A warm welcome awaits Kevin on his return to the street, but tension abounds as Tim and Tyrone both have their reasons for dreading it. In a landmark comparison, Jason tells Tim he sees Kevin and Sally as resembling Burton and Taylor; always breaking up and getting back together, but disgruntled Tim settles for Bert and Ernie. Tyrone finally agrees to give Luke a trial from Monday, but he could really have done with the help before Kevin’s return. He also agrees to let Kevin stay with him and Fiz.
Having had his luggage robbed on the street within minutes of his arrival, Kevin has burglars on his mind when he enters Sally’s house and finds Tim fiddling with the television. He attacks him and drags him outside, shouting to approaching Sally to call the police before she angrily sets him straight. Rather than needing A&E, Kevin reckons drama school would be more appropriate for Tim, and so the rivalry begins. Comic line of the night comes when Kev says Tim will be fine with a bag of frozen peas, Sally reckons she’s got some petit pois in the fridge, and Tim tells her “peas will be fine love, honest”.
Where fictional characters are concerned, it’s essential, no matter how villainous they are, that the viewer cares enough about them to want to know their fate. This is where I struggle with Maddie. Frosty, bad tempered, rude and ungrateful, she does nothing to endear herself to anybody.
After inexplicably packing up and leaving a farewell note, she spies Kevin’s luggage on the street and robs it. But after attempting to flog the stolen goods at Barlow’s Buys, she’s dragged back to Sally’s by Tracy and her latest deed is exposed. “The moral is, don’t take in tramps” asserts Tracy, and while it may be a damning reflection of certain people’s attitudes towards the needy, Maddie is doing absolutely nothing to subvert the stereotype. She shows no remorse, and her non-apology is an insult.
While their relationship has felt somewhat without foundation, perhaps herself and Sophie are actually well suited, as the latter is either sniggering at other people’s misfortunes of late, or being generally insolent and disrespectful. Neither show any gratitude to Sally, and their presumptuousness leaves me indifferent to both of them. “You used to be so straight about right and wrong” cries a baffled Kevin when Sophie practically orders him to forget about the theft. And while Tim has a rare and striking philosophical moment, observing, “Well maybe she’s growing up, seeing the grey”, Kevin’s angry reaction is more what you’d expect in such a situation. Sally agrees to give Maddie one last chance and she has to be prompted to say thank you. Sophie later expresses frustration that she can’t read Maddie and I feel frustration that I can’t read any of it.
Julie’s suggestion that the factory staff raise money for charity by paying homage to Calendar Girls is rejected by Roy who amusingly notes “I don’t think a calendar of naked women, not to mention Sean and Kirk would be right tonally, or indeed aesthetically.” Wanting to be of use, she is consoled by being manipulated by Todd into offering Marcus a room. While he initially turns down her offer, her Glee box set makes him see sense. While Julie is thrilled to have a new “roomie”, Eileen isn’t happy, and laments the “kind, honest, too soft for his own good” boy that used to be her son, telling herself he must be in there somewhere. Marcus approaches Maria to make arrangements regarding Liam, but she informs him that he will no longer be part of the child's life.
Nick and Leanne look uncomfortably on at the “car crash in slo mo” as Stella is knocked back by Kal, but Dev is suitably pleased. Looks between Kal and Leanne foreshadow the inevitable, as he later tells her she’s the one he wants. She is clearly flattered but tells him that while she doesn’t love Nick enough or like she used to, she’s afraid if they got together it would set him back. They both claim to be depressed but at the same time, there’s a frisson of excitement between them.
Kylie tiresomely moans about having kids to look after, how her friend has been living it up in Ibiza, and how she and David never get any proper time together. Their attempt at a bit of afternoon delight in the salon is thwarted by the arrival of Dev who sees more than he bargained for as David arrives out from the back naked, with a line sure to melt any woman’s heart – “So, are we getting it on or what?” In the evening they manage to pawn the kids off on Gail and are nigh on disgusted to see them coming back.
Tina sees evidence enough of Carla’s pain to believe Peter and apologises for doubting him. Even though she’s shocked to hear him coolly tell her they hardly know eachother and that there was never any intimacy of the mind, they still meet up later on and agree to spend Monday together. She promises never to doubt him again and tells him she loves him, but he doesn’t answer. Considering just 2 weeks ago his failure to respond was the reason she gave for not being able to continue with the affair anymore, it’s surprising to find her nonplussed.
By Emma Hynes
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