The day before New Year's Eve is obviously the ideal time to plan a big party, invite folks and get all the food in and prepared. Nessa is a steamroller when she gets an idea in her head. Audrey really put her foot in it with an insult at Nessa's expense though apologized but she's got a point. Ken needs to be true to himself. It's ok to stretch and go outside your comfort zone sometimes. But Nessa's trying to change him and force so much on him, far more than he seems to be comfortable with. That Hawaiian shirt is my proof!
Tracy has a lot of sucking up to do but nobody expected Ken wouldn't let her come back home, did they? Amy paved the way with promises everyone knows Tracy won't keep. (housework? What's that?) Amy's just lovely. What a little madam, isn't she? Why is Tracy still talking about selling stuff when she's supposed to be converting the shop to a florist?
The day after the party, Amy is even doing the vaccuuming. I wonder what Tracy paid her for that! She poked fun at Nessa's "vegetarianism" again at the expense of making her a bacon sarnie. Chuckled at her reaction to Ken suggesting she's not comfortable handling meat. And I laughed at Ken being hungover. I bet it's been quite some time since his last one but that's all due to all those drinks Nessa kept feeding him! Oh dear, and Nessa broke the mug Deirdre made for Ken. It didn't look that bad, though, just maybe needs the handle glued on again because Ken did say it was easily mended. Even so, Nessa had nothing good to say about it behind his back but lied to his face about it being lovely. (and let's face it, it wasn't a beautiful creation, it just had loads of love glazed into it instead) I think that crack in the mug reflected his feelings for her, though, and her crass interrupting into Emily's leaving, including dumping him with the groceries didn't help matters much.
Tracy has decided to win Robert back but he's not having it and seems to be flaunting his friendship with Leanne just to rub Tracy's nose in it. Oh this won't end well. Still, Robert and Leanne make a far better couple than Tracy and Robert only is it really that advisable should Leanne get involved with another man again, given Simon's problems? Speaking of which, Simon seems to have dropped off the board. Is he still going to therapy? Is he still a little ball of anger and rage? He wasn't a very good boy this year but I suppose SantaLeanne has over compensated and given him the world anyway. Maybe he's gone to spend Christmas with his father, who knows?
Anyway, Looks like Tracy is going to go ahead with the florist after all and sets Todd to studying all the types of flowers. he's not too happy about it. She thinks that if she gets the shop up and running then Robert will come back.
The ITV publicity machine uses the word "reeling" all over the place when most of the time, it doesn't realy apply. But in Carla's case, discovering her old family friend is her biological father, someone that knew the hellish childhood she had at the hands of a drunken mother, really does have her reeling. We all know what happens to Carla in an emotional crisis, right? Self destruct, here we come. Booze. Gambling. Men.
At least she did tell Nick about Johnny, that's something. Roy and Nick don't think she should tell Aidan and Kate. Johnny did do the right thing, telling Carla, but Rob is still holding the knowledge about the paternity with the threat to tell Aidan and Kate. Johnny should go straight to the prison authorities now while he still has a bit of control. Rob did get busted for having a phone, that's something. If he's smart, he'll tell his kids but it's a scary prospect. Meanwhile he's trying to keep those kids out of Carla's path because he doesn't know if she'll keep the secret or not. it didn't work well. Aidan couldn't wait to tell Carla about the new contract but Nick held him at bay.
The real sticking point for Carla is the horrible childhood she had which could have been better if Johnny had come clean 40 years ago. Things might have been different. Or not, but nobody will know now. Carla is in a bad place and reaching for the bottle already. Here we go again! One drink too many and the cat will be out of the bag. She's so distracted she forgot Nick's birthday, something Leanne took great pleasure in gloating over, only adding to Carla's emotional mess but no matter how surly she gets, Nick stays calm and cheerful which doesn't help her mood which gets blacker and blacker and Johnny nagging her makes it worse. She says she'll keep the secret if he leaves town but there's a visiting order from Rob. Michelle thinks it might not be a bad idea, just to hear him out.
Carla went home and told Michelle. Robert lied to Nick about seeing Carla when he was out. Yet another secret Carla has to keep. She was going to tell but she didn't in the end, he was too sweet to her. Guilt and Carla don't mix well together.
