Vernon comes around the corner to find Norris sweeping the pavement. Norris launches into a speech about getting out of bed early being a primeval instinct, once upon a time it was to tackle saber tooth tigers, but nowadays it's to overcome the selfishness that is ‘woman'. Vernon stops and seems to take an interest, as Norris goes on about looking forward to having ten or twenty years of fulfillment and SHE goes and sacrifices it all on the alter of greed. Of course, Norris is referring to Rita, but Vernon thinks he's talking about Liz. "Now that she's kicked me in to touch," he says. Norris looks amazed. "You didn't know, did you?" says Vernon.
Norris rushes inside to break the latest news to Rita, but she's pondering on what Tony Gordon has offered her and thinks she should get a valuation of the business as quickly as possible. Norris makes a comment about thirty pieces of silver, but she points out that he'll end up with a nice little nest egg as well. Norris says there's more to life than money, and then tells her about Liz and Vernon.
Sally is moaning to Kevin about how Claire and Ashley have ripped them off, when the pair in question come downstairs and announce that they're going. They're going to move into No. 13, although, as Kevin points out it's not fit to be lived in yet.
In the cafe, Ken tells Becky she looked at home behind the bar in the Rovers, and he wonders if Roy's in a bad mood because of it. She tells him to leave it, but as she takes Sean's order over he announces loudly that she was the star attraction in the Rovers last night, at least Jason seemed to think so.
Marcus asks Sean for tips on throwing a sickie, and asks him to throw one too. Sean tells him he can't, his new boss is already keeping a close eye on him. Marcus says he hates his job at the moment, and Sean asks if he's thought any more about re-training. "What, with you keeping us both?" asks Marcus, adding, "we'll see."
Becky goes over to a very dejected looking Vernon who's sitting by himself. " Vernon, I'll only say two words," she says to him, "her loss." Vernon says he wishes it felt like that, and just then his phone rings - it's Liz.
In the back room of the Rovers, Liz is worried because he doesn't answer her call. Michelle comes in and asks if she's regretting her decision., but Liz doesn't. She tells Michelle she feels as if a weight's been lifted, but feels guilty at the same time. "What happens now?" asks Michelle. Liz tells her that for starters she's taking down the ridiculous wedding photo.
The Peacocks are taking their leave of the Websters. Sally tells Kevin (in Claire and Ashley's hearing) to make sure they haven't picked up any dvds or jewelry on their way out - it'll end up in a car boot sale at the weekend. Claire assures her she's got nothing worth taking, and Sally is sure she's looked to make sure.
Jerry is in the pub, moaning about Theresa, and Liz says he must have loved her once, they've a houseful of kids. He says there were good times once, but in the end she was having good times with other blokes. Liz, however, is soon distracted when she sees Vernon come into the bar. She goes and asks him where he was. "Why, were you worried I'd done something stupid?" asks Vernon, saying that the stupid thing was marrying someone he knew didn't love him, and he goes into the back, saying he's come to go over the bank accounts.
The Peacocks have gone over to their house (Kevin and Sally's old one) but found they can't stay there, half the floor-boards are up in the bedroom and Freddie nearly fell through. The electrician can't come back to finish the job until next week. They decide to go and stay at Claire's mum's house. Ashley thinks it'll just be for a week, but Claire has other ideas. She wants to spend the money she got for the Beatles programme on doing the place up from top to bottom.
In the Kabin, Rita asks Deirdre about Liz and Vernon splitting up, and is overheard by Harry. Norris says that their shop provides a useful service to the community, with an exchange of news and views. Harry comes to the counter and asks about Liz and Vernon and Norris just claims that it proves his point, it has saved Harry from saying the wrong thing in the Rovers.
Vernon is on the phone to the bank, closing his and Liz's account. She offers him the engagement ring back, but he refuses to take it. She tells him she'll go away and stay with her friend in Jersey for a few days so he can stay at the Rovers until he can find somewhere else to go. Vernon isn't keen that Steve will come home and find his mother away and Vernon there.
Jason sees Becky standing outside the cafe and goes over to talk to her. He says he knows why she dumped him, he behaved like a right prat. They end up deciding to be mates, and he says he'll buy her a drink sometime. He goes on his way, leaving her smiling!
Harry walks across the road with Clarissa, she's not happy about the taxis he pays for her to travel around in, and is moaning about it when Vernon comes along. Clarissa introduces herself, and Harry says that he's heard the bar viewing didn't go as planned. Vernon admits it, saying that he went in with his head full of dreams and came out in the middle of a nightmare. (Very poetic is our Vernon!) Harry says it may just be an up and down that all marriages go through. Vernon explains that his missus has just binned him, and Clarissa tells Harry that as he's in the middle of his third divorce he's in no position to help anyone.
Liz and Deirdre are chatting in the back room of the Rovers, and Deirdre tells her that Harry Mason is going to be very interested in Liz's situation. Liz assures her that they're just mates who have a laugh over the bar, she's and Vernon were about to start a new life and she didn't give Harry a second thought. Deirdre tells her that Harry fancies her, and asks if it's totally one-sided. Liz confesses that under certain circumstances she might think he's a bit of all right, but he had nothing to do with her leaving Vernon and she's off to Jersey in a couple of hours to stay with her friend. Deirdre thinks that's a good move.
Roy and Ken are walking down the Street, and Ken brings up the situation between Roy and Becky. He reminds Roy of just how much Becky looks up to him, but Roy thinks it's mainly lip-service. Ken says Roy ought to resolve the issue by talking to her.
Sean meets Marcus walking down the road, and discovers that Marcus has walked out and quit his job. Sean tells him he'll meet him in the pub in five minutes.
It seems that Rita has plans to go to Spain if she sells out to Tony Gordon, but she tells him she's just considering her options. Norris however, just wants to stay living and working right where he is.
Becky meets Jason down by the builder's yard. She's brought him a sausage roll from the cafe, so they decide to go off to the pub for a drink, and they're going to be more than just mates, they're going to go out together again. As he kisses her, Roy watches from across the road and doesn't look happy.
Liz is giving Michelle some last minute instructions. Michelle tells her not to worry, if she and Vernon had gone as planned the Rovers would be hers. Ashley comes in sees Kevin at the bar. Kevin jokes that as if he hasn't caused enough trouble, Ashley will now get him murdered by his wife!
Harry comes in and tells Liz he's heard about her and Vernon and asks if she'd like to get away from the pub for a bit and have a night in town, maybe a few drinks, a meal and dancing? Just then Liz's taxi hoots outside and as she picks up her bags she tells him that if he thinks that her splitting with Vernon means she'll jump into bed or even let her hair down with another bloke, it shows what he thinks of her! With that she turns and walks away leaving Harry looking stunned.
Hello, and welcome to this Independence Day double-header, in which Becky's independence is a recurring theme. A special hello to those on Fair Isle, who celebrated hard on Friday night and kept going for Venezuelan independence day the next day, combining it with a farewell party for some seasonal workers. I'll try to keep my voice down.
As we begin, a tetchy Roy looks through the unhygienic blinds in the cafe and sees Jason and Becky doing some tonsil-tickling snogging across the way. He opens the door, probably planning to throw a bucket of cold water over them, but changes his mind and coughs significantly instead. Becky breaks away and heads for Roy, who tells her she's late. Once inside, she puts her head on the display cabinet for a quick nap, telling Roy she was very close to calling in sick. Ken arrives, bright and cheerful. Roy suggests Becky make the egg mayonnaise. Ken offers to do the fillings, but Roy points out that they have routines. Becky decides to go upstairs for ten minutes to get herself sorted out. "See you in ten, Ken," she says, and pauses. Raising her voice, she calls, "Oy, Roy! Poetry. And I'm not even trained up for it!"
Vernon enters through the back door of the pub. He finds Michelle in the back room and puts his key on the table. She offers him a cup of tea and asks how he's doing. Vernon's putting a brave face on it all. Michelle knows he's not really OK. "Vernon, you don't have to lose your job as well as your home." Vernon looks at her. "Job. Home. Wife." Michelle asks whether he can do a couple of hours behind the bar at lunchtime. "Do I have ‘mug' written across my face?" Vernon asks. "Look, I know she's left you in the lurch, but as lurches go, my lurch beats your lurch!" Michelle says that Liz is also upset. Vernon wants to lash out, but the person he wants to lash out at isn't there. He notices the wedding picture's gone and says it wasn't honest. It was the perfect couple that never was.
In the Kabin, Norris tells Tony that an open shop isn't the place to discuss business and that it shows Tony's lack of experience. Rita's sorry she kept Tony waiting. She tells him she's been thinking very hard about everything. Norris keeps chipping in with snide comments and Rita suggests she and Tony go up to her flat. "Oh, then I'd be really sidelined, wouldn't I?" snaps Norris. He says he's a partner in this business. "Then try acting like one!" Rita snaps back. Rita tells Tony that in principle she accepts the offer. She's arranged for a valuation. They shake hands and Tony asks them to keep it under their hat. Rita agrees they won't say anything until they're further along in the proceedings. "Will we?" she says to Norris. "Apparently not," he mutters.
Lloyd finds Becky cleaning the cafe windows and invites her for a pint. She tells him she and Jason are back together. She can't stop smiling. Roy comes out to hurry her along with the windows and when Lloyd says she's doing a good job, Roy says she'd do a quicker one if every passing customer didn't engage her in conversation. Now she's really annoyed and Roy gets a wet cloth in his midriff as she hustles back inside. Roy explains to Lloyd that Becky is fragile and easily hurt, but Lloyd brushes that off.
Vernon's stacking drums into a van. He's very grumpy when Deirdre and Blanche chat to him, and even grumpier when Blanche tells him the marriage was never going to last anyway. "Geriatric Tourette's," says Deirdre. "Take no notice." She tells her mother than if she's going to sit outside (Blanche is on a dining chair) then she should at least behave herself or someone will be on to the council about the noise nuisance.
In the cafe, Michelle is trying to sweet-talk Becky. They arrange for Becky to work three or four shifts a week. Roy tries to interrupt, but Becky ignores him. Becky's ecstatic but Roy decides to take his break upstairs. Becky knows he disapproves.
Tony arrives at work. He tells Carla that Rita said yes. Next on the list is Kevin Webster. Carla thinks he'll be more difficult, but Tony says he's offering real money for a large shed ankle-deep in motor oil. Carla thinks she might get a better response. Tony says Rita has promised not to say anything, but Carla doesn't believe Norris will be able to keep quiet.
Becky loudly takes food up to Roy. "I'm sorry. I'm really not hungry," he says. Becky tells him the food is good for his heart. "It's not MY heart I'm worried about," he points out. "Every time I turn around, you seem to be involved with yet another married man." He warns her how dangerous it will be working in the Rovers. "You will be hurt, Becky. And you will end up hurting others." Becky tells him to go off and slam some doors. She's staying upstairs for her break.
Speaking of which... [break]
Vernon's about to get into the van but denies Michelle's accusation that he's running away. She's worried he doesn't have anywhere to go tonight. Vernon goes in to collect his hat. Lloyd wanders along and Michelle tells him Vernon is going. Lloyd asks where and Michelle says she doesn't know. "What's really sad is, neither does he." Vernon comes out and asks Michelle to do him a favour and not stand and wave. "It's not cool." Lloyd knows Vernon isn't as cool as he's acting. He offers Vernon a place to stay. Vernon thinks it's a bit close to the pub. Lloyd says it's not forever. He offers to help Vernon unload the van. And to make him a cheese sarnie. Vernon relents.
Jason is in the cafe. Ken tells him Roy and Becky are taking it in turns to sulk in the corner. He tells Jason about the Rovers job. Roy gets awkward and Jason leaves without seeing Becky.
Tony goes to chat with Kevin. He acts very matey, but delays Kevin getting to the phone before the caller gives up, which doesn't please Kevin. Tony says sympathetic things about the practical problems of running a small business. He wonders if Kevin's ever thought of getting something bigger. Kevin's very happy. "Until someone makes you can offer," says Tony, and tells Kev he wants to buy the garage. "OK," says Kevin. "A million quid and it's yours." Tony offers to get it valued. "I just did," says Kevin. Tony's jaw drops.
Deirdre's come across a box of Ken's old university stuff which he must have been looking at. "Maybe he's thinking of doing another degree?" she wonders. Then she remembers his invitation to a reunion. Blanche thinks they'll be giving Ken the award for "most pointless graduate." Deirdre digs out the letter. The reunion is next week.
Tony and Carla are in the Kabin. Rita hands over 20 bars of chocolate, apparently because one of the workers is having a birthday. Norris comes over all sarcastic and Rita sends him on his break.
Becky wants to know when she can go on her dinner break. Roy says she's just come back from her other break. Becky snaps at him and all conversation stops for a second. Ken goes over to sit with Blanche and Deirdre, claiming refuge. "Is it that bad?" they ask. He asks whether they still have Uncle Albert's old World War Two helmet. Deirdre asks whether he's replied to the reunion invitation yet. "Course he hasn't," says Blanche. "He's scared of finding out that he's the biggest failure of his year. They're interrupted by Norris sitting down uninvited at their table. "Comfort drinking - hot chocolate," he says. Blanche asks what's happened. She starts to cross-examine him. Ken tells her to spare the thumbscrews. But Norris says he's sworn to secrecy. Over at the counter, World War Three is still building up, because Roy reminds Becky to tick off the orders when they've been done. She grabs the order pad, almost knocking Roy over, slams it down, ticks it with a giant tick and shoves it back at him so hard he's almost knocked over the other way. Ken tells them they're getting an audience. Becky's fed up with being nagged. "You're just not up to real lives with real people!" she snaps at Roy. "You sad, lonely old bloke that everyone laughs at!" Roy's a bit stunned. "Well, I'd rather be laughed at for having morals than be despised for having the morals of a stray cat," he says. There's a deadly silent. "Stray cat?" asks Becky quietly. "Is that what I am? Some mangy old cat on heat?" Roy didn't say on heat. "You didn't have to," she says. Ken tries to cool things down and Norris leaps up and asks if he can do anything and whether Becky's all right. Becky screams at the customers that they can just mind their own business and get back to their narrow little, boring little, smug little lives. She storms upstairs. "Well!" says Blanche. Roy apologises to the cafe. Ken tells him he'll take over and Roy needs to talk to Becky. "I NEED TO GET ON WITH MY WORK!" screams Roy. "Toasted cheese?"
The end of the first half. More later.
So Vern moves in with Lloyd - well I sense that they are closer in age than Vern and Liz, but are they compatible - only time will tell. Anyway once Vern has moved in he and Lloyd start on a little whisky to cement the friendship. And discuss Liz.
Becky removes herself from Castle Cropper, her relationship with Roy have been cropped short, so she packs and even though neither Roy nor Becky wants it, she moves out. Roy feels his principles have been compromised and Becky cannot take the criticism even though she knows he is right. Then it gets really nasty - Becky has always stood up for him when people call Roy weird - and in future she will join in with them and laugh at Hayley as well - a real freak. Roy cannot believe it - but the relationship is entirely sundered. Roy leaves her to pack and Becky is shaken by the enormity of her comments.
At the Rovers Doris is making a very poor job of not telling Emily why he is upset with Rita - so eventually she gets to hear about Rita's retirement plan courtesy of Mr Tony Loaded. Rita reminds Doris that he always knew she would eventually retire - yes but he expected to find another partner and buy her out - not lose the site and give up completely, because Mr Johnny Come Lately waves a cheque book. Mr JCL and Carla then walk into the Rovers causing Doris to almost lose it completely. He refuses a drink from Tony equating it to supping with the devil. he buys almost everyone else a drink including Kevin - which surprises Sally - she wants to know what is going on but Kevin keeps his own counsel.
Lloyd sees Becky leaving the cafe and she tells him it because of what Roy knows about Steve. She admits the final sundering is down to her - but Roy has been on her case every day. Lloyd asks if he can say something or if they can make it up - but Becky says that terrible things were said. Lloyd takes her into the cab office to calm down. In the office Becky admits to calling Roy a sad old man at whom everyone laughs. Then she admits to calling Hayley an even bigger freak. She is repentant - the Croppers have done so much for her and the repayment is not fair.
Jason is Not (I repeat NOT) looking for Becky in the cafe when Eileen finds him there. He jokes he is so upset she is missing he needs prozac to help him cope. (At the moment it is Becky who needs the prozac). Anyway he does not want to discuss his feelings. Roy then makes a reference to women having a hard time talking about their feelings and how often in the heat of the moment harsh words are said. Eileen suspects that he has rowed with Hayley but he of course denies and refuses to explain his comments. Ken is listening and later suggests to Roy that he might like to go and find Becky and talk to her - but Roy is not in the mood for talking about it to anyone. Ken tells him that daughters can say things which are hurtful - they cannot be unsaid, but you do not mean them.
Tony uses the drink as another opportunity to get Kevin to sell and agree to his master plan, but Kevin is having nothing of it - he lives locally, his customers are local and he knows people - why would he want to move? Kev tells him it is a fair offer - but he is not interested. Later Tony tells Carla that Kev is simply playing hard to get - Tony knows how these negotiations go and in a few days he will up the price and Kev will accept. (Are we taking bets on this?).
Sean asks Kelly to cover whilst he goes to look at a flat with Marcus - and with that he disappears out of the factory. Tony notes the disappearance and asks Kelly where he has gone - she tries to cover, pretending he was not feeling well but sharp eyed JCL is having none of it.
Jason finds Becky in the cab office and she tells him she has fallen out with Roy. He soon discovers she has nowhere to live so tells her to come and stay with him, he tells that Eileen will not have a say in the matter.
Ken has had his doubts about going to his University reunion. A quick chat with Roger the plumber convinces him that perhaps he should go just to see if the others have fared better or worse than he has.
Sean and Marcus return to Eileen's - the flat is awful but they have taken it - they had to - they could not afford anything better. Sean told her it was all a bit scary, but she reckons they will manage. They then break the news to Jason - which is just as well they are going because Becky will be crashing here for a while. He turns and tells Becky to put her stuff in his room. Eileen would have liked to have been asked - anyway Jason and Becky are going away for a few days.
Ken and Roy have just closed up when Becky comes into the cafe. Ken disappears rapidly. Becky does the apology graciously - she did not mean what she said and Roy and Hayley have done so much for her. Becky just gets frustrated because they are do different. Roy just wants to heal the rift between them. He suggests she might return to her job - but Becky knows that they would soon fall out again - and she says she is going to live at Jason's and they are going away together. As she goes Roy asks her to promise she will look after herself and she replies that she will. Becky looks completely lost as she walks away from the cafe - it is the first time she has been valued as a human being, with people who kept giving her another chance. And she has thrown it away - what will become of her.
