The first step in Leo’s quest to become a tycoon starts here. He can’t help but crow a little to his mother and grandmother about the fact he’s now a man of business – albeit bankrolled by a shady lady. Series three was obviously the point when it was decided to turn Leo Howard into the series’ hunk, as these days he seems to spend some time each episode with his shirt off. Although it’s nice to see that equality between the sexes is maintained – last time we were invited to ogle at Sarah’s backside, this week it’s Leo’s rear which is prominently displayed (and also receives a slap from Amanda for good measure).
Meanwhile, Sarah’s frantic. Mark’s disappeared and she’s fretting that he’s gone straight to a solicitor to initiate divorce proceedings. You won’t be surprised to learn that Ken’s taking things much more calmly, although his male ego is clearly bruised after Sarah tells him that her husband means more to her than he does. But he doesn’t want to lose Mark either – good business partners are hard to find. Jan continues to be a hard-headed businesswoman as we see her effortlessly managing to negotiate the best price for the latest part of her ever expanding business empire.
Anna needs a heart to heart with someone and in Jan’s absence naturally gravitates towards Kate. Where’s Jan? Back noshing at the big house with Sir Edward and crowing about what a top businesswoman she is. Mmm, given that Tom’s looking slightly more hopeful these days (convinced that he can prove the catamaran design is sound) there must be an equal and opposite downturn on the cards for Jan soon.
Just as Bill has taken over some of Avril’s function in the yard (as a sounding board and a buffer between Tom and Jack) so Avril herself has rather displaced Gerald as Charles’ closest confidant (and their personal lives are becoming ever closer too). Their latest wheeze is selling business units to the “right people” and Jan is an interested party, although when she learns that she’d have to deal with Avril it’s not surprising she’s rather less keen. They do meet though – a delightfully awkward experience for both of them, although Jan once again manages to put her business ahead of any personal feelings.
Charles is a hard-headed rational businessman, except where his father’s concerned. At that point he loses all reason – if he feels threatened by him then he’s going to go all out to attack, no matter what the financial consequences might be. This reckless attitude appals Gerald, who angrily wonders why Charles bothers to pay him if he won’t listen to his advice. The cracks in their relationship are beginning to show and it concerns Charles enough to seek out Polly. Is Charles operating under the guise of friendship or is it purely business? Business of course.
Polly discovers the identity of Gerald’s terminally ill friend – James Gittings – and he explains that he’s paying his passage to America as there’s a chance that new medical research there might help him. It’s not spelt out yet exactly what’s wrong with him, but it’s not difficult to guess.
Tom meets Emma Neesome (Sian Webber). She’s an engineer who may be able to help him in his quest to vindicate his design for the catamaran. Tom’s offer to buy her the most expensive dinner she’s ever had doesn’t seem to impress her that much (but we shouldn’t judge by first impressions).
Amanda and Leo continue to enjoy each other’s company – frolicking in the sea following a powerbike ride for example. But then her father, Allan Parker (Leon Tanner), pops up and drops the bombshell that Amanda’s already engaged, which manages to wipe the smile off Leo’s face.
Tom and Jan celebrate their divorce with a glass of champagne. They seem much more at ease with each other now that their marriage is over (which has lead many to surmise that had Maurice Colbourne not died and HW had gone to a seventh series, Tom and Jan would have got back together.
Mark – briefly – returns and although he doesn’t get the chance to duff up Ken he does exit very much in a blaze of glory.
4 thoughts on “Howards’ Way – Series Three, Episode Five”
I don’t know about equality between the sexes in Howards’ Way: in the competition for the highest percentage of semi-nude appearances by a member of the main cast throughout the whole six seasons of the series, Leo seems to win hands down. He also appears in a pair of denim shorts in preference to the impractical yet spotless snowy white ones he used to wear whilst painting boats. Plus there is now a curvy beauty at his side. If all this is a sign of the efforts to make him appear more hunky, it may be because it was felt that the image of Leo perceived by the media (rather unjustly) as a “wet, wimpy, drippy” character needed some adjustment. For some reason the adjustment seems to include a gradual lightening of his hair and eyebrows. Is the sun over Solent really that strong?
The scene with Leo and Amanda playing musical wet bikes contains a glaring continuity lapse. At first Leo rides a red one and when Amanda falls over, he appears at her side on a white one! She falls over again and he arrives on a red one… then Amanda’s bike disappears altogether… The water is choppy, there’s hardly any sunshine so it’s not the best wet biking weather, there is no one else around and they are both quite visibly shivering in the freezing cold water!
And seriously, I do like those little pearls of wisdom pouring from the actors’ mouths on various occasions – like this one, for example, clearly meaning to give encouragement to enterprising husbands and wives:
Tom: Must be millions of wives wasting their talents stuck at home with the children.
Jan: What about those millions of husbands stuck in boring old jobs just because their wives don’t let them take any risks?
And then they toast the future…
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I did think of mentioning Leo’s new hairstyle, but thought that was too trivial a matter even for my meanderings! There’s not a great deal of male eye candy on show at present (although I daresay Tony Anholt had his fans) so it makes some sort of sense to reposition Leo a little.
Plus of course, whilst it’s hard to swallow that Amanda would have been interested in the S3 Leo, had he stayed with his “wimpy” previous seasons persona it would have been even more unbelievable.
The appearance of blond hair streaks included Jan and Jan Harvey mentions it several times in her DVD commentary. And I wouldn’t call jumping in the sea to rescue a damsel in distress “wimpy”.
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P.S. The character of Leo starts as an 18-year old youth: he may be “wet behind the ears” but it’s really unfair on any decent adolescent male to rile him with cheap jibes of the “wimpy” sort. 🙂