Jim comes by the cab office looking a bit rough. Steve wonders if Jim has fallen off the wagon but it turns out there was an evacuation at the halfway house due to someone setting their mattress on fire. Steve then offers his dad the prestigious job of valet at Streetcars, which Jim is quite happy to accept.
The Christmas decorations are going up at The Old Rectory. Vera is waxing nostalgic about how it will be their last holiday season in that house, before they move to her spiritual home of Blackpool for their remaining days. The other dwellers of the house, knowing what Paul has done, try to gently dissuade Vera from getting her hopes up too soon. Jack reckons that Christmas in Blackpool will mostly consist of hypothermia and winds from Siberia.
Jack, Tyrone, Molly, and Paul go to The Rovers and try to figure out a way out of the quagmire Paul has created without disappointing Vera. Again. No great ideas are forthcoming. Jack tells Paul that is more like his father Terry than he ever realized.
Sarah and Jason are sitting at the table while Gail cleans house. David comes down and the sibling scrapping commences. Again. Sarah wonders why she has been told to leave the house when it is David who has been casuing all the trouble. Gail rambles on for a bit. David tells her that she should have no trouble finding a place to live, if she doesn’t mind petrol bombs and packs of dogs. After a bit of this verbal barrage Gail tells them that she is sure she has made the correct choice in forcing Jason and Sarah to move out. (she is right, but for the wrong reasons, in my humble opinion)
Audrey arrives with son Stephen in tow. They stop by the salon to see David and Sarah and he is amazed at how grown up they are. Audrey tells Stephen they might look older but they are both sorely lacking in maturity. They stop by the Platt household for tea with Gail, who has brought out the good china for the occasion. Stephen explains his plan for expanding the business into Italy. Gail explains how she was wedged in by a big fat guy on the bus when she was returning with the cakes. Stephen comments on long he has been looking forward to having a quiet family Christmas. Too bad he is going to be spending the holiday at with the Platt house…
Lauren come by the pub and tries to mooch a room with Violet and Jamie in their new apartment but Violet is not having it. Lauren calls her a tight cow. Very nice. Lauren then stops by Streetcars and tries to schmooze her way into the apartment by chatting up Jamie but he quickly sees through her stratagem and tells her it’s not on.
The factory girls are on their way to work discussing how they will be spending the holiday season. Janice and Fiz are looking forward to spending quality time with their men. Kelly bemoans her single status and wonders if she is ‘gong lesbian’. Vicky recounts an enjoyable experience of sapphic love she once had.
Carla shows up for work and notices Maria carrying boxes into Liam’s house.
In the factory the girls are working hard to the strains of ‘Fairytale of New York’* until Carla turns the music off. Vicky inquires if Carla plays music while she is on the treadmill at the gym, and if this helps her to work out any harder. Carla ponders this for a moment and turns the music back on. The girls debate what the best way to get Shane McGowan clean would be, and what it would be like to kiss him. Carla mentions to Liam that she saw Maria moving in that morning, which causes a stir amongst the factory girls, and forces Liam to tell them all that he has gotten engaged, and is excited he is to become Mister Sutherland in the very near future. Carla then lets a comment slip about the wisdom of Maria moving in and lifting things ‘in her condition’, which of course gets the tongues wagging about Maria being pregnant. Liam is not impressed with this turn of events and he and Carla have some sharp words later in the office.
*Apparently the only Christmas song the writers are familiar with.
The Other Father
Liz, Vern, Steve, and Michelle are having breakfast and discussing what to do about the problem of the man who is stalking Ryan. Michelle is all for keeping Ryan in his room till he is thirty. The others talk some sense into Michelle, and Steve tries to talk to Ryan about what is going on, but to no avail. Liam comes by to see how things are with Ryan and offers a solution to put Michelle’s mind at ease, Liam will take Ryan to and from school, so there will no opportunity for the stalker to find Ryan on his own. This plan of action is agreed on, and Liam takes Ryan to school in the afternoon without any problems, other than the fact that Ryan is committing social suicide by having to be walked to school at his age.
At the end of the school day it is a different story though. When Ryan is leaves school the man who has been stalking him walks towards Ryan, and he is intercepted by Liam, who drags the man off while yelling at Ryan to get into the car. Liam then confronts the man, wondering why he has been following Ryan and how he even knew his name. The man tells Liam that it is complicated. Liam keeps demanding an answer and the man eventually tells him that he is Ryan’s father.