beans about the allowance he (and Toby) were getting from their Father. “Hang on, your Father has been bank-rolling your business enterprises?” Hopefully, this is another nail in Toby’s coffin. She immediately calls Toby for a good nag. Also, she needs some information for the office at Brookfield and sends him to get it.
At Brookfield, Toby finds Jill precariously on top of a stool, getting down the Christmas cards. “Let me help you with those.” Jill is snooty and refuses help. Then she falls off the stool. Helpful Toby does some instant first aid. He’s almost capable. Jill moans throughout. “I’m perfectly alright now I’m sitting down.” Toby takes her to the Minor Injures Unit. Maybe this might begin the thaw…
Pip is still concerned about Rex living on endless dahl. She wants to speak to David about getting them a “little rent holiday” for Hollowtree. Rex isn’t sure.
Pip and Ruth turn up at the hospital to see Jill. Jill is made to grudgingly thank Toby.
At Bridge Farm, Helen is making a birthday afternoon tea for Pat. She talks to Tom about Kirsty again. Self-centred Helen is a little put out that Kirsty hasn’t told her about the pregnancy. Tom swears her to secrecy, but Helen decides that she wants a “catch-up” with Helen. Kirsty is also coming to Pat’s birthday tea.
Out of the blue, lover-boy Justin calls pining Lillian, all business-like. He’s in Ambridge and wants to see her to “go through my diary.”
At the tea, Pat is very happy with Kirsty, playing with Jack. Pat is taken off to see the Pyrex Kid, leaving Kirsty with Tom. It’s stilted. Very. The rest of the birthday tea goes very well and Pat makes a wee speech, thanking everyone, especially Kirsty. As Kirsty leaves, Helen grabs her and plans a lunch.
Lillian turns up to meet with Justin. Miranda is, surprisingly, there. She wants to give Lillian a “helping hand”, and thinks that she has been “taking too much on.” Hasn’t she just. Miranda has severely curtailed Justin’s future social engagements. “I know you’d see that this was the best way forward…for all of us.” It’s all so very English – polite and business-like on top and raging, bloody war underneath.
Brian meets Adam over a recording of some sheep – he’s knocked the land price down to two and a half million and is bucked. Adam doesn’t really care until Brian mentions that the money he’s saved on the land could be used to keep the herbal lays experiment going. Adam is thrilled. “I can’t wait to tell Pip the good news.”
Pip is with Toby, talking about the Fairbrother Father turning off the money faucet. She is also now concerned about her ‘investment’ in his gin business. Adam calls with the good news about the herbal lay thing. Toby uses this news to distract Pip about the money. He opens some fizz. David turns up and thanks Toby for saving Jill and also apologises for how ungracious and grumpy she was. Big man, David. It turns out, the whole Archer clan have been showering Toby with gifts – pints at the Bull, potted plants.
Helen and Kirsty meet for lunch at Grey Gables, Helen’s treat. Helen fills her in on the non-contested divorce news and how close she is to getting The Evil One out of her life completely. ‘Anyway, enough about me – what about you?’ Roy drops over for a chat at the wrong moment and the girls tease him about Tracey. At the end of lunch, Helen confesses that she knows Kirsty is pregnant. Kirsty is angry – “I just want to be left on my own.” And then she storms out.
At the Bull, Slow Freddie is hiding. He got a ‘d’ at his maths re-sit. He knows Lilly will rub it in. Johnny tries to console him and doesn’t get very far – “you’re dyslexic, I’m just thick.” Lilly turns up and scolds him. Lilly is beginning to sound exactly like Elizabeth. Elizabeth is heading to London for a wedding fare for a couple of days, and Lilly wants to organise a huge party at Lower Loxley whilst she’s away. “This will be the best party that Lower Loxeley has even seen.”
Jennifer is cooking with mopey Lillian, upset that Miranda has ruined her fun. Jennifer feels that the outcome was “horribly predictable.”
Justin drops in on the Evil One, asking for the outside contractors report he wanted. He hasn’t done it, focussing on his divorce instead. Justin makes him ring round late on a Friday afternoon.
Brian and Jennifer are hosting a drinks party, celebrating the land deal. Brian is very, very happy and expansive. Lillian appears in full war-dress and full of beans. She is on fighting form. Brian and Jennifer keep trying to remove Miranda from the room. They finally succeed, leaving our star-crossed lovers alone. “Miranda’s been watching me like a hawk.” “I thought we were finished.” “Of course not. I’ve missed you so much.” They kiss, furtively.
Rob is finally home…and bumps into Stefan. Stefan! He’s back! The flood witness! “I paid you to leave the country,” says Rob. Stefan makes The Dark Lord go to a pub. “Why are you here, Stefan?” “I’m only looking for a helping hand.” He wants more money. Rob refuses and Stefan mentions that there are some people “Justin Elliot…the Police…” that might be interested in hearing what he had to say. Blackmail is such an ugly word. At least he’s alive – I was worried that the Evil One had done him in post-flood. This could be the beginning of the end…