Vern eats his pickled onions, transfixed by the odd, eerie portrait of he and Liz. Liz says it kept her company while he was away.
Vern has brought Liz a lovely array of gifts, including perfume (which will enhance the “outfits” from Chez Cougar that Harry apparently finds so lovely). He enthuses over the great success of the cruise, and has loads of bookings. His eyes wander back to the picture. He says he has a gig in Derby, on Friday. Liz wants to come along. She says she missed Vern, but he’s just not buying her complete lack of warmth and wooden delivery. He asks her if she really missed him with all the traffic, people and…Harry.
In the Rovers, Vern attempts to chat with Dev, Harry and Liz…he’s trying to engage their attention and failing…they don’t even want to answer questions about how things have been locally…”No one wants to tell me owt,” he complains. Eileen walks in; Vern asks if she missed him. Eileen admits she didn’t know he was away. Vern concludes that only Liz missed him and maybe she’s faking it. He pulls her aside and raises the subject of the retouched portrait, including the doctored bloody nose and phosphorescent teeth. Vern is left feeling very inadequate by the “improvements.” Liz does a fakey-bakey, unconvincing job of convincing Vern he is her “rock god”.
Michelle and Steve discuss the fact that Vern is now in the back printing off hundreds of pictures no one wants to look at. Which go with stories no one wants to hear. I feel really, really bad for Vern, and would listen to his stories gladly if I didn’t have to clean my cat’s ears and put my markers in rainbow-order. (c’mon all you girls did that, right?)
Out back behind the Rovers, Lloyd and Teresa chat. Teresa explains how questions were raised at school about Finlay’s parentage, and implies that Jerry felt differently about Finlay (which is a crock – Jerry loves all the kids…remember how he made a plan, when moving Finlay out of his previous house, so that Fin’s “fort” could be reconstructed at the new house?) Lloyd wants to know if Jerry treated Finlay less-than the others, but Teresa says no, he’s soft on kids. Teresa expertly starts winding up the guilt-mill….how she suffered, gave things up, and how much shoes cost. Steve pops outside then, and Teresa takes Finlay home for a “salad”. He is unfamiliar with the term.
Steve asks if Lloyd was trying to cop off with Teresa…Lloyd tells him to give his head a shake; Finlay was present. Lloyd goes on to explain his über-drunken one-night stand with a married woman who had no business being in a bad-dancin’ bar alone. His memory of the event is patchy at best. Steve is having trouble connecting the dots….doing the math. He tells Lloyd he’s not a mind-reader, what’s going on. When Lloyd lays it out…timeline…Finlay…son…Steve has a moment of eye-popping gawp.
In the cab office, Lloyd chews over his situation with Steve, convinced that he wrecked the Morton’s marriage. Steve is not convinced and asks if Lloyd’s also responsible for the millennium bug, stock market crash and the big storm. He swears that if Lloyd is actually Fin’s dad, he’ll do a shift in full drag.
Lloyd drops in at the Morton’s. Teresa asks him if he’s come to “wiggle out of his responsibilities”. Lloyd is so full of remorse and accountability that he’d convince himself he was Chesney’s dad at this point.
Theresa drones on about Fin’s speech therapy, bronchitis, bed-wetting and all of the other trials of procreation she has apparently endured. She tells Lloyd that a “small contribution toward maintenance” might make a start. She bleeds him for new trainer money and then jeans money. She doesn’t want anything said to Fin just yet.
Jason pops into the taxi office with his wrapped-up Bethany present to add a card, which it seems Eileen has gotten. Becky is hangin’ out with Eileen, and Jason is starting to feel his boundaries are being a little violated. Becky points out that she’d much rather have Eileen as a mother-in-law than Gail..after Jason leaves, Eileen mutters that Jason will always be stuck with that family. “Not for long,” Becky choruses, and the do a slappy high-five.
Gail runs into Jason and apologizes for being bitchy earlier about Becky. She seems to realized that Sarah binned Jason, and he is entitled to carry on with things.
That evening, Eileen and Becky are getting sloshed at Eileen’s and adorning themselves with paper umbrellas. Jason arrives home and is turbo-not-into-it. Irritated, he asks his mom if Becky is staying the night and as Becky sprawls all over him answering in the affirmative, looks truly put-off. Becks…I think you’re awesome but he’s just not that…..
Darryl sits in th’hospickle with his dad, waiting for Jerry’s surgery. Jerry wants to know who’s minding the shop…Darryl finally confesses it’s Norris – but hey, he’s mature, honest and reliable. Jerry urges Doz to keep his head, be the man of the house and geeter dun. Okay he didn’t quite say geeter dun.
Jerry is becoming antsy waiting…finally the nurse appears to tell him that the porters are coming. Darryl does not budge from th’hospickle, and finally the nurse reappears to say Jerry has pulled through his surgery. Darryl is relieved and overjoyed and finally goes to work.
Fiz and Kirk are walking home from the school play with Chesney and Kayleigh. They applaud the youngsters, who were awesome in the production. Fiz wants to celebrate with a DVD and kebabs. Ches asks if Kayleigh can come over. Fiz figures to get kebabs with Kayleigh in tow, as they might get them cheap. (which is a little harsh, given the family’s situation).
Darryl serves up the kebabs to the young actors with panache. Chesney says some words of encouragement to Kayleigh regarding her dad, and Darryl chimes in, “listen to your boyfriend.” Kayleigh wants to know who’s been blabbing, and busts Kirk pretty quick. She’s now pissed and doesn’t want her mingin’ brother’s kebab. Ches offers beans on toast at his. They leave and Fiz tells Kirk off..but they look out the window to see Kayleigh and Ches, hand in hand.
Darts are going on at the Rovers. Steve is in usual form, pinging darts off the lamp. Dan bets Steve 20 pounds that he can double out in three shots, and Steve cannot.
A frissant of tension ensues (we can thank Steve for the lovely turn of phrase). Dev commentates as Dan throws first; his last dart hits the mark but his foot is over the line. No good. Steve makes his shot. Successful! So Spenny and Kenny are tied for the moment. Dan also asks Steve if he can avoid lining up the taxis in front of the Bookies’ and inconveniencing the punters.