Between the snow and Liz’s hair tinsel on tonight’s Corrie, you’d be forgiven for thinking Christmas had returned. But no, spring is here, the clocks have gone forward, and Faye is running out of time. Craig agrees to help her have her baby in the flat above the corner shop if she consents to him doing a dry run to the hospital, while Tim’s suspicions that the pair are up to something are put to bed by a delightfully patronising Sally. I’m not sure why Craig’s hold all being nearly robbed at the bus stop put paid to his hospital run, and while I have enjoyed this story so far, particularly the relationship between Craig and Faye, and the performances from both actors, I would have expected mounting anxiety at this point considering how upset she has been of late and the fact that the due date looms.
Fearing competition from a new shop,
is excited to learn from Todd that Tony has sold Jason’s place. She successfully seduces him into Barlow’s Buys and conveniently makes out that she has just spotted the ad for the new business in the paper and knows nothing of Tony’s sale of the house. He sees straight through her and his reaction is one of bemused admiration, leading me to continue to find this pair strangely endearing. Time will tell if he will use the cash to help out debt-ridden Steve, or pump money into a larger premises for Barlow’s Buys. Tracy
Chaos continues at the Platt's where a belligerent
Bethany resists being returned to . Nick continues to glide into every scene like something of a cynical jester, and his demeanour persists even after she throws his
car keys into the garden and makes her bid for freedom. Her attempt at
refuge in Barlow’s Buys falls flat as “traitor” Todd reveals her hiding place. She refuses to go back to Milan
and Nick notes she has now missed her flight; odd considering she only appeared
to be missing for mere seconds from the time she was to depart for the airport. Meanwhile, David brings Max to the park to meet Callum where the latter is happy to make a
passer-by believe he and David are a couple. Gail has had enough of the lot of them and declares she’s off to the
Rovers in the hope that she can bid for a whole new family, indicating that the whole concept
of a butler auction may be lost on her. Milan
Balloons, butchered banners and non-streak tan are the order of the day as Sean whips himself into a frenzy over his big gig. I had hoped to enjoy this event, and while there were amusing moments courtesy of usual suspects Sally and Tim and asides from others, there were sadly too many things which didn't work for me despite my willing it on. The Nazir’s duping Sharif into wearing a dinner suit felt mean spirited, Tyrone explaining that he had gravy all down his back because he simply liked gravy left me puzzled, and Jenny Bradley getting drunk and coming across rather badly was disappointing.
Emily’s concern at the tone of the evening and request to Liz to keep the bad language to a minimum on the basis that it was for the church, had me wondering why they were having the event in a pub and not the underused community centre. I also can't forget that this is a woman who not so long ago revealed that she was a fan of Breaking Bad. Her female church companions, to whom she continually apologised, appeared appalled one minute and were declaring their love for Carry On movies the next. Further, the snide manner in which they spoke about and reacted to Norris was jarring; perhaps they worship at the Sophie Webster
school of christianity.
A bidding war ensues between Mary and Emily for Kal and Sharif, but in true Bargain Hunt style, there is also a phone bidder in the form of Zeedan; a nice touch. Yasmeen has instructed him that they are not to be auctioned to any woman under the age of 70, and apparently has a list of jobs for them. Sean may think he looks like David Dickinson, but Zeedan could do with some lessons from the bobby dazzler, as when Mary bids £40 for the pair, he jumps straight in at £100, securing them for far more than he probably needed to.
The absence of Sophie Webster courtesy of a tummy bug sees her mother conned into participating by a rather unpalatable Jenny; I know Sally has been less than welcoming to her, but Jenny's continued dignity in the face of adversity has been her trump card, and it's a shame to see her show a less than attractive side. In any case, as Sally’s name is chanted from within, an approaching Steve asks “is it a charity auction or a human sacrifice?” and again, I’m laughing. As Jenny, Norris and Gail vie for “her ladyship,” Tim fails to come to the rescue by claiming to be skint before ordering a massive round. Norris, or, “The confused man with the spectacles”, ends up winning Sally’s services with a bid to the tune of £100, placed only to refute the rumour cited by the church ladies about him being a penny pincher.
A throwaway comment from Michelle about being happy with a long engagement sends Steve into a spiral of doubt which culminates in him telling her he can’t marry her on the grounds that he’s doing her a favour.
It’s good to see Leanne, Lloyd and Andrea rally around to offer both Steve and Michelle some much needed support. Michelle decides to show him just how much she wants to marry him by setting up a candlelit meal for two in the back room, but when Steve returns he completely misunderstands the situation, and storms into the bar to accuse Tony of being insensitive by wining and dining Liz while himself and Michelle are suffering. Out of all the one liners that peppered tonight’s hour long episode, Steve’s accusation that Tony was hosting a “Barry White sex party” saw me burst out laughing despite my incredulity at the inexplicable conclusion Steve had jumped to. In any event, the result was a rather moving public proposal by Michelle to plenty of oohs and aahs from the bar.
Based on her deplorable track record when it comes to her treatment of Steve, I never thought I'd want to see him marry Michelle, but she has learned some hard lessons in recent times, and appears to have changed for the better. I hope her transformation lasts and I look forward to seeing them support one another in the times ahead.
By Emma Hynes
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License