Michael Cochrane (Oliver Sterling)
Has anyone else noticed that Oliver Sterling and Caroline seem to have vanished without trace? It must be weeks since we heard Oliver banging on about Sterling Gold or Caroline enjoying a good hack in the open air. Are they on holiday? Banged up at Grey Gables by frustrated guests? I think we should be told…
Meanwhile, for those who are still with us: I'm sorry, but I cannot believe in the Harry/Jazzer storyline any longer – nobody is that reasonable or forgiving. I mean, even Jesus lost it with the moneylenders in the Temple, so how come Harry hasn't told Jazzer to sling his hook?
Let's face it, Jazzer has only been there a week or so and he has already littered the bathroom with his dirty, pig-stained overalls, drunk everything in the flat that might contain a trace of alcohol, incinerated the Sunday joint (buggering up the oven along the way), left old food hanging around, not washed up so much as a fork, comes home in the wee small hours and puts the TV on and finally, after the 'House Meeting' called by Harry (you suspect that there was an agenda and that Harry took minutes), Jazzer was caught smoking, admittedly hanging out of the window at the time. All it needed was one small push, Harry.
Mind you, there are signs that even Harry's tether is finite, as he moans about Jazzer to Fallon and – a sign of true desperation, surely – he auditions for the pantomime in order to give himself something to do in the evenings. Personally, I'd prefer juggling chainsaws, or good old self-harming, but it takes all sorts. Not surprisingly, Harry proved a more-than-useful actor and was given one of the starring roles. I wouldn't be surprised if Fallon joined the cast and there was the beginning of a touching romance. An alternative scenario is that Harry is gay and fancies Jazzer – why else would he put up with all this grief?
On the subject of the auditions (he said, through gritted teeth) we had the unedifying spectacle of Eddie Grundy whining and begging for a part other than Rat Henchman 2. Why does anybody want to put themselves (or us, for that matter) through this ordeal? When Eddie suggested that it should be fun, Lynda went ballistic and slipped into tortured director mode, ranting and (probably) foaming at the mouth. I bet she's got a canvas chair with her name on the back.
Elsewhere, it was bad news for the Peregrines, when the roosting step on the church tower was vetoed. Vicky turned from enthusiastic supporter to "say no to the falcons" in the blink of an eye and then made the faux pas of congratulating Will on his impending uncledom, to coin a phrase. Will someone please take this woman to one side and explain who hates whom, who has had relationships in the past and generally fill her in on peoples' backgrounds before she wedges any more feet in that, admittedly capacious, gob?
Jennifer proved she was human when she had a go at Kate for not helping ("But you're always so organised" replied Kate. I'll say!) and Kathy and Jamie moved even further apart. "I give up over the whole thing" said a despairing Kathy to Pat, prompting loud cheers from listeners and, presumably, even louder ones from Jamie.
Drama when Bert's oil filter (or rather, the Massey's) failed and David had to rush a new one to him so that he could compete in the ploughing match. Would he be in time? Yes! Would Bert win? No – he came sixth and we are left in suspense about whether or not he can still win the championship. My fingernails can't take much more.
Ruth is worried about Pip's future; on the romance front, no-one had asked Pip to the Ball. "You're bound to have somebody ask you" Ruth told her, surreptitiously riffling through the Yellow Pages to look up "Idiots – Village". But Ruth was right, as a boy called Lucan (and I'm not sure about the spelling, although if I were him, I'd ask to be called 'Luke', I think) has asked her. Amazingly he appears to have all his limbs and senses, although for David the most important thing is that he isn't Jude.
Academically, Pip has to decide between university and agricultural college (I hear that Tashkent Uni runs a very good course, Pip) and she hasn't even started her 'personal statement'. I can help here – pass me the form. "Annoying, gullible, whiny, boring – " But hey, why don't you run on ahead; this could take some time…