Saturday, 11 April 2015

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 10 April 2015

It’s a worry when Tracy Barlow claims to have your best interests at heart, but Tony can’t deny he’s fulfilling the role of doormat at the Rovers after agreeing to pay for Steve and Michelle’s wedding, and allowing Liz to take the credit on the basis that Steve must be kept happy at all costs. Tracy ensures Tony knows she’s on his side while convincing him that he is being used and Steve will always come first. Tony paying for this wedding seems implausible to me, and more of a plot device to push him further into Tracy’s arms.

Meanwhile Todd is online pretending to be Jeff from Dubai, but he isn’t so distracted as to miss Tony and Tracy kissing in Barlow’s Buys. He tricks her into a confession by warning her to be careful, and while he secures a raise for his trust, he’s clever enough to know not to push her too far. I know from reading the blog that Todd is a lost cause as far as many are concerned, but he’s still a character that intrigues me.

Audrey engages in a lighter deception as she consults study notes on Anna Karenina. However, her borrowed remarks on the novel prove too insightful and she’s unable to back them up. Spotting her notes, Ken draws the matter down and she admits to not having read it. As he apologises for being presumptuous regarding what constitutes good literature, I was hoping she’d lend him one of her books, but alas she was so relieved to have confessed, that Ken’s encounter with Slender Hearts Run Free is a romance which must remain in my own head. I must say, I've enjoyed this little vignette; more than Norris' interminable parcel delivery anyway.

Even less enjoyable is Carla at her worst. As tensions fray between Alya and Sally, she orders the latter to “go do what you’re good at, stick the kettle on” and proves very condescending over her efforts to fix Alya’s laptop even though not days ago she had to go running to Nick when her own broke. She offers to buy Alya dinner in the Bistro purely to annoy Sally before tossing paper at her and ordering her to file it. I do like Carla, but not this side of her. She’s not impressed when Alya stands her up, but claiming she’s missed the “chance of a lifetime” might be pushing it. In any event, this allows Nick to dine with her and tell her how attractive she is. I’m still not sure about a relationship between these two, and their connection seems to have arisen out of nowhere.

As the Windass's await a visit from social worker Carol, Ellie Leach continues to excel as Faye escapes to the corner shop for a heart to heart with Sophie, revealing that the baby means nothing to her and she wishes it would all go away. Sophie encourages her to tell Anna and while she doesn’t betray her confidence, she does let Owen know that all is not well. With the meeting underway, it’s frustrating to hear Anna do all the talking and appear intent on keeping the baby without any discussion. Owen is right to encourage her to let Faye speak for herself, and together with Carol, Tim and Gary he seems more astute than Anna as Faye weakly says of her daughter, “I love her, everyone loves babies don’t they?” It takes Owen to ask her directly if she wants to bring the baby up herself and she eventually gives in and says she can’t, that she wants it to go to someone else and for everything to go back to normal. Anna is stunned and glares at Owen who appears to be to blame for everything, even though he has Faye’s best interests at heart and commends her for her bravery. The social worker tells her not to fret and assures her they’ll work out what the best decision is for her and the baby.

Gary takes Faye out and looks after her during a deplorable encounter with Tracy Barlow in which she tells both to sell their stories to magazines for cash, declaring, “I thought I’d eaten too many burgers but it turned out to be a baby; I left my disabled wife and became a thief” This reminded me of a very infuriating scene, also involving Tracy, in which she cruelly mocked Hayley on her last trip around the Street to say her goodbyes. I was furious over this entirely unwelcome and unnecessary encounter, and I feel the same about this one involving Faye. Yes, Tracy is a nasty individual, but she is a work of fiction who writers have ultimate control over, and certain occasions and characters should be spared her bile. Faye's scenes with Gary and Alya were far more welcome. Her talk of her likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams with regard to fashion and her visit from a sympathetic Yasmeen were wonderful and further showed up the unwelcome scene for what it was.

Meanwhile an almighty row erupts between Anna and Owen in which she accuses him of undermining her, and he says she’s thinking of herself and not Faye. Insults and resentment fly as Gary, Izzy, Katie, Linda and even Phelan all make it into the fray. Anna tells Owen she can’t trust him ever again after learning he lied to his children, and he says he can’t forget that she slept with another man, regardless of the reason for it. The difference though is that he says he still loves her while she replies, “I’m not sure I still love you” in a painfully cold fashion, citing a lack of trust, worry over his unpredictability and feeling anxious around him as her reasons. 

“I’m the same person I’ve always been love” he says, which is true, and she claims she may just be seeing the real him for the first time, which I find hard to believe. To my mind his desire to hear Faye out has been his greatest crime in her eyes. He does acknowledge that he makes things worse by being angry and irrational and agrees to support her, but she says it’s too late and that it’s over. He packs his bags and as he leaves, her back to him, his parting words, “I love you with all my heart and soul” are met with silence and it's so sad to see. Yes, Owen most certainly has his flaws, but I've enjoyed him on the Street and will miss Ian Puleston-Davies who will undoubtedly do well as he brings his talents elsewhere.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Humpty Dumpty said...

