*note, I wrote this originally on www.corrieblog.tv last year after this episode aired in the UK.
Wow! I gotta say I'm impressed! I can be fairly cynical watching television and I am very good at nit picking and finding continuity fluff but if it makes me cry, and it did, it's a good, no...a great show. Of course there were bits last night that had me shaking my head but overall, it was a fitting end to the week's build up. Over hyped? Definitely, because that's tv and that's ratings. But in my opinion, all that bollocks about filming three endings put aside, it was mostly all worth it so I'm jumping in with my thoughts about last night's show as well.
The performance that really blew me away last night was that by Gray O'Brien. All week, Tony was glaring at Liam, uttering veiled and subtle threats and pointed remarks, I don't know why it didn't dawn on Liam eventually that Tony knew about him and Carla but it didn't. If you were having a go with someone's fiance, you'd be looking for signs that the partner had discovered it, and if you were on the verge of telling him, I'd think you would be even more aware. But, no. Anyway. That doesn't matter really. Tony's reaction when Liam was hit...
Even Tony looked shocked even though he did put on an act, being the first one to Liam's body and shouting "No! Liam!" etc. But look at his face! Triumphant, cold, yet really, you could also tell he was truly shocked and struck by what happened, especially when he saw Maria's raw grief minutes after it happened and discovered she was pregnant. A stab of guilt? A super-rush of adrenaline? Definitely. Emotion, certainly. You could tell his heart really was jumping out of his chest. "I can't believe he's dead, and I'm responsible! I killed someone!" (well, arranged for it, at least) In a way, for me at least, Tony actually showed a human side, just flashes of one, but it's there. It didn't last, though, and the normal mask-Tony took over. (How appropriate *were* those Tony masks, anyway? Consider...Tony usually is so controlled and he really does put on whatever exterior he thinks people want or need to see)
It was a bit reminiscent Richard Hillman, as well. Richard really did try to kill people but when he did do it, he, too, wasn't quite the stone cold killer in the immediate aftermath but recovered his composure quickly. I think it will take Tony a bit longer to lose his rag and come apart, but I do think it will happen.Tony's more of a true villain than Richard, really. Tony is far more demented than Richard, who's motivation was financial desperation. Tony is a controlling and possessive person. He's ruthless and unemotional. Does he love Carla, or is it the possession he loves. Once something is his, nobody is allowed to take it away. What he doesn't realize is, he never had her, not emotionally. She was always Liam's. Tony recovered his composure and the fact that he had Liam's wallet makes it pretty clear he had something to do with Liam's death.
The reactions of those that loved Liam were spot on, too. Carla sank to her knees in shock. I was waiting for either she or Michelle to wail "Not again!", both of them having lost spouses in virtually the same way. I would have thought Michelle would have been in worse shape than even Maria was, having lost her husband and other brother by car accident. But all three women were believable in their reactions. Maria fell completely apart, Michelle was teary eyed but strong, Carla put her mask back on and downed whiskey. Tom's reaction was a bit "it's all about me", squawking about how it was almost him rather than saying "it should have been me". In this case, "could have been" and "should have been" made that statement very different.
The rest of the lads, shocked, didn't even move at first, rooted to pavement in disbelief. Several of them turned away when Maria gasped the news about the baby. In fact, all three turned round almost in sync which was a bit weird looking. As men typically try not to show their emotions, yet they were all stunned. Kind of interesting to see it was Jason that was the one that called for the ambulance, not the older men like Lloyd or Dev. It's not the first time Jason's come through in a crisis. He was the one that found Toyah battered and raped and managed to get her home.
Maria's reaction was so totally "Maria". Crying and begging Liam not to go, putting his hand on her stomach so the baby might remember it's father. Maria is sentimental and emotional and doesn't hold anything back in sharp contrast to Carla, Liam's lover. Samia Smith really immersed herself in those scenes. She's given interviews and said how she was crying for real and you could tell. I thought she did a very good job. When it happened in the UK, I read one comment and agreed with it, that it did seem odd that Kirk wasn't with Maria at the hospital. He was right by her side the whole time at the scene of the accident and he's usually very protective.
And, just to add to that, the stunt people performing the hit and the production was fantastic. I know i certainly cringed when that body flew over the roof of the car, arms and limbs going every which way. Shooting it from above really showed you that they did that stunt for real, not just pretending to hit someone and them pretending and flinging themselves onto the ground. It happened too fast to tell for sure if it was a crash dummy but the arms and legs sure looked real and controlled to me, not quite as floppy as a dummy would have been.
Another really good touch, all week but in particular, last night was having everyone wearing theTony masks on the street just before the accident. It really did creep me out!
Along with all this tragedy, Coronation Street always mixes in comedy to balance out the show which catches you laughing through your tears.
The rowdy part of the hen night was underway at the pub, with the women salivating over Zorro the stripper. All except Carla, of course. She was going through the motions but very clearly dead inside after dumping Liam and only Leanne knew it.
Pam and Tyrone were involved in another scheme selling shirts and the funniest line of the night came from Pam "for most people, peeing in the wind is just a metaphor. For me, it's an awful memory" I don't think I want to know but it was totally unexpected and that sound you heard was a loud guffaw from me! Win for writer Simon Crowther!
David and Tina and Darryl and Amber were just filler though we now know that Tina is starting to suspect Gail and Joe's relationship.
Kevin and Sophie had some lovely father-daughter scenes and I also thought the scene where Kevin was alone, pouring himself a drink and singing along to "Ride' by the Cars from his younger days was very real.
Corrie really does have the touch, tragedy, comedy and quiet, lovely, little scenes, all in one night. It doesn't get much better than this.