Saturday, 21 January 2017

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 20 January 2017

Friday’s double bill of Corrie was chock-full of comings and goings which gave it an animated, fast-paced feel as it all built up to a nail biting crescendo. Yes, much like the Gavin he was, but actually wasn’t, Andy’s number was up, and it looked as if my lingering question about Phelan came to be answered; could he kill? It would appear he could.

Not content with getting away, Andy appears intent on clearing Kevin’s name via the CCTV on the laptop before his flit to Portugal with Steph, who goes on ahead of him to the airport as a result. I would’ve thought he’d have been more eager to dispose of any footage of himself doing the deed, but in any event, this leads to the discovery of the compromising footage of Phelan which was his reason for wanting the garage burned down in the first place. And who should come knocking at the key moment, only the man himself, having had chapter and verse from Luke about the couple’s departure, including the fact that Andy will follow her, and is alone in the flat. Considering she witnessed this, I couldn’t quite believe that Steph didn’t even call Andy or send him a text to warn him as she departed.

Phelan, none to pleased to see himself on screen, is furious, and things go from bad to worse when he discovers bumbling Andy’s feeble attempt to goad him into admitting everything while recording him on his phone. Let’s face it, Andy was never made to be a criminal mastermind. It’s even a miracle that he got away with being Gavin for any length. So, you’d think having escaped Phelan’s clutches again by promising to destroy the laptop, he’d leave it at that. But no, Phelan’s distasteful comments about Steph and Michael as he browses through Andy’s phone see him clobber Pat over the head.

The fight which ensued had me on the edge of my seat, not least because we were left hanging for half an hour between episodes, and it was intercut with other storylines. It also had me questioning my very moral fibre as I unconsciously found myself rooting for Pat. What have I become?

The laptop proves to be Andy’s downfall in more ways than one, and as Pat prepares to hightail it to his tardy nuptials with Eileen, he appears to be bundling more than himself into his van. As they stand before the registrar, and the camera pans down to reveal evidence of soil on his shoe, I think we can be pretty certain that Andy has bumbled his last.

I thought this was all brilliantly played out, with Andy’s fear and Pat’s menace perfectly pitched. But the issue I had with it was Steph’s reaction. Considering everything preceding it, not only did she fail to warn Andy that Pat knew everything, she simply accepted a text from him in the airport, which was actually from Pat, telling her she was better off without him, and headed off. How was she not even a small bit concerned or suspicious? Would she not have expected a phone call from Andy, or rang him for ultimate closure? I guess it was a convenient end to it, but not one I could believe.

Meanwhile Eileen Grimshaw, who looked rather splendid on her wedding day, is now Eileen Phelan, much to Todd's regret, and what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Steph will be missed on the street, as will Tisha Merry's performances, as the character had great potential to become involved in a number of storylines. It seemed they were never quite sure what to do with Andy after the Gavin storyline, but I felt his stint as a budding author could have lead to something. I wanted him to be able to say ‘I told you so’ to all those who doubted him. In any event, Oliver Farnworth did a great job, and he’ll be missed.

Michelle’s agony continues as she prepares for Ruairi’s funeral with Billy and seems intent on leaving Steve out of it. There are beautiful scenes when Liz opens her heart about her own loss of baby Katy, and Michelle eventually asks Steve to come home.

Sally proves predictably po-faced at Tim’s purchase of a tandem to make up for the earlier gift of a Weatherfield County Season Ticket, but the sight of Michelle gives her food for thought, and she throws public perception to the wind in favour of a joyful ride around the street, much to her pleasure, and ours. With an added David Platt aside to round this humorous story off, it was a little delight.

Elsewhere, Chesney scores another own goal by bringing Sinead’s venus flytrap to the kebab shop for a gurn-a-thon with Gemma who treats it to a fatal piece of doner. Seeing this as the last straw, Sinead promptly breaks up with him, praise be. There is a bit of confusion, as she seems to agree to give it another go, and then it's off again by the end of the sentence. Either way, this is a couple who definitely need to break up.

Shona is less than happy to see Nathan at the cafĂ©, and while he’s shocked at the encounter, he seems to take it in his stride. We see the first glimmers of Bethany’s discomfort as he produces a camera and takes her to the tanning salon to film her first hair tutorial. Any doubts she has seem to dissipate however as he flatters and compliments her while they watch the footage back, even suggesting she show more of her figure next time. If you want to find out more about this storyline and what it’s like to play the character of Nathan, you can read my interview with Chris Harper.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this double episode, despite the convenient actions on the part of Steph, and there was a good balance between drama and humour, which is always welcome.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes
Facebook: @EmmaHynesWrites
Instagram: emmalouhynes


Anonymous said...

