Mary’s quest for adventure has been answered by the arrival of a dashing knight in cream chinos in the form of Brendan, the editor of her favourite magazine, The Inexplicable. Positively beaming, she rivals her alter-ego Roxy in the passion stakes as she gushes over its creator. He too leaves her in no doubt of his attraction, and makes a solemn commitment to locate the one edition she is missing; “I will find you the elusive number 65" he broods, before quipping "if it’s the last thing I do - in this life or the next”.
Sure enough, he presents her with the magazine wrapped in a bow before gallantly resuming his delivery, ensuring that other fans of The Inexplicable won’t be left wanting.
This alive and invigorated Mary is infinitely preferable to the surly incarnation, and when combined with Brendan’s sublime delivery, there is definite potential for them to be a great couple. My hope is that their relationship constitutes a passionate and linguistically florid liaison and an exaggerated and comic homage to classic literary pairings. In fact, in many ways, they already remind me of Brian and Julie, which is no bad thing.
The only blot on the landscape came courtesy of Norris and Rita who saw fit to mock and sneer. While best ignored, I don’t understand why this continues to be included as a response to anything positive and joyful.
While love blossoms in the Kabin, petals fall at the Nazir’s as Alya pleads with Gary for forgiveness and a second chance. Meanwhile in the Bistro, Sharif confidently rebuts an angry Aidan by telling him “We know our granddaughter”. His words later serve to mock him as Gary reveals to the family how Alya slept with someone, and it wasn’t him. At one point Gary tells Alya to "stay classy", but to my mind he could apply this to himself, as making this announcement to her family seemed unnecessary and beneath him.
Fans have been wondering about Alya’s pregnancy status since Sinead found her test three months ago, and Zeedan asking this very question tonight appeared designed to solve this puzzle once and for all for viewers who learn definitively that she isn't pregnant.
Despite her infidelity, Alya cuts a sorry dash as she loses her fiance and the support of her family. Her grandfather telling her he is ashamed of her ensured added sympathy. Things get worse for Gary when, after counselling his supposed friend all these weeks, Jason confesses to it being him. You’d honestly wonder if there is any going back from this for either the couple, or the two friends.
Sophie seems intent on re-housing Kevin’s expanding empire, and has found just the property at the minimum distance from the current location. "Leave it with me" she tells him, and it appears that, yet again, Tyrone's feelings are the furthest thing from anyone's mind.
Missing Alex is found by Ken and Audrey quaffing ale in the Rovers, and his relieved mother Nessa and annoyed aunt Cathy aren’t far behind. I particularly enjoyed the scene with Roy where he and Alex spoke about the difference between living alone and living with others and the contemporary reliance on technology before engaging in a spot of darts. While I hope we see more of Alex in the episodes to come, Audrey may not feel the same about his mother, as Nessa’s bold flirtation with Ken rose more dander than the salon floor.