Written by Joe Turner (epi #1) and Chris Fewtrell (epi #2), directed by David Kester (epi #1), and Tim Dowd & Ian Bevitt (epi #2)
I’m warning you now, this will be a more detailed recap than usual because of the sensationalism involved in these two episodes. I’d hate for anyone to miss out on even one bit! Just a refresher – Tony’s got Hayley and Carla hostage in the factory and has soaked them in petrol and Maria’s just escaped.
Maria runs into the street and finds Roy (the quickest of all people) and tells him what’s going on. You know, instead of pulling the mobile from her pocket and telling THE POLICE! Roy starts over to Underworld and Maria runs into the Rovers and tells Becky what’s happened but Becky’s not sure what’s going on. Steve phones the police (finally!) and Maria tells them what’s happened and all the Rovers staff, plus Ryan, are shocked.
Meanwhile, Carla begs Tony not to do this but Tony just yells “who cast the first stone?” at her until he’s sure she’s heard him. Hayley is just horrified to bits, and then she hears Roy at the front and starts yelling for him. Of course, Tony hears Roy’s voice and heads to the door with his gun. Tony tells Roy through the door that he wants Roy to suffer and he knows exactly how to do it. Tony blames Roy for his going to jail, because that makes tons of sense. Roy begs Tony not to harm Hayley and tells him he’d lay down his life for her. Roy reminds him how Tony saved his life and says he’s a good man but Tony disagrees. Oh, please, after this is all done, PLEASE let Roy not consistently say “he was a good man” when people speak of Tony a la Gail McIntyre. Tony tells Roy it’s time to watch them burn.
Back at the Rovers, Becky wants to make a break for it to save Hayley but Steve stops her. Steve reminds her that Tony’s got a gun and she’s not Wonder Woman. The police tell them to keep a lid on the action since they don’t want people to panic, but Becky tells the entire pub in about 30 seconds flat. The gents on the street go out straight to Underworld. Becky bangs up on on the door when the lads hang back and starts smashing windows. Steve’s afraid he’ll come out with the gun and start shooting people, but Becky’s all fight.
Inside, Tony hears there’s a crowd and starts to pray while Carla tries to beg for Hayley’s life and that she be saved since she’s innocent and repeatedly asks Tony to let Hayley go. Tony cuts Hayley’s binds and duct-tapes her mouth then puts a gun to the back of her head. The police arrive promptly as Becky’s almost got the place knocked down and get everyone to back away from the factory. Suddenly, he opens the door and throws Hayley out onto the step in front of all the onlookers. Phew, Roy can wipe the sweat off his forehead. How could anyone kill Hayley anyway? Tony returns to Carla and says that it began with he and her, and that’s how it’ll end. The police call into Tony and Tony gives him demands – he wants everyone removed from outside the building and for them not to call back. Well, that’s pretty straightforward. Tony takes his time with Carla, even having a drink of scotch at his old desk. Carla tries another strategy – befriending him, but it’s not working. She even tries “I’m sorry” but this seems to anger him more.
Outside, Roy tells Hayley that he loves her more than anything in the world and he plans to spend the rest of his life finding ways to say it and to prove it every single day. The big guns arrive and pile out of the van towards Underworld where Tony currently has the gun to Carla’s terrified mouth, and asks her why she did it. Because she didn’t love you, you idiot! I can’t believe he’s still so angry over her and Liam. If he gets out alive I’m sending this book to his cell: “He’s Just Not That Into You.” Carla continues to plead for her life as Tony continues to torture her. Tony flicks the lighter and throws it on the petrol as the place engulfs in flames and says “it’s over.” Just then Carla, who’s been working on her rope all this time, has gotten free and knocks Tony over the head with her chair. She tries to get away, but he grabs her ankle and pulls her to the ground. Where the H.E.Double.Hockey.Sticks are the police team?! It’s one man with a gun and one hostage! Tony holds onto Carla as he waits for the flames to smoother them.
Outside, Trev comes by and hears what’s going on from Janice and thinks it’s a joke, but it isn’t. Okay, the building now has smoke puffing out from it, and there are snipers and about two dozen police men with guns waiting for Tony to come out. They can’t really believe he intends to come out, can they? As they wait for him, Tony waits for he and Carla to burn. Carla bites his arm and he loosens his grip as she escapes, but he gets her again. I’m no expert, but they probably should have passed out from smoke inhalation at this point. Carla finds the gun on the ground and aims it for Tony and gets him in the shoulder looking very Lara Croft when doing so. Becky might not be Wonder Woman, but Carla just might be! Saving hostages, getting the bad guys, looking good – this is the stuff heroes are made of. Carla’s got the gun on him again, and she hesitates and runs up the stairs looking for a way to escape. Maybe she can get the through the hole in the roof that the water was coming through? Carla jumps off the balcony upstairs into a pile of knicker boxes just as the firemen bust their way in. They really should have been there about five minutes ago – only saying. Carla manages to get up and run out of the burning factory into Trev’s arms. Tony looks outside at everyone stood there, and returns back to the burning inferno and then at that moment, it explodes. Oh folks, I think this is the end of Tony Gordon. The first explosion was followed by several more as everyone gets covered in debris as they flee the scene. Carla only looks on as her life, or what’s left of it, goes up in smoke.
