OctoberNovember

Monday 5th October, 2020

Fallon has suffered a loss; Ben and Jill make a find.

Fallon and Alice meet at Fallon’s house, though Fallon is distracted: the winning scratch-card, worth £1,000, has gone missing, and Fallon has just found out it was Johnny’s.

Ben is happy about his Gran’s party (which was apparently lovely, with all the family together) and he and Jill discuss it, while she gives him tips about cake-making. Jill has been going through the photos she was given; her enthusiasm for her new cake-mixer is a bit muted, since she was happy with her old one.

Fallon is being advised by Alice to talk with Harrison about not wanting children, as a priority. Fallon is scared it may change her relationship with Harrison. Alice tries to lie, but eventually tells Fallon she is pregnant; Fallon is enthusiastic but is sworn to secrecy. Alice allows her anxiety (“you feel overwhelmed”, says Fallon) to show. Fallon promises not to let her become a boring “mummy” who bangs on about babies. Fallon faces up to having lost the scratch-card, and agrees to face up to telling Harrison she doesn’t want children.

Jill is reminiscing about being eighteen, when she felt she was about to start on her life of adventure. Ben tells her she is still adventurous even though she’s been past it for years (he’s clearly joking), and she ought to keep on as she has been. Then he tells her not to make him a lemon drizzle cake, because he is taking her out somewhere.

During her searching, Fallon has found a beautiful dress which doesn't fit her; she gives it to Alice, for her to wear when they go out on the town after she’s had the baby. Alice goes on telling her to talk with Harrison. Fallon has confessed about having lost the scratch-card to Johnny, who was lovely about it: he said that he didn’t have a grand this morning, and he still doesn’t have one now. Alice turns down an invitation to go out to The Bull with Fallon in the evening, because she will be baby-sitting Xander. She likes doing this and hopes she has one just like him.

Ben has taken Jill in his car to a place where they can stand in a ploughed field that overlooks Brookfield, and they talk about his experience of university. He is finding remote learning disappointing, given his expectations of the start of university life, Freshers’ Week in particular. Then Jill notices some tarnished coins under his feet. May be treasure, she says.

Characters: Fallon, Alice, Ben, Jill
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman
Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 6th October, 2020

Alice is worried about FAS. Jill and Ben are excited about their find.

Chris and Alice talk about babysitting Xander last night, and discuss their own impending parenthood "in six months' time". They will be having an online appointment with a midwife in —oops, two minutes. "Bang on twelve weeks" says the midwife, going by the date of Alice's last period. Alice is to be booked in at once to have a scan, at which appointment she will also give blood and urine samples and collect paperwork.

The coins found by Ben and Jill seem to be silver and gold, and Jill suggests consulting an expert, like the one who studied the skull found in the Millennium Wood some years ago. Jennifer got someone from the university: perhaps Ben could do the same.

The midwife asks Alice about her having collapsed and been taken to hospital. She lies, claiming dehydration as the sole cause; Chris suggests that pregnant women often collapse. Then the midwife asks how much alcohol per week Alice generally drinks; Alice lies again, and says about 14 units a week before she knew she was pregnant, none now. Alice asks if it is at all ok to drink, and the midwife mentions FAS and utters dire warnings about excessive drinking and what it does. (A Public Service Announcement read out.) Alice asks if she would be able to reverse any effects drinking before she knew she was pregnant might have had; the answer is no. Alice asks if she might have harmed it before. No no don't worry, is the previously alarmist midwife's reply. Just stop completely from now on. The midwife asks if Alice is ok; Alice lies.

Ben has had replies to his request for help about their coins on the university board, from archaeology students, and from someone who is actually an expert. Also a second year, Evie, wants to use Brookfield for her field-work. She wants to friend him and she wants more photographs. Of coins, Ben adds as Jill snorts.

Chris brings Alice a decaff coffee and says that the midwife was deliberately scaring her and he ought to complain about it, then mentions a bottle of vodka a day as "worst case" so she needn't worry about having drunk less than that. Alice admits to having broken the pact with a glass of wine at Gran's ages ago, and also with Fallon; she does not mention the rest of her drinking.

Jill remembers Eddie's metal detector, which he brought down to Brookfield once, and thinks it might be worth borrowing it. Jill and Ben agree that David pooh-poohing it all is because, being a farmer, he is risk-averse. Apparently Tony found a Roman coin on Brookfield land some time in the late sixties. Ben admits to being excited.

Alice is looking on the internet for cases of drinking in pregnancy and the baby being ok. She finds plenty of reassuring tales of excess that was followed by 'perfect' babies. Even so, Alice is going to drink no alcohol at all for the rest of her pregnancy; Christopher will do the same. She is reassured by what she has found on the internet, and grateful about the pact.

Characters: Alice, Chris, Jill, Ben, Midwife
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 7th October, 2020

Alistair disapproves of Jazzer's plans, and Ruth disapproves of Ben's plans.

Jazzer is trying to get Alistair to join him in sampling his home-brew; Alistair is doing some chores, including a wash, and doesn't feel like stopping for a drink. He's had a bad day: one of his hands has been caught in a cattle crush and the other is throbbing from having been bitten by a Pomeranian. Jazzer insists that Alistair must try the home-brew.

Ben and Freddie are discussing the coins, and all the answers about them Ben has had from Evie and others. Freddie says that all this history stuff is boring; Ben says it's not boring, he is interested in Ambridge history and so is Evie. Freddie asks about Chloe, talking about history, and Ben strikes back about Elizabeth's love-life in a way which suggests her online dating activities are common knowledge in some quarters. Then Ben starts to talk about perhaps organising a field-walk and some digging at Brookfield, with Evie and her friends.

Jazzer tells Alistair Jim has objected to the noise they are making; Alistair is clearly a little the worse for wear after having some "surprisingly drinkable" home-brew, and so is Jazzer. As Jazzer is putting his dirty laundry into the washing machine Alistair notices a scratch-card on the floor, already scratched off -- it has four lucky clovers on it. When he realises that it is a winning card Jazzer tries to claim it, but Alistair knows it's not his.

Freddie offers Ben the chance to stay to dinner, presumably at Lower Loxley, but Ben declines; he goes on suggesting that Freddie ought to come on the field-walk . Freddie says ok, then, but he wants fifty percent of anything they find. And if it rains he's out of it.

Jazzer starts to talk about how he will spend the money from the scratch-card: after a holiday, first choice seems to be some kind of wild-life to be company for Webster. Alistair says it's someone else's scratch-card and he should take it to the police. Jazzer pretends it might be his; he claims to have had black-outs and that he might have got it without knowing that he had, like that traffic-cone.

Ruth forbids the field-walk, which would be on Marneys and the other field beside it that has been recently ploughed. She doesn't want trenches in her fields; she wants to drill them at once and get new leys established, because they are running late already. The archaeological interest would be more trouble than it's worth. Ben thinks they could be sitting on millions, while Ruth thinks the schedule of the farm will be put off-kilter. She wants to know when it would happen. Ben takes this as permission to get things moving.

Jazzer comes in and tells Alistair he's sorry. He wasn't thinking about Alistair's gambling problem. Alistair says that wasn't why he was disapproving; it was because he is convinced someone must have lost the card and keeping it is simply wrong. Jazzer ignores that, and says he is going to buy something for an investment. More bike-leathers.

Ben comes to tell Ruth that he has chased up the university expert, who thinks the coins are Anglo-Saxon. He has already told Jill, who is very excited. They now have to deal with the Treasure Act, report the find to the coroner, and get a valuation. Ruth says, "I guess this changes things," and tells Ben they must keep it in the family, only people living at Brookfield, and tell absolutely nobody else. Ben seems to concur but doesn't admit to having told Freddie about the find already.

Characters: Jazzer, Alistair, Ben, Freddie, Ruth
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe

Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 8th October, 2020

Susan spills the beans, and Jazzer does the right thing.

Susan is really pleased about Alice's pregnancy; Chris has told her. Chris is being delighted as well. Alice will be telling her mother, but Chris is not going to tell Emma. He doesn't want anything to do with her after how she treated Alice. Susan is planning to tell everyone, starting with Emma and Clarrie.

Jazzer is buying up all the cakes in the tearoom, and tries to tell Fallon that he is going to buy himself leathers with a windfall, but she is preoccupied and not really listening. She tells him about Johnny's winning scratch-card having been lost by Harrison and that she is giving Johnny free teas to make up for it, and goes off with a cuppa for him to the other side of the yard. Jazzer is gobsmacked.

Jennifer is in the car on her way home from the hairdresser and is listening to Susan's programme, in which Susan tells the world about the baby. Jennifer is not happy, calling Susan an insufferable woman. She then goes to tear Susan off a strip, and they have a row. Jennifer says that giving Susan a microphone is like giving matches to an arsonist, and suggests she should learn to keep her mouth shut. Susan says she regrets having opened it, but Jennifer is not placated. She then tries to repair the damage by complimenting Jennifer on her new hair-do, but Jennifer is utterly furious, calling her a shock-jock, which offends Susan.

Jazzer telephones Alistair for advice about what to do. Alistair makes it very clear he still doesn't think Jazzer should keep the card, and argues Johnny's case. Jazzer wants to buy leather gear to impress a girl who rides a bike; Alistair points out to him how bad Fallon must be feeling, and wonders that Jazzer is not thinking about that.

Susan is feeling flattered that Jennifer listens to her programme, and butters up Jennifer as hard as she can. Jennifer is not happy with her, though delighted about the baby. Susan says it was just a mix-up and apologises yet again. Jennifer bursts into tears.

Jazzer owns up to Fallon about the scratch-card. Fallon is hugely relieved that it is found, and doesn't for a moment credit that Jazzer would have kept it. He asks her for a favour: a meal for him and his girl at the tea-room. Fallon gives him a meal-voucher and tells him not to lose it the way the scratch-card has kept being lost.

Susan comforts Jennifer with tea and tissues. Jennifer tells Susan how awful and worrying it was for her while Lexi was pregnant and she feared that Lexi would keep the baby and not come back to England; she over-reacted because of that, and ends up thanking Susan for listening to her and understanding. They decide not to interfere in the pregnancy and to support each other. Jennifer is looking forward to things being far less complicated this time.

Characters: Chris, Susan, Jazzer, Fallon, Jennifer, Alistair
Credited scriptwriters for the week: Sarah McDonald Hughes & Daniel Thurman

Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy Howe

Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 12th October, 2020

Machinations are under way at Brookfield and Beechwood.

Philip comes home unexpectedly and finds Kirsty looking at a gambling clinic online. Philip says that's not necessary. She persists and says she cares about Gavin, and also about the effect his behaviour is having on Philip and has been for months. She is relieved to know what the matter really is. She assumes the gambling came to a head because of Grey Gables. Philip claims he has been protecting Gavin; Kirsty says she knew he was keeping secrets from her and it might have done great damage to their relationship. She is sure that she knows better than Philip does about this. She ominously says they can sort it out.

David answers the phone to Vince Casey. David immediately starts telling Vince that he wants the Borchester abattoir up and running again, but Vince says that's not what he rang about: he is in the area and wants to come over and see David.

Kirsty has called in Alistair. Although Philip voices some misgivings Kirsty insists Alastair is welcome and needed. Alastair maintains that he is happy to help: after all, he and Philip are "brothers of the pantomime horse". And he wants to repay his debt to the people who helped him deal with his own gambling.

Vince turns up at Brookfield. He spins an obvious lie about his daughter now wanting to go elsewhere for a no-fuss wedding; Vince thinks she'll regret that decision. But he says it will take another reduction to change her mind. The old price is not sitting well with her newly-discovered frugality.

Philip tells Alistair and Kirsty that that Gamblers Anonymous wouldn't suit Gavin. Alistair says it saved his marriage. Alastair talks about living a lie and asks Philip if he can imagine how awful it feels; Philip says no, he can't. Alistair talks about lying to his loved one Shula and how terrible that felt (this whole conversation oozed conscious irony). Philip says Gavin knows what's true and doesn't tell lies. Alistair offers to talk with Gavin. Kirsty is relieved; Philip rather less so.

