Saturday, 30 May 2015

Coronation Street episode review, Friday 29 May 2015

As the blazing inferno that was Corrie’s fire week is reduced to glowing embers, all that's left is for us to pick through its charred remains, like those of Carla’s never used balcony. It certainly brought in the much sought after ratings and had everyone talking, but ‘explosive’, widely advertised event television, done well, tends to do that. It’s no coincidence that the last time Corrie viewing figures came this close was during the brilliant Who Killed Tina week last year.

I could do a perplexed post mortem on the parts of it where we were to permit presumption to fill in certain gaps for us, but I am instead going to celebrate the best of the week as well as reviewing tonight's episode. I won’t, for example, ask where on earth Tony was, why Amy went to Carla when Ken was available, how Kevin can be selectively oblivious to Jenny’s clearly unhinged behaviour and how nobody made a single solitary mention of Tina McIntyre who was pushed to her death in this self same week last year. I also sadly have to admit that Steve and Michelle’s wedding didn’t really do it for me, and the fact that they weren’t even at their own reception unfortunately made me even less enthused.

However, what this plot device and the absence of Tony did allow for was Liz McDonald taking centre stage, and she was magnificent. Wounded, strong, feisty, vulnerable, determined and fabulous, her flame rivalled that which coursed through Victoria Court, and it was glorious even though she suffered.

While Beverley Callard stood out, she wasn’t alone in putting in a tremendous performance. Sally Ann Matthews, Brooke Vincent, Amy Kelly, Jane Danson, Alison King, David Neilson and Jimi Mistry were all outstanding for me. 

A very special mention goes to the Nazir family in the form of Shelley King, Qasim Akhtar, Marc Anwar and Sair Khan, all of whom I thought excelled. Their strong, understated and powerful portrayals of grief, particularly tonight, showed precisely what they can bring to the street with the right script, and as long as we see performances of this calibre coming from their direction, long may they remain. 

My only fear is the possibility that Zeedan will have a vendetta against Leanne and seek revenge for his father’s death. I’d much rather the experience softened him and enabled him to reach out to others. One of his last scenes with his father, in which he gave him his blessing to propose to Leanne, showed the wealth of potential in his character. His friendship with Simon is also a lovely addition and its strength was evidenced tonight when he learned of Kal’s death from Yasmeen, and threw himself into Zeedan’s arms.

While the fire itself was brilliantly done, if the drama was a tad drawn out, it’s always the performances which excite me and, as above, the quality of these were what made the week a success as far as I was concerned. This is probably why tonight's episode, written by Susan Oudot, was my favourite of the five as, while the fire facilitated it, it was heavy on dialogue and character interaction.

Ken putting on his suit to visit the Nazirs and give his condolences was humble and dignified, and the rawness of their grief was palpable and moving, as was the scene in which Leanne broke down in Nick’s arms. Other great scenes tonight came courtesy of Liz being counselled by Eileen and Erica, and Nick offering support to Carla.

Considering what she has done, Tracy seems to care little despite several empty apologies to various injured parties, and she appears set on ensuring everyone lays the blame at Carla’s door. She becomes incensed when Carla asks Amy if she can remember what happened, and conveniently accuses her of trying to pin the blame on an eleven year old. I don’t know why I’m disappointed not to see an inkling of remorse in Tracy. What can we expect at this point from a character who seems to be void of all human emotion? And yet for some inexplicable reason I continue to hope.

Unlike Tracy, Carla is tortured by what has happened. Even though she recalls blowing out the candle, news that this probably caused the fire has her doubting herself and provides Tracy with sufficient ammunition to heap the blame on her. Attacked in person by Leanne, Tracy and the lovely Norris, Roy is her only friend and is extremely attentive as he takes care of her and offers her a place to stay.

Maddie clings to life in hospital, even showing signs of movement, much to Sophie's joy and the wonderfully terrifying Jenny’s frustration, but they cannot operate and so must wait in hope for an improvement. If there’s one positive from this storyline, aside from great interaction between Maddie and Jenny, it’s that Brooke Vincent has gotten the opportunity to show her full potential.

Meanwhile Nick and David are shocked to hear that Bethany, who is as affected by the fire as The Kabin’s plastic paperboy, has spotted Kylie who spends the episode lurking around corners and crouching down on buses. Amidst the carnage and grief, life must go on on the cobbles as it does in reality I suppose.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Anonymous said...

Amy didn't go to Ken's because that's where Tracey lives and Liz told Carla she didn't want Amy to be with Tracey that night, given the mood Tracey was in.

Tony drove Michelle and Steve to the airport after the wedding and Liz left a message on his phone telling him she knew what he was up to and for him not to come home.

