Wednesday, 3 May 2017

When Bethany emerges from hell

How long now before Bethany emerges from the hell into which Nathan has plunged her? Well, as I understand it, she has a good deal more to endure before she escapes the web in which Nathan has ensnared her.

How will it happen? How will she be able to escape a man as controlling and manipulative as Nathan. A man who is able to convince Bethany that he loves her and who can keep Mel, an ex-girlfriend, on side and silent through fear. Can any of us forget how Nathan slammed the till drawer on Mel? Not to mention her continual air of fear, her subdued behaviour, her eyes forever cast downward – just how much is Mel in his sway? And what exactly has passed between them?  Mel’s refusal/inability to tell Bethany what is going on is so frustrating – can she not hint at it, at least? She must be so terrified, so caught up in Nathan’s scheme, that to tell Bethany the truth would be to open herself up to the worst of dangers.

Unlikely though it may seem, it just might be the case that Mary plays a key role in Bethany’s eventual escape from Nathan. In Monday’s episode Mary showed a touching degree of concern for Bethany. Bethany’s traumatised, haunted expression, to anyone who knew her, would surely make it clear that something seismic had taken place. Mary’s concern was touching and we mustn’t forget that Mary herself was taken advantage of at a very young age, resulting in the birth of her son and the subsequent heart ache, as she was forced to surrender him for adoption.
It may also be the case that Shona, Nathan’s ex, will realise what is happening to Bethany and play a part in her rescue.

Bethany spots Nathan outside the florists and she looks petrified. She tries to hide but fails and Nathan takes her back to his lair. But Mary is alerted – Mary is on watch. For the viewer, there is some small degree of reassurance in this.

On her return, Nathan acts in a deliberately intimidating way. He turns up the music so loud that Bethany is made to feel even more afraid. He then asks her in a sneering, obnoxious fashion what he should buy her for her birthday. He answers his own question – ‘A doll’s house, a rocking horse, some crayons? Just when I thought you were a grown up, you go and behave like a child.’

Oh, he’s good! His ability to twist and distort, in order to confuse and control, is second to none.

And what of the future for Bethany? How difficult will it be for her to return to normal life? Who will she be able to trust in the ensuing years when men approach her as they surely will? Will her confidence ever be restored? Let's not forget that it is not so long ago that Bethany was being bullied by those awful girls at school. Sarah, if she is told the whole truth, will be utterly devastated when she learns the extent of what has happened to Bethany. How will she and Gary cope with the traumatic truth?  Will Gail and Audrey know? How will David react? 
All of the scenes relating to the grooming storyline have been played well, but the one that sticks in my mind is where Neil is talking Bethany to the bedroom, and Bethany, in her desperation, is rubbing her ear, the code ‘agreed’ between her and Nathan that when he sees her doing this he will rescue her. Bethany’s confusion as to why Nathan would ‘give’ her to Neil, as compensation for the ‘stolen’ photographic equipment, was played so very well by the talented Lucy Fallon, whose acting abilities have soared in this storyline. Chris Harper, who plays Nathan is doing an excellent job too.

Yes, it makes for difficult viewing, but if this brave storyline saves one person from the hell caused by grooming, then in my book, it has been worth it – every bit.

by Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722

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mayann57 said...

I ca't watch Corrie right now because of this storyline.I was already fed up, Leanne pregnant by Steve for Christ's sake is ridiculous, Maria going to jail for marrying a gay guy please.So many things don't even make sense for their characters anymore. There are many things bugging me now about the show but this I flat out can't take. Maybe I will return later who knows.

Tvor said...

I think it's been done really well. Nathan is increasingly creepy and you can see Bethany getting in further and further over her head as his control gets more and more restrictive. I am a bit frustrated that Sarah hasn't seemingly told the rest of the family her fears when it seemed to me that she could tell that her daughter isn't as happy as she pretends. Even if she and the rest of the family can't make Bethany leave Nathan, they can at least have more eyes keeping watch.

I too hope they pay as much attention to the aftermath. But the Platts have a history of ignoring things like this when a spell of counciling really should be required. Bethany's going to need all the help she can get.

dulyquoted said...

Thank you RUth for your brave treatment of a difficult subject!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Sarah's 'wait and see' attitude needs explaining. Now that Bethany's left home, Sarah can't say that she doesn't want to push her daughter further away by interfering. She's already away. Why is Sarah not curious about Nathan, checking him out on social media or the grapevine? If she's worried but doesn't want to tell her family, she could go on-line to find mumsnet-type sites to ask advice. All she seems to do is leave messages on Bethany's phone.

Ruth Owen said...

Thank you duly quoted

Ruth Owen said...

Yes Humpty - Sarah is a young woman, constantly with phone in hand. Surely she would do all she could to track Nathan down online. Also, why not contact the police? They need not say who contacted them but surely, if they at least made their presence felt, this horror might be brought to a close earlier. It's not as if grooming has not been in the news for at least the last 2 years.

Louby said...

Lucy has been brilliant, acting this. It has been done well, but I wish it would stop now. Surely they can't raise awareness any more than they have already.

Maricha said...

I think this is the shortcoming of this story. It's completely contrived that this family of people who can't shut up about what the others are doing or have done isn't made aware of what's happening to Bethany. Sarah has time to get overheard by Shona discussing what David did last year but doesn't find it relevant to tell Gail that Bethany is dating a creep,was staying out all hours and has moved out right now?

Stephen Feldman said...

I agree with Tvor... my biggest concern isn't the story line... I think it's being handled marvelously. Its the aftermath... typically in Corrie, the impact of what has happened seems to always dissolve into the dust, and there is no focus on recovery and what would be required for a teenager to get the support needed to return to 'normal' (if that's even possible). I hope TPTB make sure that this is also focused on, as much as this story, that although the villain may be behind bars or killed off, they spend time on how someone like Bethany would recover over the coming years.

Rapunzel said...

Toyah is a trained counselor, or so we've been told. There's no real excuse for not showing a healthy healing phase.

Maricha said...

She is but unless Toyaj leaves her job at the pub it would be odd to just have her start counseling Bethany. I don't understand why they didn't have Toyah move back to Corrie after finding work at the medical clinic that is so close by that Rana walks to it in scrubs. It's not like the show didn't know this storyline was coming.

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