David doesn't offer a low enough price to suit Vince, but says that's as low as it gets, and he's not prepared to give blood or body parts to keep the booking. Vince annoys David by mentioning rumours about the value of the coins, which David firmly says are nonsense since they are not "doubloons" but a few coins of historical interest and no more, and then Vince takes his leave saying that he will try to talk his daughter round.

Philip tells Gavin he has got to go and talk with Alistair; if nothing else, he might pick up some tips on how to portray himself convincingly as a gambler. Gavin absolutely doesn't want to do it, but Philip points out that her belief that Gavin has been gambling is the thing that has been making Kirsty stop looking for the real reason Gavin and Philip have been so tense. Philip says he has seen a way out for them, but Gavin has to start by calling Alistair Lloyd and arranging to talk with him.

Characters: Kirsty, Philip, David, Vince, Alistair, Gavin
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 13th October, 2020

Vince Casey and Elizabeth visit Brookfield and Kate visits Alice.

David is grumbling about Vince's lies and an additional 10% discount he's had to offer. Elizabeth tells him it's just business, and suggests to him that having an actual wedding booked for 2021 is a big deal. She's pleased that Lily is organising Halloween for her. Elizabeth then says that David will be fine anyway since he is sitting on a hoard of coins, which annoys David a fair amount, especially when she tells him that she knows about them from Freddie, who had it from Ben.

Alice is not all that grateful for some special green tea Kate has brought for her. Kate proceeds to give Alice a pep talk about how everything affects the baby, which doesn't seem to go down particularly well. Kate says it will be the best pregnancy ever and asks what Alice thinks about yoga for pregnancy. Kate is all-knowing about pregnancy of course, and gives her smoothie samples made by one of her friends. One of them is detoxing, to get her off caffeine, apparently.

Vince turns up looking for David and encounters Elizabeth. Before she leaves she and Vince have a short conversation in which he seems strangely interested in Lower Loxley Hall, and apparently also in Elizabeth.

The smoothies are undrinkable, even to Kate. Kate discovers that Emma and Alice are at outs; Alice takes the blame for it and tells Kate about thinking Ed fancied her. Kate sympathises with Alice and says Emma deserved Alice having a go at her, thus making Alice decide that it is clearly all her own fault. Alice admits she is worrying about the baby and bursts into tears.

Vince is giving Brookfield another once-over and Ruth is helpful; he expresses an interest in Lower Loxley, thus turning the screw on David and Ruth, who say when he has gone that he was in a strange mood because he is a strange man. She's had a text from Ben; he is on his way back from Borchester museum, where he has been told that one of the coins is a gold thrymsa and the silver ones are sceattas, both quite rare. And he has arranged for some archaeology students to do a field walk later in the week; Ruth is less than pleased that there will be an influx of students, which they are too busy to cope with. Ben will have to deal with them, and she hopes the whole thing will be kept low-key. The Museum is not going to announce the exact location of the find. They have a quick joke about there being bound to be a girl involved if it is Ben.

Alice is still weeping. She eventually tells to Kate that her body isn't a temple, and that she is afraid it might be a bad body because she hasn't looked after herself properly — she is still not coming clean to anyone about the quantities she had been drinking and the midwife told her a lot of things that have scared her. The midwife, says Kate, will have meant extreme stuff rather than coffee or a glass of wine. Kate gives good advice about not tempting herself by going to coffee-shops or pubs, or buying things she ought not to have. Then she produces chocolate, for "my little sister" who is stressed out.

Characters: David, Elizabeth, Alice, Kate, Vince, Ruth
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 14th October, 2020

Is Emma in the right? Has Gavin seen the light?

Kirsty is reassuring Gavin about meeting up with Alistair, and making much of his doing it. They are going to meet at the Seven Bells pub, which Gavin says is a real dump. She is upset about a robbery at work, and came in to tell Gavin she's sorry she hadn't realised he was fighting an addiction when he was being vile earlier in the year, and so she was nasty back. She praises him to the skies, and he is clearly embarrassed by this. She tells him his dad is proud of him, and that he is one of the good guys.

Alice is preparing to feed her horse Banjo, and trying to to contact Emma, who eventually answers the phone to say that the reason she is not answering the phone is that she doesn't want to hear from Alice. Alice tries to apologise about the message she left on Emma's phone; Emma is not interested. Alice stops Emma from hanging up by saying she wants to put things right "for Chris's sake."

Gavin is late for the meeting with Alistair. He denies being an addict but admits to having a problem with gambling. He answers everything Alistair says in his character as a slave-dealer, which can be heard by Alistair as the answers of a gambler, and admits the lying gets him down. He constantly says he is wasting Alistair's time. Alistair proceeds to give him the benefit of his own experiences with gambling. He talks briefly about the difficulty of growing up without a mother, and the difficulty of pleasing his father.

Alice says she wishes she could withdraw the voicemail. Emma is unimpressed. Emma says she has never liked Alice, and likes her even less after what she said about Ed and about Emma's children; from what she says it seems that she did hear the rest of the message, which she did not play to Susan. She has started to soften slightly, even so, until Alice says something about not wanting a bad atmosphere to hurt the baby, when she decides that it's emotional blackmail by Alice to suggest the baby might be harmed by Emma's unkindness, and warns her that she knows about Alice having been completely hammered ("dehydrated out of your skull") and that she had better not be drinking any more, because whether they are speaking or not, Alice is carrying Chris's baby: if she starts getting wrecked again, she will answer to Emma. Emma hangs up; Alice sobs in shock.

Alistair again complains about always trying to get Jim's approval, and his motherless adolescence; Gavin, whose mother left when he was in his teens, agrees that when you're young, you'd do anything to please your father. Alistair is proud of having made a better job of bringing up Dan. Gavin doesn't think he'll have a family and that his children would be ashamed of him if they found out what he's really like. He says he's a bad person, and yet again talks about his slave-running as if it were gambling. Then he says that he knows things have to change but he doesn't know how. They continue to talk at cross-purposes for a while until Gavin suddenly decides to leave, saying that he knows exactly what he needs to do now.

Characters: Kirsty, Gavin, Alice, Emma, Alistair
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 15th October, 2020

Students arrive at Brookfield; Philip wants to leave Ambridge.

Elizabeth rings Ruth to ask about the students who have arrived at the crack of dawn to do the field-walk: Ruth got Ben out of bed to look after them, and says the person in charge knows a lot and Ruth is impressed by how exciting it all is. Elizabeth says Freddie wants to join them after work. Ruth makes fun of Ben's school-boy crush on Evie. She also offers to give Freddie a health and safety talk for the Panto, since he really will be stepping into Lynda's shoes.

Philip asks Gavin, who is being a sulky schoolboy, for another bag of cement, and tries to be cheerful. Gavin is not interested in his rosy reminiscences of country walks, and camping. He tells Philip it wasn't really like that at all.

Elizabeth arrives at Brookfield with Freddie. Jill is filling in the paperwork about the coins; Ruth is hoping for twenty-first birthday party bookings by the students. And Eddie has wangled his way into it all, with a metal detector. Ruth is being hopeful about their find being perhaps like the Staffordshire hoard.

Gavin remembers the cycling, which he says he hated, and that he was scared by the camping. Philip disputes that and says Gavin always loved it, and Gavin says he lay awake listening to his father snoring. He was afraid of wolves and bears. Near Port Talbot? says Philip; I was young, says Gavin. Gavin points out that everything unpleasant, telling lies to Alistair and living with the horses during lockdown and taking Blake for his hospital appointments, is always put on him while Philip does nothing. Philip says he knows Gavin is taking all the flak but that he is grateful. He says they mustn't fall out, and they have to hang in there.

Elizabeth, who has come to collect Freddie, tells Ben it's a bit late for a coffee-break: the light is going. Ben says despondently that they've found nothing, and that the students talk about nothing but archaeology. Elizabeth suggests he should lay on a few drinks and some music to ease the atmosphere and get them having fun.

Philip comes home and says it's good to relax. Kirsty is composing an email to her bosses about the litter situation being awful, and Philip says he had a dreadful day and there are no more jobs on the horizon. He keeps his prices down, but the explosion is still standing in their way. Philip feels that everything is pointless. Kirsty pokes and prods to get him to tell her why. "When are we going to have some luck, Kirsty? When are we ever going to get a break?" He seems to want to blame all his troubles onto their move to Beechwood, and says they've had no luck since then. She says she's disheartened by the way people behave about the countryside, and she'd love to move to a little cottage somewhere miles from anywhere; he leaps on the idea of moving, back to Wales. He doesn't think he can take being in Ambridge much longer.

Characters: Ruth, Elizabeth, Philip, Gavin, Ben, Kirsty
Writers: Adrian Flynn and Liz John
Director: Julie Beckett
Editor: Jeremy Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 19th October, 2020

Elizabeth has a date, and Philip has plans.

Elizabeth tells Freddie another silver coin has been found at Brookfield; he already knew, because he was there. Lily is talking about her planning for Halloween, Freddie about the naughty milkman pictures on the Bull website. Elizabeth is getting ready to go out and wants suggestions about which scarf to wear. And no, she is not going to take them with her she sees quite enough of the twins as it is. Freddie realises she has a date; Lily is surprised.

Philip is off out to see a client and will be back by eight. He gives Kirsty prospectuses of some cottages to look at while he is out, and when she is puzzled points out that getting a cottage and getting away from it all was her idea; he tells her that this is one dream they can make come true.

Freddie tells Lily he's been working on a panto for Lower Loxley; Lynda has given him DVDs of pantos in the 90s to look at. Lily is more worried whether Elizabeth's date will go wrong. She had no idea Elizabeth had been on a dating website, and says Elizabeth can't do that. Freddie is relaxed about it and thinks the biggest danger Elizabeth is likely to face is boredom.

Vince Casey turns up where Elizabeth is waiting for her date and seems already to be aware she is waiting for an online date who has not shown up. He claims he's been stood up too, by his daughter. Steph (who does not appear during the rest of the evening). Elizabeth tries half-heartedly to get rid of him. He offers her a drink and suggests she give the bloke who's stood her up the elbow.

Lily doesn't think much of the old pantos; Freddie agrees that panto may not be the way to go. He needs to think of something else. He's going to make this work: Lily says she will help him. She is clock-watching, and worrying about her mother; Freddie expects Elizabeth to be back by a quarter to nine.

Elizabeth is having a good time flirting with Vince, who is telling her stories about practical joking at a business seminar. They talk about networking: she is going on Wednesday to a seminar he knows about. He claims to be being straight with David. She tells him he has a reputation for ruthlessness, which he denies, saying he's a cuddly bear and would do anything for his kids.

The cottages all look run down to Kirsty, and Philip suggests that would mean they could do one of them up and get it exactly how they want it. Kirsty wants to know why now? and Philip replies that the business is grinding him down. He starts pushing his plan, telling her she has said she is disillusioned with the Wildlife Trust work and doesn't enjoy Grey Gables, and she can start again in Wales. Between them they could make it work. Philip will leave Gavin to take over the business; Kirsty says that this is really not the right time for Gavin because he needs their help and support.

Elizabeth comes home late and drunk, and demands panto from Freddie. She thinks it is very sweet that her children have waited up for her. Lily offers her some coffee, and asks point blank whether this had been a date; Freddie pointedly offers lovely strong coffee and asks was it a stranger. Elizabeth says no, but doesn't say who it was. She tells them to mind their own business and says she hadn't been sure whether she'd see this date again, but now she rather thinks she will.

Characters: Elizabeth, Freddie, Lily, Kirsty, Philip, Vince
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 20th October, 2020

Pip is fed up with her child, and Fallon doesn't want one at all.

Ruth and Pip discuss the coins: Pip is disappointed there were so few. Ruth asks whether if she had all the money in the world she would give up farming. Pip says she would and complains about Rosie waking her up all night, and hitting Pip and Toby. But she's only two. It starts to rain so they need to get on; Ruth wants a chat in the afternoon with Pip and David (Josh and Ben are not mentioned), but Pip has an interview with the Countryside Fellowship counsellor about the rewilders' grant application. Ruth has some new ideas and is easily persuaded to share them. She wants to expand the dairy herd. Pip voices doubt because the milk yields are not that great, but is easily convinced when Ruth says they would cut back on the Herefords and do away with arable so that they had enough grazing for a larger herd.

