The Ivy's ghost "saga"
Jack and Vera are disturbed by noises coming from the beer cellar late at night. Brandishing a tiny saucepan (her) and a toasting fork (him) they venture downstairs, convinced it is Ivy, being an "unquiet spirit". The tension mounts as they approach the door to the coal cellar - the noises grow louder and then Roy Cropper appears from behind the door - oblvious to their fear. He has been "ghost-hunting", and describes in painstaking detail the experimental measures he was carried out in order to prove or disprove the existence of a ghost. He ends by concluding that the ghost might by a "non-apparent apparition" which means that nobody has any way of knowing if it is there or not. Vera and Jack find his presence to be more disturbing than Ivy's.
Jim arrives back home, drunk and alone to discover Andy and Anne on the sofa. He is sarcastic, especially to Anne, who sticks up for herself and makes Jim tell them where he left Liz. Jim doesn't make much sense, so Andy and Anne run outside and Anne finds Liz'a handbag in the car. Andy phones Steve, and Steve and Vicky come over. The 4 question Jim again who says he will not talk in front of the ladies, but eventually says that he has "knocked some sense into Liz" and this is how people from the slums behave. Meanwhile, Liz has arrived in a taxi, with no money at Dreary's. The taxi-driver won't let her out until she pays - she is in a "state" but Roy Cropper arrives from the Ivy's ghost plot and pays the fare, letting her into the flat where she collapses into Dreary's kind arms.
In the morning, Liz applies heavy makeup - green, yellow and purple to make her bruises look worse than they are. She wants everyone to see what Jim has done to her. Bill Webster calls round and sees Liz.
Back at his house, Jim smashes a bottle of whiskey in the sink. Andy tells his father that he had better stay away from all of them in future. The twins find Liz at Dreary's house, she persuades them to leave and that she will be allright. Jim goes to the flat to tell Bill that he is leaving for a while. Bill tells him that his marriage is "finished" - and that he should know. He then proceeds to lay all of the fault on Liz, saying that she is making things looks worse than they are with makeup. What a nasty little man. Liz, behind Dreary's door hears everything.
In some ways this episode was much more disturbing than the actual beating that preceeded it. Bill and Jim's reactions were especially horrible.
Best acting: Roy Cropper. The ghost-hunting description, the "are you a medium?" "No I'm a 42", the bit of elastic on his key, attached to his bag. Very necessary comic relief in this terrifying episode.
Lee visits Fiona at the "salon" and tells her that she should be renting out the upstairs flat to somebody, and that it is an investment potential going to waste. Fiona doesn't want to rent it out - as she'll have people traipsing through her shop night or day - they fight in the Rovers and Fiona decides to move there herself and pay a pittance rent (back into the business). She tells Alma and Maxine that she is leaving. Maxine is upset - Fiona (rather cruelly) tells her that she doesn't like living with work-mates and that Maxine should go back to her mother. Oh dear, is Fiona becoming a CAPITALIST? Will she start charging Phyllis and Maud full-price and make Alma pay twice as much for having "funny hair?"
Judy walks into Jim's house in order to borrow a "tight black skirt" from Liz, but is instead confronted by Jim who decides that Judy is representative of all "Hoors" and asks her what she wants a tight black skirt for anyway. Judy leaves without one, but don't worry because she later gets one on the market and proudly displays it in the Rovers to Jack and Gary's delight and Raquel's disgust. Judy tells us that she has to try that much harder to attract the men because once they find out that she's married, they lose interest. Des Barnes appears at this point and says that he is always interested in married women, and then asks "Mrs Watts" for a drink.
Andy and Steve discuss Jim, Steve wants to kill him and Andy says that he just wants nothing more to do with him. Jim appears and is shunned. Then he confronts Vicky and invites her in to apologise, but this turns into another psycho-lunatic short-skirt sniffing scene and Vicky leaves, probably going into shock later on.
Liz gives Roy Cropper back his taxi money - Roy explains that the taxi driver asked for 10 pounds (he asked Liz for 7 pounds) but Roy suspecting that he was being dishonest, only gave him 5 pounds. He then tells Liz that her face is disturbing and maybe upset people if she goes outside.
Liz arrives at the Rovers, with the scar still showing - everyone is shocked. Vera and Jack discuss what to do with her. Vera wants to ban Jim while Jack wants to send Liz home and encourage Jim to come in as he's one of their best customers.
When Liz leaves the Rovers, Jim is there waiting for her outside. He asks her to come back. Credits.
