Charlotte Martin (Susan Carter)
…There’s a pushy woman. I refer of course to Neil and Susan (she with massive delusions of adequacy). Tony is slowly sinking under the weight of work at Bridge Farm and appeals to Neil for help with the pigs. Neil says he could do a few hours and tells Susan, who immediately upgrades the job to that of manager, or maybe pig supremo and tells Neil to make sure that Tony knows that he wants paying as a manager.“You’re such a soft touch,” she says, scathingly, presumably slapping him round the face at the time.
Neil and Tony meet over darts in the pub and Neil brings up the subject of money, but the word ‘manager’ is never raised. Back home, Neil admits as much to Susan, who calls him “a pushover” and that he should have laid the law down. Perhaps she should ask herself why Neil isn’t more assertive - not only is he a nice, anything-for-a quiet-life guy, but years of marriage to Susan has probably beaten it out of him. Still, it gives Susan something else to moan about - no wonder Neil likes his pigs so much.
The saga of PC Burns and Fallon has more ups and downs than a rollercoaster - on Sunday, PCB rings Fallon and asks her out. Fallon shows Jolene his Facebook page, which she thinks is weird, but Jolene declares it ‘witty’. She also points out that social media shouldn’t replace face to face contact. Fallon is won over and agrees to see Harrison again, but it all goes tits up when she gets a text from him, saying he has to work late. Cue explosion as Fallon says“That’s it! He’s a player - he gets you interested then leaves.” She is not a happy bunny, to say the least and the relationship is off.
Next day, PCB has showered her with flowers and explains why he stood her up - there was an all officers call to find a missing child. “Tell me you found him” gasps a concerned Fallon. No worries - he turned up fine. PCB tells Fallon that this is the nature of his job and he’ll understand if Fallon cannot hack it. On the contrary - she is delighted because he really cares about his job and the relationship is back on again. PCB also suggests that Fallon (who is worried about the possible sale of Jaxx’s) should make a career out of upcycling old furniture. That will make Kenton’s day if he has to go back to working at Jaxx’s.
The writers are continuing to tease us with hints of strangeness in the relationship between Helen and Rob - at Blossom Hill cottage, Helen takes a phone call from a woman asking for Rob. It turns out to be Rob’s mother, Ursula and it soon becomes plain that she’s never heard of Helen and had no idea that her son was living with another woman. When Rob returns, Helen suggests that perhaps it’s time that she met Rob’s family. He isn’t keen, telling her that it’s not a good idea, as his family all thought the world of Jess, which must make Helen feel great.
Peggy is slipping into a slough of despond and Jill is worried, telling Christine that they should look out for her. Christine takes Peggy some scones and engages Peggy in what sounded like the world’s slowest-ever game of Scrabble. It takes Chris about an hour to come up with the word ‘solo’ and this triggers more gloom from Peggy, who says that since Christmas it’s all been about losing things - Jack, Tom (surely no reason for depression?) and, recently, Ben the cat. She has always felt she had a role in life - wife, mother, pub owner, but she has nothing now. “Would anyone miss me if I were gone?”Peggy asks, forlornly.
And so to the latest in the anti Route B campaign. David asks Jennifer to write an article for the Echo and she agrees. On Thursday, David and Rooooth spent the day at an agricultural show at the NEC, with Rooooth nearly having orgasms over the robotic milking display. On the way home, Lynda texts David and sends him a link to the Echo and the episode ends with him telling his wife “You’re never going to believe this!”
‘This’ turns out to be a picture of Ben holding the Justin Eliot effigy. Even worse, Ben’s name appears. Jennifer’s article also appears, under her by-line, even though she told the editor it wasn’t necessary. Charlie seeks out David and tells him that Justin isn’t pleased. David replies that he’s sorry for the effigy - it was a silly prank that got out of hand. Charlie isn’t mollified and tells David “Campaigns like this one you’ve started can get pretty dirty - are you ready for that?” Tempers (and voices) are rising and David makes it plain that, while he apologises for the guy, nothing has changed about what he feels about the road, the farm and the land. Clearly incensed, David says to Charlie “You don’t get it do you? This is what happens when you come between a farmer and his land - you do it at your peril!”
Charlie goes to see Brian, to tell him of Justin’s disappointment. Jennifer comes in on them, having just read the Riot Act to Kingsley over yet another delay to the kitchen and demanding that he gets it finished. Brian tries to play down her article in front of Chrlie but Jen’s dander is up and she tells Charlie that she loves the village - it’s a community and she won’t stand by and see it ruined. “It’s a free country and I’m entitled to say what I like” she practically spits at him. Well said Jen and spin on that, Charlie!
It looks like the Route B campaign is getting messy. Earlier in the week, David said to Jen:“Hearts and minds - that’s the way we’re going to win this fight.” By the end of the week the gloves are definitely off and perhaps David is now coming round to the way of thinking of one of the aides of former President Nixon, who reportedly said: “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”