Friday 1 March 1996
The episode picked up where the previous one left off namely with Jim rolling home roaring drunk and barging into his own home to discover Andy and Anne. What followed was simply a scene of pure embarrassment for Andy as his errant father bad-mouthed Liz in front of his new girlfriend. Jim was particularly unforthcoming with the details of the whereabouts of the wife who he'd punched.
Eventually after much cajoling Jim managed to give them a rough location as to where she might be so they set off in search of her leaving Jim to swig from the dregs of a whisky bottle.
Meanwhile in the Rovers Jack and Vera were in the bar investigating strange noises from the cellar. The sound according to Jack was that akin to a rat, or perhaps cockroaches. Vera, of course, instantly supposed it to be something of a supernatural nature with shades of the Ivy haunting coming back into play. The culprit turned out to be Roy who whilst the pub was open had taken the opportunity to do a spot of impromptu ghost hunting in Rovers cellar. His conclusion was that whilst there was nothing to see in regular ghostly terms. There was he said a possibility of a non-standard invisible ghost (it was explained in more complex terms than that but I'll be damned if I'm typing all that out).
Liz finally turned up after a somewhat traumatic taxi ride at Dreary's house. Thanks to Roy turning up in the nick of time to bail her out of trouble with the driver she ended up crashing at Dreary's place. She received the tearful "Whatever's the matter love" act. Eventually Liz explained that Jim had hit her. In fact she was able to try out this little ploy on Bill when he called on Liz in the morning.
In the morning she was to be found applying make up to the bruising to make it look worse than it actually was. Her intent was to reveal to the world that Jim was a wife beater. Andy and Steve seemed firmly on her side and willing to help her. In fact Andy assisted Dreary in an SAS style raid on the family home to liberate Liz's clothing.
Jim seemed strangely unrepentant the morning after. In fact he seemed resolved to the fact that this event has probably stuck the final nail in the coffin of their marriage. Also somewhat odd was Bill taking sides with Jim over such terrible behaviour. He almost seemed to be condoning it.
Monday 4 March 1996
Tonight centred a great deal around Jim's shame and Liz's retaliatory actions against him. Initially he seemed most unrepentant about his act of violence against his wife. However the somewhat hostile reception he was getting from all those close to him must have been more than a little sobering in the cold light of day.
The one person who Jim did interact with at any considerable length in this episode was Vicky. Jim wanted the excuse to clear the air and apologise to her about the way he had spoken to her. Vicky however seemed keen to push the subject of why Jim had hit Liz. Initially Jim was reticent to speak of the incident but when he did finally open on the subject he let it all out. He told Vicky of how he had "suffered" for years because Liz would always dress like a "whore". He claimed she was always flirting with someone or other and that after 20 years it was too much to bear.
Meanwhile Liz herself took time to thank Roy for his somewhat chivalrous behaviour the other night. There was a very snappy and somewhat amusing exchange between them which ended with Roy claiming Liz had best remain indoors until her "unsightly" eye calmed down a little. However Liz, it seems, would be doing anything rather than staying in. In fact she was preparing to go out and present herself in public and let the world see her bruises. However firstly she went out and got some photographs taken of her face in it's current state.
Fiona had problems of her own, mainly in the shape of her brother Lee. Speaking as the investor in the salon he took notice of the fact that the flat upstairs was being left unused. Lee reckoned that it could be bringing in another £70 a week for them. Fiona however wasn't keen on letting the flat but Lee became most insistent. Thus to satiate the problem Fiona decided to quit the flat above the cafe, giving Alma a weeks notice. She then planned to move into the flat above the salon, killing two birds with one stone. As for Maxine fitting into this equation - well basically...she didn't. Unfortunately Fiona's attitude towards Maxine's inability to afford to keep the flat was hardly considerate. Fiona basically told Maxine to make her own way in the world and effectively stop bothering her.
Mike Baldwin meanwhile was like the proverbial child on Christmas morning as he walked around and inspected the premises which would be his new clothing empire. Alma seemed unimpressed by the venture whilst Mike's enthusiasm continued to mount.
Returning to Liz she gave the bruises their first public airing in the Rovers behind the bar. She spoke candidly about the fact that Jim had hit her for her proposed unfaithfulness. Des reacted by asking Liz if he was the cause of her immediate problem. Liz denied he was anything to do with the situation but he still had a look of concern on his face. Also Jack and Vera questioned who they should bar from the Rovers. Jack said they should veto Liz as Jim was their biggest drinker, whereas Vera said they should bar Jim because of what he did to Liz.
