“Shut up shut up shut up!” Deirdre screamed at Ken as he continued to badger her about not having told him what was up with Peter. He is right, she ought to have told him. But, in the way that arguments do, it spiraled way past the actual issue to everything in their relationship.
She felt he was making it all her fault, and he felt she was making it all his fault. Her fault for not believing in Peter’s innocence and for not doing more to help him. His fault for not being there when his son needed him and when she needed him. And for never listening to her ever. And for always turning things around, in his clever way, to put her in the wrong. Just shut up. And he did.
He didn’t apologize to her, or acknowledge that he was often too quick to blame her. But he switched topics and altered the tenor of his voice from an accusatory screech to a reasonable tone for discussion. So they sat and talked about the circumstances of Peter’s arrest and what they could do, separately and together, for him.
It hasn’t been easy for Deirdre this past year, coping with everything on her own. It’s not easy for Ken, finding out how much he has not been kept in the loop. It hasn’t been easy for the writers either, having not known for a long time when, indeed if, Ken would be returning. It is difficult to mesh storyline needs with real life exigencies and, overall, the writers have done a good job with Ken’s absence and return. But in the age of social media and online access to everything in the world all the time, there is quibble room.
Even if we accept that neither his daughter nor grandchildren have thought about phoning or skyping Granddad in Canada and if we accept that Ken is not on Facebook or Twitter, wouldn’t he want to keep up on the UK news? He’s a newspaper junkie and I am sure he knows his way around a website. It’s a bit too much of a stretch to accept that the Weatherfield Gazette does not have an online edition and that former Ace Reporter Barlow would not check it just to get a sense of home.
We heard “shut up shut up shut up” again at the end of the week. It was directed to Peter, to stop his whining and get on with getting a defence. It wasn’t said by Ken, although I suspect he’d have liked to. It was from Peter’s new best friend, purveyor of prison booze, The Landlord. It was Jim McDonald, so it was, talking sense in the big house.