Answers on a postcard to the team at Granada / ITV Productions.
I will be back this time next week.
K Richard W
Morning dawns in the Grimshaw boarding house. Eileen wants to know what Becky's plans are while Jason seems to think she's making strong hints for Becky to leave (she is!). Becky is going to get the rest of her stuff later from Roy's and is very down about the whole upset. She assures Eileen her presence is only temporary. Sean is full of the joys of the morning, though, and bounces in, followed by a drowsy unemployed Marcus who is the only one that offers to make the others their morning cuppa. Marcus has decided to see what courses are on offer at the uni and Sean invites him to the pub at lunch to celebrate their departure to unseen shores. "You mean the flat around the corner?" Marcus mutters, as he and Becky stare despondently at the telly spewing some morning program or other. Sean flips off to work, sighing about Marcus' lack of romance. (I'm a little distracted by Marcus' lovely tattoo on his arm.)
The factory isn't open yet. Sean joins the waiting workforce who are taking the mick out of early riser Kevin who's already hard at work. Carla and Tony arrive, Tony flinging a well thought out insult back at Janice who was only being mildly lippy. Everyone complains about Tony but Sally, naturally, and quite naively, simpers that Tony's all right, really, because he actually bought her and Kevin a drink in the pub the other day. A few strains of a tune filter out from the garage, oddly enough, the very one that had been going through my mind at the time i first watched the show! (Weapon of Choice, Fatboy Slim).
Over to the back gardens where Teresa is having a quick fag. The angle of the camera would imply that the cameraman is standing on Sally's conservatory, or on a very high ladder leaning up against it and we can see a few dozen ciggy butts laying on the corner of the conservatory. Teresa tosses up another one and lights a new stick. Jerry comes out to pass Teresa an ashtray. She asks Jerry to meet her in the pub at dinner but he's reluctant. Health and the wrath of Mel being his reasons. Teresa likens his attitude to letting his daughter run his life and he caves easily, just for a half, mind. Right, she says, stubbing out the cig, she'll cut back too and stop at the one. In Teresa's world, one means four.
Back to the factory, Tony approaches Sally in the staff break area. He comments that Kevin has been a tough sell. Sally, of course, has no idea what he's talking about and it's a pleasure to see her fall from her high horse when he "accidentally" lets out the secret that he offered to buy out Kevin at value plus 10 grand and Kevin refused and hadn't told her a thing. Sally tries to pretend she knew and Tony's plan has worked. He knows Sally will try to push Kevin into the deal, ambitious little mare that she is. Carla is let in on the plan. "He doesn't want to sell. She's already spending the money"
Over at the taxi office, Becky enters. She apologizes to Eileen if she was off that morning. They discuss life with Roy but she's circumspect about the reason for their falling out. It's really eating at her though and she's trying to work up the nerve to go see him. She pleads for Eileen not to mention the falling out to Roy if she sees him. It's kind of just between the two of them really. (Because of course, Roy doesn't approve of Becky seeing Jason and he also knows she cheated on Jason with Steve)
Over at the garage, Ty and Kev are talking footie. Sally approaches Kevin about her conversation with Tony. Kevin sends Tyrone off for some cakes, leaving Sally to come up one side of him and down the other for not telling her. Kevin didn't tell Sally because he had no intention of selling up. Sally can't understand why he wouldn't want the extra money to expand and go up in the world but Kevin is quite happy with the world and his place in it. She's well put out because she had to hear it from Tony but Kevin realizes what Tony's trying to do and advises her to ignore Tony and his out of order tactics. Across the road a delivery van is easing a large box out of the back. Maria pops over to see what's going on. It's Liam's new jukebox! She has another go at him for not doing anything about finding work and they have a light hearted argument about whether the juke will have more Joy Division or Kylie. Liam assures her he is going to be meeting his cousin Tom for discussions on potential projects. She warns him (with a smile) not to keep putting it off.
Business goes on in the Underworld office. Carla clearly has something on her mind listening to Tony arrange something on the phone and sends Rosie off to Packing to deliver some papers. At Rosie's suggestion, she agrees to let her go on an early lunch. With Websterette out of the way, Carla brings up the subject again with Tony and he admits he's setting up a surveyor to look at the garage. Carla figures he's wasting his money. The Tonemeister smugly points out he's not even got started yet. There will be more negotiations. Rosie, returning for her handbag, hears the tail end of the conversation though not really what it's about, only that they're talking about Kevin and business. She clip clops out to lunch. Carla doesn't seem overly confident and I think she's maybe a little troubled over Tony's attitude.
Dinnertime in the pub, the factory bees are listening to Sean witter on about being the breadwinner for his beloved who arrives just then. He's gathered some information on courses and says they're offering everything from Erotic Novelists to Sumo Wrestling. Betty, in her usual scene stealing way, suggests they combine the two! Sean stumps up for another round of drinks.
In the cafe, Roy is talking to Becky on the phone to say he'll be there when she comes to collect her stuff. Ken ruminates that Hayley would have had things sorted out in no time. Roy agrees. He tells Ken things have gone beyond just being able to be open and tell Becky to come back, all is forgiven. Roy being Roy, thinks it would be so much easier being a lower primate unencumbered by conscience and ethics. Ken can't see the problem. Becky is a hard worker, loyal and thinks the world of Roy but it seems insurmountable to Roy. Neither of them has any choice. Without knowing all the details, Ken is stumped.
Kevin tells Tyrone he's off on a breakdown call (in a very spiffy new? yellow breakdown truck) and leaves Tyrone in charge (oh, oh. That's a mistake). Tony must have been waiting behind the factory door for Kevin to leave making me wonder how long he was skulking there waiting for Kevin to leave the premises or if he set up the call as a wild goose chase. My money's on the latter. Anyway, he and another fellow in a suit come out and over to Tyrone. Tony acts as if it's all been arranged and it doesn't take much to fool our dim witted grease monkey that Kevin had agreed to an evaluation.
It's still lunchtime in the pub and everyone is still there. Rosie has joined them as well. They are talking about Marcus taking a course. Vicky regretfully says that she thought about training to be a doctor but it didn't work out. This stops the conversation cold for a few seconds as they all contemplate that one. Sean pops up to get another round in. Rosie tries to get a white wine but her mother fiercely orders a lime and soda for her instead. Teresa and Jerry are in and Jerry is downing his half as if he's just come out of the Sahara. She manages to talk him into another half.
Tom and Liam are playing a board game (Risk?) each going for world domination. Maria arrives and is skeptical about their "business meeting" over the dice. Tom likens it to contemplating world expansion. Liam tells her it's a bonding exercises and Tom tries to take the blame. She knows exactly where the blame lies. With the pair of them! She leaves again, having dropped off some burgers. Liam makes a half hearted attempt to start a conversation about business but Tom thinks they should wait and have it in the pub. Sounds like a plan.
Ken's wiping tables up and Becky arrives, defensively announcing she's just going to pick up her last few bits and pieces. Roy is out in the back and Ken advises her to try to work it out. Ken pops out so that Roy and Becky can be on their own while the cafe is quiet. They are awkward. They make small talk. She tries to straighten out his collar to his cardy and it looks like they may actually break the ice but Jason arrives to help carry things and the moment is lost.
Kevin arrives back just as Tony and his man are coming out. He's incensed that Tony has pulled a flanker on Tyrone and ejects them summarily off his premises.
In the pub, Jerry is trying to make his second half last. The factory workers are *still* there. What a long dinner hour! They're talking about modeling and life drawing now. Sally realizes it's late but Sean doesn't want to leave. He decides to stay on and figures Carla will forgive him as usual.
Kevin gives Tony more than one piece of his mind about Tony's scheming. Tony tries to insist they can come to an agreement but Kevin, in front of the factory girls, reiterates that he's got no intentions of selling. Tony seems to be deaf and goes on like it's going to happen eventually. Kevin threatens to drag Tony off his premises bodily if he continues to use his wife and family. Tony turns around and snarls at the girls to get back to work.
Lloyd meets Jason and Becky in the road coming from Roy's flat carrying all of Becky's worldly goods in a couple of boxes. They rope Lloyd into helping them cart it across the street. In the background, Marcus and Sean are coming out of the pub talking about throwing a party in their new place together. No, not a party, a soiree with a cocktail shaker and a couple of friends. I'll expect my invitation, boys. Back to Becky and Lloyd outside Eileen's. Becky explains to Lloyd that because Roy's not like normal folk, it's not as easy as just making friends again. "So," she says, "'ere I am. Shackin' up wi' a top bloke. Workin' for a top bird. And I've done the dirty on 'em both. It's a good job I'm a decent liar."
At Underworld, Sean waltzes back in after his extra-long lunch hour. He is unaware that the girls have been covering for him, saying he was sick. Tony drags him into his office and sacks him on the spot. "You've got five minutes to empty your locker and say your goodbyes."
In the pub, Tom is trying to work out why Liam left the factory. "I 'ad a bellyfull, I needed a break!" says Liam. But Tom is still suspicious. After all, he doesn't want to invest his time and energy into a new venture with Liam if he's going to just up and leave on a whim later. Liam explains he couldn't work with Carla any more. When Tom says he thinks Carla's a good laugh, Liam says, "Mmm, when there's a full moon. Rest of the time she's just howling!" They get another drink in.
At Underworld, the girls are all crowded around Sean finding out what happened and reassuring him that he'll find another job. Sally urges him to appeal to Carla since he's the only one that laughs at her jokes. Carla comes in and asks Tony what's going on.
Jerry arrives home from the pub and gets a tongue-lashing from Mel. Mel explains that she just cares about him which is why she's giving him a hard time. Teresa comes through the door and Mel blames her for letting Jerry drink.
Back at Underworld, Carla accuses Tony of taking his anger at Kevin Webster out on Sean. Tony defends himself by telling her Sean was 25 minutes late and he smelled of drink. Carla argues that Sean is good for morale and is popular. Tony reckons Sean treats the factory like a youth club and he is sacking Sean to send a message to the rest of the girls. Carla can see she only gets a say in the matter if she "rubber stamps" Tony decision. Tony says threateningly, "If you don't, it sends a message to me!" and accuses her of running the factory like an amateur. He wants the factory to be world class. "Ha! I might take that from Richard Branson," Carla cuts Tony down with her razor sharp tongue before sticking her head out of the door to call Sean. Sean looks over, hopeful that Carla will turn Tony's decision on its head. No such luck. She stands by her man and Sean is out of a job.
At the kebab shop, Mel is talking with her copper friend, Abigail, I think her name is. She tells her that the doctors told the family that Jerry's next heart attack could be fatal but Teresa took him to the pub, "and probably gave him a knee trembler on the way 'ome for good luck!" Ewww! Mel is sick of the sound of her own nagging. She asks her friend to check Teresa's ex-boyfriend, Gary, out on the police database. Abigail is reluctant to do it since it's against the rules. "Me mam's bad news!" says Mel. Abigail reminds Mel she's still her mum and asks her what kind of person would lie about an ex beating her up? "The kind of person who lies about giving birth to Lloyd's son," says Mel. She's got a point.
Sean arrives home to an exuberant Marcus. Marcus is happy because their new flat is ready to move in. Sean breaks the news about getting the sack. Marcus is, understandably, not happy. They have a little lover's tiff. Marcus apologises. They agree that they can't afford the flat now Sean doesn't have a job.
In Carla and Tony's office, Carla is getting ready to go home. Tony is staying back to do some more work since Carla asked him to keep his Underworld work separate from his property development work. She urges him to get home as soon as possible because since they had their words earlier about Sean she thinks they need to "make up". If you know what I mean. You do know what I mean, don't you? Anyway, Carla heads off and Tony asks Rosie to do a couple of hours overtime for double time.
In the pub, Liam and Tom have been getting quite drunk. They still haven't got a product to flog but they're sure they'll be running an internet-based business. Tom looks forward to the day when Carla is begging to invest but Liam tells him he'll be on his own if he wants to get into business bed with Carla. The girls from the factory come in and Tom is interested in a pair of legs belonging to Kelly. Liam describes Kelly as, "Very homely, very good to her mother, marvelous Victoria sponge." I think he's being ironic. Or moronic. Maria comes in as Tom heads over to get Kelly's Victoria sponge recipe.
Norris, at the bar with Rita, sees Tyrone having a drink with Sally and Kevin and goes over to gossip about Tony Gordon. It comes out that Rita has already accepted Tony's offer to buy the flat and the Kabin. Rita is annoyed that Norris has blabbed. Kevin wonders what on earth Tony Gordon would want with the Kabin and the flat. Rita tells him what Tony has told her, Tony wants to expand and needs more office space. "And you buy that, do you?" asks Kevin. "Why wouldn't I?" wonders Rita.
At Eileen's, Sean is looking for another job. Marcus is in a very bad mood. They have another little tiff. It seems that the only option for them both is to stop at Eileen's place until Sean finds a job.
At Underworld, Rosie misunderstands Tony as he confesses that he had an ulterior motive for asking her to stay and work overtime. She thinks he's trying to make a pass and tells him, "Tony, Carla's a really good friend of mine...." but embarrassment of embarrassments! Tony just wants to tell her that he wants to make things good with Kevin. He explains to Rosie that buying the garage would be to Kevin's advantage. He wins her over to the dark side.
Back with Eileen, Sean and Marcus are still trying to work out what to do. Jason comes home and discovers that Sean and Marcus haven't moved out yet. "Five adults and one bog?" he ponders. Sean offers to use the sink instead which nobody finds funny. They all decide to go to the pub. Except Eileen who will "stay here and tidy up."
In the pub, Liam and Maria take drink over to Tom, Vicki and Kelly. Liam finds out that Sean has been sacked. Lloyd and Michelle are talking at the bar about nothing worth reporting. Roy comes in looking for Becky. Marcus joins Liam, et al and Kelly pleads with Liam to have a word with Carla about Sean but Liam backs out, quite rightly explaining that he's got nothing to do with the business any more. He tells Marcus that if Sean "needs any help, reference, whatever" he only has to knock.
Becky and Jason are out in the smoking area. Roy finds Becky. Becky is pleased to see him but is disappointed when she sees Roy is only there to give her her wages from the cafe. It seems there is no going back for the two of them. Roy wishes her well. When Roy is gone, Jason tells Becky they need a holiday. Because that's what you do when you start a brand new job, isn't it Becky? You go on holiday. For crying out loud.
Back at Underworld, Rosie asks Tony if he's had a lot of experience with marketing. He tells her he started a catalogue business from the back of a van when he was 17. He flatters Rosie by telling her he was like her, "a self-starter". He goes on to tell her that if he was Kevin, he would have employed Rosie- she's good with people and she could take the business into the future. He flatters her further and manipulates Rosie into sneaking into the garage and getting copies of her dad's books and accounts.
At Roy's flat, Roy is moping about, finding little traces of Becky everywhere. He sits down to read a book but the flat is very quiet and he obviously has something on his mind.
Outside Underworld, Tony is locking up for the day. Rosie asks him if she can't manage to get him copies of Kevin's records, will he take it personally? Tony, smooth talker, tells her, "Sweetheart, I just roll with the punches. If you want to help your dad out, that's great but promise me one thing, don't let him know about me trying to poach you. The garage I can live without but you? That's a different matter..." and he gives her a peck on the cheek. Rosie is ridiculously giddy. Tony looks at her as she walk away with an evil stare.....
Early morning at Maria and Liam's house, and he's suffering from a hangover, after being out, supposedly talking business, with cousin Tom, who's sleeping on their sofa. She gives him a hard time for waking her up when he stumbled in last night, to tell her they're naming their baby after Bert Trautmann - a Manchester City goalie who broke his neck and carried on playing "But I'll tell you now, it ain't happening," she says, "until your meetings produce some results, baby making is off my agenda!"
In the Webster household, Rosie's putting on her makeup while Kevin asks why she worked late last night, and if it was Carla cracking the whip. Rosie tells him that actually it was Tony who wanted some paperwork ready for this morning. Kevin hopes he's not taking advantage and Rosie assures him that she'll be paid the overtime. Kevin looks askance and Rosie gets cross and accuses him of thinking that she and Tony are having some sort of affair. Kevin says that he just doesn't trust Tony. Rosie reminds him that Tony is years older than her and going out with someone, but Kevin in turn reminds her that neither of those stopped her with Stape. Rosie gets cross then and flounces out!
Marcus is moving his worldly goods into Eileen's house. He asks Eileen if she's sure it's ok, and she tells him she's going for the record of the most people in one terraced house!
Over at the factory it's tea break time and the girls are missing Sean's brews and are sorry he was fired. The conversation turns round to Kevin's argument with Tony and they ask Sally what it was about but she's evasive. Carla comes over to chivvy them back to their machines and won't hear a word spoken about Sean.
Lloyd is on the phone to Steve, and breaks the news that he's told Michelle he's planning to propose. Steve's obviously not happy to hear this as Lloyd flinches and holds the phone away from his ear. Just then Eileen comes in and guesses that it was Steve on the phone, and keeps fishing to be told what happened on the night in question. Lloyd's phone rings, but he refuses to answer it, but won't give Eileen any clues either. "It's on a need to know basis," he tells her. She tells him she needs to know, and nothing could be as shocking as some of the things she's been coming up with. Lloyd says he could only disappoint her!
He walks out into the Street and meets Becky and tells her that Steve will not be happy if he comes home and finds her behind the bar in the Rovers. Becky tells him that she's happy with Jason and there's no reason why Michelle should ever find out.
Over in the office of Underworld, Rosie tells Tony she thinks she'll be able to get the list of customers from Kevin's garage at dinnertime. She tells him that just because her dad is too proud to know what's good for him there's no reason why the rest of them should suffer. As she's about to leave, Carla comes into the office and asks Rosie to go and make coffee. However, Tony overrides her and tell Rosie to go on out. Carla isn't very happy and tells Tony if he wants a personal assistant he should get his own. Preferably longer in tooth and skirt! When Carla hears why Rosie has gone out she's furious and tells Tony he should not have got her stealing from her dad. She shouldn't be involved she's too young and too unpredictable.
Out on the front steps of Underworld, Rosie meets Sean who's clutching a cake and looking for Carla. He then bursts into the office, apologising for disturbing them. Tony asks if he's forgotten something. Sean says he forgot just how much he loves the job and admits that he was stupid to take liberties, but his partner was going through a hard time and he wanted to be there for him. Tony says that now he can be there for him as much as he wants. Sean turns to Carla and pleads for his job, offering her the cake. Carla tells him she can't do anything for him, and Tony tells him to close the door on his way out. After he's gone Carla tells Tony he's not exactly making friends round there. Tony says he doesn't have to and picks up Carla's cake (that she doesn't want). "Being the boss, I can have my cake and eat it."
