We’ve reached the halfway point of The Trouble with Maggie Cole and things only seem to be getting more complicated and twisty. Let’s take a moment to refresh our memories about last week’s fallout over Radiogate and the Outed 6.
Maggie awoke the next day intent on making things right with the village. She didn’t count on the phenomenal spread of her indiscrete gossiping via social media. While she moved forward to make amends with her GP Carol and provided a more acceptable explanation for the sudden windfall of the Roberts family, her best friend Jill proved to be a harder nut to crack. For further details, check out the recap.
As Episode 3 begins, we find Karen informing Peter of the online petition calling for his early retirement. Peter seems numb while his secretary is enraged on his behalf. (Poor Karen, in love with a man she can't have.) A rather chipper Jill drops by the headmaster’s office to “ask” if Marcus Ormansby can come in tomorrow to speak to her class about writing. A surprised Peter okays the visit when Jill mentions her friendship with the author is based on their common Outed 6 status.
As Maggie continues her crusade to repair the damage her interview has caused, Peter advises patience and privacy when approaching those she has offended. The spotlight has upended their daily lives to the point of having to drive out of their way to get groceries at Sainsbury’s. Going into Emil’s shop is just too awkward for all of them.
In addition, Maggie has gotten a suspicious call at work, prodding her with personal questions about her family. She reckons it’s the Daily Mirror. This apparently sets off alarm bells for Peter and his mind immediately shifts to his son. His attempts to text Jamie late that night and Googling his son’s name at work point to an unfortunate secret between father and son.
Meanwhile, at the Roberts' house, Neil arrives home with a cruise brochure and news that he’s quit his hated job. Kelly is alarmed since they don’t actually have lottery jackpot amounts of cash and they can’t afford to live as though they do. Neil wants to make up for their pathetic honeymoon ten years ago, which makes his wife even more upset. So upset in fact, that she spends the night on the couch.
Tensions between the Myers brothers continue. Alex berates Liam when he finds him at the pub rather than at home with their mum as he should be. Liam insists she’s fine and repeats the jab that Alex came back to save the day. The next morning, Alex questions Liam about his drug stash and asks if he misses their dad so much that he wants to share a cell with him. More family dirt comes to light when Liam suggests Alex didn’t come back to Thurlbury for their mum, but because he had huge gambling debts.
In class 3-C, Jill’s students read their stories to Mr. Ormansby who gives them some feedback and a suggested grade. Josh Roberts delivers his tale of "The Prince and the Treasure" which basically represents how he and his dad came across a bag full of loot at the keep. (In a flashback, Kelly assumes it’s a drug deal drop, thus explaining why they’ve been so nervous about the money.) Josh receives lots of praise and an A+ from Marcus.
At the same time, Maggie has arrived at Kelly’s salon, ostensibly for her monthly appointment, but launches right in with an apology - of sorts. Basically, she tries to spin it as positive that she outed their good fortune and proceeds to congratulate Kelly on her life-changing event.
The young woman breaks down in tears, telling Maggie that her marriage has been a lie. Kelly reveals she booked an anniversary surprise back to the B&B where they spent their honeymoon, but Neil’s been disappointed in their life and marriage. Maggie insists that Neil’s been in love with her since primary school and that he’s just a man who feels he’s failed to provide for his wife.
Midway through this heart-to-heart, Maggie gets a call from Jamie to tell her that Becka is pregnant. Of course, Maggie is over the moon and rushes off to tell Peter the news. Kelly says she can come back tomorrow for her appointment and thanks her for her supportive advice. That’s another fence mended!
After rejoicing in the good news with Peter, Maggie pops into the teacher’s lounge where a smitten Marcus and Jill appear are chatting. Marcus claims he needs to get back to his dog, but before he departs, he asks Jill to come out for a drink with him that night and she accepts. Maggie is pleased for her but Jill’s not ready to be friendly. Maggie notices the flyer for the Thurlbury anniversary planning meeting which is still a sore spot between them. She tells Jill the news about Jamie and Becka and, for a moment, Jill softens and asks Maggie to give the couple her best. It’s going to take baby steps with this one!
After work, Kelly and Neil talk about their relationship and how they were happy before the money came along. They remove a wad of notes to pay for some fancy shoes and a drone for Josh, but later that evening, they actually make a bonfire with the cursed cash as kindling.
On his way to work, Alex is met by two rather large and shady characters. They’ve tracked him down by the picture from the Radiogate story. He says he’s got their money, but they suggest it’s too late for that. He owes them £20000 including interest. They’ll wait for him to bring the cash to the pub and, by the way, they know his real name and who his family members are.
That evening the Coles celebrate the upcoming addition to their family, though Maggie does tend to bring the conversation around to herself. No surprise there…
Jill and Marcus emerge from the pub, looking like they had a very pleasant time on their date. He hems and haws, but Jill goes right in for the kiss. Good on them!
But after a relatively feel-good episode, we discover that the money Neil found at the keep was actually Alex’s! Now he’ll have nothing to pay off his gambling debts and his family may very well be in danger.
There was quite a lot to unpack in this episode. What has Jamie done in his past that might come out? What will Sydney do now that she knows her boss has a gun? What does the “Save the Bees” car decal have to do with anything? And what about the revelation that Kelly is the driver of the car that hits the pedestrian in that mysterious opening sequence? Any and all thoughts about this episode are encouraged!