Alex Jones (Clive Horrobin)
Who are we talking about? Great Uncle Clive and George Grundy, of course. Will and Nic are worried because George insists on playing 'burglars' all the time and is going around (and even sleeping in) a mask and carrying a bag marked 'swag'. Even Emma and Ed have noticed and Emma wonders if such behaviour is in the genes. She confides her worries to Susan, who laughs at her fears (well, being an ex-jailbird she would, wouldn't she?).
Things take a turn for the worse when Ed and Emma find George playing with a fire truck that they have never seen before. They question George, who freely admits that he 'burglared it' from Jake in order to show Uncle Clive what a good burglar he is. Two slaps deserved there – one for being a thief and one for not speaking properly. Em and Ed tell George off and that he will have to apologise to Jake. Before this happens, Emma and Will manage a civilised conversation for once about George and Clive's influence. Emma says, as far as she's concerned, he'll never see George or Keira again. In your dreams, woman!
Things could be worse and we wait to see if Clive passes on any more tips ("OK George, that's enough playing burglars – let's play a new game. This one's called 'arson'. You take these matches…"). Actually there is probably a way of keeping Clive away – he's been let out because mum Ivy isn't well, so all they have to do is either cure her completely or bump her off. Problem solved.
Clive's baleful influence still stalks Ambridge and Christine is very frightened (and angry) when David tells her that Clive has been back to the village. As far as Christine is concerned, Clive is a murderer (another great game, George!) who shortened her husband's life. Christine asks David how he felt when Clive visited Rickyard Cottage. "Basically, I wanted to kill him" replied David. So. No other cheek turning, then? Christine receives a surprise when Jim Lloyd turns up on her doorstep, complete with suitcase, with the news that he is moving in to protect her. Got your asbestos suit Jim?
It was nice to see Tom's smug nose put out of joint when he received the contract from Underwoods. Not only is the unit price lower, but Tom is expected to contribute towards promotional costs. After Tom's crowing about rebranding, he has to tell Pat and Tony about the bad terms. Tony manfully resists saying "I told you so", but as Tom tells Brenda later, "it was written all over his face."
But Tom's not having it and says he will go and see Doug Somerville of Underwoods and make him change his mind. Tom has obviously been watching too much Dragons' Den and is suffering from delusions of adequacy. Armed with self-righteous anger, he marches into Underwoods and is totally taken apart by Doug Somerville. First, Doug makes him wait for ages, then tells him he can spare him five minutes. Far from changing his mind, he tells Tom that he (Doug) is taking a big risk with the brand, quite frankly he expected a bit more gratitude and now we know where we stand (or in Tom's case, grovel) would you mind shutting the door on your way out Tom?
Tom returns to Brenda even more despondent than before, but hey, we still have the footballing pigs and Brenda's catchy (not) slogan 'Fit pigs make great sausages' and Tom is still convinced that it will go viral.
Have you noticed that non-speaking characters are getting bigger parts, so to speak? I can only assume it's down to BBC cutbacks. Not long ago Derek Fletcher was much in evidence (albeit silently) and now everybody's talking about Hillary Noakes and her petition to get the fireworks display moved off the green because they upset her cockatoo.
Ian – who has been absent for a long time – returned this week and had to listen to Adam banging on about how betrayed he has been by the Super Dairy scheme and what a risk it all is. Ian suggests that he tells Debbie of his fears – now why didn't you think of that Adam?
Will and Nic go to the apple quiz at The Bull and they win it. Before they go, Will tells Nic she looks gorgeous and "I've got to go and make myself look equally gorgeous". Ha! Nic will be a Great Great Grandmother before that happens!
Winning the quiz has obviously affected the couple, as Will comes over all what he thinks is romantic, but is, quite frankly, soppy and wet (not to mention nauseating) and proposes to Nic. He even gets down on his knees and Nic, spurning the opportunity to knee him in the face, demonstrates how empty her life must be by saying "yes!" without even thinking about it. At least sleep on it Nic – about 100 years should do it.