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Thursday 16 July 2015

Tracy's Choice

Chris Gascoyne’s much anticipated return was the icing on the most satisfying of cakes that was last night’s Corrie. I’ve already written about this exceptional episode this morning, and so would like to devote this particular blog to Peter’s home truths.

After Ken unleashed a well deserved tongue lashing on the ever petulant Tracy, and headed for a much needed lie down, Peter forced her to face up to how he sees things playing out in the future.

He was upfront about being scared for Amy and told Tracy in no uncertain terms that Deirdre was too. He then presented a selection of choices in what was a powerful scene:

“One of two things is going to happen.

She’s going to take you as a blueprint and be just as hated by the people around here as you are and just as alone.

Personally I’m banking on things going the other way.

I hope that she sees how much people despise you on this street. I hope she hears about every rotten trick you’ve pulled and every bridge that you’ve burned and she comes to hate you for it. I’d sooner she hated you than was hated by the whole world, because unless you do something about it, they’re her only choices.

But there might still be time.”

While Peter presents two choices for Amy, he offers a third, and that belongs to Tracy. Amy can elect to be like her mother, or hate her, but if Tracy chooses to mend her ways, it may not be too late to save them both.

Judging from the child’s attitude and behaviour, it looks as if option one is already in train, so Tracy would want to act fast.

Some interesting questions have appeared in the comments section of Jordan’s episode review courtesy of an anonymous poster. This person asks those who feel that Tracy can never be redeemed what it would take, if anything, for her to pay her dues. They ask “are there any terms under which you would accept her presence on the street, or must she be sentenced to death or life in prison?

When will the feud between viewers and Tracy Barlow end? Can it ever end?

These are certainly valid questions. Whenever this issue comes up, it is often remarked that it is too late for Tracy, that she is terminally villainous and it would be unrealistic for her to change at this point. But I feel it would be more unrealistic for her to continue as she always has done after last night, and so I hope she does try to change. If she doesn’t, where else does her character go?

While they admittedly haven’t committed murder, there are plenty of characters on the Street, past and present, who have done deplorable things for which they have been all but forgiven. Is Tracy beyond this purely because of the nature of her crime, or is it because of who she is?

As far as I'm concerned, yes, Tracy has committed murder and more besides, but I feel we have to believe in the capacity of anyone to turn their lives around, at any point. Perhaps the death of her mother and the wrath of her father and brother will provide her with a long awaited and much needed epiphany. And let's face it, if it doesn't come after last night's episode, it surely never will.

If she does decide to take the honest path, however, surely step one would have to be confessing to lighting the candle that started the fire in Victoria Court. But where would that leave her?

What do you think? Is Tracy beyond redemption? Does it need to happen now or never? Does it even matter? What should happen to her from here on in?

By Emma Hynes
Twitter: @ELHynes

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Antiphon said...

I also wonder how the issue of Tracy's lighting the candle which started the Victoria Court fire will be resolved, if at all. At the moment Carla has been driven to gambling in order to blot out the pain of believing that she was responsible for the fire and the deaths of Kal and Maddie, and many other street residents including Leanne, Sophie and Yasmeen also believe it was her fault. I do not know if the scriptwriters intend to resolve this situation before Carla leaves the show for a period in 2016, but it would be a pity if she continued to be blamed for something she had not done without the truth coming out. On the other hand, if Tracy confessed to being responsible it might leave her facing another prison sentence, and I am not aware that Kate Ford wishes to leave the show again. It will be interesting to see how this situation works out; perhaps Tracy will never confess and the real truth will never be known. What do other viewers think?

C in Canada said...

@Antiphon - it'll be Leanne who brings it about. Tracey told Leanne about the candle starting the fire before anyone knew that was so - the fire inspector had only just told Carla, so there was no way Tracey could have known unless she was there.
I picked up on that little tidbit as soon as Tracey opened her big gob to Leanne.
I'm surprised it's taken this long for the truth to come out, and in soap law, the truth always does come out, so I don't see Tracey confessing unless it's under extreme pressure from Leanne, Carla, etc..
I do hope they tie up that loose end soon.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Emma! I agree that the secret of Tracy's involvement in the fire - or rather the revelation of that secret - poses a problem. It's not so much her having left a lit candle in the flat, which was accidental, but her motive for being there in the first place, which was to harm Carla. How does she admit to the first without also admitting to the latter?
Perhaps the writers could insert some Crime and Punishment here. Now that Peter has pricked Tracy's conscience, she starts to go a bit Raskolnikov, punished by her own pent-up guilt, especially as she becomes aware of Carla's downward spiral. As Humpty Dumpty said in another comment, Tracy needs a confessor. Maybe Robert? Or even Carla? If Carla found out the truth, it would let her off the hook, at the same time she might decide to stay schtum for Amy's sake, or to hold something over Tracy. Under different circumstances, Tracy did save Carla's life. Maybe a sort of quid pro quo? Other thoughts?

Humpty Dumpty said...

SB has said that the truth about Tracy starting the fire - albeit inadvertently - will come out but won't be provable. Maybe that will be followed through or maybe they will forget about it. I remember, when Karl started the fire, some viewers thought Paul the fireman could smell smoke on his clothes. I forget the scene but they were standing next to each other; that was never followed through.