I was rooting for Andy (one of my favourite characters) to escape to Portugal and leave Phelan to continue his reign of terror on the street. But I guess, soap laws being what they are, Andy couldn't have his happy ever after since he had become a would be murderer and arsonist. :(

I found the final scenes exciting but ultimately unsatisfying and a real cheat because they were so inconsistent to character and plot. Steph was supposed to be crazy about Andy--and she showed her loyalty, strength, and intelligence time after time. Yet she just drives off and leaves Andy to his fate? And this after the chilling and well done scene the day before where a terrified Steph hides her fear from "Uncle Pat" and makes a plan to secretly fly the coop, with Andy, her timid little duckling, tucked safely under her wing?

But then the next moment all this is seemingly forgotten as their departure is broadcast publicly to Phelan; and Steph, with perhaps a mild look of concern on her face, hops blithely into the taxi. Surely she would have gone up after him to help? Or if she didn't, gone to the police when Andy didn't show up at the airport-- since she knows Phelan is a psycho and a murderer. Once Andy is gone, she has no motivation to keep silent since she was only involved in the arson after the fact.

Kudos to the actress, though--she did a good job in the airport of conveying resignation and defeat--it was like she had finally given up on him and accepted that she couldn't help him with his problems. jeanie

Anonymous said...

I, too, was happy when Phelan did the deed. Gandy was not a good fit and he was inept at best. The actor who played him did his best but the scripts he was given were not good. As for Steph, I did find it interesting that she could have texted or called but she headed off without a word. I think she knew the relationship was done and she realized what a crap life she would live with Gandy. She seemed kind of relieved that she got the text. She was neither surprised or upset. Good on her to move on and be rid of such an inept person.

Julie said...

I feel sorry for these good actors when the writers fail to come up with decent stories for them. I think the writers should be the ones to leave not the actors.

Jan said...

What I have most enjoyed recently have been the scenes between two characters having a heartfelt talk eg Peter and Steve, Liz and Michelle.
Forget the punch ups, explosions and murders.

donna harris said...

Too bad about Steph...there was a time when I though she and Nick would have made a nice couple, but Nick is driving me crazy now with his whispery Batman voice. Grateful that Ches and Sinead have broken up, they were terrible from the beginning, I like the chemistry between Daniel and her. Sally and Tim are a hoot! Really hope we see more of him and Steve in the cab office....Also...LOVED the part where Nick is jogging by and Peter makes a crack at that Barlow!

All in all a good ep...wondering how they're going to keep Phelan around...can't wait until Eileen gets her comeuppance (Gail, you're going to love this)...and Bethany, Can't she just find a friend and do normal teenage things???

Anonymous said...

I wonder where is Sarah while her daughter is spending time with Nathan?
Is she aware if what's going on or is Sarah too busy mooning over Gary whom she dumped to put Bethany first?

Tvor said...

I, too, felt that Steph was more relieved to be rid of Andy and his eternal baggage. When she left him in the flat, he unwilling to follow her until he found some footage to clear Kevin, it seemed like she'd already started to reach the end of her tether with him. A fresh start on her own is just what she needs.

Shells said...

I was rooting for Andy! When Pat raised the laptop, my reaction was "Nooooooooo!"
What an awful way for poor Andy to out. I think he and Steph had more potential and I wish they hadn't written this fate for him.

No idea why Todd let Eileen marry Phelan. No idea at all.

Maricha said...

I also wonder about that, I suppose Sarah is pretending to take care of her new baby. If she does enough of that,maybe she'll fool Gary into believing she's as devoted a mother as Izzy instead of the flake she really is. Bethany is going to have to wise up and raise herself.

Anonymous said...

And where was Pat's sign of injury after being smashed on the head with a Laptop???? And how did he get Andy into the back of his van without anyone seeing???

Maricha said...

Maybe he just dragged Andy to a hole in a back yard or shed like David did with Callum. Most of these houses seem to have similar layouts so they probably all have the same drainage systems. I don't see how Phelan would have the time or opportunity to dig a hole in the city in broad daylight while he was expected for his wedding. Plus, digging a hole in winter is even harder than in summer so he'd have more than mere traces of mud on his shoes and be hours late.

Fed up fan said...

Sack the writers!

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