Thursday, 16 July 2015

Coronation Street episode review, Weds 15th July

"When I think about Amy, I'm scared for her. And I know that Deirdre was scared for her too"
Very little time has passed since Deirdre's death and the Street is still, understandably, Deirdre-central. There was only a tiny portion of tonight's episode- literally about a minute- which did not focus on the Street's favourite raspy-voiced resident.

Tonight, we are launched straight back into the action at Number 1 after Ken caught Tracy and Robert getting into the action. Ken is dismayed and eventually reveals to Tracy in a fit of anger that she is the reason her mother spent the last weeks of her life away from home.  According to Bev, Tracy's carousel of escapades was what stopped Deirdre from returning sooner. Tracy's affair with Liz's boyfriend Tony made Deirdre feel she could not face her best friend.

The performance of the episode, in my opinion, goes to Kate Ford. Never before have I felt empathy
for the girl who I think is quite clearly the biggest soap bitch of all time. Until now. I think Deirdre's death will cause Tracy to change her ways. Peter arrives at the house just after Ken's outburst. Train delays caused him to miss the funeral. I find the relationship between Peter and Tracy very interesting. The connection they have together is very different to connections they have to anyone else. Tracy knows Peter and Peter knows Tracy. She tries to defend herself by lashing out at Peter and Ken and is quick to point out that all three of them have made big mistakes.Peter uses Tracy's one weakness-Amy- to get through to her, telling her that she is Amy's blueprints for life and that could go either way. Right now, Amy only has a reckless, despised woman to look up to as a mother. After giving her a few harsh home truths, Tracy collapses into a fit of tears at the dining room table.By the end of the episode, Tracy shows utter remorse. I think this is a genuine first. Could this spell the end of our favourite bitch?

Next door, at the pub, the residents share memories at the wake as well as the usual conversations about one's own funeral. Eileen doesn't care about her funeral and Norris compares himself to JFK. There are some charming- and for some- nostalgic scenes, several classic Corrie moments are referred to. The anything-but-quiet life Deirdre lived is celebrated and in this episode we are treated to references to Mike Baldwin, Jon Lindsay, Wendy flamin' Crozier and 'that loveboat down the canal'.
"They were on and off more times than the light in Beth Tinker's fridge"

There is catty tension in the Rovers between Bev and Audrey. If you've been a Corrie viewer for long enough, which I haven't but I do my homework, you'll know that Audrey and Bev parted on bad terms.  Back in 2006, Bev was engaged to Fred Elliot and on their wedding day, whilst Bev was waiting at the church, he dropped down dead at Audrey's house. Fred and Audrey had history and Bev had always suspiciously resented the fact that Audrey had been the last person to see her fiancé alive. They have a heated discussion in the Rovers loos and Audrey sighs her way through a reconciliation. She manages to convince Bev that what happened was a 'pure tragedy.'  Deirdre had often spoke about how they should clear the air and the two decide to give Deirdre her wish, putting the past behind them.

"If there's one thing this week has proven, it's that life's too short. And I'll not deny Deirdre her wish. Not today" 

Bringing the episode to a close, an uncharacteristically drunken Emily slurs her words and joins Liz, Rita, Norris Bev and Eileen in one final drink to the neighbour they loved.

"It's a Shiraz. Bold, strong, big-hearted and takes no prisoners. It were Deirdre's favourite."

Overall,  a very good episode which added dimensions to the story of Deirdre's death and was refreshingly lighthearted in places. It was also an added bonus to see Emily and Rita have bigger roles in this episode. Two Corrie icons remembering a Corrie icon.

Thanks for reading!


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Peter said...

I wish when people talk about Tracy misdeeds and in particular how they affected Deirdre, they would mention her murdering Charlie Stubbs, trying to get her Mom to cover for her, and then being sent to prison. I mean, honestly, the affair with Tony doesn't even remotely approach that. Further, the whole time Tracy was in prison, it was a big stress for the family.

