Coronation Street – Episode Review – Wednesday 22 October 2014
Furious Steve visits Jim in prison to let him know he’s aware that he was only being used to get to Liz, but Jim flatly denies the accusation. Unconvinced, Steve asks him what he’d know about the truth, having made out that he was going to be behind bars for years while all the time knowing that wasn’t the case.
He accuses Jim of attempting to get Liz to pick up where they left of by reeling her in and gaining her sympathy. Failing that, he’d resort to threats to enable him to carry on beating up Peter. “We’re all sick of your poison” Steve spits before demonstrating that two can play that game by informing a prison guard about Jim’s phone. As Jim is dragged away, his truly menacing side is revealed as he snarls “You must be the lowest form of pond life to betray your father”. Steve is quick to respond, “You? In an open prison? Look at you, you’re a joke”, and his vicious father swears he’ll “have” Steve for this. Great performances by both Charles Lawson and Simon Gregson made this a powerful scene, and while I hate to see Steve suffer, I welcome the fact that Simon gets to convey another side to his character.
Liz’s ensures stubborn Tony is in earshot as she flirts on the phone with Greg from the brewery, and his jealousy is enough to prompt him to make a reconciliation. I like the chemistry between this pair, and both can see the funny side when Michelle reveals that Greg is in fact gay.
Things turn sour however when Liz asks him to move in, provided Michelle doesn’t mind, and completely ignores Steve who has to cough to remind them of his presence. We’ve all despaired at Steve’s ongoing treatment at the hands of his loved ones, and he finally tells them what they’ve long needed to hear; “You treat me like a joke half the time, pestering me, talking behind me back.” He asks if they know what it feels like to dob their own father in, and notes Jim will probably get an extended sentence as a result. Michelle reminds him that she asked if he wanted to talk and he said no, but Steve sees confiding in her as futile. “What’s the point when everything I say and do is wrong?” he asks, “I mean it’s obvious you think I’m some kind of waste of space. I may as well not even exist.” All are stunned by these home truths, clearly only finally realising the impact of their behaviour towards him.
The Kabin will undoubtedly have sold out of the Weatherfield Gazette as it appears in several scenes with ‘GUILTY’ splashed across the front, and Ken despairingly reads aloud from it. After returning from the prison, he delivers a truth bomb to Tracy and Rob; while they have Peter’s blessing to go ahead with the wedding, he needs to sell Barlow’s Buys to raise the money for an appeal.
Roy still fears being alone and is delighted to be invited to dinner with Fiz, Tyrone, Chesney and Sinead, bringing the ham they love so much. He also happily agrees to cater for Beth and Kirk’s wedding as his gift to them. Fiz calls him a “national treasure”, and despite his troubles at the moment, he continues to be a ray of sunshine courtesy of his good heart.
The happy gathering is interrupted however as Cilla’s strident knock assails the door and she barges in, overnight bag in tow, fresh from Wolverhampton. She claims her reason for visiting is to see her children and grandchildren and the cast on her arm is the result of a bang.
You could cut the atmosphere with a knife as she dishes out questions, and faces are disbelieving at her comments on the importance of good parenting and family life. While it appears business as usual at the outset, a softening of her character can nevertheless be observed as she is respectful in her condolences to Roy at the news of Hayley’s death. Fiz is naturally cynical about her reasons for returning however, declaring, “there’ll be something, don’t you worry”.
Driving confidence restored, Audrey continues to wax lyrical about Luke. Kylie is notably distracted and brings her drugs to the salon, flipping out when Liam takes a snoop in her bag. Maria demands an apology which results in an argument concerning child discipline. Audrey demands both take themselves home and come back in a better mood.
Agitated Yasmeen irritates all and sundry about the opening of the community centre but at least Roy’s Rolls will be a book free zone. Zeedan’s cynicism is tempered on hearing that the centre will be named after his mother.
Finally, a mention for two blasts from the past courtesy of Liz who notes “We haven’t sold bottled mild since Annie Walker’s day,” and David who recalls Audrey having worked for Archie Shuttleworth. It appears the powers that be have been listening to calls for more connections with the past. While David’s memory was a logical one however, I was a bit perturbed by Liz’s remark considering she didn’t appear in the show until 6 years after Annie’s departure. But perhaps there are connections between the two of which my learned Corrie historians may be aware that might explain why Liz was able to make this observation.