Anonymous said...

In a way, the "no remorse" thing is good because the writers are hearkening back to what Tracy is supposed to be after years of fiddling around: An unrepentant, evil character with no conscience whatsoever.

Of course, she didn't bash someone's head in this time but she *has* killed again and doesn't seem to give a damn (and if Maddie dies too, which she probably will, that will bring her total body count to three). I would say that there's no possible way she's getting away with this, but then I remember shows like Eastenders that have just as vile characters who have done so.

I'm just not looking forward to "Carla on trial" yet again. Please, just no.

maggie muggins said...

Good roundup of an exciting week via the Friday episode, Emma. Can't really add much as you've described well some of the heart-wrenching scenes that had me going too. Comparing Bethany to the Kabin's plastic paperboy - hilarious. Looking forward to Kylie's return to the warm fold of her loving family. lol.

Oh, and Anonymous @ 04:36. Wash your mouth after comparing that other show to Corrie. I do see your point about Tracy though. The poor girl is getting a permanent crease in her forehead from frowning at everybody. Since the actress isn't leaving, I'm afraid we're stuck with our resident murdering psychopath. Even if her ex-husband's return softens her, it doesn't change what she's done.

MartesBC said...

Thank you for the Blog. It is official. I now have feelings of actual Hate toward a fictional character called Tracy Barlow, lol!

Emma Hynes said...

Anon @ 01.52. My understanding was that Liz didn't want Amy around because she was planning a showdown with Tony when he came home. With regard to his absence, Liz herself was wondering where he'd gotten to and was out of her wedding attire and in a tracksuit by the time she rang him. Leaving a voicemail was a serious anti-climax to the big reveal and we didn't even get to see a stunned Tony receive the message. No, he was wholly absent. But, as I've said, perhaps getting him offside meant there were no distractions from her central role or the fire for that matter.

Emma Hynes said...

Thank you Maggie and MartesBC. The mere sight of Tracy is no good for my blood pressure either.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Tracy will get caught out somehow but, like the trial, she'll get away with it on a 'technicality'. This time it's the lack of firm evidence so while Carla will eventually be vindicated in the eyes of the mob, Tracy will still pop up regularly to harangue her. I don't get this idea that Robert knows the real Tracy and will soften her. Weren't we meant to believe that Rob was her saviour? If anyone knows the real Tracy, it's Ken. I'm really waiting for him to lay into her and tell her to grow up.

Agree, Emma, that Liz has been great, quietly dignified with Tracy and taking her anger out on the crockery.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Tracy hasnt shown one iota of remorse when she is fully aware that it was her that lit the candle of death. Two dead, her daughter hospitalised, and all she cares about is getting back at Carla. A truly vile specimen that to me is now irredeemable and should be written out. She is just tiresome now.

Anonymous said...

Emma, you are right that Liz didn't want Amy around to see the showdown with Tony. But, when she asked Carla to take her, she also said she didn't want Amy to be with Tracey that night. And yes, Liz had changed out of her wedding attire when she left the voicemail for Tony, but when she got back to the Rovers after the wedding, she told people that he was driving Steve and Michelle to the airport. I was also disappointed that we didn't get to see the look on his face when she told him she knew what he had done.

Emma Hynes said...

Yes, I knew he was driving them to the airport but appeared to take far longer than expected, hence Liz wondering where he was and eventually resorting to voicemail. It was a missed opportunity for a great scene.

abbyk said...

When it does come out, I truly hope Steve petitions for full custody of Amy. For dramatic effect, have Ken take his side. Then Tracyluv can go to jail, move to London, get hit by a tram, whatever and take her bile with her.

Tvor said...

It seems as if Tony knew already that the jig was up and perhaps Tracy texted him to warn him. I hate having to make assumptions. or maybe Tony just decided to go off and get drunk somewhere and didn't want to face the rest of the day knowing what he'd done. Has anyone checked his flat?

I really hate that Carla is going to take the blame on herself. I never understood how they can tell how a fire like that started when the candle and the lampshade would be burned to a crisp, or likely melted completely where the candle is concerned. Carla didn't have it on that table where it was burning, as well but she probably won't remember that if they tell her where it was found.

Anonymous said...

They should take a really great leap and put Liz and Ken together, have them petition for and obtain custody of Amy and see where it takes them then. The oddest couple on the Street, there would at least be some room for humour and goodness knows Ken would benefit from having Amy to reeducate on how to be human (as she can't have learned anything good from her mother).

Anonymous said...

I don't think we've seen the last of Tony. It probably will come out that Tracey texted him that she had spilled the beans to Liz.

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