Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Sept. 4/11)

Goodnight, Jack Duckworth

Jack and Molly talk in RoversTuesday – can’t pick one scene. First, at Jack’s birthday do at the Rovers, he and Molly discuss the situation with Kevin being her baby’s biological father. I had chills going up my spine as Jack told Molly about real life, about mistakes, about love and behaviour.

Both Bill Tarmey and Vicky Binns were wonderful. He was wisdom and experience and love. She was ‘whatever’ – a little bit flip, a little bit defensive, a lot guilty. She knew the weight of Jack says I'm so angry to Mollyimportance in what he was saying. She knew she had to listen, but she didn’t want to. They personified a hard-earned sense of justice and the callowness, and shallowness, of untested youth. Having been a callow and shallow youth myself, it was hard to watch, now older and able to see the stark truth of Jack’s words. That’s the scene, I thought.

Ken and Audrey, as Ken toasts JackThen there was another. Jack leaving his party early. Looking around the bar as if for the first time, or last time. Then Ken’s raising a glass in farewell to him. Well, I lost it then. The tears flowed for I knew what was going to come next.

Autumn leaves

Then outside, the street at night, from Jack listening to record playerJack’s viewpoint, as he looks at every inch of it from end to end. Then he walks home.

He puts a record on the turntable Tyrone gave him for his birthday. He sits back in his chair and listens to “When autumn leaves start to fall”

Then an amazing sight. Vera. Looking absolutely wonderful, the lamp giving her hair a slight halo effect. Saying to Jack, there’s a bus at 12 minutes past, so come on, shift yourself. He says let’s have a dance.  And Vera says come with me to Jackhe and Vera slow-dancing in their living room. The song now is “Softly as I leave you.” I watched it over and over, wanting to spend time with her and barely able to see the screen for tears.

I have never seen a scene like this in Coronation Street, where we see something in the mind’s eye of a character. And a spirit Jack and Vera slow dancingreturning. Both are done in American soaps often. I’m glad this time Coronation Street did it. Then a photo montage of Jack and Vera right in the middle of the episode. Unusual for Corrie and just lovely. Thank you, writers.

And then back to Jack, still in his chair, but he had caught the bus Tyrone beside Jack saying Goodnight Dadwith Vera. Tyrone, Molly and Connie return to the house, see him in his chair. And Connie realizes he’s dead. She bursts into sobs, then calls an ambulance. Molly makes herself scarce. Tyrone, beside Jack, takes his hand and says  “Goodnight Dad.” Indeed, goodnight Jack.  You are missed.