Harrison and Fallon are having a day off and driving to the Cotswolds. She says she had trouble getting Emma off the phone: Emma was going on and on about having had a falling out with Alice without saying what about. Harrison wants to go out one evening to celebrate Chris' impending parenthood with him, and also has to sort out a present for his nephew Marcus. It seems there are babies everywhere! Fallon finally starts to talk about not having a baby, starting from the wrong end. She says that Alice being pregnant has made her think, and he butts in and doesn't let her finish saying that she doesn't want kids; she fails to do so for a bit, then finally says if it's now or never to have a baby, for her it's never.

Pip wants Rex to get ready to come to the interview with her, but Tom wants a meeting with Rex about quality control which sounds urgent and Phoebe has a meeting with a BL board member, so Pip will be on her own for her meeting. Pip says she is the shadow of her former self, and contrasts this with Ruth's constant energy.

Fallon continues to agonise, trying to explain to Harrison why she doesn't want a baby. She says that apart from the planet being a concern, she just doesn't feel she needs one. Harrison is agreeable: if she doesn't want children, that's fine. But she thinks Harrison looks disappointed and sad. She demands to know how he really feels, and he says he doesn't know. She pushes him to say he doesn't want children, and when he does say that she doesn't accept it and tries to find out what he really feels. He did see them having children, and thought that eventually she would want them too. He says he'll get over it because he loves her. She says she loves him, and then starts crying and apologising. He tells her to stop it. Then he suggests they turn round and go home, because the rain is getting worse.

Pip thinks they have got the grant: she has been told they can expect an official agreement in the post any day now. Rex claims he always knew it and suggests a pint at the Bull to celebrate; Pip says yes, she is free as a bird because Toby has Rosie for the evening. Then Toby texts her to say Rosie is saying she wants mummy, and is screaming in the supermarket, so she has to go there instead.

Fallon wakes Harrison (with an owl hooting in the background) to go on talking about her not wanting babies: she would understand if he wanted to leave her for someone who did want them, she wants him to be happy, she wouldn't stand in his way.... She wants to talk about it properly; he denies what she said was a shock and denies having looked freaked out. She keeps on telling him he won't get over it; he keeps on trying to reassure her that he doesn't need to. She wants him to really really think whether she's the right thing for him, and tells him she wants him to think about it carefully. She says he must do that for her sake. He says a sleepy "ok".

Characters: Pip, Ruth, Fallon, Harrison, Rex
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 21st October, 2020

Harrison falls into line, and Elizabeth emphatically doesn't.

Lily is quizzing Elizabeth about her wearing new earrings for her seminar. Elizabeth gets a text message and giggles, and Lily decides she should go to the seminar too. Elizabeth tells her she is not welcome, and prepares to leave; Lily asks whether she is really going to a seminar and not to meet someone, because she looks nice, and goes on about it until Elizabeth, who is now late, finally does leave.

Harrison has run up Lakey Hill with Rex. Anisha has sent a message saying that she is pregnant and Rex is feeling ambivalent and inclined to think he is wasting his life. Harrison promptly tells him Fallon doesn't want kids. Harrison says he doesn't know how he feels about it, but is clearly now in fact feeling pro-kid: he says he has daydreamed about having one. Counsellor Rex says that if she doesn't want kids and Harrison does, the real question is what do you do? They agree they don't know. It starts to rain, so they set off home.

Lily is hassling Elizabeth by ringing her repeatedly during the seminar, and is also being bad-tempered at Freddie and telling him to get on with the Christmas show. She decides to go to the seminar to ask Elizabeth whether they should get more pumpkins for Halloween or not, which Freddie rightly thinks is crazy, but eventually admits she wants to see who Mum's new man is. Freddie thinks she is being unreasonable and freaking out about nothing. She claims to be worrying about Elizabeth, and justifies herself by saying how scared she was when Elizabeth was depressed. This is phrased in a way which makes Freddie feel guilty about having been in prison, although Lily denies that having been her intention. She acknowledges that her behaviour might seem over-protective, and asks Freddie to go with her; he says no, you have to trust her. After all, she chose their father.

Harrison tells Fallon he does want a child; she instantly assumes that means it's all over and starts taking on, but he says that isn't it at all, that he doesn't think it's over and he doesn't want a child if it means losing her. He can't imagine his life without her, and he can imagine it without a child who doesn't even exist. The non-existent child can just disappear. He's been really thinking about it; she'd be proud of how hard he's been thinking about it. It may take a while for the dream to fade, but she is all he wants. She cries and asks him to kiss her.

Elizabeth arrives home furious. Lily has gatecrashed the seminar and seen her with Vince. Lily throws accusations about not socially distancing, and once he has been told who it was Freddie comes in against Vince too and they both lay into Elizabeth, who fights back with her usual style and viciousness. Lily has embarrassed her, by saying, "I can't believe you're dating a slimeball like Vince Casey!" in a loud voice. Elizabeth truthfully says it was coincidence that she saw him in the first place; Lily tries to claim she was trying to save her mother from more stress, Elizabeth asks her whether she thinks she managed to, and Lily flounders. "So what did you achieve?" asks Elizabeth. "You made me more stressed." She announces she is going to have a bath, with candles and floaty music, and when they tell her that's a good idea says she doesn't need their approval. Before she has it, though, she is going to ring Vince and invite him out for lunch tomorrow so she can apologise for Lily's behaviour.

Characters: Lily, Elizabeth, Harrison, Rex, Freddie
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 22nd October, 2020

Both Freddie and Josh are put on the defensive.

Ruth tells Pip the dig is empty because of the rain, but they have a new calf. Pip is being unpleasant about Ben wanting to have a girlfriend, and says he is batting out of his league. She has finished the milking and says she doesn't mind the work involved in getting extra cows; they have to expand, says Pip. Josh is thinking the same way, says Ruth, who has seen him looking at spread-sheets; Pip asks sharply what he is up to.

Elizabeth is buying Vince lunch; she says Lily was unwarrantably rude. He is polite about Lily; what he sees is her looking out for her mother. He's not sure his kids love him -- a third, Beth, whom he doesn't tell just anyone about, has left home and stopped speaking to him over her boyfriend. He says Lily is ok and Elizabeth should listen to her children, but that in his experience the only way to get a lesson across is by actions rather than words.

Pip prevents Josh from going anywhere by turning off the engine of his vehicle; he was on his way to Hollowtree. She tells him he can't have the field they are in for his chickens; she wants it for her heifers. She is in charge, that field is next on the grazing rotation, and he can't just do whatever he wants. Josh says that actually he does have permission to use it: he asked his father, and David said it would be fine.

Elizabeth is talking to her children. She says she ought to listen to them. She suggests they should ask Vince anything they want to over a cup of tea at Lower Loxley. He is quite happy with the idea; they are not, but he arrives while they are saying so.

Pip has moved the heifers into the field while Josh was collecting his fence-posts. She refuses to listen to Josh's expostulations. For some reason he tells her Terry Cookham wants to sell his business; she mocks at the idea of Josh buying it and says "What with?" She is abrasive about him daring to try to run his business; he suggests they should take the question to Mum, and adds that since Pip is so sure Mum will never muck up the grazing rotation, she has nothing to worry about if they do.

Vince is one-upping the discomfited junior Pargetters, and then asks them to start questioning him. Freddie is clear that they don't want him to be there. Vince suggests they don't think a peasant like him has any right to cross the threshold of Lower Loxley; Freddie says slimeball is accurate. Vince doesn't care what they think, but says that it makes them look bad to rely on gossip. Then he brings up Freddie having spent time inside, saying he would have thought it might have made him more open-minded.

Ruth is purporting to be even-handed, but since she also wants to have her own way about more cows (which now seems to be a done deal) she is unwilling to let Josh have any good land at Brookfield. She suggests Hollowtree for Josh instead of any of the Brookfield land proper, and evicting the Fairbrothers.

Elizabeth is triumphant, but Freddie says that having met Vince he knows he and Lily were right. They need to watch Vince and so does Elizabeth, who replies they need not worry: she is perfectly capable of handling Vince Casey.

Characters: Pip, Ruth, Elizabeth, Vince, Josh, Lily, Freddie
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Katie Hims
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 26th October, 2020

Ben reckons he is well in; are Rex and Toby going to be out?

Ben is moping in the kitchen, refusing toast from Ruth; he is not pleased that the archaeology students are gone, and he's not keen on getting back to 'normal'. He feels cancelled and unimportant. She suggests he could get in touch with the the students on the dig that he got on with: for instance Evie. A text message from Susan Carter arrives for Ruth. Susan wants someone from Brookfield to talk on radio about the dig; Ruth is horrified — the last thing they want is people thinking there's treasure on Brookfield land.. Ben volunteers to do it, saying it would be the reason he's been looking for to contact Evie. Ruth says he is not to, but points out he could talk about something else.

Josh and Pip are sorting eggs. David is keen to evict Rex and Toby so the herd size can be increased; Pip says they are family. Josh points out that she should be glad if it means the herd can be increased: in the end that would mean a more substantial inheritance to pass on to Rosie. She says they don't have to be in a hurry about it.

Ruairi is going with Troy to a meet and greet, to see Trevor Drizzle; Troy managed to wangle three tickets for Ruairi's birthday. Ben is excluded, it's to be "Me and Troy and Munster", friends from Ruairi's dorm at his old school. Ben is not happy to be missing Ruairi's eighteenth birthday, which he'd thought of as an occasion he and Ruairi would do something together. Ruairi too says he should get in touch with Evie. Ben tells him that he planned to go on the radio, but Ruth vetoed it because she doesn't want the publicity. Ruairi says it's just a barrier and Ben has to find a way round it. Maybe if he really tries, he'll think of something.

Pip says it will be good to take over Hollowtree, but it should be gradual and they don't have to say anything immediately; after all, nothing is certain yet and Josh can't afford his grand plans. Josh, though, has applied to the Small Business section of the bank for a loan; Pip says that's definitely uncertain. She doesn't believe he has a proper business plan to show them, but he, having learned from the failure of his machinery business, tells her that he has all his accounts in good order and a proper plan ready for the interview that afternoon.

Ben is trying to read, in the kitchen, while Ruth clatters around emptying the dishwasher. He tells her that he bumped into Susan on the Green; he told her that they weren't going to be talking about the dig, so Ruth doesn't have to give her the refusal. Susan wanted him to go on her show anyway, and talk about life as a student under covid, which he doesn't want to do; Ruth wants him to do it, and when he says he doesn't feel confident, she gets him to promise he'll think about it.

He rings to tell Ruairi that he went round and told Susan he can talk about the dig, and then told Ruth he would be talking about covid. He's already had a call from Evie offering to help him with it. Ruairi points out that he is certain to be found out, since his family will be listening to the show, but Ben says that's not a problem since he is relying on Susan to push him to tell her about the dig, and he can pretend not to have expected that.

Pip asks Josh about his meeting to try for the business plan loan from the bank. The questions about the accounts were a lot more detailed than he expected, and Pip commiserates and says he can always try again, until he says that he won't need to. They said yes to the loan. Pip says it's fantastic, and Josh that it's all systems go for the new enterprise. Pip, clearly taken aback by the speed at which things are happening, says oh good and she's sure that Rex and Toby can find somewhere else for their businesses, but then notes with even less enthusiasm that now someone is going to have to tell them.

Characters: Ben, Ruth, Josh, Pip, Ruairi
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 27th October, 2020

Freddie and Alice both have to show their worth.

Lily caught Freddie attacking the washing machine with a screwdriver because he said it was emptying too slowly, and stopped him from touching it — she then suggests that Elizabeth might want it to get her clothes ready if she's going to dress up to go out. Elizabeth crushes her, then defends Freddie as having more sense than Lily is making out, and says she doesn't have time to listen to her go on about Freddie; she has to prepare for a trustees' meeting later. Lily boasts about her great Halloween extravaganza, and then starts suggesting she wants to have oversight of Freddie's plans for the Christmas show.

