Episode 23.9: ‘If the shoe fits…’

After being kicked out of the hotel by Simpkins, Constance goes to Just Gina’s and demands they hand over the keys to the pub. Big Dick calls her bluff and says she hasn’t got what it takes to run the place – Dick and Candi arrange for a couple of biker gangs to come over as well as a journalist from the Newtown Mail. Lady Saffron, who has fallen out with Constance, decides to stand up to her and makes her help with cooking in the kitchen, as well as swapping clothes and shoes to reverse the power dynamic. The food goes wrong though, and the kitchen catches fire, trapping them both in the smoke. Facing potential death, Constance takes back her high heels from Lady Saffron, causing her to become confident enough to rescue both of them!  

Meanwhile, Debita is still trying to recover her memories after the accident but remembers that she had planned to give her £2.5 million mansion to someone. With the Johnsons still owing the council (and specifically Constance) a million pounds, Gina and Dick take Debita to the Sky Café and make a pitch. However, Candi later takes matters into her own hands and kidnaps Debita, stashing her in the basement of Just Another Gina’s until she agrees to hand over the mansion. The problem is the basement used to be an aquarium and it regularly floods… 

Elsewhere, AJ is still waiting for a response from Debita about his proposal. He shows Geraldine (who is recovering from a light stabbing from Constance) his grandmother’s ring, and she mentions no-one will ever propose to her. AJ spontaneously proposes to Geraldine but calls her “Debita” – and Geraldine accepts anyway! But when AJ spots Just Another Gina’s flooding and Debita in trouble, he ditches Geraldine to rescue her. A grateful Debita thinks she is going to accept AJ’s proposal, but when she learns he is engaged to Geraldine, both women decide to turn him down! With Candi facing prison, she asks AJ to be her parole officer in exchange for helping him to win back Debita, and he accepts. 

Back at Just Gina’s, Constance’s tenure has been a disaster. She decides to hand back the pub and focus on her new career: becoming Newtown’s MP!

Will the pubs survive their respective disasters? How will Constance’s election campaign go? And will AJ ever end up with a fiancée?

Memorable Moments

  • Dick being in the Newtown Mail 6 times for different crimes
  • Gina acting as a northern interpreter for Debita
  • The high stakes swapping of high heels for wellies in the heat of a kitchen fire

Episode 23.8: ‘Ouija marry me?’

AJ Shaw is in pieces, believing he has killed his ex Debita Webra, the woman he still loves. Constance Sugar tries to calm him and also manages to get him to say he will take the rap for the decision to turn the centre of Newtown into a car park – as it is a very unpopular decision, there are huge protests going on, and Constance is worried it will thwart her future political career. They wait for news from the investigaotrs looking through the bulldozer’s parts to see if Debita really is completely dead and mangled.

Meanwhile, Geraldine Davis is trying to do the right thing and has chained herself to the ancient old oak tree to stop it being bulldozed. And Simpkins is wondering how he can get his hotel back from Constance, who has split up with him and said she is keeping the hotel because she is upset at him for going off to Micronesia for months and not coming to see her when he got back. And we finally see Debita! She fell down a hole right next to the bulldozer, she banged her head but she is most definitely alive! She has, however, forgotten who she is and everything that happened. Simpkins uses this to his advantage when he discovers her and her amnesia, and tells her she is Constance and she just needs to sign some papers at the bank…

At the hotel, AJ and Constance use a Ouija board to try to connect with Debita. Constance is a sceptic until she and AJ hear Debita’s voice (SImpkins has brought Debita to a room nearby to get her to look more formal and Constance-like l for the bank)! When Constance hears Simpkins’ voice too she assumes he must be dead as well, that he killed himself for love of her!

Despite bumping into Geraldine, who recognises Debita for who she really is, the papers get signed and the hotel belongs to Simpkins once more! Once AJ and Constance realise that everyone is not a ghost, Constance discovers the plot and blames everyone involved, including Geraldine who she thinks was part of it all and vows to kill her. AJ takes some gum that he had put in a shrine to Debita, twists it into a ring shape and goes down one one knee and asks Debita to marry him!

Will Debita fully get her memory back?

What will her decision be about marrying AJ?