Best acting. Steve McDonald did a good impression of his father "I'm sorry I swear to God bejesus so I am etc..."
Best line. "She is a hooooorrrr!!!" (Jim McDonald)
Rita and Mavis are in the Kabin having a gossip about everyone's favourite problem family, the McDonalds. Mavis asks Rita if it reminds her of Alan as she so rarely talks about him, and Rita says it does and then manages to look wistful and distant. The moment is broken by the arrival of Percy who has lost his cap - a special one that he bought for his trip to France with Maud. Mavis tells them that "When Derek loses something I mentally retrace his steps. I get inside his head."
"As only you can Mavis," bitches Rita. "As only you can."
Percy then goes to the Rovers and looks through the lost property box. Still no cap. It finally turns up when Emily and Judy are looking through Racquel's old clothes as she wants to give some to charity (and Judy fancies taking a few of them herself). Emily spots the cap hanging up on the coat-rail - apparently Percy gave it to Curly ages ago. Emily says "He thinks he's lost it," meaning the cap. I hope that Percy has lost "it" - his mind that is and this is the start of an exciting Percy mental health story-line, otherwise why bother? Emily gives the cap back to Percy.
Mike and Alma discuss Mike's attempts to buy the factory. Mike tells her that he is nearly there but needs a bit more collatoral. He then suggests using their house for this purpose but is met with a resounding "no!" from Alma.
Fiona visits Vicky and offers to help Liz. Vicky wishes her good luck in her new career as evil business woman. Maxine tells Tony about Fiona moving out. Tony asks Fiona if she intends to move in with him, but Fiona is busy being a woman of mystery and doesn't say.
We never did find out how last episode's confrontation ended between Liz and Jim. Oh well. Roy buys flowers for Liz; Dreary tries to send him away (probably jealous) but Liz is "enchanted" by this kind gesture. "Mauves and purples - excellent healing colours," says Roy. And then he urges Liz to phone the police. "34,000 in 93, 35,000 in 94. I don't have the figures for 95 as yet. That's incidents of domestic violence in the Greater Manchester area." Liz takes his advice and has a "casual" chat with a lady police officer in a baggy wool pullover. She is told that she can take out an injunction against Jim if she wants to.
Andy has been brooding all episode - refusing to work at the Rovers ("family problems," says Vera) and eventually going to see Jim and giving him a great big PUSH!!!!
As revenge for this vicious blow Jim tells him that Liz had an affair with Johnny Johnson. Andy then goes and announces this to Steve and Vicky.
Vicky visits Jim next and offers to make him a meal and wash his clothes. She wears a tired old beret throughout the episode which was really starting to get on my nerves by the end. Jim hugs/thanks her and receives a simper in return. Vicky reassures Jim that Liz will return to him.
Prompting Jim to visit Liz at the flat - he first has to get past Roy and Dreary, but eventually Liz appears at the door and tells him that she could have him arrested and that she intends to divorce him. Ooooohhh! Credits.
My favourite Jim-isms (in order of merit)
Fashion crime: Vera's great big scarf. Purple with white spots.
I don't think so.
Joyce finds an old radio while she is cleaning the Rovers. She asks Vera if she can take it home with her. "Burrit's useless!" cries Vera. "It only gets one channel!" "That's one more than mine gets," says Joyce, revealing how awful it must be to leave in Gable Street (the gasworks end). Vera lets her take it home, but as she is leaving, Jack spots the radio and is sure that Joyce has stolen it. He tries to humiliate her in front of the customers, and Judy rushes to defend her. "Don't you accuse my mother of stealing things!!" - With this brash statement, their "awful" secret is out - and Jack and Vera now know that Joyce is really a Mallet by proxy.
Joyce expects to be fired (well wouldn't you if someone found out you were related to Judy Mallet?) but sweet-talks Vera into letting her stay on with some remarks about how it's such a burden to have trouble-some children, and how proud Vera must be of R Terry now that he's a self-made man (what?)
Maxine doesn't want to cut Percy's hair (she *must* be a lazy girl, it would only take 3 seconds) because it is not Pensioner's Day and he wants Pensioner's rates. Fiona tells her to do it anyway, they're not busy. Maxine is humiliated in front of Percy. She then moans to Percy about how Fiona is moving out. Percy thinks that Fiona should let Maxine move into the "salon" with her, and later in the Rovers tells her that she should get a flat-mate. Fiona thinks he is talking about Tony and makes this apparent. Percy seethes.