Susan is giving Alice a vegetarian chilli that was a 'failed experiment' as far as Neil was concerned, and reorganising Alice's fridge to fit it in. She offers to make a nice cup of tea and is clearly fed up with Bert, who is visiting her and criticising Keira. Then she weeps because her mother is dead, nine years ago this Halloween. She wanted to show Ivy the scan photo of Alice's baby. They sympathise about missing Ivy, who was apparently an absolute sweetheart.

Bernard Lyons, the new Chair of the trustees, has stayed after the meeting. He wants the front gatehouse repaired, but more than that wants to ask Elizabeth about her having hired Freddie as an events coordinator; somebody told him about it, but he thought it unlikely Freddie would be organising a Christmas show. Elizabeth tells him Freddie certainly is organising it, and is raising money for charity. Bernard is not happy about attaching Freddie's name to a community show because of Freddie's drugs conviction. His name has the likelihood of causing Lower Loxley reputational damage. Elizabeth defends her son, but Bernard says ominously that the day is coming when the trustees decide whether Freddie is a suitable custodian of the estate, and he will be judged on the show.

Susan is complaining that Tracy left Bert on her doorstep at eight in the morning so she could go out for the day with Roman. Bert's been a great nuisance, carping at Keira as he did at Susan and Tracy when they were little; Mum wouldn't have stood for all his nonsense. Always firm but never hard, that was Ivy. Nobody liked disappointing Mum, who had a way of making you want to please her. Stewart was always Bert's favourite, and Alice suggests Bert should visit him next time, but Susan tells her they don't know where he is; probably passed out in the gutter.

Elizabeth is angry and vents about the post-meeting meeting to Lily. But the trustees can't stop him inheriting, says Lily, and Elizabeth replies furiously that they won't let them. Then she catches herself and realises she ought not to have said anything about it; pay no attention, she was just venting. She immediately goes on to say bitterly that at this rate the trustees will want to give Lower Loxley to Lily -- then tells her not to look so horrified. Lily changes the subject: Freddie has been trying out the soundscape for the Halloween walk, and approves of it. Lily now wants to say something that she assures her mother isn't sniping, and then criticises Freddie for the way he is going about things, and for not asking for her help. The trustees making the show a big deal is her new stated motive. Elizabeth says this is Freddie's chance to show the trustees he is fit to inherit.

Susan is still sounding off: Bert thought Stewart drinking was funny, and encouraged him because he wanted someone to go to the pub with. Nowadays they call it 'alcoholic' and say it's an illness, but really Stewart's just a little grabby boy nobody ever said "no" to. He rings sometimes claiming to be off the booze and asking for money for some new business or other. And is he? asks Alice. For about five minutes, says Susan with resignation. He's a lost cause, and he broke Ivy's heart. She then tells Alice that "people like you and me" would have the sense to see they are hurting themselves and all around them.

Characters: Lily, Elizabeth, Susan, Alice, Bernard Lyons (trustee)
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 28th October, 2020

Ben puts his foot in it, and Alice is being bothered.

Ruth finds Ben reading, during reading week, and asks him how he feels about going on Susan's show a little later and whether he is nervous. He says they will just chat about life at uni. He doesn't want to discuss it. A text tells him that Evie might listen. Ruth asks him to mention the barn; they have nothing booked before Easter.

Alice, in the office, is looking for some paperwork Adam is meant to have left for her. Jennifer offers to call in Adam, and Alice asks Jennifer why she is there, anyway; then Jennifer sees the missing printout on a chair. Alice has to go to a meeting with the venison dealer, and can't back out even though she has been up all night being sick; she says she would be fine if Jennifer hadn't turned up. She refuses all offers of food and asks to be left in peace.

For the interview Susan is going to call Ben back at Rickyard, where Toby has agreed he could go for peace and quiet while Pip has taken Rosie to the playground; he suggests they start the interview with topical things about university and then sort of segue into the discoveries. He also tells Susan she must not to mention that the farm is located in Ambridge: he is counting on Susan to be discreet.

Jennifer is giving Alice a lift home because Alice has been sick at the venison dealer, who promptly melted, ceased being a dragon and called her a poor lamb. Alice really had thought she could get through one day without being sick! Jennifer wants to know if Alice has any ideas about what they should do for Ruairi's eighteenth; Alice couldn't care less about Ruairi's silly birthday.

On air, Ben is disconcerted that Susan has been studying up on the subject of archaeology and is citing Jim Lloyd's opinion about the find, while Ben quotes Evie and says she is brilliant. Susan says that it's true they did find treasure, then, and Ben says, no, no, just three Anglo-Saxon coins. He then remembers Ruth's instructions and mentions Brookfield himself, and talks about weddings there. Susan leaps in and links this with his having uttered a non-committal general message to Evie, and suggests that he's practically proposed. As he sinks through the floor, she puts Puppy Love on to play.

Jennifer is making all sorts of helpful suggestions, and Alice says she has had enough of being fussed at by Susan and Chris, and tells Jennifer to go because she's not helping. She doesn't want to call a midwife about the morning sickness, which is what Jennifer is assuming is what's wrong. Brian rings and tells Jennifer the venison dealer was fine about it all.

Ben tries to defend himself, but Ruth is not deceived. He ends up admitting he blew it, but he mentioned Brookfield only to promote the barn as Ruth asked. He says sorry, and that if it's any help, he's blown it with Evie too. He thinks she will probably have blocked him. Ruth says she was furious with him but thought he did a good job, so Evie probably did too. He has a look at his phone; Evie thought it was funny and has even agreed to meet him for coffee. But, oh, no, now she'll tease him for ever. Ruth still castigates him, and says it's not OK to lie to her just because he ends up impressing a girl.

Brian has told Jennifer the office shifts are covered. Alice explains that the midwife was expecting her to make mistakes and was patronising, and that's why she doesn't want to get in touch with her. Jennifer suggests Alice should start trusting herself. She's getting lots right, like her diet, and is doing better than she thinks even if she is being sick all the time. Jennifer says that when you're pregnant you can get away with anything; now, is there anything she wants before Jennifer leaves? Alice says no-one can give her what she wants, because all she wants is to be healthy for the baby.

Characters: Ruth, Ben, Alice, Jennifer, Susan
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 29th October, 2020

Toby and Rex are out, and so are the Herefords.

Pip tells Rex about the decision to evict him; he's gutted because of the pigs, and she tells him it will be soon. She blames her mother's plans, and that her parents want Rex and Toby out so that they have the space for Josh. He thanks them for throwing him out in favour of the man who sold him a stolen trailer and got him in trouble with the police. Pip says she's really sorry, and denies it was her idea; she tried her best for them. He thanks her and says it's good to know that one person was on their side.

Ben is in his car on speakerphone, and has got all that Ruth asked him to in town. Ruth asks whether he saw Evie, and then denies she rang to ask about that; Ben says they had coffee together and that's all he's saying. She says that she wasn't asking, and he tells her, "Mum, you just did." She is looking for a shirt to give Ruairi for his birthday and Ben vetoes the idea, because Ruairi doesn't need a shirt that will have "elderly choice" written all over it. It's bad enough that Ruairi is being given a dinner party by Jennifer. Then the car suddenly stops at Marneys, and Ben says, "Get hold of Dad! Get over here as soon as!" while Ruth asks what's wrong.

Pip is breaking the news to Toby. He has to coax it out of her -- then the phone rings. It's Ruth, who wants her at once: the Herefords are out of Coombebell and she is needed. Toby still wants the important news, so eventually she tells him, only to discover that Rex has spoken to him already and he knows. She would have told him, but it's difficult. He says it isn't great, but something will turn up. He has worked out the whole story, and that Pip will also profit, but he's very understanding that it's all for a future for Rosie. She asks him to have Rosie for an hour after nursery. He sends her off to round up cows.

Ruth shouts that these are the last cows, and Ben passes the message on to Pip. A motorist is hooting impatiently; Ruth and Ben mock him as he passes. They want to know how the cows got out. Ruth didn't leave the padlock undone: it's been smashed deliberately; Ruth assumes this is someone treasure hunting. Ben says they don't know that for sure, but she blames him anyway.

Pip tells Rex, who has come round to see her, that the cows were ok. She offers him a drink, which he refuses. He wants a word about this morning. He's been talking with Toby, and he sees things more clearly now and can see her hypocrisy. She says it was nothing personal, but he disputes that view because he feels it is personal. She lied to him about standing up for him; turns out the only side she was on was her own. It's obvious that to build up her empire she had to knock someone else down: it's the Archer way. Did she vote against it? She says it's not like that, there was no vote: it's Mum and Dad's decision. He somewhat loses his temper about her being fake, and ends up explaining that what he can't accept is her pretending to be a friend when she wants him out of the way the same as everyone else does. He always knew Josh was a self-serving, spoiled brat; took him a while to work out she was too. She tells him to stop it and he says that's all he came for, and turns to go; but she fights back and says a short-term let doesn't give him ownership of the land, nor the moral high ground. She accuses him of standing there like a hurt kid, and talks about their duty to the farm, and having to make difficult decisions, especially after all they've been through this year. She tells him he can do something about it instead of wallowing in self-pity and blaming everyone else. He coldly asks her to make sure they give him and Toby proper notice before Josh moves in.

Characters: Pip, Rex, Ben, Ruth, Toby
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Nick Warburton & Helen Aitken
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 2nd November, 2020

Eddie is behind the fair, and Freddie is one jump ahead.

Eddie is telling William that the students were stupid to stop looking after two weeks; he is digging in Marneys. William is expected to hold his metal-detector, but complains that he has to go and get on with a gardening job. Eddie has heard the Fairbrothers are being evicted because Brookfield is going to expand, and he reckons that David and Ruth must have found treasure to be able to afford that. Then he finds something in the hole: an old horseshoe, the lucky way up. William doesn't think much of it and goes on trying to get away. Then Eddie sees someone else with a metal detector and is outraged: they have no business there..

Johnny feels that Freddie will manage the Christmas show fine; Lily, who has gone over to enlist his support, tries to get him to suggest her idea for it to Freddie because Freddie won't listen to her. She then tells Johnny that it's important because Freddie is at risk from the trustees, who will be watching closely. But Johnny mustn't tell him that; it will stress him out. She will tell Johnny exactly what to say.

A car-load of nighthawkers has turned up with metal detectors. Eddie says he has to defend the site, whether he himself has permission to be there or not. Apparently the location is on an online forum, which outrages Eddie some more. William doesn't care; he's leaving. Eddie says David has to be told. William is to take the equipment, and their hole must be filled in.

Johnny has gone over to Lower Loxley with a delivery and suggests a catch-up with Freddie; he asks about the show. He then says he was dragged to an event at Christmas last year, which had poetry, songs, readings, and all sorts of stuff. He suggests Freddie ought to do the same; it will please the punters, if that show is anything to go by. It would be easier to organise than a panto, and the ambience at Lower Loxley would be right. Freddie invites him to come back later for that catch-up.

Eddie is telling Ruth about the nighthawkers who were in Marneys digging holes. Someone has put the location on an online forum. Ruth instantly blames Ben, and says they'll have to do something about it; she immediately sends a phone message ordering Ben to get himself home the moment he hears it..

Freddie is quizzing Johnny about his Christmas show visit, and Johnny clearly has no idea when or where it is supposed to have been. Freddie has already worked out that Johnny was lying and that Lily was trying to manipulate him by proxy, and the siblings start bickering. Then he tells her that he has already presented the idea to Elizabeth and Glen, and they are strongly in favour, particularly with his added idea, which is to make it 'Covid Safe' by having the performers in fixed locations, with the audience moving from place to place. He isn't going to get any funding for it, though, so Lily immediately starts to pick holes. Freddie tells her not to sweat it, sis, it's just rustling up a few performers — how hard can it be?

Characters: Eddie, William, Johnny, Lily, Freddie, Ruth
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Naylah Ahmed & Caroline Harrington
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 3rd November, 2020

Ben and Gavin are both taking the blame for things they have not done.

Pip has told David and Ruth that the Fairbrothers are fine about leaving. Ruth was worried it might cause bad blood between Toby and Pip, to the detriment of Rosie, but David can't see Toby abandoning his 'family'. He is more surprised that Rex didn't kick up. Ruth says they need to expand, and they need Josh to have Hollowtree for his business. She adds that Pip has had a call from Freddie about the Christmas show; apparently the whole village is saying no to him. David is off out to the Herefords. Ben is avoiding Ruth, and David can see his point. Ruth says no-one but Ben is to blame.

