Tag Archives: Carla Connor

Corrie Street June 15/14

Truth and Consequences

Tuesday, all scenes of three stories. Opening with what looks like Tina dead nearly - she gets up againTina dead in the builder’s yard. No, she’s moving – and talking!

Seeing her plunge over the railing was shocking. Hearing her moans, I was relieved. Maybe she lives after all. Rob was actually going to call an ambulance. But then she started talking, telling him what she was going to tell the police, what would happen to him, and Tracy and Peter and Carla. Not the best time to savour the revenge you do not yet have! Maybe wait until you’re in the ambulance, with witnesses. But no, she won’t shut up. Finally Rob beaned her with an iron rod.

My husband muttered, “reminds me of Peter Sellers in The Party, when he’s a movie Peter Sellersextra who just won’t die.” We watched it online, then watched Tina’s protracted death scene again. Tina’s scene is not being played for laughs, but it’s pretty hard not to after you’ve watched the bugler who wouldn’t die.

Meanwhile, Peter is in the back room of the Rovers telling Carla about his affair. He decided to preempt Tina doing so. His explanation and Carla’s reaction were painful to Carla-confronts-Peter-over-affairwatch. Every trite and stupid line ever said in the history of cheating mankind, Peter said. The hangdog looks, the barely concealed defiance when she didn’t reward him for his ‘honesty’. He made my skin crawl. Carla was brilliant; heart-broken and angry. Not likely to forgive him but terrified of being alone and pregnant. Feeling justifiably betrayed but almost letting his little digs of recrimination get to her.

And at the end, with Tina discovered and the police there, the looks Peter and Carla gave each other. They each know they did not attack Tina, but each fears that maybe the other did.

Another confession is taking place across the road, with Anna and Owen. In her fuzzy-bunny bathrobe, Anna tells Owen about the deal she made with Phelan to get him and Anna-pleads-with-OwenGary out of their problem. He gives her a chance to take an easy way out when he says, “so Phelan forced himself on you.” But having come this far in this difficult truth, Anna doesn’t try to absolve herself. Even though she would be perfectly right to say yes, he forced himself, she does not. She says, first by implication and later words, that she did it willingly. And that Owen cannot handle, despite it obviously being a situation of coercion.

Tina, Carla and Anna: three women put in impossible situations by men in their lives. Rob with murder in his heart. Peter vilified. Owen devastated emotionally as well as financially.

Corrie Street June 1/14

It’s complicated

A good story is like a good sausage: you enjoy it without thinking about how it’s made. This week two scenes, both pivotal in moving their stories along. One caught you up in can't-you-guess it's complicatedthe drama and the characters and in the other you saw the wheels going round.

Peter coming home after missing Carla’s first ultrasound scan. “You were out – come on, that’s your cue, you were -“. “Drinking” he says, “It’s complicated”. Carla, not knowing the half of it, denies that there is any complexity in an alcoholic drinking.

we-have-no-chanceCarla’s hurt and rage is emotionally exhausting to watch. I can’t imagine what it felt like for Alison King to act it. And Peter trying to not slur his words and carefully moving his feet so he doesn’t fall over, trying to convey the enormity of what he is dealing with without telling her what it is he’s dealing with. His affair with Tina, his guilt over that, and with Tina’s presence. She is everywhere he is all the time.

He crumples on the floor, the baby scan photo in his hand. Evidence of another reason for him to feel guilty. Another reason to stop crying-on-floordrinking or keep on drinking depending on how he looks at the reality of a baby while his other child will not speak to him. A baby with the wife he loves while he continues a love affair with another woman.

Nearly three minutes at the end of Monday’s episode. Everything in Peter’s life is colliding and collapsing in on itself. This story is reaching a crescendo. And it’s doing it through fabulous acting and writing that propels action while maintaining character integrity. Writing wheels greased so they are noiseless.

