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Wednesday 6 August 2014

Has the worm turned?

(Posted with permission from State of the Street)

Since Ken's been away, Deirdre's character really has come into her own. She's been funny, daffy and interesting. She's been wary of Rob but they've grown quite fond of each other. She's supportive but she'll tell you off if you need telling. I've really enjoyed her blossoming out of her shell.

But now Ken's back and I feared for Deirdre. For a few scenes, I thought my worries were going to turn out true. Ken found out the hard way that Deirdre kept most of Peter's troubles from him and he blew his top. I don't blame him for that. She should have told him a long time ago that she needed him. Adam might have been very seriously ill at first but over time, he was recovering and probably didn't need Ken there full time. It sounded very much to me like Ken stayed longer than he needed to, as well.

He was right in telling her off and getting angry. But when she tried to tell him how she felt, he accused her of turning it around on him and blaming him. He was putting words in her mouth, to use a cliche, but some of the time, it was exactly what he was doing. "You're not listening. You never have," she accused. And she's right.

Of course, she did blame him a bit, that's only human nature. For whatever reasons he had, and at least for most of the time he was away, they were valid ones, she did feel abandoned. He wasn't listening. She was trying to tell him how *she* felt. All he continued to do was holler at her and berate her for trying to make him feel guilty when she was entirely at fault for not telling him Peter had been arrested.

Then. It happened. She looked him in the eye and screamed at him. "SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!!" I cheered. Boy, did that take him aback! Yet did he apologise?

Did he 'eck.

He changed the subject to Peter and continued to make her feel bad for doubting Peter when he hadn't been there to see the evidence mounting up and Peter, with alcoholic blackouts nine to the dozen, circumstantial evidence mounting, bleating ineffectually that he didn't do it. (He should have taken lessons from Deirdre, though, thinking back, that didn't do her any good, either. She went to prison as well!)

Deirdre was a mess after Ken gave up and went to bed to sleep off the jet lag. I hope she doesn't back down. I hope she doesn't give in. I hope this 18 months of enforced independence has given her the backbone to stand up for him and give him hell when he gives her flannel. But you know, he won't take any notice of her anyway. Ken's found a new crusade and he's going to save his son. And so he should.

It's easy for him. He's not been in the thick of it and maybe had he been around, Peter might not have got in so far over his head in the first place. Ken was always Peter's touchstone. The other good thing is that Ken doesn't like Rob. He's not been on the receiving side of Rob's suck up attempts. He wouldn't be won over so easily in any case. This is a man that held a grudge against Mike Baldwin for 30 years. He may have come to terms with Mike but he never trusted him and he doesn't trust Rob. He'll be the one to see behind Rob's agitation, his continued attempts to stitch up Peter and take attention away from  himself. Ken's coming at this from the outside so will be able to see things more clearly.

It's only a matter of time, now, Rob. I hope you look good in orange, me laddo.

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Anonymous said...

Good on Deirdre. Was pleased when she told him to shut up. She's found her voice, hope she doesn't lose it. So in all those 18 months, Ken never once rang Peter and Carla, or Simon or Tracy? Only Deirdre? Odd. Yes she should have told him but He buggers off for 18 months and naively thinks the dynamics won't change --Smelloid

Anonymous said...

Ken has always been a self-absorbed prat. He wouldn't sincerely apologize to Deirdre unless there was something in it for him. I'm sure a nation cheered when she finally told him to shut up! Let's hope this turns him out onto the Street and frees Deirdre up to have a life of her own.

Frosty the Snowman said...

Of course Deirdre should have told him but of course we all know this extortionately long stay in Canada with no visa ostensibly attending to a sick grandson - has been contrived because of the actor's circumstance. Ken just needs to get over it and move on now and Deirdre needs to stop grizzling. Poor Rob, the walls are closing in and Frosty almost feels sorry for him.

John McE said...

I reckon Martha (Stephanie Beacham's character) was touring Canada in Rep! That would be a turn up for the books.

Tvor said...

Of course we know the real reason for the character's absence but blogging purely on the storyline as given, of course Deirdre would feel abandoned and moreso during the crises and I agree, Surely Ken's had contact with more than just Deirdre and I refuse to believe that Tracy, aka Gob almighty, hasn't told Ken about Peter or her engagement etc.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I was cheered by Deirdre's outburst but she also came over as rather pathetic. She should have argued back that she supported Peter over Rob right up unto the time he was arrested. Peter might have forgotten that, as well. Bill Webster has been ill abroad and maybe the writers thought they couldn't have two characters taken sick. However, it would have been more plausible if Ken had been taken sick and couldn't fly out just for the last month. Ken told Carla that he'd been talking to Deirdre every day (on Skype, maybe). Strange he didn't ask where Peter was or, during one of those many conversations, what was the real reason Peter and Carla split up. And of course, as others have said, Ken would have rung his son, if nobody else, during his absence.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth,I think Tracy did want to call her father about the engagenent but Deirdre forebade it afraid she tell him about Peter.Deirdre even forbade Amy for writing to her grandfather for the same reason,so I blame Deirdre more than Ken.I think if it was Tracy who was arrested for Tina's murder, Deirdre would've told Ken immediately expecting him to come home and support her and not keep quiet andthus making Peter believe his father didn't care.

Anonymous said...

Ken Barlow has never cared about his children that's why he dumped them with the grandparents just like hilda Ogden never cared about hers she let the husband beat them up

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 18:42, it's true, while railing against the morals of the current generation, we tend to forget all of the bad things the iconic characters did in their time.

John McE said...

What?!! Are you saying Stan Ogden beat his kids up? I'd have said it'd have been too much effort for him!


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