The fallout from the failed wedding and Tom’s vanishing act continues as Tony becomes even more stressed over the running of Bridge Farm, as well as Tom’s enterprises. Will Tom ever return to the scene of his crimes? But now that Rob has his feet under the table with Helen, naturally he’s got his opinion on it all. He’s backing Helen away from being there for Pat and Tony – in a way he’s right that it’s Tom’s problem, not Helen’s but with Pat & Tony having to deal with the fallout, its not as simple as Rob sees it. But Rob sees it all as an opportunity. Just what is his agenda? Does he see a future where Helen has control over Bridge Farm? Of course, Helen controls Bridge Farm, Rob controls Helen…well, I think we can see where he might see himself. Given that its yet another threat to the Bridge Farm business, it does seem that there’s a bit of a pattern forming.
Lynda and Lillian’s little trip to London for the Chelsea Flower Show – and of course a little visit with the lovely Leonie was the subject of some chat at Ambridge Organics, but it was Lynda’s request for a joint of organic pork that brought the Bridge Farm difficulties sharply to the front of Helen’s mind. It was too good of an opening for Rob to pass up of course. He’s clever enough to know that with her views of Tony’s efforts, and her dim view of organics, that Peggy was always going to prove to be a valued ally in his efforts to further his own agenda. Naturally Rob puts on a charming front to Peggy, who is completely taken in by him. His faux concern expressed to Helen for putting Peggy in the picture was interesting. Maybe shouldn’t have said? Oh, I think he knew exactly that saying something was absolutely the right thing to do. And so it proved as Peggy came firmly down on his side on his suggestion that abandoning organics is the way forward. It did make you wonder if the pig feed fiasco was an honest mistake by Tom, or something altogether more sinister. In a way, it was no real surprise that when Tom got in touch, it was with Rob.
Maybe Tom will take the blame for the feed, but taking advice from Rob?
That’s sure to make Tony explode – you can be sure the advice will be for Rob’s advantage, not Tom’s.
Tony and Pat are having more restless nights over it all, with the decision over their organic status in the offing. Pat’s concerns are more basic – she just wants Tom home, but will she ever get what she wants. Tony is still being eaten up by Tom’s screw up over the pig feed. There’s no let up for them though as the news is as expected, and Tom’s pigs have lost their organic status but there’s some relief at least as the rest of the business has kept its organic status. A minor fly in the ointment for Rob’s plans?
Peggy isn’t making it easier, and the news that Rob was the one keeping Peggy in the loop was never going to sit well. That’s not enough for Peggy though, she drops the bombshell suggested by Rob that the organic status be left by the wayside. Its a powder keg at Bridge Farm, and how long before Tony explodes? Rob does his bit to keep things bubbling over nicely. Drop the bomb and run. Helen can’t find it in herself to fully back Tony. I doubt Rob will support her in that.
Road matters are still concerning David – and Lynda. Brian may no longer be Chairman at Borcester Land, but he’s still got his fingers well and truly stuck in that particular pie, and it certainly looks like he knows more than he’s letting on. Often, no news is good news, but on the matter of the new road being proposed, I suspect its quite the opposite for David and Lynda. Is Brian ready to take on Lynda again? He can put his feet up perhaps with the Chair being taken away, but the new kid(s) in town at the helm may have no such qualms. David can’t wait for the Council meeting over it, but will he get the local farmers’ backing? With BL buying up land from those farmers, he might find it difficult to persuade anyone away from Ambridge. The kitchen did manage to give Ruth an excuse to get up to Home Farm gauge Jennifer’s opinion. Jenny is non-committal – its non-kitchen related you see. Jennifer managed to see through it, but Brian is still keeping silent. He might keep quiet and know nothing, but Charlie?
It all may be a welcome diversion for Brian though over the ongoing kitchen renovations at Home Farm. Its getting too much for Brian who sees risking a flair up of his sciatica as a risk worth taking as he’s back in the tractor helping Adam keep Charlie happy. Facing Lynda is one thing, but dealing with Jennifer after her getting wind of Brian being back behind the tractor wheel is something altogether different. Jennifer isn’t overly sympathetic that Brian is needing pain relief. Its relief from Buddy and Steve (x 2) that Brian needs after their little robin sets off the Home Farm alarm. Will Brian be able to resist giving them a piece of his mind?
If he wants peace from Jennifer he will. Its all catching up with Brian, and discussion over brass fittings and shades is enough to send him to sleep.
