Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A Couple Of Cheaters

Jennifer Daley (Amy Franks)

Let's begin with poor Adam, lying in a coma in hospital and unable to defend himself against the constant talking of Jennifer, who is convinced that the sound of her voice will bring him back to the land of the living. On reflection, I reckon she has a point, as I can see him suddenly awakening and his hands gripping her throat in a desperate attempt to try and shut her up.

It's not only Jennifer, as she has Peggy and Ian talking to Adam and she really lays a heavy guilt trip on Debbie, because she won't drop everything and catch the next plane home from Hungary. "If he could only hear your voice" wails Jennifer, who cannot comprehend that Debbie is actually running Hungary and can't just come back.

In the event, Adam does wake up (presumably his subconscious realised that this is the only way he was going to get any peace) and Jennifer immediately starts worrying that he might suffer some lasting damage (apart from chronic earache), remembering when Brian suffered from epilepsy after being knocked down by a cow. Brian tells her she's being silly and look at him now – running the farm single handed and chairing the BL board. Having said that, Brian seemingly acknowledges that he is only human and tells Jen that they will probably have to get someone in to work on the farm while Adam recovers. Jen will probably worry in case the new person is a convicted murderer, or something – if fretting were to be an Olympic sport, she'd be a shoo-in for the Gold Medal.

If Brian wants someone to help with the paperwork/admin side of the business, he would be well advised to pass over brother-in-law Tony. Tom shows him how to operate the new software system, starting from first principles ("OK Dad, when we've put the plug in the socket, we move the switch down…") and goes off to wrestle with the silage clamp, leaving Tony to sort out the paperwork.

When Tom returns, Tony proudly tells him that he has dealt with it all. Tom is pleased, until he realises that he can't find any record of it and it turns out that Tony hasn't saved it. In a moment of extraordinary self-awareness, Tony says "I did all that work for nothing – I'm just a dinosaur, aren't I? With about as much brain." Come on Tony, don't be unfair – after all, there were some dinosaurs that were capable of walking and chewing grass at the same time, but persevere and you'll get there in the end.

Over at the Vicarage, Usha still cannot find the right moment to talk to Alan or Amy and to tell them that Carl is in fact married and she is seemingly unaware that, the longer she leaves it, the more awkward it will be when (or if) she does come clean and she is likely to face questions like "how long have you known?" and "why didn't you think to mention it?" The rate things are going, Usha will end up telling Carl and Amy's children on her deathbed.

Usha seems to have no problems telling Ruth, who, let's face it, has first-hand experience of adultery - or, more accurately, near-adultery – and Usha wonders whether or not Amy is aware that Carl is married and is going along with it. That's a nice opinion to have of your step-daughter. Let's be honest, if Usha really wanted Amy (and indeed the rest of Borsetshire) to know about Carl, then all she's got to do is drop a word (in strictest confidence, of course) to Susan Carter.

While Usha procrastinates, the Carl/Amy relationship seems to be rapidly moving up through the gears. Carl tells Amy he has to go to Bristol to work for a few days and she persuades him to take her with him. I don't know what his job is, but it seems to involve staying in the best hotels (they had a Jacuzzi in their room – or, more likely, suite), eating the best food ("that was the best meal I've ever had" says Amy, dragging him off to bed) and seemingly spending the minimum of time actually working.

The blissful few days has made up Amy's mind and she suggests that they move in together. Carl is less than enthusiastic, but Amy says "I love you, you love me, so why wait?" Back in Ambridge, Amy rings Alice to tell her that they "have decided to make it permanent" and, when Carl kissed her when he dropped her off, it was "like moving into a new phase." How right she is, as at that moment her mobile rings and it is Carl, dumping her, because "I can't give you the kind of commitment you deserve – I'm sorry, but it's over." At least he didn't say "my wife won't let me give you the kind of commitment you deserve."

We move on from cheater to cheetah (these links don't write themselves, you know) – the day after the Jubilee Fete Committee meeting, Lynda and Jim are out walking with Scruff, who disappears into a copse, where he begins barking furiously. Lynda goes to get him and finds him terrified. She returns to Jim, distraught because she glimpsed a big animal running off and tells Jim it was a big cat "about the size of a cheetah." Jim pooh-poohs her story, calling big cats "a rural myth" and suggests it might have been a fox or, more improbably, a large hedgehog. Presumably not a very big cheetah then? Lynda will have none of it, however and, no doubt thinking of the publicity value, declares triumphantly "Ambridge has got its own big cat – I'm sure of it." We await developments, but my money is on the fact that it was Carl, slinking slowly out of Amy's life.

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