Michelle is really pleased when Becky arrives at the pub for her shift as she's been busy and rushed off her feet. Becky says Michelle should have called her, she would have come in early. Michelle is pleased to hear that, and she tells Becky that good barmaids are hard to find and Steve will be chuffed. Becky looks somewhat doubtful.
The factory girls are talking to Sean, Wiki says she's sure he'll find something else. Sean says he thought Carla liked him, but Janice says that the only person Carla likes is the one she sees looking back at her in the mirror every morning, everyone else is a means to an end. "Even Tony?" asks Wiki. Janice pauses and then says that those two are made for each other, and Kelly says that she wouldn't trust them as far as she could throw them.
Rosie is rifling through the files in Kevin's office when she hears someone coming and rushes to the door. It's Tyrone, he was under a car when she arrived with headphones blasting his ears with music from his MP3 player, so he didn't hear her. She blusters that she was just looking for her dad, but Ty tells her he's out on a breakdown call. He offers her a cuppa but she refuses, and just then Molly arrives. She wants him to go with her back to the house, the rep selling blinds is there and she wants his help choosing. Tyrone starts to say that he can't go right now, as Kev's out on a job, but Rosie pipes up that she'll stay and look after the place, so off Ty goes.
Sally is sitting in her conservatory, listening to music from Swan Lake and enjoying a cuppa and a choccy biscuit when she glances up and sees ciggie ends up on the glass conservatory roof.
Maria is in the pub, moaning to Michelle about Liam. She knows he used to be a grafter, he'd work all hours at the factory, but now all he seems to be working on is his beer gut - he went out with Tom and got trashed again last night. The conversation then turns round to Steve, he's due back tomorrow, and Michelle confesses that she's really excited and can't think about anything else.
Over at Liam's house, he's booting up the computer but Tom wants to go out for something to eat. Liam tells him they have to start work as there's a lot riding on it, and Tom admits that he heard Maria this morning. "A right little firecracker, isn't she?" he says. Liam tries to press on with their business plan. "What are we selling?" he asks. Tom, however, doesn't think a mere detail like that is important. "The business model is more important at this stage," he says, adding that they're going to be middle men between the manufacturer and the punter. Liam wonders if he should ring the Bentley dealer right away! Tom then decides that he can't think on an empty stomach so they must go out for a nice long pub lunch to get them going. Liam agrees, but says he can't risk being seen so they're going to the Werthy Arms.
Becky is obviously getting cold feet, faced with Steve's imminent return, so she tells Michelle that she thinks that working at the Rovers is not such a good idea, she doesn't think Steve will be pleased. Michelle tells her she looks like she's been behind bars for year. Becky says that's the problem, he won't want an ex jail-bird working there. Michelle won't hear of it and says that once he sees what an asset Becky is, he'll be as chuffed as her.
Sean confesses to Marcus that he didn't get his job back - he wanted to be his rock and is barely a pebble. Marcus says they'll manage, as long as Sean continues to make his laugh.
Rosie is still rifling through drawers and filing cabinets when her dad returns. She rushes out to meet him and tells him she's there to apologise for flouncing out this morning. Just then they see Sally walk out of her front door holding, at arms length, a plastic bag full of the cigarette butts. She knocks on the Morton front door and it's opened by Theresa, who reminds her that she's nursing a sick man in there. "What, by blowing smoke rings on him?" asks Sally and says she knows she's been using her conservatory roof as an ashtray. "You've scorched it!" she says. "That's plastic for you, you get what you pay for," says Theresa, and then denies it, saying she should look to her two girls. Sally tells her not to dare accuse her girls. Kevin comes over to see what's going on, and Sally shows him the bag of ciggie ends. She then tips them out all over the Morton's doorstep. Theresa tells her to pick them up or she'll make Sally eat them. Just as things are about to turn nasty, Kevin butts in, telling Theresa to shut up and hustling Sally home. When they've gone Theresa uses her foot to brush all the cigarette butts into the grass.
Lloyd sees Becky out the back, smoking. He asks if she's quit yet, and she tells him if she wants to smoke it's her lookout. He says she knows that's not what he meant and says she can't carry on working at the Rovers. She tells him she tried to jack it in, but Michelle wouldn't let her. Lloyd says she can't seriously expect Steve to work alongside both her and Michelle. Becky asks if he can hear her laughing, and then goes inside.
Back in the office at Underworld, Rosie pulls some documents out of her bag and hands them to Tony. "Very good Agent Webster," he says, and is so pleased he tells her to take the afternoon off and treat herself, promising to reimburse any reasonable receipts. As she disappears, Carla comes in asking where she's going. Tony tells her he's given her the afternoon off. "So she did it then?" says Carla, "I hope we don't live to regret this." Tony is sure they won't, but isn't so sure about Kevin. He guarantees her that in a month from now Kevin will be begging them to take the garage off his hands.
Welcome to another Friday first episode, where we begin in the factory office with Carla and Rosie talking spreadsheets - for goodness sake! I can get that at home! Carla reveals she knows about Rosie's errand. She wants to know that Rosie is "on board" and reassures her it will be the best for her dad in the long run. Rosie tells Carla she'd do the same for her.
Lloyd meets Michelle in the street. She's expecting Steve later this afternoon. Lloyd tells her to play it cool. Michelle assures Lloyd that she can keep a secret. Maria chooses that moment to come out of the salon and calls over to Michelle, "Hola! senorita," making it clear Michelle can't keep a secret. She breaks it to Lloyd that Liam and Carla also know. Michelle promises Lloyd she won't mess up and it will still be Steve's surprise.
Deirdre's off to see Tracy, but Ken's not concentrating. He's thinking about the reunion. Deirdre slams Tracy's picture down in front of him. "Ring any bells?" She tells him he should try visiting Tracy one of these days.
Lloyd's in the betting shop. Behind him, Harry and Dan argue over some handwriting. The ex-wife, Clarissa (oh, ok, almost ex-) comes in and Harry tells her to sling her hook, but she takes no notice. Harry tells Lloyd to drive her. She plans to spend more of Harry's money.
Michelle's getting her hair done. Maria seems more excited about Steve coming home than Michelle is. "He tells me when he tells me," Michelle says. But Maria says she'd be out of control by now.
Clarissa is back in the bookies'. She assures Harry she's keeping Lloyd busy. She says the cab is unfit for human use so she's getting Lloyd to valet it. "On my time?" asks Harry. Yep.
Lloyd's confessing to Becky - all about what he's told Michelle. He hasn't been able to tell Steve on the phone because they fell out when he mentioned the word "proposal". "What am I going to do?" he asks. "Keep your gob shut and leave it to him," advises Becky. She goes back to work and Harry comes to ask Lloyd what he's doing. "You've flaming brainwashed him!" he tells Clarissa. She offers Lloyd a brew. She goes off to get it and Lloyd confesses that she terrifies him. "Welcome to my world," says Harry.
In Coronation Street, Tony meets an old pal. Carla comes up and introduces herself. He's Jimmy Dockerson. He says Tony has a proposition which has brought him there. She assumes it's dirty work of a mechanical nature. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," she says. Tony offers Jimmy some breakfast. "You can't ruin a man's livelihood on an empty stomach."
Tony and Jimmy approach the garage. Kevin approaches them aggressively. Tony says he just needs a minute of his time. Tony says he's come to see about getting his car fixed. The engine has been playing up. Tony hands him the key and as he and Jimmy walk away asks loudly: "Whatever happened to professional courtesy." I think Kevin won't go short of work if it all falls apart. After all, he can apparently fix a car with engine trouble without knowing or even asking what sort of engine trouble. Is it failing to start? Knocking? Pinking? Over-revving? Well, I suppose having a garage that can work miracles is a good balance for having a hair salon that can't! Jimmy thinks Kevin seems a decent enough bloke, but he agrees to help Tony.
In the factory, Janice believes Tony's up to something. "He's on a power trip." The machinists ask Sally what all the fuss with Kevin was about the other day. Rosie, looking very guilty, listens in. Sally tells them there's nothing. At least, she holds out for all of one second before telling them that Tony wants to buy the garage. "If it were important, we'd know about it," says Kelly, dismissing any thought of Tony keeping secrets from the staff. Janice asks her what the weather's like in Dreamland. Janice thinks they're going to be replaced by robots. Sally says nothing will happen because they're not selling. Janice suggests she hide away in her little conservatory because, "mark my words - this is just the beginning!" Sally turns around and speaks to Rosie, who says they're all worrying about nothing. She denies knowing anything for sure.
A depressed-looking Deirdre has just got off the bus when Audrey greets her and asks her for a drink. They cross the road as Tony comes past, talking into his bluetooth, hands-free, I'm-an-important-executive-on-the-go headset, telling someone called Giles that it's just not good enough and he doesn't care whether the figures add up. He ends the call and mutters to Dev that the more he pays people, the less they do. They bond, briefly (as much as an on-the-go executive can bond with someone wearing rubber gloves and a pinny and washing windows!). Giles rings back and Tony turns his back on Dev. Norris has watching the whole exchange.
Deirdre tells Audrey that sometimes she doesn't know what to say to Tracy. Tracy insists on knowing everything about Steve and Michelle and Amy. She says Ken acts as if Tracy's gone off to be a Redcoat. He's trying to find himself - again.
Lloyd and Clarissa arrive back and she invites him for a drink - on the meter. She leads the way towards the Rovers.
Eileen asks Michelle what time Steve's due. She says Michelle seems a little on edge. Lloyd and Clarissa come in. "For services rendered?" coos Eileen, taking the money from Lloyd's hand. "She's a fare and nothing more!" Lloyd insists. He sends Eileen back to work. After she's gone, Michelle insists to Lloyd that everything is under control.
Tony arrives back at the factory and tells Carla he's given Jimmy the entire client list. She doesn't care about Jimmy or Kevin, just the business. She demands to know whether Tony really is doing this for the business, or whether he's just on some power trip.
Clarissa shows Lloyd the shoes she's bought, even though she doesn't really like them. She's starting to like him. At the bar, Norris cross-examines Dev about his encounter with Tony earlier. "So, he continues to spin his web . . ." Norris says. Dev isn't with him, so Norris explains that Tony's buying up properties. He says Tony claims he's just trying to expand the business, "But if you ask me, it's Czechoslovakia and Poland all over again!" Dev lowers his voice and asks, "Why? What do you think he's been doing over there?" Norris is caught out and says Tony is wedded to avarice. Dev thinks he's over-reacting. But Norris says it's about the survival of their community. "We little fish must learn to swim together," he says. Dev looks at him from his full height. "I'm a little fish?" Norris says he is, but he's a survivor. He's still going on when Dev just walks away from him. Lloyd is talking to Clarissa when Steve grabs him. "Get in the back, now!" Lloyd says he's driving Clarissa, but Steve gets him by the scruff of the neck and propels him forward. "I need to know exactly what you've said!" Before he can find out, Michelle spots him and throws herself at him.
In the corner shop, Dev "Little Fish" Alahan walks through, ignoring Molly and just uttering a harumph before shutting the door to the back room.
Back in the pub, Michelle asks about the holiday, but Steve tells her he'd better go and catch up with what's happening in the taxi business. He's about to leave when Becky comes in for her shift, calling him Boss. Steve stops dead and looks from Becky to Michelle and back. "OK, who wants to go first?" he asks.
The End of part one. More later.
Steve has returned and desperately needs to find out what Lloyd has told Michelle - so why did he not get Lloyd to pick him up from the airport - never mind. Anyway Michelle is not letting Steve out her sight and Lloyd quickly does a vanishing trick. Amy is soon showing off her new dress - Michelle would have liked a similar one. And then Steve clocks Becky behind the bar - Michelle tells him how short staffed they are - how she "sacked" Leanne. She was convinced Steve had cheated on her with Leanne and it was the deciding factor.
Outside Harry is picking up another huge bill for Lloyd's services driving his wife around. Lloyd tells him to invest in a high quality car which can be used to impress the girlies. Harry looks as though he might think about it.
Tony is impressing Carla with the new Victoria Street flats. Anyway he makes it clear that he wants total domination in the factory - he likes to see the fear in the workers' eyes. Carla reckons it is hatred. Morale down - but productivity is up. Anyway Tony announces his ultimate goal - which will be half achieved by selling the flats. He wants to retire at 42 with ten million in the bank. Kevin Webster is just a slight glitch.
Steve has escaped to the cab office and even Eileen notes that he is in a real temper - Lloyd is lying low and refusing to answer the radio. Eileen wants to know but Steve is not telling. He leaves the cab office and runs into Maria and Liam who want to know if he has proposed yet - and then Maria caps by asking him to get on with it - they want to book their flights. Steve phones Lloyd and tells him that he will soon be dead - what did he tell Michelle and the rest of the world - oh and does he want a burial or a cremation? Not surprisingly Michelle wants a chat - but Vernon's arrival means that Steve can help him drown his sorrows. Vernon notes that he does not seem surprised - Vernon simply says that Liz is a page in his life, he could not meet her needs. Vernon implies that he thinks Liz has a replacement lined up - men never dump a woman unless they have something else lined up.
Anyway today is the day of Ken's reunion. Ken is worried about what to wear. Blanche puts him right - if he turns up in his birthday suit no one will notice. Once he gets there he runs into "Clarkey" who has retired and bought a farm in France. Ken says it sounds idyllic. A woman called Marion passes and asks after Ken's blockbuster - which is apparently on the back burner. Ken asks after Dai Cohen. Apparently he had a heart attack after Christmas, but Clarkey did not know where Ken lives. (We do boys and girls - in exactly the same house as when he went to University - I bet few of my readers can match Ken's lack of mobility). Later we are reminded that Marion was Ken's lover at University - they shared languid afternoons in her squeaky bed. So they discuss poets instead. Are we about to see a romance rekindled? Both are married. Anyway there are further discussions - but perhaps Ken has not achieved the expectations of his class mates - South Bank Show or Desert Island Discs. (Are we sure that Ken has not one or other of these accolades?).
At the Rovers Steve corners Becky in the smoking area. He wants to know what she is playing at - she is not playing. She makes it clear that it was a meaningless one night stand and he says it was the biggest mistake of his life. She says they all say that. Steve tells her to resign - she refuses and points out that the following day she and Jason are off on holiday and tells him to forget it ever happened, it was no big deal and she has already forgotten.
Steve heads over to Lloyd's flat and eventually he is gains admittance with Vernon's keys. Lloyd tries to explain but Steve simply wants to know what Michelle was told. Lloyd collapses and retells the full story - engagement, huge rock, Spanish castle, the full works. Steve can hardly believe it (Michelle did). Lloyd says it was damage limitation but Steve cannot work out if he is the frying pan or the fire.
Steve admits he loves Michelle and perhaps all that has happened has brought forward the inevitable. Lloyd suggests some economy measurers - but Steve has got to go for the big rock.
Anyway Michelle will only wait so long - Steve is on a short life.
See you next week.
K Richard W
Where's Steve? Michelle can't seem to find him and when she finds out that he's already gone out the door, she muses that he may be avoiding her. Betty doesn't think that's the case. Michelle remarks that she and Steve haven't had 2 minutes to rub together since he's been back. Oh well. She offers to make Betty a coffee.
Deirdre is hoovering, Ken is off to Roy's but has decided he's going to quit at Roy's. Blanche hits the nail on the head, more or less, when she suspects one of his university friends said something he didn't like. Not the case, objects Ken. Blanche points out, rightly, that he just never told them what he was doing. Ken gets defensive and says the novelty's worn off and rushes out the door before the Grand Inquisitor can wear him down and make him convert. The GI comments to Junior GI that he's only quitting in case one of his friends comes in and catches him in his pinnie.
Maria trots Ozzie down the pavement and sees Michelle who's out washing the windows of the pub. They discuss Steve's impending Big Question which hasn't been forthcoming as of yet. Maria wants to be the first to know when it does come forth. Michelle is looking a bit doubtful. Kevin has nipped into the shop and on his way out and is across the road with his pint of milk. A van is parked in front of the garage, a van that clearly has Underworld business. Tyrone says that the driver was told by Tony exactly where to park (where it's most inconvenient). Kevin knows what Tony's up to though he had figured Tony would be more subtle about it. Well, he's not going to be wound up to give Tony the satisfaction of a reaction.
Steve has had small "Drivers Wanted" flyers made up. He asks Eileen where Lloyd is and Eileen realizes that there's something going on between the two men. Lloyd arrives and the pair bicker again. Or rather, Steve bickers, Lloyd takes the pi$$. Lloyd reckons that Steve's sense of humour is lacking and Eileen just wants to know what's going on. Lloyd promises to tell her when he returns from a call.
In the corner shop, Dev is dressed to the nines and adjusting his tie with a self satisfied smirk. Out in the shop proper, Molly is dealing with Roy and Blanche. Dev makes his grand entrance and invites them to guess why he's all dressed up. Roy thought it was a funeral. Dev brags that his banker is taking him out to lunch. Molly takes a call for Dev and is instructed to take a message. Blanche isn't too keen on her money being spent to take the likes of him out to his dinner. Ah but then the message Molly passes on deflates Dev. The lunch is off. He was the only one that had accepted the invitation. Cue much sarcastic looks from Blanche. Dev slinks back into the office with his pricing gun. Molly holds back a smile unsuccessfully and says "You've got to feel sorry for him" Blanche delivers the line of the night "Do you?" (*giggle*)
Maria is gossiping with Liam and Tom about Steve delaying the proposal. Tom wonders if Steve is having cold feet. Liam decides to talk to Steve and find out what's going on. Tom does a fab impression of the Godfather, you know, "He disrespects Michelle... he disrespects us all!"
One of Kevin's customers is trying to get into the garage staging area. Norris puts his 50p in. Kevin's patience is wearing thin. Inside the factory, we see Kevin stalking in and barging in to the office. He lays it out. He's taking an early lunch and if the van's not shifted, he'll shift it and it might take Tony awhile to find it. Carla enjoyed that. Tony says he did make his point, how difficult he could make Kevin's life if he doesn't cooperate. Ah.
Liam has Steve in the back of the pub, in the smoking area. What's the trouble, Steve? He admits it wasn't his idea, that somebody else put the idea into her head though he doesn't name names. Liam is serious and growls, he doesn't care who put the idea in her head. He doesn't even care if Steve proposes or dumps her but he would prefer that he do something rather than leave her hanging. Got it? He reminds Steve that more than Michelle are involved in the decision and leaves Steve sucking a thoughtful tooth.
