Mine’s a Stephini: Patient, not Deterred

Coronation Street – Double Episode Review – Friday 7 March 2014 – 7.30pm and 8.30pm

After Eileen tells Tony that they’d be better off without him, he sets about rectifying the matter by dubious means. He challenges Dev about failing to support local business before breaking into the van of the builder working on the gym. It initially appears a lone pursuit, and comes as a genuine surprise when we realise that Kal is in on it. The builder proves he’s not as sharp as his missing tools when he reveals he hasn’t insurance and can’t finish the job. He’s also under the illusion that Cork is in the West of Ireland.

Meanwhile Dev, oblivious to Kal and Tony’s plan, feigns an interest in football in an effort to build a bridge with Jason. Dev’s sweetness and Jason’s inability to hold a grudge sees them make up. Kal and Tony then put on an award winning performance in the Rovers about losing the builder, and Tony’s encouragement sees Jason get the job after all. But a remark from Tony makes him suspicious about his Dad’s possible involvement in the robbery. The fact that Sally saw Tony acting suspiciously at the van makes me think this won’t be the last we hear of it.

As both Armstrongs and Windasses struggle to cope in the aftermath of Phelan’s blackmail, it’s difficult to have pity for them considering their greed driven, short sightedness in entering into the illegal deal in the first place. Anna is the only one who is worthy of pity as she was never comfortable with the deal, has suffered more than anyone because of it, and is left to pick up the pieces. She wants Faye to have friends around for her birthday, as why should she suffer, but Owen refuses.

Sophie’s date with Maddie doesn’t go to plan but we’re unsure of why until Maddie turns up having been assaulted. Sophie’s a-la-carte Christianity shows its ugly face yet again as Sally’s well-meaning enquiry is met with a sullen “Don’t talk to me”. She’s similarly rude when Sally objects to Maddie being brought into the house, but Tim agrees to take her to A&E.

I’ve been singing Todd’s praises lately, and he continued to be exceptional this evening. He is ever ready with a witty aside, some wise words, and is increasingly a source of deadpan humour. Steve faces stiff competition after Carla sings Peter’s praises to Michelle. As he comes up with ideas to treat her, Todd indifferently swats away his suggestions like so many irritating flies. Flowers are unimaginative, the idea of theatre makes him choke on his lollipop, and karaoke at the Hen and Squirrel, where it’s a pound a pint, invokes particular disdain. “I went out with a dancer from We Will Rock You” he tells Steve who responds;

“Did he?”
“Rock you?”
“Not really, no.”

It’s great to be treated to such dialogue and comic acting on the part of Simon Gregson and Bruno Langley. As Eileen observes, “I can’t think of anything worse than a bunch of idiots singing and dancing in a play, I mean nobody bursts into song in real life” he attempts to do just that. His insistence that Eileen go through with her apology to Liz is in essence the reason why they make up, and succeeds in making him endearing despite his, at times, deplorable behaviour.

Another positive addition to the street is Steph. It’s easy to forget just how young some Corrie characters are as they are bogged down with heavy storylines. How often do we really see Corrie’s younger characters being carefree and having fun? Tina offers an apt example as her grumpy sullenness is in stark contrast to Steph’s enthusiasm. She lights up the episodes as she negotiates dating apps, styles Sophie for her date, and makes “Stephini” cocktails so that she can do in reality what’s already on her CV.

After being let down by Peter yet again, Tina decides to join Steph and Katie’s girls’ night, and despite how rude she has been, Steph is genuinely happy. She tells them that her mate has been seeing a married man. Steph reckons the fictitious Cheryl is daft, has no self-respect, and has her whole life ahead of her, telling Tina she should end the affair. Having already been warned by Liz that Peter will never leave Carla, and she’s just another bottle of booze to be chucked out along with all the other empties, Tina decides to confront Peter. She tells him she loves him, and is disappointed when he doesn’t reply. She says she can’t do it any more, and Peter walks away. Considering his boomerang behaviour throughout the whole sordid business, can we really be sure that this is the end as far as Peter is concerned?

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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