Jim did eventually catch up with Liz and gave her the spiel about how he would "never hit her again". Liz then gave him an almost forgiving look.
Wednesday 6 March 1996
The McDonald saga continued, but this time featuring the reactions and repercussions on the younger end of the family. Primarily it was Andy who we saw gradually allowing his temper to build. We also saw Raquel getting a small involvement in the plot when it was revealed that Des was tenuously involved.
Without a doubt the news of Liz's attack was public knowledge and Jim was being shunned by people he had once known as friends, namely Kevin. Liz meanwhile was still holed up at Dreary's place. She had a visit from Roy who had brought some flowers for her and in his own somewhat inimitable way began offering advice. He began reeling off statistics about domestic abuse and stressed Liz should go to the police about Jim.
The message presented by Roy obviously had some effect because Liz did get in contact with a female officer who came to see her. They had something of an informal chat in which Liz discovered what course of action she could take against Jim. There was of course the usual methods such as taking out an injunction against him so that he would be arrested if he came within a distance of where she was staying.
Meanwhile Jim was paid a visit from Andy, who by now had allowed his pent-up emotions to build to a boiling point. He entered the family home pushing and shoving his Dad and raging on about how he and the rest of the family had always been living in the shadow of his anger. Jim calmly took all this in his stride before hitting back himself. He announced to Andy about Liz's affair with Johnny Johnson all those years ago. Andy took the news initially with an air of disbelief but eventually it seemed to sink in and he walked out refusing to listen to anymore.
Meanwhile Percy was being something of a nuisance figure around the street as he announced he was looking for a cap he had lost. He spent the day rummaging through the lost property boxes of various places including the Rovers and the Salon. Eventually it was down to Emily that the cap was found. It transpired it had been given to Curly as a present for putting Percy up a few months ago when he was in need of a bed for the night. Only Percy Sugden had forgotten he had given it away.
Fiona enquired about the condition of Liz in an initially stilted conversation with Vicky. It would seem that through the course of the conversation old wounds were slowly healing and there seemed to be an almost grudging air of respect between the two of them. This was emphasised with Vicky wishing Fiona well with the salon.
Speaking of Vicky she seemed to be the only one to take sides with Jim tonight. She seemed to be the voice of encouragement when all around were tarring his name. Vicky told Jim that it could be worth patching up his marriage, but Jim was less than optimistic about it.
Des meanwhile was doing his usual act of late - morosely propping up the bar. He spoke to Andy regarding Liz and his face looked decidedly ashen when Andy revealed that when Liz had probably not being the only man in line when she was seeing him.
Jim took the opportunity to go to visit Liz only to be fended off by Roy. Dreary soon came out to back him up and matters concluded when Liz came outside and said the marriage was over and this time it would end in divorce.
Friday 8 March 1996
More angst and gnashing of teeth in the street tonight as the Liz and Jim fiasco lumbered onwards. Thankfully there was a little bit of light relief brought in the shape of Raquel who was being more than a little secretive to Curly about what she was doing that day. She said she would reveal more to Curly later if where she was going yielded results.
Meanwhile Fiona and Maxine had a little to do over Fiona's impending departure. Maxine was somewhat bitchy towards Tony thinking it was they who were about to set up home together above the salon. In fact to Maxine's surprise it was revealed Fiona was about to go it alone.
Over at The Rovers Vera's new cleaner had her identity rumbled following an incident involving what was thought to be a stolen radio. The cleaner had been given an old radio by Vera. Jack thought she was trying to steal and almost accused her so. At the moment before an argument got going Judy stepped in to defend her mother and accidentally let slip that in fact the cleaner was none other than her mother. Surprisingly enough after this revelation there was a level of camaraderie between Judy's mother and Vera. Both could relate to the subject of having somewhat errant children and they seemed to hit it off all the more. Needless to say Judy's mother was safe in her job for the time being.