Philip wants Kirsty to stop going on at him. Alan has cried off meeting them and they will have to make do with Shula, who now appears: the church roof is leaking and there is rot, and they need to get it fixed quickly. Philip goes off rather brusquely into the tower to have a recce. Kirsty tells Shula, who has noticed, that they've had a disagreement, and buys poppies for herself and Philip. Shula is doing a lot of her work for ordination online; she loves studying the Old Testament, and has to give in her first assignment before Christmas. Nice to know someone is busy, says Kirsty: her job at the wildlife trust is disappointing, and Philip has no work in prospect. He is thinking of packing it all in and moving back to Wales. Shula asks how she feels about that; Kirsty is wildly enthusiastic about the idea of a cottage in Wales miles from anywhere, and growing their own food. Sounds idyllic, says Shula. But Gavin is a problem, Kirsty tells her: they haven't told him their plans yet because his head isn't in the right place. Then Kirsty, in a whisper, spills the whole story to Shula.

Ben has put up laminated signs saying 'Private' all round the farm, and David immediately has a go at him about his university work suffering; Ben says he will do that in the evening. Ben reports that there are pits dug in Marneys, though they are not too bad, and it appears that all the diggers have turned up is old beer cans so maybe they'll go away now. He is still being blamed by David, who is cutting about the possibility that Ben might be going on a date with Evie instead of walking the bounds of the farm that evening. He wants everyone to stay vigilant.

Shula can't believe Gavin is a gambler, but she's all in favour of Alistair being his mentor. Kirsty says the problem is Philip not accepting what to do about it. He can't seem to grasp that it will all take time and patience. Gavin needs them there: they can't just abandon him. Shula says far be it from her to advise, but perhaps Gavin needs to be given some responsibility. Kirsty gloomily opines that Philip losing his temper is no help. Shula encourages her to say, "We trust you to deal with it," and go to Wales. Philip catches them whispering, and is told by Shula that the job was his anyway, since Alan knows he can rely on him.

David has caught an elderly man walking an elderly dog, and chucked him off the field back onto the footpath in spite of his having walked the dog in that place for years: no exceptions, says Ruth. Ben found a grey pickup parked by the gate where the cattle got out, which suddenly drove off really fast and didn't ask for directions. Ben is now accepting the entire blame, in spite of not having mentioned Marneys to anyone.

Philip apologises to Kirsty for being in a bad mood: the more he thinks about it, the more he wants to up sticks and leave. Kirsty agrees; there's no contest between the house they are in and a cottage in Wales. She is still worried, though; she wants Gavin to be given a bit of responsibility and a chance to prove himself. If they left and he had a relapse, Kirsty would never forgive herself. Philip is certain Gavin won't have a relapse; he really is.

Characters: Ruth, David, Philip, Kirsty. Shula, Ben
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Naylah Ahmed & Caroline Harrington
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 4th November, 2020

It seems as if Eddie and Gavin will both get away with their lies.

Ruth turns up to tell David that Jill is looking for him: she's made him a hot meal. David has been checking the ewes, and since he's near that part of the farm plans to have a quick check for nighthawkers, though he thinks the rain will have put them off. He'll just have a look round Marneys, and he tells Ruth to go in and eat. She reckons the signs ought to be enough to put off trespassers, but then David spots someone hiding in the ditch and goes after him.

Gavin tells Philip that Jordan and Kenzie have finished repairing the roof; they can start on the other repairs inside after a fifteen-minute lunch break. Philip says he and Gavin have to shut down the rumours about gambling, and to do that Gavin has to go to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting with Kirsty. Gavin refuses, and says it has all been humiliating enough for him already. He wants to know why he has to go with Kirsty, and Philip explains that if he does, she'll be convinced he really is serious about stopping gambling, and then she'll back off. Gavin continues to refuse, but Philip says they need it.

David has found Eddie in the ditch. Eddie claims he was scouting for holly and mistletoe, and quickly distracts David by saying that he has seen more things on the nighthawkers' website which indicate that they are likely to come back, and that there are more holes by the fence which might weaken it so animals could get out. Then David finds a metal detector, which he assumes was left there for later use, and says he is going to hand it in to the police. Now the fence will have to be repaired. Eddie agrees with him that it's a disgrace and vows they will stand together just as David would for him. David takes him to walk the field to see where else the intruders have been digging.

Kirsty and Gavin are outside the meeting; she says she doesn't have to go in with him, but Gavin says she clearly must, to prove to Philip that he went in. It starts in about ten minutes, and the door is open, so they can have some instant coffee and own-brand custard creams before the meeting starts, he says bitterly. Gavin can't be two people at once, he can never be what his father wants, and Kirsty says maybe he ought to start to think about he wants rather than what his father thinks of him.

Eddie is late for supper at home, and when he tells William what has happened William says he must steer clear of Brookfield. The detector was his, though he didn't dig the holes by the fence, but he doesn't think it can be traced. He'll have to get a new one from somewhere if he wants to beat the nighthawkers to any treasure at Marneys; he reckons that this is an organised group. He has agreed to help keep an eye on the field, and volunteered Edward and William to do the same. William says that he thinks he's mad, but Eddie has a Feeling this is his chance for the Grundys' place in the sun, and goes into a flight of fancy about the things he'll be able to do for Clarrie.

Kirsty is trying to encourage Gavin, but Gavin remains troubled about going in. He doesn't want to talk about personal stuff in front of strangers, and he doesn't want to hear their confidences either. He just wants to be himself, and Kirsty says that he can be, he doesn't have to be perfect: no-one's perfect. He tells her he doesn't have a gambling problem, then after a pause adds, "not any more," and when she questions him about it claims that he hasn't done any betting for a long time, not since seeing how hurt his father was about it. She suggests they go home. She believes him now, and so will Philip. She says that he needs to show his father that he can be relied on.

Characters: Ruth, David, Gavin, Philip, Eddie, Kirsty
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Naylah Ahmed & Caroline Harrington
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 5th November, 2020

Freddie must learn how to manipulate people; Philip is already a past master.

Freddie is visiting Lynda; he is showing her the new brochure for Grey Gables. He thinks she might want it when she comes back to work, but she feels that other, younger people need that job. Freddie is not happy about not getting enough shifts, which means he can't afford to move back with Johnny and Hannah. They gossip on about Grey Gables until Lynda jumps when someone lets off a firework; they both no longer like loud bangs, though Lynda is sure they'll get over it in time. She wants to know about the Christmas show: she feels his idea is better than a panto. He admits Lily had input and suggested a bit from A Christmas Carol, whereupon Lynda says it should be the Fezziwigs' party not the Cratchits' Christmas Day. Lily also put forward Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales"; when Lynda comes back with "Give Me Holly" by Christina Rossetti, Freddie laughingly tells her she is taking over again. But when she asks how things are going, he admits they're not going at all.

It's after eleven in the morning and Philip has only just got up, having been late getting back from a job in Hereford. He asks about Gamblers Anonymous, and when Gavin says he couldn't do it Philip explodes and starts shouting at him. Kirsty is on Gavin's side, but Philip won't listen to her. He wants Gavin to sort it out and put it behind him. Kirsty says it's up to Gavin and they should trust him to decide his own way forward, and Philip slams out. "That went well," says Gavin.

Freddie tells Lynda the only volunteer he is sure of is Bert Fry, and he is not that enthused about the Bert Fry one-man show. Freddie thinks all the refusals are because it is him, but Lynda assures him the same happens to her, and she has to arm-twist. She starts to tell him how to coerce people — everyone complains if there isn't a panto, after all. Freddie wants to know how it's done. She says it is all the gentle art of manipulation.

Kirsty brings tea for Philip and asks his permission to sit down. She says he is being a bit hard on Gavin; he complains that Gavin promised to go to the meeting and then let him down. She points out that the way he talks to Gavin makes things worse. Philip remarks that she has changed her tune, and she says that's since talking to Gavin for two hours outside the meeting. She was impressed with him, and she thinks he knows how to deal with his problem himself.

Freddie asks whether what Lynda is saying is that you have to find a person's weak spot, and poke it mercilessly. Lynda laughingly disclaims, but says you do have to be a bit devious; she offers Lilian as an example of someone who can be recruited in the right way, even though she is reluctant: in her case it is for the costumes. Freddie asks how about the blokes, and puts forward flattery for Russ; they agree though that he isn't really wanted. Jim is immune to flattery and a nightmare to work with, so Lynda advises not bothering with him. What about Neil? Ah, Neil is chair of the parish council so you appeal to his public-spiritedness and make him feel he's letting the side down if he doesn't do it. Freddie doubts that he can manage that, but Lynda tells him it's all about playing a part, and then quotes "the immortal George Burns" as saying that acting is all about honesty: if you can fake that you've got it made.

Philip is now saying he is too hard on Gavin, so Kirsty gets the impression she has convinced him and makes him promise he'll try to go easier on his son. She now feels that Gavin can manage on his own, and wants to know what there is to stop her and Philip moving to Wales. "What, now?" asks Philip. Well, not this minute, but they could start looking seriously for somewhere. They both dream about moving to Wales, Philip literally and Kirsty figuratively. It will be a fresh start for the two of them.

Characters: Freddie, Lynda, Philip, Gavin, Kirsty
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Naylah Ahmed & Caroline Harrington
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 9th November, 2020

Fake tears from Lynda and real tears for Ruairi.

Johnny has gone round to thank Jazzer for being honest, not the way some people would have been, and giving him the scratch card. Jazzer turns down a drink at the Bull, because Brian is in there going on about Ruairi's birthday. Jazzer asks him for a favour, though.

Robert asks Lynda whether she plans to reply to a letter, but she is preoccupied with somehow helping Freddie about the Christmas show. Ambridge isn't pulling its weight. She is outraged that nobody has offered to join his cast; Robert is willing but has not been asked and anyway, says Lynda, he doesn't count. She feels that now more than ever healing the community is important, and that is a massive task. Then she has to rush off.

Ben says Ruairi's wifi cheats when they play games on it, and is preoccupied about the siege of Brookfield by treasure hunters — not by Evie at all, as Ruairi repeatedly suggests he is. Ruairi's party is likely to be dire, and he wants a proper rave as soon as Covid is past and they can get the cash together to hire a DJ. He has a lot of cards from Ireland, including one with fifty euros in it which will go to start that fund.

Jazzer is giving Johnny some strong home brew, which Johnny reckons tastes ok. Jazzer is brewing it in the polytunnels, and turns down the idea of selling it at Bridge Farm because he is still angry with Tom Archer and won't give him any share of his profit. He is definitely planning to sell it somewhere. Jazzer also boasts about his latest conquest, whereas Johnny isn't with anyone: Jazzer tells him to find someone who makes the running, and offers to take him under his wing. He's planning to give some home-brew to Ruairi for his birthday.

On Susan's show Lynda is piling on the pathos about her accident and how it has depressed her this year, and coming almost to tears. Manipulation is clearly the watchword; she makes the success of the Christmas show sound like her one hope of recovery, but in spite of every effort by "the lovely Freddie Pargetter" everyone is too busy to volunteer for it and they are still lacking a company. She can only hope her lovely, caring neighbours will think of her and come forward. Robert, who is listening, chortles at her duplicity.

Ruairi and Ben are planning his eighteen-a-halfth party next year. He opens a card from Auntie Niamh, who has sent him a CD; he is slightly put out until he reads the card, which says the CD is one that his mum made for his eighteenth birthday. He goes into shock, and Ben is worried for him. Ruairi doesn't want him to fetch a CD player from Brookfield yet; he thinks he'll just go upstairs for a bit. This is her, he says brokenly; it's his mum.

Characters: Johnny, Jazzer, Robert, Lynda, Ben, Ruairi, Robert
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Liz John & Katie Hims
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 10th November, 2020

Kirsty is moving on, and Ruairi is harking back.

