Saturday, 18 January 2014

Coronation Street double episode review, Friday 17 January 2014

Owen obtains a loan, and all but Anna are overjoyed. When the Phelans arrive with champagne, Owen reveals to his new business partner in private that the interest is through the roof and their home is collateral. They shake on a 20% share, but it’s surely unwise for such a supposedly savvy business man to reveal these vulnerabilities to a man like Phelan.

Unable to take the bickering any longer, and with Kal’s encouragement, Stella storms out of the Bistro, and accepts Dev’s invite to the Weatherfield Traders’ Association Ball. It’s worth it to see Dev revert to high pitched mania, only tempered by jobsworth Mary charging him for blades from his own shop.

After losing an argument over a taxi with Dev and Stella, Tracy and Rob arrive at the ball late and soaked. Scorned Tracy steals Stella’s cloakroom ticket, leaving her without a coat, and as Dev and Stella arrive home shivering, Tracy and Rob bizarrely fly by poking from the sunroof of a car which splashes them before Stella’s coat is thrown into the gutter.

Todd can barely conceal his satisfaction when Marcus and Maria’s first offer on a house falls through, but it isn’t long before they find somewhere else to view.

Hayley isn’t happy as she examines her face in the mirror. “I feel like I’ve brushed my hair with a toffee apple” she tells Roy, who tells her “you always look beautiful to me.” Despite her decline, she retains her wonderful sense of humour, and jokes with sometime strawberry dealer Tyrone that she’d like some raspberries before convincing him to bring her to Audrey’s for “the full salon experience.”

When David books in two enemies for a hairdo at the same time, high hopes abound for a salon showdown but, disaster somehow averted, what takes place is far better; Hayley is thoroughly pampered and entertained by Maria, Kylie, David and Audrey who give her their undivided attention. Her spirits remain high as she tells biscuit wielding David that she’s watching her weight. “Your task, should you choose to accept it”, she tells Maria, “is to make me look human again”, but Maria, in the most sensitive way, will hear none of it. She gets a new blonde streak in her hair and shellac nails, and savours having such a lovely fuss made of her.

Once home, she shows Roy her chosen dress for when her time comes. He can’t face it and it’s so painful to hear him say, “please don’t…I’m not ready”. But she sadly reminds him that “Time is the one thing that we don’t have”. After being so strong throughout, this is the first time Roy has come close to breaking down, but Hayley lovingly calms him down.

After an earlier distressing bout of confusion, she tells Roy the illness is now taking her places she doesn’t want to go as her body starts shutting down. She asks that they don’t argue about the end tonight. “I want to see the stars”, she tells him, “the bright lights of Weatherfield”, and determined to say her goodbyes, surrenders to “the chariot”.

They meet Chesney and Sinead first and Hayley tells him how proud they are of the fine young man he has become. She wistfully looks at pictures of Joseph, and calls Cilla a fool for missing out on both their lives.

Her next encounter is an unfortunate one. As if Tracy Barlow couldn’t stoop any lower, she mocks a dying woman on her new hairstyle. But Hayley is ready; “Listen to her…living proof that there’s no justice in the world. Your mother’s ashamed of you, your daughter barely knows you, your donor kidney would reject you if it could.” A brilliant, thoroughly deserving line, but on such a night, was there a need to have vile Tracy address her at all? Our consolation is that Hayley herself said her retort felt good.

Peter and Roy leave Hayley and Carla to it at Underworld. While they share jokes and laughter, Hayley has something serious to impart; she acknowledges that she wouldn’t be alive today if Carla hadn’t saved her from Tony Gordon, and thanks her for every year she has had since. A moved Carla tells her, “only you could see it that way”. As the time comes for her to go, the manner in which Carla says “I guess I’ll be seeing ya”, belies an instinct that she won’t see Hayley again. “Not if I see you first” is the upbeat response, and the sinking feeling of the ends of things persists.

As Roy wheels her down the centre of the deserted street, and the hum of Manchester buzzes around them, Hayley asks him to stop so that she can hear the trains at Piccadilly. “Hundreds of people, all heading off on journeys of their own” she ponders as she looks skyward, and Roy kisses her gently.

Back home, she clips her blonde streak off, happy to have known what it felt like to have it. “I want to go as me” she tells Roy who, as he holds her lock of hair, asks when that’s likely to be. “It’s a fair question” he says, and he’s right. “You know when.” she tells him, “Tomorrow”. Together with Roy, our collective hearts sink, and we wonder just how we’re going to face her final farewell, and ever contemplate Coronation Street without her in it.

