Our Girl in Havana
Demotion, lateral move or promotion? It all depends on how you spin it. In Thursday’s episode, a new career direction for Sally was introduced and played out in several scenes. They were all perfect, and the most perfect of all was Johnny and Sal (“do you mind if I call you Sal?”) having a drink in the Rovers, sorting it out.
Johnny was trying desperately to dig himself out the very big hole he had dug for himself. He was attempting to explain to Sally that moving her to the sewing pool was not a demotion, rather it was evidence of how valuable she was as a machinist and as part of the management team. She would be their eyes and ears on the factory floor, an “our girl in Havana” agent supplying intel to the office. She’d be part of management too as supervisor of the machinists.
For Sally, that made up for a lot. She had just returned to work after her honeymoon and met her new boss for the first time. Her desk was right beside his in the office, isn’t that nice! Johnny looked horrified and pained. No, he couldn’t have that, he told Carla in desperation. Her voice! Makes your ears bleed! She has to be outside the office door. Carla said ok, you tell her.
Johnny gave her a load of poppycock about why she was no longer needed as a PA. But Sally winkled out his real reason for demoting her from her desk to a sewing machine. Insulted and unhappy at her machine, not sewing, threatening labour tribunal action. Take her for a drink and fix it, Carla told Johnny.
Character and actor perfection
And that’s how they came to be sitting at a table in the Rovers. As characters and actors, they were perfect and I watched them at both levels. It was hard not to. The pleasure actors Sally Dynevor and Richard Hawley were taking in playing off each other was jumping right off the screen. And their lines and actions were perfect for their characters. The dynamic between the characters and the professional rapport between the actors was a complete joy to watch.