Goodnight, Jack Duckworth
Tuesday – 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 importance 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.
Then 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.
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 he 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 returning. 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 with 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.