Tracey’s Christmas Spirit
Claire goes to Tracey’s house and asks how things are going. She says things are fine, and to not worry.
Claire invites Tracey and Amy over for Christmas tea. Tracey says that would be lovely, and that Amy would enjoy being taken out of the dishwasher for a while. Her face clouds over, and she says she doesn’t know if Charlie will go for it. Claire says that Charlie is not invited. Tracey gets upset, and says that Charlie has to be able to go. So Claire relents, and invites them all.
Tracey later goes to see Charlie, and tells him about this ridiculous invitation from Claire. Charlie seems interested in it. He paints a lovely picture of the tea, and says that if they go, Tracey might “discover the true meaning of Christmas”. Tracey says that for her the true meaning of Christmas is getting wasted, stuffing her face, and receiving very, very expensive gifts. Charlie replies that is only going to happen if she is good girl. And that line totally creeps me out. Tracey tells him she is always a good girl. He tries to draw her into a deep kiss, but she withdraws. Tracey asks whether she should turn down the invitation. He says yes, she will be otherwise engaged, and then goes on to tell her that she will be tonight, as well. Despite the light hearted banter from both in this scene, it appears both are irritated with each other.
Later, Claire meets Gail on the street. Gail asks if anyone is coming over to Claire’s on Christmas, and Claire says that she invited Tracey, and of course, that evil man Charlie will also have to come. Gail then tells Claire that Tracey came over to her house the other day, and she was sure it was to get away from Charlie. Claire replies that she is worried about Tracey, and worried that something will happen one day and she will not have done anything to help.
As they have this conversation, of course who walks up but Tracey herself. Seeing Claire, she comes up to her, thanks her for the invitation to tea at Christmas, but they can’t go. Claire gets upset, saying that she knows Tracey wants to go. Tracey gets upset and confused, says they simply can’t go, and leaves.
Steve comes to the taxi shop bearing Indian take out for Eileen. Eileen, knowing nothing from Steve comes for free, asks what this is about. Steve fesses up that he wants her to stick around for a while, so he can go out. Eileen wants to know why, and Steve, not yet realizing that he needs to lie a little less because he always gets found out, says he is buying a Christmas present for his mum. Eileen, touched by this scene of filial love, lets him go.
When he returns Eileen of course wants to see the present. It is not, in fact, something for Liz, but a new shirt for himself. Steve admits that it is for his date, but only bought it because he had nothing clean.
Eileen suggests he also get his hair cut, as he is looking a lot like Elvis lately. (Poor Elvis deserves better.) Steve takes this wisdom in, and Eileen stays a little longer while he goes to get himself coiffed.
Later at the Rover’s Steve and Eileen are chatting with Liz. As Michelle comes around, Eileen points to his new ‘do and also says that he got a new shirt. Liz’ suspicions are aroused and she wants to know if he is going to court. (Such confidence in her son). Eileen, in a kind of back handed compliment says he is pulling out all the stops for his date with Michelle, and then indicates that he might be getting a little desperate. It appears this is directed at Steve, not as Michelle, as Michelle does not blink an eye.
“I love you and I kiss you”
Sophie (AKA “SoSo Savard-Webster”) has come over to Vera’s house to reveal her psychic abilities. Chesney too is there. Sophie tells Vera that the spirit with whom she communicates is “Southern Wind” from the United States. Vera very nicely says, “What, a Red Indian?” Sophie corrects her, saying the term is “Native American” and that Southern Wind would not like being called anything else. She begins to make “contact”, and then the phone rings, giving Vera a small heart attack. It is Roy, asking her, it seems, to work.
After the phone call they pick up where they left off. Sophie says that Southern Wind is describing something about a journey. When Vera asks if he is talking about her death, Sophie replies that no, this is from long ago. She then goes on to relate that Southern Wind sees a building, and a flag post, with a flag. She stops and says it isn’t a flag.
“Knickers,” says Vera. Ches thinks Vera is dismissing Sophie and tells her that Sophie is doing her best. Vera clarifies that it was not a flag but knickers on the flag pole. This is indeed a trip that she took long ago. Sophie continues, saying that there is something about a hat that she does not understand. Vera knows what Southern Wind is talking about, and disappears briefly, re-emerging with the hat from the Inspector Clouseau movies.
After Sophie and Chesney leave Vera’s and they are walking down the street, Sophie promises that there is more where that came from. They run into Blanche, who says, “If it isn’t little Doris Stubbs,” asks Sophie to provide her with the Irish Lottery numbers. Sophie replies that what she has been given is a gift, and that she can’t use it for profit. Blanche scoffs at her, points out that psychics are making millions, and, when Sophie tells her she should not mock what she can’t understand, Blanche tells her she should be ashamed of herself.