Rackle is a "Woman of Mystery" this week as she has an important date with a stranger but will not tell her friends until they have gathered, Poirot style in the Rovers that evening. But there is a clue - she admires baby Daniel and lacklustre Kelly that morning, prompting Curly to confide in Anne that he thinks she might be pregnant, and he's afraid of being a father blah blah blah you get the picture.
Evening comes and Rackle appears in the Rovers in a jubilant mood. The assembled party asks her what the good news is, but instead of Rackle cooing over baby-mittens, she announces that she has just got a place on a "prestigious" aromotherapy course. Everybody smiles, especially Curly.
Vicky turns up to visit Liz and tries to persuade her to get back together with Jim - without much success. Later, Jim is in the Rovers waiting for his lift to Belfast (from Bill). Liz turns up for work. There is an awkward moment and a slanging match. At one point Jim is seen to be FROTHING at the mouth, rabid-dog style. I know that he's just spluttering the head of his beer everywhere, but it does add to his psycho-persona. Bill arrives and drags him out for his lift. Jack is not pleased with Liz, especially as she shouted at him earlier when she tried to intervene. He send her home. She leaves in time to see the taxi pulling away.
Alma agrees to let Mike use the house for collatoral in the factory project. Mike whips out the papers for her to sign that he had prepared earlier. Alma is furious that he second-guessed her like that. Credits.
Best outfit: Vera was wearing a child's hula-hoop from each ear in this episode. I half-expected Sarah-Lou to come in and ask for her toys back.
Worst psychological insight into another's character: "You just want us to get back together because you haven't got a family of your own. And we're your only family. Well Nooooooer!" (Liz "confronts" Vicky, ala Oprah about her true motives for being involved in this story-line.)
Emily calls to see Ken and volunteers to help babysit Daniel but Ken declines. Later Dreary offers to babysit and Ken agrees to go to the theatre with some school-friends. Of course, in the next scene Dreary tells Emily who is so upset that she leaves the Rovers without finishing her drink. When Ken arrives back from his crap evening out, he and Drear talk about how lonely and sad they both are. And how for Dreary, Ken is the only person who she can be "herself with." Ken says that The Drear is that person for him too. He also says that "Ms Osbourne was a twisted lady." Hmmmmm.
Mavis lets slip to Joyce that R Terry was in prison and Joyce immediately uses that piece of information to hurt Vera. "I can say one thing about our Judy but she was never inside." Vera realises that someone has been talking about R Terry and is upset. I don't like that Joyce. She's trouble.
Mavis is excited because her and Derek have been invited to a "Square Dealers" do. However, as usual with any story-line in involving Mavis, 5 minutes into the episode she is furious because the invite came from Norris and Angela. "Well I shall wear my fluffy chiffon," says Mavis, prompting Norris to appear and suggest that her and Angela go to Knightsbridge on a girl's shopping trip. "I don't think so," simpers Mave.
Jim and Andy arrive at number 11 to try to persuade their mother into rethinking her divorce plans. She tells them that she will go ahead with it anyway. She visits Des at the bookies and tells him that she never expected him to come and see her with Jim around, but could she have a job anyway? He puts her off and she feels embarrassed and angry. Later she tells Dreary all about it - who sympathises and says that it's just Des's way - she lists all the woman on the Des Barnes Roundabout - Tanya, Maxine, Rackle.
Andy and Steve are commiserating in Steve's tiny office about how they are now going to be from a broken home. Des Barnes pops his head round the door and asks if they want to go for a drink. "Not with you," says Steve. Des feels like a rotter and goes for a drink alone, and looks miserable.
On her way back from aerobics (or making her sequel video - make-up with Liz), Liz bumps into Fiona who was planning a quiet night alone. She invites Fiona back for a glass of wine and a heart-to-heart. She tells Fiona that she would rather Steve have married her rather than Vicky. Then she says that Steve is just like his father - so considering the earlier remark it's a bit cruel. Fiona says that she is on top of the world at the moment. "Save some space up there for me kidda," Liz asks. Credits.
Best line: Vera: "I'm not inflammable!" (meaning infallible)
Best interchange: Dirk: "This square deal meeting is very important to me. Networking is the buzzword." Mavis: "Oh don't talk jargon Derek."
The Baldwin Empire
It looks like Mike's factory is going to involve every single member of the cast in some way: Josie is complaining about her present job - I wonder if she will eventually become a machinist/union leader at the factory? Dreary is interested in getting a job too, and asks Alma to mention it to Mike. Alma is not very enthusiastic - but Mike assures her that things would be OK between them. Even Derek wants to sell headed stationary to Mike - who manages to negotiate the price, despite Derek's protests.