Sally finds out what the whole episode was about from Tyrone in the corner shop. Dev slumps out of the office, tie off, head hanging and in a surly mood. He's going out and no, she can't take her lunch now. Tyrone tells Sally that Kevin has a plan if Tony keeps up the shenanigans but hasn't told his trusty Robin what it is yet.
Steve is contemplating his navel and his situation in the back yard. Inside the pub, Norris is wittering on about Tony's empire and the devastation it will wreak on the neighbourhood. Dev looks riveted with interest. Not. He actually admires Tony's get up and go. In one booth, Liam is discussing his chat with Steve with Tom and Maria. In another booth, Vicki, Kelly and Fiz think the expansion of the factory might be a good thing. More jobs, better wages maybe. Tony arrives. Norris is barely civil. Dev fawns over Tony to wind up Norris. Got any new ventures? Slum clearing? "Doesn't everybody" is Tony's wry repartee. Carla skips over to Michelle to find out of any questions have been popped yet. She's clearly showing her impatience and irritation at Steve since everyone and anyone seems to want an update every 10 minutes.
In Streetcars, Lloyd's taking Eileen's lunch order and reminder that he promised to tell Eileen what happened with Steve. She is persuasive, as always, so Lloyd confesses that he was the one that told Michelle that Steve was planning to propose and have a surprise Spanish wedding. He treats is like a joke and escapes to the cafe. In the cafe, Ken has finally worked up the nerve to tell Roy that he's leaving the cafe today. Roy does point out that Ken is leaving him in the lurch because he'd hoped for some more time off to visit Hayley.
Kevin has brought a newly minted sign for the forecourt. "Garage Parking Only". The van has already been moved so Kevin hasn't had to take action there. Norris approves of the sign but figures Tony won't take any notice.
Steve is still mooning in the smoking yard. Dev comes out to get a breath of fresh air and joins him. Dev must be on his 3rd or 4th Scotch, I think, because he's talking about how he closes himself up in his office, door closed, blinds down, in the dark. Like being back in the womb. Steve (in the second best line of the night) utters "You've got a better memory than me". (heh) Dev asks what's going on in Steve's life. Anything good? (he must have spent a lot of time in the womb because he's probably the only one that hasn't heard what Steve is expected to ask Michelle). Steve sighs "No. And it's about to get worse. But ask me again in 10 minutes" and disappears inside.
Eileen has found out the rest of the story. Or at least, she knows the what and the why of Steve's overnight sojourn though doesn't know the Who-With. Lloyd laughs about dropping Steve in it, much to Eileen's disgust because she's sympathising with how Michelle must be feeling. She points out that because of him, Steve's family could be blown to bits because Michelle might get tired of waiting and walk. He hadn't thought of it that way and the smile has been wiped off his face. She warns him he'd better think of something to do about it.
In the meantime, Steve is leading Michelle out to the smoking area. (What is it with this smoking area? You'd think it has a cone of silence over it for all the secrets and Big News that get told out there!) So he finally does it. In a round about way. Knowing she knows what he's going to ask, he asks her to pretend she doesn't know. He professes his love and asks Michelle Sinead Connor to marry him. The lady with the cliche name, she say yes! She admits she thought he must have changed his mind, he took so long. He says he wanted it to be perfect put it off so long that he figured it wouldn't matter where he did it, it would be perfect anywhere he asked her. They canoodle and nuzzle and go back inside to break the news.
But Lloyd has head in hands, full of remorse. Eileen thinks he should tell Michelle what he did, well not the whole truth, just that he made it all up to drop Steve in it. He realizes she's right and he's got to do it. He's got to tell Michelle that Steve doesn't want to marry her!
Uh oh. Methinks there's going to be another train crash on the Street in about 30 minutes. Luckily you won't have to wait that long because Stella's update is just a few lines below mine in this missive!
In Streetcars, it seems Eileen has talked Lloyd into breaking Michelle's heart and telling her that he made it all up about Steve wanting to propose to her. He wants to tell her when Steve is not around so that Steve can't hit him. He is resolved to go and do it. But first he has an airport run to do.
Michelle and Steve are celebrating with bubbly at the bar with Tony, Carla, Liam and Betty. Tony remarks that Steve hasn't given her a ring yet. Carla wonders if Steve hasn't got the whole wedding all planned out and will Michelle be pleased with the result. Michelle says she'll just have to change things if she doesn't agree with the arrangements. Meanwhile, Liam has taken Steve to the back of the bar to apologise quietly for being all grumpy with Steve earlier.
In the Kabin, Sally is telling Rita how much Kevin hates Tony Gordon. Rita tells Sally that Tony has always been very pleasant his dealing with her. Sally reminds Rita what Kevin would say about that, "That's because you've got something he wants." Norris bursts in shouting, "He's seen it! He's seen the sign!" referring to Tony seeing Kevin's sign about parking for the garage. He goes back out to watch the goings on. Rita tells Sally that because she is selling Tony her business and her home, she has to trust. Sally tells her Kevin doesn't trust him at all.
Outside the garage and Underworld, Tony is arguing with Kevin about the property line and what the deeds to the property say with Kevin while Tyrone butts in occasionally. Carla and Norris watch with interest. Kevin tells him to respect the sign and Tony goes back inside. Norris congratulates Kevin on standing up to Tony.
In Dev's shop, Ken and Deirdre are having a few words about Ken giving up his work in the cafe. Deirdre knows that it's because of the reunion that Ken is feeling insecure about telling his old friends about his working in a greasy spoon. They get quite heated before they reach Molly at the checkout. Dev comes through from the back and starts asking Ken and Deirdre questions about his shop and how happy they are shopping there. Molly gives him short-shrift, "It's always the same. You've got nowt better to do wi' you time so you start reorganising everything!" Dev gives up and goes back to where he came from.
In the Kabin, Norris is still trying to get Rita to change his mind but Rita is standing still, "I've had enough of this shop. I want to give it up. And he's making me a good offer." Norris is disappointed that she didn't think of him. Rita tells him that she has thought of him and she can't understand why Norris doesn't think it's a good idea. Blanche comes in for a quarter of bon bons. Norris asks Blanche what she thinks of Tony's idea to turn the street into a lorry car. Blanche tells Norris that Tony is out there now waving a piece of paper around. Norris dashes out to see. Rita makes Blanche know she is no mood for gossip today.
Outside it seems Tony Gordon has the upper hand on Kevin. He has proof that the property line is not where Kevin thinks it is. Kevin says fair enough but that Tony must respect "Right of Way". Tony say, "I think if this went to a court of law, you wouldn't have a leg to stand on." Kevin asks him if Tony is threatening him with legal action. Tony isn't but reminds Kevin that his business could do much better with a spot of relocation. Kevin stands fast and tells Tony again, he's not interested in selling. Tony leaves but not before telling Kevin to at least move the sign off of his property.
In the Molly & Tyrone's, Molly is unpacking a few things and chatting with Jack. Jack asks her what time dinner will be because he has a thing to go to tonight at the British Legion. Molly agrees to make it as soon as she gets home. She heads back out to work, giving Jack a quick kiss before she leaves.
Lloyd pulls up in his taxi right outside the Rovers. He chickens out of going inside to tell Michelle about his lies.
Steve is chatting with Maria, Liam and Tom. Maria asks why the wedding is not all organised for Spain. Tom tells Steve you can get married in a bull ring. Nice. Michelle comes to tell Steve that she's just spoken to Ryan and he sends his congrats.
In Streetcars, Eileen makes a plan with Lloyd to get Steve away from Michelle for a while so Lloyd can break the news to Michelle. She calls Steve. Steve answers his phone and agrees to go and see Eileen. Before leaving the pub, Michelle pulls him close for a cuddle and tells her how happy he has made her. Steve tells her she has also made him happy. Oh dear me.
Out in the street, Lloyd hides from Steve as Steve crosses the street to go and see Eileen. Lloyd waits for Michelle to come through to the bar.
Rita goes to see Tony at Underworld. She tells Tony, in Carla's presence, that she is concerned that Tony is falling out with all of Rita's friends and that they are starting to think that Rita is siding against them with Tony. She wants to know if there's any civil way that they could be settling their differences instead of bickering over who owns what bit of land. Carla says, "That's what I've been tellin' him!" Tony reckons there's nothing he would like better. He tells her that he would like to take Rita to see the show flat in the development and tells her he could do a really good deal for her on one of them that would be perfect for her.
In the pub, Lloyd finally breaks the news to Michelle that he lied to her about Steve wanting to propose. Michelle doesn't take it very well. Lloyd digs Steve a bigger grave as he tells Michelle that when Steve found out what he'd done, he was really angry- feeling like he was being forced to marry Michelle. Michelle leaves her family who are celebrating her happiness and asks Lloyd to go through into the back with her so they can talk more.
Blanche is at home with Ken and Deirdre. She tells Ken she went into Roy's to see how Roy is managing without Ken. "The poor chap were run off his feet. There were tables to be cleared, folk queuing up to be served and then getting fed up and walking out." Ken finally admits that the uni reunion did make him feel that he didn't want to waste any more of his time wiping down tables. He gets quite angry. He can't see why Deirdre and Blanche are making such a big deal of it and thinks they're both being absolutely ridiculous. "We are?" asks Blanche as Deirdre looks on, amazed. Ken heads off to sulk upstairs for a while.
Michelle and Lloyd are in the living room at the Rovers. Michelle is making sure she understands Lloyd correctly, "Steve 'ad no intention of proposin'?.... and you said he did coz it was a joke you were playin' on 'im?..... What? coz none of the other jokes you were tellin' me 'ad worked?" She asks him what he was covering up the whole time she he was lying to her. She asks if Steve found it funny when he heard what Lloyd had been saying. Lloyd tells him that Steve wanted to kill him when he found out. Michelle tells Lloyd that it's all backfired now because today Steve proposed to her. When Lloyd is surprised by the news she says, "Oh yeah, just like in your joke! And me, not knowin' it was a joke, said yes!" Michelle is devastated that Steve and Lloyd have been so cruel to her. Lloyd thinks she should be happy because she can Steve can get married anyway. "How can I still have it when I know he'd never even 'ave proposed to me unless you'd force 'im? When he was that mad he threaten to kill you for doin' it?... I could never marry 'im after this. Never in a million years!.... How can 'e really care about me when 'e'd do something like that?" She tells Lloyd not to tell Steve that Michelle knows about the joke. She is going to make Steve suffer. Poor Steve.
In Dev's shop, Dev asks Molly to do some overtime. Molly tells him she can't because she has to go home and cook tea for Jack and Tyrone. Dev doesn't understand why she can't stay since she's "not even married!" Dev gives up again.
Tony is smarming all over Rita in the show flat telling him he can see her in a lovely new flat that will be somewhere different but still close to her friends and neighbours she's so worried about. Rita asks him if he thought that she would be so starry-eyed over the new flat that she would forget why she came to see him in the first place. Tony asks her to help him out, to stop him being seen as the big bad wolf. He tells her that he's offering Kevin the biggest bonus of his life but he's not even interested in talking.
At Tyrone and Molly's, Molly is recounting the tale of Dev in the shop. She mentions that Dev said to her, "You're not even married!". Jack calls Tyrone over and whispers that Molly is sending him the signals that she wants Tyrone to marry her. Tyrone looks a little uncomfortable.
Sally meets Rita in the street. Rita tells her that she's been spending time with Tony and that she thinks it's a shame that Kevin won't give Tony the time of day, especially if it's going to cost Kevin money. They say goodbye.
Michelle is crying in the living room of the Rovers. She hears Steve coming in and dries her eyes, determined not to let Steve know that she's upset. Steve comes in to talk to her, he is oblivious. He asks her if she's had any regrets or changed her mind or anything. "No, no I think I've made me mind up, I'm not going to change it now. Don't matter what anyone says." Steve is happy- because he doesn't understand, see. He gives Michelle a kiss and tells her that they'll have to celebrate properly later, just the two of them. He leaves Michelle stewing in the living room while he goes to tidy up.
It's morning in the Jack, Tyrone and Molly's house. As Ty comes in for his breakfast, Molly leaves for work, promising Jack she'll do some shopping as the cupboards are bare. After she's gone, Jack tells Tyrone she's one in a million and asks what he's going to do about it. Tyrone looks at him and winks!
Over in the Rovers' back room, Steve gives Michelle a kiss as he comes in with his plate to toast. She remarks that he's perky this morning, and adds that the proposal came out of the blue. He replies that he's been thinking about it for ages, he doesn't know why he waited so long. "Really?" says Michelle, in a voice loaded with sarcasm.
There's a decidedly frosty air overhanging the Websters as they walk across the road to their respective workplaces. On the steps of the factory Janice asks if she can smell a "domestic". Sally tells her that she's booked them a lovely holiday and Kevin won't stop going on about the cost. They're off to Majorca, and Sally's quick to point out that they're going to the nice part, up in the hills. "Miles away from all the action," mutters sulky Rosie. Sally goes on to say that Kevin won't stop going on about Tony, when all he did was put an offer in on the garage. Kelly however, says she's with Kevin on that one, Tony showed his true colours when he sacked Sean. Rosie says that she could have a word with him " a suggestion which gets a very sarcastic response from Kelly.
Over in the cafe, Roy is rushed off his feet and floundering, when Vernon comes in and starts clearing the tables.
Michelle is talking to Carla in the Rovers. (Don't either of them have to do any actual work?) She says that Steven's proposal was all lies, and tells Carla what Lloyd said. She wants to know why Steve would go along with it, and reckons it's all down to the night Steve was missing. Carla wants to know what's Steve excuse is, but Michelle tells her that so far she hasn't told him she knows.
Dev walks into his shop all full of himself. he's just joined the local golf club, everyone who's anyone is a member. Molly is less than impressed, and is just going off on her lunch when Tyrone and Kevin come in. Dev asks if they'd like to join him for a game of golf, but Kev says he's more into footy and the only golf Tyrone likes is crazy golf. Molly says she's going off to Freshco for her shopping (it's much cheaper than Dev's shop) when Tryone asks her what she's doing later. "We could go mad and have a pint,? she says, and agrees to see him later. Dev wants to know what's up with him, and Kevin says he's been acting weird all morning. Tyrone confesses that he's going to ask Molly to marry him and they both congratulate him. Dev suggests that the perfect place to propose is an upmarket restaurant called The La La Lounge.
Eileen is trying to get information out of Lloyd, but he's burying his head in his newspaper and tells her to keep her nose out. Eileen then sets his paper on fire which has him leaping out of his chair. Just then Steve comes in singing, "I'm getting married?." and they're both astonished. "She said yes!" says Steve, all pleased, and wonders why they aren't as ecstatic as he is. Lloyd suddenly remembers an urgent dental appointment and rushes out.
Rosie takes Tony his coffee, and he asks her how her dad is. "Not great," she tells him adding that his customers have been canceling jobs. "it's nothing to do with what I did, is it?" she asks, somewhat naively. Tony tells her he's just given them a little push, her dad doesn't know what's good for him and once he accepts Tony's offer he'll realise it's the best decision he's ever made. Rosie then asks him if he'll give Sean his job back, he's one of the best machinists and the girls are upset. Tony tells her to leave it with him. "You know I value your advice," he says, but when she's gone his smile quickly fades.
In the cafe, Roy is giving Vernon advice on cleaning. Over at a table, Tyrone tells Jack he's booked the posh restaurant, and that Dev's advice was to put the ring in a glass of champagne. Jack thinks that's not a good idea, unless he can perform the Heimlich manoeuvre. Ty asks how Jack proposed to Vera, and Jack says it was on top of a bus when she told him she was pregnant. "Not exactly Anthony and Cleopatra, but it worked for us," he says, and then asks if Tyrone needs to borrow any money for the ring. Ty tells him he's going to ask Kevin for an advance on his wages.
Steve comes into the pub where Michelle is talking, yet again, to Carla, who turns round and comments that she still can't see a ring. Steve says its all sorted and he's on his way to pick it up. Michelle says she'll go with him, Betty's due in at any minute. He tries say there's no need, but Carla laughs and says she needs to check it fits. "Great!" says Steve, with a fake smile. They both smile back " equally fake!
Ken is talking to Ted in the pub about the local culture. Ted says he's been to the opera and the ballet and lots of plays since he's been staying there. Ken takes the drinks over to Deirdre and Blanche, who are talking to a cheerful lady who then gets up and leaves. Ken asks who she was, but neither of them know. Deirdre thought she was a friend of Blanche's, but Blanche says she just came and sat down and started chatting, and she bought some ham from her. Ken and Deirdre are both immediately concerned and wonder if it's safe, but Blanche assures them it's vacuum packed.
In the jeweler's, Steve is pretending that they've lost his order for a ring, when the assistant asks to see the receipt for the deposit. Of course, it doesn't exist and Steve flounders. Michelle snaps at him and takes him to one side. "There is no ring, is there?" she hisses. Steve admits that there isn't. "What the hell is wrong with you!? cries Michelle, her voice going up several decibels. People turn to see what's going on. "Dragging me through town, choosing some random shop! What are you lying for? What the hell is going on?" she shouts. Steve thinks rapidly and tells her he'd chosen a ring in Spain but his card was up to the maximum and his brother couldn't lend him the money. He didn't want her to think he wasn't putting a lot of thought into it, so he suggests she choose a ring there. Michelle spots a ring in a glass cabinet, and takes a closer look, and calls him to have a look. it's priced at "7,500! "it's perfect!" she says.
Dev sees Molly and Tyrone in the pub and, grinning, asks if he can get them a drink. Molly goes off to the ladies, saying that Dev's been like it all afternoon. Ted goes over to where Ken is sitting and tells him that Audrey has cancelled their trip to the theatre and wonders if he'd like the ticket for the play. "What play is it?" asks Deirdre. "Hayfever, by Noel Coward," Ted tells her. "I might have guessed," mutters Blanche. Ken declines, saying it's not really his cup of tea. When Ted has moved off, Blanche tells Ken he refused it because he doesn't want to be seen out with a gay. Ken gets cross and tells her not be ridiculous, and goes over to Ted telling him he'd love to come. After they've gone, Blanche turns to Deirdre and tells her that if Ken's going to be seen out with a homosexual he'll be using moisturizer next. it's a slippery slope! The lady selling ham comes in and tries to sell some to Dev. Just then Molly comes out of the ladies and sees that it's her Auntie Pam. She introduces her to Dev and Tyrone and then asks what she's doing there. Just then Sean, who's working behind the bar, tells her she can't sell her own stuff in the pub, it's against the law. Pam turns and tells him she'll get him some nice cologne, and then he'll have all the local girls after him. "A good looking fella like you? I bet you're a real hit with the ladies," she says. Sean tells her to guess again, and the penny drops. "Oh," she says, and then tells him she can get hold of some lovely gentleman's bikini briefs. At this point Molly hurriedly interrupts and suggests they go back home to catch up.
