Well let’s get straight to it; the highlight of Friday’s double episode had to be Tim’s proposal and the aftermath. Joe Duttine brings so much to this character, and he’s a delight to watch. Disconcerted by suited Kevin’s success and Sally’s enthusiasm for it, he has an epiphany during a great conversation with Craig – he’ll ask her to marry him.
He lays his heart bare outside Underworld with flowers worthy of Dev’s, and to the strains of Take That’s Greatest Day courtesy of a ghetto blaster precariously administered by Craig. It’s a pity nobody but us can hear his brilliant speech, but it’s all part of the humour, and at least Sally gets to hear her favourite song before it mutes at the point where Tim bellows the all important proposal, and she happily accepts. Trust Sean to look down his nose at her engagement ring, but at least a joyous atmosphere prevails at the Rovers as well wishers hearing the news drop in to congratulate them, and all agree it’s great that Kevin, Tim and Sally get on so well. I sincerely hope that the Kevin and Sally rumours we’ve been hearing aren’t true, and further, that we get the happy wedding they deserve, along the lines of Beth and Kirky’s.
Speaking of which, Sinead’s plans to book a surprise camping trip for herself and Chesney go awry when Beth finds the flyer and thinks Kirk is whisking her away. On learning of the confusion, Kirk panics as only he can, and Tyrone, sadly well used to finding ways of keeping Fiz appeased, recommends he avoid trouble by booking a holiday to the same place. When the misunderstanding is revealed, all seven of them decide to go there together much to the clear frustration of Sinead.
Kirky isn’t the only man to panic over a surprise, as Tracy and Beth pitch up unexpectedly at Robert’s restaurant. Robert may have given the Barlows a reason to smile by staying the night, with Ken even remarking that Deirdre had a hand in bringing them back together, but it doesn’t last. Wife Joni returns to the restaurant in time to find him kissing Tracy goodbye and promptly slaps the “third wheel” across the face.
Tracy is furious and Ken is disappointed on hearing the news. While Robert calls over and appears to win Tracy over slightly with his apology, she still insists he leave. He departs with the hope that she meets someone who deserves her more than he does and thanks Ken for being so decent.
While Robert failed to take the myriad of opportunities to tell the truth, he did attempt to break up with Joni in this episode showing that it really is Tracy he wants, and his regret seems genuine. I like the chemistry between the pair and despite his infidelity, I think Robert could be a good influence in Tracy’s life. If I’m honest, I feel enough has already been written about Joni this week for me to contribute anything of added value to the conversation.
Bethany plays with fire – well, matches – when she is tricked into facilitating a drug deal for Callum in return for the trip to Paris that Sarah has already refused her. Unbeknownst to Bethany, he films the handover and later takes a photo of her posing with a joint. While Bethany might like to have everyone believe she’s savvy and mature, the child in her comes out when, despite clearly feeling uncomfortable, she allows herself to be goaded with remarks like “I thought you were adventurous” and “you’re not scared are you?” Gemma insists on knowing why Callum is taking images of Bethany, and he tells her they’re insurance for the future, leading them to dissolve into cartoon laughter.
I have to say, I love the character of Gemma, and if we accept that Callum will never be a Dan, or a Phelan – or even a Gavin Rodwell – it makes for a more enjoyable watch. I loved our editor Glenda’s likening of the dastardly crew to Batman’s foes, and when I view them in this light, I get a kick out of the scenes. Callum’s rather stylish flat and eclectic taste in music, not to mention his short attention span for Bethany, did add a dimension to his character which we hadn’t seen before.
Elsewhere, Tony roams the streets and it remains anyone’s guess where he’s staying. Firstly, there’s a set to with Robert which I rather enjoyed, and clearly so did Tracy, in which he vows to keep his half of Barlow’s Buys. Then, after needlessly apologising to Liz on behalf of his Dad, Jason tells Tony to his face to stay away from both of them. Tony begs for another chance but it falls on deaf ears. Gail was just as happy to witness Michael emerging from Eileen’s first thing in the morning. Michael is a different man when he’s with Eileen and infinitely more interesting and endearing, so I hope they stay together. I think they have the potential to be a great Corrie couple.