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Monday 24 February 2014

Coronation Street double episode review, Monday 24 February 2014

Who can help but feel sympathy for Rita? She is battling hard against her feelings and her fighting spirit must be admired. Her patience too as Tina, Emily, Norris and Mary are all ready with the sympathy. We can’t blame them – she’s a valued friend and something dreadful has happened to her. Rita though stands tall, as Mary tells her how humiliating it is to have been thrown over for Gloria. Not one to relish people feeling sorry for her Rita declares, ‘Nobody died!’ Rita then continues with her positive spin as she says that she has another year on the clock. Rita then receives a text which makes her wobble. It is Dennis of course saying that he is sorry for everything and that he wants her to forgive him. Does this suggest Dennis wants to return? Mary gives us some of her ‘family folklore; this time Aunt Miranda pops up and she is most definitely not someone to mess with. Mary regales us with the story of her Aunt Miranda whose husband ran off with another woman. ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ seems apposite here, especially when she has an axe as Mary confirms Aunt Miranda did have.  
Just a word here about Tina who kindly offers to stay with Rita – Tina points out that Dennis’s actions were cruel. Yes Tina they were and what exactly are yours with reference to Carla, your friend?

What a tour de force from Norris and Rita – such convincing acting and such wisdom and insightful comment on the whole business of love and losing love and what happens as we age concerning the difficulties and expectations we have about life. When you’re young you can cope with upsets and difficulties, but when you get older and the world and its opportunitiesbegin,inevitablyto close in, it’s not so easy to recover from life’s knocks. Bluntly stated, it’s a question of time running out.
Rita tells Norris that she feels ‘humiliated, disappointed and sad’ and Norris tells her that she is a stronger woman than anyone he knows and that she is going to get through this. And we know she will. Rita reminds us that when she first came to the street fifty years ago, Dennis was the only one she knew and that there was something of the ‘chancer’ about him. And so it came to pass.

 To have the focus on just Rita and Norris for a while, with no fussing Emily or Mary, having a cup of tea in the most ordinary of places, works so well. It is all the more touching and poignant because it’s Rita’s birthday. Rita, immersed in old school pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again, heads out to The Rovers to celebrate her birthday. Audrey admires Rita’s determination and tells of how she felt over Lewis. ‘I just wanted to crawl under a stone and say there,’ confesses Audrey. ‘I’ve been eyeing that stone all day,’ says Rita, but the very fact that she’s out shows that for now, at least, she’s not going to let Dennis’s unexpected and sudden departure force her under the stone.

Liz gives Rita a drink on the house - a large one and, maybe, Liz, who is currently single sees herself in Rita, in  two or three decades. Liz has been single for a while though she does seem to have her eye on Tony, Jason’s dad. Leaving the pub, Norris, a true friend, offers to walk her home. Rita thanks him, and he tells her that it’s not really very far out of his way, but Rita elaborates and tells Norris that she’s thanking him for the whole day.  Norris tells her that he supposes that today will not be a day she will want to repeat. And, very importantly, that there will be happy days again. ‘I don’t know how I would have got through today without you – not in one piece anyhow.’ She continues, ‘You drive me to distraction, but you’re a good man. Good night, my friend.’

Eileen is angry with her once blue-eyed boy, for whom she had such high hopes and ideals. Todd tries to get into his mother’s good books by making her a bacon sandwich but while she’s suspicious, though happy to eat the sandwich, Todd, rather unkindly, declares they’ve run out of bacon when Eileen invites Sean to come and join them, and the hurt was clearly displayed on Sean’s face and in his hasty exit to work.

Knowing now that Todd and Marcus slept together, Eileen takes it upon herself to have a word with Marcus when Maria goes to the toilet in tbe bistro, during her and Marcus’ romantic meal. Eileen tells Marcus she knows that he and Todd slept together and Marcus swears it will never happen again. On her return, Maria is clearly unsure what Eileen is doing at their table, but Eileen quite convincingly tells Maria that she’s worried about Sean and wondered if Marcus might be able to tell her what’s wrong.

In the Streetcars office another mother and son confab is interrupted by Steve and Lloyd’s return. Todd isreferred to as ‘the prodigal’. Later Eileen confronts Todd again, but Todd makes a valid point. ‘Would he have slept with me if he was happy with her?’ Eileen fights back with a simple imperative. ‘Stay away from him!’ But Todd has the last word. ‘Sorry, I can’t.’ He adds a long, defiant look to add weight to his words. Earlier she had asked him if wanted something because of the bacon sandwich making. ‘Life has made you very cynical, mother’ Todd tells her. He has informed Sean that nothing will happen between himself and Sean. Eileen hopes he’s been sensitive, a quality which Todd informs his mother is his middle name. She puts him straight and tells him a fitting name would be ‘Trouble.’