Another story headed to culmination this week, propelled by needs of the plot. Maria tells audrey-crosses-to-fiz - complicatedAudrey that she and Tyrone are in love. Audrey realizes something is seriously off with Maria, and runs across the street to tell Fiz. That put Fiz in pursuit of Maria and Tyrone, in time to misinterpret a hug. So we reach the crisis, but the action that moves it along does not keep with character.

I don’t think Audrey would make a bee-line for Fiz simply on the strength of what Maria said. She would think about it, maybe ask Gail’s advice. If David had confirmed that yep, where-to-start-actuallyMaria was being weird, maybe she was decide this was serious enough to break Maria’s confidence and tell Fiz. And that would have been very simple to write in, just with a mention by Audrey that “David said”. The action would still have moved along the same path but would have stayed true to Audrey as we know her. Wheels clunk-clunking their words out of sync with their character.

Corrie Street Feb. 9/14

Aftermath

aftermath Carla and Anna at bedroom doorCarla and Anna in Hayley and Roy’s room, afterwards. Their shock, realizing Hayley is dead. She lies curled in Roy’s arms. He isn’t aware they’re even in the room. They see the glass on the bedside table, used. They know what happened although they say not a word to each other or Roy.

anna-puts-glass-awayAnna takes the glass and washes it. She didn’t hear the stern warning Hayley gave Roy: don’t touch the glass, this was my action alone. Anna finds Fiz at the Rovers and breaks the news to her and all in the pub. (In the pub tableau of small groups assimilating the news, especially poignant was the thought-filled sadness of Emily, Rita, Dennis, Norris and Deirdre. They all know first-hand how it feels to lose the person closest to you.)

When Fiz goes to Roy’s, you see the differences in how people handle crises and who roy-with-hayleymight be actually of more help. Carla and Anna knew something was up even before Hayley took her fatal drink. Both felt Hayley had acted oddly the last time they had seen her. Anna had some warning; Roy had told her weeks ago that Hayley planned to kill herself. So let’s focus on Carla and Fiz. Neither of them knew Hayley’s intentions.

Carla had an uneasy feeling from when Roy wheeled Hayley in to the factory for an evening visit. Just out to take the air, Hayley what-I-wanted-to-saysaid, but Carla knew something was up. With Fiz, Hayley specifically asked her to come with Tyrone and the children. Fiz came in her lunch break, Tyrone had to stop a job he was in the middle of, and they hauled the kids out of daycare. Baby Ruby had a sniffle so they didn’t want her near Hayley. Hayley had to shout give me that baby, an unpleasant scene that Hayley felt bad about after. Despite these uncharacteristic actions, Fiz saw nothing worrisome.

carla-and-anna-exchange-looksSeeing Hayley so unexpectedly dead, Carla put two and two together very quickly. She and Anna stood quietly with quick looks at each other as if communicating how best to deal with Roy and what they knew, and with Fiz. Fiz howled about how upset she was, if only she’d known, what she’d wanted to say, she’d thought there was time, etc. Roy felt compelled to say “sorry” to Fiz. As if her comfort was more important than his, even Hayley’s.

carla-anna-with-royIn the aftermath, Carla was there, mentally organizing what needed to be done and carefully watching Roy. She stood quietly, spoke of practical matters when warranted, touched Roy only briefly when it seemed appropriate. Fiz followed him like his shadow. Glommed to him, saying what can I do to help, I’m so upset, and on and on. Not for a second did she back off, listen to Roy or even truly look at him, or stop imposing her needs and wishes on him.

The irony of this is that it is Carla who is believed by others, and herself, to be no good in an emotional crisis and to lack empathy. Fiz is thought by others, and herself, to be the roy-listens-to-fiz-cryepitome of caring and sharing, in tune with the emotional life around her. Especially with Roy and Hayley, it is Fiz who has the longer and closer history. But in a crisis of these proportions, I know whom I’d want around me, and I think Roy would agree: Carla. Fiz would make me want to jump off a cliff.