The battle lines were well and truly being drawn in the approaching war between Liz and Jim. It was quite obvious sides were being taken and Liz could count on her sons for support. Andy still had little time for his Dad in conversation in the street, and Steve too seemed more or less fixed on Liz's side. Vicky however could well turn out to be a different matter. Initially she thought she could swing things for Jim in the shape of a talk, if not a reconciliation. However, when she visited Liz she was as good as accused of trying to keep the family together because it was all she had as a family herself. That in itself reflected somewhat on Liz's current somewhat cocky attitude. I think following that Vicky could well be on Jim's side.
Mike Baldwin finally sweet talked Alma into signing her share of the flat up as collateral on the new business venture. For once Alma thought she had been consulted fairly and squarely about the matter without Mike jumping to conclusions. However it turns out he had in fact had all the paperwork planned for her in advance meaning that the leopard had truly not changed his spots.
As for Raquel she came into the pub later that day with "the big news". Curly had spent all day working himself into something the idea of becoming a father and he was somewhat disappointed when the news was Raquel was booked in for Aromatherapy classes.
Jim came into the Rovers later that day and proceeded to start downing pints in his usual rather quick manner. He was followed into the Rovers by Liz who was about to start her shift. Jim began by getting a little mouthy with his "my wife's a whore" spiel, which has become the norm of late. Liz retorted, of course, by telling him when he goes to Belfast he should stay there. Jack soon stepped in and rather ably diffused the situation by getting Jim out of the pub, with the aid of Bill, and then relieving Liz of her job for getting mouthy at a customer. Andy tried to interfere but was warned if he liked his job he should keep his mouth shut. I was most impressed by Jack's sudden dynamism.
Monday 11 March 1996
Liz's bitterness is beginning to increase in Jim's absence, now he had gone to Belfast. Liz had more or less set up camp in the family house and with the help of Steve and Andy, who had begun to show signs of questionable loyalty. Steve mentioned how "she had possibly been asking for it". The twins it seemed were simply eager not become another set of statistics in divorced families.
Mavis inadvertently blurted out how Terry Duckworth was something of a jailbird, which would instantly shatter the myth that Vera had created of him being more successful than he really was. The recipient of this knowledge was none other than Judy's mother who, as you all know, is the new cleaner at the Rovers. There was no real negative judgement against Vera about this though. In fact Judy's mother and Vera continued to swap notes on their errant children and continue their friendly banter.
Liz went swanning off into the bookies fully expecting her job back now that Jim was off the scene. Only to find a less than warm reception from Des. Liz griped that she thought their little meetings had "meant something" and appeared to have something of a grand sulk when she didn't get her own way. I think she truly expected to get her old job back, just like that so she did.
Mavis was in good spirits when she discovered that she had been invited to the Square Dealers next function. She was however less than happy when she discovered that the invite had not been the work of Derek but instead the doings of none other than Norris and Angela.
Meanwhile Fiona was moving into her new place with the help (and hindrance) of Tony and Maxine. Is it just me or did Fiona seem almost too distant tonight. At every opportunity she seemed determined to push every one away. There was to be no flat-warming party or celebration, just an evening on her own was the best she could manage. This of course left Tony and Maxine on their own together which might in the long run prove to be a recipe for disaster. However tonight nothing was going to happen because Alma light heartedly stepped in and stopped any potential fraternisation (she compared them to Des and Tanya). However things could develop couldn't they?
Dreary stepped in and did a spot of baby-sitting for Ken which was all well and good as it gave him a much needed rest and allowed him to go out and see a film. He came back pretty early though and he and Dreary spent the evening having something of a heart to heart. It seemed to be something of a confessional for two lonely people.
Fiona eventually did come out of her new little ivory tower long enough to see Liz on her way back from her fitness class (either that or she had just been shooting one of her *bestselling* video's). The two of them got together for something of an unlikely chin-wag. Liz confessed she would have liked Fiona as a daughter in law and admitted Steve's faults. Whereas Fiona concluded how she felt on top of the world.
Wednesday 13 March 1996
Amongst other things tonight saw Baldwin on the move as he continued to plan the rise of his empire. He was out looking for staff and Emily for one thought she could be a possible contender for the wages administration job. Although she made out as though she was not really chasing the job she seemed somewhat keen secretly. Mike was also doing was a spot of hard bargaining with Derek over the price of stationery. Whilst Derek attempted to use whatever salesmanship he had at his disposal Mike was always one step ahead and was determined to whittle down the prices.
