Recycling Czar or Tsar
Brian Packham is back. A question he has for Roy: is it Czar or Tsar? Roy is flummoxed, and that’s a rare sight. He’s rarely had occasion to spell it, but thinks either spelling is acceptable. Of course, I googled it. Roy is right, and there are many lengthy discussion threads on the origins and usage of each. (My spellcheck chooses Tsar.)
Brian is back without Julie, but with ambition to take a prominent place in the Weatherfield Council bureaucracy. At the moment he’s the Environmental Health Officer. But his aim is to revolutionize the city’s recycling programmes. Hence his dilemma: should his stationery say Recycling Czar or Tsar?
Prior to discussing the nitty-gritty of his title, Brian was flummoxed when he met Cathy. He expected to see Roy still single and grieving Hayley’s death. So he was astounded when a woman emerged from Roy’s flat and planted a kiss on his cheek.
Brian astutely picked up on Roy’s ambivalence about marrying Cathy. He suggested Roy ask himself why he wants to marry. Then he gave some good advice about navigating the wedding itself. It’s for the bride, he said, not the groom. So let her have the disco, the pink wedding cake, even the wedding count-down clock – whatever makes her dream day. You focus on the groom’s speech, he told Roy. Ever the teacher, Brian later peeked to see how the assignment was going. Not well, he saw, so he gave suggestions for improvement.
The good and bad elsewhere
The problem with Tuesday’s episode was with the scenes bracketing Brian’s. Michael and Anna were doing things that made no sense in terms of character history. Michael going to Phelan’s building site alone to check it out. Foolish, but maybe believable. But Anna asking Phelan to come to her place? Without telling anyone or having backup? It wouldn’t happen, not after the last time she did that. I saw, ok, it’s a way to get to the plot culmination. But clunky! They might not have jarred so much if they hadn’t been next to the smoothness of Brian’s scenes.
There were other great moments this week. Tracy and Peter after she says Daniel is just like Ken – a look that says ‘we’re out of the will!’ Vinny’s neighbour lady, played by Jacqueline Pilton. And Phelan watching Michael die, telling him about watching a rabbit slowly die after he had injured it.