Tony makes a mistake and Helen's feeling loved up.
Justin, Hannah and Neil meet to decide what needs to be done about the Berrow Pigs’ tail-biting. Hannah is still defensive, but Neil gets her to admit that neither of them spotted the problem early. Hannah wants to start buying in pigs with docked tails, but Neil objects on welfare grounds. He sticks to his guns, and advocates a return to the old, more expensive, feed mix. Neil never approved of the change. He’s a little surprised when Justin readily agrees.
Elizabeth shows off Russ’ set dressing of the Lower Loxley attic to David and Jill. They’re impressed. David asks Elizabeth’s advice on hosting weddings at Brookfield. David is miffed when she offers to recommend Brookfield to any clients who aren’t “high-end” enough to afford Lower Loxley. She suggests that the fad for rustic weddings won’t last. David drives Jill back to Brookfield, and Jill is delighted to tell him that Elizabeth plans to host the family Christmas. She’s surprised at David’s irritated reaction. Elizabeth’s negative comments about Brookfield weddings, coupled with Kenton’s yesterday, have made him feel that they look down on his hosting skills. David’s determined he and Ruth will prove them wrong.
The Archers eavesdrops at Marneys on Brookfield Farm
The Archers eavesdrops at the gate into Marneys at Brookfield on a quiet afternoon
Neil and Hannah are shocked to discover that there have been a number of incidents of tail-biting amongst the Berrow Farm pigs. As they round up the injured pigs for treatment, Hannah becomes defensive. She doesn't like Neil’s insinuation that it started at the weekend, when she was on duty. Over a pint, Neil admits to Rex that he’s gutted. It’s an awful welfare problem, and of course he had to tell Justin. Neil is also worried about his reputation as a pigman. Rex thinks that Justin is reasonable, and values Neil’s opinion. Neil just needs to get Justin to listen.
David’s unimpressed when Kenton implies that he’s temperamentally unsuited to hosting weddings at Brookfield. David points out that he’s only providing a venue, but Kenton thinks it’s inevitable that he’ll be dragged into the drama of any wedding. And David doesn’t have the right people skills. David is offended.
At Lower Loxley Robert isn’t enjoying rehearsals of Jim’s ghost story readings. Jim insists on sitting in the dark, and Russ has found a creepy dummy to serve as part of the set. That evening, Robert complains to Lynda that it’s a disaster. Lynda can’t believe that he’s scared of a dummy. She’s keen to go to sleep, but Robert is unnerved by an owl hooting outside.
Lynda is unimpressed that Grey Gables seems to be receiving prank calls from Roman. She’s even less impressed when Tracy hangs up the reception phone without answering. Tracy insists that it’s just Roman again. She recognises the number, and she doesn’t need to hear more of Roman’s terrible Sean Connery impersonation. Later, Oliver reports that a regular guest, Mr McLeod, has complained about being unable to make his usual booking. Oliver’s very unimpressed when Tracy realises that she mistook the call for one of Roman’s pranks. Lynda argues that Tracy’s work has generally been exemplary. Oliver agrees, but this is one of a number of costly recent mistakes. Tracy is left in no doubt that she is on a final warning.
At Brookfield, Pip starts to tell David about Rewilding Ambridge’s deal with Borchester land. But they are interrupted by a text from Josh. He’s at the airport. Pip and David are jealous of his holiday. A Christmas card has arrived from Lilian and Justin. David refuses to display it – he hasn’t forgiven Justin for his duplicitous behaviour regarding the abattoir. Later, Pip checks the sheep, and David admits he’s feeling pessimistic about the future, given the current uncertainty in the world. Pip finally tells him about the deal with Justin and Borchester Land. David is stunned. He congratulates Pip, but it’s a shock.