John Stape’s death scene Friday was very touching. Despite him being a total nutbar, I will miss him. The character of John Stape was perfectly cast with Graeme Hawley. I guess I’m hoping a bit that, on Monday, John suddenly returns from flatlining and makes his escape from hospital.
As he has said repeatedly as justification for his acts of crime and/or stupidity, he lives to teach. So he had a bulletin board and markers and made a graph of all activities at the times of the deaths of the Fishwick mother and son and of Charlotte. He also had photos and diagrams showing what and where to help Rosie memorize the facts. During what had to be a very long night for both of them, he set Rosie homework about the sequence of events and tested her recall with written and oral quizzes. Rosie with duct tape over her mouth, John in front of her using a pen as pointer going over the highpoints of the nights in question. Then removing the tape so she could repeat the sequence back to him. Rosie, in a wonderful combination of fear and ditziness, was not the ideal student John hoped for. Oh, it was just perfect. A masterpiece of writing and acting by both of them.
Also perfect was the set up to this, his second kidnapping of Rosie. Sitting in his car, calling the real estate agent to set up a viewing of Jason’s flat, he had to come up with a name. He sees a guy walking down the street with a package of chips. “Mr. Chips,” he gave as his name. You knew that, even with her Oak Hill education, Rosie Webster would not think anything odd about that name. And Jason? No, he wouldn’t catch it. I thought maybe Kevin would. But it’s not really surprising that in the heat of the moment, realizing that his daughter is missing, Kevin wouldn’t take notice of such an iconic name in the world of fictional educators.
I did think, at some point, as John’s situation unraveled and more and more people became party, that someone would say ‘he called himself Mr. Chips?’ But, so far, no one has so maybe it will remain John Stape’s final and personal little literary pun.
There was another scene this week that was going to be my pick, but there will be more about it later, I believe, so I won’t tell what it was. Also this week saw the real-life death of Davy Jones, known to the world as “the cute Monkee”, to connoisseurs of Corrie as a child actor portraying Ena Sharples’ grandson, and to the American and English horse racing world as a horse owner and former amateur steeplechase jockey. His horses, children and wife will miss him sorely and so will we all.