Friday saw leave-takings, and sad hearts. Peter took his taxi ride off the street. He is off to Portsmouth to get himself together. Cilla is off back to Wolverhampton, with Fiz. Both Peter and Cilla have damaged relationships with their children. They succeeded in repairing some of the damage done, but not all, with the help of others.
Soon after getting out of prison, Peter realized he needed to get away. Carla was not going to forgive and forget, he had no job or prospects, the temptation to drink was there, he couldn’t let his very wary son down again or his ever-hovering father. Even the Barlow house was a constant reminder of Rob, and therefore Tina. Time for a fresh start.
Simon pretended he didn’t care when he heard his father’s news. He’s built a huge defensive wall around himself. But that wall collapsed and he pleaded with Peter to stay. Out to the bench for chips and a talk they went. Along came Carla. She quickly saw what was going on and fixed the impasse father and son were at. She asked Simon to be honest about his feelings toward her and she paid him the same respect by doing the same about him. Peter was horrified, but it did the job. Simon saw that he was not the only one with mixed feelings about people and that events, past and present, couldn’t just be magically swept away. Sometimes life sucks but, with luck, there are others around you who feel the same way and together you might muddle through.
At the same time as the Barlows were sorting out packing and life’s vagaries, so too were the Battersby-Browns. But no Chesney coming to the good-bye party. Ches has accepted that, this time, his mother is genuinely ill and in need. He has tried to keep that in mind while thinking about his own childhood. But that childhood is not long ago. He does have a bit of distance to give him some perspective, and what it tells him is that maybe his mother does regret her actions. But she still came back to them only because she needs their help – just like always. He has had to come to that conclusion all on his own. He hasn’t had the help from others that Simon got from Carla.
With soft-heart and good intentions, Sinead has pleaded with him to forgive. And Fiz, so happy to have yet another person on a short leash, quickly forgave, forgot and moved on to her controlling form of fussing over. Beth, I think, could help Ches understand his mother and his relationship to her. But she is still trying to figure Cilla out herself and, like Carla, Beth doesn’t do touchy-feely. Maybe Simon and Ches would be the best support group for each other. They both know what it’s like to be let down by parents but still go on loving them.