Topper is no more and Alistair is in a mess

Radio Times: Shula has an emergency on her hands

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  • Shula asks Alistair to take a look at Topper, who has lost weight and appears tired. She makes it clear that she will expect a bill. Alistair has to tell her that it looks bad. He suspects advanced liver failure. Shula will have to tell Elizabeth and the twins.
  • At Lower Loxley, Lily seems out of sorts, refusing pudding. Their lunch is interrupted by Robin, whose blatant charm is today focused on Elizabeth. She expresses surprise at his having been in touch, in view of the way they parted all those years ago. Robin asks about her wine production, and on tasting some, suggests that he might have one or two interested customers.
  • As Alistair takes blood samples from Topper, Shula angrily raises the subject of their divorce settlement. She cannot, or will not, see that the collapse of his partnership puts a different complexion of any settlement. Unable to make Shula listen, Alistair slams the door behind him.
  • Realising that she must speak to her sister about Topper, Shula seeks her out at Lower Loxley, encountering the oleaginous Robin as she does. Elizabeth accepts the news quite calmly, but realises that for the twins, Topper was their only link with Nigel. They will come to say goodbye tomorrow. Elizabeth goes to tell Freddie, who is up to something, and is initially unwilling to open his bedroom door to his mother.
  • As she returns, Shula encounters a very distressed Topper thrashing around in his stable. She immediately rings Alistair, but it goes to voicemail. When she finally does make contact, Shula is furious and shouts at him, accusing him of having been with Lavinia. She had to contact another vet because Alistair failed to return her call. Somewhat weakly, Alistair attempts to justify his actions, but Shula is beyond listening. As she leaves, Alistair rings Maurice. I’ve had a relapse, he says. I’m in such a mess.

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