Teflon Totty and the Battle for Hastings

22.01.16Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 22 January 2016

It’s great to see the matricidal Alex back, from whom we learn that Nessa already has a new man. On hearing about his difficulty finding work, Roy offers him a job at the café while he’s away.

After much bickering on the part of the Connors and grimacing on the part of Nick, “Teflon totty” Carla finally wakes up in time to see Roy before he departs for Hastings. I actually thought he had left in last Friday’s episode, such was the quality of his farewell. It was far more fitting than the one tonight in which he barely said goodbye to Cathy, and was hastily rushed out of the ward to catch his train, making me wonder if, for some reason, the scenes had been switched.

The confessions, confidences and collusions with regard to what went on at the Bistro required some concentration tonight, so here goes.

Weatherfield police have their top brass on the case as they interview all staff, and discover Tracy’s phone in the kitchen. Amy playing her violin proves an irritant in more ways than one for Tracy as it is her screensaver of exactly that which leads the police to number 1. Tracy admits that she was there to surprise Robert, but left before the robbery, and saw nothing.

Meanwhile, Robert is perplexed to learn about the phone from Leanne and, denying all knowledge, adds that he may have taken it by accident and left it there without realising. On confronting Tracy, she tells him what she told the police, but adds that she saw Carla drinking alone and left as the robbers came in, omitting to reveal the full extent of what she knows. She’s angry to find him annoyed at her for not doing anything to save Carla.

I did find it peculiar that Robert persisted with the story that he had brought Tracy’s phone to the Bistro by accident when Leanne challenged him a second time, especially when he knew at this point that Tracy had admitted to the police that she was there. Then again, this was an episode in which Sean Tully corrected Ken Barlow concerning a quote by Oscar Wilde which learned Ken quite improbably attributed to Chairman Mao.

Leanne continues to voice her suspicions, this time to Nick, and wonders why both Tracy and Carla were in, what she believes to be, an otherwise empty Bistro. Carla becomes distressed when Nick later asks what she was doing there, and she apologises for messing everything up again.

Meanwhile, Tracy tells all to Todd, who is taken aback in a rather impressively measured way, before swearing to make Carla pay for what she’s done. How many times is this now?

22.01.161I’ve decided I’m going to abstain from voting on Sally’s foray into politics for now, and see how things pan out. Her obliviousness to the necessity for policies, and scant knowledge of both parties and politics itself is remedied by some light reading, and leads her to conclude that she’ll stand as an independent. With Tim on research, Ken as her somewhat reluctant campaign manager, and Sophie on social media, I think we’re in for a bumpy ride.

I find Sally’s enthusiasm for this very endearing, and while it’s clearly being played for laughs, I would genuinely like to see her succeed at it. While her snobbery sees her look down her nose at others, there is a difference between this and the manner in which she’s disrespected in, for example, the factory. Here’s to Sally finally fulfilling her potential at something she excels at. If the storyline takes this route, only then will it get my vote.

Phelan’s chip-sacrificing, car-stopping heroics had me suspicious as to what he might be up to, and I’m even more curious after tonight. Realising Kevin is being overcharged by foreman Ron, he tips him off via Jason, winning brownie points all round. Except, of course, with Anna, who is naturally very upset at his return and the fact that he has gained Kev’s respect. She’s about to reveal the truth about her relationship with Phelan when it becomes apparent that he has already iterated a version to Kevin. Worse still, Kev is more than happy to soak up Phelan’s side of the story and is unwilling to hear hers. A bit disappointing really considering he knows him all of a few days, but unsurprising; it’s not long since he believed the newly returned Jenny Bradley over his own daughter. Anna and Kevin make up in the end, but when he says “You can grit your teeth for three weeks can’t you?” it brought me back to that seedy hotel room when she had to do just that for the sake of her family.

Finally, Rita’s tablet proves the perfect rejuvenating pill as she’s excited to be back in touch with old friends. It’s only right that the residents of Weatherfield embrace technology, but may their face-to-face conversations never run dry.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

Originally published on the Coronation Street Blog.

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