With our CBC episodes doubled as of this week, and a lot going on in the Street, it’s hard to pick just one scene. So my pick is every scene with Jim McDonald who returns for Jack’s funeral. Seeing Jim McDonald makes everything seem brighter. Every time he comes back for a visit, I realize how much I miss him. Yes, he’s a hard case, but he’s so vibrant.
It was especially nice to have him in the Rovers when Roy made the sad announcement that Gary Windass had been wounded in Afghanistan and three men of his unit killed, including his friend Quinny. Jim is a British Army veteran. He was posted in Northern Ireland during The Troubles so he knows combat situations. He has lost mates and, in his case, he’s from where he was posted. He was the enemy in his own land. Of everybody on the Street, he knows what Gary is going through. When he raises a glass to the soldiers, it’s heartfelt and with knowledge and memory behind it.
It’s ironic that these episodes about Gary air in Canada in the week before September 11th, the reason that the war in Afghanistan began.
I’d like to see Jim with Ciaran. They are two different Irelands, both with a lilt but one honed with a steel edge and one softer. Thank heavens we did see him with Owen! When Owen walked up to Jim at the Flying Horse I thought they were identical twins separated by some years. Same looks, same way of carrying themselves, same way of speaking. They are two alpha dogs after the same b… – um, bone. I want to see more of them together and with Elizabeth, and I don’t want to. That’s the effect Jim McDonald always has on me, and he and Owen together! In a battle of words, Jim can take Owen hands down. In a physical confrontation, I don’t know. Look into Owen’s eyes when he’s annoyed. The smart money, I fear, would be on Owen. Jim’s a hard man, but I think Owen is merciless.
Jack’s funeral was lovely. Shorter than I expected, but I’m kind of glad. It was so emotionally draining that I was relieved when I realized it was over and I could stop crying. The knees-up in the Rover’s was perfect. Everyone raising a glass to Jack, some of them appearing to learn the lessons he was trying to teach them in his last days. Claire and Ashley talking seriously about their future together, as he’d wanted. Kevin no longer being a total jackass. Jack, in the crematorium, did some mending that continued back at home.
Even Molly started thinking – then thought a bit too much. She somehow interpreted Jack’s message to straighten up her life and not mess up Tyrone’s as she and Kevin should raise “their” baby together. Kevin shot her down. Tyrone, uncharacteristically (plot-driven writing), started badgering her to have another baby. She agreed. I don’t know what Jack Duckworth would say, but I’d be rolling in my grave if I were in one.