The road is at the back of Lynda’s mind at the start of the week as she is in her element with Lillian at the flower show. Lillian doesn’t sound as keen as Lynda as becoming a grandmother. The break might give Lynda the energy for fights ahead. Not even an onset of hay fever for Lynda has her down for long, but Lillian has James on her mind and her past. Lillian surprisingly thinks that James might not cope with being a father but its Lynda that comes up with the pep talk. Lynda seems to have covered herself in glory over Leonie’s pregnancy. She’s perked up Lillian and has brought them closer together.
It’s the festival at Lower Loxley, not Chelsea that’s on Jolene and Kenton’s mind. The reunion of the Midnight Walkers is no longer a dream for Jolene, who is feeling down about it. Will Fallon leave Jolene’s dream unfulfilled? What a coincidence that Wayne called Fallon. Kenton seems to have gone a bit cool on a Jolene/Wayne reunion but he can be diplomatic with Jolene when then occasion calls. It seems the Midnight Walkers may yet walk again. While Jolene is occupied with her dreams, Kenton is sorting out the Loxfest bar. Lizzie’s plans on the pork front may well be up in the air
– but its Tony’s reaction that had her thinking. It seems that the fallout from Tom’s decisions may extend past Bridge Farm.
Adam is still being kept on his toes, but he’s getting more relaxed about Charlie’s approach, and it would seem that he’s enjoying that Rob is attracting Charlie’s baleful eye, but Charlie’s keeping his eye on the ball as far as Adam is concerned, but his efforts have been appreciated by Charlie – all worthwhile in the end for Adam. Charlie’s views of Rob are piquing Adam’s interest for sure, and Rob’s resistance to change would surely be an eye opener to Helen. Still, Charlie has done a great job and
We’re back to Bridge Farm, and with Maurice on his back, Tony is still under pressure with Tom still absent. Tony’s seeing through Helen but has he scored an own goal by attacking Rob’s opinion? Helen is right that its not as easy as that and oddly enough, Helen is seeing Rob’s point of view.
It must tell Pat and Tony something that Helen is backing Rob. That’s all an aside for Pat though, as the prodigal son has returned. Well, prodigal as far as Pat has concerned. Of course Tony doesn’t quite see it the same way. He couldn’t resist letting Tom having both barrels. Tony and Tom never shared the same priorities and his blindness to Tom’s identity issues makes it clear that he’s got no intention of considering what Tom has to say.
At least though Tom has been big enough to admit he’s wrong but he’s a bit optimistic to think that Tony will understand him. What chance that Tony will understand his plans for the future. Its really time for Tom to move on, and the business is going. Its Canada for Tom and has Tony finally realised what all the constant fighting and bickering has done? It was inevitable that Tom would keep running from his problems. What now for the future of Bridge Farm? And for the Bridge Farm Archers? Tony will surely believe that Rob has put him up to it. It looks like the fallout from the wedding has only just started.
The week started up at Bridge Farm, with no sight of Tom yet, much to Tony’s annoyance. The pressure is starting to build on both Pat and Tony, and no doubt Tony will think its personal, and that Tom is doing it all on purpose. Their organic status inspection is right around the corner, and they’re both completely flat out. Will the strain of it all ultimately tell on Tony? Or on Pat? Tony’s optimism that they’d get through without Tom seemed out of character for him slightly, but will it sustain them in the weeks ahead? It did seem that things were moving remarkably well for Tony, and he was getting Maurice working nicely on sausage production, although perhaps it was for the best that Tom was away and didn’t get the benefit of Maurice’s advice although maybe it would have spared Kirsty the public humiliation. But would a divorce just month into the wedding been any better in the long run?
Loxfest talk is gathering pace, and Jolene’s reunion of the Midnight Walkers is fast becoming the talk of Ambridge. It seems to be enough of a draw that Jazzer is talking about it, though his primary interest in Loxfest seems to be relating solely to his stomach. Its proving harder that Jolene thought though, but the potential absence of the Walkers might not be the only thing going south over the festival. Roy has hardly covered himself in glory so far, and Lizzie isn’t taking it at all well with all the major food providers heading elsewhere, which Roy missed. And did Roy really think that Lizzie would be happy camping at a weekend festival? I suspect Roy doesn’t know Lizzie as well as he thought he did.
Over at Home Farm, Brian is the source of concern for Jennifer and Alice.