I enjoyed reading your blog, Emma. I agree with nearly everything, particularly Tracy's scene with Faye and Gary. I've said in another blog that I believe the writers got this very wrong. Despite any rows between Faye and Amy, I can't imagine Tracy would waste her breath, spitting venom at a 13 year old. She'd save it for Anna. It may have been a plot device so she could have the subsequent exchange about babies with Todd but that could have been written in somewhere else. Where I disagree is in the scene where a distressed Owen realises it's over. I felt no emotion whatsoever because I don't give a flying fig about Anna. If anything, Owen's well out of it and, anyway, their split was contrived so Ian P-D could leave. I did like the interaction between Sophie and Faye. I wonder if Sophie will relate this to her mother, resulting in some friction between her and Tim.

Emma Hynes said...

Thanks Humpty! I'm no Anna fan myself, my heart went out to Owen more than anything, and I agree, he's better off out of it. It's not possible to mention everything in a review, but something else related which struck me was Anna telling the social worker she'd be giving up work and relying on Owen's salary, and then she sends him packing within the hour... I too enjoy the Sophie - Faye scenes.

Nikki NZ said...

Did Anna herself adopt out a baby at a young age? It's the only thing I can think of to explain her irrational, obsessive attitude towards this baby.

Emma Hynes said...

I've an inkling it's her own desire for a baby Nikki. She convinced Eddie to adopt Faye when he wasn't keen and it was the reason he left. She says she doesn't want this baby in care like Faye was, but I think it's more that she wants to keep it.

Nikki NZ said...

You could be right Emma. It's certainly all about her own neediness than Faye's best interests, that's for sure.

Dime said...

I think Anna wanting a baby is perhaps the longing for unconditional love...

Anonymous said...

I think that in the scene between Tracey and Faye the writers crossed a line that they should not have crossed.

Nikki, I also thought that when Anna was telling Owen that Faye would always regret giving the baby up for adoption that she might have given a baby up in the past. It would explain why she is so obsessed with keeping the baby. It may also have something to do with her earlier determination to adopt a child, even if it cost her relationship with Eddie.

Anonymous said...

I think of Anna as a cult unto herself - and her cult is the family. It's claustrophobic, it's suffocating, and almost incestuous - her son, Owen's daughter having a baby together to add to the already expanding, yet cloying family unit. No wonder Gary and Izzy broke up, they were virtually step brother and sister to each other. Faye is refreshing - she actually is separate from all of them, both biologically and emotionally. Anna would never allow the newest addition to the family to escape its all-absorbing membranes, however destructive her impulses. I don't think it has to do with any back story, it's just the reductive nature of her character, to never see outside the boundaries of the sacred family unit, or to understand how necessary it is for members of a family, for their own health and sanity, to have connections with a world apart from her smothering/ nurturing.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Frosty found the final scenes with Owen blubbing rather pathetic frankly. Absolutely cannot stand Anna and all about what SHE wants and that martrys face. No way would the rather drippy social worker have spoken to Faye with the whole gang present, just sitting there like spiders. Garah who normally goes off on one at the slightest thing seems very meek and mild about the whole business. Steve McDonald is now beginning to lose my sympathy as he seems to be milking his depression for what it is worth. As someone else said, for Liz's boyfriend of only a few months to stump up for her middle aged rather lazy son's SIXTH wedding is ludicrous. And for goodness sakes Michelle UNFOLD YOUR ARMS.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis Anon 01:26. That's probably the best take on Anna and the slightly creepy nature of that family unit I've read.

Laura said...

Anna herself has embraced the concept of adoption by adopting Faye! It makes no sense that she wouldn't accept it for this baby!
I also agree with Anonymous 1:26. An eloquent explanation!

Beth said...

Thank you Emma for such a great write up for a very mixed bag of an episode.

I have responded on another blog (whilst I was still watching Friday's espiode) on Tracy's behaviour towards Faye. I understand she's the shows baddy but her words on Friday were beyond vile. I agree wholeheartedly with you when you say Emma, that on occasion some characters should be spared her bile. I felt so sickened by the scene. The writer had crossed a line in my opinion. Currently we are seeing episode after episode with just nastiness. But this was just something else!

As for Anna. You could be right regarding her maybe having given a child up for adoption. But wouldn't that have shown up when she adopted Faye? Anna is a piece of work. She got rid of Eddie because he wasn't keen on adopting Faye and now because Owen isn't saying what she wants to hear she's got rid of him too. Poor Faye.

I am liking the friendship of Faye and Sophie. I've not ever been a fan of Sophie. Always found her shouting and moody. But this softer, kinder side suites her and the scenes with Faye have been real good.

Thanks Emma, loved your blog

Kim Page said...

Awww Emma, with the insight!
I am so comfortable with your writing skills!

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