The spectre of potential tragedy has brought the Howards together – with predictable results (Jan stares into the distance, misty eyed and with a drink in her hand, blaming Tom for everything).
Charles continues to play with Ken rather like a cat toys with a mouse. Construction on the marina is due to begin, but Charles tells Gerald to cancel it (and pretend that the furore from the protestors has made them pause). Charles is smoothness personified when he explains to Ken, but Ken smells a rat ….
The fact that the Baraccuda is missing begins to cast a little doubt on Tom’s design. This mainly comes from Jan of course, but when Bill queries the specifications of Tom’s catamaran there’s a definite sense of tension in the air. The sensible course, as suggested by Bill, Avril and Jack, would be for Tom to recheck his figures but he’s unwilling to do so. His concern for Lynne is clearly influencing his decision making (witness the way he erupts after Jack tactfully suggests they take a look at the design again).
Crusading local reporter Steve Windom (Bill Thomas) isn’t happy with the way that planning permission was pushed through without a protest and decides that Ken’s been indulging in corrupt practices. To be honest, Steve isn’t exactly a Woodward or a Bernstein, but there’s still an effort made to ramp up the tension – such as late night meetings in shady rendezvous as Steve begins to build his case.
It’s interesting that Leo is under no illusion that their protest will fail, but he tells his mother that it’s more important that Charles and Ken realise they “can’t just buy any piece of land and build on it.” Jan doesn’t come out of this conversation terribly well since she then asks Leo to call off the protest – that would ease Ken’s cashflow problem, meaning he might then be able to invest in Jan’s boutique. Jan’s being incredibly selfish here, but I guess it was the “me, me, me” eighties.
Lyne pops up about midway through the episode, looking somewhat green around the gills and desperately attempting to get someone to acknowledge her radio calls. Eventually she does (is it just me, or is there a whiff of Tony Hancock’s The Radio Ham here?). Lynne’s travails was one of those plotlines which you could sense would have a happy ending. Had they killed her off it would have created an even bigger fault-line between Tom and Jan (but since it probably would have meant that Jan would never be able to crack a smile ever again, it’s just as well they didn’t).
Down at the protest site, things are hotting up. Morgan Griffiths (Mark Crowdy), a member of Earthguard, pledges his support – which begins with hot meals and fresh placards. He zooms in on his motorbike and then out again almost immediately, like a leather-clad guardian angel.
Later, Ken sends in the heavy mob. Although they’re big and ugly, their language doesn’t quite match their appearance (“why don’t you naff off?”). Pre-watershed, of course. And it’s poor Leo who’s first to receive a knuckle sandwich.
Lynne arrives in America, which looks suspiciously like the English coast. Still, it’s amazing what a few American flags, a sprinkling of stock footage and some fake accents can do. Neither Jan or Tom can make it over, so Claude deputises for them. The beginning of a beautiful friendship maybe?