A lot of stories coming to a head this week – Katy and Chesney, Sunita and Dev. But the big one is the Rovers’ fire. Karl has tried to ruin anything and everything for Jason. He sees him as responsible for all his woes. So he sabotaged Jason’s plumbing repairs by deliberately taking out the electricity. I knew that the Rovers was going to burn, due to a comment on a spoiler-free site that unfortunately hadn’t been deleted. I tried to forget but it was difficult with Karl melting down and spraying water on a fuse panel. So I figured it would be an electrical fire.
Then the candles came out for a cozy evening at the Rovers. Fire caused by a candle accidently or deliberately knocked over, I thought. Oh no, Rita is there, Dennis, Mrs. Bishop, Sylvia. They can’t have them caught in a fire. Them reminiscing about the Blitz and singing songs in bomb shelters. I expected someone to mention Ena Sharples and the time in 1964 when they took cover in a shelter due to an unexploded bomb found in Albert Tatlock’s back garden. But they didn’t.
Rita sang “there’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover.” They all sang. Tommy Duckworth sat with them. A nice touch I thought, having a young’un and grandson of Jack and Vera singing with them. Maybe it was hokey, but I cried all the way through it. Sylvia saved it from being too sentimental, observing that the war is overrated in nostalgia; “all powdered eggs and Spam” in reality.
As the singing, chat and laughter continued, Karl looked less and less happy as he lurked at the bar. When Rita told Jason what a lovely evening they were having due to ‘his’ mistake, Karl looked fit to be tied. If a candle doesn’t start the fire tonight, Karl will.
But no, another day passes and Karl’s need for revenge grows. He sees Stella and Jason canoodling and talking about their new partnership in the Rovers. So Karl steps up his efforts to make Jason look incompetent. During the Full Monty show at the Bistro, he ducks out after his number and enters the Rovers with keys he earlier lifted from Jason’s jacket. Sunita sees him and follows him in. She is on the cellar stairs as he throws a soaked cloth into the newly repaired electrical panel. “What are you doing?” she asks. Arson, he doesn’t need to say.
Karl has tried everything to make Jason look bad and each time, somehow, Jason comes out of it smelling of roses. In reality, all Karl had to do was wait. Jason has given up his business in return for working with Stella in the pub. That job would last only as long as they are together. Jason’s name is never going to be over the door as landlord, despite the jibes made by Gloria and others. Stella will tire of Jason’s immaturity and he will tire of her waspish remarks about it. But Karl wants vengeance now and his plans aren’t working. My husband said it reminded him of a rather dreadful comedy he watched, Let’s Go To Prison, in which a guy devoted his life to revenge on another and everything he did just made life better for his target. Same for Karl.
I think Karl could have become a great Coronation Street male in the tradition of Stan Ogden and Jack Duckworth. Work-shy and a bit of a bounder, but at heart a decent man. I am sorry to see that man gone.