The week opens with Amy Barlow showing that she has learned well from her mother. Last week she eavesdropped on Michelle and Will and discovered that they had a sort-of fling while Steve was away. Amy soon let Michelle know that she knew and that there was a price to pay for silence. Amy wants to stay with Steve and Michelle. Michelle will make sure that happens. Otherwise, Amy makes clear, Steve will find out what Michelle was up to in his absence.
I’m sure, had it continued, Amy would add new demands. Michelle knows that too. She looks at Amy and sees the future – catering to Amy’s whims whether they be toast with chocolate spread for breakfast or 20 quid here and there. Amy has blackmailed people over less.
Amy loses her advantage when Will’s furious fiancée Saskia tells Steve about the dalliance. The truth was not good for Michelle, but I think it was a lot better than her life being held hostage by a particularly cruel twelve year old.
Amy: Eyes of a shark
Watch the eyes in that lovely face: they are the eyes of a shark. Amy is frightening. Easily as single-minded as Tracy and better at manipulation. First, she doesn’t let emotion cloud her actions. When she sees an opportunity for herself, she takes it. But she is not motivated by vindictiveness. It is getting what she wants or simply seeing if she can get someone to cave in, survival of the fittest. The passion of hate is not there as it often is with Tracy. For Amy, it’s just playing the game.
Second, she is still a child so she has lots of time to hone her skills. When emotions do become a motivator, she will know how to work around them. She has watched her mother. She has seen when Tracy won and when she lost, and why. She’s learned from those lessons. Already, I think, the student has surpassed the master.
And third, she is a child. That gives her a huge advantage. Her adult victims underestimate the extent of her evil, the damage she is willing to do. They consider her a child playing childish games. But the games are blackmail, done in dead seriousness on her part. Even adults forced to buy her stuff or shell out cash chuckle and say ‘just like your mother’. Yes, folks, she is. The same people do not see Tracy as harmless. But because Amy is young and, so far, the payouts haven’t been major, it’s seen as cute. With Michelle, Amy graduated into the big leagues.
Lastly, because she’s a child, it is especially frightening to watch. She is distressed by her mother’s actions and the fact that people do not like Tracy. She does not want to grow up to be like her mother. But unless someone challenges her with what she is doing, that is exactly what she will do. Robert was the only person who saw what Amy was capable of and confronted her with some unpalatable truths about herself. And now he’s out of her life.