Later Mike mocks Fred Elliot in the Rovers and Norris leaps to his defense, telling Mike he is out of order and that he would not fit in, in the "Square Deal" milieu. Mike cancels his order with Derek, who is furious and chases Norris round and round the Kabin, resulting in Norris hiding behind Mavis while boxes of chocolates etc fall on his head. An apology from Norris ensues, and "Dirk" loses his commission on the deal.
In yet another plot-twist, Emily decides that she wants to take her old place in the wages office at the new factory and is excited when Percy tells her that Mike is looking for her. But all Mike wants is for Emily to suggest names of people who could work in the factory. "If you were 10 years younger I would have had to look no further than you," he tells her. Poor crushed Emily - her life spent going to the precinct to get ink for Percy - she NEEDS a story-line!
Sean McGuire questions Des about Liz - and finds out that she wants her old job back. When Steve later reveals that Jim is in Belfast, Sean goes to see Liz and offers her a job in another bookies. Liz turns him down and then goes to tell Des about it. She is seen by Andy who later confronts her about her involvement with Des. He makes an insinuation and she SLAPS him across the face. He walks out, she chases after him and SLAPS the door.
Fiona is preparing for her "grand reopening" party and insists that Liz as her new best friend must be there. Some conflict scenes with Lee follow. Steve McDonald turns up, sniffing for an invite, and receives one, making Vicky have suspicions later on.
Fred is lonely, and doesn't want to turn up at the Square Deal Do without a "bird." Norris tries to console him. Fred says that fate will step in, just as Rita enters the Rovers. Later, Fred asks her to accompany him to the Do, but Rita turns him down gently. Fred is crushed.
Best insults: "Sticky Vicky" by Maxine; "Midriff Maxine" by Vicky
Best line: "Widows one, Mavis nil" after Rita and Dreary have bullied Mavis into the store-room in the Kabin.
Josie excitedly tells Emily about her job interview - Emily wishes her luck, but then Josie reveals it is for the supervisor's post with Mike Baldwin and once again Emily feels crushed. Meanwhile, R Jamie is sitting by, watching the interchange and smiling knowingly to himself.
Dreary is also preparing for the same interview, and is confident that she will get it. However, the Drear has forgotten Soap Rule 103 which is the more confident you are about getting a job, the more likely it will go to the new character with the bad hairstyle.
Josie's bike gets a puncture - Jamie is to blame, and Percy bustles into the Kabin for a puncture kit - Jamie offers to lend one, despite Percy's rudeness to him.
Josie gets to the new factory late, and it looks as if Mike is unimpressed with her. Then he reads her reference and it turns out that she had a "top job" with a large firm that went bust and was a PR Woman and used computers. "You could do this job standing on your head," says Mike. "Yeah," Josie growls - suddenly acquiring a New Personality and a backbone. "But I don't know if I want to work for a jerk!" This display gets her the job instantly, and Josie inches her way still further towards becoming an "institution".
Dreary is interviewed next, and Mike tells her that she has no relevant experience and that people would say that she only had the job because of the affair. Dreary is furious.
Later, Josie gives Jamie money for helping repair her bike. In the Rovers she tells Don about her new job. Don is not pleased and tells her how Ivy had a similar position and Mike made her life hell, and then Ivy made Don's life hell. Josie assures him that this will not happen.
The inarguration of Fiona as 90s Business Woman is underway at the salon - and to demonstrate her new "status," Fiona is bossy and snappy with the members of her inner circle (Maxine, Tony, Lee). Lee tells her that their father cannot make it to the party, and Fiona is furious. "He's always been there to tell me how useless I am..." you get the picture.
At the party, which is full of people who would never have been there really, except for the fact that it is a useful plot device, like Sean Skinner, Fiona's mother turns up - and is former Liver Bird, Elizabeth Estevez (sic). She is introduced to Steve and Vicky - and says "So you're the girl who Steve dumped our Fiona for," and is separated from Vicky before a cat fight can break out. Mum finds out from Lee that he was the one who gave Fi the money to buy the shop.
Fiona's Dad does turn up, and then berates Lee for not lending him money to buy a car. "You didn't think I would pay you back." "That's right," says Lee. What a cynical and twisted family.