Will Geraldine escape Constance’s murderous clutches?

And what next for the bitter fall-out from Constance’s and Simpkins’ split?

Memorable Moments:

  • AJ and Constance going Ghostbusters-style in their hunt for ghosts
  • Simpkins leaping on Debita’s amnesia to get his hotel back
  • Our Musical Director, Jack Drewry, being Show Editor for the every first time and smashing it!

Episode 23.7: ‘Like a bulldozer in a china shop”

Candi is in dire straits. AJ Shaw has said that he will bulldoze both of the Johnsons’ pubs and turn them into a car park if she doesn’t return the million pounds the council (and specifically Constance) loaned her. Constance Sugar approves of this plan, especially as it will bring in lots of money in parking fees.

Candi wants Geraldine to stand up to Constance and argue against the car park plan but Geraldine is too scared of Constance and wants to keep her job. However, later Geraldine is inspired by Candi and how cool she is when she chains herself to the pub – and chains herself to the pub too. AJ mans the bulldozer himself, but his rabid enthusiasm for demolition is all because he cannot stop thinking about ex Debita and is trying to distract himself. Debita is having visions of AJ and realises she is thinking about him too. She is fed up with being beholden to her exes and decides she needs to break from the past and sell the £2 million mansion that she was left by an old flame. 

Elsewhere, Fred has arranged to go on a date with Lady Saffron, who has been staying at Sugar Towers. On the way to the date, Constance asks best friend Saffron to drop off a package of goodies (including sweets and Gentleman’s Relish) to Simpkins to try and woo him back. Fred mistakenly thinks that Saffron is giving him the gifts and keeps the relish. He reads a generic love note Constance taped to it for Simpkins and thinks Constance – who Fred occasionally sleeps with – has feelings for him. Fred goes to see her and passions erupt. But when the mistake is revealed, Constance is furious, thinking that Saffron is trying to steal Simpkins. She goes to Simpkins’ yacht, berates Lady Saffron, dumps Simpkins and tells him she’s keeping the hotel!

Back at the pub, Debita suddenly appears to stop AJ causing any more damage, AJ  loses control of the vehicle and when he gets out, Candi tells him that he’s run over Debita and chewed her up in the vehicle and that she is now dead! A devastated AJ is left by Candi to deal with the consequences of his actions…

What does this mean for the pub? What will become of Simpkins’ business? And will Fred and Constance soon become an item?

Memorable Moments

  • Simpkins teaching Fred how to enter a room without looking like a fool in front of imaginary people. 
  • Saffron and Simpkins rating things on different scales, including 80s Ford cars and Abba hits. 
  • Constance’s comment to Fred to make Simpkins jealous: “You’re my matador, I’m your bull, we’re going to turn me into burgers!”

Episode 23.6: ‘Who let the dogs out?’

Constance has gone to Newtown Council to find out why Geraldine signed off a million-pound loan and more importantly, to make her get it back. She tells Geraldine that if she doesn’t have a good business plan, both she and Candi could go to prison!

Elsewhere, AJ is moping around after Debita and decides to unleash his “inner party beast”, sending him to a frenzy. Debita calms him down and tries to get him to open up, to no avail. Simpkins is back in town after time apart from Constance and wants to give things another try, despite Fred trying to hit on her.

Meanwhile, Gina has bought a second pub in cash, from an out-of-town mobster called Big Sid, and has named it Just Another Gina’s. Debita envisions it being a vegan pub with yoga and absolutely no tech allowed inside. Unfortunately, Candi needs to create a ton of apps for the new pub to justify the loan which was invested in “youth and tech” and Lady Saffron, the chef at the original pub, only has the skills to cook meat.

After a board meeting, it turns out that Constance has been funding the council for some time, and the business loan was actually money she’d lent them! When the truth comes out that Candi needs to stay out of jail, Gina tries to get the money back off Big Sid – but he has tragically died in a dog-fighting accident in the interim. AJ and Geraldine arrive at Just Gina’s to claim both pubs in lieu of the debt, but Big Dick locks the doors to allow Gina and Candi to escape out of the window – and then releases some pitbulls into the pub! 

What will become of Just Gina’s? Will AJ and Geraldine escape the dogs? And will Candi end up in prison? 

