Officially this episode was Becky’s story but really it was about Luke. Which was good for two reasons, one, I have needs and he perks up my TV screen, and two, Karl Davies got to show he could act as well as look cute.
It turns out that while Becky’s mate Tamsyn was a freeloader (and honestly, I’m all for curvaceous ladies but she looked shocking in that mint green dress), Luke is on course for a sainthood. After programming Becky’s number into his phone, Luke throws the paper it was written on away, having dimly realised it was a lottery ticket. Luke’s brother is brain damaged after a motorbike accident. Luke was driving and didn’t insist his brother wore a helmet. He needs money to take them both on holiday. Realising next morning that he holds the winning ticket he briefly, and guiltily, considers claiming the money to help his brother, but gives it back to Becky instead. It is clear that he really is only dating her because he likes her, and not because he’s after her money. So, Luke is the good guy, but will Becky realise in time?
Very nearly not. Becky catches the eye of young rugby player Matt and her head is turned. She gets VIP entry to a club and invitations to a fancy fundraising dinner for the rugby club. This does give us Natalie Gavin fans (of which I now presume there is a small army) the treat of seeing her looking absolutely stunning in a floor length green sequined dress. As an actress who usually plays characters who are down on their luck, I imagine she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to glam up. The chairman of the rugby club works on her to sponsor them, and I begin to suspect that Matt is a plant to butter her up. He isn’t, he’s just a lad out for a good time and after explaining to Becky just how great a guy Luke is, she manages to win him back. Trouble is, on returning home she hears voices in the cellar and discovers her Dad. How Mandy’s getting out of this one is anyone’s guess…
Another drama brewing is Helen’s vendetta. As an ex member of the syndicate she feels she has plenty to grumble about, so she tips off the press that Rose was a benefit cheat. Cue some very nasty publicity and a very upset Rose. The others rally round and suggest she use the launch of her Dance Benefit Academy to make her image more positive. We’re clearly pushed to feel sympathy for Rose and I do, but I’m still having difficulty swallowing that she could forget receipt of benefits for nine years. I’m guessing this is one story that will have a happy ending, but I doubt we’ll get the same for Mandy. Siobhan Finneran has been magnificent this series but between Helen sniffing out the drug stealing and her trussed up hubby, I think this is going to end in blue flashing lights of one sort or another.
Contributed by Victoria Prior