Howards’ Way – Series Two, Episode Five

howards s02e05

Lynne, making good headway in the Barracuda, refuses to heed Tom’s request to turn back.  When he understands how resolute she is, Tom doesn’t seem too unhappy.  Of course it’s plain that Jan’s not going to take it quite so calmly ….

And she doesn’t.  When the news about Lynne comes over the car radio she does a screeching turn and heads back for Tarrant for a typically awkward conversation with Tom.  He’s bursting with paternal pride (“she’s as good a sailor as I’ve ever met”) whilst she’s only seeing negatives (“you’d risk your daughter’s life for a publicity gimmick?”).  But it does generate good publicity, with a brace of favourable newspaper headlines (my favourite being “storm tossed beauty”).

As the weeks pass by, we’re treated to a series of monologues from Lynne.  “I’ve never seen my own weaknesses so clearly before. All the things I shouldn’t have done or said. I can’t change them know. But I suppose I’m learning my strengths too, now that I’m responsible for everything that happens to me.”  She spent S1 as a fairly feckless and self-obsessed character, but it’s clear that she’s recently undergone a considerable change for the better.

Charles still wants the Mermaid Yard and decides his way in will be to buy Relton Marine.  Once he has Relton, then he’ll have a stake in the Mermaid.  Given that he transfers three million for Gerald to start to buy shares in Relton, it’s plain that money in no object.

There’s another entertaining encounter between Charles and Ken.  Ken is starting to get a little anxious about the marina development (he’s pledged over a million, which is a considerable undertaking for him) whilst Charles is coolness personified (he’s obviously delighted to twist the knife a little).   Ken later decides that a little bribery will help to oil the wheels.

We get our first sight of the protest lobby.  They all seem rather worthy.  On the other side is Steven Moffat (John Ronane), Ken’s tame councillor (and the recipient of a hefty bribe from him).  Nice to see Ronane pop up in this one, although he doesn’t do a great deal except look a little twitchy.

Leo organises a protest meeting at home, with a couple of dozen people attending, which doesn’t please Jan.  Poor Jan Harvey, her default expression always seems to be set to disapproving.  Ken, who comes in with Jan, is condescendingly amused by their efforts (no doubt he believes they’re no threat at all).  Delightfully, Kate then arrives and announces she’s going to attend the meeting, shooting Ken a filthy look en-route.  As ever, Kate makes her feelings about Ken crystal clear.

I love Ken’s attempt to buy Claude off (“how much would you take not to come back at all?”).  Our Mr Masters is not terribly subtle!  Claude’s open-mouthed shock is somewhat amusing as is his stern response (“you can’t buy me off”).  Quite why Ken should continue to obsess over Claude when it’s been made clear that he’s got no personal interest in Jan is a slight mystery – presumably it’s an attempt to highlight Ken’s general paranoia (one of his many character flaws).

Richard Shellet makes his final bow.  A pity, but it would have stretched credibility for him to keep on popping up from time to time, vowing revenge and lobbing the odd bomb around.  His face-off with Jack is short but sweet – with Jack playing an interesting psychological game (luckily he guessed right).

Tom loses radio contact with Barracuda.  And with Lynne now entering stormy waters in the North Atlantic it’s the cue for a good deal of anxious acting from Maurice Colbourne and Jan Harvey.

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