The Archers – March 2013

Two big storylines this month, with the developing situation at Bridge Farm, and the saga between Chris and Alice.

Alice heads off to Canada after a frosty goodbye with Chris, and it isn’t long before she’s getting a phone call saying he’s had a bad accident and she needs to return. There’s a long-standing joke saying: “It’s all kicking off in The Archers” because it never is. This time, it literally was, as Chris found himself at the wrong end of an angry horse. He pulled through, although it was touch and go for a while, and thus the agonising over whether to stay or go continues with the added emotional drama of recovering from a near-death experience as well.

The one thing I took out of the whole thing was just what a terrible mother Jennifer is. I’ve said before how I dislike the woman, but this time it was too much! She hides it under a “caring” attitude, but telling her daughter that she couldn’t and shouldn’t go to Canada was over the line. It’s not really her business, for a start, and what a preposterous thing to try and control. I’ve always counted myself lucky to have super-supportive parents, and the more I hear from Jennifer, the more I remember that fact!

Over at Bridge Farm, Tom upsets his family, and Brenda, by being all about work at home, and all about work at work too. He tells his mum and dad they need more interesting veg in the veg boxes, that they should start using non-organic meat in the ready meals, and that they should give up the cows altogether. Whilst passion and verve do get you ahead in business, and Tom is clearly a chap with plenty of ideas, a little sensitivity wouldn’t go amiss. That’s a lot of changes to be suggesting in just a few short weeks – and all of them massive life-changing (or farm-changing, at least) decisions.

Meanwhile, Brenda is stressed out in her own work – she’s having to cover a lot of Lilian’s work while the latter is out at hew new flat with her new chap. She also tried to support Vicky by going round for an evening to look after Bethany, only for them all to have a baby-not-breathing scare. With all this weighing on her mind, and a growing dissatisfaction with Tom’s behaviour, something is going to have to give and soon.

I almost felt sorry for Tom when he booked the gig and, not being too angry that it all fell through, then tried to rearrange something else. Brenda shot him down in flames, presumably leaving Tom wondering what else he can possibly do!

Elsewhere, smaller things were rumbling along. Pip’s actions have consequences as she starts failing her courses at university, upsetting her grandmothers by staying at Spencer’s for tea, and letting some sheep die as well. She had a wake-up call and appeared to turn over a new leaf, but we’ll have to wait and see. I’m staggered that the dead sheep didn’t do it, but the possibility of having to repeat a year of studying seemed to do the trick.

Ifty’s is busy making his move on Elizabeth, and staying in good graces with Freddie. I wonder if the relationship does develop, whether Lily will have anything to say about it. She hasn’t had the same chance to get to know him as her brother.

There’s also news on Darrell, who has next to no support from his wife Elona who busybodies her way into telling Neil about her husband’s prison spell. We don’t know what Darrell is up to at the moment, and it probably isn’t good news, but hassling and questioning him all the hours of the day isn’t going to help. Having said that, Darrell really needs to wise up and appreciate what he has. He’s clearly a pushover, but with a family to support, another stint in prison isn’t going to wash!