4378 - Wednesday 1 April 1998
You have to ask yourself whether going to prison is actually a more unpleasant experience than watching Dreary in prison. This tedious storyline continues to drag on tonight seeing the goggle eyed one even starting to get on the nerves of Jackie, the woman she shares a cell with.
She was still nursing her "Woe is me" attitude and as a result almost ended up facing a throttling from her cell mate played in the usual OTT fashion that Margie Clarke typifies. Of course April Fool's Day made things harder for her as she was taken in by Jackie's prank which involved telling Dreary that she would be invited down to the community pool and jacuzzi later that day. Would even Dreary be that naive ?
Back in the Street there was some dodgy acting from Kevin and Sally as well as their seemingly idyllic marriage began to start showing cracks in the patchwork. Kevin continued to bless the ground Sally walked on now obstacle Chris was out of the way. He even went as far as to suggest that they have another child together. Trust Kevin to expect a quick fix solution to everything by popping out another baby. This of course didn't help matters but instead it hindered them judging by Sally's negative reaction.
Leanne did a paper round today and managed to botch the job up completely. It earned her a verbal warning from Rita and if she did anything else wrong she would have to ship out and find gainful employ elsewhere.
She blamed her inattentive behaviour at work on the fact that Zoe's baby was up screaming all day and every day (and night). She was sure the baby was being neglected. It didn't help that Judy Mallett overheard this scenario and was keen to stick her nose into the affairs of the child that had once been hers.
Speaking of Battersby folk, Les was being followed around by a clean cut gentleman looking to find out more about who Les was. He finally tracked him down only to get some very suspicious treatment from Les who thought he might be connected to the DSS. There was a connection of some sort there but....what!
Mike was rumbled on the subject of the missing £10,000 he had used to pay Frankie Stillman and the accountant for the services of freeing Dreary. Angie was livid her partner was using company funds in such a whimsy manner and was expecting him to fix the matter double quick.
Hayley announced to Roy she had received a sizeable inheritance from her father's estate and as a result would be travelling abroad to have her surgery to transform her completely into a woman. Roy was supportive and in truth was going to miss his companion of late and bought her a going away present.
All in all : O.K not nearly as sharp as it should be though.
4379 - Friday 3 April
While the Dreary support team consisting of Ken, Emily and Mike kicked into gear there were to be other repercussions in the Street tonight. Starting with the well dressed stranger turning up on the doorstep of the Battersby household again.
The man went by the name of Greg and after talking to Toyah he received short shrift from Les. In fact it was all looking like it might turn out a bit nasty when Greg announced he was Les's son. Les was surprised to say the least but wouldn't believe word of Greg's story. However it did start him thinking....
Judy began worrying about the well being of Zoe's baby. The stress of her worry was beginning to manifest itself in Gary's unhappiness. It was also annoying Zoe who faced criticism all round for her poor child care abilities when it came to Shannon/Katy.
The big bang story line however was down to Alma tonight. She discovered by accident via the gossip grapevine that Mike was footing the bill for Dreary's defence. She was horrified to discover £10,000 had been used so far and went to see Mike to find out what was going on.
Mike had little defence of his own as Alma laid into him verbally. She had cooked up the idea in her head that because Mike was defending Dreary he must have been having an affair with her for the last 10-15 years. Now while those might have history the truth was in fact nothing like she thought.
The warring couple had a showdown on the factory floor and Alma even insinuated Liz had been employed for some macabre "groupie" status to tide Mike over while his regular bit was in prison. Needless to say the gossip spread like wildfire through the Street with the likes of Vera and Alma rattling off rumours at a rate of knots.
It did spell one thing quite clearly though. Alma saw this latest betrayal as the end of her marriage to Mike. She had endured enough of his lies and half truths and felt she could no longer trust him again..... ever.
All in all : Good
4380 - Sunday 5 April
Once again something of a limited episode with mainly bad repercussions for the people involved. There was the obligatory prison scenes with Dreary kicking off as per usual with her "I didn't do it" routine. It's about time she settled down and got her head round the situation. I'm sure in real life her cell mate wouldn't have been as forgiving.
The warden decided to put a stop to Dreary's whining with something of a practical joke. She led Dreary to believe that an appeal had been granted for her and she would go to the hearing that afternoon. In truth however this "hearing" was merely the warden leading her down to the doors of the prison to give her a good talking to. She explained to Dreary that she had better get her head back together for her own sake or her stay would be a nightmare.
Meanwhile in the Street we had to listen to the caterwauling of Alma as she railed against the injustices of Mike's support of Dreary. Over and Over we had to hear about how little she felt loved and how Mike had done the dirty on her by thinking of his "girlfriend" Dreary first.
It was all about to get worse for Mike though as Angie turned up on his doorstep wanting a chat. He decided it might be better for them to talk at the office. Angie explained that she wanted out of the Underworld partnership because some hot shot design firm in London had offered her a top in house design job.
