Can’t pick one: three excellent episodes, countless excellent scenes. The bus crash, of course, from lead-up to aftermath – perfect in acting, writing, lighting and camera work.
Everybody dressed up for their big night out. I was glad Tracy was included. I felt sorry for her – alone and broke and the others going to a bash at a hall she and Rob had looked at for their wedding. But I was sorry Beth got left behind.
The drive. The atmosphere in the bus is toxic. Road-trip singsongs barely covering sniping that was ratcheting up. They aren’t going to get there, I thought. They’ll start clawing at each other, a great big catfight inside a small box.
Instead it’s ‘boy racers’ taking everyone’s attention. They cut Steve off. Then he passes so they come alongside, jeering. It’s hard to ignore that. Steve accepts their challenge. They up the stakes, passing then slamming on the brakes. To avoid rear-ending them, Steve must swerve. Into a tree. Crash.
Steve wakes and crawls out of the van. He sees the cliff, and what’s below – way below. Does he act? Call for help? No. He goes into a fugue state. Julie and Sean rouse and clamber out. Moonlight, mist, rocks, and a still figure – it looks like Wuthering Heights. Then Julie comes alive. She phones for help and pulls people from the van. Her billowing skirt is her bandage supply.
The bus slips toward the cliff edge slowly. Tracy sees Carla inside, hurt. Help her or not? Hard decision. Forced by the others coming near or maybe decency, she gets Carla out.
Back at the Rovers, those left behind have been having fun. They had an awards ceremony for themselves. Then Beth gets a call from Kirk. Everyone whips out their cell phones to call their person on the bus. Streetcar cabs take them to the hospital. Rita and Norris sit at the bar of an empty pub.
At the hospital, the desk nurse deals with everyone asking about everyone all at once. Then Steve tells Michelle he’s been diagnosed with depression. It’s a surprise to her (okaaay). Sally warns Maddie about PTSD (“Gary Windass went doolally”). Touching moments as someone sees the person they seek. Everyone seems to be fine physically, except Sinead. She is conscious but cannot feel her legs.
Realistic that there were no other serious injuries or fatalities? No, but I was happy to suspend disbelief.