Monday 19 March 2012
Put the knife down, Anne
For once, the real killer's name wasn't screaming at us from the headlines. ITV threw out red herrings, five possible suspects in fact, all of whom had a motive for murder, though Michelle's was the weakest of them. Carla and Peter each had pretty strong reasons to kill Frank but I knew all along it would end up being his mother, Anne. No, I didn't *know* know, but I was pretty sure because after all my years of watching soaps, I can pretty much tell how it's going to come out.
Because Anne just wouldn't kill her son with intent, I also reckoned it would be an accident, which it appears to have been. She's shown signs of lashing out and being impulsive before so it's not unbelievable that during a great steaming row, charged with anger and shock, she'd grab the nearest thing to hand and clout him with it. I don't know what she expected would happen if she whacked him with a heavy bottle half full of whiskey but I don't think she was really thinking about anything but what she'd heard and found out.
Frank raped Carla. Worry about Frank's court case contributed to her beloved husband's demise. Frank was unrepentant and scornful of his mother. Grief, anger, shock, even guilt because she believed Frank over Carla who was brutally raped, it's a clear case of a crime of passion. She may do time for manslaughter but I think it will be a light sentence under the circumstances.
By rights, Anne is Frank's next of kin. What about the factory? Even if the solicitor can say he drew up a contract for the sale, nobody can prove it because the contract has been burned. Carla won't admit it and neither will Michelle or Peter. Should they be punished for that crime? Technically you could say they contributed to stealing back the factory majority share. Anne must inherit Frank's minority share. Will she stay a sleeping partner? Will she give it all to Carla? If she does, it better be all legal and proper.
Will Carla forgive Sally after all the nasty things Sally's said in the past? Sally will grovel and apologize, and Carla will put it down to being mesmerized and under Frank's oily spell and our Sal will be back lording it over the others in the factory before you know it. Life goes on.
The whole storyline has been very good in spite of criticism that rape does not belong on Corrie. I agree with that but if you are going to have it, do it with good actors and decent writing. They built up Frank well. Cold, calculating, controlling. Carla couldn't have Peter so once again, she went with whoever was available and once again, paid a price. The rape and aftermath was horrific but well acted. The trial was full of holes but soap trials always are. Frank didn't get convicted and that happens in real life a lot, too. But as it's a soap, we knew Frank would pay in the end and he did, with his life.
Classic whodunnit but also a classic cop-out with the expendable crew member being the culprit. I did waver at one point that it was Jenny Sumner because she could very easily have been brought in to become the woman Frank tried to attack next but, no, that was too easy. I wondered if Sally would be threatened by Frank and would lash out in self defence. That could have been the second most likely scenario but I think Sally would have owned up straight away. No, it had to be Anne, Frank's own mother.
From Frank's death, over the next couple of weeks, we could see Anne swinging from a shifty look to hysteria as guilt overcame her and back again. On the day of the funeral, she tried to reach out to Carla to apologize and then she cracked open. She nearly made a clean getaway but Sally discovered the truth but fell and knocked herself out before she could raise the alarm. Carla managed to get to the house before Anne could get out and the confession came gasping out of Anne as she admitted she'd killed her own son!
It was breath taking stuff. When scenes end and I'm catching my breath, I know it's been superb, Corrie at its best.
But with the good, there's always a plot hole or two.
1. Where's Jenny? She witnessed the signing of the contract, she was Frank's lover and his collaborator. Ok, it was a dirty trick they played on Sally but you'd think she'd have at least gone to the funeral or the police would have mentioned talking to her.
2. Have you ever owned such a silent garage door as the one on Anne's house that Kevin lifted up to sneak in the back? Would you leave it and the door into the house unlocked? There wasn't a grind or rattle inside the house to be heard when he lifted the door.
Never mind. It didn't take away from the finale of this storyline but the Jenny thing was odd.
There's been a lot written and speculated about this whodunnit as there always is when Coronation Street finishes off a long storyline with a bang. I enjoyed the storyline. I enjoyed the twists and turns as Sally fell for a calculating and dangerous man with her friends and family worried for her safety. I was amused as Frank quickly tired of her after the trial, her chuntering on about frozen entrees and him almost visibly shuddering at the thought of playing happy families with her once her respectibility helped his reputation at the trial.
Carla went through the gamut of the pain, anguish, anger, despair and fear through the rape, trial and shock of Frank's admission of guilt and then being questioned by the police. Later she thought Peter, the man she finally got her hands on, committed the crime. She struggled to be a step mother. She kept her cool at the end, knowing Anne was distraught.
And Anne...played by Gwen Taylor, she was awesome in every original sense of the word. What a smashing actor she is and what a fantastic job she's done all along!
This is why I watch Coronation Street!