A contemporary drama in a rural setting.
Alice anxiously waits for news, and Helen and Tom are keen to impress.
It’s the day of Steph’s Suddenly Single party at Brookfield Barn. There’s early disaster as Steph’s hair and make-up artist cancels. Ben comes up with a solution in the form of Chelsea Horrobin. When Chelsea arrives she’s a little starstruck by influencer Steph, and at first the two of them hit it off. Chelsea ends up encouraging Steph, and taking pictures for her social accounts. However the party bombs, and Steph’s demands get a bit much for Chelsea. With few guests other than the male stripper even Steph can’t pretend it’s going well, and Chelsea tells it like it is. She points out that people are siding with Steph’s husband Liam online, before declaring she’s leaving. She doesn’t know why she bothered helping Steph. Steph protests she’s paying Chelsea to be there, but Chelsea doesn’t care. The party well and truly over, Steph is left crying over the pinata. She admits to Ben that the whole event was to show Liam what a good time she was having, and to try and win him back. Now she’s just an embarrassment. She looks awful on social. Ben comforts her, taking her phone away from her; not everything’s about looks. Steph misreads Ben’s sympathy and goes in for a kiss just as Beth walks in. Shocked Beth leaves, bumping into bewildered David on her way out. Ben tries to follow her, protesting his innocence, but Beth runs. David counsels his son to let Beth go and cool off. Distraught Ben insists he didn’t do anything.
Lynda comments to Kirsty that Adil wouldn’t stop talking about rewilding after his tour. Kirsty has no luck in persuading Lynda to be kinder to Adil. Adam joins them; he’s keen to work out logistics for his and Ian’s pizza van at the fete meeting later. Lynda warns that the WI may not welcome their new enterprise. Lynda thinks Adam should have beef with Adil as he made Ian redundant but Adam remains neutral – something had to change with Grey Gables losing so much money. Lynda isn’t convinced the village will benefit at all when the hotel reopens.
When Adil arrives at the Tearoom and Kirsty and Lynda introduce him to Adam, Adam wastes no time in promoting his and Ian’s pizza van venture. This makes Adil and Kirsty hungry. Adil asks if he can buy her breakfast.
Uncooperative Martha has delayed Chris getting her dressed, and she isn’t ready when Alice comes to collect her. Chris invites Alice in and is amazed how compliant Martha becomes. With Chris’ first client of the day cancelling, Alice stays on a while with him. They compare their experiences of being interviewed by the social worker, and Alice announces she’s cancelled the care hearing. Chris is over the moon and they agree to no more fighting. They tell one another how amazing they are as a parent and Alice is touched when Chris says he believes she’ll never drink again. They can only hope the social worker sees that they’re good parents and pursues no further action.
Beth and Steph both enjoyed their recent night out but that doesn’t help Beth make sense of Steph’s plans for her Suddenly Single party, which includes a stripper. Beth tries to persuade Steph to cancel the party. Steph’s defensive at first but then seems like she might come round. Ben arrives with the decorations Steph requested. Steph quickly dismisses her and Beth’s conversation. They look through the items and Steph gets more excited to Beth’s consternation.
Later Beth asks Ben why he’s supporting Steph’s party when it’s a terrible idea. Ben accepts she might be right but tries to offer a more positive view. Beth apologises for having a go at him but then accuses him of encouraging Steph just to get their own space again. Ben talks her down, saying there is only so much she can do to protect her sister. She sees his point and agrees it would be great to have her room back to herself.
Alice gives her version of Martha’s accident in the playground to Sam the social worker. She declares that she’s an alcoholic in recovery and Sam assures her he’s not there to catch her out. Alice explains it’s been fraught between her and Chris lately due the financial settlement and care hearing for their divorce. Alice is surprised when Sam asks about Chris’s relationship with Amy. Alice defends Chris and denies the relationship had any impact on his care for Martha. She concludes that it’s money that has poisoned their divorce and she’s not even sure how it has all become so stressful.
As Neil tries to calm Chris before the imminent social worker visit, Chris can’t remember the last time he felt vaguely relaxed. Sam the social worker asks Chris about what happened with Martha’s accident. Chris is full of guilt. When Sam asks if Chris thinks Alice’s recovery has lapsed, Chris emphatically replies no. Chris praises Alice’s strengths as a mother and then gets tearful. He admits he’s heartbroken that their marriage is over.
Kirsty ties herself in knots as she compliments Adil on his appearance when they meet for a tour of the rewilding land. Adil’s amused, and teases her. Kirsty explains that part of her role is to grow the number of visitors the rewilding site has. Adil asks for advice on winning round Lynda. Kirsty’s sure Lynda would like him if she gave him a chance. Kirsty’s impressed with how Adil handled yesterday when Lynda was rude to him. Adil’s determined to keep trying with Lynda. He hopes the new Grey Gables will have approval from the whole community, including Lynda.
The social worker thanks Chris for the tea and biscuits before heading out. Neil arrives and tells Sam that Chris is a fantastic father, embarrassing Chris. Neil also mentions it’s Chris’s birthday. Once Sam has left, Chris worries that his dad’s words might have made it look like he was asking for special treatment. He also frets that he’s been too nice about Alice in his social worker interview. He feels like his whole future depends on whatever Alice says in her interview.
Chris relays to Neil that a date has come through for the court hearing for the care of Martha. Neil suggests Chris fills in his solicitor about Martha’s accident. Chris calls Neil to let him know the solicitor’s response – it could be used as evidence against Alice, and is Chris sure that Alice hadn’t been drinking? Later Neil tries to reassure Chris who is stressed about his social worker interview tomorrow, and consumed by anxiety over his solicitor asking about Alice’s drinking. Neil carefully asks how sure he is about Alice’s sobriety but Chris doesn’t know what to believe anymore.
Kirsty and Lynda reflect on the closure of Grey Gables and Lynda admits it’s not easy having Adil as a guest. Adil interrupts them, keen to hear about rewilding. Listening to Kirsty he is reminded of his grandmother who practices zero budget natural farming in Pakistan. Adil tries to compliment Lynda by likening her to his force of nature grandmother. But Lynda remains cool towards Adil. Robert joins them and Adil jokes about Kirsty leaving rewilding to work for the new Grey Gables. Robert ticks off Lynda for not finding it funny. Lynda changes the subject by reminding Adil he has to stop singing in the shower; they’ve had a complaint. Adil asks for a tour of the rewilding, something Lynda would also like. However, she claims to be unavailable at the time suggested by Kirsty. Kirsty says that’s absolutely fine – they’ll just have to have separate tours.