Corrie Street Jan. 19/14

Something Beautiful

you-will-have-me-to-answer-to something beautifulWhat was rather beautiful this week was Liz telling Peter what’s what in her pub.  She followed him to the men’s room to have a few words with him.  Those words were at first demure; it’s my responsibility as landlady to look after my employees etc.  Then she got more specific, and grabbed him around the throat and told him to stop messing about with Tina.  Oh, thank you Liz!

liz(A note about Liz – I think she is becoming a landlady in the mold of Bet Lynch with a bit of Annie Walker mixed in.  Her hair has memories of Bet’s piled locks but her dress of late is a bit more refined.  In all, it’s a good look; authoritative with a bit of glamour and excess, reminiscent of Corrie past.)

Whether Peter will listen to her is another matter.  It’s not likely Tina will listen either, to herself or Liz.  Both Peter and Tina seem set on a crash course for disaster.  It’s in keeping with his character, and normally wouldn’t be for Tina.  But she has had a horrible year so it is not too far a stretch to see her coming totally off the rails.  We have watched appalled as she zeroes in on Peter, knowing, as does she, that her “attraction” to him is an obsession destructive to her, him and Carla.  Ain’t no good going to come out of it.  But it hasn’t stopped her.

tina-and-peter“Something rather beautiful” was Peter’s answer to Tina’s question “what have we done?” as they lay together in bed.  What they had done was a quickie in Peter’s marital bed while Carla (his bride of what, a month?) was out.  The preceding scene – the one that showed us why Carla was out – magnified the ick factor of this.

Carla was visiting Hayley.  Sick, frightened and depressed, Hayley was in bed with the Carla-Hayley-talkcovers pulled over her head, absorbing her doctor’s prognosis of weeks to live.  She didn’t want to see anyone.  Carla barged in over Roy’s protests.  She got in bed with Hayley and, lying covered up side by side, they talked.  Hayley cried and Carla cried and consoled her.  It was the best thing she could have done.  She and Hayley comforting each other in their sadness was truly something beautiful.

peter-cleaning Carla came home emotionally drained and distraught about the apparently imminent loss of someone who has become a very important friend to her.  She found Peter busily cleaning the apartment.  What a wonderful man!  He’d even put a load of laundry in – the bed linen.

Corrie Street Dec. 22/13

Weddings and Debts

Peter and Carla’s wedding was fabulous – beautiful location, beautifully garbed guests, carlastunning bride, gorgeous groom. Tension everywhere, for viewers and characters alike. Would Peter succumb to the many glasses of champagne attractively arranged right beside him? Would he succumb to Tina, also always attractively arranged right beside him? Turns out, no to the former and yes, or at least way too close, to the latter.

Debts repayment

But the scene that I woke up in the make-a-fresh-startmiddle of the night worrying about was the closing minutes of the week. Christian coming to make amends with Hayley. He’d appeared a few times, always missing Hayley but always running into Fiz who would puff herself up into her biggest mamma Grizzly look. Protecting Hayley from the hurt that comes with Christian. Breaking Hayley’s confidence by telling him about her cancer. Warning Roy whenever Christian was about. Roy posted like a sentry hovering-royto block Christian’s access to Hayley. Oh let him be, I pleaded, don’t you know how important it is to Hayley that she reconcile with her son. Let her decide if that’s possible or not.

Finally she got the chance. Roy allowed Christian to see her. Sensibly, she sent Roy out of the room so he wasn’t standing over her shoulder like a guard dog snarling every time Christian twitched or opened his mouth. It photos-of-kidslooked so promising, their discussion. Christian’s apology for not understanding, for not being willing to discuss, maybe forgive. He had pictures of his wife and kids. Then the wonderful moment: ‘would you like to meet them?’ My heart melted, just like Hayley’s did.

five-thousand-pounds would cover debtsThen he gives the caveat, the kick in the teeth. Thing is, he got in debt while unemployed and a family costs a lot to provide for.  £5,000 should cover it, could she give him that. It’s for the kiddies after all. Where’s the guard dog and mama Grizzly when you need them? Christian, I guess, had hayley-listens-to-money-requestdecided Hayley might be the answer to his financial woes, and a quick parade of the kiddies would be enough to get her help. Even after learning she was dying, he still went ahead with his bait and hook plan. My heart froze, just as it looked like Hayley’s did. You are a bad’un, Christian.

