Coronation Street Episode Review – 18 June 2014
Preparations are underway for Tina’s funeral as Rita struggles with her eulogy and the dry cleaners wash away all but the memories of David Platt’s court appearance for running down Graeme Proctor from his suit. Rob’s priority however is ensuring everyone believes Peter is her killer. His focus on winning Carla back rather than the fact that a young girl has died is evidence enough of Peter’s guilt as far as Rob is concerned. In a heated argument with Tracy, who reckons “control freak and borderline alcoholic” Carla brought everything upon herself for grounding him down with her constant demands, Rob insists Peter is guilty and vehemently defends his sister, refusing to see her go down for the murder.
As Peter struggles with the fact that Simon still won’t speak to him, Rob demands he leave town. It’s not often that characters are reminded of past indiscretions and it’s one of the things guaranteed to see me having high pitched conversations with the television. It’s therefore very satisfying to hear Peter remind his sanctimonious brother in law that it’s not so long ago that he tried to rip Carla off and ruin her business. “Carla always knew what I was”, Rob replies, as if this is somehow justification for his deplorable past behaviour. “I may have let her down,” he continues, “but I’ve never betrayed her”. I’d argue that’s exactly what he was doing when caught red handed with a van full of her material.
As I’ve previously observed, if Rob is struggling internally with his crime, it’s not often apparent. However, while accusing Peter of Tina’s murder in front of an exasperated Deirdre, he appears to reveal glimmers of what may be his own experience in the aftermath. “Do you wake up at night sweating?” he asks Peter, “Seeing her face, seeing her poor frightened face?” Rob’s best moments are found in those instances which see his mask slip.
After Carla removes all hope of a reconciliation with Peter by packing up his things and telling him she wishes it was him that was dead, Deirdre catches him drinking and packing the remainder. He tells her there’s nothing for him here and doesn’t care if anyone thinks he’s running away. As Rob listens on the stairs, Deirdre despairingly demands of Peter that he stop wallowing in self pity and think how it will look to the police and Simon if he does leave. If it’s not the act of a guilty man, she tells him, then it’s that of a coward, and she urges him to prove his innocence by being brave and staying put.
“Hooray for love” declares an unconvincing Eileen as Lloyd excitedly prepares to ask Andrea to move in with him. Meanwhile she lies to her husband and makes out that she’s needed in work in order to meet him. “Life just doesn’t stop because you’ve come home” she snaps at Neil, and he gets the distinct impression she’s not pleased he’s back. Considering what we sadly now know, Andrea naturally turns poor Lloyd down. Things are fine as they are as far as she’s concerned, and she leaves the Bistro upset saying they want different things. Jenna can barely conceal her delight as herself, Steve and Eileen console Lloyd in the Rovers.
In a reversal of sorts, a clearly upset Andrea rejects Neil’s call and returns to Lloyd with an explanation which falls far short of the truth. Her last relationship moved too fast, she tells him, and she became trapped before she realised she didn’t love her partner. If we are to presume she’s talking about Neil, then there’s nothing ‘last’ about it. She reckons herself and Lloyd would be brilliant together, she loves him, and asks for more time to get her head around his offer. My pity for Lloyd knows no bounds after his catalogue of disastrous relationships, not to mention his recent heart attack. Is it not time he had some genuine happiness?
Faye is secretly aware that Owen and Anna are sleeping apart, but gives no indication, as she enthusiastically insists on using her window cleaning earnings to buy a family tea. She is very deflated when Owen doesn’t show up and reveals what she knows to Anna, including her fears that they’re going to split up. Anna assures her that the rough patch they’re going through has nothing to do with her but Faye storms off upset when she cannot promise they’ll stay together. Owen admits he didn’t come to tea as he didn’t want to pretend all was okay and lie to Faye. “I still love you” he tells Anna, but she confesses that she doesn’t know what to feel anymore except sad.
The fact that Norris Cole has both the cleanest doorstep on the Street and a seemingly endless supply of gossip is no coincidence, but one quality that inspires genuine affection is his loyalty. Conveying his disgust to Dennis that he would use Tina’s death to get a foot in the door again with Rita is ample evidence of it. Unfortunately it does come across that way, and Dennis doesn’t do anything to endear himself by challenging Norris to a fight, although the scene itself is hilarious. While the Rovers may not be a “wild west saloon” as Norris puts it, the locals are certainly enjoying the showdown, even if Norris opting for an apology means it doesn’t spill out on to the Street.