A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Coronation Street – Episode Review – Wednesday 18 December 2013 – 7.30pm

Despite Carla’s best efforts, Peter remains distracted. Over at the Rovers, Tina tells him he can find a new babysitter and another pub to drink in. Having reluctantly agreed to let Tracy attend a business meeting alone, Rob is mocked by Tina for allowing women to manipulate him and called a Mummy’s boy. After flirting across the bar, she lures him out to the smoking area where she goads him into kissing her by saying he hasn’t got it in him. When they’re discovered by Carla, Tina acts concerned, but gets the result she clearly wants when their encounter is reported directly back to Peter. However, it’s worth noting that this occurs entirely by chance. Without Peter or Carla in the pub when she lures Rob out, it’s not clear just how her devious actions were going to have the desired effect, and leaves the viewer wondering if Carla hadn’t accidentally found them, how she intended for the news to reach Peter. He’s furious, but to prevent any suspicion on Carla’s part, claims he’s angry because Rob has betrayed his sister. Meanwhile Tracy arrives home to an empty house, and leaves a voicemail for Rob saying Deirdre and Amy are out for a few hours if he’d like to come around. Why she didn’t just go back to the pub is as much of a surprise as Deirdre’s seemingly unannounced return from Canada.

Kylie demands Gail get off her case as she pushes her to reconsider the necessity of supervising David’s visits. Ignoring the agreement on the basis that Kylie is behaving like a child, Gail leaves David alone with Max and Lily as she goes shopping. Despite his concern at Kylie’s reaction, he puts the time to good use by sewing the remainder of Max’s sheep costume for the nativity. As David cavorts around wearing the sheep’s head but pretending to be a wolf, we are presented with the metaphor of the century. Not only is he caught by Kylie, but his distractedness sees Max open one of her presents instead of David’s. She kicks him out for the umpteenth time, and bans him from the nativity.

Dennis’s little black book is hanging by a thread, but so are those listed it would appear, as so far they’ve turned out to be either ill or deceased. David mightn’t be the only wolf in sheep’s clothing as Rita’s character does a complete about turn for no apparent reason. “If he’s found a passion for something, where’s the harm in that?” she asks Norris as he engages in her favourite pastime of late; mocking and belittling Dennis. This empathy and encouragement continues as she insists she wasn’t going to allow Norris deride his efforts in front of Richie. Not that I’m complaining, it’s high time she changed her attitude, but like Tina’s seduction of Rob, this sudden development is something of a leap of faith. Rita does however point out that it would turn out badly for Dennis if the gig doesn’t go well; while she finally seems to have decided to offer encouragement and support, she clearly doesn’t appear to have any confidence in him.

Jenna quizzes Roy in advance of his driving test. He is determined to pass while Hayley is just proud that he is making an attempt.

Despite everything, Julie still expresses concern for Brian to an incredulous Eileen as he prepares to move out. Later that evening she asks him to call over to Eileen’s when he’s done. Broaching the subject of the mortgage, Brian says he can’t afford to pay half, and Julie doesn’t see why she should bear the full cost. He suggests that she buy him out and quotes some figures. This leaves Julie in no doubt that her decision is the correct one; while her world was crumbling, he was number crunching. As the door closes in his face and on their relationship, a suitably dejected Brian makes his wistful departure for Wales, and the estranged couple and viewer alike are left to ponder what could have been.

By Emma Hynes


Twitter: @ELHynes

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