All Around The Mulberry Bush
The morning of Ryan’s 16th birthday has dawned, finding him in much better humour. He’s received a cheque from the grand-units and is planning a party. Steve is curious to know if any “girlfriends” will attend…Ryan says no, just girls that are friends. At the bus stop, Ryan extends an invitation to Rosie to his sweet sixteen, which she squashes like a bug. Sophie explains, “She doesn’t go near men under the age of twenty-five.” Sophie and Kayley Morton offer to attend, but Ryan doesn’t want younger kids there, apparently.
Michelle is bearing up quite well, although strenuously avoiding Nick. When Lauren, arriving at the Rover’s’ for her shift, answers the phone to Nick, Michelle refuses to take the call. Nick is very displeased. Steve carps at Michelle to ring him back, thinking it’s just gonna get worse…Michelle claims she is tired of Nick calling the shots and setting the itinerary. She wonders how Nick would feel if she were upsetting Alex. Mainly, Michelle feels like she is being unfaithful to Ryan.
At school’s end, in the dark, Ryan is making final party plans with Phil before setting off home. Nick appears, looking contrite and holding a birthday gift. Scared but in control, Ryan demands to know what Nick wants and why he’s been stalking him. He says that he’ll call the police, as his mother has filled him in on the cops’ intercession. “Is that what your mother told you?” Nick asks. Ryan pushes for answers, Nick urges him to ask his mum. “How do you know my name?” Ryan pursues. “The same way I know it’s your birthday. Ryan,” Nick concludes, “I am your father.”
The Monkey Chased the Weasel
Rosie and Sophie both want to join Sally to visit Kevin in the clink, but Sally insists they attend school. Sophie explains how horrible things are at school for her now, what with having a home-wrecking, teacher-loving tart for a sister. At the pub, Janice continues her Sally Webster slag-a-thon. Vicki comments: “I’m glad that something so awful can bring you such pleasure, Janice. Terrible for a nice man like Kevin.” Outside, Audrey runs into Sally in the street and offers her support, mentioning that Bill would love to go visit Kevin. Sal is interrupted by a call – there has been a disturbance at the school. Shortly thereafter, and looking like a pair of post-Acme-explosion Coyotes, the dishevelled Webster sisters are brought home for fighting. Apparently they succeeding in beating the snot out of each other. All I can say is, Soph, next time bring a sock full of quarters.
A Penny for a Spool of Thread, A Penny for an Easel
Maria awakens, hot-to-trot with wedding plans. She is pleased that Liam will be at home so he can rest, take a hot bath and eat leftover stew begin creating the guest list. He wants to go to the factory and Maria balks. “You and ‘er are more alike than I first realized” declares Liam, meaning both his gals are bossy.
Maria is doing Violet’s hair as Violet remarks that she is brave, planning a rush wedding while pregnant. Maria wants to know if Violet will attend, and sit on her side, which she fears will be a little bare…Liam’s will be chock-full with half of Ireland. Maria begs off work early to organize her invitations…promising not to turn into “Bridezilla”. As soon as Bridezilla is out of sight, Liam hobbles out like a Thriller reject and begins shambling toward Underworld. On arrival, he enjoys some banter with the girls and Sean, joking that the thought of seeing them kept him going while lying on the mountainside. The staff speculate that Maria pushed him. Carla enters; her take is that he jumped rather than marry his pregnant airhead and be doomed to a lifetime of crackerjack-box sex. Okay, she didn’t say the crackerjack bit.
Maria returns home that evening to find Liam gone, three guesses where. She rushes over to the factory to see Carla ushering Liam out, and runs around Tony’s arriving car to take over. She chides Liam for straining himself and the girls struggle over Liam for a moment like a peanut-butter-stuffed Kong. He heads off home with Maria and Carla retreats into the factory with Tony.
That’s the Way the Money Goes
The Duckworths are breakfasting and break the news to Paul that their offer on the Blackpool bungalow has been accepted. Furthermore, Molly and Tyrone will be buying The Old Rectory. Vera assumes that Paul will be able to snuggle in with Ty & Molly, but Paul suspects he might be less than welcome. As Tyrone is working on Jamie’s cab, Molly brings him a tupperware lunch. No more Betty hot-pots…saving for the mortgage. Paul stops by the garage to ask that Tyrone and Molly continue to keep his secret from Vera. They agree and it’s understood that the discretion is for Vera’s benefit, not his.
Pop Goes The Weasel
Having popped his cherry and encountered George Orwell, David has risen to the occasion by making eggy bread for breakfast. Gail seems dazed and amused by David’s new relationship. Gail wants to know if David and Tina are “going out”, and how often she’s been to the house, particularly in Gail’s absence. She seems more entertained than annoyed by the whole thing. “I’m just not used to you having a girlfriend,” she explains.
Wee Willy Winky
In the grocery, Dev is holding court à la the Fisher King, dissing property-flippers, warning Molly that she’s entering the ranks of the house-poor, and warning Jamie and Vi that they’re entering the ranks of the baby-poor.
Violet and Jamie are tossing about baby names, and Dev suggests “Money-Pit.” Or Weatherfield Wilson. Billy Baldwin would work, Willy Wilson would not. “It’s not really an issue…we’re not getting married” Jamie flips off. How romantic. Just slap Violet in the face with a raw hamburger why don’cha. King names are good, says Jamie. “Canute”, offers up Dev. The conversation continues out into the street, where Lauren slinks up behind to eavesdrop. Violet is less than thrilled but fills her in. Lauren wastes no time stirring the pot by later asking Sean if he’s thought what his son’s going to be called. She simpers that, if he wants to weigh in, he should quickly, since Vi and Jamie are already all over it.