At Beechwood Kirsty tells Helen that a cottage they have found in Wales needs work but will be a perfect retirement project for Philip. She is afraid Helen will mind about her leaving, but Helen understands why she's doing it, and thinks it will be fantastic for them. Kirsty wants Helen to tell her straight how she feels, but Helen evades the issue and instead wants to know what about a job for Kirsty; Kirsty is planning a smallholding. They still have to put the house in Ambridge on the market, though, and she'll be sad to leave the garden. Helen is invited to visit them, and Monmouth is lovely as a place for them to meet half-way. Kirsty starts to cry. Helen says that of course it won't be the same, but if things stayed the same it would be boring, and she is enthusiastic about their new start. Kirsty sadly remarks that Grey Gables won't go away for Philip, and they've run out of options locally so a move is the best thing.

Brian tells Ruairi he looks exhausted. He makes fun of him about talking on the phone to girls all night, but Ruairi says no, that wasn't why he was awake. Brian wants to know which watch he wants for his main present, from a link Brian has sent him, but Ruairi hasn't even remembered to look and Brian warns him he's going to end up with no main present at all. Suddenly Ruairi blurts out that he has already had something, because he's had a card from his mum, or rather Niamh, with a recorded message for his eighteenth. Brian is shocked, and then tries to take away the CD; Ruairi says he wants to hear it, and Brian first says that is really not a good idea and then when Ruairi is determined, is furious that it has upset Ruairi and says he will call Niamh to tell her off about what a bad thing she has done.

Kirsty has poured Prosecco and they drink to Kirsty and Philip and a new life in sunny Wales. They laugh over the new owner having the joy of Joy; Helen insists that she likes her, so Kirsty suggests that in that case maybe Helen should buy the house.

Ruairi tells Brian not to ring Niamh, at increasing volume. He is furious and desperate for Brian to stop, and fortunately Brian can't find his address book. Jennifer hears his distress and comes in to find out what on earth is going on; Brian tells her what is happening and that she is not to worry about it, and she immediately starts to worry about Ruairi, telling Brian crossly that she will be the judge of what will upset Ruairi. Ruairi meanwhile has gone very quiet while the pair squabble about what should be done for him. Jennifer sends Brian off to peel carrots, and asks Ruairi to tell her what Niamh actually sent him.

Helen is teasing Kirsty about redecorating the house, and bulldozing the garden to put in plastic grass — you touch that garden, Archer, and you're toast, threatens Kirsty. She will miss this sort of teasing, and having Helen just round the corner. She has loved living there even if the house is not really her, and she is now very keen for Helen to buy it. Helen agrees that she is interested, very. They drink to the house.

Jennifer reminds Ruairi that she has always said he could talk about his Mum to her. She thanks him for worrying about how she would feel about it all, but says it's not about her, it's about him and his Mum. The CD is a wonderful gift. He is worried it may say something he doesn't want to hear, about Brian or Jennifer. Jennifer reassures him that is very unlikely and that it will be about him. Ruairi worries because he doesn't know his Mum and doesn't know which of the fragments of memory that he does have are true. Her voice on the CD will be the first real thing he has of her. He says that everyone else knows what she was like, and he doesn't. Jennifer asserts that she always thought Siobhán was strong and full of energy, and Ruairi tells Jennifer she is the strongest woman he knows. She says she doesn't know what it's like to leave her child to be looked after by someone else. On another tack, or perhaps going back to an earlier thought, Ruairi says he has missed his Mum for so long, and he's scared that hearing her will be too much. Jennifer says he must promise her that he won't listen to it now, in a hurry, but wait till he's ready, and not to forget that his Mum is part of him always and always has been; also that Jennifer is there and loves him very much, and that's not going to change.

Characters: Kirsty, Helen, Brian, Ruairi, Jennifer
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Liz John & Katie Hims
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 11th November, 2020

Jennifer and Ruairi each make a confession.

Jennifer has gone with Alice to a nail bar to have a manicure and says she ought to be preparing Ruairi's dinner party on Saturday: the main course, porchetta, needs to rest for twelve hours before being cooked, and there will be knickerbocker glories for pudding. She has to remember to call Freddie; she was touched by Lynda's appeal on Radio Borsetshire because Lynda sounded so frail, and she feels guilty. Alice asks whether that is really what she's worried about, and why she seems jumpy. Jennifer laughs it off. She is sad because Ruairi is the last child she has at home, and if he leaves to go to university she'll be alone. Alice nags on, and finally gets her to say that it's about Siobhán and she didn't want to say anything about her and upset Alice again.

Ben is confused about Jennifer insisting on a particular set of plates, and also glasses, that are in storage in the barn. He calls Jennifer Ruairi's mum, and then apologises because he knows it should be stepmum. Ruairi doesn't mind; he says Jennifer is amazing. Troy rings, and a muttering Ben clearly resents him.

Jennifer thinks Brian wouldn't have mentioned the CD to her at all unless she'd gone into the room. She is worried about what might be on it, since Siobhán was dying and might have said anything. She fears that Siobhán might have done something like claiming to have been Brian's one true love, and that Jennifer spoiled everything for them. Alice suggests she could ring Niamh, who has probably listened to it, but Jennifer isn't sure: Siobhán's family has always been difficult for her. The main thing is that she doesn't want Ruairi to suffer any more distress, yet it would be deeply wrong to stop him from listening. Alice says that no matter what Alice may have thought of Siobhán, surely she wouldn't have done anything to hurt her son.

Ruairi has been on the phone a long time, and Ben isn't happy about it. He says Troy is a stupid name and sounds like a Greek porn star, denies being jealous, then wants to know whether Troy is as good a mate as he is. Ruairi says he doesn't need to feel threatened, but Ben goes on a bit about what a good friend he is to Ruairi, who eventually tells him to shut up and explains that Troy is Ruairi's ex. Ben shuts up.

Jennifer says that Ruairi knows very little about his mother; Brian doesn't talk about her, and Jennifer's own feelings about her are complicated. Alice says that at the time of the affair she wanted to kill them both. She saw Jennifer in silent tears in the kitchen but when she asked if her mum was ok, Jennifer put on a cheerful voice and clearly wanted to spare her, so Alice didn't press her. She claims to have respected Jennifer. She then says that Jennifer can slag Siobhán off to her, and it wouldn't make her a bad person; she can slag off Brian too while she's at it.

Ruairi wasn't trying to hide anything from Ben, it was only a couple of months, and Ruairi somewhat indignantly says he's not gay, he's bisexual. Ben suggests that means they won't be in competition when they go out: Ruairi can have all the boys and Ben all the girls, which irritates Ruairi, who says it's not like that and what if there were a girl he fancied? Ben points out that he is being greedy, but Ruairi again protests that it's not like that. Ruairi says he will tell his family eventually: they're sure to get it and anyway, Ben points out, Adam has already done the heavy lifting. Then Ruairi wonders whether Siobhán would get it, being a Roman Catholic. Ben, clearly still alarmed after the CD discovery, says she was his mum and loved him, so she'd be proud of him whatever. Ruairi says it's all right, he's fine. Honestly.

Characters: Jennifer, Alice, Ben, Ruairi
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Liz John & Katie Hims
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 12th November, 2020

Jazzer has been defeated, and Siobhán has piled on the pathos.

Johnny has a message from Ben asking where he and Jazzer are; the party needs stronger booze. Johnny is knackered, and drink is not the issue; lack of sleep is. He went home with a woman last night. Jazzer doesn't believe him, but Johnny tells him it was "his" Jade.

Ruairi is in the kitchen with Jennifer, to help her serve pudding. Jennifer gives him an early birthday present: a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, because he loved it so much when he was little. He still does, and he remembers her having to read it to him again and again.

Jazzer is unhappy about Jade going home with Johnny and not him, but he's trying to hide it. He wants to know where to put the booze. They hear someone coming, and run for it.

Ruairi has gone upstairs, and Jennifer follows him to see whether he's all right. She asks if he's listened to his mum's CD, but he's saving it, like chocolate, because he can only hear it for the first time once and it won't ever be new again. Then he weeps for his mother. He wants to know how long he should save it for, and it's hard to think about anything else: he's been carrying it around with him. Jennifer says she thinks she should find him a CD player and he should listen to it right now.

Johnny wants to know why, if he really likes Jade, Jazzer doesn't just tell her? Jazzer says that clearly she doesn't want him if she went for Johnny, so there's no point. A text arrives from Ben, who found the booze and has claimed he got it "from a micro-brewery in Felpersham"; Brian wants to buy some himself.

Ruairi wants Jennifer to stay while he listens to the CD. She agrees and tells him to go for it. After a longish pause, Siobhán's voice says hello. She hasn't written anything down, she's winging it and she hopes that's ok. It has just hit her that she won't be with him for his eighteenth birthday, and then she realised she could be. She assumes he's turned eighteen or he wouldn't be listening. But she's looking at him aged four, playing with Auntie Niamh in the back garden, hunting bugs. She loves his face, and he cheers her up on the bad days. He found a three-dot ladybird. She describes his clothes, and thinks she will put the t-shirt he is wearing into his memory-box. She talks about dying, and that when he was told she was dying he told her that she would live on a cloud with God. She didn't know what to say to him when he said he would visit her on a plane, but then he asked for a choc-ice. She wonders whether he has a girlfriend, or perhaps a boyfriend, and she hopes he's happy. Be whoever he needs to be, do whatever he wants to do, and she'll be proud of him. She's mad about him. She wants him to know how fiercely she loves him. He stops the tape.

He is crying again, and tells Jennifer his mum has said what he really needed to hear. Jennifer says she thinks his mother was a very special person. He starts the tape again. Siobhán has made a cake for that afternoon, and although nobody but her knows it, it's his eighteenth birthday cake. Will he remember? She'll take a photo of them all with the cake and put it in the memory box, and then there's a chance he will. Happy birthday, she says. Be happy, my love.



Do you think that's it? asks Ruairi, after a pause. Clearly it is. He's really glad Jennifer listened with him, and so is she. (I doubt very much Siobhán would be, though! Chris)

Characters: Johnny, Jazzer, Ruairi, Jennifer, Siobhán
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Liz John & Katie Hims
Director: Kim Greengrass
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 16th November, 2020

Alice is afraid, Eddie is devious, and David is more fly than you might expect.

Ruth is worrying about the detectorists: one of the Spring bookings for the barn has been on the phone for ages asking about the security arrangements for guests' cars and so on. David agrees that they cannot afford to have the wedding business jeopardised. Eddie calls from Marneys, where there's a van parked out of sight which he says looks dodgy, and he's fairly sure there are people out there... David rushes off to try to catch them in the act.

Chris is home, and asks Alice how work was. She hopes she is through the sickness; she claims that last night when he woke and she wasn't in bed, she was watching the stars, not being sick. He starts talking to her midriff. A package has arrived addressed to her, but for him: a babygrow saying "I got my awesomeness from my dad". He doesn't want to answer the door to Jennifer, but eventually she is let in while he pretends he is going to have a bath.

The people with the van have apparently scarpered, after Eddie went over to see whether he could recognise anyone. He seems to know rather a lot about detectorists, but says he's only been going on their sites since the trouble at Brookfield started. He wishes he could be more help — oh, hang on. He's had an idea of how he can. He wants to borrow the metal detector to try to get in with the gang. David agrees, and thanks him profusely for his help. Eddie then wants David to give him the rights to the area: better him than a load of wrong 'uns, he says.

Alice has claimed exhaustion. Jennifer is not put off: what she has really come to do, it transpires, is to tell Alice about the CD. She says Ruairi asked her to stay and so she was there and heard it too. Alice is worried about her, but she says she did it for Ruairi and that she is fine. Alice says she can be honest; Jennifer says she thinks it has helped. The tape was of a mother speaking to her son, not a scarlet woman. Alice wants to know what she said; without giving any detail, Jennifer says it was so positive, and came from the heart. Alice is surprised, and then is upset, but she says she is pleased. Jennifer says it's still painful to think of Brian and Siobhán, but that's not her only connection to her; Ruairi is a connection too, and Jennifer has had all the joys of bringing him up, which Siobhán was clearly looking forward to. And Jennifer is so proud of him, because he's a splendid young man. She says hate is a dead end, and she can't hate the woman who brought Ruairi into their lives. Alice says she is amazing and she's so proud of her.

