Patricia Gallimore (Pat Archer)
Tony pushed the boat out by taking Pat out for their wedding anniversary and he bought her flowers. "We've had a lot of good times" he said. "Yes, we have," she replied, but there was a tinge of doubt in her voice. But hey! Never mind! They're coming to fit the new refrigeration unit this week! Who could ask for a better anniversary present?
Pat is delighted that Helen wants her to go with her to ante-natal classes, while Tony is less pleased when he learns that Kathy and Jamie will be joining them for Christmas lunch. Coming back from the ante-natal classes, Helen is favouring a water birth. About 10 fathoms would be favourite.
I'm really warming to Nic – not only did she weigh in with the turkey plucking, but she even tried catching one or two. Will was his usual sunny self – hasn't he got a particularly whiny voice? And doesn't he use it well (and frequently)? Nic's ideal Christmas present? A new partner.
The guest list for Susan's Christmas Eve party is growing all the time and Jennifer is appalled to learn that the Horrobins will be turning up en masse. Looking for reinforcements, she invites Matt and Lillian. Memo to Susan – order another tanker of gin.
Kate made it to the airport, thank God. Good job she went when she did – had she left a day or two later, the writers would, in the name of realism, had to have her stranded or, heaven forfend, even staying in Ambridge. "I don't want you to go" said a tearful Phoebe. Somebody club that girl to the ground! Brian was more practical, telling Kate that the queue for security was quite long. "Off you go" he said, echoing the feelings of millions. "And don't come back" was the only thing missing. "Six weeks will soon pass" Kate told Phoebe. It certainly will for the rest of us – too soon, if truth be told.
With Kate gone, Phoebe turns into a moody cow – perhaps she should get together with Jamie. Or maybe it's something going round, as Helen has a go at Kenton in Underwoods for offering to help her and storms off. Enter Tony, who also offers to help. "I hate to see you struggling on your own" he says, referring to the fact that she's loaded down with shopping. Helen immediately takes this as a criticism of her lifestyle and goes off on one, saying some very hurtful things to her Dad, such as "I can do without you Dad" and "I've never had any support from you". Granted, Tony is as wet as a mineral water sandwich, but he didn't deserve that. His tone when he speaks to Pat is one of bewilderment. "What can I do?" he asks. Well, I'd cut her out of the Will for starters. "You obviously caught her at a bad time" Pat replied. What, like when she's awake, do you mean?
Tony did have one good line when he referred to Susan and Vicky as "the village megaphone". Vicky seems to be picking up dairy work very quickly, much to the chagrin of Susan, who keeps telling her how difficult it all is and how it took her ages to pick it up. Then again, Vicky has an advantage in that she is capable of finding her own bum with both hands.
Freddie has been earmarked as Rat Henchman 2 by Lynda. How will he have time, with the extra studying? He'll be acting with a textbook in hand, I reckon. Elizabeth tries to reassure Jill that they have told Freddie that, should he fail the entrance exam, they won't consider him a failure. They'll probably thrash him soundly anyway, but he won't be a failure.
Finally, things haven't got very far between Harry and Fallon, although we are being teased by comments such as Lynda's: "When they're on stage, there's a real chemistry between them." They did meet at the Carol service on the Green, when Harry was going to leave because he didn't have a word sheet. "You can share mine" Fallon told him. This was Harry's golden opportunity to add "I haven't got a bed" but he's probably too much of a gentleman, the fool.