Peter is slick with the ladies. He has proved he can juggle wives, lives and emotions. But when Tina girded herself for battle, Peter didn’t stand a chance. Tina has nothing to lose. She had already lost Peter, so one final surge would either leave her exactly in the same position or would win her the prize.
She started her preparations at Audrey’s salon. ‘Give me the works’ was her instruction, and I could hear the bell toll for Peter and his marriage. It was the first time that I can remember someone coming out of Audrey’s actually looking different than when she went in. Looking good, with armour of make-up and hair mousse in place, Tina sought her quarry.
Of course Peter was at the Rovers, and of course he noticed. He tried to keep his emotional distance – have a good time, shouldn’t let that go to waste. But he didn’t have the sense to keep his physical distance. He had to go out back for a smoke. How many times had he chased Tina out to that same patio when she was putting garbage out or getting cases of whatever? Had he been thinking strategically, he’d have gone out the front door to the sidewalk for his smoke – somewhere public, somewhere even Tina wouldn’t risk standing very close to him, kissing him, telling him she’d be home alone all night.
If Carla had been at the Rovers, she would have known something was up with Tina. If Tracy had seen Tina and witnessed her interaction with Peter and their mutual disappearance out back, she likely would have detected something amiss. But alas, no woman with her radar up was there and paying attention. Steve should have known. But, like Peter, he fails to see the nuances of female wiliness. Like Peter, he is just as likely to fall into the trap.
“You can say stop”
And so of course Peter went to Tina’s place. He did not need to, should have known that doing so was the stupidest thing he could possibly do. But I think he had the best intentions, to tell her he planned to stay with Carla and Carla only. Probably he had a bit of cockiness about it too: he knows how to handle women. He can pick them up and he can let them go and do both with style and grace.
But for all his skills as a Lothario, he was a babe in the woods once inside her apartment. Not a snowball’s chance that he was coming out of there in time to make the movie and dinner with his wife and child. After he finally left, he did the only thing that seemed reasonable to him at the time: go to the factory, find a bottle and get wasted. But he should have stayed there all night. Going home to the wife and child in the state he was in showed just how rattled he is by all this.