On New Year's Day, Roy keeps the cafe closed but the front door open, something I firmly believe he would never do. Unlock the door, I mean, not keep the cafe closed so he could clean. Roy was a bit melancholy, thinking of past New Years with Hayley. But it gives Cathy the idea that she needs to stick to a new resolution and clear up the rest of her house. She sends Roy to her husband's desk and he discovers a big secret. A letter from Nessa to Cathy's husband and it's clear they had an affair! Of course he didn't say anything to Cathy but because the viewer needs to know, he tells Anna about the letter.
Meanwhile, Caz has to leave before seeing New Year's in and Kate's not happy about it. Aidan and Eva flirt and finally kiss passionately at midnight. Didn't she look great?? Johnny spent most of the evening chasing Carla around, begging her not to say anything to his other kids. Aidan and Eva spent the night together and she's now over the mood, but with her track record, it's guaranteed to go wrong. Eva's trying to keep things secret, probably because he's her boss but he wasn't happy when she told Kate he slept on the sofa. She was being discreet but when she found out Kate had bet him that he couldn't cop off with her by the end of the year, she admitted it with a beer shower over his head, that somewhat boring go-to thing they do in the pub. She then signed up for an online dating site right under his nose.
Kevin is facing construction and it's going to be a mountain of stress so Sophie suggests a midwinter cheap holiday in the sun before it all starts. Not a bad idea. Anna is envious, probably pictures herself in the beach chair beside Kevin.
Tyrone's bills are mounting up. He's getting bills and people both knocking on his door and it doesn't help seeing Kevin splashing out on a holiday even if it is cheap. He's well and truly under the gun and in desperation, dipped into the cash box at the garage. He got caught by Kevin of course and had to admit his problem. I don't know why Kevin got so upset because as Tyrone pointed out, it's his business, too. Kevin can help him out a bit but Tyrone has to tell Fiz who's frantic with worry about Hope. He couldn't tell her with her in that state.
Hope had a scan and things are looking up. The tumour has shrunk and an operation should help. Thus, Tyrone still can't tell Fiz about the bills. You know she's going to end up finding out from someone else and his ass will be toast!
Emily is filled with thoughts of the poor school in Peru, short staffed and she's fascinated by the idea of Peru though the idea of actually going there is a bit daunting. Billy thinks she can do it, why not? Any other 86 year old, I'd say are you crazy? But Emily? She has her health and stamina, she could do it if anyone could. And she is! She's very excited about seeing Peru but Norris is snarky and insulting, as per usual. He does make her think for a moment that maybe she is a bit too old but Rita encourages her with "life's too short" and all that. I suppose she's right, if Emily feels up to it, she should do it. If she gets there and it's too much for her, she can always come home. Anyway, she's made her plans and Norris is just going to have to suck it up. Yes I'm sure his is worried and concerned and will miss her but his way of showing it isn't helpful at all.
Norris keeps trying to talk Emily out of the trip but that's not happening. Emily is determined to see and do something new while she can. Is this going to break up their friendship? Only if Norris persists. He really is worried but Rita urges him to make peace and she's right. If something did happen, he'd regret them falling out before she left. Emily is surrounded by most of her friends before she leaves. Mary's gift of a diary and story of the different coloured inks went on a bit too long but we were rewarded with a wonderful line about the dark underbelly of selling ice cream on a beach in Acapulco! Norris did come through in the end though I don't know why Spider wouldn't have told Emily about the pencil shortage himself when he was telling all about his work. Never mind. Didn't you get the feeling this was a goodbye for more than a temporary break?
Steph is still having heartache over the photo scandal. I bet it wasn't a very happy Christmas round at her house with her mother and father looking everywhere but at her.
Brendan and Mary have a date and she's all excited. He's got a lot to make up for, having ditched her on Christmas Day. Alas, he showed up this time but could only stay for a drink. She bit his head off, so to speak but Mare, honey? that's what it's like when you're dating a man married to someone else. No matter what he says or promises, you won't be his priority. Nice little touch with Liz noticing Mary upset over Branden's sudden departure and giving her a hug instead of a lecture.
A few days later, Norris and Rita bicker, that's nothing new. Rita notices Mary is distant and distracted but when she suggests that Mary is having man trouble, she gets her head bitten off for her trouble. Later, Norris reveals that he has in fact noticed that Mary has something on her mind and isn't acting like a woman in love. Rita lets the married cat out of the bag.
Deirdre: A Life on Coronation Street - official ITV tribute to a soap icon. Available here.
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