Friday, 26 May 2017

The face of an assailant

When the "Who Attacked Ken" storyline spoilers first hit t'interweb, ITV's publicity machine offered a photo of all the potential suspects including a non-family member, Pat Phelan. They do this. Then, quite often, they throw a twist in the works and the culprit ends up being someone entirely different and "expendable", a secondary character. I really thought that's where this was going and I suspected either young Seb, perhaps caught in the act of robbing Number 1 or Chloe, hoping to set Peter up for it.

In an unusual twist, the identity of the attacker is indeed in the above photo. As the inept DS McKinnon arrested or seriously questioned one after another until she'd hit on every one unsuccessfully, the airwaves were full of red herrings, clues and hints. Amy? No, Amy wouldn't have hurt her grandfather even if she was angry with him. She couldn't have done it and gone on as if nothing had happened after. Pat Phelan certainly had form for it but it wasn't him, either. Amy directed the police to Adam whose fingerprints were on a kitchen worktop while he was supposed to be out of town. Daniel has often shown a sudden and violent temper. Tracy was upset because she felt Ken showed preferred treatment to her blood relatives, which she is not. Everyone had a motive. Everyone had opportunity, or so it seemed.

Little by little, alibis were given and some were proven, some were not. By the end, Daniel's alibi, proven with a tram ticket, was in tatters and the identification of a pair of red trainers as his seemed to have sealed his fate in Ken's memory. But Ken still only remembers the shoes, not the face.

Then Adam decided that he'd leave town after a dressing down by Peter and Tracy. Adam previously pretended to leave town when Ken ordered him out. He'd hit rock bottom and had no other option but he didn't actually leave. I didn't believe he'd have upped sticks and gone so quietly after Peter and Tracy's suggestion. I had been coming to the conclusion over recent weeks that he was the attacker all along, because Adam has been far too focussed on trying to move the attention away from himself, trying to find reasons to pin the blame on anyone else. When one person was cleared by the police, he'd move on to the next and so on. There wasn't any more evidence against him than there was with anyone else, just enough to be circumstantial but nothing really definitive while Ken still had no memory but Adam was determined he wasn't going to go down for it. Why? Because he's guilty, that's why. Or so I thought.

Ah. But Ken's starting to have memory flashes. Was Adam so quick to leave town to escape the inevitable? That's what I thought. Tonight, it seemed Adam signed his own arrest warrant inadvertently. Ken had recognized those shoes and Sinead identified them as Daniel's but she thought he meant the heap of clothes next to the shoes. Ken only said "who owns that stuff?", not "who owns those trainers?". Adam came to say good bye and right on top of his things in an open duffel bag were the shoes in question.  Oh heck. It was Adam! Ken even called the police on him though Adam is insisting it wasn't him though admits he was there but was too angry at his grandfather to call for help when he found him at the bottom of the stairs.

But Daniel was planning to go off as well. In a very contrived situation, his ex-landlord has waited almost 6 months to insist on a paint job at his old flat which you would think he would have rented out to someone else rather than lose that money for that long. But no. Swallow that one and move on. Daniel is persuaded to bring Ken with him which he did try to avoid but couldn't and Ken offered to help him revise for a poetry exam, using that big book he gave him awhile back, the one he wrote a message in.  You remember, the message had a phrase that Ken used to Sinead who repeated it to Daniel. He realized it was Ken that was the reason why Sinead felt she had to go through with the abortion and he was livid. Remember that sudden, violent temper he's got?

This, then, is the face of Ken's attacker.

And this, then, as we later discovered, is the blunt object used to thump Ken on the back of the head, still bloody. Daniel had to buy another copy and forge the note and now the two of them are in an empty flat alone together. Ken still hasn't remembered the actual incident but as Brian found out, sometimes memories can flash back to you when you least expect them. It's very likely going to happen next week. 

And once Ken remembers, since it isn't a murder charge, Daniel's fate isn't a done deal. I think that since it isn't that sort of crime, Ken can refuse to press charges if he wants and it's possible he might do that. He's been aware that his own interference has caused his son's anger towards him, and he's long felt guilty about abandoning Daniel who probably holds old resentment. But I expect, since Ken was willing to call the police on Adam, he'll do it on Daniel as well. Will Ken withdraw the charges in the long run? Wait and we'll see, I guess.

I enjoyed this storyline. It kept me guessing and I'm glad ITV didn't take the usual safe route of landing us with a secondary character that we don't care for as the villain of the piece though if it had been a murder case, I have no doubt that's what would have happened.