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is anyone over the age of fourteen ever as randomly unpleasant as Tracey is portrayed time and again? The issue I, and many others seem to have, is that her rudeness is not particularly rooted in anything people say to her at the time or in her past. Having watched for 35 years, I can see that she was nothing like this as a child but became difficult as a teenager around the time of her parents' divorce, having had a stable childhood with Ken and Deirdre but was still loved and well provided for by both parents. She didn't become like this until well into adulthood when Kate Ford took over the role, which leads to the conclusion the choice of actress is determining the portrayal of the character; nothing else accounts for it.

Anonymous said...

Take a poll...if Tracy were written out - who would care?

abbyk said...

Although I am no fan of KF's acting, I wouldn't blame the actress for the character's direction. Two notable characters, Todd and Amber, left and came back years later, still played by the same actors but with horrifying personality changes. Standing up in a sunroof and screaming is something we did as teenagers after a football game. And the guys watching us in another car had an accident and hit a tree. At 16, we learned that was a dumb thing to do. What the hell is wrong with Tracy (and so many other irrational characters)? It was fantastic to see Hayley get her but good!

Although I know the writing crew isn't composed of teenage wannabes, sometimes it feels as if they have only the life experience of 20 somethings who grew up in pretty suburbs, well provided for without a care in the world. When they don't get characters or their lives right, it's like they've really never gotten to know anyone over 45 or from the working class. Its so obvious that some stories are really well crafted (Hayley's exit), while the rest seem slapped together from a recipe (Mean Rita, Peter & Tina) or are missed entirely (Gail's anxiety from being in the longterm unemployed over 50, can Marcus be gay and happy with Maria, Jenna's post professional retooling).

Sorry about the ramble. Just frustrated with the Street's current signal to noise ratio. Stepping off soap box.

ChiaGwen said...

Couldn't quite believe it when Tracy and Rob drove by with what at first looked like Tracy hurling a pail of water at them then tossing Stella's jacket onto the street. I'm hoping there is more to Diedre letting them move in and she has a plan to give them a taste of their own medicine - preferably poison.

When did Katy become Business Woman of the year, spouting off to Owen and then rather nastily to Anna that they were passing up a good opportunity and should accept Phelan's offer?

Awesome acting in the roles of Hayley and Roy - the end is coming too quickly :(

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly enjoyed Hayley's time on the street - the tet a tate with Carla that was lovely so glad Hayley had a srong normal friend in her life - someone with a backbone who knew when a laugh was needed and not bring out the kit gloves - Hayley's spot on comment about Tracey was well deserved and aired - loved that part. Writers what are you doing? surely Tracey and a few other characters aren't stuck in a time warp of their lives as teenagers? disgraceful Tracey pinching the disk for Stella's coat etc and then getting the taxi driver to make sure they drive through a puddle and wet Stella and Dev - I shake my head Deidre needs to make Tracey and her awful boyfriend grow up - perhaps coming home to find their cases outside the front door and the lock changed might do it but dont think so....

John McE said...

Am I the only one to think it ridiculous that Roy would take Hayley out in the pouring rain. I realize that the production team is at the mercy of the weather, but just the insertion of a couple of lines, where Roy refused, and Hayley said that she wanted to feel the rain on her face one last time, would have made the scene so much more believable... and poignant.

Tvor said...

Not only take her out in the pouring rain but without an umbrella and stood infront of the pub with Ches and Sinead and none of them were getting wet at all.

Did Dev check his wallet in with his coat? Why wouldn't Streetcars come and take him home on spec anyway?

Anonymous said...

The scene at Audrey's was very moving and reminded of the Community Spirit the street used to have before all the murders and affairs. Sadly many of us can relate to being shocked by the deterioration of someone with cancer and I'm convinced that relating to the characters and stories is what makes Corrie great, rather than murders.

Frankly some of the scenes jarred. The one with Leanne, Eva and Gloria snarling at each other in the Rovers seemed not just to belong to other episodes but to another programme entirely.

Anonymous said...

I still don't know why the writers aren't bringing forth any information about recovery after a traumatic brain injury. Physical as well as mental therapy are a must for someone with such obvious problems as Nick is facing. I guess it's all about Leanne.

Newfy Pearl said...

I remember when Deirdre had left Ken years ago. Tracey was a teenager. She was with Ken at Christmas time....still a nice kid at this point. She tried to cheer him up by saying he still had her....(laughable if said now...but sweet at the time). I remember Ken said but I don't want you I want Deirdre and left in a strop. Poor Tracey.

Joseph said...

They really didn't give Hayley a goodbye scene with Fiz? The Tracy retort was nice but I'd rather have seen that scene instead. Fiz was like a daughter to her (was.. I'm already talking in the past tense)

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