Season 7 Episode 20

Episode 312

 

Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 15th February 2004

 

Directed By

Clair Bretton

  

GS: Mustafa Karim (Daniel Lundh)  Stelios Haji-Ioannou (as himself)  Baby Louis (Max & Harrison Wooley)

 

 

Pilar overhears Fletch and Jeff discussing a new plan for them to take over the club, and tells Stuart that she still has the Sheik on side so they must find a way of getting rid of Fletch. Stuart is reminded of what Marcel told him regarding Abi, but refuses to tell Pilar as it would “ruin lives.” With Dean and Donna willing to sell Fletch and Jeff their shares, and Mustafa Karim giving her a week before the Sheik will pull out, Pilar puts pressure on Stuart to use whatever he has. Stuart tells a stunned Abi that he knows about her and Marcel and that she must convince Fletch to pull out. Fletch and Jeff receive interest from Easyjet’s Stelios, and arrange a functioning at the club to present their plan to the council.

 

 

After Stuart tells Abi that Fletch wants to be his player-coach and how he wants Fletch back in Saudi Arabia, she confronts Marcel about how Stuart found out about them. Marcel goes after Stuart and berates him for what he’s doing to Abi only for Stuart to remind Marcel that he wants the exact same thing – Fletch gone. As they are about to leave for the presentation the pressure becomes too much for Abi, and she breaks down in tears telling Fletch that all this is damaging both her and Louis. After witnessing Abi’s breakdown Stuart tells Pilar that no job is worth destroying peoples’ happiness, and noticing him watch Abi as he speaks, Pilar susses that Abi has cheated on Karl.

 

Knocking the cards containing Fletch’s speech from his hands, Pilar writes Which one is your wife’s lover?! which he finds in the middle of his speech. Fletch explodes and assumes its Stuart Abi has slept with, pinning him against the wall until Marcel speaks up. After the Players Lounge has cleared, Fletch Abi and Marcel are alone. Abi tries to defend what she did by saying she was lonely and Fletch not phoning on Christmas Day had led her to it. Fletch tells her about how he could have had an affair if he wanted but didn’t, and clearly heartbroken says that if you truly loved someone you wouldn’t want to be with anyone else. He tells Marcel that he is welcome to Abi and walks away, leaving her devastated. Pilar weeps in her office and asks Stuart whether he thinks Marcel really loves Abi. As she leaves, Abi slaps Pilar and lets her know that she holds her responsible for wrecking her marriage.

 

Fletch goes back to the house where he takes Louis from Jeff and Nikki. Marcel brings Abi home where she’s shocked to learn Louis is gone, and cries on the floor of the nursery. The next morning Stuart comes to see her to apologise for his role in what Pilar did, but Abi coldly replies that whilst she hates Pilar she despises him. Jeff finds Fletch sitting in the stands and tries to talk him into continuing to try and save the club. Fletch is no longer interested and heads off. Jeff tells Abi that Fletch is about to return to the airport and she asks if he’ll drive her there for one last attempt at saving their marriage. When she finds Fletch he says he’s given Louis back to Lynda. Abi begs him to take her with him to Saudi, Fletch hugs her and tells her to look after herself before leaving. Abi, now with nothing left sees a flight is leaving for Dublin and knows what she must do.

 

Notes:

 

·          Fletch is out of the series until Terry Kiely’s third regular stint begins in 334: Who Ate All The Pies? This is also writer Leon Coole’s last episode, having written on 13 episodes beginning with 231: Revenge Is Mine in Season 5.

 

Best Known For: The woman playing Harchester’s current mayoress (Beryl Brookman probably lost her second term due to events in 240: It’s My Party) is a DT background extra, who appears in various positions (although quite possible still as the mayoress) until the series’ end. She also crops up meeting Helen Mirren's Elizabeth II in her Oscar winning role in “The Queen” (2006).

 

·          The Best: Pilar deliberately knocking Fletch’s cards onto the floor and writing the message, followed by “And Karl, I’m sure they’re gonna love it!”. Seeing Fletch’s reaction to being betrayed, a nice change considering all his womanising ways in the past and what’s still to come (353: Ten Green Bottles). Abi giving Pilar her well deserved slap, followed by “Bitch!”. Fletch and Abi’s final scene at the airport as one heads to Dubai, the other Dublin.

 

Logic: When Marcel confronts Stuart over his emotional blackmailing of Abi, Stuart loudly talks of how Marcel is sleeping with his team mate’s wife. They are standing right beside a taxi and Marcel even looks in the drivers’ direction in an attempt to make Stuart keep his voice down. Even if the upcoming events that night were never to happen, the story may still have reached the back (or front) pages of tomorrows tabloids and made the taxi driver not need to work for a while.

 

·          Quotes: Sandra (bursting into Pilar’s office excitedly): “Look! Stelios is just leaving. It’d be so glamorous if he took over the club, don’t you think?!”  Pilar (not impressed): “If I want you to come barging into my office Sandra, I will let you know!”.  Abi (to Stuart on Pilar): “I hate her. But I despise you.” Ouch.

 

Continuity: Stuart tells the team that he didn’t appreciate Fletch informing them about how the club will go bankrupt if they drop below sixth. Fletch reminds Marcel about how he asked him to look after Abi (294: Long Live The King).

 

·          Additional Info: Curtis questions whether Prince William is an Aston Villa fan. The family behind Doc Martins boots are, according to Jeff, long time Harchester fans. Dream Inc. agree to stay with Harchester for next season as long as they name the new ground ‘The Stadium Of Dreams.’ “Corny” Abi replies. Later we hear of how Dream Inc. (described by Jeremy Thompson as “Electronic giants”) will be transferring all their money to the Spanish League. Abi mentions that Fletch is thirty-two.

 

What Was The Score?: (Continued from 311: Sheikover) Harchester beat Chelsea 1–0 away at Stamford Bridge.

 

·          Soundtrack: Black Grass: “Toys”,  Damien Rice: “Cold Water”,  DJ Tiesto: “Magik Journey”,  Groove Armada: “Little By Little.”

 

Behind The Scenes: Fans were saddened to learn that Ali King filmed a new appearance as Lynda and was set to be seen at the prison with Louis being handed back to her, but was cut due to the episode running overtime. She is even credited in the closing credits, but is not seen again until 357: Phoenix from the Flames.

 

Screencaps from 7.20’s original broadcast on Sky One on 15/02/04.

Pilar shows her cards

 Fletch cannot believe what Abi

 has done

 

 

Stuart is disgusted with Pilar

 Whack!

 

 

Abi is all alone

 Fletch says goodbye

 

 

And so does Abi (for now)

 

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