I wonder where they'll take Daniel now. Will he be humbled by his father's (anticipated) forgiveness? Will he become the family pariah? Will Tracy be insufferably smug because there's someone else to take the heat off her criminal past? Will we ever find out what happened to Daniel's mother?  What do you think?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Strength of Mary Taylor

We keep losing strong women on Corrie and there aren't may left. As noted here, the writers and producer don't seem to be able to write for the stronger, more mature woman anymore where these characters used to be the life's blood of The Street. Most of the current women that might be considered in this category are either much older, like Audrey and Rita (Oh, Emily, wherefore art thou?) or they've been portrayed as harpies or idiots (Anna, Gail).

Liz still has it in her, though she's not been the forefront of a storyline much lately. She certainly stood up in support of Steve during the Ruairi and subsequent revelations about Oliver storylines but they aren't her stories. The last time Liz was forefront in a storyline that showcased her vulnerability and strength was when Tony Stewart schemed to get the pub from her with Tracy. Her ultimate revenge might have been a bit extreme but it was quite satisfying to watch.

May I suggest another woman that has a lot more strength than we give her credit for? She's a bit younger than the "mature" traditional Corrie strong woman and her strength is often disguised under a quirky, even a bit bizarre shadow. I give you Mary Taylor. Yes, really.

Now that she's past that phase where she was on the edge of becoming a bit of a psycho/maniac, she's back to the quirky, cheery character she was when she first came to Coronation Street. She is in her mid to late forties, never married. She's been burdened with the care of a mother who by all accounts is a dominant tyrant and yet Mary has been able to live independently and has carved a life for herself outside that woman's demands most of the time. There have often been vague references to potential matricide, but so far, Mary's mother continues to exist. And considering the role she played in the birth of Mary's son, Jude, forcing Mary to give the baby away, it's surprising that she is still in this world!

We've heard a lot of stories from Mary about all the strange and wonderful things she's done. The travels, the weird relatives and former friends, the regrets, but through it all we've seen her as a fiercely loyal friend who yearns to be loved, to have a family of her own. Before we knew about Jude, it looked as if she found that with Dev Alahan's children after their mother died. She has been an excellent nanny, being tough yet fair to the children and she's gained their respect and love in return.

We've discovered that she was abused as a teen by a relative and gave birth to a son that her mother made her give up because, what would the neighbours think? When she found her son again after 30+ years and discovered that he was pleased to meet her and that she had a grandchild, it seemed like her heart would burst for joy. Even if she found she couldn't move away from home and her friends to live in South Africa, she surely has been keeping in touch. In this day and age, communication is so easy and convenient. Spoilers say Jude is going to move back to Weatherfield and Mary will have her family close at hand and I couldn't be happier for her.

Mary is a very loyal friend and will defend her friends fiercely.  Most of her friends are much older than she: Norris, Rita, Roy. It's odd to think she's a peer of such characters as Steve, Michelle, Tracy, on the younger side of her, and Sally, Tim, Anna, Kevin and Eileen who are a little older. She's an old soul and all her life, she never really fit in with people around her own age.

But she and Tracy, who is only a little younger than her,  have made an unlikely connection and seeing them recently in the shop hug joyfully after Tracy found out she'd be able to buy the florist's was heart warming. Strange, but heartwarming. Tracy is not normally a huggy, emotional person even if Mary is!

I also found myself touched when Bethany found refuge in the flower shop and Mary offered support, as if she almost knew what Bethany was going through. She didn't say so directly, but since her teenage years were tainted with the shadow of abuse, she does have an understanding and I think she was trying to convey that without frightening Bethany off. Maybe we'll see Mary be a support for Bethany once all this is over and be someone that can help Bethany get her life back on track with some encouragement from someone that isn't a direct family member hovering and fussing over her.

Mary also had her heart broken after the doomed relationship with Brandon. It seemed strange that Mary would start an affair with a married man but on a soap, that temptation happens to the best of them. The heart often over rides the logic chip in the brain and Mary wanted so much to be loved that she succumbed to the silver tongue of a skilled liar. When she was let down, she wallowed but with a little boost from Erica, Mary was able to pick herself up, put on her lippy and march on in the grand tradition of Corrie women, having learned a hard lesson.

Yes, I think Mary, for all her quirkiness, strangeness and off the wall attitude, is one of Coronation Street's strong women and Patti Clare is a treasure!

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

Friday, 12 May 2017

Someone to watch over me

Now then.

