As familiar a fixture outside the Platt’s door as Kevin’s Garage, the police drop in to talk all things Callum. He has skipped bail, and they want to know his whereabouts. Nick, the king of walking into a room mid-sentence, naturally gives them no cause to suspect anything, and after telling them little else besides the fact that Callum and Sarah have broken up, a cool, collected David bids them farewell. I wonder if the police asking about progress on the conversion will lead to a fuller investigation when next they call, as they undoubtedly will. “Lying doesn’t come as naturally to the rest of us” bites a beleaguered Sarah afterwards before running out the door.
Concerned Billy persists until he gets her to talk, assuring her that he’s bound by the seal of confession. Tina O’Brien continues to put in a stellar performance, but Sarah stops short of telling the vicar the full story. Left with the belief that her suffering results solely from being a victim of domestic violence, Billy makes her promise she’ll stop blaming herself, and accept that she was the victim. “Callum needs to be prevented from doing this again by any and all means necessary” he tells her, before declaring the world would be a better place if “we could take one of the perpetrators out of circulation” and “there are just some people that society is better off without.”
While it should take a bit more than this to clear her conscience, by the look on Sarah’s face, Billy’s speech constituted something of an epiphany, and we may see a change in her as a result. However, it will be interesting to see if Billy’s insistence that they go to the police together to report the incident causes further trouble for her.
Billy was the highlight of both episodes for me. I love the positivity he brings and the fact that his outlook acts as a foil to the ever present cobble based moral bankruptcy. I do wonder if he and Sean will go the distance, however. Even tonight, rather than waiting in the Bistro when asked by a concerned Billy eager to do the right thing, Sean’s green eyed meerkat peeked and craned at his partner talking to Todd outside the Rovers, clearly presuming the worst. Surely Billy wouldn’t stand for suspicion, especially when he’s trying to help others, Todd included. I prefer the Sean who jokes about the Platt’s house being built on an old Indian burial ground to the jealous, unreasonable incarnation we sometimes see.
All continued to rally around Tyrone and Fiz as Hope had her operation. Even Aidan lent his support by not sacking Sinead after catching her sewing something other than underwear after hours. I was rather perplexed to know how young Hope had managed to become a Thunderbirds fan, but nevertheless, she is now the proud owner of a rather impressive costume.
As the Connors begin to outnumber knicker stitchers at Underworld, there’s already a spat between Kate and Beth as she flirts with Kirk. All is forgiven when Kate reveals she is, in fact, engaged to a female soldier, and gets the pints in. All a bit of a storm in a B-Cup really, but it did show that Kate is very much a Daddy’s girl and will probably get away with more than her fair share, much to the frustration of others.
Luke loves car racing. He also loves Maria, and when she finds out he’s gone behind her back, she’s furious. I like Luke, and when she offered him a get out clause, and he said he didn’t want one, that he’d be lying if he said he didn’t want to race again, I thought it showed great strength of character. Whatever you may think of dangerous pursuits, it didn’t feel like he deserved the ‘racing or me’ ultimatum she gave him, and if I were Luke, I think I’d choose the cars.
Amy’s efforts on the violin are subject to a varied reception. Tracy’s lack of support is funny, and only because it doesn’t knock a patch off her daughter who carries on regardless. “If at first you don’t succeed, pack it in” is a sterling motto which Robert thankfully counters by performing the role of proud step-Dad. Taking photos, offering encouragement and insisting they stick around to hear her play, I find this a really welcome development in Amy’s life and it makes him rather endearing. He also has a positive impact on Tracy who agrees to go halves on lessons if Steve does. I really enjoy little storylines like these, as they ground the programme and give it that essential homely feel.
It seems fitting to say, as an aside, that I welcomed Todd’s wry commentary in tonight’s episodes, from his theatrical description of wine as an “adequate inducement” for Eileen, to his allusion to Billy’s “flock”. I’m always calling for his character to fulfil the role of commentator, both within and without the programme, and his disbelief that the Audrey digital radio scene was happening at all certainly mirrored mine.
All that we’re left with from Friday's double is Norris’s dream. Set in 1965, and involving Rita and a tall version of himself struggling to undo his buttons, it seemed like the kind of salacious encounter that our Norris would be dining out on rather than confessing to, even if it is the fictional rendering of a slumbering mind.