Liz is lounging in the salon party atmosphere, knocking back glasses of wine and trying to look sultry and mysterious. Des and Sean Skinner both talk to her - Liz is unmoved and bitter. Andy watches and thinks that she is flirting with them. Anne tells him that parents should be allowed to make their own mistakes. Andy can take no more and confronts his mother in front of everyone. Scene. Andy leaves. Steve is suspicious and gives his mother a funny side-ways look out of those leering vampirous eyes. Credits.
Best New Character: R Ashley - the butchers delivery boy, newphew to Fred Elliot and former pupil of Ken Barlow (it is compulsory by the way for ALL new teenage characters to be shown to have been taught by Ken Barlow within 5 minutes of their appearance in the street). R Ashley is a bit innocent, but at the same time a bit rough looking too. Bring back Tracy Barlow and a winning combination is promised.
Best line: "Shurrup" Percy to Jamie.
Best Groundhog Day style recurring cliche: Emily looking unwanted/wounded.
Mavis is cooing over the Square Deal Do, much to Rita's boredom and eventual jealousy, so while Mave is out of the Kabin, Rita telephones Fred and arranges to meet him for lunch. Rita plays a cool hand, and idly mentions the Do, causing Fred to beg her to reconsider again, which she does. I should mention here that Fred is actually the High Priestess of the Square Dealers or something, so at this "Do" Rita will be invested with special powers - even innocent Curly has to stand up halfway through and shout "Please be upstanding for the High Priestess" or something equally ridiculous.
Mavis is furious when she finds out that Rita is going to the Do as Fred's companion, especially when Rita tells her that Mavis is the one to blame. Later Mavis likens Rita to Cinderella in front of Alf, in that whining bitchy tone that she usually adopts when she's not being fluffy and silly. Alf is jealous and tells Rita that Fred would ask anybody out - even Audrey. Then he tells them that if Rita is Cinders, then Mavis and Audrey are the ugly sisters - prompting the others to look furious.
Once again, Vera asks Rackle to work the evening shift at the Rovers causing Curly to be displeased. He says that they don't have much time together as it is, and what will they do when they have children. Rackle takes this as a hook to ask him what he thinks about children, and he says that she would like them. He says that so would he, so they decide to start trying. Can anyone imagine what a child from the two of them would look like? Rackle also mentions that she hasn't been taking her birth control pills for a couple of weeks. Curly doesn't seem too bothered by this and says that it is up to Mother Nature now. Oh no, with Coronation Street suddenly going all topical and socially relevant, is this going to be the world's first falling sperm count story-line?
Bill picks up an optimisitc Jim at Liverpool - full of plans for getting back together with Liz. But Bill informs him that Liz has moved back into the house and had Jim's clothes removed. Jim does not let this deter him, but when he discovers that Liz has had the locks changed he gets angry and starts to bang on the door. (I knocked over a wine glass at this point and had to go out for a wet cloth so this next might be more muddled than usual). Liz appears and is shocked at Jim's violent behaviour but she agrees to talk to him in the Rovers.
There, Jim lays out his plan of how they should get back together and Liz says gives a big nasal "no" and says that although she gave him some provocation (!) to hit her, she doesn't want to spend any more of her life with him. She won't even drink the drink that he bought her. Jim decides to get drunk, but while he is ordering more booze from Rackle, Liz slips out.
Jim chases after her and then starts to kick the front door down. Rackle is concerned and tells Curly to go and help, but to be careful "Me?" says Curly, but goes anyway. Meanwhile, Kevin is trying to restrain Jim. Liz is in the house, sobbing and phoning the police. Jim goes mad (again) and runs to the back of the house. The Mallets are in the next garden, Gary cleaning his motorbike, Judy just grinning. Jim grabs a spade and smashes in the window - Gary, Curly and Kevin try to fight him, but don't have much success - at one point Curly gets knocked to the ground. They should have let Judy deal with it. One big karate kick and it would have been over in a few seconds.
Jim breaks into the house, and Liz runs out of the front door (I say "run" - she didn't seem to be going anywhere in those heels) - and into the arms of the Police. At this stage Jim has turned into a wild animal - a sort of parody of his former self and is foaming, writhing and best of all, snarling on the floor. He is bundled into a van and driven away. Liz is accompanied back to her house by a policewoman as the credits roll.
Best Line: "I want two children, a boy and a girl. Blake for the boy and Tiffany for the girl." Rackle
Most Dramatic Scene: Jim's fury. Not very nice at all.
