Tuesday, 4 February 2014

An Opportunity Missed

Rui Thacker (George Grundy)

Ed and Emma had a golden opportunity to better their lives last week, when George packed a bag one evening and set out for Will and Nic's house. Instead of either moving, or changing the locks, Ed goes out to look for him and Emma rings Will. The two brothers meet, angry words are exchanged and violence breaks out. Bearing in mind that George still hasn't been found, it hardly seems the time for a brawl. Eddie turns up and breaks up the fight, saying that he's disgusted with both of them.

The next day, Ed apologises to his Dad for his behaviour and resolves to keep a lid on his temper. By contrast, nasty, whiny Will makes a distraught Clarrie's mood even worse when he rings her and tells her that it was all Ed's fault. Perhaps George should go and live in a kennel with Holly, thereby making everyone happy, especially us.

At Bridge Farm, Tony continues to suffer from angst and self-doubt, saying things like "What do I have to do to make my own mother think I'm worth something?" My suggestions are either hypnosis or extremely strong mind-altering drugs. Even Tom realises that his Dad is feeling a bit low and he and Kirsty come up with the idea of holding their wedding reception in a marquee at Bridge Farm. "It might help them to feel more involved" says Tom. I suppose the fact that it's a cheap option never had anything to do with it?

Anyway, Tom and Kirsty go to see Tony and Pat and broach the idea. The parents are delighted and accept immediately. I had hoped that Tom would say to Tony "That's always assuming that you can put the marquee up properly, you loser" but he didn't.

We also had the story about Susan's lottery win. Susan feels guilty about telling so many fibs. In fact, she overdoes it somewhat, going up to total strangers and saying we've been saving up for this for years you know – that's the only way we could have afforded it. Her cunning plan of disinformation, however, goes nads up when she makes the fundamental mistake of giving Dad Bert some of the money and saying something like 'whatever you do, don't mention the lottery win'.

Bert Horrobin immediately goes to the pub and starts chucking money around like a very philanthropic octopus. Joe is there, with his uncanny sixth sense for a free drink or two and Bert tells him that Susan has won the lottery but his lips are sealed and he cannot say anything. Too late, Bert, my old mate – the words 'cat', 'bag' and 'out of' spring to mind. Joe isn't one to keep such information to himself and goes round telling everyone that there were probably six zeroes on Susan's cheque and she's a millionaire. It will be interesting when Susan returns from St. Lucia to find sacks of begging letters on the doorstep and a queue of people winding down the front garden path, carrying begging bowls.

Jill had a moment of panic when she heard a noise during the night, so she rang David, who went round with Rooooth. There's no sign of any intruder and Rooooth offers to make a cuppa. They ask Jill to come back with them, but she refuses, saying the tea has made her feel better, which makes you wonder what Rooooth put in her cup. "I've been a terrible nuisance" says Jill. Of course you haven't, love; David and Rooooth don't mind being woken up at 1am after a hard day's work by a manic phone call and going out in the dark – don't worry about it, call anytime.

Helen featured prominently last week – Kirsty asked her (with some trepidation) if she'd be her bridesmaid. Helen is delighted and agrees at once. Not only that, but Henry's going to be a page boy, lucky lad. On Sunday, Jennifer is taking Peggy home from visiting Jack's grave and Peggy muses about how she wishes Helen could find someone. Good old poker face Jen immediately goes all coy and Peggy realises that she's hiding something. The whole story comes out and Peggy is a bit shocked at the thought that her granddaughter might have been having an affair. Jennifer does her best to minimise the damage by saying that she thinks the marriage was over when they began.

Pat turns up at Peggy's as Jen leaves and Peggy mentions Rob, asking Pat if that's why she came over? Right on cue, Peggy's phone rings and it's Helen, asking if she could come over of Friday "and bring someone" "Rob?" Peggy asks and, putting the phone down, says "I'll be able to make my own mind up now." What, no immediate condemnation of the man, no ranting, no calls for castration? She's actually going to use reason and listen to Rob and Helen's stories? A bit radical for an Archer female, that.

Pat tells Peggy that Tony is feeling really down and Peggy reassures her that she does love Tony (but not enough to leave him any money). He should be stepping back after his heart attack, says Peggy and it's Tom and Helen's vision that's important now. Or to put it another way, Tony, you're yesterday's man and your rocking chair, pipe and slippers are in the corner.

Friday arrives and Helen and Rob turn up. The conversation is very frank and Peggy is impressed with Rob's answers and attitude, saying: "I'm all for giving second chances. It seems to me the sooner you two can get together, the better. Life's too short, don't you think?" Are you listening, Pat?

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