“Happy f***in’ birthday,” sighed Fay Ripley’s Jenny at the close of what will hereafter be known as Cold Feet’s dinner party from hell as the gang went to a hotel to mark Pete and Adam’s looming 50th.
Well, if Doctor Foster can do it, so can ITV’s Manchester friends series. Although, from what we’ve seen tonight, the question has to be asked: friends for how much longer?
Because by the end of the visit, Jenny was thinking the unthinkable. Not only that her marriage to Pete may be over – but with it the friendships that have been going for, well, ever since the show started in the late 1990s.
The friendships, like their relationships, may all have a “shelf life”, she observed. “And maybe we have reached our sell-by date.”
The chickens had been coming home to roost for Pete the minute he ignored his wife’s yearnings to do a business diploma, fantasising that she was actually on Dragons’ Den.
But the biggest, plumpest, featheriest poultry that came a-roosting belonged to Adam, who had, in an earlier episode, been unfaithful to girlfriend Tina with work colleague Sarah.
He had hoped to weather the storm and not tell Tina; but Sarah turned up to the feast like Banquo’s ghost declaring her love just as he was about to cut the birthday cake.
Yes, she had got involved with Adam to spite Tina (who had slept with her husband Jamie), but now Sarah had feelings for him as she explained in earlier scenes of high drama and assignations that had an air of bedroom farce about them.
“I have screwed up more than I have ever screwed up before,” was Adam’s assessment. And he’s not wrong, even considering all the screw ups he has become known for.
And so, it happened. Right at the end, and at precisely the wrong moment, Sarah reappeared, in full view of everyone this time and asked why Adam had left her waiting in the car for so long.
Well, there had been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing at the hotel, tearful chats in various hotel rooms so you could forgive his oversight.
Quite how he will explain things to Tina, just as they are trying for a baby, remains to be seen. He’ll need every inch of his Irish charm and twinkle for that one.
Elsewhere, Karen may have found love with a man from the bookshop who has gone down well with the rest of the gang.
“He’s clearly very intelligent, he used the word ‘critique’,” observed Jenny in an early comic set piece before all the heat and misery of the close.
But there was still bad news for Karen at the dinner when her daughter Olivia lashed out at her for strong arming Matt to get back together with her. That sort of meddling never works in Cold Feet land.
Also David is getting in rather too deep with Nikki, despite knowing that her brutal husband George (Robert Glenister) will “kill” (George’s words) anyone who gets near her.
But after what we saw tonight, even the prospect of David having a punch in the face (or worse) would be small fry compared with the break ups and acrimony that is now set to be unleashed.
Tune in to next week’s series finale to see if they can work it all out. Somehow I have my doubts….
Cold Feet series 7 finale is on ITV on Friday October 20th