Wedding dance

Back to the wedding, for a quibble about writing. We knew there had to be a Peter and tina-and-peterTina too-close encounter. It came after the bride had collapsed in a drunken but elegant heap on the dance floor. After she, still in her lovely gown, is tucked up in bed, Peter returns to the empty ballroom. The detritus of the party is all that’s left. We’ve seen Roy and Hayley arrive home. Party animals Sally and Tim have had time for another roll in the hay at home. But Tina is still lurking about the empty manor house? Ok, she and Peter have to steal a forbidden kiss. But Tina is not a stalker, and only a stalker would have remained after all the other guests had left.

The scene would have been more believable if we had seen extras dancing in the background, maybe through a order-of-servicedoorway in another room and heard the DJ playing “save the last dance for me” or something to indicate that, no matter how late it is, some people are still there partying. Fiz should have been spotted, since she had been insistent earlier on overseeing Tina’s movements. A wonderful and horrible scene with Peter and Tina, but one marred by unbelievability.

Corrie Street Jun. 16/13

The first four episodes this past week each had more than one contender for “the scene”.  able-to-see-him-soonI cannot narrow it down any further than one from each day.

Monday:  Izzy’s face as she realizes the newborn is not crying and the nurse hustles him off.  Equally good was Izzy standing at the incubator holding the hand of the tiny infant inside it.

Tuesday:  Owen giving way to his fear and sadness.  “Vulnerable and venerable” my husband called Owen after seeing him lose his carefully constructed and maintained façade of bravery and bravado.  With Anna, he can give voice to his inner fears and self-see-him-lying-in-the-incubatorrecriminations.  He blamed himself for “pushing” Izzy and Gary into this surrogacy.  Of course he didn’t.  He was adamantly opposed when they said they were thinking of it and he gave valid reasons for his objections.  But he did make it possible.  They had the idea and he had the ability to figure out how best to do it as well as the resources to make it happen. Owen is the quintessential male in the schema of gender roles found in Men are from Mars, Women… Venus; Mr. Fixit, taking a problem and solving it. Now, with the baby’s prognosis for survival not great and the mess Izzy and Gary have made of their relationship, he blames himself for taking their hare-brained dream and making it a reality.

Wednesday:  Tina entering the nursery where Izzy and Gary are fighting beside the baby’s he-might-have-your-eyesincubator.  She lays down the law to them.  They will sort out their problems somewhere else and, until they do, neither of them will see the baby.  She has deliberately tried to avoid bonding with the child she was carrying, but she will defend him against anyone, including his biological parents.  Good for her.

Thursday:  Carla telling Rob what is going to happen in order for her to not report his theft to the police.  Her performance, as the character, belied Tracy’s earlier jibe that loser-I-grew-up-withbeneath the designer clothes and six inches of makeup, you’re nothing.  You could see Carla collect herself, and her strength, and say everything quickly before she lost her resolve.  She needed that focused composure in light of what Rob had said earlier to her, when she caught him out at the warehouse with the stolen silk.  Showing himself to be a master manipulator, he turned everything she said on its head.  He knew exactly where to poke clear-your-lockerto hit her own self-doubts and her love for him, the little brother she believes she abandoned long ago.  In the Bistro you can see the look of confusion on Rob’s face.  His tricks aren’t working on her.  Rob’s scenes this week have been the best I’ve ever seen from him.  I like him even less but I’m fascinated with watching the narcissist, verging on sociopath, side of him reveal itself.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 6/12)

It’s not you, it’s me

Leanne crying and furiousPoor Leanne.  Monday after she fled the courtroom, Peter comes looking for her shamefacedly.  As she screams at him, you can see her very heart breaking.  Humiliated by Peter and Carla, but also it being public.  Nasty glossy colour photos handed to her in the courtroom by Frank’s mother.  An audience to watch her life fall apart.

