A contemporary drama in a rural setting.
Brian is on the warpath and Joy makes an unfortunate mistake.
Harrison and Fallon meet Chris for their night out; something normal at last. They declare he deserves it. He doesn’t know about that, but concedes it is just what he needs. Emma doesn’t make it due to a late running parish council meeting. Unfortunately the restaurant she’s chosen is the one Chris took Alice to for her thirtieth. He admits he misses her in everything he does. The others try to distract him but it doesn’t work and he’s preoccupied worrying about Martha. Fallon and Harrison have to acknowledge it may have been too soon for this gathering. Chris asks to leave early, and apologises for spoiling the evening. Fallon stresses that it’s him they care about, not going out. They agree to get chips, go back to Woodbine and watch some TV.
Brian and Jennifer are trying to find the moment to raise the subject of rehab with Alice. Jennifer observes ruefully that without Peggy’s secrecy it might not have been necessary. Brian thinks the important thing is to get Alice on board now. At first they receive a flat no from Alice. A month away from Martha is out of the question. She blames Susan, and then her parents’ lack of support, for the situation she’s in. Jennifer shocks Alice by suggesting she might die. After a while Alice relents; she’ll sign the authorisation for rehab. They can’t go on as they are. Relieved Jennifer assures her they can beat this thing together.
Fallon tell Chris she can’t join him for the night out Emma’s organised. She wouldn’t be able to bear to listen to everyone badmouthing Alice. Everyone’s being forced to pick a side, and if Alice is left out in the cold they have to think of the future, and Martha. She cites her own dad as an example of how things can be turned around. Chris thinks Alice is a long way off that. Fallon reassures him – he’s doing a great job. In turn Chris thanks Fallon for looking out for Alice while he can’t. Fallon agrees to the night out – she’ll come, if Chris makes sure Alice is not up for discussion!
Chris declares he’s grateful to Peggy for the talk they had at New Year about prioritising Martha. He takes strength from it whenever he’s tempted to wonder if he’s done the right thing. Peggy thinks Chris is brave. Jennifer arrives and is sad when Chris and Martha have to rush off. She shares with Peggy that she and Brian are looking into residential treatment for Alice. She gives credit to her mum for being a shining example of family not giving up on family – Peggy always stuck by their dad Jack. Peggy’s exercised by this show of gratitude. She admits to Jennifer that she’s known about Alice’s alcoholism for months, and that Chris to some extent acted on her advice. Peggy’s justifications around her own past experiences don’t wash with shocked Jennifer. How does Peggy think she was acting in Alice’s best interests? Jennifer blames Peggy totally for the current situation; she doesn’t see how she’ll ever forgive her.
Jazzer’s trying to fix his motorbike. He tells Ed the love of bikes is the only thing he and Tracy don’t have in common. Ed’s not sure about that. Jazzer counters it was Eddie turning up to whisk Tracy off in his limo that really fouled up their date. Jazzer thinks Jennifer had a cheek going to Ed for advice on addiction. But Ed feels a bit sorry for her. Emma had called it ages ago, but it seemed like Jennifer had only just worked out what was wrong with her daughter. Jazzer’s going to Berrow Farm for a few hours since the shearing’s rained off. Ed gives him a lift.
Jazzer’s not pleased to see Brian at Berrow, who’s come with a quibble over the gilts’ returns figures. Jazzer and Neil manage to handle grumpy Brian, as Neil points out how useful it is to have Jazzer there prior to him starting formally. Brian grudgingly acknowledges this.
Brian’s horrified to find out Alice and Fallon are going to a pub. He’s got the wrong end of the stick and Fallon puts him right – she’s actually going with Alice to keep an eye on her. Brian’s chastened. Afterwards he thanks Fallon for making sure Alice kept her drinking manageable. He’s grateful. Fallon understands. She can see it’s because he just wants the best for Alice. They agree it’s like walking on eggshells, and neither know how to reach the old Alice. Fallon mentions rehab, which sets Brian on a chain of thought.
Desperate Jennifer turns to Ed for advice on what it’s like to be an addict. After all, he managed to get back on his feet. At first Ed is wrong-footed and outraged, but then he allows Jennifer in. Ed shares that he turned to Oliver rather than his own family, and that it worked because Oliver took no nonsense. The wake-up call was when he nearly died; Oliver stuck by him and got him counselling. Seeing that there’s hope, Jennifer’s grateful. Her difficulty with Alice is that she can’t see where it came from. They both agree it’s hard to understand.
Emma’s keen to get Fallon and Harrison together with her and Chris, to help take his mind off his troubles. Harrison points out it’s still awkward after what Alice did, and Fallon tries to deflect too, but eventually Harrison agrees they could give it a go. After a river swim together Fallon and Harrison talk some more. She’s still very wary of meeting up with Chris and Emma socially. Emma hates Alice, and won’t leave it alone – Fallon doesn’t want it to turn into an occasion to slag off Alice. That will do none of them any good. Later Harrison tells Emma he’s happy for a night out with Chris. Meanwhile Fallon feels for Jennifer in her desperation over her daughter. She assures Jennifer she gets it. Alice is ill – and ill people need help, don’t they?
Mia’s having a hard time. After an initial struggle Will manages to chat with her, gently trying to tease out what’s wrong. She finally confesses she didn’t realise heartbreak would hurt so much. Will empathises, describing when it happened to him at Mia’s age. He assures her it gets easier. Mia’s brave, clever and funny. The boy in question doesn’t see any of that, she replies ruefully. Will counsels there’s no easy way, she just needs to let the hurt happen, and remember that the whole family loves her. She loves them too, admits Mia.
Tipsy Alice has brought someone back to Willow Cottage. Unsuspecting Calvin is met with an icy reaction from Jennifer, who wastes no time in informing him Alice is not only an alcoholic, but married with a baby. As embarrassed Calvin beats a hasty retreat, Jennifer is left alone with her daughter. What on earth was she thinking? Alice accuses her mother of overreacting. She just wanted some company. Brian suggests that if Alice was feeling lonely she should turn to Chris and Martha, her own family. Alice retorts they’re not her family anymore; she doesn’t need them. She wishes they’d all leave her alone. Her parents plead with Alice to remember she and Chris love each other. But when Brian urges her to remember her marriage vows, it’s a step too far for Alice, and she bites back. He’s a hypocrite. These are the same vows he made, and broke, years before. She’s a selfish liar who drinks too much – so she’s just like him.
I’ve been listening to The Archers for about 20 years now. The last 15 in NZ, I wouldn’t be without it. The podcast makes keeping up with episodes easy as.
Enjoying The Archers in Paradise
I am based in The Cook Islands, Rarotonga and enjoy the Podcast thanks BBC!!
I listen to the archers every day here in Auckland. I’ve listened for years - my parents used to listen when I was young. It’s an essential part of my day now. Find it a real connection to home. I’ve been in NZ for 4 years and the archers is a fantastic little bit of Britain that makes me smile/laugh/cry every day.