Jennifer and Brian reluctantly get ready for dinner at Susan and Neil's, while Susan worries that the evening's going to be a complete disaster.
After wedding small-talk, Jennifer's worst fears are heightened when Neil confirms that he's keen for Chris to be self-sufficient in Alice's cottage, once Alice goes back to university. Jennifer compliments Susan on dinner, then insists on helping clear the plates. Left alone with Neil, Brian breaks the awkward silence and they find themselves discussing their different views on CAP reform. They have a heated but engaging exchange.
As Jennifer and Brian depart, Susan feels the night went well, and is proud of Neil for holding his own with Brian. And although Jennifer found the whole evening ghastly, Brian had a whale of a time.
Elizabeth's still not convinced about Nigel's allotment idea, but agrees to him researching it before they decide. Elizabeth shocks Nigel when she admits she doesn't want the children to go to boarding school. Nigel insists it's a Pargetter tradition and plays up the advantages, but Elizabeth can't bear the thought of the children growing up with her and Nigel on the periphery of their lives. That's not what being a parent means.