Note: Schedules were disrupted last night, due to the football - so the Street started 40 minutes earlier than usual. I missed the first 5 minutes because I forgot about that.
The Square Dealers
The Square Deal Do is tonight! Cue excited preparations - Curly is particularly nervous because he has to read out a speech. Derek is impressed with the Square Dealers and is now desperate to become a member, even to the point of crawling to Norris. As usual, Audrey treats the evening as an excuse to have a laugh and get drunk.
Norris is late, and arrives alone. Apparently he made some constructive criticisms over Angela's dress and she "went beserk" and refused to go. He spends the rest of the evening talking to Derek about Angela, much to the chagrin of the Mave.
At the end of the evening, Fred drives the Wiltons and Rita home. He wants to walk Rita to the door but she is adamant that is can find her own way there. Mavis thinks she heard a noise outside, and that a man is watching them from across the street and she hurries Derek to get inside - we know that it is Jim.
Maureen is missing Reg and beginning to wonder if this is the end of her relationship with him. She gets drunk in the Rovers and starts to sit a little bit too close to Bill Webster while pouring out her heart to him. A Maudlin Maureen is one which can easily be taken advantage of - the same thing happened with Curly a couple of years ago. Bill takes Maureen home, but we don't what happens next.
As I missed the first 5 minutes I can only assume that there was some sort of court hearing and Jim was released with strict instructions to stay away from Liz. Or maybe it was all a Dallas-style dream as he was back in the Street as if nothing had ever happened.
Dreary has decided that as she is Liz's designated Best Friend, she has to watch over her day and night. The McDonald boys want to help too, but Liz keeps telling them that she is allright. Jim does stay away from Liz for the most part, even eschewing the Rovers because she is in there. However, he hangs around her front door, and at one point when she opens it he is there, shouting the usual sarcastic abuse at her.
Late at night, Liz is alone, having sent her neighbours away. "I'm alone in the house," she says to herself. "I'm going to go to bed." But Jim is outside, having just finished a bottle of toilet cleanser. He throws it on the floor where it smashes into little pieces. Credits.
Best line: Curly's preprepared speech. It was too complicated to remember but was something like "The square, the circle, the Grand Rectangle, the angles of incidence and Pythagorus all come together in this, the Square Dealer's Do."
Best acting: Dreary's glasses seemed to do very well out of last night's episode. As subtle as ever, they managed to convey a variety of emotions, from neighbourly concern, to terror. I hear that Granada have offered to give them their own spin-off series. Set in Lanzarotti, the glasses are going to open a night-club and viewers will be able to follow their life, loves and men.
Ashley is sent to the Kabin with a pound of lamb-liver or something as another "courting-gift" from Fred. Rita is amused, but tells Ashley to tell Fred that she doesn't want any more presents.
Who should be in the shop, but Kelly, who (surprise!) happened to be in the same class at school as Ashley - I wonder which "band" those two were in? Seeing her chance for a decent story-line, Kelly invites Ashley round for a cup of tea. Sally, also seeing some mileage in this tells Ashely that he must come and visit Kelly more often and that she will be checking up on him. Kelly looks faintly embarrassed.
Meanwhile, Fred calls in person on Rita to invite her out for a soiree. Rita says she will meet him in the pub. Mave gets excited - but Rita tells her that underneath it all Fred is a nice man and that she could do with a bit of company in spite of herself. And that Mave shouldn't get any ideas of romance.
Fred takes a dislike to Mavis when she says that she and Derek are "practically vegetarians" - see awards below.
"Trapped in me 'ouse like a prisoner, while 'e walks around outside. 'E knows where I am, 'e does." Poor Liz, finally realises what a drab little house she lives in (especially that wallpaper) but luckily, Judy is at hand to cheer her up and offers to put a word in for her down at the arcade. Judy asks some relevant and thought-provoking questions like "will you get married again," making Liz whimsical. Matters are not helped by the return of Dreary who is obviously using this whole situation to put on her c.v. when she applies for the Samaritans.
Jamie is up to more trouble with his puncture-repair kit money-making scheme, this time using it on Derek (who looks such a twit in his cycling gear). Josie finds out about it, and starts to put two and two together. Prepare for a big confrontation scene at some point next week.
The McDonald children still seem intent on getting Liz and Jim back together. Vicky is especially worried about Jim and invites him around for a meal. Jim tells Bill to look for a new partner, and that once he goes to court and is in all the papers it will be bad for his business.
