Steve is about to land a big contract for his web design business. It would provide Nicky and Steve with a much needed financial lifeline.Imelda, the potential client, is a highly successful interior designer. A meeting at her office goes well – but in an attempt to impress her, Steve foolishly brags about the amazing renovation job that he and Nicky have done to their idyllic country cottage. It's a lie that comes back to haunt him when Imelda announces that she wants to come out and see it. The chances of landing the contract seem slim – especially as Nicky has just discovered that the drain smell in the house is being caused by a septic tank that's 'backing up' as her father Ken charmingly puts it.
For once, Nicky and Steve find themselves on the same side as the rest of the village. The locals are united in their opposition to a proposed fracking scheme. It will disrupt the community, destroy the beautiful countryside, and - most importantly from Nicky and Steve's point of view - mean that they will never be able to sell their house and escape the rural hell that they're stuck in.
Steve has finally got his driving licence back and promises Nicky that his speeding days are over. In spite of her doubts, it seems that he has indeed turned over a new leaf. Even when he's conned into a trip to the superstore with Alice, the devious old lady from the village, Steve manages to make the long journey across the moors without breaking the speed limit. So when Nicky's father Ken is made President of the Garthdale Bowls Club, Steve's offer of giving him a lift to the inauguration ceremony goes down well. Ken is even more impressed when Steve persuades Grizzo to lend him his brand new, high-powered sports car for the occasion.
Nicky and Steve get roped into taking part in a 'Come Dine With Me' style charity dine-off organised by their insufferable neighbours Matt and Meena. As well as raising money for a defibrillator for the village, it's supposed to be a bit of fun – although, as Matt points out rather ominously, "there will be a winner." Nicky and Steve's efforts come in for some robust criticism, so when it's Matt and Meena's turn to play host, tensions are already running high. The excruciating pre-dinner entertainment fails to lighten the mood, and when some unwelcome surprise guests arrive, Nicky and Steve have reached breaking point. It's feedback time – and the gloves are off.
Steve is chosen to play a key role in The Lantern Man Festival – an annual village tradition, the sinister origins of which are lost in the mists of time. As with most of these village traditions, it's largely an excuse for drunken revelry. So it's not the best time for Nicky's daughter Zoe to come and stay with them, having just split up with her boyfriend in Leeds. When Zoe takes a shine to the local bad lad Bronson, Nicky and Steve have to do their best to stop a romance blossoming. As Steve is made to don a ceremonial cloak and drag a straw figure through the village, things are hotting up - but that's nothing compared to the disastrous events which unfold at the fireworks display.