Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Coronation Street Review: "Farewell"

Hey! No your eyes are not deceiving you and you do not need to adjust your monitor. I took a small break from reviewing duties because, well I needed a bit of a break to recover from Phelan week and last weeks events can be summed up in two words; Not. Great.

For a brief recap of events, Imran revealed to Alya she owns the Factory, Johnny's grief has taken hold of him, we all feel incredibly bad for Jenny and the less said about Gary the better.

Tonight's double bill saw the Connor's say goodbye to Aidan. It was quite an emotional hour which of course began quite somberly with Johnny, Kate and Carla all separately preparing themselves for the funeral. Eva was continuing to struggle being around Susie as her Aunt and not her mother, and Toyah is very much tuned into how much she's struggling and it's weighing heavily on her conscience as well.

Eva wanted to go to the funeral and take Susie as well, which Toyah was very much against. Their plan for keeping the baby secret has completely unraveled in the face of Aidan's death, as Eva is convinced she is to blame for his suicide. Usually when soaps tackle the sad case of death one of two things happen to couples; they break up or they're stronger than ever. Kate & Rana might be getting the stronger than ever part of that, but Johnny and Jenny are very much on the verge. He just cannot stop being angry with her, no matter how hard she tries to placate, him, and it's driving him into Liz's arms.

Grief does obviously affect people in different ways, but on the face of it? Everything that Liz is saying and doing, Jenny is also saying and doing. It's just for some reason Johnny is taking exception to his wife. It's obviously all for the sake of plot, just like this factory business which has reminded Imran that he is a lawyer. Would've been a bit more helpful if he'd been this on the ball with his sister's marital woes, but hey!

When Eva reveals that she will be intending the funeral, Toyah is once again on edge because she knows it's only a matter of time before Eva reveals all and so of course she offers to go to the funeral with her. Someone else who wants to go to the funeral is Alya. She proclaims she was Aidan's friend and business partner so has a right to be there to say her goodbyes. Given she is currently in the midst of trying to take the factory from the Connor's, you can understand why Carla wouldn't want her there and threatens to hit Alya if she presses the issue.

It's really difficult to feel any sympathy for Alya, because she isn't being written sympathetically. Last week she was proclaiming Aidan, Carla's half brother, would be ashamed of her actions. This week she's all about shouting the odds and reasserting her authority, with Imran's help of course. Neither of them want to pay attention to the fact Aidan's will was written BEFORE Carla gave him the whole factory, and therefore he obviously didn't mean for Alya to be owner. Obviously some of her feelings on the matter are ruled by the fact Carla does belittle and treat Alya as though she's an idiot. She doesn't exactly respect Alya and the work she's put into the factory, which will cause you to butt heads. Where Johnny's grief has been explore in length as his marriage crumbles, and we've had a little on how Kate is coping, we haven't really had that much on Carla outside of breaking down into Michelle's arms, which is obviously a deliberate move. Carla's the type of person who bottles things up, acts as a shoulder for everyone around her, and is very much pushing herself into factory work to avoid her grief.

Liz soon spills all to Moira about how Johnny kissed her and honestly, we need more Moira in our lives. The woman is absolute comedy gold. We know that Liz has feelings for Johnny, and I do appreciate her accepting that he is married and grieving, but we know it won't end there. At the funeral Carla and Kate are sat together with Rana and the rest of the family sat just a row behind. Considering we had to make do with Sophie sitting next to Kate and comforting her at Luke's funeral, I do feel a little like we're being short changed here, but then you remember this funeral is for family only and Rana's come along as Kate's plus one because she's her family. We also got Kate questioning just why on earth Eva had turned up with Toyah to support her, and if there's anything I like more than gushy and drunk Kate, it's Kate who is 2 seconds away from bolting at someone. I'm also never not gonna enjoy all the Connor women and Rana being together. Even if these circumstances are completely tragic, it is a beautiful sight and one I hope we get more of in less tragic circumstances in the future.

Johnny delivered a rather lovely speech about Aidan which had everyone including myself in tears. It quickly got extremely emotional as Johnny faced his grief and loss of comprehension of Aidan's suicide and lamented the fact he would've been a great husband and dad. At this point Eva was overcome by emotion and rushed out of the funeral with Toyah hot-footing it after her. Eva's absolutely convinced if she'd told Aidan the truth about the baby sooner (and he'd actually believed her) then he might not have killed himself. Toyah does her best to support her, but Eva knows she has to live the rest of her life with this burden and it's never going away.

What might be going away though is the baby secret. Simon discovers a photo of Susie at the hospital among Eva's personnel and both he and Peter are left questioning how on earth Eva could possibly have this photo. They do of course manage to fob Peter off for now, but the suspicions have well and truly been sown.

