The highly anticipated village anniversary celebrations certainly went off with a bang (literally) in this final episode of The Trouble with Maggie Cole. But before we process all the excitement and tied up storylines, a refresher of last week might be a good idea.
When last we visited Thurlbury, secrets were being revealed left and right. Pub landlord Brian had gone AWOL from the army, Jamie seriously injured a boxing opponent while at university and Alex stole the money to pay off his gambling debts from his own grandmother. But perhaps the biggest shock of all was Karen’s delusional scheme to win Peter’s affection. For all the particulars, check out last week’s recap here.
This week we rejoin the action with Maggie and Peter making up over the phone. Maggie asks her beloved spouse not to keep any more secrets from her. (Would an amorous employee qualify?) She also requests the presence of Peter and Jamie at the anniversary fete. He’s hesitant but, as usual, he can never deny her anything.
Jill also is hesitant to go to the celebrations today. After witnessing Karen and Peter’s lip lock and the public humiliation over the Jamie revelation, her heart seems to have softened towards her best friend. Marcus suggests they attend the festivities and then go see Maggie together afterward. Turns out he’s a pretty thoughtful boyfriend.
The “developers” have checked out of the B&B but are still skulking around the pub. Liam, who has shown up for his first shift in the kitchen, expresses his usual cheeky curiosity about the shady characters. Sydney tells him it’s above his paygrade to worry about the punters.
The entertainments are underway and the crowds are starting to fill the streets. As Marcus drops Jill off at her place to change, he makes an unexpected confession of sorts to his new girlfriend.
As the medieval costumed villagers gawk at Maggie and Becka, on the other side of the green, Peter and Jamie have an awkward encounter with Karen. She’s acting as though she’s part of the family and not reading any of Peter’s reactions appropriately at all.
After considering doing a runner, Alex pulls up outside The Conqueror and calls Roxanna with an explanation for his actions and a tearful apology. She pleads with him to call the police, but he says the situation is beyond that now. (She goes ahead and calls the coppers anyway). As he walks in the pub, Alex resolves to face the music and admits to Patrick and Phil (apparently the bad guys have names) that he doesn’t have the money. He agrees to do some “high risk” jobs to pay off his debt.
On the way out, the trio bump into Liam. Alex tells his brother that he was never the good one and asks Liam to take care of their mum until he gets back. Instead of staying put as ordered, Liam runs to the back of the pub with Phil, the fitter of the two gangsters, in pursuit.
Yep, Liam’s gone to fetch the revolver in Brian’s flat and has it pointed at the baddie as they return to the bar. Everyone begs him to put the gun down, but when he starts to comply, Patrick violently attacks Liam causing the gun to go off. Brian steps in front of Sydney and gets shot in the shoulder. The criminals run off with the gun and steal Marcus’s car at gunpoint.
The rain has begun in earnest just as the procession gets underway. Jill spots Maggie and approaches her to break the news about Karen and Peter. Maggie says she’s just lying to hurt her and walks off. And, as we’ve seen hints of all season, Jill charges into the road in front of the speeding stolen car. Carol runs to Jill’s side, Kelly and Neil are right behind, and then the police. The officers notice the gun and they apprehend the car thieves.
Back at the pub the police have arrived and are helping a woozy and bleeding Brian to the door. Sydney tells the police that it was a robbery attempt. Liam tackled them for the gun and Brian saved her life. (Well, at least that last part was true).
As Jill is rushed off to the hospital, a concerned Maggie expresses remorse because the estranged friends were fighting when the accident occurred. Peter explains that Jill did see Karen kissing him, but that it wasn’t an affair. His obsessed secretary tried to drive a wedge between Peter and Maggie by leaking Jamie’s secret and stirring up trouble on the school online forum
Maggie confronts her rival in front of a crowd of villagers, declaring how ridiculous it was for Karen to think she could hurt her marriage. Apparently, Peter will be finding a new secretary.
Because of Sydney’s quick thinking, her story about a robbery smooths things over for Alex and his family and, in turn, Neil and Kelly too. (Does it really though? Are the loan sharks going to go along with the robbery narrative? Will the police uncover other crimes and Alex's true connection to them?)
At the hospital, Brian is stitched up and should make a full recovery. The police are on their way to talk to him so Sydney urges her boss to disappear before he can be identified. Clever girl – she’s wasted as a barmaid. She also fills in all the pieces for Maggie, trusting now that she won’t spill the beans.
Peter goes off to the vending machines and happens upon Jez, the radio interviewer who started this whole mess. Mr. Cole identifies himself as Maggie's husband and drops the pompous reporter’s mobile into his coffee.
Next, Maggie delivers her heartfelt apology to a drugged-up Jill for all the damage the ripples her careless words caused. She finally gets it. But it turns out Jill hadn’t popped her pills yet, so she heard everything. She forgives Maggie on the spot saying she and Marcus wouldn't have fallen in love if Maggie hadn’t done the interview. I’d say Jill emerged from her best friend’s shadow and grew in confidence over the past few weeks. But sure, love's good I suppose.
The episode ends with the whole Cole clan going to the beach to celebrate Thurlbury’s birthday. The village survived Radiogate and everyone is more or less happy… except poor Brian who has to go on the run again.
What did you think about the way the plotlines were resolved? I was a little disappointed that the Save the Bees car decal wasn’t a bigger deal, like some secret society intent on bringing chaos to Thurlbury.
However, I did think that some of the misdirection and plot twists were pretty clever. I appreciated Maggie’s journey; her acceptance of responsibility and how she truly supported and cared for her neighbors and family. Finally, will there be another season of The Trouble with Maggie Cole? No word on that yet, but would you like to see more? Let’s discuss it all in the comments!