Saturday 29 April 2017

State of the Street: April 2017

 By the end of April, we're still no wiser as to who it was that attacked Ken Barlow. Or are we? All the Barlows are pointing fingers at each other and they're all baring their teeth with suspicions. It's quite funny to watch. I think almost all of the prime suspects were arrested or were a serious consideration for the attacker, weren't they? Peter, arrested. Daniel, taken in for further questioning. Adam, arrested. All of them had opportunity and somewhat of a motive.

Tracy probably had the lesser motive. She was disappointed in her father and crushed, thinking he was putting her last, favouring his blood relatives but I don't think she was in a murderous rage. You may say she's got form, after killing Charlie Stubbs but she planned that for weeks, setting him up to look like an abuser so she could claim self defense. But she suspects Amy because of Amy's lies about the money she was going to give Adam. My money was going to be on someone like Seb who could have been in the house trying to steal something. Phelan was  too obvious, too. If it's going to be a surprise and one of the family, I'd go with Adam. He's probably the most expendable of the lot.

But. But....there's a wrench thrown  into the mix with the return of Rob Donovan, escaped prisoner. Tracy was separated from Luke on the night of the assault, the police wanted to talk to her but not about the assault though we never found out what that was about. Then Craig mentioned a prison van crash and a missing prisoner presumed to be dead and Tracy going around looking for antibiotics. Yep, She had Rob stashed in the remains of the gym which had been shut down. So it's also quite possible that it was Rob that tangled with Ken. Someone was coming in the back door, you may recall. That could have been Rob and though he's listening to Tracy's worries about who hurt her father, including her suspicions about Amy, he's not giving anything away. We already know he's a cool customer, though, and is a very good liar, just like Tracy. I think we're going to find out very soon one way or another.

I do have to hand it to the new producer, Kate Oates, she's managed to keep a few secrets under the hood so even releases to the media don't contain them. Sometimes the papparazzi catch photos of filming and that might spoil things but even then, not always. One thing is for sure, ITV has a history of presenting a group of characters as key in a storyline and there's almost always someone else thrown in as the actual keystone, i.e. murderer, for instance. Remember, Who Killed Frank Foster? Peter, Carla, Sally were all in contention and it turned out to be his mother, a secondary character. That's why everyone is betting on Seb or Chloe but Rob is a strong contender now, too.

Kevin's money woes continued. Rosie was going to do some glamour modelling to help out but that was kiboshed. David inherited a goodly sized chunk from a client and decided to give it to Anna as a sort of settlement. Gary was being a bit sulky though, shouting at David for giving Anna *only* 19 thousand pounds which is 19 thousand more than she had the week before. Yes, if she sued, she could sue for a lot more but she'd have to whistle for it because David wouldn't have the money. He did the right thing giving Anna what he could and it's saving Kevin from bankruptcy although that's Kevin being a bit presumptive. What if Anna decided to keep it for her and Faye? But she won't and she didn't. He and Tyrone made up finally, as well. Case closed. Can we move on now?

The other main Webster-related, (ok, Metcalf) storyline has to do with Sally's troll. The troll's vindictive and frightening attacks have left Sally nervous and scared to go out in public and Tim is worried someone may actually physically try to hurt her. Trolls don't tend to do that and Sally hasn't actually had a death threat because if she has, the police would most definitely take it a lot more seriously than they are.

But this is developing into something quite interesting. Rosie and Sophie tracked down the address of someone that is allegedly doing the harassment, to a young woman called Leah who protests, it's her step-mother, no really it is! But it turns out her step mother is none other than Sally's sister, Gina! Wow, that's a turn up for the books! Is her sister doing all these nasty things or is it the step-daughter, resentful of how much Sally's family seems to have vs. perhaps her own family being down on their luck? Intriguing, to say the least.

Brian and Cathy continue to make lackluster attempts at dating. I don't care. I think Brian's a brilliant character even thought I really dislike him. I do enjoy watching him and he does make me laugh. As a person, Brian is a greedy, selfish, snobby prat. In a relationship, I think he'd end up being a taker, not a giver. He has the capacity for romantic gestures but I don't think he'd sustain it over time. And her job in the kebab shop is faintly ludicrous, frankly. Mary and Tracy are opposites and Mary is definitely an oddball. I wonder if they were trying to recreate that magic with Gemma and Cathy? It doesn't work. Gemma and Rita are magic. Rita gives Gemma confidence and support for her quest to turn her life around. Cathy seems too daft and somewhat foolish and it doesn't work a foil for Gemma's wild and crazy gal. Why do we never see Cathy and Chesney in the kebab shop working together? It's always Cathy and Gemma. I think because there would be no comedy in Cathy and Chesney.

Michelle's back and Robert wasted no time in giving her a job even though Leanne is his manager, albeit on maternity leave at the moment. I'm sure both Leanne and Nick should have had stronger objections. (round 2 of her nasty invictive? I sympathise for her loss and the way she found out about Steve's new baby, bad situation all around. I guess you can't really blame her for going off the rails a bit but I still detest her snarky, sarcastic attitude towards Leanne and Steve. )  I wondered how long it would be before she was in Robert's bed and it was practically a minute or two after she got back! He's certainly willing to take her on the rebound and that's faintly abhorrent and it makes him seem like a man that's willing to take advantage of a vulnerable woman. He did the same thing to Carla, jumped in bed when she put it out there for him after she had a shock about Johnny being her father.

