I think this episode was the worst.
I didn’t particularly enjoy the return of Gemma’s mum, Wendy. I think this mostly because I didn’t enjoy her character, however it is also because of the way she treats Gemma. I didn’t care for her comments of taking the bins out being a man’s job or asking Gemma what she did to drive Lewis away, due to them being old-fashioned and insensitive. I was surprised that she would have such views considered she’s divorced, however this could be explained by the fact that she would be the product of a different era. I felt that the memorial service, the Wendy plot in general was only to facilitate Damo’s return to complicate Gemma and Lewis’ relationship. Not that it isn’t a significant purpose, however I felt Damo’s return could have been done without it. However the highlight of the whole plot for me was Ned and Wendy’s interaction, I felt it was very sweet and despite her old fashioned views, Wendy is surprisingly welcome to Ned. Again, Lewis’ caveman-like jealousy is getting old.
I did enjoy Mark’s subplot. Trying to kick off a business isn’t easy, especially in Mark’s field. I felt the plot was played out realistically, especially with the need to face reality and his finances. Abi trying to coax him back into his old job is selfish, but understandably selfish, which is a first for Abi. However she does redeems herself by encouraging Mark to pay for the production run of the new and improved Sargeant Schnapps cards, which ultimately and literally pays off. I also liked how his child came up with the winning idea.
Meanwhile, Will’s true colours are starting to be shown with subtlety by “accidentally” serving alcohol to a minor. I did like the subtle reveal of Will playing the part and paying the girl off. Of course Justin was going to be stopped from confronting him at the end of the episode as it adds to the drama, but I didn’t mind as the whole Will sabotage has been slowly built up overtime, what difference is one more episode going to make, especially since we are nearing the end of the season.
I felt that this episode was the worst of the season mainly due to the Wendy subplot and the ridiculousness of the memorial service of a character no-one knew, only to facilitate the return of a conflict character. However I also felt it was the worst as it was mainly a filler to buy time for the plots in the upcoming final episodes.