Friday 2 February 1996
The ghost of Ivy was the initial talking point of the episode with Vera obviously in a state of some concern over her vision of Ivy in the previous episode. She spoke to Josie, as if Josie was in full understanding of what had happened. Josie had been unaware of what happened until Vera had said something. This of course caused friction between Don and Josie. Jack was his usual disbelieving self and would not take Vera seriously.
Jim and Bill were doing some work for Fred Elliot. Jim was still in a somewhat stormy mood and it showed as he clashed with Fred.
Meanwhile Steven (Audrey's son) was making his presence felt amongst the Weatherfield community. Notably Mike Baldwin was showing an interest in what Steven was saying about his proposed business opportunities. Somewhat later Steve was then trying to arrange the catering services of Alma. Alma's name had been brought forward thanks to Audrey and as a result Steven was attempting to obtain her services to provide for a business lunch he was arranging. Mike even went as far as to provide his full support for the venture.
Maureen found out about Maud's proposal to Percy and quickly assumed the hurt party stance. She expressed her feelings about how she felt she was being left all alone. Now that Reg was in Lowestoft she was obviously feeling somewhat neglected and the thought of Maud going away would have been the final straw.
Fiona was also taking an opportunity to air her grievances about the errant Maxine. She was somewhat dismayed at Maxine's attitude towards the salon. It was suggested that she should perhaps let Maxine go if she was proving to be dead weight. Andy and Des summed up the situation well enough by stating that Maxine had not grown up yet Fiona had.
Over at Don's house everybody was preparing for Sarah Louise's birthday party. Steven turned up with presents for Sarah Louise and also Nicky. As Josie entered with the birthday cake the candles were mysteriously blown out. Leaving Martin to suggest it was the work of a "ghostie".
The episode ended with Mike suggesting that Steven presence over here could mean excellent opportunities for Alma.
Monday 5 February 1996
Tonight's episode dealt with Maxine pushing her luck with Fiona, mainly because Maxine was still showing her unwilling attitude to work. She had been out on the town all night and expected to be allowed to sleep off the effects all day whilst Fiona struggled on alone.
Mike Baldwin was eagerly pushing forward the idea of Alma catering for Steve's business lunch. He was making suggestions that she go and have her hair styled and generally just spruce up her appearance. Alma herself was somewhat indecisive about the matter. However, thanks to Gail breaking a dinner date with Steve and Mike pushing the issue yet again a meeting was arranged.
Kevin was showing concern over Sally's well being in the respect that she was pushing herself to hard by looking after baby Daniel as well as her own children and running the shop and the family home. So to sort out the situation Kevin went for a somewhat terse conversation with Ken. He explained how he was worried about how Sally was pushing herself to the limits and that she was too soft to say anything to Ken about the situation. Ken was understanding about the situation and agreed to make alternate agreements with Daniel. Kevin went to explain the situation to Sally. She soon sussed that Kevin had a large hand in what had occurred. She was angered by Kevin's intervention and made it clear that she would continue to look after Daniel in the near future.
Liz returned only to face Jim's complaining almost as soon as she walked through the door. Jim's mood was brought on by Liz apparently being somewhat cold towards him upon her return. The atmosphere remained frosty even when they went for a drink at the Rovers. Later on when Liz was serving at the bar Des entered only to be politely asked to drink somewhere else as she was concerned that a scene could potentially erupt if Jim entered.
Meanwhile throughout the day Maxine had continued to annoy Fiona. She even went home for a sleep when the Salon became quiet in the afternoon. Thus Fiona pushed to the limit went home and woke her threatening an ultimatum. Either she got her act together or she was sacked. At this point Maxine became somewhat mouthy and Fiona, as good as her word, gave her the sack.
Mike meanwhile settled Steve and Alma down for their meal and arranged to see them later that evening. He duly left them to begin their negotiations. It was obvious that from the outset Alma was somewhat nervous about the entire situation. What they shared in common was they had both been built up by people who were close to them. Alma had been painted as a massive concern in the catering world by Mike. Whereas Alma had shown Steve as the most successful export from Canada since The Mounties. The meal progressed with Alma slowly building in confidence and it looks like the deal will be set after all. However nothing was set in stone and for this episode anyway, things were left more or less up in the air.