Maureen apologises to Bill for her drunken behaviour the other night, and is determined that this weekend she will get to see Reg. However, after twenty minutes she runs out of petrol and is stranded on the motorway. Curly has to come and rescue her, and she decides that enough is enough and that she can never visit Reg again! Credits
Best line: Fred Elliott on the REAL reaons behind vegetarianism. "Don't say the 'V' word. It's all a plan by the Martians in order to weaken humanity so that they can invade us!"
Social message for the week: Remember children, cycling is fun but you should always wear reflective yellow stripes like Josie and Derek!
Number of times Liz said "Nuuuuur!": 67
I hate episodes like this - plot-lines starting up all over the place. How am I supposed to keep track of it all?
The Mike Baldwin Business Empire
Mike is talking to Alma about how he needs more money which immediately gets her defensive because she thinks he wants to sell her shop. He probably intends to get her to restart her old part-time job as Cleopatra in Carry on Cleo. Later, Derek and Josie are waiting for Mike at the factory - Derek with the stationery order, Josie because she does not have a key. Jamie offers to clean Mike's car, but Mike tells him to get lost.
Mike is 'friendly' to Kevin in the Rovers and offers to sell him the garage for a few thousand under the asking price. Kevin says he'll think about it - when Sally finds out she says it is the best chance they'll ever get, but Kevin doesn't want to lie in bed thinking about owing all that money to the bank. However, Sally seems determined to sink her plot-grabbing hooks into this one, and after a long spell of playing hand-maid to Maud's story-lines, how can we begrudge her this one?
Billy enters the Rovers and mentions that Jack was talking about a Rovers outing a few episodes ago and in all the Ivy-ghost excitment, it was forgotten. The 'men' (Billy and Gary Mallet) decide that a day at the races would be fun. Vera would prefer to go to Southport, but seems happy to go along with the races. However, Jack keeps telling her that she is not welcome. Vera decides to have a women's day out instead.
Jim is _still_ stalking Liz and being very boring. Steve gives him twenty pounds to leave him alone. Nobody in the Rovers will talk to Jim. He tries to phone Liz, but she hangs up on him. Then he follows her into the shop, but Liz runs out without paying. She finds him waiting outside the house so she ducks into the Rovers where he follows.
In exasperation, she phones the police. Andy and Steve try to get him to leave, but he at first can't believe she would do such a thing, and then is too stupid to leave. So he is hauled off again (ha!)
Vera tells Liz that the McDonalds can take their rows elsewhere in future. Jack tells Vera to shut up and that Liz is upset - Vera says she is upset too and goes to have a lie down.
"Has Ashley asked you out yet Kelly?" asks Sally, as they pass him in the Street. "No, but he's gorgeous!" says Kelly.
"Can I clean your car Bill Webster?" asks Jamie, still trying to get money.
"I phoned Reg to tell him I wasn't coming on Friday, and left a message on his answering machine. He hasn't phoned me back." Maureen.
Best line: "We could go and see those male dancers - the ones with the rippling muscles - the Wensleydales!" Vera
Most predictable performance: "You should just try to forget about Liz and get on with the rest of your life." If ONE more episode is ruined by Bill Webster saying this to Jim I will take legal action.
Maud's teacosy: The mauve one.
Maureen is still cringing because Reg hasn't phoned. Alma suggests that they go on a girl's night out with Audrey and Dreary. Maureen says that she would be miserable all night. She phones Reg and leaves another message on his answering machine telling him that she is sorry and she does love him. I think it might be over for this marriage though.
Mike Baldwin's Business Empire
Sally is doing her Lady Macbeth act on Kevin and trying to get him to buy the garage. Kevin is still unsure that he wants to be in so much debt, or that the bank will lend him the money - but he has made an appointment with this bank manager anyway.
Kevin tells Tony that Mike is selling up and he might be his new boss.
Bill Webster asks Mike for time off so that he can support Jim's court appearance, but Mike (after laughing at the McDonald family) says he has to stay and work. Josie overhears and looks disapproving (I think, it's so hard to tell - her face normally has that tightened frown). Josie has a phone message from Ida Clough who wants her old job back. When Mike tells her that Ida was Ivy's old friend, Josie tries to dissuade Mike from hiring her, but Mike says he will see her anyway. Mike then tells her that he is selling the garage.
Later, Josie goes to the garage while Kevin is at the bank manager. She collects the garage takings (500 pounds in cash) and her greedy little eyes light up, as her brain thinks "business opportunity".
