As brides-to-be go, you’re unlikely to see many as miserable as Kate Connor. Her hen night looming, she battles the excited factory folk, Sophie Webster, fiancée Caz, and her own feelings, and ends up calling it off. Caz puts two and two together, comes up with Sophie, and makes her anger known as Kate sobs.
Kate is all over the place, and proves herself to be weak as she fails to be true to anyone, including herself. At the heart of it all, whether she likes Sophie or not, she clearly doesn’t want to be with Caz, but doesn’t have the strength to cancel the engagement, and so goes for half measures by postponing the wedding. There is much toing and froing after she gets caught kissing Sophie and tries to convince Caz that it was all Sophie’s fault, and the latter then gets hurt on learning this from Caz before she hops in a taxi. We then hear Kate tell Aidan she knew exactly what she was doing when she kissed Sophie.
Faye Brookes conveyed the exasperation well in what was a challenging pair of episodes for Kate, but it’s difficult for me to buy into this storyline as I don’t feel much sympathy for any of the characters. Aside from Kate’s irritating inability to face the truth and deal with it, Caz showed a glimmer of her potential for violence which I’m no fan of, and if this develops, it’s not something I’ll be looking forward to watching.
While it’s never good to see the wonderful Tim Metcalfe suffering, I for one welcome the bumpy road that has risen before him with the appendage of Councillor to his wife’s name. Tim and Sally excel as a comedy couple, but for them to be truly authentic, there needs to be added layers to their their relationship, making this latest development an important one.
Both are set to dine with the esteemed Gerald and Anne regarding the new Frescho development, and as if patronising her husband by texting him ‘aide memoires’ concerning potential topics of conversation wasn't enough, Sally insists he be on his 'best behaviour'. He reluctantly gets dressed up and goes to the meal after Kevin advises ‘happy wife, happy life’, but arrives in time to hear a tipsy Sally talk about him being an antique glass dealer and charity worker, and how they’ve sacrificed having a large home in exchange for being at the heart of the community.
Clearly crestfallen, he walks out, and lets his feelings known later when she berates him at home for not turning up. He recalls her wedding vows in which she said she wouldn’t try to change him and it's therefore as frustrating for me as it is for him to hear her point out the man he could be, even after this reminder. When she finally says it’s okay, it’s something of a triumph to hear him assert himself and say it’s not okay with him.
We all love snobby Sally, but Tim’s disappointment and frustration lends a welcome realism to what it’s like to live with it. He is also sure to let her know that he has been counselling Sophie in her hour of need, and rather excellently too, showing that there is far more to Tim than sneaky swift halves and skiving, and Sally would do well to value him as he is.
As Robert and Tracy snog in the Bistro kitchen, it seems that stepping up to the plate and washing a few pots will suffice in the event that you want to rebuild trust after lying, hiding, spying, swindling and generally being a sly egg. On the lighter side of work romances, Aidan offers Eva her job back at Underworld, and she happily accepts.
She joins in the fun at the Rovers with Mary as Liz keeps up the pretense of being Amy’s Mum to win a night out with Chris. Amy shows shades of being her own person in some episodes, while in others, she’s clearly written to be mini-Tracy. In Friday’s double she manages to swindle £35 out of Liz in exchange for playing the role of her daughter. Liz's face and Chris's reaction were both amusing sights, but I do like to see other dimensions to Amy such as the child who, last Friday, was upset at her Dad not being around.
If we can thank Brendan of The Inexplicable fame for anything, it’s bringing out the more adventurous side in Mary. Nor did the experience douse her romantic ideals; if anything, it’s added an optimistic, mischievous, twinkly-eyed dimension to them. I find at the moment that, like Amy, different writers pen Mary in different ways. On some nights, she reverts to her pre-Brendan state, but on others, she sparkles anew, and I infinitely prefer the latter. She’s a delight in the Rovers as it’s prettily decorated for the hen that wasn’t to be, and adds a joyous Dubonnet infused dimension to proceedings. Long may her lust for life prevail.