Anonymous said...

I have a real problem with a redemption for Tracy for the same reason. With David it was all misdemeanours. So I buy his redemption. Tracy was cold blooded murder, not once but twice. First she got him drunk and clubbed him with an ornament. When he survived that she snuck into the hospital ICU and unplugged him, letting him know she was the one responsible for his murder. I know this is soap but there is a difference between a soap bitch we love to hate and an act of brutal criminaity. I can never buy into a reformed Tracy until she has paid for her crime and acknowledged to all what she did. Holding on to this miscarriage justice nonsense does not jive with mending her ways. Perhaps they can have Tracy go away for a while and return with a new actress who is the reformed Tracy. Then I might buy that.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Jordan. I love your photos with the captions.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to know Kate Ford's thoughts on the subject of Tracy's crimes and the possibility of her redemption. After all, she has to embody this character the writers have created.

Let's say one day in the past the writers decided it would be explosive to have Tracy take out Charlie Stubbs, who was a first-class villain in his own right, probably because Kate Ford was pregnant and going on extended leave. The predicament promised lots of drama, because it added to the sense of Deirdre's strain, having to defend her daughter, even though she knew she was guilty. Time passed and the writers realised that they actually needed Tracy Barlow to catalyse new storylines with Steve and Amy, plus the fact Kate was available to return, so voila a miscarriage of justice.

For those who remain intransigent where Tracy is concerned, who feel that she has not paid for her crime, what would be enough? Are there any terms under which you would accept her presence on the street, or must she be sentenced to death or life in prison?

I personally find the Charlie Stubbs debacle easily forgettable, because he was a nasty piece of work and did such harm to Shelly. And what about Claire Peacock beaning Tracy in retaliation for snide remarks about Ashley. Would Claire be persona non grata if she returned?

When will the feud between viewers and Tracy Barlow end? Can it ever end?

Anonymous said...

That was by far the best episode since Hayley's death, I think. Really loved seeing Emily tipsy and all the references to the past. It just shows how strong the programme can be when it focuses on characters and relationships instead of relentless plot devices.

Beth said...

I thought last night's episode was so good. The right balance of everything and reminded me of the old days and how good it can be. It was a great way to send off Deirdre, they didn't let her down. The acting, drama,rich dialogue, light comedy when remenising. All the right mix of characters to say goodbye.

Please take note Corrie producers, you have shown us it can be done, you pulled out all the stops and Corrie really can be pulled back from the doldrums it's fallen into for the sake of awards.

It did make me sad though to think that such a great character is now gone. Anne Kirkbride did such a wonderful job with Deirdre. She will be missed.

John McE said...

Thank you, Corrie producers, for being brave enough to include some really old plots, for instance Bev and Audrey's falling out over Fred. I am sure there will be newer viewers that didn't have a clue what they were talking about, but if they are that bothered they can easily find out. And for the rest of us, it was a gem of an episode that brought back so many memories.

And thanks too for giving both Bev and Peter more than just a token couple of lines. Instead both characters have immediately been reintegrated into the programme.

Am I the only one that hopes they might bring Bev back on a more permanent basis?

Humpty Dumpty said...

The writers are struggling with Tracy's character. She has been the soap archetype bitch who does spiteful things, gloats and leaves. Now they're trying to redeem her by revealing her vulnerabilities. Well, OK, but it's too late. To the viewers, there isn't anything in her life that warrants her vendetta against the world. If you really want to explain a character, you have to give them a side-kick (in this case, Beth) to whom they often express their inner-most thoughts. It's not enough for Peter to spend a couple of episodes doing the job. I wouldn't be that bothered about Charlie's death if Tracy had shown remorse and wasn't nasty simply for a few audience 'boos'. Never mind how well the actress has portrayed her (and she did a great job yesterday); all that shows is that the character could have been much more rounded in the past. Too late for any redemption.

ruth owen said...

Great post Jordan and thank you for doing your homework on Bev and Audrey.

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