Hope Springs (Episodes Guide)
Aired on June 7, 2009 – Directed by Sheree Folkson
Having served time for crooked husband Roy, Ellie Lagden fits him up, helped by ex-cellmates Shoo, Hannah and Josie. Their plan is to escape to Barbados but the contact with the fake passports drops down dead. So they take their suitcase containing three million pounds to remote Scots village Hope Springs, buying the run-down hotel from Sadie Cairncross. Ellie sees this as the perfect opportunity to lie low whilst arranging new passports. Sadie’s daughter Ann Marie is not happy at the sale, nor, for undisclosed reasons is solicitor Euan Harries. Even less happy are Ellie and her friends when Euan’s tearaway son sets fire to the hotel after Ellie bars him. Village cop Gil, engaged to Anne Marie, saves Ellie but the money goes up in smoke!
Aired on June 14, 2009 – Directed by Sheree Folkson
With the cash turned to ash Anne Marie gleefully tells the girls that her mother was all set to sell to Euan. A bank loan application and attempted hold-up come to nothing, so Ellie, feeling Sadie’s lack of security was responsible for the fire, steals back the money, unaware that Sadie is hoping to buy a flat with it. Ellie stalls her by impersonating Anne Marie and telling the estate agent that her ‘mother’ is a drunk and a penniless fantasist, and this works. Sadie turns on Anne Marie and bonds with Ellie. Shoo flees to Glasgow to meet Nathan, her boyfriend, but she creams him after he has tried to rob her and hot-foots it back to Hope Springs. Unfortunately Nathan rings Lagden’s hit-man Nathan to disclose her whereabouts. The hotel bar flourishes, as does Ellie’s friendship with Gil, but she is intrigued by his interest in the recently disappeared brother of barman Dean McKenzie. Is it connected with a body hidden under the floor-boards in the hotel?
Aired on June 21, 2009 – Directed by Ian Barnes
The hotel flourishes and Ellie pays off a pernickety health inspector sent in by Euan to shut it down.Shoo gets back with Dean, causing a fight with Euan’s son Ronan but Dean gets pulled in when Shoo rings him on a phone belonging to his missing brother Billy. Euan claims that Billy murdered girlfriend Katie, Euan’s niece, though Ronan believes he killed Billy in a brawl.Dean is released and Ellie, aware that Euan is after it as well, gives the phone’s SIM card to Gil. However Anne Marie, snooping on behalf of Euan, hacks into Gil’s computer and finds that Ellie is a fraud, whilst Lagden’s deadly hitman, Marius Gruber, murders greedy tell-tale Nathan and heads for Scotland.
Aired on June 28, 2009 – Directed by Ian Barnes
Gil confronts Ellie with Anne Marie’s findings but she convinces him that she and her friends are all battered wives who changed their names after fleeing violent husbands. Panic sets in when Nathan’s murder is announced on television and they decide to leave immediately, stealing passports from lookalikes. Hannah, however, has become good friends with Euan’s wife Ina, and,as a victim of domestic violence herself, feels obliged to stay and prevent Ina from ending up like herself. The other three realize that they cannot go without her and celebrate when a further television report shows that a junkie has been arrested for Nathan’s murder, rather than hit-man Gruber. Unfortunately, he is getting ever closer to them and further disaster strikes when Sadie discovers that Ellie has robbed her.
Aired on July 5, 2009 – Directed by Dermot Boyd
When Sadie confronts her over the stolen money Ellie locks her in her bedroom, forging a card for Anne Marie to say her mother has gone to Australia. Gil marries Anne Marie but,at the reception at the hotel,Ellie overhears her in conversation with Euan,naming him as her baby’s father, not Gil. Ellie tells Gil, largely to get him out of the way when Gruber the hit-man turns up and, after Gil socks Euan, the happy couple announce that their marriage is over. Sadie escapes and kills Gruber as he is about to shoot Ellie. Having disposed of his corpse the fugitives are happy to cut Sadie in on the flight to Barbados, especially because she knows a man who can forge passports.
Aired on July 12, 2009 – Directed by Dermot Boyd
Sadie introduces Ellie to Bronius, the forger, but his price is high and Ellie challenges him to a winner-takes-all poker game, also involving Sadie, Anne Marie and Euan,who, like Ellie, cheat. Ellie and Sadie, working together, fleece Bronius,who gives the fake passports to Shoo, who hides them, but Euan tricks Ellie into gambling away the hotel to him. Ronan, bullied by his father, attempts suicide and Josie stops him. He confesses that he accidentally killed Billy McKenzie after Billy murdered Katie and threw his body in the loch. She persuades him to tell Gil, who wants the loch drained. Euan is clearly implicated and Anne Marie offers to give him an alibi in exchange for the hotel.
Aired on July 19, 2009 – Directed by Brian Kelly
Shoo, now pregnant, moves in with Dean, who finds the passports and returns them to an angry Ellie. But Shoo is not the only one reluctant to leave. Josie is in love with the countryside and has become good, platonic friends with Ronan. Hannah is a respected chef, aiming to open a cookery school with soon-to-be-divorced Ina, and she’s snogged Gil. Anne Marie,having taken the hotel back, lines up a gay couple for a quick sale to finance her move to the city. The locals are appalled that the plan is to turn it into a vegetarian gastro-pub and rebel. But it is the discovery of Gruber’s severed arm in the loch that persuades the gays to make a hasty retreat and Anne Marie cuts Euan in as her business partner. Roy Lagden watches the gruesome discovery on T.V. in his cell and informs the local police.
Aired on July 26, 2009 – Directed by Brian Kelly
Ellie and her friends tell Gil the whole story and are taken into custody. Two London detectives arrive, looking for them, but a village delegation, led by Ina and Dean – still in love with Shoo,even though she is not pregnant -impressed by the women’s influence, persuade Gil to deny all knowledge of them, after which he resigns. Euan moves into the hotel and digs up Billy’s corpse from under the floor-boards,taking it to a shed, unaware that Anne Marie is watching. The shock sends her into early labour and Ellie delivers her baby. Whilst Anne Marie is in hospital and everyone else at Ina’s divorce party Ellie finds the corpse. Euan tells her that he killed Katie, with whom he was having an affair. Billy blundered onto the scene and fought with Ronan. Ronan only stunned Billy but Euan finished him off, leading Ronan to think he was the killer, so that Euan had a hold over the boy. Euan is about to kill Ellie but is knocked out by Roy, who has negotiated a release to help the police find the missing money. Roy claims that he wants reconciliation but Ellie notices his gun,is wary and drugs his drink. Hannah sees them and calls the other women. They jump Roy and his gun goes off, killing him. This time round the girls are very good at putting a corpse into the loch. Euan is arrested on Anne Marie’s evidence. She and Gil agree to make a go of things, as he is the father of her baby, and they will run the hotel together. The villagers comfort a tearful Dean, who has lost his Shoo as she,Sadie, Ellie, Josie and Hannah escape to the Cayman Islands where they unlock Roy’s hidden millions. A closing caption tells us that they are still on the run but that the millions, and a tan, help them cope.