The Rovers was a sad place Friday. Islands of unhappiness, caused by people manipulating other people’s emotions just to see if they could.
Rita and Dennis, looking anywhere but at each other, filled with fears and resentments. Gloria, the bane of Rita’s existence, is leaving. Rita hopes that will mean her marriage will get back on track. Dennis hopes so too, kind of. He also is thinking of Europe and adventure with Gloria. She asked him to go with her, asking if marking time behind the counter of a sweet shop was enough for him for the rest of his life.
Rita and Dennis are so miserable, and their companions Emily and Mary so busy trying to not intrude on that misery, that none of them notice Marcus nearby, head in hands. Compared to him, their table looks like a party. He has missed a house viewing with Maria, the house that may have been ‘the one’ for them. He went to return Todd’s phone and one thing led to another – which was Marcus jumping on Todd and hauling him up to the bedroom. Infidelity to Maria, with a man, and not turning up to see the house that would complete his transformation to straight man with family.
Although they don’t realize it or care at the moment, Dennis and Marcus are doing the same thing. They are returning to what and who they are. Both decided to live someone else’s life for awhile, for the love of someone else.
Dennis, I believe, does love Rita and what she represents – familiar memories of his youth on Coronation Street, security and friendships. But Gloria must remind him of his mother and of his own dreams and aspirations for excitement. Those dreams are not dead for him, nor are they for Gloria. Rita has made it clear that they are for her.
Marcus isn’t swept away by love for Todd and knows full well that Todd does not love him. Marcus does love Maria. She is part of a package he wants, fatherhood and family. But he has been gay for much longer than he’s been straight. Also, Marcus is an intelligent and thoughtful man. Maria is pleasant and personable and caring but has about as much depth as a birdbath, and less ‘edge’. Todd is everything Maria is not. And he’s a man.
Both Marcus and Dennis have had someone more like them tantalizing and teasing them. Todd and Gloria have repeatedly pointed out the dreariness of the humdrum lives chosen by their targets. Their cattiness hit the marks. The only block to happily-ever-after for the new proffered relationships is that both Gloria and Todd are flakes and users. Gloria might like the thrill of taking Dennis away from Rita, but ultimately she needs someone perhaps more stable than he, and certainly someone richer. Dennis needs the same. And Todd? Maybe when he grows up and gets over whatever turned him so nasty, he’d be good for Marcus. But now, no. Seducing Marcus is just sport for him, to see if he can do it. Too bad Gloria peeled out of town before she and Todd could high-five each other. They both proved they could do what they set out to do.