Maxine and Fiona were now somewhat engaged in a private and mainly silent little war following her sacking. They agreed that following this situation they could no longer live together...but who will move ?
There were some nice scenes tonight with Audrey having a somewhat crafty war of the words in the Rovers tonight with Vera over their respective sons. We also saw Maureen taking the strain over her long distance relationship with Reg and the constant nagging of Maud.
Wednesday 7 February 1996
Tonight dealt with a number of issues including Fiona handling the repercussions of sacking the oh-so useful Maxine from the salon. As you can expect this made for a most frosty atmosphere between them whilst they were at home.
Ken was making plans for obtaining a new baby-sitter for Daniel whilst he was at work. Sally thoughtfully suggested some people to try. Despite the fact that agencies would be more expensive it seemed the most appropriate route for him to take. Eventually Ken used his initiative and decided to locate a nanny for Daniel by looking up some ex-pupils whom he had taught, and went on to take up child care as a career.
Meanwhile the Ivy's Ghost scenario continued to raise itself up into prominence amongst the storylines. This time brought on by Sarah Louise. She was waving at Josie who was cleaning the downstairs windows. Suddenly Sarah Louise looked at the upstairs window and began aiming her waving attention at "Ivy" who had apparently materialised in full view in one of the windows upstairs. This of course alarmed Josie, who nervously decided to go out for a while. The ghost business didn't end there either. It soon became the subject of conversation in the corner shop with Vera's tongue in full flight. Maud of course with her spiritual leanings took an interest in the subject declaring she would have to take a look around the house to get a true feeling of whether it was the subject of a possession or not.
Alma was preparing for the day in which she would clinch the deal with Steve. She quickly managed to dump Alf and Audrey, who had planned to tag along for the day as chaperons. However when the time of the meeting came Alma's disappointment was hard to disguise. Instead of spending the day with Steven as she imagined. Steven had prior engagements and thus his colleague took his place. Presumably to make the situation an "all girls together" scenario. The day passed and the deal was clinched with Steven turning up later in the evening. He and Alma went for a drink at the Rovers. Mike of course was on jubilant form thanks to his wife's success. However it was not all smiles as Audrey was clearly put out by the lack of time Steve was spending with her. In fact in general Steven has been somewhat dismissive of Audrey from start to finish.
Liz was preparing for a night out on the tiles with Dreary of all people. In reality Liz was checking out a particular wine bar which she had applied for a job managing. With Dreary in tow they decided to check out the venue in question. Jim of course was more than a little surly at the prospect but took himself down to the Rovers anyway.
Once at the wine bar they bumped into an exuberant Trish who was enjoying the company of some men on a stag night party. Liz and Dreary soon joined in the fun and danced with the group in a more or less innocent fashion. However lurking in the corner was none other than Jim pint in hand and eyes firmly locked on Liz's activity.
Fiona had experienced a lousy day which had been topped off with an argument with Tony. The argument revolved around him feeling he was being compared to Steve McDonald all the time. He stormed out declaring that they might as well finish their relationship. Thus Fiona spent a tearful night in until Maxine returned home. She was somewhat blasÈ until she saw Fiona had been crying. At that point she apologised for her misgivings of the previous few days. Thus Maxine was reinstated and they were friends again. Complete with a hug to confirm it.
Friday 9 February 1996
Tonight was something of a briskly moving episode with Jim still in a highly suspicious mood over the whereabouts and actions of his wife. He was using Bill as his confidante to convey his suspicions over Liz. As a matter of fact Liz was getting prepared for attending an interview for the post of manager at a wine bar. It would seem there was no ulterior motive involved in the situation.
Vera Duckworth was quizzing Sarah Louise over her proposed siting of Ivy's ghost. Sarah Louise seemed somewhat uncertain of her story when talking of the ghost to Vera. However thanks more to Vera's cajoling than anything else, Sarah Louise was soon back on track in believing that she had seen a vision from the other side. She was also given strict instruction to inform Vera if she saw anything else untoward occurring.
