Incredibly, it’s been 134 days since that fateful dark and stormy night when Ambridge was shaken to its core. Time to revisit; time to see where everyone’s at and assess the devastating knock-on effects.
Lizzie – The Grieving Widow’s trajectory has been swift. January: Oh Nigel! February: I’m going to lean so hard on David his leg’ll fall off. March: I’ll poach Caroline’s manager as he’s the only person in the entire country who can do this job. April: Think I’ll make a few people redundant. May: Nigel who? It’s good to see Lizzie moving on in the only way she knows how: by being a complete bee-atch. Next bit of core-shaking: See Roy, below.
Roy – When Caroline lent Roy to the Grieving Widow to help her out, she forgot what Lizzie’s like. Before you could say, ‘that’s a bit of a rum do,’ Lizzie had enticed Roy away by dint of a humungous salary made up of a newly-redundant falconry expert’s wages. Plus a fancy new car and the confidence that every time he wipes his arse she’ll tell him what a fantastic job he’s doing. I’m certainly not the only person to notice that Lizzie and Roy are very much enjoying spending some quality time with each other. Next bit of core-shaking: I can’t shy away from this, though the very thought gives me the willies. Clearly Roy and Lizzie are going to have an ill-fated dalliance among the famous Lower Loxley rose-bushes, a low-rent Mellors/Lady Chatterley de nos jours. This will have knock-on effects on everyone, especially me. God, imagine the dialogue.
- Roy: Ohhh, Elizabeth.
- Lizzie: Ohhh, Roy.
- Roy: Oi never realised you was such a goer Elizabeth.
- Lizzie: I never realised a fellow of the lower orders could have such a massive, er, CV.
Ok, if this starts I’m switching to Ambridge Extra for the duration.
David – As I have said repeatedly, it’s high time a new Psychiatric Story Editor was recruited. David’s post-traumatic stress and depression have been solved not by therapeutic intervention, anti-depressants, the loving embrace of his family and friends, or the simple passing of time. No, the better-than-Prozac solution is, of course, improved milk yields. One minute he’s the glummest man in Borsetshire, the next he’s bouncing around counting his sodding blessings. I’m hopeful however that he has got better simply because he needs to be up in order to plummet even further down again when we reach the… Next bit of core-shaking: In which something causes David to finally confront his suppressed guilt at being responsible for Nigel’s AAAAARRRGGGH and he slumps into a proper moody. This is how I think it will work. Just as Brian always confides in David, so I think David will confide in Brian one drunken evening in the Bull about his role in the Nigel roof debacle. Brian will tell Jenny, Jenny will tell Kate, Kate will tell Roy and Roy will let it slip during pillow talk with Lizzie. Lizzie will turn from Lady Chatterley to Lady Macbeth and it’ll be a blood bath. Hurrah!
Hayley – At the moment, Hayley’s in gravy, apart from the ever-present boil that is Kate. Her slightly unclear role at Lower Loxley as general child-minder to any tot who wanders onto the grounds has become even more vital than previously, and Roy’s got a big new salary and the renewed energy of a man who realises an affair with a posh bit of crumpet is mystifyingly within his grasp. Next bit of core-shaking: Roy is already emotionally distant as he spends all his time thinking of how vulnerable yet brave Lizzie is, and how becoming her bosom in her widow’s weeds. Hayley’s been whinging all week about Kate’s plans to whisk Phoebe to Jo’berg for an extended period, presumably to allow the actress who plays Phoebe to rehearse for a summer season at Worthing, and to spare us Kate for a bit. And all Roy has done is say, ‘Mmm’ and wait for her to shut up so he can think about Lizzie in peace. Hayley strikes me as the woman scorned type so I am looking forward to the inevitable show-down.
Caroline – Her kindness having been thrown back in her face by Eliza-bitch, Caroline has decided to roll up her sleeves and do Roy’s job herself. Though she’s enjoying this challenge, it’s not pleasing hubby Oliver who has always sounded about forty years older than Caro and clearly fancies a nice quiet retirement making cheese and organising puppy shows. Christ when I put it like that I can’t understand what she sees in him. Next bit of core-shaking: Oliver and Caroline’s marriage will be taken to the very brink by her workaholism and his embarrassing hobbies. Could go either way; there’s still a few Ambridge chaps that Caroline’s not, er, dated and she might start to feel a little restless. Clearly she finds hard work stimulating and needs an outlet; whether Oliver can step up to the bar and provide this, or whether he will be too focused on the wrong sort of puppies remains to be seen.
Lily and Freddie – I fear we haven’t yet seen the twins’ grief properly played out. If only they’d just do it on Ambridge Extra and come back to the Archers when they’re feeling better. Next bit of core-shaking: They’ll have to have some kind of delayed reaction. How about Freddie gets into drugs and Lily gets pregnant at their relatively chavvy new school? Or Lily gets into porn and Freddie becomes a transvestite like his father (ooh that woke you up, didn’t it?) Anyway, something has to happen that will allow Lizzie a big dramatic scene in which she begs forgiveness to Nigel for allowing the twins to run amok, swears to avenge his death and forsake all others, and thus ditches Roy and murders David. It’ll be Hamlet all over again.
Kenton and Peggy – I’m throwing these two together as they have both been indirectly inspired by Nigel’s death to seize the day: Kenton by nobbing Jolene and Peggy by going to look at Ted’s etchings. Next bit of core-shaking: Hark! I hear wedding bells! One decrepit twilight couple, uniting after tragedy; the other Peggy and Ted.
Shula – Unaffected by anything as usual.
Posted by Qwerty. See all Archers posts here.