Friday’s Corrie was a hot pot of upset and suffering with grieving Jason, wounded Sean, remorseful Michelle, panic-striken Sarah and paranoid Caz all in various states of distress. Small mercies came in the form of Amy’s relationship advice for Steve and her violin serenade, and Rana’s scant regard for health and safety as the Bistro kitchen played centre stage to yet another relationship drama.
I’m amazed it passed the last health and safety inspection with flying colours, as I imagine it to be awash with stray eyelashes and hair extensions on a permanent basis. Still, it was good to have a bit of excitement afoot, even if Leanne oscillated from ‘are you still here?’ to ‘you really like her, don’t you’ quicker than the time it took for Rana get over her suspicion that there might be a spark between Leanne and Zeedan. I loved Leanne’s hesitation mid-sentence when she told her ‘Oh, please! I’m old enough to be his…his older sister’. In any event, the pair are back together.
From Pat suggesting he buy a Chinese takeaway for Eileen who may not even have been there to hear him, to Leanne’s observations on quinoa, there was plenty of walking into rooms mid-sentence, which always gives me a chuckle.
The award for ‘stars of the show’ were shared between a few nominees. Phelan and Todd as adversaries is one of the greatest ideas in some time and I’m loving every scene they’re in and how the whole thing is playing out. After they help Jason clear out Tony’s flat, Phelan’s eyes light up when he sees the contents of the lock-up, but Jason insists the dodgy goods are binned or go to charity. Pat is left in charge as Jason heads off to the solicitor’s and naturally has other ideas. As he sells the gear for £3,000, Phelan cops that he’s being filmed by Todd.
Unaware of this, Eileen’s once favourite son marches home to show her the footage. Of course Phelan is two steps ahead, and makes out that he found the paperwork and sold the goods for Jason’s benefit to the tune of £2,000 leaving Todd in the bad books and himself in credit by £1,000. Oh, Eileen. Not only does she take the side of a man she’s only just met, she speaks ill of Tony and incurs Jason’s wrath into the bargain.
Todd later apologises to Phelan, but reveals to a proud, then baffled, Billy that it’s all an act so he can stay close to keep an eye on his brother, especially now that Tony has left him £80,000 and some property.
Another star of the show was Gemma. Gulping down everyone else’s leftovers, begging for freebies, suggesting topless barmen and tellies for the Rovers and winking at an increasingly inebriated Jason, she shone like a belisha beacon on a bad estate. After turning Jason down, Eva is horrified to hear him invite Gemma back to his place instead. Not only was Eva’s face a picture and the dialogue from Perrie Balthazar first class, Gemma marching out of the Rovers with Jason like a toy she’d won at a fair was a hilarious sight.
This whole storyline is beautifully orchestrated. Phelan would be at full liberty to see his schemes to fruition from his position at the epicentre of Eileen’s stupidity and Jason’s naivety, only for main obstacle Todd, and whether or not Phelan believes his apology could make or break him. I’m loving every minute of this and long may it continue.
Michelle struggles with her conscience and while a masterclass in forgetting from Carla offered a good window on the thought processes of both women, the advice is not enough for Michelle who breaks down in the middle of Steve’s special dinner. It appears she might tell him the truth until he tells her she saved his life and he’d have nothing without her. Next of all, they’re skipping up the stairs like two deer, and it appears all is well, and Michelle is over her guilt. I’m not sure why Liz looked so shocked to find them en route considering her unsettling bedroom related observations earlier in the week. In any event, she’s delighted to hear they’ve had a long conversation and are putting the past behind them. Does this mean Michelle may have confessed? It wouldn’t be the first time a big reveal happened off screen, and would be the only justifiable reason for the relief and happiness on her face. I guess we’ll never know.
I think Michelle and Steve have sadly been too damaged for me to believe in them any more. Not just because of her tryst with Will, but because I don’t buy it that Steve could be so happy without her in Spain, and then claim she was the reason for his recovery.
On to two more relationships I’m not on board with right now. Firstly, Caz and Kate who try to build bridges with Sophie with a drink in the Rovers. All appears to go well until Kate departs and Caz begs an unsettled Sophie not to take her away from her. While I’d be no fan of Sophie and Kate, I wish she would, as Caz and Kate are not a good match. The second is Billy and Sean. I’ve never thought these a good pairing, and while I can understand Sean’s hurt at Billy’s failure to pay a deposit resulting in them losing a much looked forward to holiday, maybe they need to look at whether or not they should be together at all. I would like to see Sean meet someone suited to him, and while I know the ship has sailed, I always thought Marcus and Billy would have been a great pairing.
Sarah is really struggling now, and is walking the streets with Harry rather than be in the house. She even asks a confused Rana in the medical centre if babies can sense things about buildings they’re in. Kylie is shocked when she later reveals she wants to move out, and tells her she understands while reassuring her that Callum is gone forever. The direction in these scenes, combined with Tina O’Brien’s great performance, was excellent, as medium close-ups ensured a claustrophobic viewing experience, thus allowing us to share a portion at least of the overwhelming feelings which consume Sarah.
Finally, viewers will have spotted some sign language in the Rovers courtesy of signing actors Emma Wilding and Haylie Jones. This was part of Deaf Awareness Week, and great to see Corrie playing their part.
On the whole, these were an enjoyable pair of episodes with some quality writing and performances, and I find myself very much looking forward to what lies ahead, particularly for the Platts and Grimshaws.
This blog was originally published on the Coronation Street Blog.