We also saw a surprise return from Denise the hairdresser tonight. She came back to the square more or less to tie up loose ends with Fiona and the salon. Also she was there to pick up some personal effects from Ken's house. It didn't take her long to get matters involving the salon sorted. It was obvious to her that Fiona and Maxine were making the salon tick over nicely and her input was scarcely needed anyway. Denise's next move was to get over to Ken's whilst he was at school to obtain some of her personal belongings which she had left behind in her somewhat hurried departure from the Street. She had anticipated entering an empty house however she was instead greeted with a most frosty reception from Ken. The only reason he was at home was because he was showing his new nanny (an ex- pupil) around his home and introducing her to Daniel. Denise timidly asked if she could get some of her clothes from upstairs. Ken, responding in the most mono-syllabic manner he could, gave her the green light to get her things. It was at this point she saw Daniel and began to break down at the site of him. She requested to hold him for a minute but found doing so too stressful. Thus she went upstairs to gather her things before leaving tearfully. Throughout the whole scene the usually compassionate Ken was as cold as ice.
Jim used his dinner break to go to the wine bar to check up on Liz. His suspicious nature which had already been working overtime was kicked into overdrive when he asked if there were any interviews being held there the barman said there were nothing of that nature happening. Later when Jim returned home you could tell his mood was simmering gently as he quizzed Liz about her day. It was almost like he was about to say something when she revealed the interviews had been held at another venue entirely. This shot Jim down in flames somewhat but did not quell his suspicions entirely.
Over at Audrey's the whole mob had been assembled for a family snapshot for Steven to take back to Canada with him. It was ample opportunity for Audrey to take over and fuss with everybody. For a time it looked like the photo might never get taken as Audrey fretted over how "big and huge" Alf was going to look in the picture. It wasn't aided any either when Sarah Louise blurted out how Vera had asked her to be secretive about any more sightings of Ivy's ghost. As you can imagine Gail had a face like thunder afterwards. The photo got taken but only after Alma had shown up on a mission to drag a very bored Steven away from the proceedings. They went out for a drink supposedly to discuss business but it seemed there was a little sparkle in Alma's eyes that meant more. Steven however seemed more interested in work though.
Monday 12 February 1996
Tonight was the night that the wheeling and dealing over Steve from Canada's contract was kicked into gear, due to the return of Steve McDonald and Vicky. We also saw another return in the shape of Ida Clough who was an old factory hand from the olden days of Baldwin's Casuals. Her renewed presence in the Street was caused by a visit to a supposedly depressed Vera. She thus wandered back into the Street armed with a box of chocolates for her ailing friend. However on her travels she soon discovered that people had been seeing none other than the ghost of Ivy doing the rounds in Coronation Street. This of course was still not sitting well in Gail's book and she made it clear to Vera that the ghostly gossip had to stop because she having a detrimental effect on Sarah Louise. Vera reluctantly agreed to call time on her theories over Ivy's ghost and the matter was seemingly settled. It was however almost unsettled straight away when Gail walked outside. She clapped eyes on a blonde haired woman standing outside the Brennan household. The woman supposedly bore a resemblance to Ivy from behind and prompted a startled cry of "Ivy" from Gail. The woman turned out to be someone harmlessly delivering leaflets of some kind which ushered a sigh of relief from Gail.
Ken's new nanny was starting her duties with Daniel in tonight's episode. Whilst proving to be quite capable of looking after children herself. The other residents of the Street namely the likes of Emily and Sally did like to keep their hands in.
Alma was arranging to see Steve from Canada again. Still on a strictly business basis yet tinged with a little sprinkling of attraction on Alma's behalf however. In fact this prompted comment from Audrey that she saw less of her son than Alma did.
Since his return Steve McDonald had not let the grass grow under his feet since his return. Quickly rediscovering the lay of the land and the prospect of a juicy contract. He set his sights on Steve from Canada's assistant. He performed something of a rather effective sales pitch in which he seemed to have covered all angles effectively when it came to selling himself. He even made suggestions to Vicky about the potential for expansion into more elaborate markets now the time was right.
Meanwhile it was cue for another return to the Street tonight. Namely this time none other than John the Hairdresser (remember the guy with the crap beard). It would seem he had entered into something of a reconciliation with his wife and as a result was now more inclined to buy the salon from Denise. This move shell shocked Fiona, who had only just got into the swing of running the salon only to be now told that she could be out of a job. This was especially distressing now that she had just trained Maxine to be rather efficient.