Peter looking shamefacedIn the flat, Peter shuffling from foot to foot:  I didn’t want you to find out this way type of phrases coming out of his mouth.  Oh, you go girl, I was saying to the screen as she told him what a low life he was.

When she paused, I was surprised.  I had forgotten about her affair with Nick.  I was only seeing her as the aggrieved party.  She remembered her infidelity Leanne saying we can get past thisbefore I did, before Peter did too I think.   She stopped raving at him.  You forgave me so I should be able to forgive you.   She sucked up her sense of hurt and betrayal and said we can get past this.  And that forced him to say what he wouldn’t have had to say if she had simply thrown him out.  It’s not you, it’s me.  I love Carla blah blah blah.

Double humiliation.  And then he says you shouldn’t have to leave, I will.  Oh sure, she’ll go on living in the flat above your bookie Leanne with back to Peter as he explains his affairshop, that will work real well.  Watching you come and go, and Carla, and Simon torn apart by his mother being upstairs and his father at work downstairs.  That works all around!

Leanne did the only thing she could do – she left.  And the heartbreaking sight of Simon chasing the taxi down the street screaming for his mum.

Anticlimactic after Leanne leaves

Wonderful acting by them all, it actually made the trial conclusion rather anticlimactic for me.  And all Carla’s little secrets have come out, in the courtroom and after.  And I do not feel sorry for her at all although I did in the past.

Simon running after taxi cryingShe’s still living in the Land of Delusion where she and Peter live happily ever after.  Where?  In her flat?  Over the bookie shop where Peter and Simon’s home is?  And what exactly about Simon?  So far, he’s been shuffled off to grandma and grandpa’s place.  When is Carla going to see that he now is part of her “happily ever after” and he’s not happy about it.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 19/12)

Sisterhood

If I’d laid a bet on how long Carla would cope with Maria as helpmeet, I’d have lost.  Carla lasted longer than I’d expected.  But, even so, it wasn’t long.

Maria yelling go to sleep to her sonThe scene that made my jaw drop and made me laugh was the two of them in Carla’s living room while Liam cries in his bed.  Maria yells “Liam, go to sleep.”  Then Carla agrees with her:  “Do what you’re told and go to flamin’ sleep”.  Well, the icy cold glare of affront that Maria turned on Carla!  As in, how dare you yell at my precious babe the chosen one!

Maria glaring after Carla yells at LiamTo be reasonable, Carla simply said exactly what Maria had said, other than adding the word “flaming” but Carla had forgot the cardinal rule of motherhood (especially in St. Maria’s world) – only the sainted mother may yell at the sainted child.  However, motherhood and any kind of kin feeling are rarely reasonable.  I know that I feel within my rights to tell my dogs to shut up. Still, I don’t like it when someone else does.

Carla brushed off yelling at the sainted child, without pointing out that she’d only followed Maria’s lead.  But it escalated of course.  Maria can always make it all about her and she did so once again.  With incredible sanctimoniousness she said, “I realize you’re in a lot of pain. But taking it out on Liam isn’t going to help.”  Ya think?  Just Carla telling Maria to get outbeen raped, and a child screaming his lungs out?  So Carla told Maria that she’d been there long enough, get out now.

It was harsh, especially the business about living in the lap of luxury at Carla’s apartment compared to Maria’s own “flea-pit”. But Carla is angry and needs to vent that anger at someone and Maria was handy.  Carla was also half in the bag and probably fed up to her eyeteeth with Maria being around all the time.  Just the thought of Maria being there with me all the time, being comforting, dispensing wisdom – aaagghh!  I am surprised only that their moment of sisterhood lasted as long as it did.

St. Maria has returned, after Carla’s attempt at suicide, to be her support system.  First Carla at Maria's house with Kirk and Liamshe came back to the lap of luxury of Carla’s apartment, then she talked Carla into going to her house.  Even then, it didn’t take her long to strike the injured pose and turn it back to being about Maria – I’m only trying to help etc.

