Jack’s still stomping about the yard in a right strop. Avril attempts to talk some sense into him but has no more joy than Tom did (both Susan Gilmore and Glyn Owen play this short scene at full throttle). And then Jack disappears ….
Avril knows what will happen next, whenever her father is upset he goes on a drinking spree (last time he ended up in a police cell). This time he doesn’t fall into the hands of the police, instead Kate’s the (un)lucky one who runs into him.
Not literally though, although it’s a close run thing. Jack’s staggering down the middle of the road whilst Kate is driving home. After avoiding crashing into him, she forthrightly berates his stupidity (blind drunk, he earlier dumped his car into a ditch) and his lack of manners. Glyn Owen and Dulcie Gray are wonderful here with Owen giving us some magnificent drunk acting (telling Kate slowly and deliberately that he had to swerve to avoid a hedgehog in the road, Kate acidly wonders if it was actually a pink elephant!).
She takes pity on him and gives him a bed for the night. He pours out his troubles to her (he’s unable to pour himself any more drinks though, Kate puts a stop to that) although Kate is unaware that the hated partner he describes in such loving detail is actually her son-in-law. Tarrant’s a small place ….
If you want more evidence of this, then earlier we saw Jack nearly collide with Leo’s bike. Later, Leo tells Avril about his close encounter and he volunteers to help her try and find him. Just seconds before, Leo confides to his chum Nick (Tim Faulkner) that he tends to obsess over unobtainable women. And then Avril turns up.
We’ve seen Leo make googly eyes at Avril in an earlier episode, so his continuing unrequited passion is pretty obvious. Poor Avril remains oblivious though, simply treating young Leo with kindness (he listens to her troubles and she gives him a peck on the cheek for being a good listener). But it’s plain that if Leo expects anything more he’s going to be disappointed.
More sexual frustration is on show later after Nick walks Lynne home and forces himself on her (unlike Leo he’s not content with a goodnight kiss). Poor Lynne, she does have to fend off more than her fair share of lusty admirers although some, like Nick, bitterly know that they’ve little chance of making any headway with her since they don’t own a boat.
This leads into one of the series’ most famous lines (or infamous, depending on your point of view). Lynne tells her father about Nick and she agrees about being boat-obsessed. “I don’t think I could ever love a man as much as I love the Flying Fish”. Well done to Tracy Childs for keeping a straight face.
Our next port of call for sexual frustration sees us over at Ken’s place, where Dawn is more than a little miffed to learn that Ken’s taking Jan out to dinner (Tom’s none too pleased about it either). Both Ken and Jan are togged up to the nines, Ken in a white dinner jacket and Jan in a backless dress. Dawn wonders what she’s going to do all evening by herself, Ken tells her that he’s bought her some new videos. Dawn responds that she doesn’t fancy watching blue movies on her own, but Ken counters that it might get her in the mood for later. The dirty dog!
Ken and Jan’s meal goes swimmingly. Jan tells him that rather than expanding into general marine goods they should specialise – designer yachting clothes for the well-off. Ken is a little dismissive (muttering that Jan might read Vogue, but she’s no fashion expert) but the seeds have been sown. And later they dance a tango for good measure.
Finally there’s a release of sexual frustration as Jan returns home, changes into a most becoming negligée and manages rapprochement with Tom. Although the fact she later tells him that it wasn’t the meal with Ken which put her in the mood somewhat puts a damper on things. Any mention of Ken grates on Tom since he’s no lover of medallion men.
Away from this thriving hotbed of repressed and not-so repressed feelings, Abby continues to feel isolated. She does manage a fairly decent conversation with her mother, but it doesn’t seem to be enough and the episode ends with Abby slipping out the house, bag in hand ….