As they walk off down the road they learn that Pam's ex has died. "It must be awful for you," says Molly, but Pam tells her that she couldn't stick him the last few years, but he did teach her all about selling. When they get to their front door Pam asks if it's a council house. "No," says Molly proudly, "me and Ty have bought it."
Blanche and Deirdre are still in the pub, with Blanche pointing out all the celebrities who married before coming out as gay. Deirdre tells her that one night at the theatre is not going to turn Ken gay.
Vernon starts talking to Dev and the two of them plan to play golf together on Friday. Steve and Michelle come in and she shows Carla (who's STILL in the pub) the ring. "Only the best for my bride," says Steve. Carla asks if he's going to do it properly now, so Steve tells Michelle to go through to the back room in ten minutes. "I think you can expect a grand gesture," says Carla. "Trust me," says Michelle, "he can expect one and all!"
Jack takes Tyrone out in the back yard and gives him Vera's engagement ring, telling him there's no need to ask Kevin for a sub. Tyrone is overcome with emotion.
Michelle goes into the back room and Steve goes down on one knee, holding out the ring. "Michelle Connor, will you marry me?" he says, smiling. His smile soon fades however, as she replies, "Not if you were the last flamin? fella on this earth!' She tells him that Lloyd has told her everything " that it was all a joke. She asks if he has any idea how worthless she feels. He tries to get her to sit down so he can explain but she tells him to stay away from her and rushes back out to the bar. He follows her, telling her he loves her. She turns round and punches him squarely on the nose. He reels back and falls down. "We are finished, Steve, for good!" she cries, "there's no going back from this!" and she storms out, followed by Carla. "Who needs the theatre?" asks Blanche.
Carla and Michelle are having a heart-to-heart chat. Carla points out that no matter what else went on, Steve was still ready to marry Michelle. "Would Steve Macdonald, as you know him, enter into something as serious as marriage just to cover something up?" Yes, Michelle does believe that. It just proved how far Steve would go to back up Lloyd's lies. "So what's next?" Carla asks. Nothing, says Michelle. "He's fat and ugly anyway. His feet stink. He doesn't exercise. Can't cook. His mother's a harridan. He's been to prison. His pub's a dump. He can't spell - he spells Connor with one N! He's going bald. Got no style. And he was never going to propose to me!" Carla looks at her. "Such a pity you love him."
Lloyd wakes up to the sound of Steve's fists thundering on his door. "Lloyd! I know you're in there!" he screams. Lloyd looks down on his through the net curtains. "You better let me in or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow this house down," Steve says. Lloyd shouts back: "It's a flat!"
In the cafe, Vernon is talking about Africa. He's never been but always fancied Marrakech. "But Hayley's in Mozambique, not Morocco," Roy points out. That doesn't stop Vernon and Jerry, who are on a roll. Jerry asks Vernon if he remembers the song, The Marrakesh Express. "Do I?" Vernon asks enthusiastically. "Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, though I don't know if Young had left them by then." (I've got news for him - Neil Young hadn't joined them by then!) Jerry wonders if there is a real Marrakesh Express and Roy tells them there is. "Actually, it's a very well known service. Departs from Casablanca," he adds. "Where to?" asks Vernon. Roy looks at him to see if he's serious. "Er . . . Marrakesh. Takes about four hours." Jerry dismisses the Marrakesh Express. He's always fancied the Orient Express. Vernon scoffs. Yep, scoffs. The Orient Express isn't a real train, he points out. "It was in that film." He says it's just made up. If he didn't work there, I think Roy would have banned him. He points out that the Orient Express went from Paris to Istanbul originally. "Now more known for Paris to Vienna - a byword for luxury." (You'd think such a fan would know that it's started from Strasbourg instead of Paris for a year or so now) Jerry asks if the Orient Express is Roy's favourite train. "No, the Mallard, by a long stretch," Roy says. Jerry says it's a toss-up between Percy and Gordon for him. This, of course, prompts Vernon to make a Fat Controller joke, but Jerry's heard them all before.
I'm not quite sure how Steve got inside, but if Lloyd let him in, he soon regrets it. They're arguing. Lloyd tells Steve that he's the one who slept with Becky. Steve retorts that it's Lloyd who couldn't keep his mouth shut. "You left me here with no story, no plan!" Lloyd argues back. Steve tells him they're supposed to be mates. There's an unwritten contract between mates that binds them to a code of silence. "A contract that you just tore up!" "How can I tear it up if it's unwritten?" asks Lloyd. But his diversionary tactics don't work. Steve is still angry. Lloyd tells him that his contract says you don't leave your mates to take the heat. "Well my contract says my mate is an idiot!" roars Steve, chucking a cushion at Lloyd like some big, sharp exclamation point. Then cushions fly back and forth. Lloyd stops it by the simple measure of leaping on Steve and trying to choke him. Steve, being pushed into the sofa cushions by 12 stone or so of angry Lloyd, who's shouting "Say it's your fault! Say it's your fault!" We know Lloyd has won when he leans over Steve, a gob of spit ready to fall from his lips! Steve's horrified. His voice is two octaves higher. "If that spit touches me, you're a dead man!"
Steve's in the thoughts of everyone in the corner shop, mainly because Molly is singing a quiet chorus of Steve Macdonald Had a Pub ("with a yes, love, here, and a yes, love there . . .") She doesn't notice the nearby cash-under-the-table deal Dev does to buy some cheap ham from her Auntie Pam. Tyrone comes in and Pam says she thinks Tyrone is scared of her. He denies it, but his voice has suddenly gone back to a mumble. He's come to ask Molly out. He's booked them a table at the La-La Lounge. Has he remortgaged the house, Molly wonders. Getting more and more like Vera every day, Molly refuses to chuck money away. The next spare money they've got is going on blinds for the bedroom. "Oh, you're just like a normal couple, but in reverse," thrills Pam. Ty puts his foot down. "We are going for dinner at the La-La Lounge and that's that!" he says, spoiling the masterful effect somewhat by winking at Molly and telling her: "See you in the kitchen!"
In the cafe, Jerry's having breakfast - wholemeal toast and blueberries which Roy's been keeping specially for him. Jerry tells Mel that her mum is picking up Findlay from school. She's promised to buy him a comic. Mel's very sarcastic about this and Teresa mentions the abuse she's had to put up with in her other relationship. Darryl offers to give her some money for the comic, but Teresa says she's got enough. "I don't want your sister calling me a sponge."
In the shop, Dev proves that everything he learned about sports clothing he learned from Mike Baldwin. Yes, he's ready for golf. But he tells Molly and her Aunty Pam, "The outfit, the accoutrements - none of that is really important." Pam offers to get him some cheap balls from some lads she knows to collect them from water hazards. Dev passes on that. Vernon arrives - he's not made an effort to dress up and he's carrying wooden clubs. None of yer titanium rubbish here! He says he's borrowed them from a friend. Who? Dr Frank Stableford? "You can't come with me dressed like that, Dev tells him. "The outfit, the accoutrements - none of that is really important," intones Pam in the background. Dev tells Vernon there is a dress code, but Vernon says he doesn't have any shoes with tassels! "I am on your guest pass. I can wear what I want. It's a game. We're there to enjoy ourselves," Vernon enunciates as if Dev is particularly slow and a bit deaf.
Over in the cafe, Roy and Fiz discuss Vernon. "I think his wounds run deep but he has a wonderful way of deflecting pity does Vernon. I admire him in many ways," Roy says. Fiz tells Roy he should go to visit Hayley. Roy's worried about leaving Vernon in charge, but Fiz points out that he left Becky in charge. She persuades him and he decides to offer Vernon the chance and go away.
Steve and Lloyd have obviously resolved the fight. Steve says he's tried phoning Michelle but his name comes up and she won't answer. Lloyd suggests he phone using Lloyd's phone. "I did, while you were getting dressed." All he got was a recorded message which said to leave a message after the beep, "unless you're Steve, in which case, die!" He cockily assures Lloyd that he knows women and he'll have Michelle back by tonight. He leaves, with Lloyd muttering to his back, "No chance!"
Vernon is upside down on a green. "I need a nine iron," he says from down there. Dev nearly chokes. He points out that Vernon is finally on the green and needs a putter. Vernon says a nine-iron is best for putting, and Dev is cramping him. He's lined up ready to take the shot when Dev starts going on about how right it feels to be out there on the course. Vernon ignores it and tells him how odd it is that he's got a golf club and he's at a golf club. He lines up again to take his shot and Dev pontificates again. Vernon misses and manages to blame both the clubs and Dev wittering on. "I told you to use the putter," says Dev. "Now, how many is that? Seventeen? Eighteen?"
Carla's at the wheel of her car and Steve leans to talk to her through the window. He can't get Michelle to answer the door. He begs her to arrange a meeting with Michelle on neutral territory.
Tyrone's holding Vera's engagement ring and looking at a lovely picture of her. He hears the back door open and quickly puts the picture down and the ring in his pocket. He tries to put his jacket on, getting all at sixes and sevens, and Jack tells him to calm down. Ty can't. He's worried that Molly will say No. Jack reassures him that that won't happen.
Steve has arranged to meet Michelle somewhere neutral. "Fitzpatrick Street is my Switzerland." Lloyd offers to drive him there. "I can drive myself, Lloyd. I'm 34." He says he has to put Amy to bed first. He's dreading the end of "Katy's Web".
As Molly and Tyrone arrive at the La-La Lounge, she's going on about someone who has been married four times. Tyrone goes off to one side to talk to the waiter about arrangements which might involve a sparkler.
Vernon's in a bunker. There's sand flying everywhere. It's a wonder there's any left in the bunker. Dev points out that he's been in there since half past five. Vernon doesn't want to be rushed, but he takes an almighty bash at the ball and it flips up out of the bunker, landing on the golf clubs of another player. He rushes over to apologise but the man couldn't be nicer. He understands that Vernon isn't a seasoned player. "Your friend is giving you some pointers, I hope." The man says he was a useless player when he started, but someone took the time to give him some help and "frankly, my swing is now terrific." He introduces himself as Prem Mandal and Vernon introduces him to Dev.
In the house, Jack and Pam are putting the world to rights.
Tyrone toys with his food and Molly tells him to eat up - it's not as if they put a lot on the plates. For some reason she tells him that she often gets static electricity shocks, and gets them sometimes when they kiss. Speaking of electricity, the lights have gone down. But rather than Ty's sparkler, it appears to be a mariachi band. Or the rump of one. The musicians stroll over to another table and play while another bloke steals Ty's thunder by proposing to his girlfriend. She says Yes. There's a bag and glitter cascades from the ceiling. The waiter chooses this moment to start towards Ty and Molly with champagne and sparkler. Ty leaps up and rushes to head him off, coming back to tell Maria that he'd spotted that the waiter had his shoelace undone. Molly's not really listening. Her face is rapturous watching the newly engaged couple celebrate. Poor Ty.
From an eye in the sky, we watch Steve drive to his Switzerland. Michelle is standing on the pavement. Then (guys, do NOT do this), Steve walks up to her and asks, "How much, love?" The second he says it, you know this meeting will not go well. He holds up the diamond ring and tells her he really does want to marry her. "I might have proposed because of Lloyd, but I do want to marry you." Michelle tells him she's not interested in diamond rings, just in loyalty. He says, "I'm only interested in you." Michelle looks at him. "Tell me what happened that night, Steve, or it is over."
Anyway going back to the above episode Steve is lying yet again - he claims he met a girl at a club and went back to her place but nothing happened as he crashed on the sofa. He keeps repeating that nothing happened - and he only did not tell her because he knew she would not believe him. Nothing happened. He wants to marry her - she asks to see the ring and she takes it from him and then having looked at it (£7500) - and throws it over his shoulder into a skip. She says "You're dumped" and it is over. She storms off. Steve heads into the skip and starts looking for the ring, although a passing woman tosses a carpet sweeper into the skip. When he stands up she tells off for living in a skip! He sinks slowly back into the skip - but his eyes spot a flash and he raises the ring and kisses it. Happy to have recovered the £7500.
Elsewhere Jack and Molly's Aunt Pam are waiting for Molly and Tyrone to return. Jack reminds Pam that she is not supposed to know and she immediately does a theatrical pretence of not knowing they are engaged - which Jack does not immediately grasp as it is all rather over the top! Anyway when the lovers do return it is clear that events have not gone smoothly and Molly recounts the engagement which did take place. Tyrone sits in the corner glowering. Ty says it ruined the entire evening. Quietly Jack tells him that he has got to do it his way - Molly of course cannot work out why they wasted so much money that evening - they could have bought a heated towel rail.
On a golf course Vernon has managed to sink a putt under tuition from Prem. He does a mad dance around the green. Apparently Prem knows about Dev and his contest against his own wife to become the President of the Weatherfield Traders Association. Prem is obviously well known himself as Dev takes his card with relish as they arrange a drink. They all head to the clubhouse bar. Later Dev is saying that he sees the twins but the marriage is over. Prem apparently has an unhappy daughter. Anyway they agree there is a need for a work life balance. Prem has a huge carpet and flooring business and he has been North West Businessman of the Year.
Back on the Street Michelle (known elsewhere as Lego head woman) runs into Carla and the former calls Steve a lying womanising, cheating ... lying cheater (well it is before the watershed). Liam appears as well and wants to know what is going on. Is it about Steve? Michelle screams at him to go and find Steve and smash in his stupid lying cheating face. Carla follows her into the pub. A little later Tony arrives looking for Carla but when told she is in the back he decides not to go through. He then tells a stunned Sean that the latter has a fairy godmother (well obviously) and he has got his job back. Sean tries to thank him - but is told to thank Rosie - he deserves one more chance but Tony will be watching him. Later Rosie claims that they listen to her in that office but Kevin simply does not believe her - he reckons they sit in the office dreaming up ways to get at him.
Across the way Mel through Abi using her contacts has identified that it is true that there were domestic abuse her mother had alleged was true and the partner was sent down last week for assault. So Theresa gets to stay longer. When Theresa arrives she brings Jerry some low fat food. Fat free crisps - and they set about them.
Liam finds Steve and he explains the skip and wants to know where Michelle is and what state is she in? Liam explains he supposed to be giving Steve a thorough beating and Steve agrees he can do so providing he gets to keep Michelle. Liam says he cannot do that - Steve pleads for help - will Liam talk to Chelle - he loves her, he loves Ryan and really wants to marry her. And look at the length he went to find the ring in the skip. Liam lifts his fist.
Michelle is in the back of the Rovers and knows she should have ended it ages ago. She knew he was hiding something - another woman and she does not believe he slept on the sofa - men never do. Anyway Michelle knows he slept with another woman. Liam arrives and asks if things are better. Michelle sounds off yet again. She knows he is a bad boy - a pathological serial betrayer, well it is definitely all over. And she storms out.
Steve arrives in the Rovers and Lloyd advises him that he smells. Eileen advises that Michelle is in the back and Liam's putting in a good word for him. Steve is going to throw himself on her mercy - Eileen reckons it is not a good plan and Lloyd tells him to have a shower first.
Michelle reappears in the back room with a suitcase and wonders why they are still there. She tells them she knows what she wants. At which point the door opens and Steve enters. She accuses Liam of being responsible - but he mumbles that it is not his doing. This proves to Michelle that men are actually useless - you send them out to give the boyfriend a beating and even though he is a mess Liam is not responsible. Steve says he searched the skip for hours and he wants her to take it back. She refuses. She tells him he was pathetic and she picks up the suitcase. He asks her not to leave - but she is not leaving. He is!! Steve just stares at her in disbelief - he owns the pub and he and Amy live there and ... perhaps she would like to find somewhere else to live and earn a wage, but although you can see the look in his face nothing is actually said.
K Richard W
Greetings and welcome to another week on the cobbles. Stella is on holiday this week so I'm doing both parts tonight and I'll just include both episodes all in the one email. You'd best make yourself a cup of tea, grab a couple of biscuits and make yourself comfortable.
Part the first
There's a lump under a blanket on the chair in the taxi office. Eileen chirps in, clanging a spoon on a half empty bottle of what looks to be whiskey. There is grumbling from within. Lloyd brings coffee but Steve eschews breakfast in order to hurry to the pub because he's got a plan. No toothbrushes on hand? A quick shave with an electric razor hidden in a drawer will have to do.
The two stooges and Fiz are brainstorming about what the perfect birthday surprise for Chesney would be. (Er, that's not going to be easy since Fiz is the only one with a fully functioning brain). Julie tries to get into the mind of a 13 year old (well, nearly 14) and asks Kirk what he thinks would be good. Paintball! It looks mental! Fiz scorns this but personally I think Chesney would love it! Fiz answers her mobile but there's nobody on the other end and the number is withheld. Not the first time it's happened either. Julie thinks it might be a perv or a thief staking out the house. Fiz discounts this and scotches the paintball idea. Julie promises that she and Kirk will go on her own. It doesn't take much to please Kirkey!
In the pub, Michelle is getting morning chores done. Steve, who didn't bother to change out of his dirty shirt (good impression you're making there, mate), hesitantly says good morning. She's cool to him. He wants to talk and lays it down. He thinks they should keep up appearances for Amy's sake, using "her mom's in prison" to work the guilt trip. She agrees to keep things looking normal for the little girl. Step one. Result.
Kirk offers to walk Fiz to work (it's only across the road!) but she blows him off. As she's on the other side, though, a blue car with tinted windows drives past and it makes her stop and think. (What about? It's not the only car to make it's way down Coronation Street, surely?)
Steve and Amy are having breakfast and Steve makes Amy agree that she'd said she'd eat all her breakfast if Michelle joins them. So she does. Step two. Result.
Everyone in the factory thinks Fiz has a stalker what with the phone calls and all. They all discuss who it could be or if it could be a secret admirer. Hey, maybe it's Neil, the van driver for Carter's? Sean doesn't think so, he figures Neil fancies him. Fiz is starting to worry now, though. Maybe she should report it? Carla comes in and asks for help unloading something and there's a sudden race between Sean and Janice for the privilege.
We turn now to the Morton Manic Monday. Jerry is trying to remember if he's taken his tablet so he takes one just in case. Mel brings up the touchy subject of when her mother might be thinking of leaving. Jerry tries to smooth it over as always. She takes the hump and goes up to pack in a strop. (Well, pack in a suitcase. She's in a strop). When she comes back down, case in hand, Jerry picks it up and realizes it's empty. That alone should tell them that she needs to leave. Again, the peacemaker tries to reason with her. "We've loved having you here" to which Number One Son snarks "That's a bit strong!" Jerry continues and gently suggests she find her own place. She uses her ex as a sticking point but Mel tells them all that Gary's in the nick. Cat's out of the bag now.
