The Barlows - Coronation StreetCoronation Street double episode review, Friday 31 March 2017.

Well, Coronation Street Blog readers, it has been a few weeks since I’ve brought you my thoughts on Friday’s double Corrie. Coming back from holidays is never easy, but one consolation was catching up on every episode of Coronation Street since the 8th of March in one sitting. Ooh it has been good, hasn’t it? The Barlow-centric drama continues to play out with the absorption of those in their orbit including Phelan, Todd and Sinead. Of course, we are now in the midst of an unprecedented ‘whodunit’ after it transpires Ken didn’t fall down the stairs, but was pushed after an altercation.

Friday’s double was full of shifty looks and suspicious side glances, not least from DS MacKinnon, as Ken remained unconscious and the police interviewed each of his adult offspring. As we all put our theories forward as to who the guilty party might be, it seemed that this was the one occasion when Pat Phelan, despite being found standing over Ken, could actually be innocent. Indeed, as he was promptly arrested, it seemed all too easy.

It was a tad questionable that Weathie police would rely on Ken’s broken watch to indicate what time his attempted murder occurred; forensics anyone? Another development which surprised me was Daniel welcoming Sinead to the hospital and waving off her abortion as not mattering any more. He was so devastated by what to him was clearly a huge betrayal, I would’ve thought it unlikely that he could get past it so easily.

Todd’s hoax haunting of Pat in Luke’s flat wasn’t only thoroughly enjoyable, but would lead to a moral dilemma. Yes, Todd’s video recording gives Phelan his much needed alibi, and after a battle with his conscience, he decides he has to hand over the footage which sees Pat walk free, and everyone else back in the frame. I love the interesting dynamic between Todd and Phelan and always welcome relationships on the street with such intricacies. As Pat delivers the news to the family that he’s in the clear, Peter receives a call from the hospital to say they’ll be bringing Ken out from under sedation in the morning, resulting in uncomfortable looks galore as smug Phelan declares that they might now find out who tried to kill Ken.

If Pat being the culprit seemed too straightforward, I feel the same about Adam and his ‘no comment’ interview with the police complete with facial bruising. My feeling, and it’s only a hunch, is that it’s someone outside of the Barlow clan, but the question is, who? In any event, I’m loving the fact that none of us know who it is and have the pleasure of guessing, while being treated to some great drama and performances in the process.

An unrelated Barlow development is that Peter and Toyah have reconciled. As much as I love Peter, and think Toyah has more yet to bring to the street, I’m still not sold on them as a couple. His clear temptation with Chloe, and the fact that Toyah rather heartlessly duped Toby yet again on foot of her obsession with having children, doesn’t bode well.

Sally and Jenny's radio interview - Coronation Street
Speaking of strong performances, Sally Dynevor was marvellous as her character fell victim to an extremely cruel hoax. After being interviewed about her experience of surviving breast cancer for a radio station doing a feature on mastectomy bras, someone rings Sally at home purporting to be from Weatherfield General to tell her there has been a mistake with her recent mammogram, and her cancer has returned. As she comes to terms with the news, and Tim comforts her, Rosie and Sophie burst in to reveal it’s a prank which has been posted to social media. We all know Rosie isn’t the brightest spark, but the fact that it’s on the internet in the culprit’s actual voice makes her claim, that it will be impossible to trace the phone number, a tad redundant.
It transpires that Sally has been the victim of online abuse for some time now, and Tim is furious. He doesn’t have much faith after a call to the police and resolves to make it stop. With social media trolling and bullying so prevalent, it’s important that such experiences are reflected if they are occurring in the day to day lives of Corrie characters, even if it was dreadful to see Sally go through that. The dignity of her radio interview, her reaction to the phone call, and the realisation that it is a hoax, serves to humanise the impact of such terrible behaviour.
As Brian attempts to hide his experimental theatre trip with Cathy from Roy, you’d think someone as passionate and experienced as he is in environmental matters might be able to bluff a bit better about the carbon emissions talk he purported to have attended. Negotiating this tricky territory with Roy is all too awkward for Brian who turns down Cathy’s next invite as a result, but his tissue of lies comes a cropper when she tells Roy the truth about their evening together. Roy interprets it as friendship when giving Brian his blessing, and the lily-livered former headmaster does nothing to correct him. A later encounter between Brian and Cathy in the kebab shop, however, indicates it may not be too long before they enlighten Roy further.

Ooh that Jennybradley is a devious one. Not only does she have the factory girls designing her wedding frock on company time, but at Johnny’s suggestion that she choose one special consultant, she selects Eva, if only to make Aidan squirm. And squirm he does.

It was great to see Audrey back, even if she managed to rub firm favourite Luke up the wrong way in the first thirty seconds.
Elsewhere, Fiz’s massage skills might just earn her more than a cream horn as she signs up for a course at the prospect of charging £50 an hour for her services. There is also relief chez Kevin after he talks Rosie out of a glamour shoot designed to save him from bankruptcy; although if it’s only £3,000 he needs, maybe he should swap the car oil for the scented variety and go into business with Fiz.
By Emma Hynes

Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes
This review also appears on the Coronation Street Blog.

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