Ruth is relieved the detectorists have left. She wants to know why David has got out the metal detector, and what it is for; he says Eddie. They have to make it hard for the detectorists, and Eddie has offered to pass himself off as one of the criminals and infiltrate them. But David has seen through him, and knows that really, he wants to find the mythical hoard himself. By being there with permission, he'll be a human scarecrow. David is sure that if he finds anything he'll tell Ruth and David.

Jennifer, finally leaving, wants Chris to persuade Alice to join the Christmas Show: it will be such fun. She laughingly says that Chris, who has pretended to be in the bath all the time she was there, must be all wrinkled. He shuts the door after her, and goes looking for Alice. She is white, and says she's bleeding. She doesn't know what's happening, and she's scared: what if she's losing the baby?

Characters: Ruth, David, Alice, Chris, Eddie, Jennifer

Credited scriptwriters for the week: Daniel Thurman & Tim Stimpson

Director: Marina Caldarone

Editor: Jeremy Howe

Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 17th November, 2020

Alice finally owns up, and Toby and Rex are given notice to quit.

Chris and Alice are at a hospital. The bleeding has stopped, and she is booked in to have a scan. She is terrified, and says rather wildly that she couldn't help it, she but doesn't say what. Chris assures her that whatever the scan shows, it won't be her fault.

Toby and Rex have been sent a letter giving them six months' notice rather than the three months they were expecting; they have until May 21st. Rex is not pleased, and is not looking forward to finding somewhere else to keep his pigs; Toby is being smug, though he hasn't checked for units at Sawyers. Shires made him an offer for Scruff Gin a few months ago, and he is bored with making gin. Rex doesn't reckon that offer will still stand. Toby should look for somewhere else to have his distillery.

Alice is being examined and asked questions by a kind and sympathetic nurse. Everything was fine four weeks ago, she says. There is a delay in the scan, and Alice is panicking. Then the heartbeat shows up. The baby is developing exactly as it should be. Alice starts to cry.

Toby is checking the latest batch of Scruff. Rex is discouraged because he has been ringing round: Neil doesn't want the pigs back at Ambridge View, and Justin has said that he doesn't really cater to smallholders. Rex doesn't think six months is going to be enough to find anywhere. And their family used to own half Ambridge! Toby offers him a drink.

Chris is delighted that the baby has definitely grown; Alice isn't looking at the picture. She has been quiet all the way home. Chris wants to show the scan to their parents because they'd like to see the picture. Doing the scan took twenty minutes, and Chris spent the whole time afraid they'd lost the baby. He knows she had a horrible time, and it's hard for him too; he just wants to make sure she and Bump are ok. She doesn't want him to touch her, and she breaks down and tells him not to be kind to her, she doesn't deserve it. Understandably enough, he wants to know what's going on.

Toby comes triumphantly up to Rex and says he has sold Scruff gin. He rang Shires, and they are making him an offer, though he hasn't been told how much for. He is pleased with himself, and he is sure things will work out for Rex as well. Hollowtree was only ever meant to be the start, and something else will come along.

Alice has owned up; Chris is shocked and horrified and calls her an alcoholic. She tells him it's got worse since covid, and the whole sorry tale comes out: she has been drinking for years. She was ashamed, and terrified she has hurt the baby. He asks her about every incident, including her blacking out beside the road; she admits to all of them. He doesn't know what they'll do, but says all they can do is hope for the best, and at least she's done the right thing and stopped as soon as she knew she was pregnant. Then she says she hasn't stopped drinking; that's what she's been trying to say. She just isn't strong enough. She pleads with him, desperately: she needs his help. She can't do this on her own.

Characters: Alice, Chris, Toby, Rex, health professional
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Daniel Thurman & Tim Stimpson
Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 18th November, 2020

Alice goes into withdrawal meltdown.

Chris brings Alice a cup of tea. He's rung the doctor, who can't give them an appointment until tomorrow; he slept on the sofa and he isn't going to work today; he had used the morning sickness excuse to get Alice out of work, and and he's thrown out all the booze in the house and in the car. He plans to get through today somehow. She says she is sorry again, and tells him to be angry. He points out that wouldn't help the baby, and the baby being healthy is all that matters. She claims that if she could have stopped drinking she would have done.

He goes away and starts to ring his clients to cancel his appointments for the day. She comes downstairs and says she needs a drink. He tells her she can't have one. She wants him to lock her in the bathroom, because otherwise she will get hold of drink somehow. Then she starts to demand a bottle of vodka. Her stomach is hurting. She wants to be locked in the bathroom and not let out no matter what she says. He stays outside the door and tries to talk to her, while she makes excuses for all her behaviour.

He realises that she only quit work because she was going to be sacked, and that she lied to him about everything to do with Pryce Baumann and how she was treated there. Alice admits that she jumped before she was pushed, but protests that it wasn't all lies about how she was treated. Chris says that Emma saw through it, and he called Emma a liar, and jealous, and bitter, and vindictive. How could Alice let him do that to his own sister? Alice starts to cry. She wants to be let out because the pain is too much and the room is too small and there's no air.

She starts to beat on the door and demand a drink, with various threats and menaces. He stays strong. She tells him there is some whisky in her red handbag. She claims to be cold and to be dying. She says the baby is dying and she is in agony. He continues to refuse her drink.

He invokes his flail chest and how she stuck by him then; he will stick by her now.

She starts to rummage about, and threatens to drink mouthwash, which clearly chokes her. He shouts through the door that it's not safe. She starts screaming and wailing and saying the baby is tearing at her, and it will kill her because it hates her, it's trying to get out.

He goes away, then comes back and comes into the bathroom, and she says the baby is wrapped in a towel in the bath: she is hallucinating. He has brought the whisky from her handbag, and that is all there is in the house and he won't get her any more. She gulps it. He starts crying because he has let her down, and she starts to cry as well.

Characters: Alice, Chris
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Daniel Thurman & Tim Stimpson
Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 19th November, 2020

Alice and Chris seek help, and Freddie needs it.

Freddie turns up at Brookfield and asks Eddie if he's found any treasure with his metal-detector. Freddie has no work until next week; Grey Gables is very quiet. Oliver has been talking the place up to Eddie; well, maybe he's hoping things will look up over Christmas. And talking of Christmas, Freddie has to tell Eddie that he isn't needed for the Christmas show.

Dr Korai is talking to Alice. She tells him what she asked Chris to do, lock her in the bathroom. Chris says he didn't know how bad it would be, and the doctor reassures him that giving her a drink at that point was the right thing to do. Chris talks about the hallucinations: Alice can't remember much, but she can remember the baby hating her. She can't do that again. She promised then not to drink any more, and that's what she wants: she will do whatever is needed. The doctor tells her that nothing will get her off alcohol quickly, but starting at all is a good first step.

Freddie says it's nothing personal; Eddie is furious. Freddie tells him it's not a panto, and he's not looking for any more people in the cast: he was snowed under with volunteers after Lynda's appeal on the radio, which Eddie didn't hear. Eddie missed his chance. Eddie is disgusted because, he claims, he has never applied for anything in his life: Lynda would beg him to join them. All right, says Eddie, who have you got? Russ, Leonard, Pat, Neil, Kirsty ... Eddie is scathing about each of them in turn as an example of nepotism (for instance that Neil getting the gig was obviously the price for the radio advertising) apart from Kirsty. Freddie appreciates his feelings, but insists there is no part for him.

The doctor suggests Alice needs a medical detoxification programme to reduce her alcohol intake gradually. She wants to know how long it will take, and Chris says he'll come with her for the appointments. Dr Korai breaks it to her that it will be a fortnight, and it is residential: she'd have to stay in. She doesn't want rehab, she exclaims in horror; the doctor explains it is detox, not rehab, and that it is urgent because she is pregnant. She doesn't like the sound of it at all, least of all when Chris is told he might not be able to visit, and starts to argue against them both. Chris asserts firmly that she has to go; she says he can't make her. Chris gets angry; the doctor says that if she can't take the steps to avoid harming the baby, then Child Services might have to be called in.

Lynda is consoling Freddie about Eddie being a diva who would give Maria Callas a run for her money, but she thinks Eddie should be found a part. He is the glue that holds the cast together, because he can deal with them being temperamental. If Lynda was a General, Eddie was one of her sergeants. She thinks Freddie has lost a valuable member of his company. He asks her what to do now, and she tells him that it is up to him to work it out.

Alice can't believe Chris would report her; he responds by asking how he could stand by and watch her drinking alcohol when she's carrying the baby. He's done negotiating and tells the doctor sign her up. They'll go private. The doctor warns them that there are no quick fixes — it is just the first step.

Once outside, she starts to cry, and says she doesn't know how Chris can love her. He reminds her about their wedding, the chapel and the Elvis lookalike. He reminds her of him promising to love her forever, and tells her she will get better; she'll find the strength, they both will, because Alice as she was in Las Vegas is worth fighting for.

Characters: Freddie, Eddie, Dr Carew. Alice, Chris, Lynda
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Daniel Thurman & Tim Stimpson
Director: Marina Caldarone
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 23rd November, 2020

Gavin is insubordinate, and Freddie is steam-rollered by Tracy.

Gavin has a problem: engineering bricks and sand have been delivered to a job, when they need facing bricks and cement. Blake doesn't see the difficulty, since it can be corrected, but Gavin is afraid of his father's reaction because they won't be able to start work yet.

Elizabeth is in the library looking for a folder she needs to consult before a call to the trustees. Freddie has a lot of books out and is going through them. She asks how the show is coming along, since the first rehearsal will be this afternoon. He says it's fine, but she starts asking questions; when Freddie says that he hasn't heard from Alice, she suggests Eddie could be involved instead, but Freddie is absolutely not keen because Eddie was so rude to him. He asks her about Vince; she turns the conversation back to his poems. His "short list" isn't short enough, according to her.

Philip arrives at the job and Gavin isn't there. Blake explains the wrong bricks, repeatedly. Philip is furious. Blake takes the blame for approving the delivery, saying his back was hurting and he got distracted. Philip uses Lynda's accident to tell him the police are looking for him: here he is employing a wanted criminal, and is Blake grateful? He's not meant to let anyone see him. Blake says over and over that he's careful, and promises it won't happen again, but Philip reckons it's a bit late for promises. People who break promises and make mistakes have to be punished: Philip has to punish him by locking up the playstation, and Blake will have to explain it to Kenzie and Jordan, because they can't have it either.

Freddie is ending the online rehearsal, and everyone goes except Tracy; when pumped, he admits he hasn't had a good time, it was a disaster. Tracy reassures him that it was good for a first try. He says dismally that they were all of them too keen, looking at him like a screen full of meercats. He had no proper plan, and Oliver and Peggy ignored him and started taking over, leaving him with nothing to do but take notes; now he's more like a secretary than a director. She says at least they all buckled down, because of Lynda's appeal, and he says that he wishes he'd known it would be like that. He can't think why he thought he could be a director, but Tracy has an idea.

Gavin discovers that Blake took the rap for him: it's what mates do, isn't it, asks Blake. He says that Gavin has always got his back, and asks anxiously whether he did right. Gavin says he owes him.

Tracy and Roman are looking for Freddie and find Elizabeth. She wants to know what they want; they say it's about the rehearsal. They tell her the rehearsal was a disaster. Elizabeth admits that she had worried in case Lynda had over-persuaded Freddie. They suggest that Roman should take over. Elizabeth evades that and says it's Freddie's project: they'll have to ask him. Tracy says Freddie could do all the admin, and Roman talks himself up. He'll do it for charity. Elizabeth says Freddie mustn't feel sidelined, whereupon Tracy protests that all they want to do is help Freddie.

Gavin has brought round an N64 to replace the confiscated playstation. Blake is really pleased. Gavin warns him, just don't tell Dad! Then Gavin lets on to Blake that Philip will be retiring soon and Gavin will be taking over but it's strictly hush-hush for now. The N64 loads really quickly, which impresses Blake, but he is still worried Mr Moss might find out. If he does, says Gavin, I'll sort it. They start to play Mario 64.

Characters: Gavin, Blake, Elizabeth, Freddie, Philip, Tracy, Roman
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Keri Davies & Naylah Ahmed
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Tuesday 24th November, 2020

Tall tales are told by Eddie, by David and by ... Oliver.