Fiz comes out of the Kabin and sees the same blue car from earlier parked down the road. Later in the factory, her phone rings again so she gives whoever is on the end an earful. A voice from the past greets her, shocking the socks off her. It's John Stape!!! He admits all the calls were from him and it's him in the car. He tries to talk his way out of the obvious stalking but it's not working. He really wants to see her but she really doesn't want to see him. End of. After she hangs up, she lies to the others that it was a salesman.
Teresa accuses Mel of going behind her back and investigating Gary when she had to right to. Since they know the truth, that Gary was indeed violent, she adds that the times she'd called the police were only the times she was desperate, that there were loads more times he was abusive and that's what she'd had to live with. Mel thinks Teresa could be rehoused by the council as a priority case because of it all. She looks like their attacking her from all sides even though it's only just from the one. Jerry still thinks she can't stay forever.
In the taxi office, Lloyd and Eileen point out the flaws in Steve's plan to use Amy as a means to get her back. Wishful thinking? He smugly thinks he's playing his cards right and they'll be back together by sundown. Lloyd wants to direct the conversation to their desperate need for new drivers. They have some interviews that afternoon.
Over at Platt Towers, Tina's lounging on the sofa with her laptop in hand and leaning against David. Ted arrives and moans about the state of the place. Sort it, he orders, Gail is going to be back this afternoon. David reckons it shouldn't be too clean or she'll be instantly suspicious though the new wallpaper might just give it away. Ted thinks she'll be chuffed to mint balls that they've redecorated (And that's a phrase we hear all too little of these days!! I intend to rectify that in everyday conversation even if my Canadian coworkers look at me oddly). The plant is going to be another thing. Ted mists the plant while the kids figure that's really what's going to give the game away. Maybe they should get a few more plants and that would take away from the obvious. Tina's even looked up a local garden centre that has some on sale.
Lloyd and Steve are waiting for an interviewee who's late. Eileen points out what everyone else in the world who watches this wants to know. Um. It's your pub, Steve, why should you be the one to leave! (Here here!) He comes out with some gubbins about reminding her of that *eventually* if she doesn't come round to his way of thinking. Yes. Spineless Steve never lets the side (of spineless pillocks) down, does he? Lloyd points out that it sounds like a round about way of saying Michelle calls the shots (just like every other woman Steve has ever been involved with!). Eileen agrees.
Mel is in the Kebab shop and asking her dad if he'd be ok if she went on a last minute holiday with Abi. He insists he's ok, never felt better so she goes off to arrange a booking. Jerry then takes a bit of a funny turn but recovers.
Gail's home! Everyone is outside greeting her, including Audrey. She jokes about the house still standing. Of course she spots the big plant straight away and the redecorating. Who's idea was that?
Steve has bogged off so Lloyd and Eileen are trying to interview a very dreary man. He's nearly monosyllabic, never makes eye contact, looks and acts as if a goose saying Boo would scare him to bits! Getting answers to questions is like pulling hen's teeth. He shuffles out. Lloyd and Eileen have a chuckle over him. He's not got the job, that's for sure.
Fiz runs across the street and John runs across to meet her. He again tries to reason with her. She keeps telling him to go, he keeps telling her he loves her, how he's been working up the nerve to come see her, a few streets at a time. He thinks there might still be hope.
Teresa is informing Jerry that the council says there's a ten year waiting list so she'll pick up a newspaper and look at the listings. She pleads ill health preventing her getting a job. Jerry starts to feel ill again.
Back to Fiz and John. More bickering. John tries to find out if she's seeing anyone else. He's not. He hasn't been able to move on. He won't go. He wants another chance. He's begging her! Will she say yes?
Part the second
...Or will she heave back and smack him upside the face and order him to stay away from her before swiftly slamming the door in his face? 9 million viewers stand up and cheer. Boy has he had that coming! In what's probably the most cliche scene ever, he bangs on the door and hollers "Fiz!!! Talk to me!!! Please!!" (gag) Inside, she looks shaken.
Teresa is checking Jerry's symptoms and seems frightened he's having another heart attack. She's going for help. How does she do that? She stands in the doorway and bellows HELP! (Health Centre... right across the street...) Kevin comes along, having picked up coffees from the cafe. Jerry thinks he's ok now but Kevin thinks he ought to go get checked out. Teresa insists on taking him herself.
Steve's back. They discuss the driver candidates, the creep that showed and the airhead that didn't and the three other applicants that just didn't show up. Eileen's going for her dinner. Steve listens to Lloyd's suggestion. His scheming has Lloyd worried. Maybe the truth? Steve assures his mate he's told Michelle... a "version of the truth". More like a barefaced lie. That depends on Lloyd's definition of a "barefaced lie". He's adamant he's not going to spill the beans about Becky but thinks he's close to a breakthrough.
Julie and Kirk arrive home and ask Fiz if she's had more calls. She lies and says she thinks it's over now. Julie nervously tells Fiz that they've made the plans for Chesney's birthday, bowling, if that's ok with her? Fiz thinks it's fine and hurries back out to get back to work.
Stape comes into the cafe where Janice gives him an earful. Vernon is behind the counter. Stape admits he doesn't think Fiz is going to take him back. Janice, being Janice, makes a Janice-like observation that he could be back for Rosie unless Rosie is a bit too old for his tastes and John has to suffer her making the same schoolgirl jokes he's heard dozens of times.
In the pub, Michelle admits to a cynical Carla that Steve is indeed wearing her down. Steve arrives with Amy and gives Michelle a picture that Amy's drawn. Their house, Mummy Michelle, Ryan, Amy and Daddy. Laying it on pretty thick, Carla points out. Blatant emotional blackmail. Finally the penny drops. He's using Amy?
Vernon serves John and passes the time with him. John says he jacked in teaching and has been driving a mini cab (oh, how contrived is this?) Vernon of course, tells John there's a job going at Streetcars. (Yep, you saw that coming a mile or three away!) Sean dances in to the tune that's on the radio (Faith by George Michael... I guess that's what's going to keep John's hopes up?)
In the back room of the pub, Steve is troweling it on as Amy is colouring in a book. Michelle is cool, now. Civil, so as not to holler at him in front of the child. But she's biting her tongue. Waiting. Amy runs out to hide for a game of hide and seek. Michelle confronts Steve with his intentions. She whacks him in the arms a couple of times and orders him to pack the rest of his stuff after Amy goes to bed and leave tonight! (*sigh* yes i know, you're all screaming at the telly in frustration... "Whose pub is it?!") If Liz were here, she'd have put her stiletto down firmly!
After the break, Stape makes his way over to Streetcars. The triumvirate is inside rehashing Steve's troubles. Now he's repeating the mantra "It's my pub, why do I have to move out?" (But he will, you watch!) He slopes off again and Stape comes in and asks for a job. He says he's got a clean license and outlines his experience. He tries to gloss over why he left teaching but says he left of his own accord. He went to another school but it was worse there. He says he regrets his actions and feels he shouldn't have been pushed out of his beloved career but "A cynically orchestrated campaign on YouTube made my position untenable". Ah yes. I'm only surprised he didn't say there had been a dozen or more Facebook groups making fun of him too! Eileen says he deserved to be pushed out. He humbly says he lost his career and the woman he loves and regrets it all. He's even got an A to Z in his pocket and he passes a knowledge test.
Back in the factory, Sean has brought an eclair for Fiz with the news that he's seen John. Janice obviously hasn't said anything about seeing him herself. Odd. Fiz admits she knows he's back. She's told him to get lost. Sally joins them and is shocked to find out the news as well. Fiz ends the conversation by diving into the cake Sean's brought. Actually it's a chocolate eclair!
Gail's still hugging everyone, glad to be home but she's sneezing, too. She says Sarah is picking up the Italian language, working hard, doesn't get out too much. Gail thinks she's lonely. She squints again and decides she might be allergic to one of the new plants. Ted jumps up to put them outside. Gail picks up the big one and sees the burn in the carpet. What's this????
They admit to the party and the uninvited guests and David promises to repair or replace the carpet. Gail just seems happy that David's honest in spite of Audrey's protestations that it was nothing to do with her. Gail just smiles and says she hated the carpet anyway. She asks, with a smirk, who wants their pressies? David, Tina and Ted, all sat at the table, raise their hands obediently and expectantly. Brilliant!
Sally is rushing around the factory and comes up to Rosie and tells her the news about John. Rosie denies any responsibility and emphatically denies she'd ever have anything to do with him again (which only means she's going to try it on within one episode just to push the envelope!) Sally points out her actions meant her father went to jail and Rosie points out, more importantly, her mates took the mickey out of her for, like, *months*!
Mel rushes in. Apparently she's received a text that her father's in trouble but no other explanation. She's told about his funny turn and she's decided not to go on her holiday. Turns out all that was wrong was because he was taking his tablets incorrectly. Sometimes not taking any and sometimes taking too many. Teresa actually has a good idea. She picks up Findlay's marbles and puts them in a bowl. Jerry's to move a marble from one bowl to another when he takes a tablet so he can see how many he's taken and how many are left for the day. Jokes about losing his marbles on a postcard. Jerry thinks it's a good idea and thanks her for looking after him.
Lloyd is trying to convince Eileen that John Stape is a good candidate for a driver. His sob story and clean record worked. He's a scumbag, Eileen opines. Lloyd tries to compare scumbag Stape with spineless Steve. Not the same thing actually. They argue back and forth, Lloyd thinking Stape would be a good catch. Eileen doesn't. Lloyd is going to consider all the options.
Sally nips out to the garage with Rosie and spits out the news. Kevin's blood pressure instantly rises and he's ready for him, spanner in hand. Sally thinks they probably won't see him anyway since Fiz gave him the heave ho.
Ah but Lloyd has decided to give John the job because their rushed off their feet. He can start tomorrow.
Rosie comes downstairs dressed in a garment that's only fractionally wider than a belt and only just covers the bare essentials! Her parents wonder if she's off somewhere special but she tells them she's just going to work - Carla has always told her to dress to impress. But who, we wonder, is Rosie trying to impress today? She accuses them of thinking she's interested in John (isn't she?) but tells them he's gone and good riddance. She strops off upstairs. "Going to get changed?" asks Kevin, hopefully, but she replies that she's just going for her purse.
Fizz, Kirk, Chesney and Julie are leaving their house, and she finally tells them that John has been to see her, but assures them she sent him away with a flea in his ear.
Auntie Pam walks in through the back door of Molly and Ty's house. "It's only me!" she cries. Ty comments that everyone else knocks. As Ty and Molly go to get ready for work, she asks Jack if there's been any developments. He tells her not to even ask, Ty has given up until he's got his head right. Pam says that if he thinks she has given up he's got another think coming.
Over at the Morton's, Theresa tells Jerry she's got a fitness video somewhere and he ought to stay in and do it rather than go out looking like he does. She then tells him she'll have a bacon sarnie waiting for him when he gets back. He tells her that Mel won't be happy to find her still there. She retorts that she's looking after him and making sure he takes his tablets.
Clarissa is in the betting shop and asks Dan if his father is around. She adds that she's heard he's off on a trip. He tells her he's just going down to London to see a few mates. He asks what she wants Harry for and she tells him she thought they could go for lunch and a chat. He asks who's paying and she smiles and tells him that's a silly question.
It's lunchtime and Fizz finds John standing by a taxi, waiting for her. She tells him once again to get lost, and that he's wasting his taxi fare. She's horrified to learn that he's actually driving the taxi, Lloyd has given him a job.
Rosie comes out of the factory doors and heads over to the two of them. Then she pushes between them and makes a comment about there being lowlifes around.
John tells Fizz that he has to work somewhere. She tells him, "Not near me you don't." and goes to walk away. He tells her that yes, he needed a job, but he needs to be near her a whole lot more. He goes on to say that he loves her and he knows he slipped up badly, but thinks he can put it right. She tells him that he had his chance and now it's gone. He tells her he can't live without her. (Oh puh-lease!)
Just then there's a shout from across the road, it's Kevin , coming out of the garage. John jumps in his taxi and drives off, smartish. "What's he doing driving that?" Kev asks Fizz and she tells him it's John's new job. He asks if she's all right and she says she is. "Well I'm not," says Kevin.
Pam finds Tyrone in the pub and demands to know why he gave Jack the engagement ring back. "You need a rocket up your backside, lad," she tells him, and says that she's that rocket!
Kevin comes into the taxi office and demands to know why they've given John Stape a job. "Are you puddled?" asks Kevin. Lloyd says they needed drivers, the fella needed a job and he had a clean licence. Kevin says he's a scumbag, and they've stabbed a mate in the back. Lloyd protests that he can't sack him now, he's done nothing. "Morons, the lot of you!" says Kevin and storms out. "That went well," remarks Eileen.
Mel and her colleague are at the kebab shop. Jerry tells her that her mum is going to be staying on a bit longer. He says that he doesn't want her going the same way as Jodie, and she can let her mother take a bit of responsibility for a change. Mel says she's worried about the harm she'll do to everyone else. Her dad points out that if he did have another turn they would need someone to take care of the kids. "Just while you're on holiday," he says, "your mother's volunteered for something for the first time in her life." Mel finally agrees that she's better than nobody, so she gives in.
Over in the factory, Sean and Janice are discussing John Stape. Rosie walks past and Janice says loudly that maybe he's come back for some private lessons with Minnie Webster. Rosie stops. "Sorry Janice?" she asks. "Nice belt," comments Sean. "Ahh, is that your homework outfit?" asks Janice, sarcastically, "teacher's going to be well impressed!"
Rosie goes on to find Fizz, who's making a cup of coffee. "Have you spoken to John then?" she asks. "What's it got to do with you?" retorts Fizz. Rosie says she hopes Fizz told him where to get off. "Did I not just subtly hint that maybe you should mind your own business?" snaps Fizz. Undeterred, Rosie goes on with her malicious bit of stirring, and says that the other day John asked if they could get back together. Fizz looks stunned but says nothing. Janice comes up then and Rosie goes off, patting Fizz's arm sympathetically as she goes. "Tart," says Janice, "gets it off her mother!" She tells Fizz to ignore whatever Rosie has just told her. "You've got more about you than she'll ever have."
David arrives home to find Tina on the sofa with her laptop on her lap. She closes it up quickly as he sits down beside her. He asks what she's been doing but she tells him, good naturedly, not to be so nosey. They joke a bit and he gets his lunch out of the fridge. He asks again who she was emailing. "I dunno, just mates, why?" she says. "Just wondered," he says.
Clarissa is talking to Harry in his flat, and she sidles up to him on the sofa, asking softly if he gets lonely. He leans over towards her and she tells him she's come to talk about divorce. He stops abruptly and she tells him she'll agree to the settlement and they should just go ahead. Confused by her behaviour, he says he'll come round to her place for the rest of his stuff.
Jerry and Teresa step outside their front door and see Gail who is cleaning her windows. She light heartedly says she hopes he's not going drinking, and he says he's just going to have two halves. "As long as you keep taking the tablets!" she smiles. Teresa says sharply that she's got everything under control . As they walk off they bump into Mel who gives him a wall chart to help him remember when to take his tablets.
Kirk and his girlfriend come in to find Fizz trying to tidy up and she shouts at him for leaving stuff around They then get out of her what's really wrong, and she tells them that John has got a job with Streetcars. Chesney comes downstairs to hear this, and is shocked too.
Pam passes the garage where Tyrone is working on a car. "Don't forget, rocket - backside!" she says. He tells her to leave him to sort it out in his own way. She tells him that even if Molly says she's not interested in romantic things he's to ignore her, all girls want a bit of romance, whether they admit it or not. "Auntie Pam has a plan!" she says, walking off.
Lloyd and John are leaning on a taxi, having a chat when Chesney comes up. "Who said you could work round here!" he demands to know, and tells John to stay away from his sister. Lloyd tells him to come back when he's five years older and two stone heavier. "Calm down!" he says. Chesney continues to get more and more worked up, and tells John that Fizz has said she hates him and hopes he crashes and dies. "You creep!" he cries, and kicks the car wing mirror, smashing it to the ground, before running off. "I'll pay for that," says John.
Tina joins David and Darryl's in his log cabin. Darryl's goes off to the house to get his Arctic Monkeys cd. He asks what took her so long and she says she was lost in emailing, just rambling on. "Anyone in particular?" he asks. "Not really, just mates," she replies.
John knocks on Fizz's front door and asks her if Chesney's back yet, explaining that he just smashed the car wing mirror. "What are you doing speaking to him, leave him alone," says Fizz. John explains that Ches came looking for him. Fizz tells him to stay away from all of them, she knows what he's really there for. "I'm here for you," he says. Fizz tells him that Rosie told her, so it's no wonder she's dressing like a painted slapper. He protests that he hasn't even spoken to Rosie. "Don't lie John, you make me sick!" she says and slams the door.
John turns and sees Rosie along the street, leaning back against the wall in her short skirt and plunge neck top. He walks down towards her. "Ahh, not going too well?" she asks. "I don't know what you've told her….." he starts to say. "Nothing she doesn't already know," is the reply. He leans close, "If you get in my way with Fizz this time I'll sort you out so you never screw up anybody's life ever again, do you understand?" Rosie suddenly doesn't look so sure of herself. "You have a nice day," he says, and walks off down the street.
Rosie and Kevin walk down the street, but Rosie tells him she doesn't need a minder every spare minute of the day. "I can handle John if I see him." Kevin wants to do the handling, but Rosie says she doesn't want him to get into trouble again. He asks her if she wants to have lunch with him, but she's going to Tony Gordon's offices because there's some work to do there. As they part, Rosie kisses her dad. He looks quite surprised.
It's Chesney's birthday and his gift from Roy is a telescope. Cool! Kirk hopes it's better than the ones on the front at Blackpool. "I can never see anything, me." From Kirk and Julie he gets a set of snooker balls. "We're saving up for a table," Julie tells him. Fiz has bought him a computer game, which Chesney hopes it's Revenge of the Zombie Ninjas II. Nope. Cotton Baron. Yes, that famous action game about cementing commercial alliances and assimilating new technology such as the spinning jenny, the water frame and the flying shuttle. Fiz tells him it was recommended by Roy. "The graphics are great. Look at the detail on that workhouse!" Chesney is upset that there's nothing from his mum. Fiz is in the middle of explaining that the post from the edges of the universe, such as Las Vegas, is a bit slow when there is a knock at the door - it's a brand new bike being delivered. There's no card, but Chesney is over the moon.