Later, at the Rover’s, Blanche and Vera are dissecting what happened with Sophie. Blanche dismisses it as some sort of fraud, but Vera will have none of it. The only to people who know about the trip and the hat are Ivy Tillsley and Hilda Ogden, one of whom is dead, and one, who is living somewhere else. Both were sworn to secrecy, and even Hilda kept her end of the bargain up. There is no way, according to Vera, that Sophie could have known about that trip.
The mystery I want cleared up is why Blanche is so involved in this plot line that she can’t take a breather to make some snarky and perfect remark about Frankie and Jamie.
And that of course does lead us to…
The Candlestick, in the Library
Janice, Kelly and Sean are walking down the street to work, Janice filling them in on about how Danny’s mum accused Frankie and Jamie of killing her son. Sean defends Jamie and Frankie, saying she had no right throwing out accusations like that.
Who should be leaving the house at that time but Frankie? Janice sees her and taunts her, calling her the black widow, and tossing out other insults. Sean doesn’t protest until after she is done, and then unfortunately says that she shouldn’t “stick the knife in”, which Janice latches onto to make a final joke about Frankie and Jamie’s responsibility for Danny’s disappearance.
Later, at the Caf, Frankie is working away, and comes around as Becky and Charlie, apparently old mates (and well suited to one another, I think) are having a good laugh. Frankie asks what the joke is about, and they each make a few jokes about how the tea is “death” and “murder”. Oh how clever.
Becky does get more clever, however, as she makes more snide remarks about Frankie’s relationship with Jamie. Frankie retorts that she is not Jamie’s mum. Becky asks, “So, he never sent you any mother’s day cards.” Frankie’s uncomfortable look tells her he has. A better wit would have left it at that, but Becky gets a couple more digs in, about her and Jamie, and about their involvement in Danny’s disappearance. Frankie, fuming, tells her that neither she, nor Jamie, had a hand in Danny’s disappearance. Becky retorts that that is good, as Frankie would not last a day in the clink.
Soon afterwards, the cops arrive. Frankie asks if they have any news about Danny, and they say no, “But there are new developments”. When Becky says, “Oh, I’ve heard that one before” (I’m sure you have Becky), the coppers suggest going somewhere more private to talk. Frankie explains that she is working. At that point Roy helpfully says that he phoned Vera to ask her to work, as he thinks Frankie may need the time off. So off they go for some lighthearted questioning.
In fact, unlike Law and Order, they are quite nice with Frankie. Back at her place, they tell her Danny’s mother told them that Frankie and Jamie are in a relationship. She confirms it. They ask why she hasn’t mentioned it before. “You didn’t ask,” she replies. Because of course, asking whether a mother and son are shtumping should be the first question any good copper asks in a missing person’s case. She adds that she didn’t think it was important.
So the police explain to her that it is indeed important, as it might give some insight into Danny’s state of mind when he left. They question what he thought about Frankie and Jamie’s relationship? Frankie admits, “he was devastated.” The cops tell her she has to tell them everything from now on, and she says she has. They raise Danny’s mum’s belief that she is involved in Danny’s disappearance. When she protests such accusations, they tell her they are not accusing her (liars). Frankie says in a very heartfelt way that she would never harm Danny. “What about Jamie?” the coppers want to know. She very firmly says that no, he would not do that either.
When Jamie arrives home, Frankie is sitting on the sofa, looking pretty glum. She first explains that Roy sent her home, probably to get rid of all the people staring at her and making snide remarks about having killed Danny. “Some people are sick,” replies Jamie. Pot and kettle, is what I say.
She goes on to tell him that the police have returned, and he gets a little worried. He asks why. She tells him they came to question her about their relationship, and concludes that they are suspicious of Frankie and Jamie. “If they can hide that, what else can they be hiding,” she thinks they must be thinking. And then she says, “And they’re not the only ones.” Jamie is bit perturbed that Frankie seems to be insinuating that he did kill Danny. She points out that Jamie hates Danny. Jamie tells her he has good reason to. Danny almost killed him. To which Frankie says, “Exactly.” There were no limits to which he and Danny would go in dealing with each other. Jamie is increasingly angry and Frankie says she just wants to know the truth. Jamie walks out, leaving Frankie to wonder if true love can conquer all after all.
“How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
Gail and David have a happy bonding moment over David’s new car. Apparently he has decided to abandon writing creepy cards in order to get his car in good running order. Gail beams at the thought of her psychopathic son having something else on her mind.
As Gail and David happily talk she reveals that she doesn’t want to be bested by Sally Webster, and will make the Christmas Pudding. She weasels the recipe out of Roy, and tries it, of course, to disastrous results.
In Other News
Bev, with Liz’ consent, takes away about half of the articles in the pub in preparation for her move on Friday to our Shelley’s. Just “odds and sods” that she owns, apparently. Hopefully this doesn’t include the Rover’s stock of gin.