Tracy is glad to see Roman, who has had a late night working out the annual Christmas show. He thinks it will be a high profile gig and is grateful to her for getting it for him, telling her that if not for her he'd be lost. Tracy bemoans the permanent presence of Bert and Gary in the house; Roman reckons things will be back to normal soon, but until then they can go out in the car as they did to Lakey Hill that time, and get away from the rest of her family. Then he starts to plan small socially distanced rehearsals at the village hall. She tells him that Oliver is terrific, David not so much so.

William has come out to find Eddie, who has lost his phone. Nobody can find it, and he needs it urgently; he's joining the online detectorists' forum under a fake ID which George has set up for him: Lew Buckley, refrigerator engineer. He has used the coin he found at Bridge Farm years ago as bait, claiming it was found last week at Brookfield, and answers will come in on the phone he has lost.

Roman is talking himself up and David is talking him down. He says he's there to help them find out the nuances of their characters and they will start with games to establish trust. David is not convinced at all. The game is to be two truths and one lie.

William has found the phone; Poppy has run down the battery playing with it at school and he's not happy about that. Quite apart from stealing, she is now even more determined than before to have a phone of her own. Eddie's passcode is 1234, and William would rather she didn't find it so easy break into. There are plenty of messages and Eddie starts to plan how to join the detectorists as soon as possible. William isn't happy with the idea.

Oliver has shared three stories: a ride a taxi with a member of Showaddywaddy, impersonating a senior officer in his mess, and a penny-farthing ride to catch up with a girlfriend when he was seven; David has coming up with a lamb in the Am, an exploding cow and a gate-jumping cow. Well that was worth it, says David as Roman rushes out to answer his phone to Tracy. Roman tells her she was right about Oliver and David: he thought Oliver was a lot better. Tracy wants him to find out the lowdown on the locals for her from the truth and trust game so that for once she is better-informed than Susan.

Instead of being cross with her, Eddie has now told Poppy she could have a mobile phone for Christmas. William is definitely annoyed; he had long since decided she doesn't get a phone at the age of seven. Eddie agrees to undo the promise as soon as possible. He has been invited to join the detectorists on Thursday at an as-yet-unspecified location. He certainly isn't going to let a lot of nighthawks get their hands on the Grundys' treasure.

Characters: Tracy, Roman, William, Eddie, David, Oliver
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Keri Davies & Naylah Ahmed
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Wednesday 25th November, 2020

Things might be looking up for Rex, but they are not for Alice.

Rex tells Neil on the phone that he has found a dead piglet; the sow farrowed first thing, a very large litter, and she's restless so she overlaid one. Neil advises watching and waiting, since two of the piglets look weak, but he is reassuring about farrowing in general and says restlessness is normal when it's a first litter. He suggests they could meet up in a couple of hours and talk about it if Rex wants; Rex is very grateful.

Alice is finishing her packing for detox. She can't believe it, and it's such a lot of money; Chris put it on the credit card. She is hiding it from her parents and pretending she is staying in an AirB&B in Bath and visiting a friend called Charlotte, and Jennifer is all for it and says it will do her good. Chris agrees to tell lies for her. It's only a couple of weeks.

Neil asks how the sow is doing now. Rex doesn't really see the point of carrying on at all, in the circumstances, and Neil sympathises because 'someone pulling the carpet out from under' happened to him over becoming manager of the Hollowtree pig unit, when Brookfield decided to get out of pigs instead of expanding. Neil has some news: he wants to know what Rex knows about council farms, because one is coming up on the Loxley Barratt road, 75 acres with a farmhouse and a ten-year lease.

Alice is in tears, saying that she can't go. It's so much money, and they should cancel and spend it on the baby instead. Chris says it is being spent on the baby, to give it the best possible start in life, a healthy mother: it's for her and the baby. Alice tries to talk him into them going away together somewhere, claiming that she is loads better, and she's only drinking a little and only because the doctor said she should, and she could taper off on her own now; she is very persuasive. Chris is not prepared to do it. He says she needs expert help. She says she thought he loved her, and he says he's really frightened and turns it round by asking whether she really loves him; when she says that of course she does, he says she should do it for him.

The Berrow Farm outdoor sow unit is now due to be set up in spring, delayed by Covid, and Neil's had to work with Hannah all year, but she has calmed down a bit and her elbows are less sharp. He repeats that Rex should apply for the farm, and Rex is starting to enthuse: he could expand the herd, maybe sell pork for himself instead of through Tom, get some cattle, and although he's fond of Bert the idea of a farmhouse to live in by himself appeals. Neil encourages him to think he could be in the running.

The detox centre looks like Arkwright Hall. Alice is scared and wants a drink. She worries about how Christopher will get on without her, but he says he'll be fine. He wants to tell Emma what is going on in order to heal the breach with his sister; it's a lot to carry on his own. Alice absolutely can't bear the idea. She just can't live with Emma holding a dirty little secret over her. Chris agrees to say nothing to anyone, if that's what she wants. He says he'll give her a hand with her case, even though it's on wheels. She's put a picture of him into a locket which belonged to Granny P, to look at if things start to go badly. He says he's really proud of her. She says she doesn't deserve him. She finally accepts that she is really going to do this, and goes in.

Characters: Rex, Neil, Alice, Christopher
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Keri Davies & Naylah Ahmed
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Thursday 26th November, 2020

Eddie goes under cover, and Elizabeth comes out into the open.

David doesn't like the sound of Eddie's latest scheme, which is that he plans to turn up and see who the detectorists are, at their meeting in a car-park in Borchester. Once he gets in with them, he'll know what their plans are. David feels that Eddie is too long in the tooth to go it alone. Then a text arrives from Roman to remind him to do his voice exercises; he tells Eddie he's better off out of it, for all Eddie grumbles about being left out by Freddie. Roman has implied David is one-dimensional, thinking only about farming; David found he missed Lynda. Now he's off to check the Home Farm ewes for Adam while Alice is away. He adds that he will go with Eddie later; Eddie is to pick him up on his way.

Jill is making mincemeat for the mince pies, with help from Elizabeth. Leonard enjoys a mince pie and says the pieces of peel should be small but big enough to tell they are there, so she has cut them a bit larger this year. Elizabeth says it's lovely to hear her talking about him; Jill immediately feels that she has been insensitive. Elizabeth says not to worry, she has been on a few dates recently, using online dating. To her surprise Jill says needs must. Under questioning Elizabeth says her date is charming, gentlemanly, a businessman who knows his stuff, and is called Vince. Vince who? asks Jill.

William doesn't want his dad going to a dodgy meeting alone, so he has cancelled his plans to help Poppy choose her Christmas presents and is coming too. David rings asking where Eddie has got to, and Eddie tells him Will is driving him over there, and while two people turning up might be fine three would be too many. David is just relieved he isn't alone. Will is surprised that David cares. Eddie tells him to park at the back of the car park under the trees so he can see before he is seen. He has brought binoculars, bought for seven quid at a car boot in Darrington. William, who has been renamed Craig for the occasion and learned that his sister Tessa is a nurse, reckons that Eddie (sorry, Lew) has gone to town on his fake ID. There's a tall bloke who worries Will a bit, but Eddie says the big blokes are less of a worry than the small but crazy kind.

Elizabeth says her mum is reacting like Lily and Freddie, but Jill denies it; she says she is fine with it, but David despises Vince. Inevitably, David walks in, overhears and wants to know what they are talking about. When he is told Vince Casey, he says that Vince is a complete git, and not a good businessman. Then he calls him a rat, and Elizabeth reveals that she is dating him.

William is pleased and surprised at Eddie's undercover expertise. The main thing, according to Eddie, is that Eddie is now in with the group. He has their names and he can see whether he can manage to match any of them to their online IDs; then he'll know if they plan on doing anything at Brookfield, and catch them red-handed.

Jill is on the phone with Leonard. David claims he was about to put the kettle on, and apologises to Elizabeth for what he said about Vince; he just can't understand what she sees in someone so completely unlike her. Elizabeth points out that it probably works precisely because he is nothing like Nigel. (Nowhere near, mutters David.) Elizabeth thinks Vince is actually a bit intimidated by her, and says he has boyish charm as if he were trying to impress her, but he also gives her his honest opinion about things to do with the business. David comments that he thinks Elizabeth does these things just to annoy him. He is not going to sit down and chat with Vince! Then he takes it back and says that he would sit down with him, but he doesn't think it would change anything. Maybe, maybe not, says Elizabeth enigmatically.

Characters: David, Eddie, Elizabeth, Jill, William
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Keri Davies & Naylah Ahmed
Director: Peter Leslie Wild
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti

Monday 30th November, 2020

Helen is moving on, and Vince is muscling in.

Tony is angry about the Lego the boys have left on the stairs, and Helen is apologetic. She says she plans to move out, hypothetically. She explains about having been given first refusal on Kirsty's house. The accountant has talked it over with her and she thinks she should be able to afford it. She says Tony would be glad to see the back of them; he says he wouldn't go that far. She hasn't yet mentioned it to Pat.

David has brought some beef over for Shula, who forgot to collect it earlier, and grumbles that he wouldn't trust Vince further than he could fling him. Shula agrees. She rubs her arm and David is concerned, so she explains she was thrown by a horse and is bruised. She is more concerned about the horse, Alice's Banjo: Jakob thinks the animal has kissing spine, and needs to talk with Alice about it. Shula couldn't get hold of her on the phone, and when she went over to The Nest hoping to catch her Chris was alone there. He told Shula that Alice is away for two weeks, and was rude to her when she tried to explain that it was really important for Alice to talk with the vet about Banjo. David clearly isn't paying much attention: he goes back to his gripe about Elizabeth suggesting that he should sit down with Vince and talk with him, and Jill agreeing even though she thinks Vince is a disaster for Elizabeth. But Shula too agrees that he should do it.

Joy finds Tony behind the till at the Bridge Farm shop when she comes in for shelter out of the rain; she has been seeking out holly for her Christmas decorations. Philip Moss is setting up cables for his Christmas light display and she doesn't want to be behind. She is going to miss Kirsty, who has been like a daughter to her; Tony is so lucky having all his family round him. He tells her Helen's plans, and says it's high time Helen was moving on. But Joy is sure it will be a wrench for Pat and Tony, and goes into easy sympathy mode: it's been so hard for her not seeing Rochelle and the kiddies.

David is reminded of Pip being with the appalling Jude. Shula points out that slagging him off just drove her into his arms, and the same thing will happen with Elizabeth and Vince. Shula is firm that the only thing David has to do is have a pint with Vince in the pub. David can't see why he should have to invite the man.

Tony has clearly had some sort of tearful breakdown. He has been reminded of Helen leaving before, to be with Rob, and has realised how much he will miss the three of them. Joy sympathises. He tells her that he feels he missed out with his three because he didn't really notice them, and it is quite different with Henry and Jack. Joy comforts him. They hear some customers arriving, so she pays for her carrots and gets ready to leave as Tony thanks her for being so understanding.

David is leaving the Stables now the rain has eased. He gets a text: Oh, no! Worse and worse! Vince has agreed to meet up for a pint, and suggests going for an Indian afterwards. David is horrified, but Shula laughs.

Helen has spoken to Pat about the move, which came as a bit of a shock to her. Tony tells Helen that they'll both miss her and the boys. They've had a bit of time to talk about it and decided they'll be happy to help out with a loan for the mortgage, accountant permitting, since they still have some money left from the Beechwood sale. He assures her that it's marvellous that she feels able to lead an independent life again. Helen tells him, in a slightly wondering tone, that she is no longer afraid. She won't be worried being alone in that great big house; she'll have plenty of neighbours. Tony tells her about Joy's pleasure at the idea of having her for a neighbour, and her offers to babysit; Helen won't need her parents any more, he says, so Helen immediately asks him to fetch the boys from school and keep them entertained until six. Pat and Tony will always be there for her, says Tony. She knows that, doesn't she.

Characters: Tony, Helen, David, Shula, Joy
Credited scriptwriters for the week:
Caroline Harrington & Julie Beckett
Director: Gwenda Hughes
Editor: Jeremy
Howe
Summarised by Chris Ghoti


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