At Ty and Molly's, the house formerly known as the Duckies', Tyrone tells Jack that maybe he and Molly shouldn't get wed. They're happy as they are. Jack sits back from his racing pages and tells Tyrone: "Me and our Vera, we were married for 50 years and I didn't regret one day of it. That day were March the 7th, 1962 - charabanc trip to Blackpool!" He says that, joking aside, Tyrone would be a fool to let Molly slip through his fingers. Molly's Auntie Pam arrives with a pressie for Tyrone. It's an egg on a stand. A fancy green egg. She shows him that if you open the egg it says "Peace at Easter" in Chinese. The trick is that it has a button on the bottom so you can record your own message, such as "Will you marry me?" Ty looks a bit brighter. "Record your message, fill the bottom half with posh choccies, stick the ring on top and Bob's your mother's brother," says Pam. "Trust me, there's not a girl alive who could say No to a talking egg."
Steve is driving him mum in the taxi. He's explaining that he's staying with Lloyd. Liz is glad that Vernon is working. Steve points out that he's just serving fry-ups all day, but Liz thinks this shows he's getting through their break-up. She says she married Vernon because she was backed into a corner, so perhaps Steve's had a lucky escape from a similar fate.
Chesney, concentrating hard, bikes up the street. Rosie comes out of the factory on her way to Tony's factory and is startled to see the driver is John Stape. He tells her he's not driving her. Steve will have to do it when he gets back from the airport. Rosie says she's got an important appointment but he's adamant she's not getting in the car. Kevin sees John and comes over from the garage. "Oi! What have I told you?" He reaches for the car door but John floors it and is gone, with Kevin shouting after him to stay away from Rosie.
When David comes downstairs (just what time is it?) he finds Tina giggling as she checks her e-mails. When he asks about it, she logs off quickly. David asks where she's going and she says just to meet some mates. David wants to know what she fancies doing tonight, but Tina says she's not sure what time she'll be back. "Surely you can't be staying out all day?" David whines. Tina is. "It's called having a life," she tells him. She leaves and Gail tells David Tina's been on the internet since half past seven this morning, chuckling to herself. Gail's worried it will mean a bigger bill.
At the garage, Kevin is under a car, doing something dirty and technical. Tyrone is standing nearby, clutching a green and gilded egg and wittering on about the wording of the proposal he's going to record and whether the egg is the right way to do it. Kevin, already tense because of John, shouts "Just shut up, will you! You're getting on my nerves. If she's gonna marry you she will. If she isn't, she won't. End of story!" Ty looks so upset that Kevin immediately apologises. He tells Tyrone he can have the afternoon off to get his proposal sorted. "And if you want my advice, stick with the egg. If you pre-record, you can't get tongue-tied at the vital moment."
Wherever John sped off to in his car, it wasn't far. He's back, strolling down the street towards Chesney, who is still on the bike. John tells him happy birthday and admires the bike. "You certainly look like you can handle that. I was a bit worried you mightn't get to grips with it." Yes, the bike's not from Cilla but from John Stape. Chesney drops the bike straight to the ground and runs home. John bends down, picks it up and props it against a lamp post.
Tyrone is at home, all dressed up in his suit and with the proposal recorded. Pam insists on a rehearsal, with Jack as Molly. Jack protests that he doesn't make a convincing woman (remember the bowling team?), but Pam insists, and nobody says No to Auntie Pam! She coaches Tyrone on how to lower himself to one knee gracefully. He opens the egg with a flourish and asks Jack to marry him. Jack accepts and Pam bursts into tears of joy.
In the Rovers, Bill looks ruefully at the change from a fiver and tells Roger than you used to be able to have a good night out on a fiver. Roger's thinking of popping over to France to fill his van with cheap booze. Bill's dead keen on the idea. "Ditch the women and make a weekend of it?" Roger likes the idea and they toast it. Tyrone's in the pub waiting for Molly. Kirk and Julie arrive and are told of the plan. Kirk loves the plan and Tyrone just hopes Molly will accept. Jack would put money on it. Tyrone heads for the loo - he's very nervous. Jack says Vera would have been thrilled to see Tyrone preparing to ask Molly to marry him. Pam, bless her, tells him Vera's probably been watching from the best seat in the house. Harry offers to buy Liz a drink and apologises for coming on to her so soon after Vernon left. Liz refuses and he thinks she's still upset, but it seems she went on a bit of a bender in Jersey and is detoxing.
In the cafe, Vernon sings along to It's a Living Thing (ELO, 1976) as he serves Darryl. "Haven't you got anything a little more contemporary?" Darryl asks. "Are you saying your sandwich isn't fresh?" Vernon asks, puzzled. Darryl means tune-wise. Vernon informs him that ELO are timeless. They'll always be contemporary. Unlike modern groups who sing of pain when the nearest they know to pain is cutting themselves shaving - if they're old enough. Darryl says Vernon should listen to some Arctic Monkeys. "What does that mean?" cries Vernon. "As much as PLO does," counters Darryl. David comes in and interrupts the conversation. Darryl tells him Vernon still thinks it's 1979. "I wish it was, then there'd be no flamin' internet," David says. Darryl points out that the internet is the nearest he has to a life at the moment. David explains that Tina's been spending a lot of time online, chatting. "How dare she have friends online," Darryl says sarcastically. "Why don't you just hack into her account and read these secret e-mails?" To his shock, David thinks that's a good idea. But he says Tina would never forgive him. "I know she wouldn't," Darryl says. "So stop being paranoid and let it go, for your own sake."
In the pub, Tyrone frets because Molly is late. He wants another drink but Jack tells him best not. Apparently they're called "chasers" because they'll catch up with you. Nearby, Bill tells Audrey about the plan to do a booze run to France. To his dismay, she thinks it's a good idea. Such a good idea that she wants to go with them. She says they can get a lift with Roger then go off on their own and stay in a little gîte. Though she has to explain to him what a gîte is (It's a holiday home, for those you not within driving distance of France). Harry and Liz seem to be getting on quite well at the bar when Dan rushes in. He says Clarissa's just arrived with a lot of Harry's stuff. Harry says she can wait, but she's followed Dan into the pub and tells Harry to get his backside outside unless he wants his gear to end up in the nearest landfill. Molly arrives and immediately shows just how much she learned from Vera, by demanding to know what Tyrone's doing in his good jacket. "I hope you haven't been mending cars in that!" Tyrone mutters something about having to go to a meeting with Kevin about new contracts. She accepts that, but wants to know why he's been drinking spirits. To his dismay, she then turns to the bathroom brochures she's been collecting and starts to discuss marble, tiles and walk-in showers with Julie. Kirk wants to know how else you get into a shower. Molly gives him a Look!
Outside, Clarissa dumps Harry's clothes on to the pavement. She's giving up on him because he's too busy looking down ancient barmaids' tops.
Fiz is annoyed to see Chesney's new bike left in the street, so she begins to wheel it home.
Molly thinks heated towel rails look classy. Kirk points out that if you've got towels on them, you can't see the towel rail. Molly gives him another withering Look. She starts to go on about all the decisions to be made about brass, chrome, taps, even rings for the shower curtain. Jack jumps in. "Talking of rings, Molly love . . . there's something our Tyrone would like to ask you." Pam pushes Tyrone forward and he sinks gracefully to one knee. He opens the egg, which looks very classy with the ring nestling on a bed of premium chocolates. "Where do you put the batteries in?" asks the egg! Kirk gulps. He doesn't even get a chance to apologise as Tyrone flees in embarrassment.
The End (of the first half)
Molly realises what almost happened and is beside herself. Much of the rest of the episode centers around the engagement.
Jack and Kirk find Tyrone looking over the canal and clearly unhappy. They tell him all will be well and seek to keep him occupied whilst the girls go to work on getting together a suitable venue for a romantic proposal.
Phone calls are made, hair appointments booked with Maria and plans laid to ensure that next time around all goes smoothly. Meanwhile some dodging and diving is going on to keep Ty out of the way.
Elsewhere on the cobbles Fiz is giving John a piece of her mind - telling him off for using a kind to try and worm his way back into her affections - and if he comes near her or Chesney again she will call the police. He completely fails to get the message and he later asks her if she has ever made a mistake - well she did and she is looking at it and she reminds him of the humiliation caused by the underwear on Christmas Day. This shuts him up. Fiz goes indoors to remind Ches that they are going bowling - but the wonderful Cilla has remembered the birthday and has sent a return ticket to Vegas for Chesney and he is packing to fly to the US (lucky he had a valid passport really!). Fiz assures him she can handle John and that he really must go.
Clarissa has apparently dropped a bust of the great horse Nijinksy which was one of a pair with Red Rum and takes great pleasure in telling Harry about the breakage. She points she was one of a pair once and he retorts that at least she is replaceable and he heads off to the pub. Needless to say she follows him into the Rovers and he orders a pint and gin and tonic. Liz serves them and Clarissa delivers a wonderful line alleging that the smell of mint sauce is so overpowering she has to sit down. Clarissa reminds Harry that he used to have standards and he remarks that was precisely what wife two said about her! Anyway Clarissa tips the gin and tonic over Harry who leaves the pub followed by Clarissa who is not finished with him yet.
Bill tells Roger that Audrey is coming along on the weekend trip to France (one wonders why Audrey would want to do that - last time she went to France it was with Fred, I say Fred and he asked her to marry him! - do none of the writers have any memories these days?). Anyway Roger reckons that Bill needs to wear a hard hat to cover the dent her thumb is leaving on his head! Anyway they agree to go despite Audrey tagging along. A little later in the Rovers Roger tells Janice about Audrey going to France and Janice decides to come to France as well - at which Bill offers to lend Roger a hard hat!
Outside Harry's flat Clarissa reminds him that it was supposed to be third time lucky and after some trading of insults she tells him it does not need to be over and moves closer to him. He can hardly believe his ears, but she reminds him he loves every second of it. And anyway the making up was always the best bit of it. She offers to help him remove his wet shirt and then she tells him that she is sure the slapper behind the bar will be happy to oblige and walks away. He calls her mad, but she tells him she is convinced he has been carrying on with Liz and she departs.
Vern visits the Rovers and notes that Liz has returned and they try to exchange conversation - but Vernon his insides dying as he still loves her cannot face and makes a dignified exit.
Ty is getting more and more worried but eventually the all clear is given and he walks outside into bright sunshine, there is a burger van decorated with thousands of fairy lights from Roy's Rolls and sitting at a table is a very happy Molly. Watched by Kirk, Jack, Pam, Maria, Vernon, Lloyd, Julie and others he goes across the Street - and as Molly says who needs a posh restaurant when you have a burger van. He goes to kneel but Molly pushes a napkin under his knee to save his best suit and he once again open the egg - this time his voice rings out "Will you marry me?"
Molly does not answer but instead reaches behind her and pulls out a similar egg, this time in red, opens it and we hear "Of course I will you great nana".
Pam turns on the music - Percy Sledge and "When a Man Loves a Woman" - and Ty places Vera's ring on Molly's ring finger (and surprisingly it fits well). Julie and Kirk cuddle as the song rings out and then Vern and Liz exchange a look and the words must match Vernon's feelings. Fiz hearing the music comes out to see and at that moment John drives past - he looks full of woe and perhaps even Fiz is remembering the better times.
But the scene returns to Molly and Ty buried in each other's arms - in love with each other and together for ever. Poor Jack in the background starts crying - along with most of the viewers I would guess.
As ever it is humbling to report on these events when the team at ITV can produce such drama and emotion. See you next week.
K Richard W
Tyrone and Molly are playing the name game over the breakfast table, using Jack who's a bit oblivious to all the "fiance"/"fiancee" references floating back and forth over the jam pot. Aren't they cute, though? Jack plays the game but is a bit sentimental for a minute. Molly promises to take good care of Vera's ring. Jack relates that the ring has often spent more time in a pawn shop or in U-bends than on Vee's finger but he reckons Vera would have been chuffed to mint balls at the upcoming wedding to which Jack intends on contributing. Molly and Ty insist they're going to do it themselves though they do appreciate his offer. They are having a simple wedding, vows, DJ and honeymoon (at which mention they give each other "knowing" looks).
Liz slips out of a side door from the pub (Hey, wait a minute! When was there ever a side door out of the pub? It would have to be out of the kitchen and there's never been a mention of it that I can recall!) Harry jogs over to see her. He's in high spirits, on his way to see the solicitor about the finalities about the divorce. He chats her up as we see Clarissa arrive behind Liz. He sees her, though Liz doesn't and talks Liz into an afternoon out to celebrate his impending freedom. He even suggests an intimate sojourn. She doesn't really say yes to that bit and does hesitate because she's got a lot to do but he persuades her in the end. It doesn't take a whole lot of convincing. He promises she will have his undivided attention.
In the cafe, Fiz hurries in but stops short seeing John but continues to the counter. She isn't sure now she's going to stay and eat but orders a chicken and mushroom pie, the last one of which he has in his hand, about to hand it to the customer that ordered it. Stape. We then suffer through an argument where John tries to give her the pie and take a sausage roll instead and her refusing because it's him, right? Vernon keeps interjecting and just wants someone to take the damn pie. Only he doesn't say that exactly. She walks out without having anything, much to Stape's chagrin.
In Number 1, Blanche is trying to make conversation, albeit one sided, while Ken is trying to finish a chapter. He's been quite absorbed in it. Armistad Maupin, one of Ken's favourites. He tries to explain the vagrities of the author's style until Blanche changes the subject.
Eileen is admiring Molly's ring in the shop. Molly and Pam have been looking at bridal magazines. Auntie Pam tries to shift some more ham to Eileen. Molly scolds her but Pam figures it's ok as Dev is out golfing. Pam is trying to raise money for the wedding but Molly insists it's going to be low key. Her dad can't contribute as he's "brassic" but will do a lovely cake. (He's a baker. If he can't do her justice on that, he deserves to be out of business!) Pam still has big dreams for the wedding of the year, though.
In the cafe, Vernon shows Lloyd a framed old crisp packet. Apparently, The Late Great Cosy Powell had his hand in it in 1981. He's going to hang it on that board that stands in front of the cafe door. Clarissa comes in for Lloyd for a ride. Lloyd figures she'll not be needing him much longer once the divorce is done with. She seems to be dubious as to whether there will be one at all. Lloyd is confused. Why pay a solicitor in that case? She is much too high maintenance for him, he reckons. "High Octane, more like!" She seems to have a plan, as she'd mention that she's too good a cook for Harry to divorce her.
Blanche is peeking into Ken's book and seems shocked at what she's reading. The phone rings and she takes the call. It seems to be Ted reminding Ken that they are to meet tonight at a hotel at 7:30. Deirdre comes home just as Blanche hangs up and staggers to the dining room table with the note in hand. She's gutted! She hands Deirdre the note but Deirdre doesn't seem to see anything wrong or make any connection to the book that Blanche indicates. Blanche exclaims "Bold as brass! Ringing the marital home!!!" We have to wait until later to find out what she's on about.
Meanwhile, Dev and his new friend Prem are on the golf course. Dev is not performing well on the links and there seems to be a 20 quid bet on the outcome which Dev is prepared to hand over even before the end of the game, he's doing that badly. They chat about life and children and how Dev has missed Amber's childhood and is missing that of his twins mostly, too. (Actually, I don't think the actor playing Prem is a golfer. His back swing looked pretty fake though his follow through was a bit more realistic).
In the corner shop, Kelly and Fiz are picking up something for the afternoon sugar rush. Norris asks after Chesney who's on holidays in Vegas with Cilla. He's having a great time with his mum. They chat about Rita's singing days and what her potential in Vegas could have been (She's not there, that's why they can get away with it). They are talking about the Rat Pack when who should arrive? Stape. Speaking of rats... Kelly murmurs. Things are awkward and Norris won't even serve him. Solidarity and all that. Fiz looks a bit upset but Kelly admonishes her.
In the betting shop, Clarissa has been waiting for Harry and ends up talking Leanne into lending her the flat key so she can cook her husband a slap up steak meal. She's looking forward to having him all to herself. Leanne says that if Clarissa wants her to make herself scarce, just say. Clarissa leans in and whispers "I just did". Ah.
Blanche has told Deirdre what she's thinking, that Ken and Ted are having an affair. Deirdre has her head in her hands and Blanche is pouring the brandy to cure her daughter's hysterics. Oh she's hysterical all right, with laughter. "Ohhh Mother!!!!" Blanche thinks Deirdre is in denial but Blanche points out "Just because things *seem* all right in the bedroom department, you don't have to be Angela Lansbury to piece this one together!" Ken's drinking chamomile tea!! To help him sleep, Deirdre adds. To make him dead to the world when his missus comes to bed, is Blanche's retort. There's no talking her round it seems. Deirdre is at her wits end, between giggling at the very idea and frustration at Blanche who was an absolute star in this scene, really! "He's reading gay porn! He's meeting Confirmed Bachelors in hotel foyers!" By this time, Deirdre's drinking the brandy even though she doesn't like it. "I have no problem with gays" begins Blanche (meaning of course she does), "I'd walk on hot coals for Paul O'Grady!" Deirdre (and I) snort. "And I'm not saying the feller in chapter 13 (in the book) isn't supple. Far from it" Anne Kirkbride really is cracking up, I think, at Maggie Jones' delivery of these lines. (According to Glenda Young, apparently Chapter 13 in the book, Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin has a scene that's a "threesome")
Back to the golf course. Dev has lost the game. Prem doesn't want to take his money but Dev insists. They are still talking about no-respect teenagers and Socrates. Dev is determined to try to see more of the twins. Prem reckons if he takes Amber with him, it might help he and Amber get closer too. Dev apologizes for bending his friend's ear.
Back to Number 1. Deirdre is ironing. Ken arrives and checks his face in the mirror and remarks he got waylaid talking to Rita who has fabulous skin! Blanche sardonically says "You're boyfriend phoned". Ken is stopped in his tracks.
We jump next door to the pub where Pam is talking about grand weddings she's attended. Ty again says Molly only wants a simple wedding. Pam makes Ty believe that what Molly says and what she means are two different things, aided by Jack's opinion too. Ty promises them that she can have whatever she wants.
Outside, Harry and Liz drive up. They chat about their fathers' nicknames for themselves. Even though the rain is pelting down on the car windows, he's gently touching her face pointing out the freckles that seem to be one of his favourite things. They certainly look cosy. He offers her a drink in his flat. Perfect end to a perfect afternoon.
