This Week in The Archers – Week Ending 14 March 2014

This week started with one of the Archers matriarchs, Jill, in charge in the Brookfield kitchen, while Ruth continues to crumble. Jill is only worried for Ruth, but Ruth is very touchy right and Jill should be tactful enough to work out that Ruth needs a little bit of space just now. But much to Ben’s dismay, Jill’s constant mothering pushes Ruth into attempting a meal, and reminding them all that she can’t really cook. Her offerings are very much put in the shade by Jill’s stellar output. David is on flood watch with all the rain, but its Ruth that’s the bigger concern for him and Jill. The meal goes badly though, and it looks like its all getting to Ruth. Is she sure she wants to plough ahead with a party for Ben at Brookfield?

Despite Ruth being at her wits end, she still manages to martyr herself by trying to insist on doing everything and taking Jill for her op, despite Shula offering to take Jill – at Jill’s request. To be honest, Shula was a much better person to have on hand to keep Jill calm. Sharing a car journey with a volcanic Ruth may not have worked much for Jill’s state of mind. Predictably, Jill survives her hospital experience and she’s back onto worrying over Ruth. But would a return to Glebe really be the most sensible course of action? Jill needed to be on hand for her own peace of mind. Now she needs to be there for Ruth. Don’t go Jill! More fly tipping at Brookfield – for which Rob must be prime suspect – takes David away from milking, heaping more pressure on Ruth.

Tom and Kirsty’s fruitless house search goes on. Tom’s determined to move away from Bridge Farm purely to spite Tony, and for no other reason. Maybe Kirsty wasn’t keen on Brenda’s dream of a self-built house on Bridge Farm land, but what anyone else wants has never stopped Tom from pushing ahead with his own plans regardless. Neil does give him good advice – if it did sound like he was sticking his nose in where it didn’t belong. Will Tom listen? Not a chance. Anyway, if it all does go pear-shaped, there’s always Peggy, Brian, Pat, anyone with spare cash.

Tom – and Kirsty – have their own separate little awkward chats with Brenda. It must have been a hammer blow to Tom’s ego to find out that Brenda has prospered without him. She’s really made it on her own. Tom fights a poor rear-guard action which sounded like he was trying to convince himself rather than Brenda. She sees right though his plans to become independent in moving away from Bridge Farm by nicely pointing out that it won’t happen without Peggy’s intervention. Tom’s “I’m really lucky” sounded so bitter. Maybe he does love Kirsty, but it hardly sounds the most convincing relationship. Kirsty’s comments to Brenda that her wedding plans are “brilliant” were hardly a ringing endorsement. Brenda is away from Tom and is happy. I’d hardly say the same for Tom and Kirsty. To me, its building up to Tom being dumped by Kirsty for a second time.

Away from the tedium that is Tom, Dan “Call Me Dan” is ploughing ahead with his Sports Relief assault course, ably assisted by Fallon. David doesn’t need a second chance to drop Kenton right in it. Dan has the bit between his teeth and is determined to make it as tough as he possibly can. Will a grossly unfit Kenton be able to cope? While Dan is handling the sharp end of their little project, Fallon is brilliantly coping with the PR side. Thanks to the departing Rhys, she’s landed a top celebrity to open their event. Surely Dan must have realised it was either rugby or cycling. Turns out we’re being treated to Bradley Wiggins. Well done Fallon! Kenton though is a competitive fellow, and his friendly bickering with Jolene goes on. Unfortunately for the poor listener, their little reconciliation after taunting each other with their Lent challenges did it for them, and left us with a rather grisly scene upstairs in the Bull, leaving Jim wistful over missed chocolate!

But right now, it wouldn’t be a week in Ambridge without Helen being involved. The big night of Ian and Adam coming round for supper has come around. Adam is uber sceptical of Rob’s intentions, and is mindful of Helen’s welfare. Ian’s discovery of the secret marriage proposal has made him rightly suspicious. Rob is trying hard though, but Jennifer goes at puts her foot right in it with her mention of the fish kettle that played such a starring role in Jess’s fateful party at Blossom Hill Cottage. She’s none to pleased it sounds. She seemed so supportive of Rob, but is he reminding her too much of Brian’s past indiscretions? Fortunately for Rob – and with Ian’s support – Jennifer is kitchen obsessed! The supper goes down as a raging success for Helen who seems so under Rob’s spell that she completely missed all the simmering undertones. Rob’s control over Helen grows and grows. Ian is amazed that Rob told Helen – in no uncertain terms – to ignore Henry. A child cries for a reason. Its obvious that Rob would prefer Henry weren’t around, and it would seem he’s also going all out to drive a wedge between Helen and her support network. How far will he go with Henry? Unfortunate accident after which Helen has no one to turn to? Ian is furious – will he be the one to take action on Helen’s behalf? Will she even want him to? Rob’s treatment of Henry and plans for the Lodge should have alarm bells ringing. It certainly did for Ian.

The week had a pleasant turn for me though. The return of Brenda and Vicky. Vicky seems to be coping with Bethany once more – although I’d have liked her struggles with Bethany to be fully played out. Having a special needs child is a tough job and the storyline was dropped fairly unsatisfactorily. But Brenda’s return is a huge lift for Vicky, along with her news that she’s going to be tying the knot. Not with her Russian billionaire, but at least she is happy. She’s also happy to be with Vicky and Bethany. Despite a rocky start to their relationship, Brenda is supportive of Vicky and Bethany in a way Mike never has been. Will Vicky cope when Brenda goes again?

There’s bigger issues at Home Farm though. Jennifer’s kitchen plans are an unstoppable juggernaut. All the worrying and fretting may soon be coming to an end. Never fear, Kingsley is on the way. Brian is keeping clear (shoo Brian!) but he’ll be loving the fact that Kingsley will add 10% to the value of Home Farm. Unfortunately, there’s the huge hit on his bank account to consider first. Will Brian’s heart be able to withstand the shock to his cash? Brian just doesn’t understand though. A kitchen just isn’t a kitchen without a pentagonal setup and a teppanyaki grill. However did Jennifer cope before? But the way Jennifer said, “Oh, Kingsley” makes you wonder if its just his designs she is admiring! Watch out Brian.

We’re back to Brookfield to finish the week off, and the pressure is really building on Ruth. Jill’s constant reminders that Ruth isn’t up to it at the moment is the last straw, and she nearly takes Jill’s head off. Fortunately Usha is just on the end of the phone. Maybe Ruth should see a doctor? Make that a definite. Is Ruth having a breakdown at the thought of cancer revisiting her? Would it be another mental health issue in Ambridge touched upon but not really dealt with. But, has Jill maybe hit the nail on the head? Usha’s comments about Ruth being hormonal maybe weren’t wide of the mark. Pregnant? With all of David’s woes, just wait til her hears that news!

Week Ending 7 March 2014

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