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Tuesday 26 February 2019

Roy and Carla - the ever-shifting sands of their relationship

The friendship between Roy and Carla is possibly one of the most interesting that Coronation Street has ever depicted. Roy and Carla – how unlikely is a friendship between these two? And how many true friendships are there between men and women on the cobbles which are as genuine as this one? In fact, how many platonic male/female friendships are there? Or have there ever been? One springs to mind and that is the friendship between Kate Connor and Daniel Barlow – but it’s not very well developed, nor is the other one which springs to mind, the one between Craig and Bethany, though that might not qualify, as I seem to remember that they had feelings for each other, at one time, so they can’t be included.

Sometimes father - daughter, other times, mother - son, siblings, friends, their relationship never seems to stand still.

As viewers will recall, it was over Hayley’s cancer diagnosis that Roy and Carla first became friends. After Hayley died, the friendship continued and has been a constant in both their lives. (We can probably assume that they stayed in touch during Carla’s absence from the cobbles).

Many have admired this friendship and the unlikely nature of it, but have been unanimous in approval. Therefore, it made for difficult viewing when Roy attacked Carla for ‘chicanery’ in which he believes she has been involved. I’d be interested to know where your sympathies lie. I will immediately mark my own card and confess that I was firmly in Carla’s corner and thought that Roy was unusually harsh.

By deleting the footage, hiding Roy’s coat and shoes in the factory’s recycling bin, because they smelt of paraffin, and not sticking up for Abi, when she was accused of having started the fire, Carla was doing nothing other than protecting Roy, even if her methods were misguided. It’s easy to understand Carla’s motives. Roy was sleepwalking. He was not in charge of his mind nor his actions. Roy, of all people, would never have set fire to a match, never mind a boat.

As Carla said, ‘I did it to protect you.’
‘From what?’ asked Roy.
‘You started the fire, Roy.’
‘It was me – all along.’
‘But Roy, you were sleepwalking!’
‘I blamed you, I’m sorry. How did you find out?’
‘I checked the CCTV. Nobody saw you. You weren’t responsible.’
‘You had no right to hide the truth from me.’
‘I made a judgement call.’
‘Yes. And a very poor one. I’m a walking liability. I have no recollection of anything.’

Roy then gives a little. ‘I don’t doubt your desire to protect me. I set fire to a boat, therefore I must be punished.’

Off go Carla and Roy to see Peter, who believes that Carla is using Roy to cover up her crimes. Carla explains that Roy is struggling after the death of his mother and it being the anniversary of Hayley’s death. Roy is angry. ‘Please don’t bring my dead wife into this by way of mitigation. That’s crass in the extreme! I will pay for the boat.’

Peter turns his anger on Carla and demands that she apologises to Abi in front of everyone in The Rovers. Is this evidence of love?

Roy heads off and turns himself into the police. On his return home, Roy says nothing. Carla quips, ‘You should take up poker with that face - you’d be world champion in no time.’

When he reveals that he’s been to the police, Carla’s exasperation is easy to understand.

‘No! Why?’
 ‘The point is the truth must come out.’
Carla explains that she was relieved, not gleeful or joyful that Roy was off the hook.
Roy hits back hard. ‘And pleased that Abi was going to carry the can?’
‘No! Are you calling me a liar?’
‘I am. Your desire to punish Abi may be subconscious.’
‘Wow, Roy! I’m surprised you still give me the time of day.’
‘You stood back and watched him (Peter) lay into her (Abi). My point is that your relationship with Peter Barlow, your obsession with each other could have landed an innocent woman in jail under the auspices of protecting me.’

Carla appeared devastated. Everything Roy said was true, but he could have dealt with it so much better.

And in last night’s episode, Carla asks Roy for advice. She has a friend who she loves, she tells Roy, but he has fallen out with her. So, what should she do? Shockingly, instead of responding with kindness and compassion, Roy tells her that their living arrangements were only temporary, and so Carla receives her marching orders. Roy wants her out, but he will do her the favour of allowing her to find somewhere to live first. He thinks it’s for the best and then continues listening to Steam Engine Sounds – the album.