Needless to say Angie was up for the job but she needed to square things with Mike first. He couldn't stand in her way but buying her out of the partnership might be difficult at the moment. It was decided that Angie would remain a sleeping partner in the company.
Les finally admitted on the strength of some good evidence that the mysterious Greg was his son. The two of them had a chance to talk to each other and it turned out that Les had been working on the fairgrounds in the 70's when he had a week long fling with Greg's mother. Greg's mother had fell pregnant but by the time Les had moved on for the season and he was never to be seen again.
Back home Alma was once again rowing with Mike about the Dreary situation. It was the same old retread of Alma's disgust in Mike for his lack of commitment to their marriage. Mike was listening to this conversation but then noticed that there was a message waiting for him on the answering machine.
It was Dreary getting all weepy and woeful asking nay begging Mike to get her out of prison and if he didn't succeed she would kill herself. Alma was not impressed and told Mike if he went to see her she might not be home when he got back...
All in all : Tedious, I was watching the clock hoping it would end.
4381 - Monday 6 April
Dreary was once again in her cell mewling at the world as ever as her poor cell mate Jackie had to put up with her whingeing ways. The sooner she got her head around her situation the sooner all and sundry could get some peace.
Alas things were no quieter on the outside as Alma finally sickened enough of Mike's behaviour to the extent that she began packing her bags to leave him. His attitude continued to be unbearable as he obsessed about Dreary and her predicament all the time.
In fact speaking of Mike his skullduggery would reach even new depths tonight. As we know Mike's partner Angie had been offered a top fashion job in London. Mike decided to throw his spanner in the works and rang up her new prospective boss to try and arrange some sort of severance deal to make him more financially solvent. This could have jeopardised Angie's chances with the job but luckily she managed to cool the situation down somewhat.
Mike finally got to see Dreary in prison only to discover her mental condition had deteriorated completely. She simply sat staring into space with rubbing her hands on the table in the manner of someone who had gone through what looked like a complete breakdown.
She was taken to the prison's infirmary where she was put under heavy sedation and kept on a 15 minute suicide watch. It seemed things had now gone from bad to worse and worse again.
There was another storyline brewing nicely as well with Zoe and Shannon as the focal point. Zoe was clearly neglecting her daughter as she sat around smoking cigarettes in front of the child all day. Everyone and their aunt could see or rather hear the child had a distressing cough and a significant wheezing to her breathing.
Ashley showed concern about her well being but Zoe was annoyed when he booked her an appointment at the clinic. It was like she felt he was interfering however if the truth be told he was responsible for most of her care when it came to feeding and changing.
With this news out and about the Malletts took it upon themselves to call the social services and report Zoe to the care officers who dealt with cases of neglect.
The Battersbys including the new addition handsome clean cut Greg got together in the Street for a good old knees up. Janice was away at her mother's house so she was conspicuously absent. Could it just be my mind working overtime but I could have sworn there was hints of attraction between Greg and Leanne....nah, surely not ?
The night ended with a weary Mike Baldwin returning home to find his tiresome long suffering wife Alma had left him. She was bunking up with the gerbil about town Gail who if you don't mind me saying so is getting as nosey as her mother Audrey these days. Is she truly a friend or confidante or first to stick her nose in to other people's affairs....
All in all : Not Bad
Watching Dreary play the breakdown case was hilarious. I'm sorry but she just hasn't got the acting ability to...well....act :)
4382 - Wednesday 8 April
There was a campaign in the offing tonight as Spider and Emily along with the help of young tear away Toyah planned a demonstration on behalf of Dreary outside the law courts.
Ken wasn't so sure about the action as he thought they might be better employed with a letter writing effort to get things started. This was too soft an approach for the likes of hardline Spider and he enlisted the likes of loud mouth Vera to do his campaigning with him.
Mike was truly sorry for the actions that had driven his wife away from his side. In fact he spent the best part of the day making peace with people he had upset such as Angie. His attempts to track Alma down however were futile as she was busy shopping with Audrey.
Idle Zoe was whining about the heavy burden of responsibility she was carrying with her baby Shannon. The rather ridiculous Judy Mallett came up with an idea tonight that might as well have been beamed live and direct from Mars in the respect it was so silly.
She suggested that she and Gary look after Shannon/Katy on a semi permanent basis. In that respect she would get the freedom she craved while still being able to look in on her daughter whenever she liked. It was not a good idea in Ashley's book and he found the whole idea distasteful to the extreme and wasted no time in telling Zoe just that.
Les sat down for a quiet drink with Greg to talk about their relationship. Les got drunk while Greg methinks began to see his father for what he truly was. In fact to top it all Les even borrowed money off Greg to pay for the housekeeping money he had blown on beer the night before.