His sciatica flare up has them worrying he might be over doing it although Brian seems more than happy to come up with any reason to get out of the Home Farm kitchen/bomb site. Brian is happy enough to let Adam off the hook over his continuing run-ins with Charlie. Brian is delighted though to take in the deer if it means being away from the house. Lucky for him though that Alice is concerned enough about her dad to be on hand with a difficult birth for one of the deer. Alice is certainly branching out – whatever has happened to her day job? At least Alice has deflected Brian from the woes surrounding Jenny’s precious kitchen re-fit. Will Brian’s sanity be able to cope with talking light and shade? Its all turning a bit white from Brian.
Bless Jennifer being completely wrapped up in her First World problems.
Speaking of Adam as I was, he was certainly in for a surprise after receiving praise from Charlie. Is Adam starting to relent? Well, after Rob getting a roasting from Charlie over childcare provision and falling milk yields, it seem that Charlie casting his eagle eye on Rob will let Adam off the hook somewhat. Rob will no doubt think that its all down to Helen (via
Henry) that he’s getting grief from Charlie. At least he’s managed to get rid of any responsibility for getting Henry to anywhere for the time being.
Which brings us to Helen. She’s still wrapped up in her own little world that she has no time to understand the plights of others. Pat (and Tony) are fighting to keep theirs and Tom’s business running smoothly in Tom’s absence, and Helen has the nerve to have a go at Pat because a couple of things are missing from her delivery? Can’t she be a little bit more understanding? Well, when Kirsty walks through the door, it would seem not.
I was incredible that after all that had happened over the wedding that wasn’t, that she thought Kirsty would swan in and just get back to work and they’d carrying on as if nothing had happened? Kirsty was really stung by the fact Helen knew Tom was having major doubts, but she kept them to herself? Kirsty was spot on – Helen has an incredibly narrow vision of how friendship works. Its another friendship bridge that’s been burned. This time Rob had nothing to do with it, but he’s got what he wanted and Helen becomes a little more isolated. Will an under pressure Rob take it out on Helen? Rob has spun it differently to Helen though, and he’s still the blue-eyed boy as far as Peggy is concerned. He more surrendered meekly to Charlie than put his foot down. I wonder how much longer he’ll be wonderful in Peggy’s eyes. When it finally goes pear-shaped, I wonder how Tony will see it all, given that Peggy gave Helen and Rob her blessing.
Alice continues to be the woman on the spot though – does she still have her day job – this time for the coldly furious Kirsty. Tom’s continuing absence has at least let Kirsty get on with the process of moving on.
Anything related to Tom is bin – or burning – fodder, and predictably Tom’s letter of explanation gets short shrift. But at least Alice managed to narrow down Tom’s location somewhat. Will she remember to tell Pat? But for Kirsty, she is quite literally burning her bridges with Ambridge – even if it does mean making a bit of work for Will. It seems that Kirsty has finally remembered that she is fiercely independent and not the meek Mrs Archer to Tom that she seemed to becoming.
Eddie though hasn’t considered Alice to help plan the party for Clarrie’s 60th. Scenes involving Eddie and Joe are always capable of providing a bit of light relief, although I’m not absolutely certain that Clarrie will be too delighted to see Adele in the photo of her grandchildren. Still, if George gets what he wants, then why not Joe? The party can’t really come soon enough for Clarrie who is down with the thought of turning 60. Not even an evening out with Eddie can lift her spirits, and he can’t help noticing. Has Tom gone and infected Clarrie? The day of the party finally arrived though, and the village was whisked back in time to the 1970s as Eddie manages to pull it out for Clarrie again, although his Charles Aznevour was a bit on the painful side again. But it does the trick, and it lifts Clarrie’s spirits. Well done Eddie. Still, with things looking positive for the Grundy’s for the time being, you have to wonder what will upset their apple cart next. Little has been said about Hazel becoming their landlord. Will that still come back and bite Clarrie?
But the week ended where we started, back at Bridge Farm with the day of the organic status inspection. Tom’s continuing absence has inevitably let some things slip at Bridge Farm and Pat’s strategy of explaining Tom’s absence was a risky one. Tony might have had a point that it would be viewed as excuse making, and a reason for the inspector to look just that bit more closely. Turns out it did, and the bombshell that Tom had been playing fast and loose with the pig feed has rocked Pat and Tony and they are faced with the real prospect of losing their organic status. It seems that Tom has really gone and done it this time. Will Tony’s heart be able to cope with the fallout?