Wednesday 14 February 1996
Tonight Weatherfield gained it's own version of the Ghostbusters as Vera could contain her curiosity any longer, confiding in Betty her needs to contact the late lamented Ivy. She drew up assistance in the shape of Maud Grimes and they prepared to set off for Don's.
Alma was speaking to Steve in the Cafe and she received something of a pep talk from him on the subject of confidence. She revealed that she wasn't very good at revealing her feelings to people. She was still somewhat skittish around him and this made further suggestion of an attraction on her part. Gail seemed a bit left out in the proceedings.
It seemed obvious that Audrey is still somewhat miffed about being unable to spend as much time with her son as she would like. The situation was hardly enhanced when Mike joined them in the Rovers to talk business. It seemed he had managed to get the facts and figures together which Steve's assistant had wanted. However it was still not all plain sailing as Mike still had to cross the hurdle of Steve McDonald who was at the bar somewhat confident over his chances of stealing the deal.
Fiona had made a somewhat secretive plan of her own for the afternoon. She had involved Tony but would not say what she was planning other than that she required him to take her to the mystery location. Thanks to the grace of Mike, who was trying to impress Steve from Canada, Tony managed to get the afternoon off. They then went to see Denise of all people. Fiona's intent was to give Denise a piece of her mind which she duly did including dropping such gems into the conversation such as calling her a "cow". To her credit Denise took it all on the chin including comments made about her potential as a mother to Daniel. The tide turned however when Denise offered Fiona a chance to beat John the hairdresser to it when it came to getting the salon. She explained that although John was making the moves to get the let of the salon there was still time for her to make the necessary action to be one step ahead if she could raise a £4,000 for the weekend. Tony didn't look at this as a realistic option and instantly cried down the idea. However Fiona was resolute she would have a go at getting the salon.
Meanwhile Vera and Maud turned up at Don's whilst he was at work and pleaded with Josie to let them sit in and contact Ivy to see if they could set her soul at rest. Josie wasn't at all keen on the idea but finally when she had gotten sick of Vera's pestering she relented and Maud cracked out the candles. The two of them sat at the table whilst Josie looked on in bemused silence at the whole affair. Vera was rather comically donned in a black head scarf whilst Maud tried to incite the wrath of Ivy by insulting her. This of course made Vera somewhat shaky but she permitted Maud to go on anyway. They were almost "through to the other side" when and angry Don returned home. Don of course gave them short shrift and sent them packing going as far as throwing their candles and "summoning" materials in the bin. Maud however warned that Ivy was close and could visit at any time. Don mocked the idea and went outside into yard where he bumped into Percy almost making both of them jump out of their skin.
As a minor storyline Ken's new nanny seemed to be a bit of a stroppy so and so. Although she may simply be resenting interference from outside sources who mean well (Emily). Also Andy had a smile on his face as he seems to have got it together with Curly's assistant Ann Malone.
Friday 16 February 1996
One of the main points of the episode tonight was Fiona and the salon. She was attempting to raise the finance to buy the lease for a year. People seemed intent on wishing her well but when it came down to locating the hard cash things were not proving easy. She made an initial enquiry to the bank who flatly refused on the strength of her overdraft situation. At around the same Rita had at this point wished her and Maxine well in their venture this of course sparked an idea in Maxine's head.
Meanwhile the contract that Steve Roberts was offering was still up for grabs and Vicky and Steve were still more than intent to grab it if they possibly could. In fact Steve Roberts's assistant came to their premises to have a look at them and their product. She went away suitably impressed with what she saw.
In the Cafe Martin was running the show whilst Gail and Alma were away at the conference supplying the catering. Martin was somewhat harassed as Phyllis proved to be more interested in gossiping with the customers rather than doing her job. So Martin employed Roy from the flats to help him out in the kitchen. He utilised Roy's skills because he worked in the kitchen at a local hotel doing the breakfasts. Thus for the most part he seemed suitable for the job.
Following her knock back from the bank Fiona following a suggestion from Maxine went to have a word with Rita. Understandably Rita was most annoyed that Fiona should be presumptuous enough to simply come and ask for a loan on the strength of a word of encouragement. Fiona apologised profusely for her blunder but it made little difference.