The campaign outside the law courts didn't go incredibly well. There was only a handful of people there including Toyah who should according to Ken have been at school. She told Ken she was on a free period kind of like the ones teachers use for "drinking coffee and having sex" a classic line from the young bright spark if ever there was one.
Judy and Gary looked like they would be arguing before too long over the care of Katy/Shannon. Gary was of the opinion it was a fool hardy idea and the only tears that would be shed as a result would be Judy's.
The night ended with Mike pleading with Alma to come home. She had decided however enough was enough and they no longer had a marriage worth saving. It was a reaction Mike hadn't been expecting.....
All in all : O.K to Good
4383 - Friday 10 April
Tonight's episode raked over the coals of the not so long dead storyline of Judy, Gary & baby Katy. Judy of course was overjoyed to have the child back in her life to some degree but it was causing Gary some problems. He could see the evidence that Judy might get possessive once again if she was over exposed to the child and decided it might be a good idea to tell Zoe just that.
Hence he paid her a visit and told her to stay clear of Judy as he thought it might be hurting his wife. The manipulative Zoe however told Judy this at the first opportunity. No row resulted of this but you could see their was a possible problem looming on the horizon.
Dreary's campaign seemed to be falling apart at the seams as well. Ken wasn't too interested in continuing the march outside the courts and Emily was forced to admit they had met with limited success. Their options were limited and it didn't help the fact that Dreary's mental state was one showing signs of severe mental stress.
Alma returned to Mike on the grounds that he stop funding Dreary's defence. He wasn't happy with the idea but it was the only way to save his marriage from complete breakdown. So it was with heavy heart he told Ken and Emily he was pulling his backing from the case. It was something that worried Ken as he had visited her that day and her morale was at an all time low.
Les showed himself up as always in front of his family. He sat in the house like a spoilt child waiting for the return of Janice so she could cook them some dinner. Janice however was looking after her sick mother so she wouldn't be home anytime soon. Les wailed and whined and caused such a scene that Greg ventured to the chip shop to alleviate their hunger. It was clear his new found father was painting a grotesque picture of himself.
The night ended on a better note for Dreary though as Ken received a visit from a woman who claimed to know John Lindsay from his dim and distant past and she might have the ability to shed some light on his devious activities and maybe save Dreary into the bargain...
All in all : OK-ish
4384 - Sunday 12 April
Tonight was a turning point for Dreary as Ken's visitor turned out to be none other than an unwitting victim of John Lindsay. She explained a sorry tale of credit card fraud and debts up to her eyeballs. However there was an additional twist in her scenario.....John had married her under an assumed name.
Ken kicked into gear straight away and got on to his arch enemy Mike who in turn spoke to Frankie Stillman about the matter. As you can imagine this sent Alma up the wall. Here she was trying her hardest to try and keep her marriage in one piece yet here comes another body blow to the marital vows.
Meanwhile Greg was drinking with Les(for a change). There was resentment in the air a plenty from Toyah who was trying to throw a spanner in the works for the budding father and son relationship. Anyway things got so bad Greg and Les retired to the Rovers to continue their session. However in walked Maxine and before you could "man hungry hairdresser" there was electricity manifesting between them in the form of flirtatious looks. They would the evening heading off to a night club together. (Isn't Maxine easy) :)
Steve and Fiona were having a night out and talking about their future. The relationship was still at something of an uncertain level and both were playing it very cautious before making a big commitment to anything.
At Mike's place Ken had turned up with John's mystery woman Mary and was now in talks with Frankie. It looked promising that they could get the result they wanted from the courts this time and honest John would be behind bars at last.
Zoe found herself on the receiving end of criticism from Leanne and Nicky who could no longer stand the constant wailing of baby Shannon. It caused a few upsets especially when Leanne suggested that she give the baby back to Judy Mallett who incidentally had been on sycophantic form lurking round the house again in her quest to snatch some more precious seconds with the child she had almost called her own.
Les was trying to recapture his lost youth by listening to Deep Purple records. He was also showing signs of being keen to meet the woman who was the mother of his only son. Could it be the villa in Spain and the healthy bank account that was attracting.... damn right it would :)
Of course no episode would be complete without Dreary screaming and bawling her innocence at the top of her lungs. The guards including the Cell Block H refugee warden decided the best thing to do was sedate. It was blissful to see Dreary doing her best acting of the night...when she was asleep.
The night more or less ended on good terms with Steve and Fiona deciding that the best thing they could do for each other is live together. It was what they both wanted and they could now finally be a happy little family unit..... for how long though ?
All in all : OK
4385 - Monday 13 April
More celebration from the Weatherfield mob as they all got confident about securing a release for Dreary. Of course Alma was once again at boiling point but somehow managing to keep herself in check. However Dreary was unsure which earth she was on considering the amount of calming drugs she was being kept on.
Les was keen to keep in touch with his son Greg and went looking for his son when he was found not to be taking calls on his mobile at the hotel he was staying at. One thing was clear however he had enjoyed a nice evening with Maxine after leaving the Rovers the other night.
