“You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, can you?” That’s what David tells Maria when he sees that her use of a misunderstanding is spiralling beyond her control. She has not a clue what he’s talking about. It has been truly painful this week watching Maria trying to be master manipulator. There are reasons for this.
First, the character. Poor Maria, as Todd put it so well, is pretty, vapid and desperate. She is trying to regain happiness and a perfect opportunity dropped in her lap – Tyrone the good, and memories of carefree youth. But it requires strategy and Maria cannot strategize her way out of a paper bag.
Second, the logic. The text message that started this sorry tale came from an unidentifiable caller. That’s why Tyrone thought it was Kirsty with a blocked phone number. Major panic ensued, especially after a second text. So Fiz, woman of action, redialed the number. By convenient coincidence, David answered Maria’s phone and twigged. However, there is a lot unexplained in all this. I thought the phone number was not visible. Next day, Maria explained to David that she had replaced her phone and had a new number unfamiliar to Tyrone. Maybe this was due to the writers seeing the ‘oops’ in their writing. But only an unfamiliar number doesn’t adequately explain why Tyrone freaked out so much so quickly. Why not hit redial right away if you have a number?
Third, the cliché. Unfinished conversations leading to misunderstanding do happen in real life. But they are an overused and ridiculed staple of soaps. A lot of action on Corrie Street recently has reminded me of American soaps, and I’m not used to that. Pregnancies or pregnancy scares from wife and girlfriend at exactly the same time, as happened to Peter. A discussion or admission of something goes awry because one person interrupts or forestalls what the other is trying to say. The moment is lost, wrong conclusions can be drawn. We saw that this week with Nicholas as Leanne tried to tell him about Kal.
And that’s how the whole thing started with Maria and the texts. Tyrone, normally the most polite of men, kept cutting Maria off when she was trying to explain that she had sent the original text. She’d get two words out and he’d talk over her, until she realized his misunderstanding might be the wedge between him and Fiz that would help her. Then, of course, as David said, a whole truckload of toothpaste came out of the tube and it became way too late to put it back in. Explaining herself would be embarrassing and, as the tension between Fiz and Tyrone increases, Maria’s chance to get Tyrone increases also. But this type of sneaking around and plotting isn’t Maria’s forte. Neither should it be Coronation Street‘s.