Coronation Street – Episode Review – Wednesday 29 January 2014 – 7.30pm

As Hayley’s funeral draws near, Roy listens dutifully as Fiz reads her list of preparations. Big emphasis has been placed on polishing his best shoes, and we recall that this was something Hayley stressed the importance of before her death. Roy evokes such pity as he tells Fiz he wants to wear his wedding suit, and obediently busies himself with newspaper, polish and brushes. The reason for Hayley’s insistence that he attend to his shoes becomes clear as Roy finds a book entitled “Memories” in the box. However, he casts it aside and begins to polish furiously, becoming increasingly angry. Rather than constituting a wonderful discovery, this book appears to have brought to the fore the painful feelings invoked by the circumstances of Hayley’s death.

When Suzie arrives to discuss the arrangements, an unravelling Roy strikes fear into Fiz that he will tell her the truth. He advises that the situation is far from normal, hints that he may not completely concur with Suzie’s image of Hayley as a selfless person, and that he is not getting to say what he wants to in the aftermath of her passing. Sensing his struggle, Suzie tells him it’s ok to be angry, that grief is incredibly complicated and she is there to listen. Roy gets angry, declaring that absolutely everything has been Hayley’s choice.

Fiz confides in Carla about Roy’s outburst and tells her that Suzie may have deduced the truth, but that she doesn’t think they have anything to worry about. Carla acknowledges that Roy has lost the love of his life and will naturally struggle. Back at the flat, he looks in solitude at the empty seat before which sits the “Memories” book. As has been the case since Hayley’s death, the volume of outside noise from the street overwhelms the flat, acting as a metaphor for the challenges facing Roy; he can’t stop the outside world from coming in no more than he can shut off the incessant thoughts that invade his mind; he can get no peace.

Carla and Fiz find him cooking in the café and he offers them the “Memories” book, planning as he is to dispose of it without reading it. Worried Carla tells him she knows he nearly said something he shouldn’t have to Suzie, and tries to discourage him from doing so as he may find himself in trouble. But tormented Roy observes, “You talk as if I have something to lose.” It is as if because he had no control over any of Hayley’s choices, he is determined to exert some now as he tells them, “she doesn’t get to choose how I’m supposed to feel, not now.” While Hayley has very much planned the funeral to be a celebration of her life, Carla and Fiz are shocked to hear that Roy doesn’t intend going. “I have allowed my wife to take her own life,” he tells them, “forgive me if I’m not in the mood to celebrate.”

Still toying with Tim, a devious Sophie tries to encourage Sally to go to the newspapers about his heroics. She feels she has been subjected to a “mini-crimewave” as a result of Sophie’s volunteer work, but it doesn’t stop her working at the shelter where she tells Maddie she wants to help her. Maddie tells her the only way to help is with money. Sophie refuses to pay her, but a show of affection results in Maddie confessing that it’s not for her, but for her Mam who’s even more messed up than she is.

While Mary takes a trip to the salon to look her best for Hayley’s funeral, Sean, Jenna and Sally discuss outfits in the Rovers. They’ve been told to wear something colourful, but Sean warns Sally against sporting her hot pink leather catsuit.

Tracy succeeds in getting Amy home by bribing her for a computer game, and Steve warns her not to mess up the opportunity. He’s not the only one as Deirdre, happy to see them having fun, tells her “You can make all the excuses you like, but remember, you only get one crack at this.”

Beth offers Carla her condolences, and, having gotten her job back, tells her “Hayley was lucky to have you as a mate”. Carla points out that she was the lucky one, “we all were Beth.” Kirk is happy to hear Beth’s news but warns her not to blow it.

Dev gives the green light to Kal’s business proposal for the gym, but it’s a flashing amber for his awkward lycra-themed conversation with Stella. Kal tries to recruit gym members at the Rovers, but faces a tough audience. Sean is concerned that a kebab shop owner opening a gym is something of a conflict of interests, while Deirdre is disappointed to hear Dev “won’t be giving chilli sauce rubdowns”. We thought that spark was doused long ago, but Deirdre clearly still has a thought to spare for her old flame.

By Emma Hynes

Twitter: @ELHynes

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