Sean Skinner reappeared on the scene and was soon aware of what had been happening in the street regarding Liz and Jim. He had soon made a bee-line for Liz's house and was offering her a job in one of his branches. Liz made it clear however she wasn't to be one of Des's "cast off's" ready for him to pick up on as soon as Des walked away. In fact Liz felt so strongly she went to se Des about the matter.
Unfortunately her timing could have been better as Andy saw them chatting and immediately got the wrong idea. When he confronted Liz about the matter later that day he more or less accused the pair of them of having an affair. All he got for saying that was a tidy slap around the face (It's a family thing .......yeah ???) before he walked out.
Fiona was building up for the big re-opening of the salon with the help of her brother Lee. As she made preparations Steve McDonald came in wondering where his invitation was. Fiona handed him an invitation to the re-opening and told him to "bring a friend, if he had any". Maxine chided her saying that he would probably bring "Sticky Vicky". In fact that invitation was to cause more friction for the young McDonalds, as Vicky began giving him a hard line of questions as to where the invitation had come from.
In the Rovers we saw Fred Elliot talking to Norris about his somewhat despairing personal life. Fred's problem was that he had no one to take to the Square Dealer's night. He stated that he was sick of taking out the young ladies "with skirts up to their armpits" and was now seeking something of a classier nature. During the course of their conversation Mike became involved and the subject went on to Fred's pies. Norris talked out of turn defending Fred's wares, and Mike promptly cancelled the order Derek had worked hard on.
Fred proceeded from the Rovers to the Kabin where he sought to ask Rita out for the evening but unfortunately she declined, claiming that the books were due to be brought up to date on that evening. Meanwhile Norris attempted to pacify Mike and reclaim the order. He managed to do so by dropping the price even further thus killing any commission Derek was due for the deal. Derek was understandably most vexed at this prospect and seemed determined to take out his anger on Norris.
Emily discovered that Mike was in fact looking for her and she thought this would be her golden shot at getting back into employment but unfortunately she was to be disappointed. Mike was hoping she could chase up any old employees/contacts for him . However when it came to her he stated he would have taken her on "if she was ten years younger". Emily hid it well but she was most certainly crestfallen.
Friday 15 March 1996
It was Fiona's new venture into the world of salon ownership that was the big feature tonight. Things were slowly but surely piecing together as she prepared for her opening party. Assisted by Liz and Maxine, along with her brother Lee, she rushed around in a state of near panic as the event drew closer.
Meanwhile Mike Baldwin was making preparations of his own as his little empire continued to grow. He was interviewing for staff and, whilst Emily was out of the frame due to her age, that still left a couple of other contenders. Dreary thought she was an automatic candidate for the position of running the office side of things. In fact Mike had dropped little hints along the way to give her that impression. However surprise candidate for the job was none other than Josie who arrive for the interview late.
She had genuine cause for being late though mainly due to young Jamie who seemed to have a genuine knack of being around when needed most. Josie you see had a flat tyre on her bicycle. Jamie happened to be around with a puncture repair kit. No Einstein needed to put two and two together on that score. Fred Elliot's nephew suffered a similar fate when delivering some rump steak as an offering for the object of his desires, none other than Rita. Although flattered Rita declined his offer of the meat feeling she might compromise herself and indebted to him.
Anyway Josie was late and Baldwin was quick to chide her about it as well. In fact Josie was about to walk out when Mike spotted how well qualified for the job she was and quickly ushered her back inside his office. At that point the job was in the bag. This didn't bode well for Dreary who came in later all smiles expecting to be set on for the job. Mike explained that he had someone for the vacancy with more up to date qualifications. He also explained that Alma amongst other people might think there was something funny going on. Thus exit Dreary more than a little miffed about the matter.
Fiona's party kicked off in high gear with her mother arriving only to be most impressed by what her daughter had achieved. Liz was mingling and chatting with everybody and the party seemed to be going fairly well. However from a corner of the room Andy cast sour looks his mother's way as she chatted (innocently) to Des, and then Sean. Fiona tried to mask her disappointment when her father was unable to come to the party. However when he did turn up he might as well not of bothered. He seemed a thoroughly dislikeable man who seemed only too happy to knock his daughters efforts at every turn. Vicky got a cool reception from Fiona's mum as well which was hastily avoided by Steve manoeuvring her across the room.