Memorable Moments

  • Dick commenting on Fred’s “cool” way of sitting on a chair: “From this angle, it looks like your genitals are in prison”.
  •  The different jingles for Just Another Gina’s, all involving 2 pitbulls fighting in a car park.
  • Simpkins constantly translating what other people are saying

Episode 23.5: ‘Damn your eyes!’

Anthony has returned to his Newtown mansion, where his ex-girlfriend Debita has been staying for the last few months. Debita, too, has been out of town trying to get over her recent split from AJ. But when she finds Anthony back at her house and she stares into his icy blue eyes, passions erupt once more. Unbeknownst to either of them, AJ is regretting his decision to split up with Debita and takes a second letter over to the mansion asking for a second chance. Constance – who has been spying on Anthony’s bedroom from a ladder and loves stirring up trouble – encourages AJ to let
himself into the house and personally deliver it.

Meanwhile, Jay Rayner’s review for Just Gina’s food is in: 4.5 stars out of 5! Gina and Dick have visions of buying up multiple pubs in the area and turning them around. Saffron estimates that it’d
take £250,000 to get the current pub into a state where they can serve the highest quality food and improve the décor. Candi decides to give her aunt and uncle the full million-pound loan she received from the council to buy a second pub, but tells them she wants a return on her investment.

AJ confronts Anthony and Debita in the mansion’s upstairs orangery. He claims Debita cheated on him and needs to choose a partner. Debita says that they were on a break and enlists Constance to help adjudicate as both men plead their case. In the end, Debita chooses…herself! She has grown as a person and doesn’t need validation from either man. Disappointed, Anthony decides to fly back to the USA, and AJ, bereft, says he will jump on a plane for the USA too.

In the interim, Candi has had a call from the council. They either want to see a business plan for the loan she received, or for her to return the £1 million – or she could go to jail. But over at the pub,
Gina announces some big news: she’s spent all of the money on a second pub!

What will happen to Candi?

Is Gina’s new business dead in the water?

And how will AJ handle this latest rejection?

Memorable Moments:

  • Scott Joplin’s The Entertainer: AJ’s mating song.
  • Gina trying to work out what “ironic décor” means.
  • AJ confusing Debita’s hand with Anthony’s: “I’m the owner of the hand that just coaxed your member to tumescence.”

Episode 23.4: ‘Aw, shucks! A Valentine’s Special’

AJ has left Newtown to rediscover himself in Teignmouth and mend his broken heart. Coincidentally, Constance is on a spa break in the town and she invites him along to try out the sauna, steam room and mud bath as well as encouraging him to get naked. AJ realises he needs to stop running away from his problems and come back to Newtown. Constance also assures him that she who could not be named for AJ’s heartbreak reasons (Debita Webra) was out of town.  A new friendship blossoms between the pair.

In the kitchen, Big Dick has been sampling Lady Saffron’s new Valentine’s tasting menu ahead of a big opening ‘gastro pub’ night. Impressed, he invites Anthony Pewell (who has returned to the town for a few weeks) to try it, and there’s a hint of a romantic spark between him and Saffron. However, there is a supplier issue – and since Dick has eaten everything, there’s no food to offer guests. Saffron says the suppliers want money upfront as the pub is considered ‘well dodgy’.

Meanwhile, Candi has gone to the council for a business grant and meets Geraldine Davis who is starting her first day and is keen to impress. Candi talks her into offering an initial £250,000 to fund her tech startup and, after realising Geraldine likes a drink, invites her to the pub to carry on the meeting. Gina is unimpressed but helps to get the councillor drunk. Eventually, Geraldine agrees to give Candi an even bigger amount!

With customers queueing for the evening opening at the pub, Dick is in dire need of cash. A triumphant Candi swaggers in telling Dick and Gina that she has negotiated a deal from the council just for herself – and when Dick asks how much, he is gobsmacked to learn that she’s been given £1 million…

Will Candi help out her family? Is love on the horizon for Anthony and Saffron? And will Geraldine still have a job after an eventful first day? 

Memorable Moments

  • Dick’s incredulity at oysters being shucked
  • AJ consensually showing his “bits”
  • The confusion about the lyrics to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You