Coronation Street

Rob’s so sorry Uncle Albert

Coronation Street – Double Episode Review – Friday 1 August 2014 

Roy and Yasmeen continue their sit in at the library, but fall out when she expresses a strong belief that human beings are not designed to live alone. Roy takes umbrage to this suggestion, and asks if she attributes her blanket generalisation to biology, even demanding the paperwork that enables her to “inflict these ill researched opinions dressed up as science”. Yasmeen is incensed and Roy dusts off the word “hogwash” for the occasion. He amusingly uses her argument against her when Kal brings news that they’re both invited to an extraordinary meeting of the Council and she declares that only one can go. Kal agrees to attend in their stead if they make up.

Roy apologises, acknowledging that everyone has the right to an opinion, and that he shouldn’t have taken hers so personally. Yasmeen is genuinely humble, and accepts that she was too forceful in her views. Roy confirms that he is a widower, and the manner in which he calls up the date of the 20th of January without hesitation is a moving indication of how deeply he feels his loss. Yasmeen is suitably compassionate and respectful as he tells her that remarriage would feel inappropriate, and she listens as he explains, “It’s her absence in everything. Her absence. And to fill that absence with another person, another personality, no. No, no, it’s hers, hers alone.” David Neilson excels in this moment of personal revelation, and again, Roy’s ability to reach out to others and eloquently verbalise his loss and feelings is a credit to both himself and Hayley, and a joy to behold.

Yasmeen confesses that it was Kal she had in mind, and conveys the moving story of a mother’s pride at her son dressed in army attire, her child having become a man, and then his arrival home “as a little boy again, lost” following the tragedy of his wife Jamila’s death. As a mother she wanted to help him so badly, and now that she sees him returning to himself again, she wants him to find somebody, but considers his chosen partner as not good for him. As Roy simply says “Leanne”, it shows his astuteness at the matters of the heart that evolve around him.

Roy presents Hayley’s overdue book to Yasmeen. His attempt to return it lead to him first hearing about the library closure, and a quote from Goethe which he found within, written on a piece of paper by Hayley, is his reason for protesting: “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world”. Yasmeen considers it inspiring, and that they are lucky Hayley found it, observing that she must have been very special. “We’ll win” she says, “I feel it now”.

If Hayley is everywhere in these moments, so too is her humour. Roy suggests that they should reshelve what is Council property, but Yasmeen, with a twinkle in her eye, reminds him that they are activists and that he should take it if he wants it; she might even take one herself. However, the moment of rebellion is shortlived as Roy asks, “without scanning it out?” and Yasmeen reneges on her revolt, thinking, perhaps not.

They are delighted with the news that the Council has granted them a reprieve to appeal, but Mary seems more intent on affirming her and Roy’s “rock solid friendship hewn in granite through thick and thin” in the event that Yasmeen has any doubts on that score. Meanwhile Roy tells Fiz that Hayley was instrumental in their success, and that he rather enjoyed it. However, they are devastated to learn from Tyrone that the library has since gone up in flames. There is something symbolic for me in the fact that Hayley’s book went up with it; her last connection with cancer gone, Roy can take her inspiring quote and her memory forward with him through life. Out of the ashes, he has the spark of an idea; he will host a small library in the café. All are in favour, though Yasmeen’s enthusiasm may prove something of a challenge to rein in

Lloyd picks two “Incompetent parents and their devil child” up from the airport, and David and Kylie refuse to pay £40 for the damage caused by Max to his car. The embodiment of claim culture, Kylie threatens to sue if Max gets run over because Lloyd refuses to drive them to the door. It transpires that it hasn’t been a relaxing holiday by any means, as Max has proven immensely difficult to deal with. While David wants to bring him to a doctor, Kylie is in denial and refuses to do so.

I always considered Tracy’s progeny as putting her mother to shame in the personality stakes, but sadly Max isn’t the only “devil child” in tonight’s episode as Amy bullies Simon throughout and lies spectacularly while being babysat by Maddie and Sophie. The former rightly leaves Amy in no doubt that her behaviour is unacceptable, and is a great friend and support to Simon as he wonders if Eccles remembers her Mam and Dad, and expects that she is both scared she’ll forget them, and fears being placed somewhere where she knows nobody. The not so subtle metaphor gives us a welcome tender scene.

Meanwhile Amy sneaks out to Barlow’s Buys where she tells her mother that Maddie threatened to slap her. Tracy marches around to berate the babysitters and it’s infuriating to find Sophie apologise rather than stand up for Maddie. Strange that she chose this tack considering she spent the first half of the year vehemently defending her when she was less deserving.

After shelling out top dollar to get Uncle Albert’s medal back, Rob has earned some posh crisps from Deirdre’s cupboard as well as her eternal gratitude, as she frets about Ken’s reaction when he returns home to learn about Peter.

It’s never possible to cover all the wonderful little details that make Corrie magic in an episode review, particularly a double one, but all in all these were two thoroughly enjoyable episodes with plenty of lovely little humorous references, and the perfect mix of drama, comedy and feeling throughout.

By Emma Hynes
emmahynes.wordpress.com
Twitter: @ELHynes

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