Richard Attlee (Kenton Archer)
Is it possible to get Deep Vein Thrombosis of the brain? If so, that would explain Kenton’s increasingly bizarre attitude towards his younger brother, and it could be the case, as Kenton has just completed a long-haul flight back from Australia.
You’d think that he would have enough on his plate with clearing up the mess at The Bull and trying to come up with a viable plan to keep going, but when he learns that David will be chairing a meeting to discuss the future regarding floods, he makes a point of going along and interrupting his brother at every turn, questioning his decisions and undermining his suggestions. Kenton gets his own way about having a committee to look at future flood strategy - and what a committee it is; David, Kenton, Jim, Lynda, Usha, Rob (strangely) and Jennifer. My immediate reaction was “you’ve never got a machine gun handy when you need it, have you?”
After the meeting, David confronts his brother, asking (quite reasonably, I feel) why he came along if he was only going to be obstructive? David adds: “If you’ve got a problem with me, could we sort it out in private?” Kenton says that somebody has to stop David and (voice rising manically) “You’re setting yourself up as the selfless defender of this community - you’ve got a nerve, you really have”. Kenton then leaves, presumably to wipe the foam from his lips and dismember the odd cat with his bare hands.
On Friday, Jolene mentions to Alan that Kenton has staked so much on this weekend (the pop-up Bull and Easter egg hunt) so I can’t help thinking that it makes real sense to alienate a whole section of the family. Rooooth talks to Heather about the rift between the two brothers - and aren’t Jill’s children really good at having these rifts? - and Heather suggests getting Kenton and Jolene over for afternoon tea on Monday. Sounds like a plan.
Over at The Bull, Jolene takes a call from Rooooth, inviting them over and Kenton goes into melt-down mode, saying that there’s no way he would sit down at the same table as David, saying that David “Is totally responsible for our mountain of debt!” Yes, I remember David marching Kenton down to the travel agent and forcing him at gunpoint to book a holiday to Australia with Business Class flights and top-quality accommodation. Then, while Kenton was away, David did a rain dance and deliberately diverted the Am in order to flood The Bull.
Kenton goes even further; equating what David did, with Tom jilting Kirsty at the altar. The difference is that Tom was labelled a pariah and felt compelled to leave the country, while David “Rescued a few people in the flood and now he’s a hero”. Kenton’s final word is “I don’t want to sit down with my smug, double-crossing brother - I don’t want anything to so with him, ever again”. So that’s a ‘no’ to Easter Monday tea then, is it Kenton?
Over at Bridge Farm, the hastily-relocated shop is stocked and opened. The Archer family would like to have a corner devoted to local (i.e. Bridge Farm) products but Pat is worried as a) it’s a Community Shop and they can’t be seen to take it over and b) what is Susan going to say? I would make the observation that a) Bridge Farm is supplying the space, the electricity and the manpower to get the shop set up and b) Susan should keep her capacious mouth shut if she values her job at the dairy, so go ahead and get that cheese and those sausages on show. As it turned out, Susan was so preoccupied with the lack of broadband at the Post Office part of the shop, that she agreed to the Archers’ request without a murmur.
Susan is also worried about Emma’s wedding, telling Rooooth that she hopes Ed will spruce himself up for the occasion. So there you have it Ed - clean the mud (and whatever else) off those wellies and give them a good buffing up so they look good as you walk down the aisle at St. Stephen’s.
The shop is the least of Bridge Farm’s worries, as during the week, they are paid a visit by Mr Wallace of (I think) the Health & Safety Executive. Tony is interviewed under caution - just what you need when you are recovering from being trampled by a bull - and Tony is worried because he can’t remember many details. Obviously Tony should have taken notes as he was being trampled and gored and I wondered why Mr Wallace was there in the first place - did he think that Tony deliberately arranged for the bull to break free and jump up and down on him?
Mr Wallace asks why Ed was driving the bull rather than Eddie, but Tony robustly defends Ed as a stockman and also says that Johnny is “a competent stockman”, which is a bit of an exaggeration, plus Johnny wasn’t in charge of the stock, but of Henry. Mr Wallace then impugns the character of Otto - did the vendor say he had dangerous tendencies? The answer is ‘no’ and, as Otto is now a pile of steaks and pie filling, he can’t give us his side of the story.
Just to add to Tony’s anxiety, Mr Wallace tells him that it could be two months before the results of the investigation and whether there’ll be a prosecution. However, a custodial sentence is unlikely but, as Tony tells Pat, there’s a possibility of a substantial fine and “another stain on the reputation of Bridge Farm”. Welcome home and enjoy your Easter, Tony!
There was a slightly surreal series of cameos when Joe let one of his ferrets (Daphne) escape and she was at large in Grey Gables. Eddie berated his father for being a total prat (which could be a weekly ritual) and we were treated to episodes where Ed was turning up with a fishing net and he, Eddie and Joe were trying to catch the elusive Daphne, stalking the corridors of Grey Gables.
The situation was exacerbated when a couple of guests rang Roy and Lynda at Reception to report ‘a scratching’ behind the skirting boards or from the room next door. Roy catches the Grundys prowling the corridors and there is a farce when Eddie goes into a bathroom and there are sounds of a struggle, after which he emerges, claiming to have killed a Field Mouse and Roy can bugger off and not worry any more. If I were Caroline and Oliver, I would willingly pay for the Grundys to stay at a five star hotel - any other five star hotel.
Over to Home Farm, where Adam is still banging on about the state of the soil. Mind you, as they have lost 10 acres of Winter Wheat, he might have a point. Adam asks Brian whether he wants to pass on a working farm, or a dust bowl? Brian prevaricates while he goes online to see which would give the best return. OK, I lied.
In the kitchen, Kate is talking to Jennifer, who says how much work she has on, what with doing articles for The Echo etc. Kate then suggests that why doesn’t she take some of the load off her mother (alien abduction, obviously) and do the cooking? Jennifer agrees with alacrity, which seems to indicate that she obviously hates her husband. When told, Brian is horrified, telling Jennifer that she would have produced a leg of lamb or venison and what will Kate produce? Tell you what Bri, if you want meat, I’d book into the Bull, assuming that Kenton hasn’t been carried away by the men in white coats. Even if you don’t want meat, it would surely be worth that to get away from Kate?
Later on, Adam talks to Kate (and he’s one of the few who can do so without wanting to throttle her) about his reservations over the state of the land and the cocky bitch says that, when she’s finished her course, she’ll be able to tell them where they have been going wrong. Tell you what Adam, why not improve the organic content of the soil by ploughing Kate’s lifeless and butchered body into the Home Farm fields? That would be the most work she’s done in many a year.