Tracy refuses to go to work in order to punish Rob but, as Deirdre sees it, he may realise he likes life without her if she stays away. She doesn’t consider a kiss serious enough to spoil everything they have, which is food for thought for Tracy who acknowledges they have had some great times, but is still unsure.
Carla drops into Barlow's Buys to see Rob who doesn’t want to be told that it was never going to work between him and Tracy, and that he’s better off without her. Wishing to take full advantage of their discord, Carla hatches a matchmaking plan. She invites Tina and Rob for dinner in the Bistro without letting on the other will be there. Both are unimpressed when they arrive at the restaurant, but stay for dinner. It’s quite a table for Tina to be at considering Peter is there too, but she appears unfazed.
Carla asks what they can do to persuade her not to return to London, to which Peter replies suggestively, anything can happen in a few days. Unfortunately for Rob, Tracy and Deirdre arrive and naturally perceive a double date. Furious Tracy storms out, wanting nothing to do with him. Rob, disgusted, thanks Carla for meddling, and acknowledges that Tracy had every right to be mad.
Owen tells an excited Faye she can have everything her heart desires once the mill is converted to apartments, but Anna remains sceptical about Phelan. Gary appears to see their transition from enemies to business partners as a source of amusement, but the smile is on the other side of Owen’s face when he learns that Phelan has failed to deposit £120k to his account.
Unable to get Phelan on the phone, he pays a visit to a suitably cagey Val. “I wish I could help” she proffers unconvincingly as she plays dumb concerning both the money and her husband’s whereabouts. Back home, Owen tells Anna what we’ve all been thinking; he was crazy to get involved with Phelan and a fool to think he had changed. Anna is stunned to learn from Owen that he has already signed contracts, and that they stand to lose their home if he can’t pay back the loan.
Clear your calendars, Richie de Vries is back in town, which hails the return of the notional Dennis – Gloria – Rita love triangle. There’s a gig in 48 hours and an urgent meeting is required. “Get young Gloria along” insists Richie. It may be wry of Rita to question the use of that particular adjective to describe Marianne Unfaithful, but the hurt on her face when Dennis absent mindedly sneers that Gloria is younger than her, evokes sympathy. His insistence that she join them appears driven only by the need to make up for his insensitivity.
While she has been deplorable in recent times in demeaning and failing to support Dennis, she is treated unfairly by Gloria who makes little of her in front of Richie, accuses her of being afraid to leave Dennis alone with her while doing nothing to reassure her, and implies that she’s too old to appreciate the music, favouring Doris Day and the Beverley Sisters. When she understandably won’t acquiesce to Dennis’ request to set up an office in their spare room, Gloria immediately offers hers, and it’s all too much for Rita who announces, “I should never have come”.
Michelle quizzes Steve as to why he was so reluctant to give Andrea’s number to Lloyd, and wants to know how he’d feel if it became serious between them. He reckons he’d be “dead chuffed”, but his expression says otherwise.
As Lloyd describes his first date shirt, Steve tells him Andrea won’t be impressed by it. As Eileen casually flicks through her magazine, eyes down, she calmly suggests Steve offer Lloyd some tips. “You’re wasting your time” is his sole piece of advice, as Andrea apparently likes intelligent men and expects good conversation. “We know someone really clever” quips Eileen as she languidly turns the pages. I normally dislike Steve’s treatment at the hands of this pair when they turn unnecessarily nasty, but his poor attempt at putting Lloyd off, without offering any remotely valid reasons, does deserve a bit of chiding.
Andrea insists on going to the Rovers to say hi to Steve and Michelle which is odd for a first date, but may indicate where her true feelings lie. Indeed, she seems delighted to hear of Steve’s efforts to put Lloyd off. After they leave, Michelle and Eileen tell Steve they think Andrea is trouble, and apparently know “women like her”. The reality is of course that Andrea is affable, likeable and genuinely considerate, and “women like her” are a welcome sight on the street.
By Emma Hynes
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