Fear not, gentle reader, for I have done much research. And, as a writer of mysteries, I know how these scriptwriters think.
First, I have discovered alarming news. Long time readers may remember my post on actorspotting in which I exposed actor Michael Cochrane as a typecast villain of dastardly proportions. He was the odious general in Sharpe and every director's first choice when a treacherous upper class villain is required. Well guess what ... he plays Oliver Sterling.
So, obviously, he's up to no good and will be central to the denouement. It also explains his kindness to bad boy Ed Grundy - he's grooming him for the Dark Side.
Meanwhile, back at Brookfield, Ruth and Sam will be found out. But - scriptwriter's 101 - it won't be soon and the discovery won't be by husband David. He'll think it strange that evening milking now takes ten hours and Ruth always comes back with a smile on her face but won't make the connection. My tip is Kirsty, Sam's ex-girlfriend. She has the motivation to find out why Sam broke up with her and she's one of the few characters without easy access to a shotgun (note to all readers who have no clue what I'm talking about, The Archers is a radio soap that's been going for 50+ years. It's billed as 'an everyday tale of farming folk' most of whom are armed)
So, lacking the firepower to ventilate Ruth and Sam on the spot and therefore end the drama far too quickly, Kirsty runs to former boyfriend Tom Archer. Tom grabs his shotgun and mobilises the entire Archer clan who race for their tractors and descend, very slowly, on the Brookfield cowshed.
Sam and Ruth barricade themselves inside. Phil and Jill Archer snap their shotguns shut, level them on the cowshed door and...
David runs screaming into the yard. "Hold your fire! The Herefords are inside!"
Cue theme music, cue shocked nation. Will the cows be saved?
The next night people tune in to hear that sanity might be about to prevail. Phil's phoned for help. A mediator is on his way. But ... it's Oliver Sterling. He slithers into the farmyard, oozing public school charm, glazing the puddles he walks through with an oily rainbow slick.
He pretends to mediate. He negotiates the release of three heifers. Then 'accidentally' discharges his weapon and sets off a firefight. Several cast members are killed, the ratings soar. And as the surviving Archers gather for the reading of Phil and David's wills, they receive another shock. Brookfield has been willed to Phil's hitherto unheard of illegitimate brother, Al Swearengen.
Well someone's got to find a part for Ian McShane now that Deadwood's finished:)