If Underworld weren’t already dead, the fire put the final nail in that coffin. At least for now, that is. The fire staff clean up the mess the next morning, as Carla lays in hospital and Hayley is safe at home where she tries to be normal. The factory girls overlook their previous place of business and Fiz and Janice go find “Blondie” aka Nick Tilsley to see where they stand. The hazmat teams arrives, and two body bags are carried from Underworld. I think it’s safe to assume that the two bodies are that of Robbie and Tony. Wouldn’t it be crazy if Tony threw a “faux” dead body into the factory when he first arrived with the plan of escaping and faking his own death so he’d be a free man? They wouldn’t be able to properly identify the body since it’s so badly charred and all. He’s certainly smarter than Joe McIntyre if he were to fake his own death. If I were Maria, I’d be checking around hospitals for a man who entered with a shoulder wound. In hospital, Carla is recuperating and Nick calls her about their meeting with Paul Stokes. Is work all this guy can think about? No business partner, no factory, no employees, no nothing!
The police come to Carla’s hospital room and tells her that since he fired the weapon on Tony, and though it wasn’t the cause of death they’re still treating it as assault. Seriously? What about self-defence, or does that have to be proven in court? Trev assures her that she’ll be innocent either way, so not to worry about it. Carla gets out of the hospital and wants to see Maria before she goes back to Ireland first, then back to the flat. If Carla didn’t have Trev there, who would be the one taking care of her? Poor lonely Carla, I wonder if she’ll become an alcoholic or something after this.
Maria’s preparing herself to fly back to Ireland, even though Michelle tells her she can stay there for as long as she likes. Maria tells Kirk that she’s spoken to Audrey has has rented the salon flat for him and has already paid three months in advance. Maria tells him that’s where her and Liam will be staying when they come for visits too. Somewhere on the street, the Peacocks are sighing relief. Maria assures Michelle and Kirk that Weatherfield is still her home regardless of what’s happened. Sorry, to some fans who won’t be happy about that! Maria goes over to the wreck to survey the mess, and Carla meets her there. Carla tells Maria that she’s sorry for what she did, but Maria tells her not to. Carla asks Maria if it’d be easier for her if she moved away and Maria says she isn’t going to forgive her, but she’s paid so she won’t be bearing a grudge either. So, in Maria’s case it’s “forget, but don’t forgive” as opposed to the usual other way around. Maria’s taxi arrives as Carla wishes her a safe trip, Maria gives her a pat on the arm and leaves.
Now, for the other big bit of suspense this week – Gail’s verdict. Gail gets some moral support from her cellmate about being positive. Gail’s solicitor tries to give her hope too saying he’s seen people in stickier situations walk out free. There is a lot of deliberation as the Plattilsley’s and the McIntyreshaw’s, and the rest of the peanut gallery wait anxiously. They finally get called in and are ready for the verdict, but we’ll have to wait until next time folks!
Meanwhile, Chesney’s been studying for his exams and is really keen on business studies since it makes more sense in the real world than does literature or other subjects. John tells him that he could learn more about life from literature than any spreadsheet. Oh, who’s really taking advice, never mind CAREER advice from this fool? Chesney’s being very secretive lately regarding his items, but Fiz isn’t suspicious yet since she thinks he’s just being more grown up and taking care of his own washing now. John figures Chesney doesn’t want Fiz in his room because of the literature he DOES like, you know, the page 6 kind.
Izzy’s at the pub drowning pints over her drowned career (well, burned, but you know). Izzy asks Gary when he’s back to Afghanistan and asks if he’s frightened. He says he is, but after these last few nights on the street he feels almost safer there. Gary asks after Kirk, and Izzy wonders why he’s so interested. At that moment, an older gentleman walks in, who obviously knows Izzy, and asks her where she’s been. She’s not happy to see him and wonders when he’s going to get the message. Who could this mystery man be?
- The police arriving quite quickly, although there should probably be a station on the street at this point.
- Tony for having mercy on Hayley – she was completely innocent! At least he’s not that cold-hearted. Then, him figuring that saving the life of a Cropper will give him an upgrade to purgatory from hell. Oh, cause that’s where we want him – haunting us all!
- Roy professing his undying love to Hayley. All together now: Awwwwwwwe!!!
- Hayley telling Roy she’d rather talk about “The Flying Scotsman” (train) than “The Lying Scotsman” (Tony). It’s never too early for humour.
- First it’s “Max Headroom” and now it’s “Blondie.” Janice has got the best nicknames for NuNick and I hope they keep coming! Every episode there should be a new one.
- Did anyone else notice the extremely low-cut blouse that Gail was wearing? I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear anything less than high-necks! Maybe she figures it could be her last day to dress nice, may as well go for the gusto!
- Maria finding a flat for Kirkeh to live in – above the salon. Wasn’t that nice? Amidst all of this she still finds time to help out her hapless bro.
- I love the fact that Gail’s detectives (my faves!) showed up to her court meeting. I really wish the younger one could be perm on the street – maybe a new man for Fiz once John disappears forever (hopefuly!).
- Why didn’t Maria call the police ASAP the second she got out of the factory? They’d have been there a lot sooner!
- Poor Hayley for going through all of this, she didn’t even do anything! She didn’t even get to sleep with Liam for all her Tony harassment. Not that Carla deserves it, but you know.
- Gawd, I felt sorry for Carla too. Carla’s life on Coronation has basically been one big horror story if you think about it. Philandering husband (Paul), who cheats on her with a prossie, then he dies, then she falls in love with someone else, only for him to die and her to marry his murderer. The murderer haunts her until she takes him to justice, only for her to abduct her and almost murder her after she’s lost the only thing left in her life: the factory. Now he’s finally dead, but will that be the end of Carla’s little life of horrors? Nope, she’s getting arrested for assault on Tony now for shooting him in the shoulder in self-defence.
- Kirk wondering if his wagonwheels survived the fire. Seriously?! Oh, then he sees a police officer eating a wagonwheel later and does a double-take. Oh Kirk, every village has one!
- As I watch these episodes, it becomes increasingly clearer (if it wasn’t already) why ITV chose not to air them last week because of the shootings in Cumbria. So, highlight for ITV’s discretion, but big lowlight for the whole situation.