Friday, 26 May 2017

Tracy Barlow: 'A Change is Gonna Come'

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

I've been a little troubled by Tracy lately. It stems from her recent capacity to show compassion for others. So, as the title suggests, I will stick my neck out here and claim that Tracy will become a better person.

The change in the title of this piece is from Sam Cook's political anthem about civil rights in the 1960s, so we are nowhere near that massive scale. But in a small way, in the microcosm that is Weatherfield, it may be possible that Tracy learns some empathy. I claim this because of Tracy's selfless act of confessing to having pushed Ken down the stairs, in the mistaken belief that she was saving Amy, who, Tracy thought, had been the one to push Ken. She was ready to make that sacrifice for Amy, safe in the knowledge that Amy would be well looked after, while she, Tracy, served a prison term.  That act of maternal sacrifice has surely provoked some admiration for Tracy.

However, as far as Yasmeen is concerned, there is nothing in this world that can redeem Tracy Barlow. It was Tracy who crept into Carla's flat, fully intending to kill her. Hearing a toilet flush, Tracy scarpered, leaving her candle by a lampshade, which caught fire. Amy was in that flat but Tracy didn't know.  Kal Nazir died trying to rescue Amy. Initially, people blamed Carla, whose guilt manifested itself in her drinking to excess and gambling. Later Tracy confessed it was her who, accidentally, started the fire.

Yasmeen was in court this week to see Tracy Barlow go to prison for pushing her father down the stairs - attempted murder. Again, Yasmeen was disappointed, though initially hopeful. 'I thought she specialised in evading the law; now I hear she has finally confessed to something.' She adds, 'It would give me a great deal of pleasure to see that despicable woman brought to justice.' Yasmeen also feels for Ken when she says, 'Lord knows Ken has done his best, but to have such a creature as a daughter....' trailing off as Ken, himself appears.

In the bistro, Yasmeen confides in Leanne about how she feels about her court experience. 'I was desperately hoping for a small victory, some crumbs of consolation.' Gazing at baby Oliver, Yasmeen wistfully mentions how it might have been possible for Oliver to be her grandson. It's hard not to sympathise with Yasmeen, a woman who lost her son in the prime of his life.

This may be wild speculation, but might it be possible, in a while, for Tracy to empathise with Yasmeen and to express sorrow at the tragic loss of  her son, a loss which came about by accident, but was, in fact, rooted in Tracy's malicious desire to end Carla's life? In short, is a change gonna come?

By Ruth Owen, twitter: @ruth1722

Tvor @tvordlj on Twitter

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