This was the Season 1 finale, and they did a pretty good job of tying all the loose ends together in case there wasn't a Season 2, whlle leaving the door slightly open in case there was. The episode opens with change in the air. Jane has accepted hotshot lawyer Phil's proposal but isn't sure (or at least Aunt Nicholls isn't sure she's sure), while Mike has decided go off in his newly-refurbished boat, leaving young Steve Blade in charge of the harbourmaster's office - which is news to Tony Simpson, who actually decides who's in charge, and who thinks all Blades are bad.
Cue multiple tender moments (and an actual snog) between Mike and Jane, and an orienteering challenge from Simpson which leaves Steve stuck in the bog (an actual bog, that is), with Mike pulling him out then sacrificing his wellies to secure Steve's continued employment.
Just to complicate things further, passionate PC Melanie arrives back from Hartlepool, reopening her dialogue with Mike with a quip about being good at biology which even she disowns as being a bit tacky. Meanwhile Rita Blade, fresh out of jail, shows how leading your man by the nose should be done, dragging hers upstairs with a husky "Come on, you!" and leaving son Jason to deliver the line of the series, "She won't feel so frisky when she sees the new wallpaper Dad's put up".
The climax is Jane and Phillip's engagement party, a posh do upstairs in the caravan park with Rita stealing the show again as she appears to a round of applause from the assembled Good People of Bridehaven, ie everyone except Tony Simpson, who atones for his past Blade-bashing by telling Steve he's got the relief harbourmaster's job. Here the Big Secret, kept since episode one, finally comes out, as Mike's Navy crew mate tells Jane that her brother Pete's death was his own stupid fault, and that Mike fought tooth and nail to keep it from his family, so they wouldn't have to know that he'd been an order-disobeying idiot.
Cue more wailing and gnashing of teeth from Jane (her speciality), and a confession that her engagement to Phil is a mistake, which in turn cues Mike doing his speciality, backing away from commitment to the ladies (he's already backed away from Mel, understandably enough given her 'biology' gaffe).
The outcome is the Good People of Bridehaven (and Tony Simpson) assembled again, this time on the quayside the following morning as Aunt Nichols smashes a bottle of Tesco Cava across the bow of Mike's newly-launched boat ("waste of good booze", as George Blade puts it), and Mike gives a short soliloqy before setting off on a solo voyage that might just never end, leaving his two heartbroken women watching wistfully from the dock.
What the audience (and, possibly, half the cast) didn't know was that as well as being the end of Series 1, this was also the end of Harbour Lights as we knew it. When Mike sailed back into port for Series 2, Bridehaven would be a desolate place, emptied of its more empathetic characters (Elvis, Aunt, Jane, Rita, Kelly and even Jason Blade) and ruled by ruthless gangsters whose idea of business incentives was to break Tony Simpson's leg. It would never be the same again, and it wouldn't last long, either.
Series 1 was sentimental, slow moving and let down by some terrible plotting and poor production, but it had real heart. I miss it. Series 2 was sharper, but deliberately heartless. I don't.