Jan’s business woes move up a notch as she discovers that all her major suppliers now regard her to be a bad credit risk. She spies the evil hand of John Soames at work – miffed that she wouldn’t share his big bed – but is disinclined to ask Sir Edward for help. So Jan faces having empty shops with nothing to sell unless she can find a solution ….
Meanwhile, interest in the marina at L’Ancesse over on Gurnsey is hotting up. Ken is keen to buy it as it’ll provide him with a nice little tax haven and so has persuaded Sarah to put a bid in (Ken’s, ahem, colourful past means that he has to stay in the shadows). But Charles wants it too as Sir John explains to Sir Edward. “Well, she wants it because Masters wants it. Masters wants it because Charles wants it. And god alone knows why Charles wants it”.
Charles’ reasons quickly becomes clear. The America’s Cup, he says, is not the showpiece event it once was (thanks to the way that the Americans have excluded many top performers) so he plans to establish his own world class race – to rival, or even surpass it. And where better to start the race from than the picturesque L’Ancresse?
Charles wants to assemble a team to build a world class boat too, which means he needs the very best designer – so naturally he approaches Tom. Mmm, I know what you’re probably thinking – since Charles could pick just about any designer in the world, why would he choose Tom? Lest we forget, they’re not exactly the closest of friends. In story terms it makes perfect sense, but in the real world it’s slightly harder to swallow. But as I’ve said before, there’s no point in equating HW with real life.
And as it happens, Tom’s at a loose end as he’s just angrily resigned from Sir Edward’s America’s Cup team. The final straw came when Tom received a package which was full of photographs of their rival’s boats. Sir Edward sees nothing wrong in this – all’s fair in business – but Tom, always a moral man, won’t have any truck with stealing. So in a rather good little scene, Tom and Sir Edward face off. Tom’s implacable whilst Sir Edward, radiating menace, murmurs that not many people cross him. Watch this space, as I daresay Sir Edward has a long memory.
It’s a remarkable coincidence that Charles happens to ask Tom (via Emma – Charles isn’t foolish enough to approach Tom direct) to be a part of his team on the very day that he walks out on Sir Edward …..
Tom’s yet to agree, but another personnel movement seems much more likely. Avril offers Sarah a job – helming Relton Power. This serves several purposes – as Sarah’s already been negotiating for the L’Ancresse site, having her at Relton would strengthen Charles’ bid, and as a bonus it’ll tick Ken off. And Ken’s been in a filthy temper today, shouting at Sarah and generally treating her like dirt. So she’s more than keen to jump ship, question is will Leo join her?
Jack’s still in a good mood, although he’s been getting a few twinges which are worrying him. With a sense of the dramatic, he tells Kate that he’s not long for this world, although Kate – sensible as ever – takes no nonsense from him, telling him to see a doctor and pull himself together. It doesn’t seem to be too serious, but as we’ll see things take a dramatic turn later.
But before that happens there’s one of my favourite Jack scenes from all of the six series. Jan, desperate for clothes to sell, elects to send Kate out to buy up stock from other shops. She persuades Jack to help her and this leads to the wonderful sight of a bashful Jack – arms full of ladies clothes – desperately attempting to reach the car before anybody spots him.
Unsurprisingly he doesn’t make it as Bill happens to ride past on his bike (Tarrant’s a very small place) and despite Jack’s best attempts to hide, the terrible truth about Jack Rolfe and women’s clothing comes to light! Glorious stuff.
Abby and Leo continue to have a distant relationship. Although they agree to call a truce, they’re finding it increasingly difficult these days to connect in the same way that they used to. Possibly this is because Leo now has his own interests and responsibilities and is no longer able (or willing?) to always be on call. This is demonstrated when he’s unable to stay in and watch a video of William (Sarah’s invited him to dinner).
It’s difficult to blame him – Sarah’s one of his bosses after all – but it leaves an emotionally fragile Abby alone with only her memories of her son. Luckily, Kate later pops up to hear Abby’s story and wipe away her tears.
Tom and Jan have another meal. As Leo tells Sarah (they’re sitting a stone’s throw away in the same restaurant – remember, Tarrant’s a very small place) it’s slightly strange to see – they couldn’t live together and now they can’t seem to live apart. Sarah drops her bombshell about leaving, forcing Leo to contemplate his own future.
Another series, another top fashion designer. In this episode Jan confirms what the audience had probably already suspected – Anna won’t be returning. So Jan needs another young, gifted (and cheap!) world class designer to fall in her lap. Does Julian Fitzsimons (Jamie Roberts) fit the bill? The fact that he only appears in this episode suggests that from now on Jan’s designers may be talked about, but they’ll rarely be seen.
If Jan’s business finally seems to be picking up (Sir Edward, much to Jan’s irritation, deals with her credit problem), then her personal life is still somewhat messy. She finally plucks up the courage to tell Sir Edward that she can’t marry him. He’s quite calm about this – mainly because he’s confident that over time he’ll be able to change her mind. Sir Edward is not a man who takes no for an answer (a cliché I know, but it’s absolutely true).
The episode concludes in a highly dramatic fashion as Jack suffers an attack whilst he, Tom, Leo, Abby and Michael are out on the water. Heart attack? Testament to Glyn Owen’s quality as an actor, but seeing Jack – someone we’ve grown to love – in such distress is uncomfortable. No doubt he’ll bounce back, but it’s a very unsettling scene.