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'Testing Times'

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'Testing Times'
Aired Wednesday, Dec 10 2008 at 13:45 GMT on BBC One

Kirsten takes Archie to show him the real reason behind her demonstrating against the ‘Tralawney Wells’ drugs trials. Archie has no idea who she wants him to meet but realises from her manner that it’s extremely important to her. Much to Archie’s surprise, he’s introduced to her fiancé. Chris has severe brain damage and no real quality of life. Archie is shocked to discover this and doesn’t know how to handle the situation. He watches as Kirsten chats away to Chris as though he were fully able to reply and begins to relax. Kirsten watches a brilliant Archie normalise the situation and putting Chris at his ease.

Later, Kirsten gets really emotional and opens up to Archie about her past, that they had plans to get married after university and Chris had embarked on the drugs trials to help support their future. She tells Archie that Chris had side effects from the beginning, but that ‘Tralawney Wells’ considered these to be minor, and the drugs trial continued. Chris continued the trials but had a sudden complication, a series of seizures. Kirsten says that the nurses at the facility were totally unprepared for a real medical emergency and the delay cost Chris dearly.

Archie is shocked and expresses his concerns as to why they are still operating! Kirsten explains how they buried information with big lawyers, claiming that Chris had an underlying ailment and later swept his case under the carpet. They’ve changed the drug name, but it’s exactly the same as what Chris tested. Kirsten apologises to Archie about hiding Chris, admitting it was too painful a subject for her to discuss.

Archie understands and wonders if his meeting Chris was too weird for Kirsten. She expresses that it actually helped her, knowing ‘her’ Chris has gone but the Chris that they met today must always be part of her life. She thinks that she has found the right man to be with her. Archie holds her and they appear closer than ever. But Archie is now very concerned about his patient Mark Welton, who has been showing side effects similar to Chris’s.

Ruth wakes next to Michelle after they spent a girly night together to comfort Ruth’s fear of being pregnant. She gently strokes Michelle’s hair, but hides her affection as soon as she wakes, Ruth clearly happy to be with her! But they’re late for work! Meanwhile, at ‘The Mill’ Daniel is greeted by George who admits that she got the gist of his confrontation with Ruth yesterday. Daniel is relieved to have George to talk to and explains he thinks Ruth is making it all up.

George forces him to think sensibly but Daniel hints at her having an abortion, Ruth is the last person he would chose to co-parent with. George tells him that Ruth might not want an abortion and later senses that he’s got no paternal instinct, whatsoever. George is slightly sympathetic but suggests that he should have thought of all that before he slept with Ruth, but it only panics him. He later seeks out Ruth and apologises to her, prompting to take the test, but they break into an argument and Michelle witnesses the exchange. Michelle suggests they go to the Icon, generate a bit of ‘Dutch courage’ and do the test.

At the Icon bar, Ruth begins to speculate what it would be like to have a baby, weaving into a fantasy of her and Michelle bringing up the baby. Michelle weird’s out sensing that she’s serious, but Ruth immediately backtracks telling her it was a joke. Ruth’s appears wounded by Michelle’s words but she doesn’t see it!

Ready to do the test, Ruth goes off to the toilets, but she put’s the test straight in the bin because she knows she isn’t pregnant. She returns swiftly to Michelle to break the news and makes a comment that Michelle must be pleased, Michelle’s quizzed; “What does she mean?” Ruth quickly moves on, hiding her whimsical admiration for Michelle and they raise a glass to celebrate. They toast “Back to annoying Daniel, and thing’s staying the same”, but Ruth knows that this situation has changed things between them both.

It’s the day of Vivien’s test and her confidence declines when she realises that she’s forgotten her ‘lucky’ red driving gloves. Julia, George and Michelle search high and low for them but to no avail and Vivien leaves for her test without them. To make things worse, her examiner is the meanest looking chap, Leonard Kilshaw.

It’s looking bleak for Vivien when she returns to The Mill, hanging her head down low. Julia sympathises judging that she failed by her low demeanour, but Vivien’s been having them on. She’s passed, but more importantly, she’s reclaimed her self-esteem and some confidence in herself. Julia gathers whoever is around for a glass of champagne and it’s finally nice to see Vivien happy, all except for Daniel who’s got no-where with Ruth and is drowning in worry.

As the surgery closes and Vivien locks up, Lily congratulates her further and gives Vivien her gloves which she found in the car park. Vivien thanks Lily for running through driving manoeuvres the night before and as she leaves, she throws the gloves in the bin. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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