Single men are starting to pile up on the corner of the cobbles, have you noticed? We have Ken, Norris, Sean, Brian, Roy, Chesney, Craig, Luke, David, Adam and now Steve. There are a number of single women at the moment, as well. Liz, Tracy, Rosie, Sophie, Alya, Cathy, Yasmeen, Kate, Rita,  Gail, Shona, Audrey, Gemma, Mary.

Since soaps don't seem to want to keep anyone single for long, it's a pretty safe bet that a few of those men will find someone to warm the cockles of their hearts before too long. I had time to let my mind wander around on the subject. See if you agree or disagree with my ideas.

Brian and Cathy are already making eyes at each other, we can probably pull them off the list though I really don't think they will go the distance. Brian is far too selfish and oafish. Cathy and Roy really would have been ideal but Roy isn't ready and maybe he never will be and that's ok.  Maria isn't on the list because of her affair with Aidan. We might reserve the more senior characters for the moment as well. Please, Romance Gods, don't put Audrey and Ken together now that Freddie has gone!

There has been speculation that the Powers that Be will throw Shona and David together. I kind of hope not because it would be weird for David to be romantically partnered with the mother of the man that killed his wife. But stranger things have happened. They are about the same age, actually. We were told that Shona was just about 13 when she gave birth to Clayton who was 15 when he killed Kylie. I think I'd rather see David single for a little while longer and then meet someone completely new.

But you know, I think Shona might make a good partner for Steve even if she's almost a generation younger than he is. (and a couple of Coronation Street Blog commenters seem to have agreed with me just as I was writing this!) That never stopped a romantic pairing on Corrie. Most of Deirdre's men were yards older than her! Shona has that earthy no-nonsense attitude and she's not self centered or a drama queen like Michelle. I think she could suit Steve very well and throw in the added bonus that a new partner, a much younger model,  would put a knot in Michelle's face even if she does say she doesn't want Steve any more.  I like her, I do. There's something about her. What I don't want is for Steve to end up with Leanne with the only thing they have in common being wee Oliver. Leanne needs someone responsible, someone that isn't jealous and insecure. I used to think she and Robert would have made a good couple but I don't really like him much anymore. Leanne and Peter are water under the bridge, too.

I think Rob Donovan was the love of Tracy's life. He really "got" her, accepted her for all her faults and they really worked well together. They also had more than the usual things in common. Murder, much? But since that's a no-go now that Rob is back inside, I wonder if Luke can forgive her? They weren't a bad couple though Luke is probably too honest for Tracy. I think we should suggest that Luke and Alya get together. Alya has ambitions but maybe she'd like a steady guy who is good with his hands, eh? They need to use Alya or lose her because on the rare occasion we do see her these days, she's got her nose in the air or a scowl on her face. They've made her dislikable and I'm afraid she probably isn't going to be around long if they can't think of something soon.

I would have suggested Gemma and Chesney get together but I really don't think they would make a very good couple. Gemma would have him for breakfast. I'm pleased that Gemma is trying to gain some confidence and turn her life around, I really am, but she's far too much for Chesney and he's too much of an old soul for her.

I don't think Kate and Sophie should get together but what happened to their friendship? It seemed to go the way of the dodo after Caz left and Kate got embroiled in her father's fling with Jenny Bradley and is now pursuing her father's health problems. Mind you, when Kate first arrived on the scene, I did think she would be a good partner for Sophie. She has a sense of humour and is a lot of fun and would bring Sophie out of her surliness.  Rosie should not be with someone like Adam because he wouldn't treat her well. He'd look down on her and treat her like an object. She and Jason were really good together. Jason adored and cherished her and They were pretty much equal in the intelligence department. I do think Rosie needs to mature a bit, though, because she's getting too old to be this daft bimbo. She's got to find a direction for her life or a hidden talent.

I'd also like to see Sean find someone that truly appreciates him. I did think he and Billy were good together but I'm sure there's a match out there for Sean somewhere. Maybe someone a little older who can give him a bit more confidence in himself so he won't be such a slave to his own insecurities. It would be nice to see him reconnect with his son, Dylan, too. Maybe find some who has a child of his own, something they'd have in common.

While it's lovely to see some of the senior characters find love, it feels too incestuous for any of them to fall for any of the others. They've all been friends for far too long for it to  believably morph into love.

Finally, it seems very much like Nick is spiralling into his jealousy again over Peter and Steve both. Nick's jealousy and insecurity is going to be his downfall I think. Leanne is already showing signs of him being instrumental in putting her between a rock and a hard place constantly by not being able to compromise.  Leanne should stay single for awhile, please. Don't put her with Steve just because she's got Steve's baby.

Who would you like to see some of the Corrie singles matched up with? Someone current or new? Someone unexpected?

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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