Sunday, 22 March 2015

Deception Street

(Reposted from State of the Street with permission)

What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Yep. That pretty much sums up the mess that Andy Carver's in. He was unemployed, skint and a bit lonely. His flatmate and childhood friend, Gavin Rodwell had dumped his own fiance,  stolen Andy's girlfriend and gone traveling. The bills were mounting up. He and Gavin had often competed to see whose dad was more rubbish and Gavin usually won through force of personality if nothing else. When a reconciliation letter popped through the letterbox one day, addressed to Gavin and from his father, Michael, Andy was intrigued.  He thought he'd meet the man, pretend to be Gavin, and find out of all the stories were true.

While he was in a sticky spot financially, he wasn't intending to rip off Michael for any major cash though thought he might cadge a tenner or two or a free pint. He didn't intend to be pulled in by Michael's sincerity and pleasure at finally getting a chance to make things up with his son, the lad he'd left behind when he walked out on his wife all those years ago. He felt sympathy with Michael's regrets and his genetic heart condition that had spurred on his quest to find his son. He didn't intend for the pretense to go very far. But Andy found himself drawn to the man and liking him quite a bit. He got slotted into a much-needed job in the Bistro even though he really had no experience (the real Gavin did). He even got a great new girlfriend, Steph.

The longer the guise went on, the harder it was to reveal the truth. We found out pretty early that "Gavin" was not "Gavin" but Andy and that Andy felt guilty about the situation. It was a couple of months before Steph found out the truth but though she insisted he come clean, it turned out that was impossible.

He nearly did it, he went to see Michael and was going to confess, but Steph stopped him before he could, because Michael's medical condition had worsened and the shock could kill him. Oh great. What next? Andy's former girlfriend shows up but he managed to wiggle out of that one by staging a row with Steph over it. Even after Michael's heart operation, the truth had to stay in the closet until the results were determined and those results weren't very good. Michael now needs a heart transplant.  All stress had to be avoided.

The mire got deeper. The web got more tangled. Michael and Gail were getting married and Andy would be best man. By now, he was growing to love Michael and the new family Michael had gathered, the Platts. They may have their crises and they certainly have their faults, but they were a strong little family unit, more of a family than Andy had had before and they all pulled together when it mattered. As wrong as it would be to continue the... let's face it...identity theft and fraud, maybe, just maybe he could get away it it until Michael's health was better.

But wait! Wouldn't you know it? The real Gavin Rodwell finally shows up, just as we all knew he would someday. Perfect timing, too, on the eve of Gail and Michael's wedding. And he proved himself to be a bit of a wrong'un, also as we all thought he would be. He had to be, to contrast with the lovely Andy who, fraud and impersonation aside, is a very nice guy.

Gavin wasn't very happy with what his mate has done and you can't blame him for that. But rather than immediately reveal the truth to all and sundry, with probable dire consequences for Michael's health (which wouldn't have bothered Gavin) or go to the police, he decides to blackmail Andy. Pay up and I'll shut up. Since Andy couldn't raise all the money, Gavin shows up on Gail's doorstep on her wedding day and now she knows the truth. To save Michael from the shock, she paid Gavin off the remainder but missed her wedding because of it. 

Except Karma is a bitch. And the next layer of the onion/storyline is revealed when Gavin died suddenly, very shortly after Gail passed over the cash. Too bad it wasn't a cheque, he likely wouldn't have had time to cash it!  It first appeared to be a drink driving car crash but, no, it was actually a heart attack. Remember the genetic heart condition?  That was the other reason he needed to get hold of his son, so that he could be tested. Andy did tell Gavin this and so did Gail but Gavin either didn't believe him or hadn't had the chance to get checked out before it was too late. Irony, thy name is Rodwell.

I have been loving this storyline. I always loved Gail's family (always the Platts to me no matter what her last name-du-jour is). I like Michael a lot, as well. Some people find him weak and soppy and pathetic. I know he's not a strong man, but Corrie men rarely are. Michael Rodwell is a kind and sweet man. He is emotional and generous and he's got a lot of regrets in his life. I think he's a really good match for Gail who deserves a good man after all the cads she's been with.  They're going to get married and I really hope she's not going to be a widow again. With Michael's dicky ticker, it's a distinct possibility. It's getting to be utterly absurd that almost every man she's ever married has died.

I love how this storyline has unfolded in layers and twists. The first one was the surprise that Gavin wasn't really Gavin. The viewer then knew for a couple of months before the truth was revealed to Steph and we watched Andy become more and more involved and more and more uncomfortable in various situations. The actor playing RealGavin was superb, too. He really projected Gavin's anger and bitterness believably and was far more believable as a villainous character than Callum, a drug dealer who should be equally scary in his own way but isn't. (Though I do like his touch of the occasional sniff, as if to imply he's got a cocaine habit, but nope, still not scary.)

This most recent twist, with Gavin dying of the same heart condition that Michael has is brilliant as the plot device to move this to the next phase. Little by little, more people will find out who Andy is and Michael will probably be the last to know. Whether the shock is going to kill him or not remains to be seen.  He'll be devastated, not only to find out the truth but that his loved ones didn't tell him, even if it was for his health. (don't click here if you don't want to know who finds out next).

