Hilary has moved to the Isle of Wight to be near Derek,who is in prison there. Vera has trouble in finding a replacement for her and,to Alec and Jamie's dismay, Simone fills in as a temp before Rosie, a Scots girl with a thick accent, is engaged. Zoe is also eager to return to work.
With Zoe returning to work the Callenders are on the look-out for a nanny for Fleur but neither advertising or approaching an agency yields a successful result. At a party at the vicarage Alec sees that Simone is actually very good with children and so,despite their past differences, Zoe agrees that she should be Fleur's carer.
Jamie is disillusioned with working in his father's firm and,to Alec's disappointment,tells him that he wants to quit the law. When Alec agrees to give a talk to her school on a career as a solicitor she persuades Jamie to sit in at the back of the room. aware of his son's presence Alec gives an inspirational speech on the value of helping people and Jamie decides to stay on at the office.
Zoe's mother Dot Burgess arrives at the Callenders', having left her husband because she reckons he cares more about their shop than about her. At first Alec is pleased because she is a great help with Fleur and the house-work but after a while her presence begins to pall and Alec and Zoe end up reconciling the couple.
Alec and Vera are perturbed when Jamie introduces his new one-stop solicitor scheme to the office and with good reason though Alec nips it in the bud. Zoe has introduced Debbie to a possible date,handsome young single parent Mark Lindsay but Alec is beginning to get jealous and suspects that Mark is more interested in his wife than her sister.
To celebrate the fact that she has worked at the office for thirty years Jamie throws a surprise 'This Is Your Life' style party for Vera. Zoe is late in turning up and Alec begins to fear that she has left him for Mark but when she arrives she gives a speech on how happy she is with Alec and they look forward to a continuing future together.