Thursday, 11 May 2017

Tracy Barlow: 'A Change is Gonna Come'

I've been a little troubled by Tracy lately. It stems from her recent capacity to show compassion for others. So, as the title suggests, I will stick my neck out here and claim that Tracy will become a better person.

The change in the title of this piece is from Sam Cook's political anthem about civil rights in the 1960s, so we are nowhere near that massive scale. But in a small way, in the microcosm that is Weatherfield, it may be possible that Tracy learns some empathy. I claim this because of Tracy's selfless act of confessing to having pushed Ken down the stairs, in the mistaken belief that she was saving Amy, who, Tracy thought, had been the one to push Ken. She was ready to make that sacrifice for Amy, safe in the knowledge that Amy would be well looked after, while she, Tracy, served a prison term.  That act of maternal sacrifice has surely provoked some admiration for Tracy.

However, as far as Yasmeen is concerned, there is nothing in this world that can redeem Tracy Barlow. It was Tracy who crept into Carla's flat, fully intending to kill her. Hearing a toilet flush, Tracy scarpered, leaving her candle by a lampshade, which caught fire. Amy was in that flat but Tracy didn't know.  Kal Nazir died trying to rescue Amy. Initially, people blamed Carla, whose guilt manifested itself in her drinking to excess and gambling. Later Tracy confessed it was her who, accidentally, started the fire.

Yasmeen was in court this week to see Tracy Barlow go to prison for pushing her father down the stairs - attempted murder. Again, Yasmeen was disappointed, though initially hopeful. 'I thought she specialised in evading the law; now I hear she has finally confessed to something.' She adds, 'It would give me a great deal of pleasure to see that despicable woman brought to justice.' Yasmeen also feels for Ken when she says, 'Lord knows Ken has done his best, but to have such a creature as a daughter....' trailing off as Ken, himself appears.

In the bistro, Yasmeen confides in Leanne about how she feels about her court experience. 'I was desperately hoping for a small victory, some crumbs of consolation.' Gazing at baby Oliver, Yasmeen wistfully mentions how it might have been possible for Oliver to be her grandson. It's hard not to sympathise with Yasmeen, a woman who lost her son in the prime of his life.

This may be wild speculation, but might it be possible, in a while, for Tracy to empathise with Yasmeen and to express sorrow at the tragic loss of  her son, a loss which came about by accident, but was, in fact, rooted in Tracy's malicious desire to end Carla's life? In short, is a change gonna come?

By Ruth Owen, twitter: @ruth1722

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Humpty Dumpty said...

Tracy falling on her sword to save Amy doesn't show that she's changed that much. It's true, at one time, Tracy put her own interests above her daughter's but it's different now that Amy's a young adult. Amy is Tracy's Jiminy Cricket; she tells it like it is and makes her mother feel guilty. And so she should, but it doesn't mean she's changed. If the writers want to redeem Tracy, she should offer humble apologies to Roy for the cruel way she's treated him and Hayley. Like Bethany and Sarah, Amy is much more interesting than her mother. In the past, Tracy had her fans because they loved her panto villain which was mostly for superficial entertainment. The writers will have to do a lot more with her if she's to become a sympathetic character.

Tvor said...

Tracy has changed a little. Not a lot. I don't think she'll ever become sympathetic but a bit of vulnerability now and then has softened her and made her a bit more palatable. She's a "love to hate" character and I can't believe I'm saying that after years of really disliking both the character and the actor who has really come a long way. I think her mother's death really affected her and that's made a small change in her. She's still morally bankrupt and I don't see that really changing over much.

Newfy Pearl said...

I have enjoyed Tracy for years. I think Kate Ford is amazing even at times when the writing was shakey.
To me Tracy is all shades of gray. I would rather ten of her than 1 Maria.
I would like to say that I really liked the scene with Ken and Tracy. She explained why she said she attacked him. He finally owned his recent interfering behaviour. He told her that he had decided to invest in her and gift her the share of inheritance she would have gotten later. Best of all he said that no matter what she is his daughter. I think those words alone meant more to Tracy than the money.

Tvor said...

Yes I agree. that was a lovely scene with Ken and she needed to hear him call her his daughter in just that loving tone of voice.

Anonymous said...

Tracy is an unrepentant murderer. To my recollection, she has never stated out loud that she realizes it was wrong to murder Charlie Stubbs for no good reason (even if he was a no-good bum) and that it was wrong to lie about the circumstances. If she'd once said, "I do bad things sometimes and I'm sorry about that", I'd feel better about it. Yes, the character has softened in a few spots and it's to Kate Ford's credit and her talent that this comes through. But Tracy still takes delight in making horrible comments to people with that trademark Tracy smirk, and always feels that the world owes her something. She is a decent mum to Amy, but I love that Amy sees right through her schemes. I'm still shocked beyond belief that cute-but-dippy Luke fell for her. Tracy doesn't have to be perfect in order to be better (a lesson for all of us, perhaps), but real progress for the character would require a couple of big steps forward.

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