|"Now get out me way, and give mum your order!"|
I rather like the return of bad lad Gary. Remember when the Windasses were "the most feared family in Weatherfield", when they ruined Joe McIntyre's life, got David sent to borstal, didn't pay their council tax bill (probably)? Then Eddie started making cakes, Anna turned into a drudge and Gary became a sap. But now the badass Windass is back: staking his claim in the gym, threatening Jason ("If I wanted to fight you, you'd be in hospital now, not ordering a ham roll!") and smirking as Jason messes up his mate-date with Eva when his jealousy rears up again.
The theme of the episode seemed to be romantic triangle troubles: Gary, Jason and Eva/Alya; Brendan, Mary and Brendan's auntie with the gastric troubles; Jamie, Andy and Steph; and Robert, Leanne and Tracy.
Also entertaining is Robert's development into a real character, instead of a lapdog with a stash of Just For Men in his bathroom cabinet. It's a good move to have him interact with characters other than Tracy, Ken and Eccles, and the current conflict caused by Robert's burgeoning friendships with Leanne and Simon is more interesting to me than whether he becomes the next Mr Battersby.
Tracy and Carla have a temporary truce, so Ms Barlow needs a new enemy. Tracyluv has turned her attention away from Leanne's parenting skills (in any case, Amy is less interested in Simon's apology than garlic bread in the pizzeria), and towards Leanne's perceived interest in Robert.
However, Tracy may have got away with murder, but remember when the Battersbys were the most hated family on the street? I think Leanne can handle herself against Tracy's threats. In the meantime, Tracy is driving Robert away with her petulance, rudeness and jealousy, although it's hard to know what Robert is referring to when he says: "After all I've given up for you". He can't mean Sarah Harding, can he?
|Eva and Jason, in happier times|
Tonight, Steph tried to call Jamie's bluff by telling him to publish and be damned: "No more race money, Luke and Andy free to batter you, everyone thinking you're a total sleaze." Unfortunately, Jamie appeared to take her up on it. It feels like more could have been done in the storyline to explore the false notion that women are responsible if their ex-boyfriends take revenge in this way. Whilst Luke does tell the blameless Steph that it's not her her fault, Andy asks "How could you?" - as if dastardly Jamie wouldn't have found some other way to persuade Luke to race.
Finally, after some confusion as to whether Santa lives in Lapland or Liverpool, Tyrone comes home with festive items to turn number nine into a Christmas wonderland. I do hope that we'll meet Beth's mum's Poundland boyfriend one day.
Thanks for reading!
Rachel Stevenson - My blog
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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