On Thursday and Friday, characters and audience were remembering Deirdre. They and we, of course, were also remembering her portrayer Anne Kirkbride. Her photo on the Barlow sideboard is never far from our view, but it was nice seeing it close up again.
More than words and a raised glass of red marked the passing of actress and character. Remembering Deirdre and communing with her brought dramatic action about. Reconciliation and new beginnings in honour of her spirit – in two storylines.
Tracy and Amy reconciled at her gravestone. Robert, acting as peacemaker and friend, brought Amy there and went out for pizza with them after. It had been Deirdre’s death that brought him back into the Barlow family and, for better or worse, he does care about all of them.
Tracy brought Todd and Billy together, also for better or worse. She told them to sort themselves out. And she’s right. Despite the huge potential for damage, they need to end their dance around each other and their feelings.
The damage will be huge for Sean. A man dumps him again, a man who is good with and for him. He knows, despite Billy’s protestations, that someone else is involved. When he finds out it’s Todd! That doesn’t bear thinking about.
Watching Todd, Billy and Sean this week has been hard. Todd honestly doesn’t want to see Sean hurt. That evil-Todd-back-from-London has gone, at least for now. He isn’t toying with people, just trying to mess up as many lives as possible, as he has done before. He does hurt Billy, but for the greater good, to keep things as they were. Todd denies the feelings he had admitted to when drunk, tells him he’d got the wrong end of the stick, and tells him to go away, go back to Sean. And that was to protect Sean, to make Billy stay with Sean, to keep them together.
And Billy, man of God, is torn between loyalty to the promises he’s made to Sean and his new feelings for Todd. Lying about everything, hiding and deceiving everyone. His own duplicity and Sean’s present and future pain burdens him. But he can’t stop his feelings for Todd, and he knows that Todd reciprocates them.
Tracy acts as a catalyst, and not in her usual way of tattling to one person behind the other person’s back. She sees Billy and takes him to the flower shop where Todd is still working. Todd, meet Billy. Billy, meet Todd. Now talk. Was this direct approach to problem solving due to her long talk to Deirdre in the cemetery? I’d like to think so.