She tries to get Don interested in buying the garage - but he doesn't seem too interested. (In next week's episode other CS couples compete to buy Mike's garage - baby Daniel is backed by Sarah-Lou, Samir comes back from the dead and is backed by Phyllis's hair etc..)
Kevin has his back loan but still has to find the money from the deposit. Sally is overjoyed and full of useful money-making schemes, including using R Rosie's trust-fund, selling the car, putting Kevin out on the Streets (OK I made that last one up - but it would probably generate the most revenue)
Plans for the Rovers' Mens and Ladies outings continue. Vera, Rackle and Joyce discuss the McDonalds mess and Vera says that if Jack behaves like that again he will be barred. Somehow Joyce manages to turn the conversation round to how R Terry was in prison. Vera's mouth falls open in outrage. Rackle goes on about how when her and Curly have children, they will never argue in front of them, causing Joyce to wonder if she is already pregnant.
Jim is due to appear in court, and the McDonald "boys" and Vicky are rallying around him. They go to see Liz and beg her to retract her complaints about him but she refuses. They make it clear that they are now on Daddy's side, and that Liz will have to make her own way to the court, alone.
At the court, Jim is in the dock (he should have been in a big cage with armed guards everywhere), Steve, Andy and Vicky enter and he gives them a thumbs up sign. Liz enters and he just growls inwardly.
Jim's lawyer pleads that there were mitigating circumstances for Jim breaking the terms of bail, but the judge is having none of it and Jim is sent to prison until he can go to trial. This will be 2/3 weeks. Andy whines "Are you happy now our mam!" Credits.
Outfits: Pick up your Kevin Doll from all major retail toy outlets today! Kevin comes with three easy-to-change costumes - 1) everyone's favourite - the blue overalls 2) the rarely seen dressing-gown and chest hair combination - make Sally smile! 3) The smart "I am a business-man" suit for asking favours off his bank manager. Buy your Kevin-Doll over the Easter period and we'll throw in a free Simpering Sally and several push-chair accessories!
Best line: Maureen: "Yes! I do love 'im. Silly stubborn little man!"
Derek and Mavis want an allotment. Des says that he knows a fellow who comes into the betting shop quite often who is in charge of giving out allotments and he will put a word in for the Wiltons. They are excited.
But! Monday is April Fool's Day - so what Evil does Des have up his sleeve?
Mike Baldwin's Business Empire
Alma lets slip to Mike that Rita has been giving the Websters money, and Mike sees this as a way for Kevin to buy the garage quickly. He bullies Alma into going round to Rita's and casually mentioning that the garage is for sale to Kevin. Alma is very reluctant, but Mike offers to mind the cafe (which means he stands behind the counter and refuses to serve Percy) while she is away.
At the Kabin, Alma is about to mention the garage to Rita, but Dreary and Liz come in and immeditately start talking about prisons and Jim and wife-beating so Alma has to skulk away, mission unaccomplished. Mike is angry and tells her that she has let him down.
Josie questions Mike about how much he intends to sell the garage. Mike tells her to make an offer and they will talk further.
New applicants are interviewed for factory jobs. Ida Clough is there - Mike gives her a job.
Steve, Vicky and Andy tell Liz that they are visiting Jim in prison and does she have any messages for him. Liz says "nurr" and reiterates that she does not want to get back with Jim. More tiresome conflict.
At the prison, Jim moans on about how his wife done him wrong, and what a sad state of affairs it all is, and how bitter he is becoming.
Maureen has been wringing her hands all week because Reg still hasn't phoned her. She is determined now to go to Lowestoft to get her man back.
However, when Maud and Maureen get back to their house there is a letter awaiting Maureen - which reduces her to miserable staring after she reads it. Maud says "What's wrong our Maureen?" but Maureen refuses to tell her. Maureen jumps in her car to head off to Lowestoft. Maud shouts "It's from him isn't it. He's said you have to choose between me and him, and you've chosen him. Maureen! Maureeeeeennn!" Credits.
Best acting: Mike Baldwin. Things are going to be interesting now that an old format has being exhumed. Mike was on top form as evil tycoon once again - making poor Ida wait until last and then taking pleasure as she squirmed and begged for her old job back. The relationship between Josie and Mike also promises to be one of complexity and conflict. I get the feeling that Josie will be very loyal - but will take no nonsense from Baldwin.
Most Welcome Return: Three Cheers for Ida Clough! Let's hope that the Street's favourite miniscule busybody lives up to her former reputation and causes as much TROUBLE as she possibly can!