Andy continued to simmer away in the corner as he had for a good deal of the episode. He was seeing things more and more Jim's way as time went on and finally snapped giving Liz some verbal about her conduct and behaviour in the salon. Liz tried to defend herself from his words but it was all to no avail as he wasn't in a particularly reasonable mood.
Monday 18 March 1996
Jim's return was much the topic of the episode tonight as Bill prepared to pick up his erstwhile business partner from Liverpool on his return from visiting his mother. Jim had it seemed had time to think about recent events of late and had come to the conclusion that the marriage between him and Liz could be saved. Bill knew differently and tried to explain the problem as tactfully as he possibly could but Jim was somewhat resolute situation could be solved.
Meanwhile the Square Deal Ladies Night was becoming such a subject of annoyance with Rita that extreme measures were being called for in the shape of Fred Elliot. Previously she had turned down his invitation to go to the ball but now Mavis's constant wittering drove her to reconsider his offer. Thus upon meeting him in the pub later that day she was waited for him to ask again and promptly accepted.
Raquel and Curly found themselves onto the subject of children and after some deliberation Raquel revealed she hadn't been taking precautions for the last few weeks. Both seemed content to let nature take it's course and Curly seemed eager to step up nature's efforts.
Jim returned home only to discover Liz had changed the locks in his absence. Jim pounded on the door until he spotted Liz and then managed to talk her into a drink to discuss things in the Rovers. The conversation began over a pint with a whisky chaser to wash things down with. Jim stressed how he wanted to try again but Liz stated she wasn't interested in spending anymore of her life with him. In fact as we witnessed this episode she had begun divorce proceedings. Upon finding this out Jim was far from happy and made it clear with his tone. Liz at this point fled from the pub and headed home quickly with Jim in hot pursuit. He then took it upon himself to try breaking down the door whilst Kevin and Curly tried to stop him. He then bolted around the back of the house and tried breaking in the through the back door. Eventually smashing his way in through a window he almost caught up with Liz only to rush into the waiting arms of the coppers back outside.
The episode ended with Liz crying in public view in the street.
Wednesday 20 March 1996
Tonight kicked off with Jim in the courthouse following his little rampage in the previous episode. He was granted bail to appear back in the court in the four weeks. The conditions were that he didn't go anywhere near Liz or attempt to communicate with her in way. Of course the gossip machine had kicked into gear, with Mavis as usual throwing in her two pennies worth.
Liz cowered in the house with Dreary for company waiting for a status report on how Jim would fare in court. Vicky and Steve were soon on the scene relaying the state of affairs. However they had allowed him to use their flat to clean up and get a shave. Jim later turned up to thank them at their office. Whilst there he declined their offer of a place to stay, claiming it wouldn't be fair to involve them in the whole mess. Although to be honest I'd say there is more than a little involvement already.
Maureen faced something of a mini-trauma in the corner shop when a shelf collapsed (whoo!). It started her on the subject of needing a man around to sort out such manly tasks. As always Maud was there to lend an unsupportive comment to the occasion but with assistance from Sally the shelf was soon fixed by Bill. Maureen showed her appreciation by getting the drinks in at the Rovers but by the end of the night she was somewhat sloshed and I thought we were going to see a repeat of the Curly episode. However Bill, I would think, was something of a gentleman under the circumstances. He listened to her ramblings about the potential failure of her marriage due to Reg's continued absence, before taking her home.
Meanwhile there was something of a build up to the Square Dealers bash with everyone involved preparing for the night. Prominent amongst the party go-ers was Derek who seemed hell bent on getting nominated into the fold. If he was relying on the efforts of Fred, Alf and Curly it would appear he was on a hiding to nothing as they all deftly avoided the subject. The night came and went smoothly enough with Curly taking on the role of Master Cube in the ceremony which meant he got to do a bit of speech making and collect the raffle ticket money. Derek was of course still ferreting around looking for a way into the Dealers. However Norris was surprisingly absent from proceedings.
Fred and Rita seemed to hit it off rather well as they cut a rug on the dance floor which seemed to surprise many of the party go-ers. Norris eventually did turn up later than expected only to corner Derek and begin quizzing him about his marriage to Angela. It would appear Angela had taken some criticism or other rather badly and had hit him. Norris therefore was looking on tips to avoid Angela's bullying ways.
Liz, who had enjoyed the company of Dreary throughout the day, was now getting ready to face the night alone. She talked aloud to herself to give her Dutch courage as she prepared to go to bed. Jim meanwhile was moodily skulking in the streets outside with the obligatory whisky bottle in hand.