The last storyline that had this many twists and turns was the John Stape/Colin Fishwick saga which was funny and dark and ludicrous at times but very enjoyable. I don't know how this will end. Will the shock of it all kill Michael? Will he get a transplant before he finds out? What about Andy? Will the reveal mean he's going to leave us? I hope not. I like he and Steph together but he's sure gonna have a lot of 'splaining to do.

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Anonymous said...

Michael will have every right to be furious and hurt when he finds out that the perpetually stupid Gail has been hiding Andy's secret from him.

Something tells me Michael will have more sympathy for Andy, once he realizes that he continued the lie because he genuinely liked Michael and didn't want to let him down... and because Gail ordered him to because Michael was just guaranteed to drop dead if someone told him the flaming truth!

Laura said...

Really great write-up of this plot line, one that I have been enjoying as well and which I'm excited to see what happens next in.

I really hope Andy is able to stay after the truth comes out. He's a good guy who made a very bad mistake - something Michael should be familiar with.

However, after Michael's reaction when Gail was late for the first wedding, I don't have much hope for Andy and Michael's relationship. Let's be real, if Gail had been having second thoughts about marrying the man who once tried to rob her, would that have been so odd? I would have expected Michael to be more dejected at her seeming rejection, particularly since it would have been in keeping with his timid demeanor (running away when they first kissed, running away and apologizing when he first proposed, etc.).

That anger was definitely a foreshadowing of what's to come. I don't think Michael will be able to get over the idea that if he hadn't been duped by Andy he might have been able to talk Gavin around and save his life.

Rebecca said...

I have mostly liked this plot line, but it's been dragged out a bit too long for me now. Like Laura said, Andy is overall a good guy who made a big mistake by pretending to be Gavin, but Michael seems to be a generally good guy who had also made some pretty big mistakes. I hope in the end they realize they're more alike and have developed a fondness for each other and continue on as though they really are family.

I think the casting department missed the boat on Callum -- Real Gavin is a much better actor and would have made a great long term baddie! He's got the same sort of menacing presence Jez Quiggly (my all time favourite Corrie villain) had.

chartreuse said...

Unless Michael also loses his memory he will remember what Gavin was like on the handfull of occasions that their paths crossed, I do not have the comments in a neat loop but in my head he was always trying to get away from Gavin and asking Andy why he had anything to do with him. The idea that in the 2 weeks (?) he could have got close enough to this negative being to get him to be tested when others (who he did not hate!!) were not able to do so - well that would be very unlikely. I think he will have sympathy for Andy. Few people can resist being liked!

Beth said...

Great synopsis of the plot. I'm loving this storyline as it has so many twists and turns and many layers. This is what I loved about the Richard Hillman and Alan Bradley stories. They both simmered over time like this one and were different.

I hope that Andy stays around, he's a likeable character and there's not many of those around. Strip away the 'lie' and he's just a regular Joe and we need more of those. I hope that Michael can see that he really cares for him much more than his dastardly real son. After all he didn't mean dreadful harm and it just spiraled out of control and he is very sorry. If Michael didn't have a bad heart it wouldn't have gone on this long.

The street is pretty ok for Callum, the drug dealer to stay and Tracy the murderer to stay so I hope it's ok for Andy the liar the stay. Worse have stayed and been redeemed. Worse have stayed and have not.

I know we are having the Platt's shoved in our faces and that's where I have the Bethany and Sarah Louise returning a problem. Especially right now with Callum/ Max and David also on the go. It's no wonder we are saturated. Did the two returning from Milan have to come now?!

One thing for sure, Mr Blackburn loves the Platt Family!

Frosty the Snowman said...

Frosty thought that Gavin would have his heart transplanted into Michael and they would find out from the blood group that they were related but he was wrong which is very rare. No truer saying about the tangled web and that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I am not a fan of Gail and she and Andy (and Steph) have behaved like idiots but they did it for the best of reasons and they really care about. Michael needs to be sat down and gently told the truth as its going to come out soon anyway. Although Michael and his moaning get on my nerves, I wouldnt want to see his character killed off yet.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Good write-up definitely, but I must be watching another storyline. Comparing it to the Stape saga about sums it up. The Stape story was funny, although not everyone thought so, with some great lines (Half woman, half pistachio). Michael and co aren't meant to be funny so I find the twists and turns are getting boring. What would be a good twist is if Michael goes completely ballistic after the reveal and Gail realises that the real Gavin may have had a point.

Anonymous said...

Well, seeing that Gavin died of a heart attack, I doubt they would've transplanted that dodgy ticker into anyone.

abbyk said...

We have seen where the acting son is better family than the biological son with Tyrone and the Duckworths. Andy has, in a brief time, has shown kindness to Michael, while Gavin was seen to be nasty. If he gets his transplant, Michael will be furious at missing out on knowing the real Gavin but will eventually realize he didn't miss much and has the chance to have a father son relationship with someone who actually likes him. It worked for Jack Duckworth.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that there hasn't been (as far as I recall, anyway) any mention of Andy's real family. Are his parents dead? Does he have any siblings?

Anonymous said...

Oops, I missed the line about Andy and Gavin competing to see whose dad was more rubbish. But we still don't know where Andy's family is now and whether he has a relationship with any of them.

Anonymous said...

Although I do like Andy,he is committing identity fraud and to have him stay one without any consquences would in my opinion seems as though it's 'okay' to do if you're a nice person.

Hilda's Murial said...

Where's all the cash?

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