There have been boiled sweets in The Kabin for shorter periods than it feels we last had a Friday double Corrie, and this one plodded along like a double midweek shift in Prima Doner. Yes, there were a couple of arresting moments, but in the main, things just understatedly progressed.
Kylie, feeling it’s only a matter of time before it all comes out, wonders if she should just confess to Callum's murder. David is appalled and insists that if anyone should go down, it’s him, so that she can look after the kids. It’s not long before the police are back in number eight to haul him in for another bout of questioning, this time concerning a video of him at the Dog and Gun the night of Callum’s murder, and texts that were sent after his death.
As ever, Jack P. Shepherd is a compelling watch as he coolly deflects their questions, and there's a great moment when he appears to be searching his own dark soul before possibly confessing. It comes to nothing, however, as Kylie pitches up at the station with ‘information on the Callum Logan case’ followed by Jason who has decided to hand in Tony’s tools, hopeful of clearing his Dad's name. Jason gets a hearing, resulting in David being released, and they take the opportunity to scuttle home before Kylie is called in.
Phelan is his usual brilliant self in a related scene in which Jason asks him to give him Tony's tools. As menacing and cool as David Platt, he tries to convince Jason not to hand them in, albeit to no avail. Kylie now worries that she hasn’t cleaned her prints off the wrench well enough, and David insists she stop doing this to herself.
Meanwhile, Sarah appears sedated as Bethany and Gail bring Harry to see her. The psychiatrist explains that the psychotic episodes she has been experiencing have been brought on by all the stress in her life, not least a body being found in the family home, but that the medication should help. Jason and Todd also pay a visit, and while Todd hides it better than Jason, both are struck by her unwell state.
Bethany is clearly disturbed by her mother's suffering, and the misery doesn't end there as, after moving into number 8, she tearfully reveals to Gail that she didn’t sit her GCSEs. If there was ever an excuse for not doing so, her current family turmoil is surely it.
Gail is showing a remarkable ability to cope with all this, and, to a lesser extent, Nick who already has his sights on another business. Asking Leanne to join him and meet his accountant in Roy’s, she cries off her return shift at the Bistro much to Robert’s disgust. It’s not really apparent why she’s lying to both of them instead of just one, or which business opportunity she’s more interested in, but in any event, boss from hell Robert finds her at the café and is none too pleased. Nick is similarly unimpressed to find out she’s in cahoots with the man who deceived him. She insists she’s only doing it for the cash, and notes he duped her too.
When she finally makes it to the Bistro, she tells Robert that Nick is looking at setting up a new business, but it's only a pipe dream that will never go anywhere, and she was only taking pity on him. Poor Nick hears every word and Leanne is dumbstruck as he walks out. Leanne has plenty of fans, but scenes like this are the reason I've never been one of them. She'll probably claim to Nick she was lying to reassure Robert and keep her job, but was there a need to tell him at all, or be so nasty? Robert seemed too nice for Tracy at one point, but the worse his behaviour at the Bistro gets, the more I think they were well matched. It's a wonder his former upmarket restaurant survived if he spoke to his staff there in the same fashion as he did tonight, and on previous occasions.
Elsewhere, Tim thinks he’s helping Steve move on by signing him up to a dating site, but all it shows is that Steve isn’t ready, and they draw the conclusion that he needs to make another go of it with Michelle. Meanwhile, Maria is urging her to do the same. He invites her round but after she spots the stream of Love Quest messages on his phone, she storms out, and takes up a job on a Caribbean cruise ship. I hope this 'will-they-won't-they' ends soon with 'won't'. They're simply not a believable couple anymore, and the fact that Steve thought he could sort this while doing the switch in Streetcars rather than, for example, over a meal at the Bistro, says it all.
Cathy and Roy continue to be spiky with one another, and she eventually ‘forgives’ him for attempting to involve the police with a relative of hers. While I liked tonight's dialogue and performances in respect of this storyline, I do struggle with it. Cathy has brought this trouble to Roy's door, and it's she that should be apologising. Also, I know Roy is a man with a strong moral compass, but I honestly don't think he would have involved the police, preferring instead to mete out his own idea of a punishment. Roy has come a long way and his character has been on a major journey. I wouldn't like to see him regress for the sake of a storyline.
Over at number 3, Kirk and Norris continue their Odd Couple love in with eggs and soldiers, sherry, Boggle and draughts. Kirk proves a dab hand at both games, even getting a ten letter word in Boggle much to Norris’s amazement and frustration; he’s not disgruntled enough to want to get rid of his new housemate though. Beth’s none to pleased when Kirk doesn’t want to come home and dumps his washing at the door leaving Norris delighted to have an excuse to get through Emily's coconut fabric softener that is so repellent to him, and for Kirk's stay to be extended. This is a nice little storyline and reflective of those scenes and scenarios which still make Corrie stand apart from the rest.
By Emma Hynes
The Little Book of Carla Connor
A Decade in the Life of a Soap Queen
An unofficial Coronation Street companion book
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