Ken insists Blanche's theories are preposterous and shouts "I am NOT homosexual", swinging his hand up on his hip. Then realizing what it probably looks like to her, swiftly removes it again. There's no changing her mind. Deirdre says that his book started her off and the phone message about the hotel finished her off. Turns out there is an art auction in the hotel. That doesn't help matters at all as far as Blanche is concerned. Deirdre tries to joke it off and reckons Ken isn't Ted's type anyway. "At their age, they take what they can get" is Blanche's observation. Ken is more affronted that Deirdre doesn't think he's Ted's type! He shouts at Blanche that Ted is an interesting man who's lived a full life and he's got a nice evening planned. "Smitten." announces Blanche which sends Deirdre into another gale of stifled giggles. Ken gives up and stalks out with his sense of humour firmly sewn up in his back pocket, completely inaccessible. I'll be that scene was great fun to film!
Harry pulls Liz into the flat and snuggles up, having waited all day to get his hands round her waist. She's not objecting in the least and they kiss. He lifts her up onto the counter as they snog their first proper snot. Clarissa comes slinking out of the bedroom, in a little black dress and hair done up. She looks lovely. She interrupts and Liz comments, Six weeks and counting (decree nisi). Clarissa says she's cooked too much and offers Liz a doggy bag. (woof!)
The fireworks light off in the next part.
We're still at Harry's. He picks up a bunch of keys. "Where did you get these?" he demands. He tells Liz he never gave Clarissa any keys. "He's never given me anything worth having," she confirms. "He gave me crabs once, though. Liz says she can't see what Harry ever saw in Clarissa. Clarissa answers that that will be Deirdre's eyesight failing. "It's your age." Liz takes a step forward but Harry restrains her. He says she should go and he'll catch her up, "once I've ditched the stalker." Clarissa tells Liz to mind herself on the stairs. Then adds: "Mind you, if you two carry on, I'm sure he'll sort you out a stair lift." Liz, her eyes firmly on Clarissa's reaction, kisses Harry very hard before leaving.
Prem and Dev have a drink together and Prem wants to know what Dev thinks of as his signature business - the one that exemplifies what he's all about. Dev says it has to be the Weatherfield shop - he works there, Amber works there and the locals are sick of the sight of him. Prem asks if he lives nearby. In an oily avoidance tactic, Dev answers the question sideways, saying he used to live in the Quays and describing the big house he bought for Sunita and the twins. He says he's living over the shop temporarily. This gets Prem interested and he asks if Dev has anything in mind. He sees Dev's hesitation as caginess, not a pause while Dev decides what lie to tell him. Dev says he's buying into a new development just around the corner. Prem tells him to drink up. They're going sightseeing.
In the pub, Molly asks Pam about missing her man and going back home. Pam is reluctant to answer and Jack tells Molly she shouldn't ask questions like that.
Back at the flat, Clarissa wants to know whether Harry has slept with Liz. He says he's a free man and will sleep with anyone he wants to. Clarissa tells him he knows why she's in the flat. It's his turn. "You caved in last time." He doesn't understand, but she tells him that last time they split up, he took her to a restaurant and begged her to come back. He says he doesn't remember that. She says he looked at the wine list and she thought he would buy a £300 bottle of wine, just so that was another £300 she couldn't get in any divorce settlement. Instead, he'd chosen a 1997 bottle - the year they married. He plays down this and says he only pleaded with her because he'd been drinking. "Please yourself!" Clarissa yells. "I'm not playing your smug game!" And she picks up the oven tray and hurls it across the room. Well, [ad alert] if it had been an Orkney steak, she wouldn't have needed to cook it in the oven. She picks up her bag and flees the flat in tears.
Becky and Jason are back, Becky full of holiday good cheer. But Jason apparently lost his key in a bar's happy happy hour, like a double happy hour, which is different from a happy doubles hour. . . Eileen rolls her eyes and steps back to let them through.
In the pub, Clarissa is dishing out Harry advice to Liz. She tells Liz: "You don't want to sleep with my husband without knowing a few things. One, make sure he thinks you think he's a god. Two, never mention receding hairlines. Three, know you've got a use-by date." Prem and Dev come in, Prem declaring the Rovers "homely and unpretentious" and kissing Liz's hand. Deirdre walks in with Blanche and is surprised to see Liz there. "I thought you were . . ." Liz says there was a sudden change of plan. Deirdre asks, with a nod towards Clarissa, "Isn't that . . .? Blanche looks at her. "What is this? National Don't Finish Your Sentence Day?" They order but are interrupted by Clarissa, who seems to have been drinking steadily. "Oh, and another thing - socks. He's never knowingly picked on up. Indulgent mother. Still, I'm sure your middle-aged son picks up socks - having a hard-face cow as a mum."
Molly has met up with Pam, avoiding the offer of some cheap minute steaks ("Well, ten minutes - takes a bit longer if they've got a bit of history.") and apologises for making Pam feel awkward earlier on. Pam admits she has been avoiding going home. Molly thinks it must be hard, having to go back without Jeff. Pam says she hasn't been entirely honest about Jeff's death. "You didn't kill him, did you?" asks a startled Molly. No. In fact Jeff isn't dead at all, Pam admits. He threw her out. "He caught me with this man who'd gone past the window on a trolley hoist. The renderer."
In the pub, Prem tells Dev he doesn't have to rush home. Nina is away on one of her spa indulgences. Harry comes in and is greeted loudly by Clarissa. "Now," she tells Liz, "remember - worship as a god, baldy bits, socks." Liz asked what took him so long and he says it was the meal Clarissa cooked. "You ate it?" asks a disappointed Liz. No, he had to get it off the wall. Clarissa is apparently only halfway through her list. "Oh, something else. A. Golf. I don't know if you play, but if you do, never ever ever hit the ball further than him. Prem and Dev stand up to leave, not wanting to be caught in the middle of whatever Clarissa's up to. Clarissa continues: "And two . . . was it two or was it B?" "B," says Prem helpfully on the way past. "Thanks gorgeous," she says. "B. Don't trust him. He's a liar. He'll tell you that he loves you and he'll make it sound like he can't imagine life without you, but it means nothing!" For the second time in this episode, she flees a room in tears. Harry says he'll get Lloyd to take her home and follows her out. Deirdre wonders what Harry ever did to deserve Clarissa. Blanche has the answer: "'appen ‘e were Attila the Hun in a former life."
Harry catches up with Clarissa by the phone box, grabbing her by the shoulders and turning her to face him. She cries that it was him to let her get into this state. She says he was the one who started the divorce. "I tried in there tonight and don't pretend you don't know it," she says. She tells him that he wasn't angry with her because of his pride, but because he was on a promise with Liz. "You just can't stand it that someone else fancies me," she says. Harry caught up with Clarissa by the phone box, grabbing her roughly by the shoulders and pushing her into it. As she turned she sobbed: "Just you remember that it was you who let this happen!" He told her it was her who started the divorce but she cried: "I tried. I tried in there tonight and don't pretend you don't know it." He snorted: "Let's not pretend I'm the only one with pride."' but she cried: "You weren't angry with me cos of pride. You were on a promise with her!" She tells him he should go ahead, have his little thrill, -- he can even marry her. "That's what you usually do, but I'll promise you one thing -- you'll look back and you'll work out which wife you were an idiot to throw away! Which one loved you even though you were an arrogant pig! Me! Not her, or whoever's after her or the one after that. Me!" She tries to run off again but Harry grabs her and pushes her back against the phone box. "You are one gobby cow!" he tells her, stopping her from answering back by crushing his mouth against hers.
Harry and Clarissa are snuggled up in the flat, both in dressing gowns. She coos at him, asking if she can tell Liz about them being back together. Harry is adamant. No.
Ken and Ted are back from the exhibition. Deirdre isn't worried but Blanche says it's her funeral. And at least they'll make sure the coffin flowers are nicely arranged. As Blanche and Deirdre leave, Blanche calls out to Ken: "Phone first if you are bringing your fancy man back. I'll hide me corsets." Ted answers: "I wish I had the figure to get into them, Mrs Hunt." Ken and Ted look at the silhouette Ted's bought and Ken wishes he knew more about art. Ted wishes he knew more about literature. Ken admits he once thought he would be a writer. But that was in a previous life."
In the (closed) shop, Dev and Prem drink single malt whisky and Dev talks about Mike Baldwin. Prem wants to know whether at 44, Dev still has the fire, drive and passion that lifted him to where he is now. He warns Dev that the 40s are a crossroads. "You can build or burn your achievements in your 40s." He says it's good that Dev is going forward and investing in property. They're on their way out to view the flats when Amber comes in, looking for junk food because the cooker is on the blink. She's introduced and Prem pinches her cheek. He says he's sure their new flat will have all the mod cons. "You really shouldn't be down here so late," Dev tells her, trying to get her out of the room. Too late. "New flat?" she asks. "You've made that up haven't you? To impress him. Right, I'm holding you to that. I've got a witness."
Ken tells Ted he remembers lying on his bed crying over the decisions he had to make about the character in his novel. "Yet this young man wasn't even real. He was a character I'd created. Ted told him that when he talked about the novel, he came alive - a totally different creature. He offers Ken another drink, but Ken, with a faraway look in his eye, has to race off. "I need to go. Thanks, Ted. Thank you." Harry walks in and Liz says she's impressed Clarissa managed to hit him where it doesn't show. Harry makes a bad job of telling her that he and Clarissa are going to make another go of it. He starts to apologise to Liz, but she tells him she doesn't want to hear. He persists against her protests and Vernon comes over on his metaphorical white charger and hustles Harry out. "I'll call you," he says as he gets to the door. "Don't!" she shouts back. Vernon comes back, asks if she's still smoking and tells her to go out the back for a fag while he looks after the bar.
In the taxi office, Eileen seems to be on the phone to Jason. She's saying "she's" (Becky, we assume) gone out for another fag. "No I don't hate her. I've just got used to the peace," she says. Becky comes back and Eileen tells her Jason will collect her and take her for a drink. Becky hopes Michelle will give her a sub on her wages. She's only got two Euros left. Eileen hands her some money, saying Michelle won't be in a charitable mood. Becky asks why and Eileen tells her that Michelle and Steve have split up. "Reckoned he was playing around." Becky looks suddenly worried. Jason arrives and wants to take her off to the Rovers.
Outside the new development, Dev tells Prem he's been drifting but has been inspired tonight. "Things are going to change for me."
Ken's in the loft and Deirdre and Blanche are at the dining table, shouting up at him. "Men should have sheds for this kind of thing," Blanche reckons. Ken comes down and into the room waving a bundle of yellowing paper. "My novel! Look, it survived entirely intact!" He says it was written by a passionate, searching, hopeful young man. Blanche thought he wrote it. "Yes, me! And now I'm convinced that all he needed was an older, wiser editor. And I know just the man." As the women go to bed, he rubs his hands together and settles down to his editing.
Michelle tells Becky that if she'd known she was back she would have been on to her. Becky apprehensively asks why. "Because we're short staffed. And why should I being doing the work of three people to live Steve's pockets?" Becky asks if it's true Michelle and Steve have split up. It is.
Vernon takes Liz another packet of cigarettes. "I bet you're really pleased, aren't you - seeing me make a fool of myself," she says. She will pay him for helping out. "Don't be daft," he says. "We're friends aren't we? Can't a friend help another out? We are friends aren't we?" He sits down and Liz says: "I feel such an idiot. How did I fall for all that? I'm meant to be smarter than that." She's upset because Harry and Clarissa must be laughing at her. Vernon says Harry doesn't deserve Liz. "I mean that as a friend." "You are a good mate," she says. "And I'm so sorry for putting you through everything I did. We should only have ever been mates, shouldn't we?" "Definitely," says Vernon, lying. She moves closer to him and Vernon thinks she will kiss him, but she says cheerfully, "Bezzie mates," and hugs him. Vernon's face on her should shows nothing but pain.
Blanche and Deirdre are watching Ken, who's sitting in the living room apparently editing his manuscript. Blanche bombards Deirdre with questions, ranging from ‘does it take a long time, this editing?' to ‘has he had a wash?' but Deirdre doesn't know the answer to any of them.
In the back room of the Rovers, Liz asks Sean and Betty if they mind if she lights up a cigarette. They demand to know what's wrong with her, she's obviously on edge. She tells them she went back to Harry's and has never been so humiliated in her life - Clarissa walked out from the bedroom all dressed up in a little black dressed, and she'd cooked dinner for Harry! "What had she cooked?" asks Betty, but Liz tells her she doesn't know, she was out of there like greased lightening. Sean and Betty want to know how long it's been going on. "They were together for years," says Liz. "No," says Sean, "you and cockney bookie features!" Liz tells them it was the first time anything had happened, and after all Harry is meant to be divorcing Clarissa. Sean asks if Liz had been seeing Harry behind Vernon's back. "What do you take me for?" asks Liz, icily. Betty tells her if she's going to play with fire she'll get her fingers burnt. "'Appen this is it," says Sean. "Well thank you very much for your support!" says Liz.
Over at the flat, Harry and Clarissa are eating breakfast. He tells her she's a weird one. Clarissa comments that after spending the night with a woman he should pay her a compliment, not tell her she's weird. He tells her that if he'd known she was ‘up for it' he would never have done anything with…."Worzel Gummidge in a micro-skirt?" she finishes the sentence for him. He goes on to say he thought they were getting divorced. Smiling sweetly she tells him that he really doesn't know her at all. She tells him that it could work and urges him to move back in with her.
In the corner shop, Dev is flaunting his new golfing jumper in front of Amber, who is less than impressed. He tells her that the jumper will open doors. "A magic jumper!" she says, as he leaves for the golf course.
Kirk and his girlfriend (sorry, forgotten her name) are walking down the street when Fizz drops the contents of her shopping bag and John Stape pulls up in his taxi and leaps out to help her. Kirk goes running off towards them shouting at John to leave Fizz alone. John tells Kirk to grow up and Fizz tells him she can fight her own battles as she hurries to pick everything up and get inside.
Leanne is in the betting shop when Vernon comes in. He hovers uncertainly and then Harry comes down from upstairs. Vernon asks him if he slept with Liz while she was with him. Harry tries to get him to go into the back, but Vernon says he can take it, he just wants to know the truth and move on. Harry tells him that he didn't, and if he must know, he still hasn't. Vernon says he's not stupid, and as he leaves he turns. "You hurt her and you'll have me to deal with!"
Tyrone is washing up and looking thoughtful. Pam asks him what's wrong and he confesses that he's worried about the wedding. "You say every girl wants a big white one - do you know how much they cost? We're skint!" he says. Pam goes and stuffs her hand down the back of the sofa. "What are you doing?" he asks. "I'm going to show you how to make something out of nothing," she tells him, pulling out a handful of coins.
Harry and Clarissa are outside the bookies - she reminds him of what he's got to do, phone the solicitors and make an appointment to cancel the divorce, while she sorts out a nice big removal van. She kisses him on the cheek and departs. He wipes his cheek and sees Liz across the road, outside the Rovers. He goes over to her and awkwardly starts to apologise for the events of the previous evening. She tells him she's big enough and ugly enough to look after herself. "So, you and her are…..?" she asks. "Yeah, we're um….." he falters. She tells him that she and Vernon were always giving it a second try. They agree, hesitantly, that it was just bad timing and they can be mates from now on. He gives her a long, lingering look. "I respect you Liz," he says simply. "Ta," she replies, staring straight back into his eyes. The chemistry between them is almost tangible. They continue this faltering conversation of half finished sentences for a few more moments. "Take it easy, yeah?" he says eventually. "Yeah, see you," she replies, and, after a moment's hesitation goes inside leaving him standing there with a strange look on his face. Could it be regret?
Dev is at the golf club bar, talking to Prem who is complaining about his gout which is apparently one of the downsides of living the rich life. Too much champagne, brandy, fois gras and hookers. Dev assumes he's joking about the hookers. Just then Dev spots a famous face across the room. "Isn't that the big Bollywood star, Neena Adani?" he asks excitedly. Prem confirms that it is. "Oh my god!" squeals Dev, and says that he saw one of her films 88 times and had the poster of her in a white sari by a waterfall on his wall. Prem calls her over and introduces her. Neena is his wife! Dev gushes all over her until she sends him off to get her a drink. When he's out of earshot, Neena mutters to Prem, "He's taller than I pictured him." He tells her that tallness is overrated and strokes her cheek.
Clarissa has procured a removal van for that very afternoon and it pulls up outside the bookies as they wait on the pavement. Leanne comes out to see what's going on and is incredulous to learn that Harry is moving back with her. "What man wouldn't refuse a dollop of what I've got to offer," she smirks, and then suggests to Harry that they go across to the Rovers for a farewell drink, and leads him away.
They walk into the pub with Clarissa hanging on Harry's arm. "The usual is it?" asks Liz. "Yes, get Harry his usual," smiles Clarissa in honeyed tones, "you'd know what that is, you being a barmaid." Landlady," corrects Liz. "A common or garden barmaid," repeats Clarissa. Liz retorts that she's not common. "No, you're deluded," says Clarissa, at which point Sean steps in to take over serving and Liz walks out to the back. Clarissa tells Harry to make sure he soaks up the atmosphere of what's it's like to be in a down at heel boozer in the back end of nowhere, it's going to be very different from now on. Sean asks why that is and is told that Harry is moving in with her, in Cheshire, and she's more at home in a winebar. "No offence," she says. "None taken," says Sean, "and neither am I offended by that very noisy blouse!"
Back at the golf club, Neena takes her leave of her husband and Dev, giving Dev a lingering farewell kiss on the cheek, saying she hopes she'll see him again soon.
Liz is in the ladies room at the pub, washing her hands, when Clarissa comes in. She remarks that she now knows why Liz has such bad hands, she washes them with soap. Liz retorts that she likes to keep them rough so she can slap ugly leeches in the face.
Tyrone and Auntie Pam are walking down the Street with the 89p they found down the back of the sofa. She tells him that in order to accumulate they have to speculate.
In the corner shop, Amber is stacking the shelves and singing along to the radio when her dad comes back in, in very high spirits.
Tyrone and Auntie Pam come out of the bookies. They went in with 89p and have come out with over five pounds. Pam tells him she's reclaiming the word entrepreneur and she's going to pass on her wisdom to him.
Harry and Clarissa are still in the pub. Liz tells Sean she's going to collect their glasses. "You're like a moth to a flame," he tells her. She wanders over to their table and engages Clarissa in conversation, asking her if she's a natural redhead. Clarissa tells her it's about as natural as Liz's dirty blonde. Liz then tells her she should go to a salon, the colour would be so much better than slapping on a cheap one at home. She then asks if the glasses on the table are dead. Clarissa picks up her glass. "It is now!" she cries, throwing the contents all over Liz. Enraged, Liz grabs her by one wrist and her hair and throws her out onto the cobbles!