Meanwhile the conference was just starting to warm up with Audrey taking full advantage of the drinks on offer. She was initially annoyed that Alf (complete with OBE) could not attend. However she soon settled into her rather annoying little niche of playing the braggart. Alma tactfully steered her out of any potentially embarrassing situations though.
Vicky attempted to make her mark with Steve Roberts when she spoke to him. Basically she presented a little mini sales pitch of herself and Steve to him. He seemed impressed but after speaking to his assistant she put him straight on the fact that Steve and Vicky's operation was somewhat low key and hardly as impressive as they had made out.
Back at the Salon Fiona was now meeting her brother Lee and using him as a sounding board as a potential investor in the salon. He was initially somewhat hesitant about the venture despite Fiona's insistence. Eventually he agreed to go on a years trial and he would stump up the cash. Thus it looks like Fiona was going to get the salon after all.
The conference was a success with Steve Roberts's speech being well received and the meal going down a treat as well. Afterwards everyone moved on to The Rovers where Steve expressed his gratitude to everyone, especially Alma who looked a trifle self conscious at this. Steve Roberts also took the opportunity to announce he had given the contract to Mike Baldwin.
Monday 19 February 1996
The house of Don Brennan was subject to an "exorcism" tonight. At least that's what it was intended to look like. With the assistance of one fake priest and a liberal sprinkling of mumbo jumbo terminology the house was "cleansed" much to the joy of Vera Duckworth who expressed her gratitude in the shape of a free hot pot lunch for the priest.
Liz confessed her burden of worries to Dreary over her near miss affair with Des Barnes. Liz showed concern over the deepening cracks in their marriage. This would be accentuated later by the fact Liz had "lent" Andy some money to pay Des back rent.
In fact all in all Jim's suspicious nature was running riot and this was becoming something of a bug bear with Bill. It seemed that Jim was devoting too much of his time to observing the actions of his wife. Whereas he wasn't devoting as much interest to his business partnership.
Don and the fake padre were enjoying a drink in the Rovers despite a little bit of intervention by Roy. After they left it was discovered that the priest had left his bag behind. After closing Jack couldn't resist taking a peek inside. Whilst looking inside despite the warnings of an increasingly nervous Vera Jack managed to break a chain that was in the bag. This kicked Vera's imagination into overdrive as she now "sensed" Ivy's presence in the Rovers. Thus the exorcism had merely transferred Ivy's spirit a few doors down.
Jim returned home to find his money missing and we discovered it had been saved for a reunion with his Army buddies. He was even more enraged to discover it had gone to Andy to pay his rent to Des. Jim of course began making all manner of cutting remarks regarding Des and Liz. Andy entered the scene offering to give the money back but it was to no avail.
There were scenes of interest at the Steven's company bash with congratulations being handed round on the success of the business venture. Alma was sounding out Steven's colleague on what he was like. Almost as if she was finding out his marital status. She then went up to her room. Steven entered innocently looking for his laptop. The two of them stood exchanging praise over how well their association had gone and the conversation was ended with Steven kissing Alma on the cheek. Except Alma wasn't simply having that and she planted a proper kiss firmly on his lips. Steven throughout the kiss looked somewhat perplexed and when Alma broke for air he explained it was not what he had been expecting. In other words he didn't seem at all interested in Alma. Thus somewhat flustered Alma rushed off back down to the party with Steven rushing after her.
On the way he bumped into Audrey who enquired what was going on. Steven turned on Audrey in a most snappy fashion almost like it was something he has been waiting to do since he arrived.
Wednesday 21 February 1996
The morning after the night before, with Alma mysteriously staying away from work with a hangover. The true reason, we know, is because of the pass that Alma made at Steven. This of course left Gail rushed off her feet at the Cafe, and Audrey who bore witness to events the previous evening in a highly suspicious mood. In fact Audrey had made it her mission to find out what had gone on the night before and set out to track down her son and Alma. Her first port of call being the Cafe and drawing a blank. Only finding a most vexed Gail dealing with the lunch time rush.