What a dreadful time Carla is having. Gary’s estimate for the factory roof is £60,000 and she will have to shut the factory for the job to be done and yet she has to keep the machines going to pay for the roof.

And it gets worse. Shona runs up to the flat to tell Carla that, ‘There’s a copper downstairs and he wants to talk to you, Carla.’

Though difficult to watch, I applaud the writers who are conveying the complexities of relationships and of course, Alison King and David Neilson do a terrific job.

By Ruth Owen, on twitter: @Ruth1722.

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C in Canada said...

Roy is never one to mince words. He calls it like he sees it. The world is black and white for him.
I'm sure they will get back to their old way of being friends in time. Roy knows she did it (out of jealousy for Peter yes) but also out of trying to protect him when he was vulnerable.

BTW, wasn't the factory roof replaced just recently? Why does it need doing again so soon?

Ruth owen said...

Thank you for your comment C in Canada. Yes I hope they will. As to the roof I’m afraid it’s all gone over my head...

Anonymous said...

Great post Ruth. Re the roof - Pat Phelan’s villainry (is that a word?) continues from the grave, it seems; Gary reckons he did a rubbish job fixing the roof the first time. Rapunzel

Humpty Dumpty said...

One thing Carla doesn't possess is humility. As Roy said, she thinks she can fix everything whether people want it her way or not. The depression storyline will play out (superbly, I'm sure) and she will emerge a more self-aware individual. Roy will be part of her recovery and their relationship will become more equal, shifting up and down depending on which of them needs support.

C in Canada said...

You're quite welcome Ruth!
I remember now - this was Eva's 'revenge' plot, where they took everything including the roof. How someone takes a roof though, still escapes me.
I guess Phelan did do a rubbish job if he was trying to do construction AND conduct all his 'vallainry' at the same time! lol

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post!

Surprisingly, I'm firmly on Carla's side with this. Regardless of her bad decisions, I don't think there was any need to be so cold, and quite frankly, heartless to her.
Don't get me wrong, I adore Roy. He's the moral compass of the street but not everything is black and white in this situation.
I felt for Carla when she tried to tell him how sorry she was, and that she loves him.
Roy has been like a father to her, and Carla's been like a daughter to him so it's a real shame to see him turn his back on her over this.

She did the wrong thing for the right reasons. And trying to make it look like Abby was in any serious danger of getting the blame is just silly, in my opinion. Obviously, she shouldn't have been blamed at all but she was wrongly accused (mainly by Peter) for 5 minutes before Cathy gave her an alibi. The only person who was treated like a suspect is Carla. The very fact that she'd rather risk being blamed herself than involve Roy, should make her motives very clear. But it's just been disregarded.

Ruth owen said...

Yes Humpty - Carla does lack humility. But in this case, her belief that she can fix things was totally motivated by her love of Roy. Agree too that Carla in time will have learned something about herself.

Ruth owen said...

Agree with every word Anonymous. Thank you for you great thoughts. Much appreciated

Christie said...

I wonder if Roy needs to figure out the subconscious reasons as to why he’s so angry with Carla. She had asked him, close to begged him, to talk to someone following his mother’s death, and especially after he started sleepwalking, and he chose to ignore it. Perhaps he is projecting his guilt at his stubbornness onto Carla?
It will be interesting to see how they make up, because I can’t believe this is the end of this friendship. I simply love them together!

sbdriver said...

I'm a Canadian viewer too. I try not to read ahead but I like to read the updates and reviews after we've seen them in Canada. I can't seem to scroll back far enough anymore. I can only go back as far as "Coronation Street Job Vacancy for production secretary" and "sacked Corrie actor stars in iconic stage role"

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Am I missing something? I believe we are a full two weeks behind.

Unknown said...

Wasn't it damaged in the boat fire? And Gary said Phelan had done a botched job.


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