Doug and Marlon worry about Laurel's whereabouts as she hasn't returned home all night. Debbie covers her concern at Ross's battered face and is shocked when he tells her that he won Charlie some cash in a bare-knuckle fight and it's a way of repaying the debt. With Betty's nose still out of joint over her lack of reception, Victoria knows she has her work cut out to get back on her good side. Laurel wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings and while she is initially dazed and confused, she is soon hit hard by reality - she has slept with a total stranger. Brenda is incredulous when Bob suggests they should help Carly to buy David's by getting a loan themselves and refuses. Laurel makes an escape from Simon's home, scarpering with his wallet and a bottle of vodka as he chases her. She accidentally leaves her bag behind. Chrissie offers full asking price to David and Alicia for the shop. Alicia's stunned when David refuses to sell to her. Laurel drops the bottle of vodka in her escape from Simon and soon discovers that he has no cash in his wallet. Sandy suggests to Victoria they throw a party for Betty in order to win her round. In a bid to put Ross off, Debbie takes him to see Zak, hoping his stories from his days as a fighter will help. A man who used to attend St. Mary's Church recognises Laurel as she asks people for change for the bus. Believing her to now be homeless, he gives her some money and sends her in the direction of a homeless shelter. She stops outside an off-license. Adam is awkward to see Victoria and Vanessa working together on Betty's party. The estate agent tells Alicia and David that they shouldn't pass up an opportunity to sell the shop, but David is determined not to give the Whites what they want. Debbie's plan backfires as Zak ends up reminiscing over his greatest fights with Ross and giving him tips. Harriet tells Marlon that she has called her police contacts and Laurel is now considered a missing person. Ashley receives a phone call from Gabby saying Laurel is on her bus home and is drunk. Alicia approaches Chrissie with a plan to get round David. Doug, Marlon and Ashley greet Gabby who gets off the bus with Laurel. Gabby lays into her for throwing up on the bus and calls her disgusting. Laurel retaliates by calling her a little bitch. She makes a dash for Arthur as she sees Harriet returning from school with him and leaves him terrified as Harriet is forced to bundle him in the house to get him away from her. She's left upset as Arthur confirms he hasn't missed her. Taking her home, Marlon and Doug confront Laurel over where she's been and she's quick to spin a lie that she was mugged and had her bag stolen. Debbie's horrified to return and find that Zak has ended up psyching Ross up for his fight. Brenda is suspicious when Carly offers David and Alicia the full asking price for the shop, saying the bank have reconsidered and given her a small business loan. Laurel's lies unravel when Simon arrives at Tall Trees Cottage to return her bag and demand his wallet back. He's quick to reveal that she spent the night with him. Marlon's devastated. Betty arrives for her party and is speechless to find it's a full-on fancy dress party to celebrate her return with everyone dressed up. Marlon tells Laurel he's moving back to Tall Trees Cottage and demands she finds somewhere else to live adding that their marriage is over. Brenda overhears Carly and Chrissie talking in the toilets and works out that they've gone into partnership together to get around David refusing to sell to Chrissie. Ashley and Harriet are dubious as Doug asks if Laurel can stay at Brook Cottage over night but agree. He fills them in on Laurel's whereabouts. Betty shocks her friends by revealing that she's met someone, Reuben Archibald, and is moving back to Australia to be with him - tomorrow. Ashley accompanies Laurel to the sexual health clinic. He offers to hang around and give her a lift but she is keen to get rid of him. Brenda breaks the news to Alicia and David that Chrissie has gone into partnership with Carly to buy the shop. Cain is not happy that Debbie seems to care so much about Ross, so he pulls Pete aside to give him a serious warning talk about ever becoming complacent with Debbie. Victoria is thrown by Adam's reaction when she asks him to move in following Betty's news. He walks off telling her he's sick of her blowing hot and cold. Laurel is given the morning after pill and told to return for tests at a later date. Ashley surprises her by waiting outside for her regardless and makes it clear that he believes she wants rid of him in order to find the nearest pub. He tries to get her to admit her problem. David is furious to realise Alicia set him up and tells her he's not sure he wants to move away with her at all. Marlon and April move back into Tall Trees Cottage. Ashley spend some time in the car alone with Laurel. She explains that she doesn't want to admit her problem as then it will make it real. He gets her to admit that she's an alcoholic.


Regular cast

Guest cast



  • This hour-long episode, featuring two episodes combined into one, was broadcast at 7.00pm in order to make way for the British Soap Awards which aired immediately afterwards.
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