Art and Hearts Divide

08.01.162Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 8 January 2016.

There is no doubt that the world is better for its Roy Croppers. People like Roy offer so much, and we all benefit from their wisdom, kindness, and honesty. It’s a cruel irony that they themselves are more likely to suffer due to their sensitive natures, and they beat themselves up more than most when their human failures see them breach their own high moral standards.

Roy’s concentration suffers tonight as he berates himself for the error of judgement that has caused Cathy to break up with him, and Carla spots this, leading to a lovely scene in which the friends discuss how they cope with the harshness of life. For all the wisdom he has imparted, it seems Roy may have something to learn from Carla, as she questions the point of being hard on oneself and asks, what’s to be achieved by it? With her encouragement, he resolves to go and win Cathy back.

Despite a valiant effort to shake Nessa off, she follows him and makes her presence known as he sits outside Cathy’s. Her advice, that he should think less about emotion and allow himself to simply feel it, is not only insulting, but it might be a good idea for her to start practicing the opposite herself before she does any more damage.

Meanwhile, Cathy has managed to set the house on fire when a bin containing Nessa’s love-letters and mementos goes up in flames. It was rather unnecessary for her to become trapped, as she had full access to the front door, but nevertheless it allowed Roy to be her knight in shining armour. When she tells him he saved her life, it’s clear that she doesn’t only mean tonight, and there’s a lovely chemistry between them in that moment.

However, even that couldn’t prepare me for the wonderful scene which lay ahead in which, back at Roy’s flat, he confesses his love for her and she returns the sentiment. Tender, tentative, yet full of emotion, the pair embrace on his sofa, and I’m in awe on mine. There is such joy in beholding the very minutiae of David Neilson’s performances; every thought, every emotion in that huge, yet humble moment, was there.


Meanwhile, a rejected Nessa seeks solace in Ken only for him to break up with her. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with a lump in my throat when he told her there was another woman, and that it was Deirdre. To be honest, this was a most fitting outcome, as we had really yet to see Ken struggle in the aftermath of her death, and I think it is important and natural that he show some signs of this.

After wishing Roy and Cathy well, and hitting Audrey with a bitter “he’s all yours”, Nessa makes her departure. Although her time on the street was short, and while I couldn’t say I liked her per se, I felt Nessa brought a quirky vibrancy to proceedings and found her brass neck to be somewhat entertaining. Perhaps the fact that she found herself at odds with Ken, Audrey and Roy, three extremely popular stalwarts, as well as the lovely Cathy, may not have endeared her. There was also her deviousness and depravity, two traits of which Corrie fans have had more than their fair share at this point. Nevertheless, while there might be some who won’t miss this character, I wouldn’t mind seeing her on the cobbles again, given the right circumstances.

Kevin’s new-found professionalism suddenly makes the longstanding graffiti on the garage an eyesore, and he calls the council to have it removed. The rather unfortunate outcome is that Maddie’s mural is destroyed. As Kevin apologises, Sophie confesses she no longer thinks of Maddie every day, and her Dad reassures her that that’s okay. Her admission seemed rather hasty to me considering Maddie died just over seven months ago, but then everyone handles grief in different ways.

After Sophie welcomes Kevin’s feelings for Anna, they’re both impressed to learn she has enlisted the help of Craig and Caitlin to paint a new mural. What an excellent character Craig is. He has some sterling traits and it’s great to have a positive young role model on the street. Even Sally’s disdainful comments concerning his art don’t discourage him. I initially thought Craig replied with “I will always defy people,” (which I hope he does when it comes to any detractors) but Alison on Twitter clarified that it was in fact “art will always divide people.” A very mature and respectful response to criticism. Even in the café, Faye felt comfortable asking both Craig and Caitlin what an installation was, and they answered her without derision, and encouraged her to join them. What a pleasure to watch.


Elsewhere, Mary falls for Brendan’s charms and decides taking advantage of Dev’s empty house to consummate their relationship is preferable to a night of budget pub grub. It was heartening to find Dev sticking up for her when Norris went on the attack, but it was similarly impressive to see Norris make a beeline for Brendan to criticise him over his treatment of Mary. It must be remembered, however, that Norris was begrudging her this happiness before he knew Brendan was married.

Over at the factory, Kate’s efforts to talk about the family situation are stonewalled by Carla and Aidan who simply aren’t interested in discussing it. Carla has other crab cakes to fry as Nick tricks her into coming to the Bistro to look at wedding menus with Robert, but she manages to wriggle out of it with the help of pressing factory work. I’m not quite sure how she’s keeping such a secret from Nick. After all, while not the same thing, she wasn’t willing to keep Johnny’s secret for any length. I suppose she did tell Roy earlier in the episode that some secrets are best kept. Robert genuinely looks like he could care less, and after his threatening behaviour towards her during the week, you’d have to believe that’s the case.

In the end, Kevin and Anna finally kiss, and despite my misgivings over the manner in which poor Joanne was dispensed with, the scene itself was rather gripping. All we have to do now is get the popcorn in for when Sally finds out.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

This review was originally published on the Coronation Street Blog.

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