Saturday, 20 May 2017

When Bethany emerges from hell (Speculation)

(This post was originally posted by Ruth Owen on the Coronation Street Blog in May 2017, reposted to this blog with permission.)

How long now before Bethany emerges from the hell into which Nathan has plunged her? Well, as I understand it, she has a good deal more to endure before she escapes the web in which Nathan has ensnared her.

How will it happen? How will she be able to escape a man as controlling and manipulative as Nathan. A man who is able to convince Bethany that he loves her and who can keep Mel, an ex-girlfriend, on side and silent through fear. Can any of us forget how Nathan slammed the till drawer on Mel? Not to mention her continual air of fear, her subdued behaviour, her eyes forever cast downward – just how much is Mel in his sway? And what exactly has passed between them?  Mel’s refusal/inability to tell Bethany what is going on is so frustrating – can she not hint at it, at least? She must be so terrified, so caught up in Nathan’s scheme, that to tell Bethany the truth would be to open herself up to the worst of dangers.

Unlikely though it may seem, it just might be the case that Mary plays a key role in Bethany’s eventual escape from Nathan. In Monday’s episode Mary showed a touching degree of concern for Bethany. Bethany’s traumatised, haunted expression, to anyone who knew her, would surely make it clear that something seismic had taken place. Mary’s concern was touching and we mustn’t forget that Mary herself was taken advantage of at a very young age, resulting in the birth of her son and the subsequent heart ache, as she was forced to surrender him for adoption.
It may also be the case that Shona, Nathan’s ex, will realise what is happening to Bethany and play a part in her rescue.

Bethany spots Nathan outside the florists and she looks petrified. She tries to hide but fails and Nathan takes her back to his lair. But Mary is alerted – Mary is on watch. For the viewer, there is some small degree of reassurance in this.

On her return, Nathan acts in a deliberately intimidating way. He turns up the music so loud that Bethany is made to feel even more afraid. He then asks her in a sneering, obnoxious fashion what he should buy her for her birthday. He answers his own question – ‘A doll’s house, a rocking horse, some crayons? Just when I thought you were a grown up, you go and behave like a child.’

Oh, he’s good! His ability to twist and distort, in order to confuse and control, is second to none.

And what of the future for Bethany? How difficult will it be for her to return to normal life? Who will she be able to trust in the ensuing years when men approach her as they surely will? Will her confidence ever be restored? Let's not forget that it is not so long ago that Bethany was being bullied by those awful girls at school. Sarah, if she is told the whole truth, will be utterly devastated when she learns the extent of what has happened to Bethany. How will she and Gary cope with the traumatic truth?  Will Gail and Audrey know? How will David react? 
All of the scenes relating to the grooming storyline have been played well, but the one that sticks in my mind is where Neil is talking Bethany to the bedroom, and Bethany, in her desperation, is rubbing her ear, the code ‘agreed’ between her and Nathan that when he sees her doing this he will rescue her. Bethany’s confusion as to why Nathan would ‘give’ her to Neil, as compensation for the ‘stolen’ photographic equipment, was played so very well by the talented Lucy Fallon, whose acting abilities have soared in this storyline. Chris Harper, who plays Nathan is doing an excellent job too.

Yes, it makes for difficult viewing, but if this brave storyline saves one person from the hell caused by grooming, then in my book, it has been worth it – every bit.

by Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722

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