Leo’s not the free spirit he once was as he’s now a be-suited 9 to 5 man. Amanda’s not keen to join him in the rat race though, she’d much sooner just have a good time – which leads to her swanning off for a day out with some very tactile friends. This leaves poor Leo standing on the sidelines and looking more than a little downcast.
Charles and Sir Edward meet again. Now that Charles and his father are business partners they have to find a way to work together – although on Charles’ side there’s a very clear sense of unease. We see Sir Edward on horseback (and sporting a very jaunty cowboy hat to boot) which is another passion he shares with his son (Charles can often be found in the saddle). Presumably this is another subtle reminder that there’s more than unites them than divides them. But maybe the fact they’re so similar – despite Charles’ erlier comment that Sir Edward, unlike him, isn’t interested in the future – is the reason why they don’t get on. An icily polite press conference with the two of them is something of a treat – this sees Charles forced to wear his happiest face.
Ken’s keen to float himself the open market (Ken Masters PLC) although with David Lloyd (in reality, Charles’ man) advising him, it’s seems probable that he’s heading for a fall. Amanda’s father Allan Parker, a top stockbroker, is well placed to advise Ken – although Mr Masters isn’t put off by the warning that if things don’t work out he’ll take a considerable financial hit. It seems that everybody Ken approaches has links to the Frere family. Last time it was David Lloyd and Charles – here it’s Allan Parker and Sir Edward (although the hapless Allan looks set to be a decoy in Sir Edward’s latest devious scheme).
Tom and Jan, for a divorced couple, seem to be getting on very well. They enjoy a convivial boat trip (in S1, Jan was positioned as the outsider in the Howard family regarding boats – Tom, Lynne and Leo were all keen, Jan wasn’t) with a moment of tenderness once they reach dry land again.
Jack and Tom, still smarting over Barracuda, aren’t happy to deal with Relton again, although Jan is. This leads to the unusual sight of Jan and Avril being on the same side (although it’s just business of course). Tom’s won over by Jan’s argument and Jack – aware that he’s always going to be outvoted – is happy to go along with the consensus. I don’t like it – Jack’s far too pliant at present. Either he’s booze-sozzled or he’s got a plan ….
There’s another lovely scene between Jack and Kate. Jack seems to have given up using Kate as a conduit to try and reign Jan in, although he can’t resist making it plain that his newest business partner is a mere novice compared to him. “The only time your daughter will be able to tell a good year from a bad one is when she’s been in the business nearly as long as I have”.
Kate’s not pleased to hear Jan spoken about in this way but Jack doesn’t pay heed to the warning signs and so continues to pour fuel on the flames. “She’ll never learn because she never listens. She’s headstrong your daughter”. Kate’s comeback is priceless. “Well, at least she’s not a stubborn old boating museum, forever living in the past”. And what better way to end the scene than with Glyn Owen giving one of his hangdog looks? Wonderful.
Richard Spencer, ace powerboat racer, and Avril have another business lunch. He continues to regard her with longing (his tongue isn’t hanging out but it might as well be) whilst she treats him in a cool, professional way. The tinkling piano in the background slightly wrong-footed me – it took a few minutes for me to work out whether it was playing in the restaurant or on the soundtrack (it tuned out to be the latter).
It’s interesting that in this episode Anna seems to be a much more confident personality – speaking to Jan as if she was an equal. Maybe this is because she’s finally broken free of her father’s influence (or it might be slightly inconsistent scripting). And whilst Sir Edward and Jan might be apart in this one, there’s still a sense of closeness between them (he calls her “darling” which is an endearment I don’t believe he’s used before).
Ken hasn’t given up on Jan. “I feel we should seriously think about getting back together again”. Jan doesn’t say anything, but she doesn’t dismiss it out of hand. At present it seems that Jan’s cup runneth over – with Sir Edward, Tom and Ken all jostling for her favours. Leo isn’t so fortunate though. He’s only got Amanda, and it seems he hasn’t actually got her at all. When she returns home, late from her day out, he’s not at all pleased. They have another argument, which ends with her flouncing off and him staring into space with a pained expression. I think their marriage is already on the critical list and fading fast ….
Anyway, Richard Spencer demonstrates his powerboat prowess to Charles, Avril and the watching media It’s plain that there’s trouble on the horizon though – another boat is weaving an unsteady course through the water, its driver swigging from a can (with Sonic Boom Boy playing on the radio for good measure). The rapid intercutting between the two boats suggests that a collision is imminent, but what happens is even more entertaining. Spencer’s blown off course and his boat mounts the bank (in a somewhat James Bond-ish way). Thanks to his lightening quick reflexes, he leaps out just before the boat explodes (it’s a good stunt, if slightly unbelievable).
This week’s cliffhanger finds Leo yet again observing Amanda from a distance. It seems plain that she’s two-timing him, so this is the cue for Edward Highmore to once again deliver his anguished look. Something he’s been doing an awful lot of recently.