A contemporary drama in a rural setting.
Philip turns the screw and Tracy has a brainwave
Freddie spots Eddie trying his luck with a metal detector in Marney’s. They chat about how quiet Grey Gables is, giving Freddie more time to focus on his Christmas show. Eddie’s been waiting confidently for his nod, but discovers Freddie has no plans to include him in the cast. Lynda’s radio appeal filled the parts quickly. Eddie’s shocked, and reels off his credentials. He’s not impressed with the people Freddie’s chosen, but Freddie puts his foot down – the casting is done, he’s sorry. Later however, Lynda recommends Freddie reconsider and hand Eddie a part. He might be troublesome, but he’s often the glue that holds the cast together. Freddie’s lost a valuable member. Freddie’s gutted. He’s really upset Eddie. Lynda declares that’s Freddie’s problem to solve.
Alice and Chris tell the doctor about the events surrounding her confinement to the bathroom, and her hallucinations. Alice is desperate to get well and will do anything. The doctor explains gently that Alice won’t be able to come off alcohol suddenly. He suggests reducing her intake slowly, in a safe way. It would be a two-week residential medical detox. Alice doesn’t like it, and considers refusing. The doctor warns her that if she continues as she is, Child Services may need to be involved. After a mental tussle, Chris makes Alice see sense, and she agrees to the programme. Chris suggests private treatment, to speed things up. Afterwards Chris reminds Alice of their time in Las Vegas and his promise to love her forever. She’s worth the fight.
Alice wakes up to a cold reception from Chris. He is perfunctory in preparing her breakfast, but her pleas to him to just be angry at her don’t wash. How will that help the baby – which is all that matters. Alice begins to sweat and shake through lack of alcohol. She insists Chris locks her in the bathroom. It’s the only way. She’s disgusting, selfish and pathetic, and needs to be shut away. Chris does so reluctantly. He’s bewildered. How can he not have noticed all this before? When did it start being different for Alice? She traces it back to stress with Pryce Baumann, and it occurs to Chris that she was sacked. Not quite, admits Alice, but she would have been if she hadn’t made the move. Chris berates himself that Emma could see it, but he couldn’t. Whimpering Alice suddenly begs to be let out, or to be given a drink. She drinks mouthwash and then screams as she hallucinates. Horrified Chris brings Alice some whisky on the condition that this is her last drink. As he sees the state his wife is in, Chris breaks down. They both weep, and Chris feels he’s let her down.
Rex can’t understand how Toby can be so laid back about their eviction from Hollowtree – six months to find a new rental is no time in farming. Toby drops the bombshell that he might sell the Scruff gin brand to Shires. They made him an offer at the start of the year. But Rex is still tearing his hair out over finding somewhere for his pigs. Later Toby finds out he can still sell to Shires, at a lower price than pre-Covid, but even after Kenton takes his cut there should be enough left for him to plough into another project. He offers to shout Rex a drink at The Bull by way of celebration.
Chris tries to keep Alice calm ahead of her scan. The bleeding has stopped, and none of this is her fault. They’ll deal with whatever the result is together. To their relief all is well with the scan. Chris is excited, but Alice is quiet. She flinches when he touches her belly, and starts to cry. She gradually admits the truth to Chris: not only was she drinking to excess before, but she hasn’t stopped since discovering she’s pregnant. Chris reels from this double blow. He could just about cope with the fact she had a problem in the recent past, but the second admission floors him. She begs him to respond, and is desperate for his help, but he remains silent.
One of the wedding clients for next spring has called with concerns over security at Brookfield. Ruth thinks she’s allayed the woman’s doubts, but no sooner has she said this than Eddie calls to say there’s a suspicious van hanging around Marney’s field. David arrives but misses them; the van’s driven off. Eddie curses the nighthawkers – he fears they won’t give up easily. He suggests he might pose as one of them to gain their trust – but to do that he’ll need the detector David found dumped in the hedge… Eddie also suggests that once they’ve caught the wrongdoers, he could be given the rights to the area. Ruth’s more than sceptical, but David feels it’s a case of better the devil you know.
Chris fears Alice’s sickness has returned as he remarks on her being missing from the bed last night. Alice insists she was just outside looking at the stars. She presents him with an outfit for the baby which trumpets his awesomeness. As Jennifer arrives at the door, both agree they want to put her off today. But as Jennifer opens up about Siobhan’s CD, Alice is happy to listen. Jennifer confesses it’s helped her see Siobhan in a new light – as a mother speaking to her son. She can no longer hate the woman who gave them Ruairi and spoke so lovingly to him. Alice is moved, and she and her mother share a tender moment. Later Alice is horrified to discover she’s bleeding.
Jazzer’s appalled Johnny went home with Jade last night. He was hoping his own thing with her was going to go somewhere. Johnny apologises. He hadn’t realised. He was just trying to follow Jazzer’s own advice, to find a woman who knows what she wants. He doesn’t think he’ll be seeing her again. After covertly delivering homebrew to Ben at Willow Cottage, Johnny declares Jazzer should go for Jade if he really wants her. But Jazzer realises it’s futile if she doesn’t want him. They get a message from Ben: he’s found the beer, and Brian’s enjoying it.
Ruairi and Jennifer chat. Jennifer gives him Where the Wild Things Are, a book from his childhood, which he loves. He confesses he’s saving Siobhan’s CD but doesn’t know how long to wait. He finally listens, and Jennifer stays with him at his request. Siobhan describes her world and surroundings in 2007, including some of Ruairi’s outfits and other poignant moments of his four-year-old life. She talks about discussing her death with him, and assures him that she loves him, whether he has a girlfriend, boyfriend, or however he turns out. Ruairi stops the CD. This is just what he wanted to hear. They continue, and at the end Ruairi declares it amazing. He’s glad he listened with Jennifer. Jennifer agrees.