Over at the Rovers Vera was still in full flow about the spirit of Ivy and how she now believed that the spirit had now taken up residence in the pub. Jack of course was his usual jaded and disbelieving self. He maintained this impression until he spoke with Betty. Just in conversation she told him of a pub she and Billy had seen in Derbyshire with a ghost as a tourist attraction. This of course set Jack's mind working on using Ivy as a potential money spinning idea. So he went to have a word with Vera about how he had experienced a change of heart in his ideas.
Andy returned the borrowed money to Liz and revealed he had paid his debts to Des with a student loan. Liz at first wasn't happy with the idea but when put forward the argument that he had borrowed money from the student loan facility to quieten any arguments in their household she didn't argue. Jim of course was still highly suspicious of his wife's activities much to Bill's annoyance especially as it seemed to have become the only subject he could talk about these days.
Audrey meanwhile had voiced her opinions to Alf about what had "gone on" between Alma and Steven. Of course there were no foundation in any of her rumours but she was pretty confident that she was correct in her assumptions.
Mike Baldwin took the opportunity to visit Steve and Vicky at the print shop. Both of them looked suitably humbled as he entered as they expected him to give them their marching orders so he could set up for this newly established contract. Little did they know he intended to get some more premises for his venture as he stood to reap many business benefits through doing so.
Steven tracked Alma down and decided they needed to talk about what had happened the night before. Alma of course was most embarrassed by it all and it most definitely showed. Steven however was thoroughly decent about the whole thing and simply elected to make it appear as though the incident didn't happen.
By this time Jack had been working on Vera to get her blessing to promote the Rovers as a haunted pub. He was now using the argument that it could be the place where genuinely interested parties could come to see a real haunted pub.
There was something of a radically transformed Anne Malone tonight as she was shown off in her new capacity as Curly's assistant. She was obviously taking her new role to heart as she was even caught up in "shop talk" with Curly when she was supposed to be out on a date with Andy.
Audrey caught up with her son at the hotel and she made sure she got a private audience with him. She took the opportunity to confront Steven about his encounter with Alma. Steven merely chided her about jumping to incorrect conclusions. Audrey of course didn't believe his account and only seemed to partially believe him when he told her that it was *he* that had made the pass and not Alma.
Alma made an appearance at the Cafe just as it was about to close and confessed rather foolishly to Gail that she had made a pass at Steven at the previous night's function.
Friday 23 February 1996
Jack was doing his best to propagate the 'Ivy's Ghost' myth for material gain tonight. He had invited a press team around from the local newspaper to take photographs and do a story on Ivy. Their initial response was hardly favourable as they had little to go on. Jack however believed he could ply the reporters with drink to gain a decent slot in the newspaper. When it looked like a story wasn't in the offing Jack decided to spice things up a bit. He revealed (supposedly against his better nature) that he had in fact seen Ivy, and she was living down in the cellar amongst the barrels. In fact one time he even claimed he had seen her smiling at him whilst leaning over a barrel. This of course fired Vera's imagination no end and got the reporters a story.
Jim's suspicions about Liz continued to rise unabated despite the fact he had no evidence to prove to him otherwise. Jim and Bill were involved in a very important job working at an old people's home. Jim was basically questioning what Liz's movements would be throughout the day. In reply she informed she would be merely waiting for the electricity man to call.
Audrey cornered Alma for a quiet about Steven's supposed misconduct and in not to many words to apologise for him. Alma however did an about turn on Steven's behalf and came clean that she was the one who had made the pass. Audrey was shocked to say the least but her reaction wasn't covered in any depth.
Denise turned up to say goodbye (wot again ?) and to wish Fiona well as she took over the salon. Fiona however gave her a somewhat icy reception, and whilst the two were going their separate ways without bad blood, Fiona made it clear that there was no warmth between them.
Denise also turned up to say another goodbye to little Daniel. Kelly obviously looked worried that Denise might have come to seize her child but instead it was another chance for her to say goodbye to him.
Judy Mallet's mother entered the street looking for work specifically cleaning work if possible. Judy revealed that there could be work going in the Rovers so she went to find out more.
In the Rovers Vera was taking every opportunity to show off the printed article to the customers whilst in the meantime she had a discussion about Ivy with some of the regulars including Raquel. They all agreed on how quaint it was that the pub could be haunted. Raquel expressed concern however that she would perhaps find it a tad uncomfortable lying in bed at night with Ivy wandering around the pub. Josie of course wasn't so happy as her main concern was if the story continued to escalate people might start to want to know Ivy's story which would of course implicate Don.
