Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Todd Grimshaw's personality changes

(This post was originally posted by Sophie Williams on the Coronation Street Blog in April 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

With the cobbles recently welcoming back lots of old faces as well as new faces, the ever-growing cast makes it difficult sometimes to keep track of who's nasty, who's nice, and who's just settled in between. One of those characters for me who is a little uncertain is Todd Grimshaw.

Todd has always been my favourite Corrie character and throughout his time on Corrie, he's gone through a whole spectrum of personalities. From the too-nice-for-his-own-good teenager in 2001, to villain following his 2013 return, to somewhat nice guy now. For those of you who remember Todd as a young'un way back in the beginning will probably agree with me when I say he was an average character, never stirring trouble or causing general grief. That changed in 2004 however when his biggest storyline at that time kicked off when he began an affair with male nurse Karl Foster while engaged to Sarah Platt, who was also carrying his child. Although his moral compass flailed slightly, Todd's guilty conscience was never far behind. He felt awful for his betrayal but believed that he had to do what was right for him. This storyline ended in the tragic death of his son and Todd's ultimate exit from the Street.

Todd returned to No.11 briefly in 2011 for the Easter Special, bringing his rich boyfriend Jules with him. Todd wasn't himself as he suddenly found himself embarrassed of his hometown and his family. Rowing with Eileen, Todd's conscience eventually caught up with him and he apologised for his behaviour. This slight change in personality was a bit of a flash in the pan though because his stint back was only brief so everyone kind of forgot about it.

2013 came as a real shock for Todd fans when he returned for good but was definitely not the same man who'd left. This "new Todd" was manipulative, a liar, and just downright nasty. While we got reintroduced to Todd we learnt that he was almost sickened by other people's happiness, which ultimately led us to see him do his very best to destroy any and all happiness around him. This was first evident when Todd became dead-set on breaking up Marcus Dent and Maria Connor. Todd was purely cruel and vindictive, but this appeared to quieten down slightly when Marcus waved goodbye after having his life wrecked by Todd.

Todd found himself in a bit of a rut then; his family were disappointed in him, he had no job and no money. Jason's dad, Tony, offered him a lifeline by employing him at the builder's yard where Tony and Todd were quietly scamming their customers. However, this went sour after Todd pushed it too far and Tyrone fell through the floor of his loft conversion due to shoddy materials. Getting disowned by the Grimshaw's came as a wake up call for Todd I think. In my eyes, Todd started to learn that he couldn't blag his way through life and he needed to pull up his socks and sort himself out.

He was starting to turn a corner at the end of 2014 and he felt awful about the way he almost destroyed Jason's business, as well as losing his family. In spite of his efforts though, no one showed up to Todd's reconciliation meal, which caused him to wander home alone only to get violently attacked during a mugging. This event gave Todd his scar and was the beginning of his total undoing. Before this, Todd's key motive for sly comments and arguably vicious behaviour was to get a kick out of hurting people. His actions had no real purpose and were just a bit of fun for him. But something changed at this time. His nastiness turned into something evil, his actions turning into scheming plots.

What Todd did next is actually one of my favourite storylines ever. He made it his mission to make Jason and Eileen pay for his scarring and went about it in the most sick and vile way possible. His first task was to make Jason believe his current girlfriend Eva Price was having an affair with Tony and this worked like a charm. Eva finished with Jason and left him heartbroken, while Todd was secretly thrilled. Task number two was to make Eileen believe that a handsome fella in Dubai was chatting her up on a dating website, when it fact it was Todd. Scarily brilliant, I believe it made an absolutely superb storyline. Todd's an extremely intelligent character and this definitely shone through. Todd knows how people tick, he knows what will hurt them the most, if not completely destroy them emotionally. In the immediate fallout, Todd seemed completely free of remorse. In a twisted way, I think he was actually proud of himself in how it all panned out.

Todd became a character that was so hated, it was engaging to see his vulnerability reappear after Jason got attacked by Callum Logan's thugs. There is a particular scene in the hospital waiting room with Eileen where Todd's conscience was seemingly ripping him apart and the Machiavellian character got emotional when offered a second chance by his mum, prompted by Todd keen to donate a kidney to Jason if he needed it.

After this, Todd's personality seemed to shift again and this is what I'm still trying to work out. Those vindictive and even nasty traits seem to have completely disappeared, having been replaced by someone who actually feels empathy and is aware of the long lasting implications of what he says and does. In so many instances now, Todd definitely seems like the original Todd; the Todd who actually tries not to upset people and steers away from causing unnecessary grief. Admittedly, ever since embarking on a relationship with local vicar Billy Mayhew, Todd has really softened. But here is the cross-path. Where Pat Phelan is concerned, the "new Todd" is still there. Todd really doesn't trust him (and with good reason) and he's very "you push me and I push back" with Pat. That brings me to one of my favourite qualities of Todd's; he's no push over. Since his full return, I'm yet to see anyone who's managed to walk all over Todd. Todd is very much in control about who he is and what he does and I really hope that never changes.

We saw Todd's moral compass falter again last year where he put Billy's job as a vicar in jeopardy and eventually joined the flat scam. But, did his morals really fail or was it just a misjudgment? The way Todd quickly did a U-turn on his involvement in the scam and how regretful he was about calling the Bishop, that was concrete evidence that Todd hadn't truly reverted to type.

While watching Todd go through all of these transformations, I think I can say with confidence that I wasn't the only one wondering what on earth happened to Todd in London. After almost three years of umming and arring about it, we were finally gifted with the story that led to Todd's moral breakdown. It turns out that Todd had his heart broken pretty badly and the writers did an excellent job with this. Over the last three years, Todd kept saying things like "you know I've been hurt a lot in the past" and "if you knew the sort of things that have happened to me". The links between his fractured soul and the reason behind that are really quite obvious. Now we know the truth, it's as if it all starts to make sense and we as viewers can now begin to understand why Todd does what he does.

So what will happen to Todd in the future? As much as I loved Todd as a character making sarky comments and being horrible for the fun of it, in my heart of hearts I think that his softer side will remain firmly in place. Corrie are setting him up for a life with Billy and while he's got Billy, his conscience will always be right behind him. My biggest hope for Todd is that he will keep that edge and that attitude that makes him unique to other characters. He's capable of such dark doings but he does have the power to make a proper life for himself. I like to think that Corrie will pursue the idea of making Todd follow his ambitions to get back into the law career, it gives the character something to focus on.

Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Todd Grimshaw has ever been drama-free. Bruno Langley portrays the role of Todd brilliantly, making him a gripping character to watch and follow. There's so much more to be explored with Todd and I'm sure Corrie have plenty of tricks up their sleeve where Todd is concerned.

Written by @sophie_jw26

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

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