With such an emotional storyline at the forefront of Coronation Street tonight, Eileen's leaving party was the comedic event used to balance things up and it worked quite well. I feel the reason last week's events were so awful were because it was all comedy with nothing to balance it at all.

The Connor's arrive back from the funeral with Rana and Kate soon linking arms as they all head to the Bistro, and Carla discovers the factory locks have been changed. Now I know she and Alya are currently having their issues, but if your automatic response to being refused attendance at a funeral is to change the locks? Well I can basically see how Alya and Zeedan are related. At the Bistro we're treated to another lovely Connor scene as Kate reassures Jenny that things will get better, and Rana is once again there to act as the supporting shoulder before Carla summons the cavalry.

At the lawyer's office Alya admits to her actions and rips all of the Connor ladies to shreds, proclaiming that they're all in ways to blame for Aidan's death. Jenny and Johnny because they were going off to Spain, Kate for being too busy wrecking Alya's brother's marriage by being with Rana, and Carla for not really being on the scene. Alya believes she's owed the Factory because she was the only one standing in Aidan's corner whilst all of the others were busy with their lives, and she'd attempted to call a truce which Carla wasn't interested in.

I don't know what exactly the writers are aiming for with this scene, but if it's to make us completely detest Alya then well done. The Connor ladies all agreeing to walk away without any blood being spilt is completely unrealistic. Carla and Kate are both fiery characters and when Alya is speaking to them in this manner? There's no way in hell she'd actually get away with it. One does also have to wonder where exactly Rana disappeared to, but I guess when it's her brother and ex best friend/ex sister in law, it's a bit of a conflict of interests. Kate though is obviously a bit fed up with all of the arguing. She hasn't really been filled in on the Factory business, and just sees Carla and Jenny refusing to abide by Aidan's wishes. It kinda goes back to Kate's anger at being the only one Aidan didn't say goodbye to, and Carla forever having a piece of her in him.

Away from this drama Ali is forced to explain why he didn't attend the funeral along with the rest of the Connor's. He felt awkward as he didn't really know Aidan, nor know what to do being surrounded by all of the grief, but Michelle is quite to reassert that he is family.

Whilst he doesn't catch up with the rest of the Connor's, Johnny does catch up with Liz and we're forced to once again have Johnny reiterate how much he hates Jenny. He really seems to have got it into his head that Jenny hated Aidan, and therefore grieving for him is hypocritical. Nothing we've been shown on screen hinted that Jenny doesn't like any of the Connor's. She's a bit brash sometimes, and was very set on moving out to Spain, but none of that was because she hated Johnny's children. It honestly feels as though Johnny's picking apart Jenny'e behavior, to justify hating her, and as a consequence his flirtations with Liz.

Toyah meanwhile questioned whether Eva wanted the baby photo to be found, she obviously didn't react well to the accusation and it's just a question of when the truth is outed. Eileen and Nicole waved a farewell to the street which probably won't be permanent, and Seb got a house guest in the shape of his mother.

At the truce in the Bistro, Imran is continuing to look on silently as Carla attempts to broker a deal with Alya that doesn't go down well at all. Alya obviously rejected the deal and this is just going to keep going on and on. Given they haven't even been through Probate yet and the circumstances surrounding Aidan's death and the will, if this was real life, there's no way in hell Alya would be getting the factory. This is obviously a bit of drama to get us through the weeks, bringing out feisty Alya and Imran and going up against the Connor's. But it's really not fun to watch when it's being written so heavy handed.

Same goes for this Liz and Johnny storyline. His feelings for her have somewhat come out of nowhere, and mostly the talk of a grieving man. Liz is more than aware of this, but she has actually had feelings for Johnny for a while, and despite the fact she's trying to be a decent person it's extremely difficult for her to resist and of course they do end up having a moment. The only person I feel for in this entire situation is Jenny, because she's tried countless times to be there for Johnny, he's rejected and treated her like absolute crap, but she's basically just taken it and still tried to be there for him. She's helping Carla with the factory stuff because she wants it to be one less thing for Johnny to worry about. Whilst his family are fighting for their livelihood and trying to deal with their grief, Johnny's drinking it up with Liz.

It's just really not a good look, but soap's gonna soap. Let us just rejoice that Kate had more than 20 seconds of screen time for the first time in what feels like forever, Rana was the lovely supporting girlfriend during her 10 seconds of screen time which I am more than going to take, and this week so far has been more eventful than the last 2 weeks combined. Coronation Street works at its best when it has a nice healthy balance of comedy and drama. That balance involves having the right mix of characters on screen, because really! No-one wants a week full of Gary!