Friday 22 March 1996
Jamie was back to his old tricks repairing bicycle punctures he had created himself. Tonight's victim was none other than witless Derek who had opted for a spot of cycling on his day off. Josie however who had been a previous victim of this little scam was starting to get wise.
Jim was in the Rovers amongst friends, and strangely enough there seemed to be no bad feelings towards him despite his recent misbehaviour. In fact in general the whole scenario has generated a "Boys versus Girls" attitude. Dreary of course being the main support in Liz's corner but closely followed by Judy Mallett who sat and chatted with Liz about her possible future.
Fred Elliot's nephew Ashley turned up with another meat parcel for Rita which she accepted despite the fact that Fred seemed to be bogging her down with assorted cuts these days (Mad Cow anyone ....?). Ashley was spotted by none other than Ken's child minder who promptly invited him back for tea at the house. He duly turned up and sat with Sally cooing over him whilst playing match maker.
Fred invited Rita out only to be invited in turn to the Rovers along with Mavis and Derek. Not a pleasant prospect at the best of times but made worse by the fact that on this occasion Derek was still babbling on about being a Square Dealer. His obvious attempts at getting into Weatherfield's secret society were getting him nowhere.
Maureen meanwhile was ever the world weary and planning her usual commuting trip to Lowestoft for the pleasure of Reg's company for the weekend. She apologised to Bill for her drunken behaviour, before making sure her mother would be O. K for the weekend without her. Finally after much cajoling she set off on the journey.
Meanwhile Curly was enjoying a quiet evening in with Raquel and the two of them were discussing her new aromatherapy course. Curly of course liked the idea of massage oils and the like but before he could get too amorous the phone rang. It was none other than Maureen who had run out of petrol on the motorway and had rang for Curly's assistance in the matter. Curly obliged and set off to help her out arriving only to find her saying she would not be going to see Reg in Lowestoft now or ever. It would seem she was sick of the commuting back and forth.
Monday 25 March 1996
Adi missed the episode due to unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately Ian has stepped in again and written this synopsis .....
Oh dear! I wasn't paying that much attention.
Most of the episode seemed to centre on Jim and Liz again, with Jim hanging around watching Liz, trying to find an opportunity to speak to her. He telephoned the house but she put the phone down on him. He followed Liz into the local shop to tell her they "needed to talk" and she blew her top saying he'd had his chance and quickly departed leaving her shopping behind which caused Maud to lay into Jim for losing the shop custom!
So Jim wandered over to son Steve, and told him he didn't know what he was doing with his life and Steve gave him £20, assuming he was after a loan saying it was all he could spare. Jim immediately went to The Rovers and ordered a large whisky with it but couldn't fail to notice that the pub went silent as he walked in and everybody (especially Mr Matlock) was giving him the cold shoulder. So he downed the whiskey in one and then went to bang on Liz's door, just as Liz turned the corner down the road. Seeing him at her front door she panicked and rushed into the Rovers, trying to hide in a corner with Steve and Vicky. He spotted her pretty quickly and went into his usual spiel about "just wanting to talk". In a panic Liz rushed behind the counter and out the back to phone the police. Son Andy was incredulous that she'd done this and told Jim to leave or he'd be in trouble, but Jim said Liz was just bluffing. As police sirens sounded Jim didn't seem to care. Both Andy and Simon rounded on Liz asking what she was playing at, having roped them in. The police entered the pub asking for her. She told them Jim had been harassing her all day and they went to talk to him and he went into his argumentative "I'm just trying to talk to my wife" routine - so that they had to arrest him again.
The episode ended with Andy asking how she could have done it, knowing Jim would probably go to jail for breaking the court ruling. She blew her top (again!) and said she'd been frightened all day and could not believe her own sons couldn't see she was terrified of what Jim would do after he'd broken into her home with a shovel and threatened to kill her.
