Many Happy Returns Kenneth
Peter and Leanne are becoming more excited as they explore the possibilities of turning Turner’s Joinery into a bar. (Personally I think ‘Turner’s Joinery’ would be a cool name for the bar. Even if it is 100 metres from the Rovers.) They are also preparing for Ken’s 70th birthday to be held that evening in the Rovers’. Some time later, It dawns on Leanne that Peter is a recovering alcoholic proposing that they own a bar and asks if this is going to be a problem. Peter points out that he works in a bookies’ and doesn’t gamble. He says that there is booze everywhere you look, so it’s a matter of working a solid program.
That evening, Ken’s party is in full swing at the Rovers with big band and jazz playing in the background. The Barlows sit with Emily, Blanche and a few others. Emily asks that instead of just reminiscing, as people are wont to do at such functions, that the gang spend some of the evening talking about future adventures yet to come. Some items on Emily’s bucket list include parachuting, riding on the Orient Express and flying in a hot air balloon. Blanche would like to see Cats.
Ken praises Peter and says he’s very proud of him and of the little family he and Simon and Leanne have become.
Liz brings out the lit cake and they all sing Happy Birthday, with Deirdre filling in the bass line admirably. If Ken is disappointed not to receive a Martha’s Barge playset, he does not let on.
Lloyd, who is DJing the shindig, is concerned that no one is dancing so he asks Liz to dance to get everyone into it. The Barlows all get up and join in. Tyrone asks Molly to dance, who whines: “do we have to?” Liz and Lloyd, who have been doing some flirting, share a kiss. Liz pulls away and they have a bit of an exchange about why they broke up. Liz calls him petty and immature and flees back behind the bar.
Later, Theresa and Lloyd commiserate at the bar. “She has no taste that woman, look how she dresses,” says Theresa of Liz. And adds that Lloyd could do alot better. Liz, meanwhile, confides in Deirdre that she doesn’t know how she feels about Lloyd and the age thing is still bugging her.
Lloyd and Theresa proceed to get absolutely shitfaced and leave together.
Janice and Deirdre have been out back, having a smoke and commenting that Leanne and Peter are great together. Bill, meanwhile, approaches Ken and asks him to put in a good word with Peter as he’s interested in Peter’s “project”. This leaves Ken curious, and he wastes no time asking Peter about it in front of an entire table of family which includes Deirdre, Blanche, Janice and others.
Looking as pained as Leanne, Peter reluctantly shares their plans, at which point the Jekyll-Barlows turn once again into the Hyde-Barlows, calling Peter basically moronic, a bad father, reckless and blind. Leanne is labelled an arsonist, slag and sponge.
“A recovering alcoholic and an arsonist open a bar,” Blanche scoffs, “this sounds like the start of a joke.”
Feeling very sorry that they have shared their plans, Leanne and Peter leave.
Cramps and Tomatoes
Earlier in the day, Sophie the laptop whiz is showing her parents online pictures of the run in Glasgow, vainly looking for Kevin. They think a pair of blurry legs in one picture might be Kevin, running behind a big pair of costumed tomatoes. Satisfied that she has located Kevin, Sophie goes upstairs.
When she has gone, Sally demands the truth from Kevin. She wants to know why he wasn’t in any race photos. He claims he got a cramp after 2 miles, had to quit and Molly stayed back to help him. He says the whole thing was a total disaster and that he felt foolish. “You’re a bad influence on each other,” Sally concludes of Kevin and Molly, and then tells Kevin to go put his nice shirt on and take her to Rovers.
Mouthbreather Molly is already in the pub when Kevin rings to keep her in the loop about the cramps and the tomatoes. As Kevin is hanging up, Sally emerges from their room wearing a stunning silver blouse and looking lovely. Kevin absently tells her she looks “fine”. Sally immediately goes to change, commenting that “fine” was not the effect she was looking for on their anniversary. She emerges with her cheeks stuffed with raisins, wearing a Hello Kitty t-shirt and a knapsack. Kevin ravages her immediately. Okay, that didn’t happen.
Later when both couples are at the party, Sally and Molly are at the bar ordering drinks. Sally tells Molly that she knows all about their little lie about the cramps and tomatoes gives her a word of advice: “Don’t keep secrets from your spouse, it always ends in tears.”
A Year After Muder
Baby Liam’s christening is approaching and Barry & Helen are coming back to town again. Tony really wants them to stay in a hotel. As he and Maria discuss the event, Tony proposes that he take Maria out for a quiet dinner the night before the christening. She seems underwhelmed. Soon after, we learn why, as Tony is on the phone makng reservations. He remembers the date is the 16th of October, the night of Liam’s muder, and abruptly cancels. As they sit later at Ken’s party having a drink, Tony apologizes, saying he has realized the significance of that date, and celebrating would be in poor form.
Norris has decided to bin Sheila Wheela, thus silencing her unending stream of inane babble and inattention. Devastated, Sheila collapses in a heap and Norris has to bring her some water.
Lloyd and Theresa, having left the Rovers, end up back at Lloyd’s shooting tequila. Theresa drunkenly apologizes for blatantly ripping Lloyd off over the Findlay scam. Lloyd says it’s all water under the bridge, and they start to make out.