Who knew that Katie Price’s You Only Live Once would not only be chosen by Yasmeen for her book club, but serve as a theme for this double episode in which Kal worries about Zeedan’s future, Eileen toys with the idea of meeting a fictional online crush, Faye mourns her freedom, and Liz wonders if Weatherfield holds anything for her anymore. Coronation Street can surprise us, and the biggest one tonight is that Anna Windass’s behaviour could become any more deplorable than previously seen.
“I’m 47 years of age, I’m all on me own; do you know what? I didn’t sign up for this” she moans at Tim. The reality is that this is exactly what she signed up for when she sent Owen packing and insisted that her 13 year old daughter keep a baby she was honest enough to say she didn’t want.
She refuses to let Faye attend a school trip, but infinitely more understanding Tim offers to look after Miley so she can go. On finding out, Anna walks out of Roy’s mid-shift without saying anything, snaps at strangers, screams like a harridan on reaching Faye’s voicemail, and wheels the baby to the school where she viciously berates her daughter publicly in the most deplorable fashion. With bullies clearly enjoying the display, Anna doesn’t even have the sensitivity or emotional intelligence to move the conversation elsewhere and persists with her tirade in which she announces “You should have thought about that before you went dropping your knickers at the ice rink.” I never agree with bullies, but when one says “Your Mum’s a freak Faye,” you can’t but.
While Anna rightly apologises to Roy, from whom she could learn even a modicum of understanding, she refuses to say sorry to Faye for what was an unforgiveable performance. Her language is as vile as her behaviour as she orders Tim to get something irrelevant into his “thick skull,” and describes how Faye “dropped the sprog” and I honestly didn’t think I could like her less than I already did.
“Faye should’ve wanted to be there with Miley at the doctors” she tells Tim, and again I’m reminded that Faye told all that she didn’t want to keep the baby. What kind of social worker fails to make a return visit after such an admission on the part of a child with a parent who clearly has other ideas? Faye demonstrates that she has more sense than her mother when she tells Anna that part of the struggle is her attitude.
If the display at the school serves any purpose, it at least appeals to Jackson’s conscience, and he arrives at the flat with his mother to take responsibility and have his name put on the birth certificate. He apologises to Faye and his mother is determined that one mistake won’t rob either of them of their future. Anna later confesses to Tim that she’s struggling and I have zero sympathy for her. Tim is kinder to her than she deserves, and it’s clearly not appreciated as she’s anything but humble on being invited around to infiltrate Sally’s dinner-á-deux. Unapologetically plonking herself down at the table and munching into crisps, I sat, head in hands, at this dreadful woman.
Todd appears frustrated to learn that Adrian has stayed the night and ramps up operation Jeff by sending Eileen a message to say he’s coming to Lancaster. While Sean thinks she should ignore it and that Adrian should be her priority, Todd makes her wonder if she’d regret it.
He’s not the only one planting seeds in the minds of those who should be happy with what they have. Tony takes the credit for saving Liz from the assault he set up, and uses it to try persuade her out of the business. As she dreams of her time in Spain, he suggests that part of Steve’s problem is that he lives with his mother at 40 and this might engender feelings of failure in him. Tony puts it to her that if she liberated Steve she’d be doing him a favour, and then once he pays off the imaginary debt collector, they’ll both be free to make a break.
This certainly appeals to her as she wonders why she’s staying in Weatherfield. After she has enjoyed champagne and pampering at Audrey’s, Ken walks in to the Rovers to find himself faced with a Manet in the form of Liz. His comment on her low cut top and ripe oranges was hilarious and delivered as only Ken can. Technology was certainly being put to use in Weatherfield tonight, and Ken conjures up the picture of Un bar aux Folies Bergere on his phone to show her. Liz looks at the painting, and it’s as if she’s faced with her own reflection, noting that the barmaid looks miserable. At least a bit of culture with Ken has her feeling momentarily better, but she is left pondering foreign shores which will suit Tony down to the ground.
Kal’s concern for Zeedan isn’t unfounded as he is fired by Tony for having Simon with him on a job and breaking a television. Leanne impresses Kal and Yasmeen by taking matters into her own hands. I’m not normally a fan, but seeing her smash up Barlow’s Buys in lieu of the wages Tony was refusing to pay him was oddly satisfying.
On the whole, Anna Windass’s behaviour made this pair of episodes a difficult watch as she was so dominant in both, but in the main I enjoyed the rest of the scenes, and really felt that Ellie Leach in particular shone throughout.