There was still annoyance in the air over the constant racket Shannon was making. Zoe was still claiming that 24 hour a day noise and racket was the norm with children and it was just something she would have to get out of her system.
The big story crept up on the viewer without warning though as Nicky went to college for another day of learning. The subject today would be a general lecture about prison and the harsh realities to be found inside.
Questions were being fielded by a current prisoner serving time in Strangeways for murder. As we watched we learned he had killed a man in a nightclub brawl nine years earlier. The man had been a garage mechanic aged about 30 year from Weatherfield... none other than Nicky's father Brian Tilsley!
Nicky sat through the lesson in horror as the man expressed regret for his actions and the hurt he had caused a family. Nicky said nothing to the man but later that day spoke to Gail in a bid to find out the truth about what had happened to his father.
The story was retold about how during a bad patch in their marriage Brian had took to going out drinking alone at night clubs. He had picked up a woman inside and while waiting for a cab that night she had been attacked by a gang of lads. Brian stepped in and got stabbed for his troubles. What Nicky's next move was uncertain but this renewed interest in what had happened made me think this was no fleeting storyline.
Des meanwhile was out and about causing friction in the Rovers for Sam and Natalie. He was making out that Nat had invited him into the pub for a drink just to make Sam's hackles rise but all he did was annoy Natalie rather than his intended target Sam.
Speaking of Rovers Return staff Jack was suffering with a bad leg. This had been going on for some time now and while Alec made light of the matter Vera was concerned and booked an appointment at the Doctors.
Meanwhile a downcast Dreary was fed new hope by Mike about a possible release. Of course Warden Veach who was now becoming her nemesis told her to not get any fancy ideas about getting out any time soon. The two of them also clashed over the fact that Veach hadn't been passing on messages to Dreary.
All in all : OK
4386 - Wednesday 15 April
Tonight was a bad night and a half for poor Jack Duckworth as his scheduled trip to the doctors surgery came due. After suffering with leg pains he took the trip to see his new doctor who incidentally was a woman. Jack clearly felt uncomfortable with her but not as uncomfortable as he would feel in a short while when she had examined him.
She explained the problems with his legs were caused by the constant abuse he had given his body over the years. His diet which consisted so much of fried food. His drinking habits which consisted of constant excess. His smoking which consisted of two packs a day. All these things had narrowed his arteries and left him in a poor physical shape which was not to be sniffed.
He would either have to shape up or potentially lose a leg or perhaps even die. It was a choice that upset Jack because his pleasures in life seemed to come from doing things that are bad for you. On getting back to the Rovers to start his new life (after a final whisky binge) Jack and Alec had a bet he wouldn't last the week without a cigarette.
Nicky was in a distant mood punctuated by irritable behaviour with Leanne because of his recent discovery about his father's murderer. She hadn't been told about what had happened and so thought she was in the wrong. Alas the scenes were let down by his lousy acting because whenever she gave him a telling off he just sat there with that ridiculous camp smirk on his face. Hardly the reaction of a newlywed who was experiencing the first throes of an argument from his wife.
Then there was Zoe lumping Shannon/Katy on Judy. Of course Judy didn't mind because she is still living on another planet where she is truly Shannon/Katy's mother and nothing and nobody can come between them. However back on the planes of her reality life's not like that and she is essentially being lined up for a nasty fall.
Moving on to the Battersbys and their latest addition. Greg was in the throes of a sensitive new man kind of chat up scenario with Maxine which seemed to be working because the lights seemed to come on upstairs as he started talking. Cue the entrance of Weatherfield's wonder slob Les Battersby. He plonked himself in the middle of a private conversation between the two would be lovers.
Within moments he had scrounged a drink and a meal out of his son and managed to annoy the hell out of both him and Maxine. It seemed clear he didn't want the two of them together. It must spoil his exclusive rights to Greg's time or something.
Of course then we had Jim with his bitter little cat calls towards his son Steve when he saw him and Fiona out walking baby Morgan. Fiona wanted the dust settling and the two of them on good terms again but it was no good. Jim had started and finished the day in a drunken stupor which made communication impossible....predictable...noooooo (sarcastic mode off).
So we toddle off to the local prison where we find Dreary climbing the walls in desperation for her release from the jail. Warden Veech has rapidly become something of a clone of old "vinegar tits" from the Australian soap Prisoner Cell Block H. She spent the best part of the episode winding Dreary up and trying to goad her into a temper.
She didn't get the result she wanted but she made the mistake of letting Jackie get upset on her friend's behalf. One swift punch in the bread bin later and Veech was on the deck and Jackie was looking at an additional six months inside.
Of course it wasn't all bad news because Frankie Stillman had presented new evidence to the police and they had pulled John Lindsay into the station and were now getting ready to throw the book at him. Of course this sent the haggard Alma into another jealous frenzy..if she's going to leave him why doesn't she stop talking the talk and as they say...walk the walk.