Roy seems to be coping relatively well. It is early days of course since Hayley died, but at least he’s functioning and showing interest in the parcel that came containing a scale model of the steam train which travelled on Woodhead between Sheffield and Manchester.

Mary admires Roy’s restaraint at not opening the parcel and thoughtfully has come to buy a ‘lttle something’ which she recognises won’t lessen Rita’s pain and humiliation but as she states, ‘the cocoa bean can be one’s staunchest ally in times of great stress.’

Kal’s father is now with us and we see why Kal appears to have the weight of the world on his shoulders despite his father having agreed to lend the money. It turns out that Kal was sacked from Sharif’s textile factory, for sweeping too slowly. It also looks as though Sharif will upset the arrangements and the agreed terms and payments with Jason. Maybe Jason’s dad Tony and Kal’s dad Sharif will mess it all up between them. Parents eh! Who’d ‘ave ‘em? As Stella says, ‘Embarrassing their kids is one of the few pleasures parents have.’

Phelan is becoming a nuisance to Anna and so she decides to ‘mark his card’ and texts him to come round. Perhaps Phelan cannot be blamed for misinterpreting the message, but surely on arrival he realises that Anna is not attracted to him, though his arrogance is overwhelming. He tells her he knows women like her who fear losing their looks and who worry they are no longer attractive to men. Surely there should be no mistaking Anna’s feeling when she says, ‘I love Owen, I love him!  A shame Owen couldn’t have heard her say that. Too upset to go to the bistro with the Phelans, she sends Owen on his own with the girls. Izzy decides to check on Anna and is confused as to why she’s drinking red wine if she has a headache and feels unwell. So the truth comes out and Izzy, after some persuading, tells Gary. And so…

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Nemo said...

Thanks for the great write-up, Ruth. Loved Rita and Norris tonight. Almost brought a tear to my eye!

abbyk said...

I totally agree. That was the Rita and Norris we used to love. More please. And a landlady who knows how to make her customers feel welcome.

And then there were the Armstrong/Windasses. Leaving a bad taste in my mouth, every one of them. Oh well, they too shall pass.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Didnt Rita wallow in it yesterday? Would have felt a bit of sympathy for her if she hadnt driven Dennis away with her unpleasantness and control freak ways. And how ridiculous was Anna inviting a man around to her house alone , texting him on his personal mobile - why would she even have the number? that she feels uncomfortable with, just to tell him that. Thick as mince

John McE said...

As usual, Barbara Knox acted everyone else off screen. She does hurt and upset to absolute perfection. But I'd find it a lot easier to feel sympathy for Rita if the writers hadn't turned her into a vindictive shrew in the weeks leading up to Dennis's departure.

John McElroy said...

And dear God, it looks like we've now got TWO Devs on the Street. Aaaaaaaargh!

Ruth owen said...

Thank you very much Nemo.

Rosepatch said...

So who was babysitting while nearly everyone was in the Rovers or the Bistro? Maria and Marcus were out without Liam, and Izzie and Gary without Jake. Emily was also having an evening out so she wasn't babysitting, as I presume she usually does. Also haven't seen Faye for some time.....surely she hadn't gone up to bed before they went out. And can Fizz get rid of that terrible face when she is whining at Roy. If she's not careful he'll shut her out. Nice to see him happier tonight.

Humpty Dumpty said...

Fiz was a bit less in-your-face last night but tactless as ever about sorting through Hayley's clothes. Happens in real life, too, when people think the bereaved will be better off with a tidy home and no memories. Usually, though, there is someone else to provide a balance of opinion. Jenna seemed to be on Fiz's side as it were at the end of the episode. Deirdre, who raged at Ken for going through Blanche's things, should give Fiz a good talking-to. This is where the oldies would excel, in giving the benefit of their life experience to the younger residents. Fiz lost John Stape but it wasn't in quite the same order as Roy and Hayley. She means well but she's young and brash.

Anonymous said...

I thought Rita's acting was dreadful, I really cringe when she attempts to cry or act upset. She clearly can't do that material so stop giving her it. And I can't feel much sympathy, she is always lording over everyone and thinks she is the queen. Probably enjoyed the attention, gave her a chance to snap at people and do the poor me routine. Why has everyone forgotten the nasty remarks she made towards Dennis not long ago?

Newfy Pearl said...

Also with Rita - did Gloria and ?Dennis even kiss? She blew it all out of proportion like Izzy did with Tina and Gary.
I think deep down Rita was looking for a reason to chuck Dennis out....look how nasty she had been before he even became friends with Gloria.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Newfy Pearl-Rita was just plain NASTY to Dennis for the longest time. I was reminded recently too about when they first got together and he supposedly didn't know how to use a bank card. Unless he had been homeless and on the street for at least twenty years, he should have known. I think it was just done to suck up to the "I-like-to-be-totally-in-control" side of Rita's ego. Doomed from the start.


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