Saturday, 30 January 2016

Bonus Posting: The Chickens Are Gathering On The Wires

The chickens in question are those that will surely soon be coming home to roost for Rob and, yes, I know chickens don’t perch on wires, but I plead artistic licence.

I was just contemplating a bonus posting about how Rob would get his come-uppance – with the usual morality of the Archers, the fact that he will get what’s coming to him one day is surely a nailed-on certainty – and who would be the instigator. I was going to do it along the lines of bookies’ odds (Kirsty – Evens, Charlie 3/1 etc.) and then the following comment was made, by Mr or Ms Anonymous, on last week’s blog.

How many people suspect Rob? Charlie, obviously - the blocked culvert and the financial irregularities at Berrow. Who did he tell? Adam? Not Justin or the Demara or BL board, it seems. What did the consultants report say? Jennifer spoke to Stefan before he left. Shula saw Rob assault someone, and then lied to protect him. Has she forgotten? Does Oliver know he is a potential liability for the hunt? Doctor Locke must know something compromising from his past. Perhaps Shula and he will swap stories at some point. Ian exchanged blows with him after the cycle race. Kirsty clearly thinks something is up. Tom? No doubt they will confide in each other at some point. Amazing how pliant and blind Pat has become. She will be furious with him (and should be furious with herself). Are there others I have missed?

OK, so each character sees a small piece and the listeners can see the whole picture, but this cannot go on for very much longer. One also wonders if this gripping but unpleasant story line is gaining or losing listeners....

That’s a pretty comprehensive list of people who have no reason to feel anything positive for Rob, but it lacks a few detractors. The most obvious one is Helen herself, whose pregnancy is the result of, not to put too fine a point on it, rape by her husband and whose life is currently being made a misery by Rob’s control freakery. However, I think we can safely rule Helen out as an instrument of revenge; at least until she grows a backbone. I suppose she might suddenly snap and we could have an episode where she is standing over Rob’s mutilated body, wielding a blood-stained carving knife and sobbing “I’m sorry, Rob… I’m so sorry” but the odds are against it.

Another who has no love for Rob must be ex-wife Jess. Rob was awful to her when there was the possibility that he was the father of her unborn child and, when this proved to be otherwise, he was even worse (see “…In Victory, Unbearable”). Jess wasn’t a happy camper and you know what they say about a woman scorned.

Others who Rob has upset include the Darrington cricket team (and, indeed, most of the Ambridge team) when Rob edged a ball to the keeper, but refused to do the gentlemanly thing and walk (see "It’s NotWhether You Win Or Lose – Oh Sorry, Apparently It Is"). Never mind causing the village to be flooded and nearly drowning Charlie – such behaviour is beyond the pale. However, if the Darrington lot take revenge into their own hands, the crime shouldn’t be too hard to solve, as Rob will be showing signs of having been bludgeoned with a blunt object, probably made of willow, and the cricket stump through the heart would be a good clue.


  1. Mr Anonymous here :) Oh, Helen and Jess, of course - I was taking them as read, but you are right to add them I suppose. And Henry? Helen might confide in Kirsty or perhaps her mother at some point. Jess could return as the deus ex machina. Was that paternity test result fixed? And the very unpleasant homophobic undermining of Adam as cricket captain. Perhaps Brian will pull it all together? Also the nasty way Rob treats Fallon at the tea room. No doubt there are other characters who have seen his mask slip. Surely (please!) it must come to a head before Titchener junior is due to arrive in May. Or are we going to add years of child abuse to spousal abuse?

  2. As someone who has been in a relationship frighteningly similar to this, I dread hearing his silky smooth tones when I am catching up on iPlayer or the omnibus.

    The insidious manner in which he has taken over Helen's world, like ivy suffocating and ancient tree in a graveyard, triggers claustrophobic panic. Rob needs to 'do one' before I have to give up listening altogether. My only hope is that he chokes to death on an Earl Grey infused black pudding, that is pushed down his throat by a Murder on the Orient Express style pact killing involving all those smited by him in Ambridge or beyond...

  3. One also wonders if this gripping but unpleasant story line is gaining or losing listeners....

    Oh, I am sure it's gaining listeners, as it gets people talking about it.  There's nothing like a good villain to crank up the rankings (JR Ewing in Dallas, Alexis Colby in Dynasty, Phil Mitchell in EastEnders and more than a few in Coronation Street).

    Rob's character is nasty but wonderfully realistic and very well portrayed: the creepyness, the sly undermining of Helen's confidence, the way he slowly but surely cuts her off from all her friends, the insidious way he takes over her life and the Bridge Farm shop whilst pulling the wool over almost everybody's eyes. Even when he accidentally drops the mask (e.g. the hunt saboteur incident), he manages to find a way out.

    I can think of (at least) two possible scenarios in which he will get his comeuppance:
    - Stephan will return with the strawberry pickers, talk to Adam, and unravel the whole story.  He is the only one who knows enough about Rob to bring him to the attention of the police or-

    - Kirsty, who seems to have made her peace with Helen, will realize what's happening and put the pieces together, possibly prompted by Helen herself, who has tried to confide in various people before being interrupted by events. Or possibly Kirsty and Pat together, once it becomes obvious that Helen has once again sought refuge in anorexia (there have been hints) which might remove the scales from Pat's eyes.

    Anyway, all this makes for a wonderful story line and I cannot wait to see where it's leading.

    - Zoe

  4. It will be innocent little Henry who does 'the Deed' quite by accident, of course. Upset by Mummy's alleged (by Rob)fall from grace, he is so distracted he leaves a model tractor on the floor. Rob enters, full of his supposed concern for Helen, to make some tea and toast to ram down her throat. He slips on the toy, tries to save himself by pulling on the kettle flex, but it comes loose in his hand and the exposed live wire comes into contact with a pool of water on the worktop. Quick FIZZ and exit of a right b*****d. Too quick and painless for many of us listeners, but totally effective and NO-ONE can be blamed. And helen and Henry are freed from a domestic tyrant.