Becky shone this week, in every scene with every other character. Taking Kelly on over her flirtation with Steve, taking Steve on, telling Roy and Hayley that her mom had died. Great scenes. Then, Friday, three scenes where I got teary – Becky reading a story to Amy and crying for the loss of her mother; Liz commiserating with Becky over Steve’s behaviour and actually seeming to like and respect her; then the final scene with Becky and Steve reconciling and her telling him she is indeed pregnant.
Wonderful moving stuff. But the scene that has stuck in my head was at the end of Monday’s show when Joe told Gayle what he really, really thought of her. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.
In good Street style, the argument moved from the house to the street, and so everyone got to watch the show. David came to his mother’s defense, as did Audrey who oh deared and tut-tutted her way to Gayle’s side. And Joe told them all: “When it comes to the male of the species, you’re the equivalent of Tutankhamun’s Curse.” “That doorway should have a sign over it, ‘fellas, abandon hope all ye who enter’.” “No wonder this one tried to kill you, it was self-defence. The lad deserves a flaming medal.” Poor Gayle was devastated, with cause. But it was wonderful hearing the words that so many of us have felt for so long. Even if those words were coming from Joe, another in her series of loser and possibly homicidal boyfriends.
Unfortunately, they made up. At least he told her the truth about his financial situation and the loan shark. But no one on screen has yet asked that question we in the audience have been asking: “why don’t you sell the boat?” Now that Ted is back, maybe he will be the one to ask it.
On the Becky and Steve topic, something I’m glad to see is the portrayal of people doing stupid and socially verboten things. Last week, when Becky returned from her mysterious errand, she sat on a bench with a big bottle of cider and lit one cigarette off the other. Oh, she must not be pregnant, I thought, or she’s decided to have an abortion or has already had it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be showing her doing that. She earlier had been shown turning down drinks and saying she was “cutting down” on smoking. If this were an American soap, indeed most of tv now, there would have to be something wrong with the baby at birth just to ensure that the message was clear that drinking and smoking while pregnant is bad.
Then, Friday, what brought Steve to his senses was falling over while attempting to drive his motorbike after getting “leathered” in a bar. We could hear the siren in the background, so presumably Steve could too, as he wobbled astride the bike. Fortunately, he couldn’t stabilize it and he, and the bike, fell to the ground.
Before he fell, I thought oh no, they’re going to have him get in a crash, die and/or kill someone else. Or he’ll get stopped and lose his license. Something bad is going to happen because he’s drinking and intending to drive. We must be given the message in a strong and dramatic way. Instead, he called for a ride. Presumably, he’ll go back tomorrow and get the bike.