The Hai Karate Kid Waxes Lyrical

03.07.15This Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 3 July 2015, originally appeared on the Coronation Street Blog.

Desperate to pin something on Tony to draw him out of wherever he’s hiding, Liz attempts to photograph goods from Barlow’s Buys before entering the builder’s yard with Michelle. I’m not quite sure what they were hoping to find there if I’m honest, it seemed to be more of an excuse for a bit of light farce than a genuine fact finding mission. In any event, Todd doesn’t take too kindly to being treated as Tracy’s “whipping boy”, and advises Liz of the time of an expected delivery set up by Tony so that she can arrange for the police to be there. Todd’s gripe is that breaking up boxes isn’t in his job description, but as sole employee, if he doesn’t do it, who does?

Despite being arrested at the scene, Tracy surprises everyone by marching into the Rovers announcing her release and the news that the goods were bought legitimately. She’s not happy to learn she was simply collateral damage in an attempt by Liz to force Tony out, but later confides in Todd that she feels Tony has become a liability and she wants to find him herself. In the meantime she’s off to London and leaves Todd in charge.

Over at the Bistro, Erica pops by to tell Nick she knows her love is unrequited and to wish him happiness, but despite ‘caring for’ rather than loving her, he insists on having her around even though he confides in concerned Leanne that he doesn’t know where it’s going. Leanne is about to have troubles of her own however, as it transpires that Liz’s new man Dan is a former client and makes this known to her. I would’ve thought he’d have been as anxious as her to keep that in the past.

Andrea’s hopes of jetting to Amsterdam with a box of Yorkshire tea and a packet of biscuits are dashed when it appears her daughter Jess doesn’t want her to visit. I wonder if Andrea made her aware that there was a packet of garibaldis in it for her, then it might have been a different story. I enjoyed the chemistry between Lloyd and Andrea in this episode, their relationship has a nice authenticity to it.

Mary gives Dev a sound telling off for not trying hard enough to win Julie back. It’s quite a turn about considering her barely concealed hatred for the woman not weeks previous. Nevertheless, after Julie decides she will go on the trip, Mary’s parting gift, and declaration that “Dev’s loss is the whole world’s gain” is lovely.

Julie’s decision is based on the fact that she wants to see the world and leaves Brian in no uncertain terms that they won’t be getting back together. He surprises us all by telling her she can go alone as his “selfishness has already deprived her of one dream”. His farewell gift of clippings and cuttings on various locations shows Julie just how much he wanted to go, and the extent of his sacrifice for her. This is enough to change her mind and insist he comes along.

As they sit in the back of Lloyd’s cab chattering, Julie in her fabulous cape and Brian in his Hai Karate, I’m left with the feeling that things are exactly as they should be. Julie remembering Brian’s different smiles has him ecstatic, even if she is chiding him, and as she says farewell to Asha and Adi, he confides in Lloyd that he was in fact displaying his “I’m so happy I could cry” smile.

Seeing them together like this hammered home what a great casualty it is to lose both of these characters from the street. Coming second, to my mind, is the end of Brian and Ken, a friendship which I could have spent many happy hours watching and would love to have seen develop further.

Meanwhile Carla and Roy come to the rescue at Cathy’s where bailiffs are threatening to enter. Carla’s incredulity as she witnesses the whole thing unfold is amusing. It is discovered once Cathy permits them to enter that there is nothing for the bailiff’s but plenty for Barlow’s Buys as she is revealed to be a hoarder. I must say, I got a genuine fright when her sitting room popped up on the screen. I sadly haven’t warmed to this character, and while it may take some more time to get to know her better, so far I’m not feeling enthusiastic about doing so. Hopefully that will change.

There were a couple of little oddities in tonight’s episodes. Sean giving Julie flowers that were originally intended for Sinead, only the hospital doesn’t allow them, was strange considering she’s long since home. Also, Jason told Todd he would say goodbye to Julie on his behalf. If Eileen, Sean and Jason, all equally appalled when he revealed his deception in the Bistro some weeks back, are all talking to him again and appear to have forgiven him, why wouldn’t Julie? After all, she is surely the most forgiving of the bunch, and took him in when nobody else would in the past.

Julie Carp will be a big loss. Her quirkiness, style, honesty, big heart, good nature and positive outlook will be sorely missed. Her excitability, passion for life, wild imagination and determination to see the best in everybody and everything infused Coronation Street with the very best anybody could hope to find in a person. As such, while she can never be replaced, these qualities must live on in the guise of somebody else, as they are sadly rare when it comes to contemporary Corrie, making it all the more important for them to be represented.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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