All in all : Bit tedious
4387 - Friday 17 April
A mixture of triumph and tragedy tonight in equal measures starting with some good news. Judy Mallet who has for a long time been in danger of getting on my bad side woke up feeling pregnant. A little mental hunch gave her the inkling she might be with child and the Malletts were ecstatic when a home test and a doctor's examination proved them to be right.
Of course some care and attention had to be shown as biology dictates that a pregnancy can go wrong within the first three months when the chance s of miscarriage are at their highest. However for now the two of them were keen to celebrate their news with each other.
Jack's quest to kick smoking was being hampered by Alec Gilroy who was perched on his shoulder like some devilish little imp offering nicotine temptation every five minutes. He took delight in blowing smoke in Jack's face and offering a ciggy whenever he himself smoked. Vera however averted his temptation and invested in some nicotine patches for her struggling husband and their bet soldiered on.
It was good news for Dreary as well tonight as John Lindsay was charged and she was granted bail. Her ordeal was over and she was free to go although I expected a better send off from the likes of Jackie and at least some kind of witty putdown for the evil Warden Veech who had made her life a living hell for so long now.
A waiting party consisting of Ken and Mike was outside and they all went back to the Street together. Dreary ever grateful for her freedom courtesy of Mike couldn't thank her saviour enough but elected to stay with Ken for the time being.
As she left however we saw a much more sullen face as John Lindsay was being led into the prison wearing handcuffs looking decidedly nervous with a day or so's stubble on his chin. Penance at last for the man who keep Dreary under lock and key with his web of lies.
Jim meanwhile was on the slip road to oblivion city as his drinking got worse. Liz tried to snap him out of his terrible frame of mind but Jim was well and truly dug in at the bottom of a beer glass and nothing could motivate him to climb out.
Nicky finally decided it was time to break the silence between him and Leanne and explain what had been happening between him and his mother over the last few days. The secretive conversations had been driving Leanne to distraction and it was time she knew the truth. After all she is his wife and I think that would make her deserving of an explanation.
Hence he arranged to baby sit for Shannon who had been feeling under the weather for the last few days so that he and Leanne could have the house to themselves. He arranged a take away and some wine and promised this time would be theirs.
In the Rovers it was party time with Mike the conquering hero and Dreary the homecoming queen. She thanked Mike once again for his incredible generosity while Alma steamed quietly in the corner. She then planted a big kiss on Mike which (if you didn't know better) looked rather less than innocent if I'm going to be honest. It was in full view of Alma and she looked shocked and less than happy.
As this happened Nicky was explaining to Leanne about how he had recently seen the man who killed his father and how he felt so much pent up anger inside over the man who had took so much from his life at such a young age. Leanne tried to console Nicky but then Shannon started to cry....
Leanne wandered upstairs only to shoot downstairs like a bolt of lightning. Shannon was ill...seriously ill, she was being violently sick and her colour was changing from healthy pink to a worrying blue. Nicky sprinted home to get Martin only to find he was out and nowhere to be found. His nursing training could have made such a vital difference.
His next port of call was the Malletts. He banged furiously on their door and then burst in and in hurried tones explained what was going on over the road. An ambulance was already on it's way and as Ashley and Zoe walked up the road to come home they saw it pull up in front of their house.
Judy was coming out with Shannon in her arms obviously too distraught to talk. The child was motionless, wrapped in blankets looking to all intents and purposes like she was asleep. However it was clearly much worse than that and Zoe could clearly tell as she started to cry....
All in all : Good Episode
Much stronger than recent ones. It's nice to see the Malletts happy because it suits them much better than when they are rowing. However it was of course tempered by what involved them at the end.
4388 - Sunday 19 April
Tonight was dominated by the tragic death of baby Shannon the daughter of Zoe. The repercussions were felt by all who had been involved in the child's life. We saw Zoe and Ashley along with Judy Mallet return from the hospital visibly shocked by all that had gone on in the last 24 hours. It was at that point that we discovered that Zoe had more people on her side than we could ever have realised.
The death naturally affected Judy quite badly after all she had looked after Shannon for a good portion of her short life. The news also brought the likes of Fred Elliott out of the woodwork to console his nephew Ashley and his girlfriend. One of his motivations it has to be said was guilt.
He had always been dead set against the idea of Ashley and Zoe being together. However now they faced the hardest time of their lives he wanted to be there for them. He offered to pay the funeral expenses and explained that anything they needed would be there for them whenever they wanted it.
On a lesser note we saw Alec and Jack continuing their little smoking/non smoking feud. Alec as ever was determined not to play fair and lay temptation at Jack's feet with every opportunity
In the end after leaving a lit cigarette in an ashtray Jack had a quick drag on the sly. It wasn't made clear however Whether one drag constituted him losing the bet or not.
