When Barbie's cousin Vicky ( Marsha Mason ) is evicted, she and her husband move into the Reynolds' house, bringing their parents with them. Knowing the presence of more than one black family next door is most likely to inflame Eddie Booth, Bill turns on the charm, allowing his neighbour to get away with racial insults. But the truth comes out, and the old ways are slipped back into. Eddie then challenges Bill to an old-fashioned style duel - pistols at dawn.
Jacko is bribed by Joan and Barbie to load the guns with blanks. Unfortunately, Nobby notices the switch, and reloads with real ammo...
Interviewed some years ago, Jack Smethurst was quoted as saying that, in later years, 'Love Thy Neighbour' became little more than childish name-calling. This episode supports that claim very well. Bill's decision to allow Eddie to get away with racial insults makes for an uncomfortable scene at the Jubilee Social Club, even more so than the infamous 'zulu' impersonation from the very first episode.
Lucita Ljertwood went on to appear in L.W.T.'s revival of 'The Rag Trade' in 1977, while Oscar James was one of the original cast of 'Eastenders'. James Fuller was also the black vicar in the Season 2 two-parter.
Things perk up a bit with the duel sequence. Nobody seems to give a thought to the possibility that the survivor would then most likely be arrested for murder.
Funniest moment - the guns go off, and everyone thinks Jacko has been killed by mistake.
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