Eileen isn’t impressed with being accused of having the voice of a 40 a day smoker, and reckons she’s nothing compared to Fat Brenda who apparently sounds like Darth Vader when she’s working her magic on the switch. Lloyd reckons the dark lord is better looking though; he’d want to be careful he doesn’t find himself on the wrong side of a Phantom Menace.
It’s all pillow talk at the Rovers where even Michelle’s bed hogging and chattering is more preferable to Steve than the sight of birthday boy Tony at the breakfast table. Jason is similarly irked as he recalls his father being absent on all of his birthdays and doesn’t see why he should celebrate his. Steve may not feel like king of the Rovers, and it may be some time since Tony made Eileen feel like a queen, but both put their frustrations to good use at Streetcars by making cut out paper crowns. They may have been better plumping for a moat and drawbridge however, as his kingdom is invaded by Liz who vents her anger and refuses to be warned off her latest bad boy.
Despite resistance from Jason and Eileen, we’re surprisingly presented with a jolly party in the Rovers in Tony’s honour. Steve, however, announces he’d rather stick pins in his eyes than join the celebrations, and drops a birthday bombshell, telling Tony he doesn’t want him staying over. Tony proves to be the bad boy Steve had suspected as he later warns him not to mess with him, resulting in Steve giving in.
Lloyd confesses to Andrea that things aren’t good between him and Steve since he warned him about getting too serious with her. Andrea calls Steve a "complete twit" for acting jealous and yet denying it.
Fiz has promised to give Roy a bit of space, but it doesn’t last as she infuriatingly continues to speak to him and about him as if he’s a child, and even manages to convince him to allow her accompany him to pick up Hayley’s ashes.
Marcus didn’t see fit to clean Ozzy after he rolled in something unmentionable the day before, yet people apparently approach him in the street to tell him how hygienic he is. Maria reckons she has a good ‘un, but so does Todd who continues to try and tempt Marcus away from her. A trip to the ginnel to warn him off only succeeds in encouraging Todd even more. They don’t go unseen however, as Fiz waits outside the garage for Tyrone. Meanwhile Steph’s brother Luke, having contacted Tyrone to tell him the garage is left open, impresses him further with his experience and knowledge.
It appears Carla isn’t coping in the aftermath of her stepfather’s death, but she breaks down in front of Michelle and confesses to being terrified at the prospect of having a child. She finally takes a test which reveals she is indeed pregnant, but she’s less than happy as she tells Michelle kids aren’t part of her plan; her marriage and the factory are what she lives for. Michelle and Carla’s discussion serves as a realistic debate on differing attitudes and feelings that women genuinely have about the idea of starting a family. The only two questionable parts are Michelle’s suggestion, “You could have a designer baby”, and Carla saying "what he doesn't know won't hurt him" when considering having an abortion without telling Peter. Michelle insists that she tell him, and Carla agrees to do so, but only once she has made her own decision.
Meanwhile Tina pushes Peter to stick to his word and tell Carla about their affair. She’s so heartless about it, she even manages to invoke sympathy for Peter which is some feat. However, after finding Carla upset, he tells Tina he couldn’t do it, leaving her further incensed and threatening to do the job herself.
Maddie’s campaign to charm all she meets with her ignorant behaviour persists; she even attempts to steal vodka from a disgusted Dev as an act of pure defiance. Despite being furious, Sophie is apparently not ready to give up on her. They kiss, but Sophie rejects Maddie’s order to take her to bed. And all this after a protracted argument lasting throughout both episodes. “You don’t get it do you?” asks Sophie, and I’m guessing she’s not the only one.
By Emma Hynes
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