Other developments: Mike told Alma he needed more money to get his business off the ground but, when she protested that she was not going to sell the cafe, said he was just trying to keep her informed and was in fact going to sell the garage. He invited Kevin to have a quiet chat in the Rovers and explained that he thought Kevin should buy the garage and he would give him first refusal and a discount of a couple of thousand pounds off of what the valuers told him the garage was worth. Kevin was very wary and had some discussion with Sally who thought this was wonderful news. Kevin pointed out that despite his continual complaints about Baldwin he didn't want the stress and worries of running his own business, having to get a loan etc., and that he preferred to just take his salary each week. He did not want to buy the garage despite his extremely pushy wife talking about it being "the best thing that's ever happened to us"! It was only when Sally pointed out that if he didn't buy the garage somebody else might buy it and not need him so that he wouldn't have a job at all that he suddenly came round to the idea.
Jamie was seen skiving off school again, hanging around the new Baldwin factory, asking if Mike wanted his car cleaning, with the excuse that it was nearly term holidays and his teacher was sick so he'd been let off early when Mike challenged him about being at school. Mike was having none of Jamie's excuses and sent him off with a flea in his ear but then reminisced aloud about how he knew ALL the truancy excuses because he'd used them himself as a child.
Jack was discussing the idea of a pub day out with Betty's husband (Billy) who pooh-poohed Jack's suggestion of a day at the brewery. "You need to go away not somewhere local" he said, before suggesting a day at the races, which of course interested Jack immensely. With everyone else at the bar agreeing it was a good idea he was all set to get the trip organised before Vera butted in and told Jack that there was no way she was going to stay behind to mind the pub while Jack went off for a day's betting.
Can't remember anything else I'm afraid!
Wednesday 27 March 1996
Tonight started with Kevin and Sally putting in some serious interest in the garage, now that Mike was moving his capital into the new business. Kevin was his usual pessimistic self but Sally seemed to be showing a good deal of enthusiastic behaviour towards the idea.
Meanwhile the McDonalds were showing something of a less than united front now that Jim had managed to get himself into trouble yet again. The twins were trying to get Liz to drop the charges or at least make things look less severe for Jim when he appeared in court. However Liz dressed conservatively for the weather again was having none of it and seemed most unrepentant. However she did agree to go to court to see the outcome of the situation. It was evident now though that Andy and Steve were showing more concern for their father than they had previously.
Mike Baldwin was going about his daily business with Josie when it was revealed that Ida Clough might be looming on the horizon and set to make a comeback. Josie didn't seem to like the idea of Ivy's long time friend back on the scene and I can picture trouble brewing if they ever get her involved. Josie however did discover Mike was selling up the garage and immediately began sniffing round and taking a liking to the idea. Don however wasn't so keen on taking the idea on board proclaiming he was too old to be changing trades.
At the court Jim was going through the motions and facing the consequences of his actions. Everyone sat looking surly, whilst Liz sat looking like she was sat on a rusty nail. It was made clear that Jim could not be trusted to keep bail conditions so he was locked up for the remaining two weeks until his trial.
Minor storylines included Jack and Vera's outing discussed whilst Raquel rabbited on about what it would be like when she and Curly had kids (O.K She's talked the talk now let's see her walk the walk :). Alma expressed her concern about Mike putting all his eggs in one basket regarding the new business. Maureen was most upset about Reg not being in contact with her.
Friday 29 March 1996
Mike spent a good portion of tonight's episode trying to cajole Alma into mentioning the sale of the garage to Rita, in the hope she would come to the financial rescue of the Websters and get the garage off his hands once and for all. Alma made a brave effort to aid Mike in his underhand tactics but her honest nature prevented her from going through with the deed.
Whilst the Websters were dragging their feet regarding the garage, mainly due to Kevin's indecisiveness rather than Sally, Don and Josie seemed to have rekindled their interest. Don attempted to sound casual about the affair but there was indication he was interested.
Mike however was mainly interested in doing interviews for the factory and one interviewee he was looking forward to was none other than Ivy's old colleague Ida Clough. Mike had not forgotten the long standing grudge between them and took Ida on to the workforce under the condition she worked twice as hard as all the other staff.
Meanwhile Jim got a visit from Steve and Vicky whilst he was at Her Majesty's pleasure. He was in his usual bitter and twisted form and vented this at his visitors. Later on we saw the very cocky Liz refusing to acknowledge Jim or his situation whilst drinking in the Rovers with Rita.
Maureen received a letter from Reg in the episode which contained something to distress her terribly. The viewer remained somewhat in the dark over the matter, but Maureen seemed eager to get to Lowestoft in something of a panic. She left very teary eyed and refused to tell Maud what was going on.