I detest those who say in blogs 'it's not real, you know' as if we hadn't worked that one out but Tracy's redemption does need to be considered in that light. If it was real life, she might be redeemed after a suitable period of remorse probably away from the Street. If it was a Sunday night saga, with a definite story arc, she might be redeemed at the end of the sixth episode. But it's a soap and entirely dependent on what the writers do. Robert may discover things about Tracy that he can't ignore. I'd love Amy to remember what happened on the night of the fire. Maybe she remembers that she heard the front door opening which woke her up. En route to the toilet, she recognised her mother's perfume. It could be enough punishment for Tracy that Robert and Amy now realise how spiteful she can be. Tracy needs to be ostracised and banished to London for a while, leaving Amy behind. On her return, maybe viewers will see a repentant person determined to change.

Stephen said...

I have been saying for ages that Tracy would be a much more interesting character if she tried to turn her life around. She is one-dimensional and her mum's death could be the event that changes her. A character who is struggling, against her natural nature, to be the best person he/she can be, is much more watchable.
This could take Tracy years, and her efforts to bite her lip and show kindness/patience, rather than give in to the temptation to snarl at those who either can't or won't see what she's trying to do, (or who are trying to trip her up out of revenge for her past foulness to them), would be much more satisfying than currently watching her being indiscriminately rotten merely because she can be.
Her constant verbal jabs, vile scheming and appalling lack of self-awareness have worn thin to the point of being jolly annoying.

Anonymous said...

When Carla and Amy arrived at the flat, Amy asked if she could light the candle and Carla said an emphatic NO. Amy is gonna remember that sooner or later. And she's gonna tell somebody that. And that will start the questions. Carla assumes (cuz she drank) that perhaps she did light the candle.

~JB in Canada

Tvor said...

Ah but Carla did light the candle while they had their hot chocolate. That's why she thinks she left it burning and why she asked Amy if she remembered if it was blown out.

Anonymous said...

I think that an abrupt and complete change of behaviour for Tracey would be entirely unbelievable. But the process of her trying to change and occasionally slipping back into her old ways would be watchable and credible. It would be interesting to see who would believe her intentions are real and try to help her (Emily, for one, I'll bet) and who would not be convinced (do I have to mention Norris)?

Zagg said...

I think a slow morph into a better person for Tracey is possible and absolutely necessary. In the past no matter what she did, she always had Dierdre in her court and she no longer has that comfort zone. Ken and Peter have made their feelings clear. She is on her own now, an oarless boat, and either has to become a better person due to the blow of her mother's death or just leave with a bang and not come back, in my opinion. In real life, given all of her past craziness and horrible deeds she has inflicted on people, NO ONE would give her the time of day and in fact she would be ostracized from the street, Dierdre or no Dierdre.They have pushed the absolute limits of her behaviour. It's time to make this character more believable and less of a panto villain.

Anonymous said...

Emma: kudos for giving credit to a previous comment poster for raising an idea that you developed further in your post.

Anonymous said...

I am one the commentators who raised this let me elaborate. Here in Canada for anyone over the age of 20 Karla Homolka is the most hated woman in the country. She was responsible for the abduction, torture, rape and murder of three teenage girls, one of whom was her own sister. She had the same look in her eyes as Tracy, was cold and heartless and wiggled out of paying for her crime. She served twelve years and was then released as a reformed woman in society. No one in Canada bought the reform. She continued to receive death threats and the government moved to remove her to a Caribbean paradise where she now lives with her new husband and three babies. Charlie Stubbs may have been abusive to Shelly but Tracy did not kill him because of that. Had Shelley killed him it would have been self defence. Tracy killed him because he ended their relationship. Such a person is sociopath/psychopath (not sure what the difference is) and as such it is not credible that the "news" that was mother was ashamed of her having an affair with local man is enough to alter the brain chemistry of a sociopath. Redemption starts with acknowledgement, remorse, contrition and many years of active work to remedy her mental situation. Trust, in real life as well as that of viewers, is fragile and once lost takes years of rebuild. I am reminded Christopher Lee who passed away recently, he played a villain so well (Dracula) that he was condemned to play a villian for the rest of his career. Does Katie Ford feel is capable of succeeding where Mr. Lee could not?

Anonymous said...

I posted the questions you quoted and really appreciate how you drew them into a bigger context. Thank you:) - ELK

Anonymous said...

I, for one, found that Tracy was correct in calling Peter a hypocrite as far as taking care of his child goes. Now, he's back for two minutes and then off again, leaving Simon..where exactly? Nowhere.
And as far as comparing Karla H to a fictional character in a soap opera is a stretch beyond the pale.

Shell said...

Tracy isn't a sociopath because she killed Charlie. That's a crime of passion. And I agree - comparing her with Karla Homolka is going too far.

Soap opera villains are redeemed all the time. It's part of the genre.

Peter said some truths to Tracy. It's too bad he didn't see how they applied to himself. He thinks that removing himself (as a bad example) from Simon's life is saving Simon, and probably thinks that would be a good option for Tracy to do. Of course, he is wrong, and too lazy/insecure to do the work of changing. At least Tracy is present in her daughter's life. And Amy could have a third option - following Ken and Dierdre's example of loving but disagreeing with Tracy.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that would save Tracy IMHO is if she feels so guilty about her impact on her family that she actually confesses to having lit the candle that burnt down Victoria Court and caused two deaths.

She can then go to jail, where we can check in on her regularly and through her time and perhaps programs and interactions there, experience a legitimate change in her behaviour and personality. That is the only way that I would be able to accept her genuine repentance and transformation.


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