Jim's suspicion had finally got the better of him and he stormed of the job because of it. Thus leaving Bill well and truly in the lurch. Jim arrived home to find Dreary minding the house as Liz had nipped out to do some shopping. Jim instructed Dreary to leave whilst he waited for her to return by now his imagination running completely wild.
Bill finally turned up in the Rovers and informed Liz that Jim had essentially become more of a hindrance than a help. Liz thus went home to find Jim waiting for her and he was not happy so he wasn't. Jim had been winding up to letting off his pent up anger all day and this was the opportunity. Whilst Liz stood somewhat dumbstruck Jim ranted on about how she had been out with her "fancyman" for the day. No matter how she tried Liz could not get a word in edgeways. Eventually she revealed she had been shopping for a "surprise" gift. Jim however was so well into his rant that nothing was stopping him now and he rolled on unchecked. Liz finally threw down a couple of tickets which had been the "surprise". Even now though Jim would not stop his accusations of her philanthropic behaviour and it wasn't until she revealed the destination was going to be to his mother's for a break that he finally shut up. He realised almost instantly what he had done and began to beg for forgiveness even breaking down in tears. Liz consoled but would she forgive him for his behaviour ?
Monday 26 February 1996
Jack was out to make a fast buck on the back of Ivy's ghost tonight by visiting Steve and Vicky at the print shop. The idea in mind was to print up some T-shirts which would affirm the Rover's as *the* haunted pub to visit. Vera however was still strong in belief that Ivy was truly knocking around in the Rover's itself.
Des was going away overnight leaving his flat in the capable hands of Andy who appeared to have made plans for the evening featuring Anne. Whereas Jim was trying to collar Andy into lending him his car for the Army reunion bash on Wednesday night. In fact Jim had already explained how Liz was going to be driving it for him while he would be getting paralytic.
Alma was still feeling down over her rebuttal from Steven despite all of Gail's attempts to cheer her up by taking her for a drink. Alma was even toying with the idea of telling Mike she had made a pass at Steven. Thankfully Gail talked her down from doing anything rash as she predicted it would reek untold damage on her marriage. I still can't help thinking Audrey will be the one to upset this particular applecart.
Trish discovered the cleaning job available in the Rovers and went to apply for it. Encountering Jack she persuaded him to put in a good word for her when it came to selecting a successful applicant. She also assured Jack that her violent ex-husband was now miles away. Meanwhile whilst Jack was making one promise to Trish. Vera was busy unwittingly interviewing and then employing Judy Mallet's mother. The interview gave Vera the opportunity to dust off her best plummy posh voice and lay the airs and graces on a bit thick. Of course Jack never got the chance to slip the good word in for Trish and the next thing you knew was Trish discovering she was not in with a chance on the job and then coming to threaten Jack. Whether there was any truth in this or not I don't know but odds on it was more than likely more of her characteristic hot air.
Courtesy of Steve and Vicky, Jack was now dressing up the staff in custom T-shirts which promoted the Rovers as the haunted pub. Jack thought nothing of stooping low enough to suggest Raquel's T-shirt would be better on her if it looked wet. Raquel was not particularly receptive to this idea and neither was Vera who was stood listening behind her.
Don and Josie however had finally had enough of the situation and decide it was time for Vera to know the truth. They explained that the exorcism at their house had been faked with a friend of Don's playing the padre. Vera didn't take it in at first but when she did she vented her anger on Jack. She took the liberty of dousing him with a pint (thus giving him the wet T-shirt he had wanted). Vera still seemed to believe Ivy was close by somewhere whilst Jack managed to persuade her that keeping the ghost theme would be a talking point for The Rovers.
Andy and Anne went round to the McDonalds for a meal and thankfully Jim managed to stay sober for the duration the meal. Pleasantries were exchanged but before the evening had worn on to any great extent Andy revealed that Anne had an early start in the morning. It would seem that this was news to Anne, as well until it was clear that Andy was trying to get her back to Des's place. That little idea went down like a brick in the ocean, with Anne giving him a verbal dressing down and leaving him standing alone.
