Dev went to India, leaving Mary in charge of the children and house and Sophie in charge of the shop. He left Julie in charge of a vague everything. So, wanting to do a good and thorough job, she tried to take over everything. It’s soon open warfare between the three women.
The children pointed out the animosity evident between Julie and the others. To her credit, she listened to them and realized that, whether she liked it or not, things were not going well for her with Sophie and Mary. It was time to make amends.
A lovely meal prepared for them (although with no advance warning and in the middle of Sophie’s work shift), a bottle of wine, and a talking stick. The air would be cleared. And it was.
Sophie is sceptical about the stick, mentioning Sally’s not so successful attempt at negotiations using one (a wonderful scene from October 2012). But with a firm grasp on the stick, she articulates her complaints about everyone and everything, including Julie’s interference. It is magic, she decides. Mary listens and talks honestly without needing the stick. She and Julie sort out the insecurities that underlie their jealousies about the children.
Julie broaches the subject of Mary’s possible feelings for Dev. Mary says of course she cares for Dev – then realizes Julie means romantic feelings. This gives Mary a great laugh, which then leads to an explanation that gives all of us (except Julie) a great laugh. “I’m attracted to clever men!” she tells Julie. Poor Julie feels relief, but wonders how it is that she’s yet again been insulted by Mary.