I shed a tear for the Windasses this week. Friday, Eddie unveiled the cake he’d baked for Gary’s going away party at the Rovers, the cake Gary said he hadn’t wanted because “men don’t eat cake.” In honour of his joining the Army, it was shaped like a hand grenade. Anna, despite her horror at the macabre design her husband had chosen as a send-off for their son, was touched and wanted Eddie and Gary to express their feelings for each other.
A bit of foot-shuffling by Eddie and Gary, looks of horror toward Anna for wanting them to get “touchy-feeling”, then some “yeah, well, that’s what I think of you too” stuff between them. Then a lovely moment when Gary looks at his dad with real love in his eyes and a kind of “gotcha” grin. Then each spits in his hand and clasps the other’s in a long handshake cum embrace.
Everyone partook of the cake and pronounced it light and delicious, one of Eddie’s best. Eddie is sufficiently moved by emotion toward his son, the strong turnout by street residents for their party and by the expressions of goodwill toward Gary that he actually buys a round for everyone. But one still wonders whose wallet he lifted in order to get the money!
This party, with almost everyone on the street there, might be the turning point for the Windasses in terms of community acceptance. David pulls a prank on Gary – sticks a paper bulls-eye on his back. When it’s discovered, everyone calls David on it and speaks in Gary’s defence. Even Roy. And Chesney tells David that Gary is “worth a thousand of you.” Janice agrees with him. In David’s defence, he has good reason to dislike and distrust Gary. And, by Gary’s leaving for the Army, the street residents are getting rid of a felon who has demonstrated that he’s willing to steal from anyone, even his neighbours. Still, it’s nice that it is Gary who pretty much says that himself. In talking with Chesney about why he’s joined up, he points out that he doesn’t have many options and, if he hadn’t done this, he’d likely just end up in jail again.
In a follow-up scene, the taxi waits for Gary and everyone is outside the pub to see him off. Gary hugs his mom, then turns to his dad. Eddie hands him an envelope, says “don’t laugh”. It’s what he wrote to Gary telling him how he feels about him. Gary does a little awkward “man” shuffle then throws his arms around his dad in a big hug. I felt affection for a person who usually is truly “a little toe-rag”.