The Andy/ Michel/Gavin/Steph/Gail/ Susan/ Steph story finally unfolds. At the beginning I found the story gripping, but having gone on for so long it has, to some extent, lost its power. That said, there is still some mileage. Susan, the real Gavin’s mum, was never just going to go away, no matter how many times Gail succeeds in fobbing her off. She doesn’t arrive in person this time, but instead sends Michael a photograph album of Gavin. It is a commendable thought from Susan, who appreciates that Michael missed much of Gavin’s life, so she is attempting to fill the gaps. It is an act of forgiveness too, maybe, or at least a sign that there is no bitterness and that together they are grieving for their ‘darling, darling boy’.
What Susan doesn’t know is that Michael doesn’t know that his son is dead. He’s not dead, according to Michael, because he is right beside him and he sees him and his beautiful girlfriend, Steph, almost every day.
The Platt household miss the album’s delivery and it ends up with Norris. Norris, being the pompous pedantic prig that he is, will not release the parcel to anyone but the addressee, so Gail and Andy are in a state of terror, especially when Michael comes in to see Andy tussling with Norris over the parcel.
After several thwarted attempts to prevent Michael looking at the photos, Michael actually looks at the photos. Baby photos you can get away with, but when Gavin is growing up, he won’t look anything like Andy. Gradually it dawns on Michael that he is being deceived and he asks, ‘Which one of you is not my son?’ Andy replies truthfully.
The game is up. The truth is out. Andy is full of shame and regret. When Gail admits that she was in on the deception, Michael is absolutely horrified. She staggers around explaining that she kept it all from him for fear of his heart not being able to take the strain, though it is certainly taking the strain now! There’s more. They have to revel to Michael that his son Gavin is dead. An interesting twist is that Andy now asks Michael if he will look on him as his own son, in fact he begs him and this demonstrates just how important Michael is to Andy as a father figure of whom he has grown tremendously fond. Michael’s response is cutting. He calls Andy, pathetic.
Slap bang in the middle of this huge fall-out, arrives the officer for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services, who is here concerning Max’s residency with David and Callum. Understandably, David is fuming as the officer, quite simply, leaves. Will the row ruin David’s chances of fully reclaiming Max?
Michael is beyond enraged. Gail hasn’t twigged just how significant this revelation is in his life. Gail thinks they can fix things. Michael doesn’t. This could be Gail’s shortest marriage yet. ‘You stole everything from me,’ says Michael.
‘You still have me and a home,’ says Gail.
‘This isn’t a home. Just some place I tried to rob. I wish you hated me as much as I hate you.'
The aftermath of the fire is handled so well. Maddie’s death is heartbreaking and Brooke Vincent as Sophie does an excellent job in showing grief. The Nazirs too and their welcoming of Leanne is so well done. Yasmeen telling her that she is family and handing her the engagement ring found in the fire, Zeedan putting his hand on Leanne’s shoulder – all so sensitively and convincingly done.
Where is Tony? I do hope he surfaces because, like many other viewers, I want to see the show down between him and Liz, and watch him squirm as he tries to extricate himself from the mess he has created. Though shocked by the level of his deception, Liz will inform him of a few home truths. I’m just wondering if he might even try to win her back, believing himself to be irresistible to all women.
And what of the relationship he tried so hard to mend – the one between himself and Jason, his son? Will Jason want anything more to do with him? Eileen asks Jason, ‘Any word from the coward?’ In fact Jason defends his dad and says, ‘You never know what goes on behind closed doors.’ But Jason must recognize that his dad’s behavior is not ideal. Maybe Eileen will feel vindicated (and somewhat smug). She knows what he’s like and never did quite believe that Tony had changed. Leopard and spots. To Liz, who confesses to feeling humiliated, Eileen says that Liz has had a lucky escape.
I also want him to return because I think he is a great actor playing an intriguing character. His scenes are fully credible and it’s nice to have a convincing villain
around rather than the comedic Callum.
Adding now to even more family trauma, Jenny, taking advantage of the fact that people are distracted by the aftermath of the fire, especially concerning Maddie, sets into motion her planned move to Hull with Jack, the little boy she is using to replace her own son Tom, who has died. She offers to take Jack away for a few days away from all the trauma and sadness. On the surface this sounds like an excellent idea – 2 fewer people to worry about, while the family concentrates on Maddie. But no, Kevin says he needs her with him. Her expression, when he can’t see her is one of frustration…
Tony may have disappeared but Dev is back. Inevitably Julie and Mary are excited, though he will have to learn about the fire on his homecoming. Julie has taken the children out of school so that they can go to the airport to pick up their dad. Mary disapproves. ‘They will miss Physical Education and Golden Time.’ Golden Time?!? Since when was that added to the curriculum?
On his return, Dev is treated to a childish squabble between Julie and Mary. Julie makes the mistake of telling Mary that she is Dev’s common law wife. Mary confirms that she’s common! Dev has only been home 2 minutes and has to shout, ‘Shut up!’ He seems upset and anxious - he seems faraway and distant. Has he met someone or did absence not make the heart grow fonder in this case?
Mary takes a call on Dev’s mobile from Talisa. Dev claims that he and Talisa are just friends. We know Julie is leaving, so will the tantalizing Talisa be making an appearance in Weatherfield? Mary though lays into Dev on Julie’s behalf. She reminds him that for the last 4 months Julie has looked after his children and his business. As she says this, there is no oddness, nor craziness about her. She quite plainly and simply tells Dev to appreciate Julie, the woman only a few minutes ago she was arguing with.Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook
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