The sale of the pub seems to have taken a bit of a back seat lately. I wonder where that will go. Meanwhile, Steve is finally getting to spend time with baby Oliver, much to Nick's frustration. If Nick keeps letting his jealousy and insecurities weigh him down, it could spell the end to Nick and Leanne. She always seems to try to be the peacemaker. I'd like to see her put her foot down and tell him to put up, shut up or go away. Nick is selfish and he's passive aggressive and he's sneaky. He had it in for Peter for years and now he's turning his attentions to Steve.

Speaking of Peter, somehow this business with Chloe has to work itself out. On the surface there doesn't seem to be any way to prove or contradict Peter's truth with what she says hers is. I still wonder why she left her house in a wreck for two weeks before she had the cops come. She said he trashed the place on the night he supposedly assaulted her but of course, she did the damage herself a long time after to prove her point. Why aren't they questioning that? It's one of the bigger loopholes. Someone has to catch her out somehow.

I'm not impressed with Toyah's return, either. She used to be a lot more feisty. I suppose if you've been trying for a baby and having it fail time after time, it wears on you and changes you and yes, it's entirely likely you will become obsessed. But obsessed isn't pretty. I hope she doesn't go doo-lally and walk off with baby Oliver. That would be a very soap-like thing to do.

Bethany's association with the creepy Nathan is turning into a spider's web. He really is insidious, isn't he? What great casting they did. It frustrates me that Sarah won't or can't do more to prevent the relationship. She doesn't want to lose Bethany and yes, the more she forces the issue, the more Bethany is going to cling to Nathan unfortunately. She's 16, almost 17 and I don't think it's illegal, at least the sexual relationship. I think 16 is the age of consent? On the surface, anyway. Does it also mean she can live where she wants outside the family home? I'm not sure of all the legalities.  But as it gets darker and darker and he starts letting his friends have sex with her, presumably for money, then there might be legal recourse.  I think this one is going to run most of the year.

I do think Shona must come into this at some point. Not only does she have a connection to the Platts which she revealed to Gail but she has a connection to Nathan. She referred to an ex when she first arrived and she seemed anxious when Gail spoke about Bethany's boyfriend, Nathan but since Gail hadn't met him at the time, she didn't know how old he was.

Has Sarah told Gail or any other of her family anything about Nathan yet, like his age? I don't think so and I want to know why she hasn't. If she wants to get Bethany away from Nathan, you would think she'd have all hands to the pump, so to speak. David, Nick, Audrey, Gail and even friends like Craig,Todd and some of the big lads on the street, like Robert, Tim, Tyrone, Luke and even Phelan. Phelan might be a lot of things but I think he'd tear apart someone like Nathan that was preying on a kid.

I think Shona will ultimately be one that saves Bethany from the evil, oily Nathan in the end. It will certainly redeem her in the eyes of the Platt family. Craig is starting to reach out to Bethany, too, and he might be Johnny on the spot when it comes to rescuing her, now he's a constable.

Johnny may or may not be having health issues in the lead up to his wedding to Jenny who seems to be oblivious. Kate has noticed her father being rather reticent and isn't sure if it means he doesn't really want to get married but it may have to do with health issues more than anything else. I do hope we won't lose Johnny, I do like him.

The odious Seb is in Juvenile hall after attacking Jackson but Faye is still sneaking around to see him. At first, it was clear he wasn't particularly nice to Faye but in the last few weeks, he has been showing signs that he's having a problem with rejection. It's ok if he strings her along but the minute he thought Jackson was a threat that might take Faye away from him, he lashed out and he's made other remarks that actually seem sincere about her not leaving him.  Are they going to redeem him and have him be the victim of a bad home life? Anna sure isn't going to approve of her daughter hanging out with Phelan let alone Seb.

There are rumours about Seb who will turn out to be Phelan's grandson by a daughter he didn't know he had. That could be interesting and it means that the actor playing Seb is making a very good impression on the Powers that Be. They've already hinted at this by having Phelan working with Seb and seeing a lot of his own characteristics in Seb, I think. He seems to be taking the lad under his wing and promising to teach him to be smart about being shifty! I think that's a hint that Seb is a chip off the old block so to speak. And if Seb's mother, Phelan's daughter is a chip off her old man, she probably does leave much to be desired in the parenting world.

I'm loving having Rosie back. She's daft as a brush, the actor isn't all that great but she's such a breath of fresh air and I laugh at her silliness all the time. Yet, Rosie is fierce when defending her family and her heart is in the right place. I'd love to see a storyline that actually gives us a more mature Rosie, as perhaps she's been all along but has just been putting on the bimbo as a "front". We need something that could be the making of this woman. She'll be getting close to 30 in a year or two and this vapid persona is going to get old really quickly after that. Maybe if we ever get Jason back, they'll reunite. I always thought Jason was the love of Rosie's life.  Perhaps that's what she needs, a serious, grownup relationship to show us a new side of Rosie Webster. Now, if we can just find something to put a smile on Sophie's face.

Tvor (Twitter @tvordlj)

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