Amy Shindler (Brenda Tucker)
I've never really had a lot of time for Brenda – I've got nothing against her as a person, but she does live with Tom after all, so something's obviously wrong with her. But no matter! After Tuesday's episode, I could have even forgiven her if she'd run off with Will.
But let's go back to Sunday – Matt couldn't stand being in James's presence and went down the pub. Paul rang Lilian to ask after James and suggests that James should have a bell so he can ring it when he wants something. Lilian thinks this is a great idea and rings The Bull to tell Matt to bring the bar bell back with him. And so on to Tuesday:
Lilian had taken Peggy out for the day, leaving Matt to look after James (as if). Matt promptly summoned Brenda to the kitchen and told her to take James's soup up to him. This show's Matt's sensitive, caring side, as James dumped Brenda some years ago and, understandably, she wasn't best pleased to be running errands for Lilian's spoilt son. As it happens, Tom was in James's room, boring the pants off him (and us) by talking about devils on horseback and sausages.
When Brenda turns up, James is his usual, arrogant self and rude as only he knows how, to the extent that Tom and Brenda walk out on him, taking the bell with them so that he can't annoy them. "I'll tell Ma!" wails James. Grow up you pussy! Well done Brenda – and the icing on the cake came later, when Brenda confessed to Tom that she had deliberately served James with lukewarm soup. As Tom said, truly revenge is best served cold. Some might say pity it wasn't strychnine, but there you go.
Things are going from bad to worse for Ed and Emma, as they try to make ends meet. Brenda is making a Halloween costume for George from an old sheet when Will brings him home and casually announces that he's bought George a lovely wizard's costume "and it was only £6.99". £6.99! That's Emma's food budget for a fortnight! In despair, Emma throws her costume away, saying: "It's rubbish – I'm rubbish".
Maybe, but not as rubbishy as the car. Emma drives George home from an afternoon scavenging in charity shops, when white smoke starts pouring from the engine and Emma has a hard time getting the car over to the hard shoulder. George is terrified as they sit on the embankment, but luckily Eddie and Fat Paul turned up and drove them home.
Back at home, Ed and Emma have a blazing row (Ed told George not to tell Will the story of the breakdown) when Ed says that they need a car. Emma is incredulous, then angry when Ed suggests a loan. Ed then comes within a heartbeat of death when he says to Emma "If you were better at managing…" Not your best-ever move, Edward.
Of course, Will finds out about the car and determines to have George over to stay with him and Nic more often. Over Ed's dead body! The atmosphere between the siblings sinks to a new depth and Ed tells Will that he hope the Shoot collapses and he loses his job. So much for brotherly love.
Emma and Ed make up and Emma says that she won't go to Josie's wedding and they can use the £150 to tax the car. They'll need a working car first. Ed promises to seriously look for a second job (Em has already talked him out of applying fro a night job at a supermarket) and he seems to forget that there's only 24 hours in a day. Ed even asks Mike if he could do Harry's milk round, but Mike says "sorry, I can't afford to replace him".
Lilian and Paul appear to be conducting an affair over the telephone – I'd hate to have their mobile bills. Lilian even asked Paul to describe his B&B room "so I can imagine you in it." I thought "If she asks him what he's wearing, I'm switching off."
It occurred to me that we haven't heard much from Helen lately – she was mentioned in one of last week's episodes, but didn't get to say anything. Wherever she's gone, it seems she's taken young Henry with her. Ian and Adam are conspicuous by their absences, too.
Jim tells Chris that Fallon's handling of Halloween night at Jaxx's was superb and that she'll be a shoo-in for manager when her trial period is up. Jazzer's influence seems to be still having an effect, as Chris points out that Jim has glitter on his forehead. "That's from my Halloween costume" says Jim. Halloween costume – what has come over the man?
Jim also stands on the threshold of a budding journalistic career – Borsetshire Life liked Jim's article on Mike and now want five more articles. That's going to be a bit of a problem, as he's got to find five further interesting people to write about. No, I can't think of five likely candidates either.