Welcome to 2014. Although maybe Susan isn’t feeling that way. She’s got a full on dose of the seasonal blues, and her aborted visit to Peggy was less about comforting Peggy and more about finding out if the shop will continue. I’d not worry were I Susan. I suspect that Peggy is community spirited enough to recognise the value of the shop to Ambridge. Neil lifted the post-Darrell gloom amongst listeners with his “Taj Mahal” line. Poor Susan thought a trip to India was in the offing – not just a trip for a curry! Brazil for her instead maybe? Summer holiday perhaps? Anything on in Brazil in the summer? Poor Susan! I think though that Peggy has enough on her plate. Although she’s remaining calm and dignified, she’s feeling the strain. The prospect of a visit from Hazel isn’t thrilling her. Hazel will be in for her pound of flesh, that’s for sure and we could be in for a protracted battle over Jack’s no doubt considerable will. Tom has done a lot of work on that front. Unlike some of them, Tom genuinely has a lot of time for Peggy. She’s been very supportive of his business interests and is always delighted when he reveals his vision for Bridge Farm. Its no surprise that its Tom on hand to help Peggy clear Jack’s room. They are very close and I think ultimately when Peggy is no longer with us, Tom will be able to put his feet up.
Helen’s madness continues to expand. Is she thinking of this at all, or is she purely being driven by lustful teenage fantasies? Jess has been gone for 5 minutes – literally – that it could just be a fleeting visit home to see to her mother. But Helen is preparing to move in? Jess is sure to reappear and then things will really explode. But poor Henry. Helen really is a terrible mother, and gives the little lad little thought. Its like she’s a Hollywood A-lister who feels the need to have a child to complete her perfect little life. How many times has he been dumped – there’s no other word for it – on Pat and Tony? Now she’s leaving him with one of Rob’s employees who “misses his kids.” Child protection agencies would have a fit! She is certainly swallowing Rob’s lies whole. He’s lied before. Helen, he has form, and you can’t see it. Don’t fool yourself Helen. Rob isn’t your partner. You don’t have a clue what Rob is really like but don’t make Pat feel guilty over it – no surprise its killed her birthday. Always thinking of yourself. Typical form from Helen to just leave Henry in front of the TV then drop Pat in it to babysit – again. Love is blind its said. Helen is going all out to prove its right. Its Helen’s mistake to make though – if it is one – and its time that Kirsty and Pat need to accept that and wait to be there for Helen when it does go pear shaped. Continuing with the snide comments in front of Helen will on serve to alienate her further. But ultimately, Pat and Tony care for Helen and their points are valid. Maybe Helen needs to be more understanding.
It was no real surprise that eventually Henry had a little accident on Helen’s watch. Incredibly though it was Kirsty on the scene who felt guilty after she had told Henry to be careful. Kirsty, that’s quite big of you, but Helen’s the one who should be taking care of Henry. But Helen went a step further. She even had Pat – who wasn’t even there – feeling guilty! That’s a point where Helen needs to step in and say, “no Mum, it was MY fault” – if she weren’t just thinking with her vagina. But clearly Helen isn’t thinking at all. She just lets Pat have the news full on. She certainly stole Tom’s wedding thunder, and how. Poor (new) Tony was bewildered! Tony remains strangely calm over the whole thing. Is he indeed so easily won over? A bottle of wine does the trick again.
Pat’s analysis of it all though was fairly accurate. Yes Pat, Helen was having an affair with a married man. Is still having an affair with a married man. She’s even spotted that Helen has become a serial liar, and is putting Henry’s welfare at risk. I’d go as far as to say Pat hate’s Rob – if she didn’t, she will now. Tony took it all rather well, but he’ll come under pressure as Helen drives a wedge between herself and Pat. Perhaps Peggy will remind Helen and Pat that life is too short, but Peggy has Jack on her mind still, and maybe any intervention will be too little, too late? The Helen/Rob affair storyline has come out at last, but the next chapter is only just beginning. What will Peggy say when she finally finds out?
At least on a more upbeat note, Joe is back to his old self. His relationship with Jim Lloyd is an odd one, but good for both of them. Jim has been instrumental in Joe’s recovery from his accident, and he has loved really integrating into old English country life. Joe is an earthy soul, and has a vast knowledge of farming – and cider! He certainly knows the Jill is a danger on the roads! But at least Jill has seen sense at last. But its Joe’s offspring Eddie that’s getting the plaudits over Darrell’s miracle recovery. He had a hand in it certainly, but I suspect it was more Rosa’s kick up Darrell’s backside that did the trick, not Shula & Eddie’s soft-soaping. Will anyone recognise that though? But even Jill is coming around to Darrell – is this in anyway realistic? A thieving drunk has a middle class rural community rally round? Jill even sounded cautiously positive about Eddie’s plan to have Darrell living in Fat Paul’s old van. No Council Tax? No rent? Its some plan. I wonder if Eddie is too busy and blind to the continuing unpleasant bickering between his sons? Devil child George – a master manipulator himself – obviously can’t see that Will is using him to get to Ed. In my view, Will is an unpleasant sociopath. Yes, Ed shouldn’t have shot Baz so recklessly, but that Will is willing to use his own son to get at Ed is pretty low. Emma’s determined to get her tuppence worth in – anyone but Nic for Wossail Queen! It’ll be a minor victory for Emma in the face of an onslaught from Will.
Poor Lynda though. Her “panto” savaged in the Echo no less. Will this fire her into action and quickly end her self-imposed exile from active village life? Robert will no doubt be delighted that Lynda will be all guns blazing again! Happy new year Lynda, and all in Ambridge!