Wednesday 28 February 1996
I think lively would be a good summary of tonight's episode. Opening up with Vera continuing her upper class act in front of her new cleaner. She was having to watch her P's and Q's diligently otherwise there was the odd slip back into her more traditional Weatherfield twang.
Vera was also maintaining her little feud with Don and Josie over the Ivy's Ghost scenario. Believing that they had been disrespectful to Ivy's memory and her religion she firstly had a slanging match with them, before dropping things down on to a strictly non-speaking basis. Even when they attempted to reconcile things later in the Rover's, the reception they received was somewhat frosty. Matters weren't helped by Roy doing his amateur "ghost busting" at the Rover's bar. He suggested that whilst Ivy wasn't there someone else might be.
Alma and Gail had something of a heart to heart in the cafe in tonight's episode. Alma was still reflecting over what happened (or didn't) between her and Steven. Gail, in an effort to let Alma know she could empathise with what she was going through, confided in her about her affair with Brian's cousin from Australia. Alma was shocked by the revelation and it seemed to stop her wallowing in the thoughts of Steven when she discovered one of her best friends had been in a similar situation. In the end Alma decided her life was with Mike and it seems she accepted that. Even to the extent where she decided it was time to plan a cosy evening in with him.
Raquel seemed to be settling into Bet Gilroy's shoes nicely tonight as she began orchestrating Anne's love life with Andy to some extent. Anne was in need of some advice over her recent experience with Andy. Raquel related her own experience of "slimeballs" in much the same way that Bet would have done if she were still around. Raquel's conclusion was that Andy was basically a nice guy and that she should give him another chance. So it seemed their romance was back on again with Andy looking decidedly sheepish.
Ken came home to find Kelly somewhat unwillingly entertaining her friends at his house. He walked in at precisely the moment one of her pals was asking questions about his personal life and specifically why Denise had gone. Ken was somewhat forgiving and didn't sack Kelly for her misdeeds. However Emily was still somewhat distrusting about her.
Jim was in good spirits as he prepared for the perennial highlight of his year, in the shape of an army reunion with his old buddies. Looking at the couple you would believe they were the happiest in the world. Liz of course was dressed up in an black backless number. Jim was also dressed smartly for the occasion, looking especially dapper in his blazer.
Thus they set off for the reunion and, if not for the heavy coverage this episode got before it's airing, you might have thought it was just going to be another "Jim gets pissed and makes a fool of himself episode". However things would shortly get out of hand as they mingled with the other ex-soldiers. One particular soldier called Johnny made his presence felt quickly. He was a close friend of Jim's throughout their career in the forces. Initially they exchanged small talk and the impression was quickly given that Johnny had been something of a Jack The Lad character. Judging by the looks that were being exchanged between him and Liz you could believe that there was some history between them as well. Jim by this point was somewhat worse for wear. However he was still coherent enough to respond to the remarks that Johnny made about Liz being "the barrack's pin up girl" all those years ago.
Coupled with the fact that there seemed to be some flirtation going on between Johnny and Liz, Jim's temper seemed to be burning on a shorter and shorter fuse with each and every passing minute. Liz managed to read the signals and made excuses about them leaving. As they drove home Jim's temper continued to simmer as Liz attempted to dissuade him from any topic of conversation which might involve infidelity. However Jim continued his line of questioning which revolved around accusations and insinuations of affairs especially with Johnny. This angered Liz who tried to not to rise to Jim's baiting. However, after he persisted in bringing up Liz's past it proved to be the final straw and Liz angrily snapped at Jim an admission over having an affair with Johnny many years ago. She seemed instantly apologetic and remorseful over the admission. Jim however began something of an emotional rant over the fact that she could have a fling with his best friend. Jim's ranting then got to an almost unintelligible state until suddenly he jumped out of the now stationery car.
He proceeded to storm around to the other side of the vehicle. He was still screaming at Liz and ordering her out of the car. When she wouldn't get out he opened the door and man-handled her out and pushed her against the side of the car. At this point he was proceeding with a stream of abuse and seemed most insistent that she was a "whore". He then took his hand to her, knocking her down to the ground before jumping into the car and driving off leaving Liz to look somewhat dazed as the car drove away.