Cocktail Pimper, Creamed Camper, Project Damper

Coronation Street – Double Episode Review – Friday 8 November, 7.30pm and 8.30pm

Hayley continues to be frustrated at Roy, this time for moving her things around. Even though he has her best interests at heart, she doesn’t seem to see it that way. The old Hayley resurfaces when she visits the factory, but disappears when she returns home. As she encounters a single sock while sorting Roy’s pairs, he achingly observes, “if it’s not one of a pair, what use is it?” Not content with forcing Roy to visit Jane with her, Hayley is impatient, mean and disrespectful to him, insisting he drive when he doesn’t want to, and disgusted when he struggles. “That’s what insurance is for isn’t it” remarks a passing Carla, although Roy is unlikely to be found driving over the limit and trying to convince Hayley to swap seats with him as they sit bonnet deep in Barlow’s Buys.

Things go from bad to worse when they arrive at the hospice to find Jane has passed away. It doesn’t get any easier for Roy as he bears the full brunt of the blame for why Hayley didn’t get to say goodbye to her, having urged her not to go to visit after being herself discharged from hospital on Wednesday. His quiet and innocent observations and considerations are continually subjected to eye rolls, snipes, criticism and disdain, and it’s painful to watch. As Hayley declares “Poor Jane”, all I can think is poor Roy. “I can hear myself being horrible”, she declares; so can we, and it makes for difficult viewing. As we hear Roy tell how her company at night “nourishes my soul”, our hearts hurt for him. But it transpires that Hayley is more determined than ever to end her own life for fear of dying as Harold, and it appears that she will refuse to treat Roy with any respect unless he accepts this. His pain is tangible, and we wish with all our hearts that the old Hayley would come back to comfort him as she naturally would in all other things. As they argue further she says, “I feel like I’m losing you already”. Surely it must appear the other way around to Roy, as the Hayley we know and love has turned unrecognisable.

While friction continues between Todd and Jason, Julie’s warm welcome bursts with her trademark exuberance. Despite him sniffing his nose up at her having succeeded in getting him a job in packing at the factory, he’s happy to let her stand him drinks in the pub.

He tries to wow Gloria with his cocktail making skills in return for a job at the Bistro, but Gail and Nick stumble upon the scene and are none too happy.  Nick can’t remember ordering a bacon butty at Roy’s earlier in the day, but no detail of Todd’s treatment of both Sarah Louise and himself has been forgotten. “I’m sure there are plenty of bars out there that’d be happy to snap you up” clips Gail, to which Nick replies, “Timbuktu maybe”. Haven’t heard of that one; is it on the Parade?

Tired Faye seems to have enjoyed the concert, but Owen warns her about playing himself and Anna off against eachother. As she and Grace enjoy burgers at Roy’s, Mary cheerily chips in that the ketchup doesn’t count as one of their five a day. Grace is unnecessarily nasty to her, and when she leaves upset, Faye weakly observes that Mary’s alright. She has proven an unlikeable character in the past, but in contrast to Grace, Faye is a veritable cherub. Grace suggests throwing stones at Mary’s motorhome by way of revenge. When Faye seems reluctant, she continues her bullying campaign by telling her “You’re so boring”, and accuses Simon of being scared. Despite being uncomfortable about it, they proceed with her plan, and succeed in upsetting poor Mary.

While she obtains comfort from Norris and Emily at The Kabin, Faye looks on as Grace starts spraying Hairy Mary on her home with cream. But they’re caught red handed by all three, and run for cover. Faye fails to escape a passing Owen who, like Mary, Norris and Emily, is none too impressed, and takes her home.

Owen’s anger at being undermined by Anna was earlier softened when she said she’d make it up to him that night, and he asked her to leave the Marigolds on. Yikes. He’s likely to become further incensed having witnessed this latest bout of bad behaviour, and seeing Anna defend Faye yet again despite the evidence. If Anna wants to stay on the good side of Owen, she might be better putting those gloves to the use they were intended by making Faye clean Mary’s van.

Owen pays Mary a visit, and as she relives the bullying of her school days, the detail of her recollections tells us how painful and long lasting the effects have been on her. It is good to see the often volatile Owen show real heart and sympathy.

Over at the Rovers, Steve’s attempt at helping Amy with her school project gives Michelle and Liz ample opportunity to belittle him. It wouldn’t be so bad if he had someone to back him up, but Lloyd is beyond useless, continually making jibes at Steve’s hair loss and weight. Things don’t get much better when Amy finds that her father has done her project on the wrong war. Maybe if the little madam had done her own homework, she wouldn’t have cause to strop. Meanwhile her pink schoolbag slung over Steve’s shoulder may as well be his as he has to tell his mother what he has done wrong.

The only thing that will make Amy talk to her Dad is a pony; considering Liz and Michelle’s attitude towards him, the last thing Steve needs at the Rovers is another nag. “If I were you I’d start saving up for therapy sessions now” says Liz; seems over the top for a botched toilet roll cardboard project, but as the daughter of Tracy Barlow I’d call that a safe investment.

Steve’s subsequent appearance in a blazer, and announcement that he’s enrolling in college ensures further sniggering and additional opportunities for Lloyd to make weight gags. I find this baffling as Steve looks perfectly fine to me. Furthermore, why is there a differentiation being made between the kind of bullying Mary has been subjected to, and this apparently more palatable version which is supposed to represent the lighter side of tonight’s episodes? Even when Steve feels he has had the last laugh by revealing to Lloyd that he overstated the length of the course to have some “Chico Time”, he can’t resist slagging off his looks. Come on Lloyd, you’re a nice bloke, head on over to the jukebox and change the record.

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