Victorian Secret

Coronation Street – Episode Review – Wednesday 19 February 2014 – 7.30pm

“I need to know whether Roy’s dead or not” declares insomniac Fiz, distressed in dressing gown, and more femme fatale than fraught friend as Roy is still nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile Amy’s master stroke of getting Tracy and Steve to accompany her to the Museum of Science and Industry is upgraded to platinum as it transpires that there is no requirement to attend Victorian Day in costume.

Tracy’s maid’s outfit, with more pins than a porcupine, may be ripe for mockery by the likes of Tina, but the real star turn is Steve’s crushed blue velvet suit. Something of a singular sighting in Victorian times I’m sure, he earns the title of pimp and Amy learns a new word. Tracy makes amends by telling her it’s a kind of salesman, and this nugget of information is confidently passed on by Amy to a surprised lady at the museum who asks what Steve is dressed as.

Tracy feels all warm inside at Amy’s trickery over the costumes, seeing something of herself in her daughter, but it’s short lived as she becomes bored silly by steam engines. Steve is enjoying his suit too much to be all that put out that nobody but the staff are dressed up, and revels in being mistaken for them, posing for photos and offering some woolly commentary on the exhibits. All are shocked to hear Roy interrupt to supply the detail lacking in Steve’s description of a particular engine. Steve and Tracy tell him that his friends, of which there are plenty, fear he may be dead. Tracy is typically unsympathetic, and as she bickers with Steve, Roy leaves. Amy alerts the pair and shows that she’s actually more like Steve after all when she turns down her mother’s offer of a trip to the gift shop in favour of running after Roy.

When Steve reports back to the café that Roy is alive but alas missing once more, routine hysteric Fiz shows no relief or gratitude, but roundly accuses Steve of scaring him off. Mary has other things on her mind, namely the hypnotic lure of both the steam engine and Steve’s suit. As the velveteen Victorian embarks on a further search for Roy, the doff of his hat is enough to necessitate smelling salts.

No sooner is he gone than Roy appears at the café accompanied by Tyrone who claims all the credit for accompanying him 100 yards. Anna, Fiz, Mary, Jenna and Tyrone press Roy for answers. He’s been staying in a B&B and explains that his bag, found in the canal, was stolen on a bus; “One moment it was next to me and the next it wasn’t” he tells them, a poignant articulation of his recent loss. He’s truly sorry for the worry caused. Steve is relieved to see him back, despite continuing to search in the absence of an update from the café, and tells Roy the place wasn’t the same without him before resolving to return his suit to its rightful owner, Austin Powers.

Once alone, Roy’s solitude is striking as he looks upwards at the prospect of revisiting the flat. As he slowly and quietly enters, his first difficult encounter is Hayley’s red anorak. He is a solitary figure surrounded by shared things, and it’s truly the first time that both Roy and the viewer feel the permanence of Hayley’s passing. He browses through her book of photographs before opening the parcel she has sent him. He is surprised, moved and grateful, thanking her aloud after reading her note.

It doesn’t take much convincing by Todd for Marcus to ditch swimming with sniffly Liam go for a drink on the premise of talking about his Dad. Marcus tells Todd things are easier with his own Dad since he got with Maria and declares, “I’m still gay Todd, I just happen to have fallen for a woman”. Todd later tells Sean that he’s in love with someone else but won’t reveal the name.

Tina is unruffled by Owen’s icy demand for overdue rent and insistence that she contact Steph with regard to becoming her flatmate.

Gloria is hurt after overhearing Stella tell Rita and Dennis that she’s not a bad person, but can be ruthless when it comes to men. As W.B. Yeats would have it, “Tread softly because you tread on my dreams”, and Stella would do well to think of this. Telling Gloria her venture with Ritchie and Dennis was a pipe dream that was never going to work out, and to stop chasing rainbows is unfeeling, no matter how unappealing Gloria’s behaviour can be. In a rare moment of revealing her true heart, she asks Stella, what if chasing rainbows is all that’s keeping her going, and declares herself determined never to give up on her dreams.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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