Then we had Ken who dropped a serious faux pas with Dreary. He seemed to think because Dreary was a free woman she might want to consider a relationship with him.
In truth however Dreary was more horrified at the prospect than anything else. She wanted her life back and it didn't include having Ken on a romantic basis.
It was a heartbroken Zoe who ended the night lying on the floor weeping over her loss. It was clear that what had happened had broken her completely.
All in all Very Good
One of the hardest hitting story lines possible in a soap and Corrie did seem to manage it quite well.
Gary and Ashley's chat was one of the show's more touching moments. However everyone managed to pull off good performances.
4389 - Monday 20 April
Tonight was based more or less around the funeral of Shannon. An understandably sombre event which was upsetting for all those who were involved in the small child's life. What made the whole event that much harder for Zoe to cope with is the fact that Shannon's biological father Liam was absent from proceedings although Ashley did try and convince him to come to the funeral.
Elsewhere things were more or less getting on as usual. Jack was like a bear with a sore head thanks to his nicotine withdrawal. He even took to slapping loads of nicotine patches on his skin to try and conquer the cravings that were making his life a misery. In the end though his will wouldn't be enough and he would succumb to a crafty cigarette outside the Rovers only to be caught red handed by Alec.
As a result Jack would lose his money in the bet he had with Alec but the big question is would Vera ever get to find out ?
Meanwhile tonight saw Ken getting decidedly narked about the fact that Dreary had rebuffed his advances the night before. Incidentally she was now planning on moving in with Liz for an all girls together flat sharing experience. Liz figured that Dreary's "hordes" of male admirers might rub off on her and she might eventually find a man. I would question any man would consider going out with either of them.
Anyway back to Ken, his mood turned distinctly nasty and dare I say spiteful in light of recent events. He had begun to propagate a theory about how Dreary might have secret yearnings for Mike Baldwin. It didn't help that he confessed his theory to the already paranoid Alma Baldwin who had just lived through what seemed to be a continuous "Free Dreary" hell.
Her suspicions were further aggravated when insensitive clod Mike decided now that Angie was gone he might offer Dreary a job as her replacement. Does the man have no sense or has he just got a very short memory. It was only a few weeks ago that Dreary allegations were being bandied left right and centre. Does he really want that little lot raking over again.
The funeral of Shannon occurred off screen and we rejoined the procession at the house of Ashley and Zoe. The grieving parents had requested some time alone at the site of the grave and as a result everyone had got back to the house before them. It was a traditional funeral type affair with a buffet and plenty to drink but I was surprised at some of the guests that were present.
We had the obvious ones like Fred and Nicky and Leanne and Judy. However from there on in we had people like Rita and Gail who had very little connection with Zoe or Shannon for that matter. It got a little stranger when I started noticing the likes of Curly and Sam in the room as well. I don't think they have ever said more than two words to Zoe in the whole time she has been around.
The strain began to tell on Leanne after all she must have felt like she was carrying a heavy burden of guilt right about now. She broke down in tears and was consoled by Gail of all people who had until that moment been her arch enemy. Gail even offered the two of them a room at her house until things calmed down but it was kindly declined.
Zoe and Ashley did reappear at the wake. However Zoe was not in the mood for people and her grief made her lash out verbally at anyone who was within range of her. Fred despite his good intentions took the brunt of her verbal assault as she accused him of arranging the funeral to ease his own conscience.
One by one people got the message and left the house leaving Ashley and Zoe alone in their grief. It was becoming clear that while Zoe might be having a hard time. Ashley's feelings seemed to be getting pushed to one as a result and perhaps it was time people realised he was suffering as well.
All in all : Good
4390 - Wednesday 22 April
A rather pedestrian episode of the Street tonight which dealt with Zoe's somewhat understated grief over the death of her child Shannon. We also saw how it was starting to eat at Judy Mallett as she felt guilt over her pregnancy and fought her desire to tell Zoe about her condition.
Then we had something of a showdown between an unsuspecting Dreary and a somewhat annoyed Alma. Ken's stirrings had muddied the waters between them as he had insinuated that something was going on between Mike and Dreary.
Alma decided to take the bull by the horns and went to see Dreary over at Liz's flat while she was out at work. She asked outright what was going on only to be furnished with a somewhat bemused answer from Weatherfield's most famous jailbird.
Dreary swore blind she was in no way connected to Mike romantically and swore on the memory of her late husband Samir that she was telling the truth. Alma seemed to believe this and tempers cooled considerably as a result.
Jack's secret smoking was finally found out by Vera thanks to the manipulations of Alec Gilroy. Still Jack had been more than a touch blatant smoking in the back yard only a few feet from his wife indoors. Vera angrily swore she would get Jack off the cigarettes if it was her last move.
Speaking of anger we saw Janice return tonight only to be confronted by the news of Les's long lost son Greg. It went down as well as the Titanic and she stormed out of the pub in a rage. What hurt her was the fact that she was the last to know and if anything she thought Greg might be pulling a fast one.