Here’s a hint, Carla:  if you need support Ozzy the dogand companionship and only have the resources in Maria’s house to find it in, pick Ozzy.  I’m not much of a Lab person myself, but I think he would be much more help with getting your head screwed on straight.  Maria?  Kind of like having an irritating pet rock.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 12/12)

I saw my scene Tuesday and wrote about it.  Friday put my impressions in a different perspective.  So here’s both, about Carla, with observations on Friday first. 

Playing with Fire

Carla breaking off engagement with FrankWhen Carla realizes she can’t go through with marrying Frank, she tries to tell him “gently”.  She wishes to spare his feelings and protect her business.  It doesn’t go well.  She must tell him she loves Peter in order to convince him.  Frank then rapes her.

Carla lying on floor after rapeMercifully for us, they only show before and after.  But it’s enough to see it was done in cold fury, not passionate anger:  to debase and dominate her.  Don’t mess with me, lady, he’s saying in the cruelest way there is.

He Frank saying you made me do itleaves her on the floor, and goes to his car where he prepares to run down Peter.  It’s the same spot where he “protected” Carla by saying he’d been driving when Carla, in the same car, struck Stella.  “I’ll do anything for you,” he told her at the time.  She didn’t think about the flip side of such ‘devotion’.

Frank in car watching PeterCarla plays on the knife’s edge of attraction to “the bad boy”, wanting to exert control yet have a strong man at the same time.  With Frank, it backfired in the most horrible violation of her person.  No one deserves that.  I hope he is caught and stopped.

Tuesday (before Frank rapes Carla)

Frank has everything a woman could want: he’s handsome, suave, has money and good taste.  And, meeting Carla’s apparent tastes, he also has a strong streak of control freak and possible psychopathic tendencies.   However, he is missing the one thing that is the deal breaker for her:  a wife.  I have wanted to write about Carla and her obsession with other women’s men for a while.  She gave it to me on a silver platter Tuesday.

Carla telling Peter she loves himI like Carla.  She would scare me in real life. At the safe distance of a tv screen, though, I find her complex, strong and interesting.  But the little speech she gave Peter Tuesday, about how she knew he really loved her, not Leanne, because of The Kiss!  Get real, lady, I said to the tv, he’s a man and he’s got a pulse.  Of course he returned your kiss.  He’d probably do more than that if you pull a stunt like that again.  It does not mean he “loves” you or that you “love” him or that the two of you would last more than five minutes together.  It means he’s a man and he’s not dead yet – that’s all!

Carla telling Peter you careHer unattached lovers and husbands have all been murdering lunatics with control issues, starting with Paul Connor.  Her “undying love” for Paul’s brother Liam only was revealed when Liam had impregnated Maria and was marrying her.  She rebounded to an unmarried man, Tony, another murdering lunatic with control issues.  A quick interlude trying to mould Trevor into suave, wealthy businessman.  Then bouncy bouncy to Peter who has problems saying no to pretty women.  That’s how he ended up married to two of them at once.

Peter leaving the roomHe’s now trying to be a responsible husband and father.  Just let him be.  But no, she won’t until she’s managed to split him and Leanne up and cause Simon to lose another mother.  Then there will be five minutes of let’s play house.  If Peter continues to be “good Peter” she’ll quickly tire of him and enforced motherhood.  If he goes back to “bad Peter”, she will not tolerate playing second fiddle to alcohol or other women.  I actually can’t see her playing second fiddle to anything, including his son or his business.  She’d have Simon packed off to boarding school and Peter as yet another “partner” in the factory.  That way, she’d be in control.  Until another married man crossed her path…

Back to Friday (after the rape)

Maria with Carla asking if Frank did this I hope Maria can help Carla heal, and that they can help each other.  They’ve got a lot of history for women who aren’t friends.  Their recent lives are entwined through the same men.  Carla should have called the police, but it’s karmically good that she called Maria.