Jim was drinking like a madman. The fact that he had no money for drinks wasn't a problem as everyone seemed to be subsidising him. In the end Liz approached Steve asking, nay begging him to give his father work. Steve refused to help though. He was content to see his father suffer......
All in all : O.K
4391 - Friday 24 April
A steady episode tonight preoccupied a good deal with the issue of smoking or rather Jack's smoking. He was still sneaking the odd crafty cigarette outside the Rovers without Vera knowing despite all the knowledge he had about how it would affect his health if he continued.
Vera's concern about this had grown to the extent that she decided drastic action should be taken. She began polling customers with the idea of making the Rovers a non smoking public house. This idea was met with a mixed reaction from the obvious divided factions of smokers and non smokers.
Alec was worried about how the action would affect trade and Jack if he was honest realised for once that his old sparring partner Gilroy was in the right.
Meanwhile Liz pleaded with Steve to give Jim a job on the building site where he was now working. Steve was against the idea on account of the bad blood between the two of them. However Liz persuaded him that it might save Jim from heading even deeper into his perpetual state of inebriation than he was already.
Nicky had elected to seek some form of retribution against the man who killed his father. He knew a release date from prison was imminent but couldn't be sure exactly when that date was going to be. He asked Leanne i she would write to him under the guise of a pen pal to discover when he actually became a free man. Leanne was unsure about doing this but in the end she agreed so she could help her husband.
Zoe meanwhile was slipping deeper and deeper into an understandable depression. It wasn't helped when the well meaning Judy Mallet saw fit to tell her she was pregnant. All this did was fire up feelings of resentment in the grieving mother and not even Ashley could do anything to change her mood.
Alma apologised for her accusations to Mike about a supposed adultery with Dreary. With this matter cleared up Mike was free to offer her a job at his factory. However with all the wagging tongues flapping around at the moment Dreary decided she would be better off standing on her own two feet.
Mike was astonished that his offer would be turned down but decided to tell Alma that he had decided against offering Dreary the job on account of avoiding Dreary becoming dependent on him. It was of course a lie like so many of Mike's other and one way or the other he will get found out in the end.
Vera finally realised her dream of a smoke free pub was a doomed one at best and admitted defeat. She explained her motives to Jack in the respect that she didn't want to see him die younger than he had to through his addiction to cigarettes. This gave Jack food for thought and he decided if his own wife was truly that worried about him then the least he could do was make a true effort to kick his habit.
Jim ended up having an up and down sort of day. The upside was that he managed to get a job with Kevin at the garage starting the following week. The downside being that he decided to go up to the building site to tell Steve to stick his job. Why is this a downside I hear you ask ?
Well the two of them ended up having a slanging match a couple of floors up with Steve once again calling his father pathetic. Jim's temper boiled over and he flew at Steve and the two of them ended up brawling. Steve tried to manoeuver his father away from him in self defence when he suddenly spun round and lost his footing and fell through a gap in the scaffolding.
That was the down part of the day for him....two or three floors to be precise. Jim's landing spot incidentally was a skip which I hasten to add is probably the best place for him. Anyway as the credits rolled we were left with an image of the burly Irishman lying still with a tell tale trickle of blood coming from his mouth.
All in all : O.K
4392 - Sunday 26 April
An interesting little episode tonight with a few plot lines starting to develop. Starting off however with Jim's failed impression of Superman as he was rushed to the hospital following his plunge from the scaffolding at Steve's building site.
He was still out cold when he arrived and immediately Steve began hiding the truth of the tale from all and sundry when he was questioned. The boy might have been better off telling the truth but then again that isn't usually in his nature is it.
Then we had Jack Duckworth and his no smoking agenda. Vera was keeping close tabs on her husband to the extent where he couldn't even finish a meal in peace. His answer to this problem was to go and buy a pipe which would satisfy his cravings without inhaling. However he was only fooling himself and Martin warned him of alternative dangers faced by smoking pipes instead of cigarettes.
Zoe was dragged under duress to the shop to give her a break from the old routine. Her recovery from the death of Shannon seemed to be going well although she was still a little under the weather. However her devious side would be shown before too long as she dipped her hands in the shop till when she was alone. When Ashley totalled up she effectively blamed Maud for the misdemeanour claiming she was looking a tad "confused". Kind hearted Ashley thought it best to let the matter slip just this once.
Des paid a visit to Natalie. The old rogue looked like he was on the prowl but his intentions were strictly honourable. The two talked about love and life and relationships and the slings and arrows of misfortune that had led them to both being unlucky in love.
There was chemistry between the two of them with equal amounts of flirting on both sides. However they decided it would be best if the two of them stayed just mates...how long would that last though when an obvious attraction was firing up between them.
Zoe and Leanne enjoyed a tipsy night out funded by Ashley's kindness on top of Zoe's theft. They were drunk when they got home and although Leanne wanted to thank Ashley for being so generous to Zoe she held him back. Her guilty conscience might have been giving her a gentle kick in the ribs perhaps ?
Speaking of people in that household we saw Nicky getting more than a touch preoccupied with the man who killed his father. No real warning signs of dodgy behaviour but give it time says I.
The end of the night was signalled by Jim's bedside. He was still unconscious and no one bar Steve knew the whole truth about what had happened. He had now delude the Doctors as well as the Police not to mention his mother Liz.
The prognosis wasn't too good either. If and I say if he regained consciousness then there was a chance he would be left with permanent brain damage. However there are many who would contest there was very little to damage in the first place.....
All in all : Good
Nice steady roller with some nice interaction between Des and Nat. These two work and I would like to see what happens when they happen. Sam's reaction should be a peach. I reckon it could even drive her away from the Street.
4393 - Monday 27 April
Starting the day with the McDonaldís and their worries about the injured Jim. Steve was still covering up the truth about what had truly happened but it was clear to see that Liz was beginning to suspect something was amiss. He hadn't even taken the time to tell Fiona the truth which made me wonder somewhat about their renewed honesty in their recently rebooted relationship.
Jackís smoking was due to come to an end courtesy of Veraís plans to recruit the aid of a hypnotist to break Jackís addiction. There was signs of friction as well between Natalie and Sam over her supposed interest in Des. The jealousy was fair bristling in the air from Sam and I may be mistaken but I could have sworn that Natalie was taking something of a secret delight in it.
Zoe was once again working in the shop tonight but despite her grief she was once again showing signs of her true nature as she lifted another £20 from the till. Fred seemed aware of what she was doing however and insisted that Zoe should be relieved of till duty. He claimed it was down to the pressure she was under thanks to recent events and didn't let on to Ashley that he had walked in the door perhaps just in time to see her slip the money into her pocket.
Zoe was gradually becoming more and more bitter especially when Judy came to see her to check on her and announced she had been to the ante natal clinic that wasn't the most tactful thing she could do. In fact I think Judy has been pretty insensitive towards her throughout the duration of the tragedy. She felt the need to tell her about her own pregnancy more for her own reasons than for the sake of Zoe.
Des and Natalie had a night out at the pictures on their new found friends basis and it looked like she was going to make a move on Des but surprise surprise he effectively turned her down. There was undoubtedly some chemistry at work between the two of them but Des was playing hard to get. I must admit it made a refreshing change to see Des being the one getting chased as opposed to the other way round.
The night ended with Zoe taking a walk to clear her head only to come across Emily. She told Zoe that Shannon and her were in her prayers every night but this only upset Zoe to the extent that she lashed out at the frail Mrs. Bishop. Luckily Gary was around to stop the grief stricken youngsters actions getting out of hand. Undoubtedly signs of her cracking were beginning to show.
All in all : Good
4394 - Wednesday 29 April
Tonight started with Zoe. Her shredded nerves following events of late obviously leaving her near breaking point. Ashley sought advice about getting her some kind of help from Martin who reckoned a bereavement councillor was the way forward.
Then we had the bedside drama of Jim McDonald being cared for by his ex wife Liz. Judy and Gary visited and Liz began to think something strange was going on regarding the accident which had almost killed her former partner. Her feelings were brought on by the somewhat cagey way Gary acted when questioned about what had happened. However as we know he had truly seen nothing go off.
The big story of the night was Jack and his hypnotism session with Magenta Savannah. An over the top type woman pictured as something of an eccentric living in a house of cats one of which had a penchant for peeing on the furniture.
Jack wasn't prepared to take the matter seriously either as he prepared to be sent into trance but things would quickly change. Vera left to do a spot of shopping and Jack was left to Magenta's charms.
She lowered the unwitting Duckworth into a trance with a view to hitting on his subconscious mind. However somewhere along the line she took a wrong turning and went into a previous existence in the Duckworth line.
She encountered a somewhat bawdy pirate sounding sort by the name of Lusty Jack Johnson. From this moment on Magenta was battling to restore some semblance of order to Jack's mind as she tried to bring back the Jack she needed for the purposes of hypnosis and cure his smoking at the same time.
She took a quick tour round the insides of Jack's psyche dodging the attentions of Lusty Jack until she got our familiar Rovers Jack in the driving seat once again. With that done she left mental instruction to Jack that his smoking days were over and brought him back out of the trance a new man. However she warned Lusty Jack had been unleashed and he might be back....
Natalie was going to the football with Des which was a bone of contention with Kevin. However she seemed delighted to be causing him some upset in one way or another.
The night ended however with Steve and Liz clearing up Jim's house. Over conversation it was clear Liz wasn't happy with the turn of events leading up to the accident and questions were about to be asked.....
All in all : Good