Tag Archives: Kirsty Soames

Coronation Street Apr. 14/13

Unravelling

Kirsty-with-phoneTuesday, Kirsty’s face as Ruby cries upstairs. You know that this is the end of the storyline and the end of the road for Kirsty. The only question is what is she going to do. Is she going to end the cycle of familial physical violence or perpetuate it  Is she going to admit she was lying or start hitting the baby? She looks for help at Dr. Carter’s office. He won’t give her sleeping pills. She won’t consider a therapist. She goes home. Ruby sleeps, until Julie comes to confront Kirsty. The baby begins crying again.

She carries Ruby down from upstairs, cooing at her to try to comfort her.  But her sh-sh-sh sounds become words: “shut up shut up” still said in a soothing voice. Her patience is at the snapping screams-at-babypoint. And indeed, she snaps. The murmured “shut up” becomes a loud scream right in the baby’s face: SHUT UP.

She stops herself, horrified at what she’s done. Then picks up the baby in her carrier. Where is she going? Next door to beg Julie to take the baby? No, she doesn’t knock at Eileen’s door where inside Julie is crying on Sean’s shoulder after Kirsty hit her hard. (Why they didn’t try to rescue Ruby, I don’t know.) They hear the baby cry, then sudden silence. I fear Kirsty will head to the Canal, where so many Weatherfield evil-doers end the stories of themselves and their victims.

in-courtroomMy guesses are wrong. Next episode she goes to the courtroom, baby in arms, and asks that Tyrone take the child. It was she, Kirsty says, who battered Tyrone and she feared she would do the same to Ruby. After some strange and convoluted judicial outrage about decorum, they charge her with perjury and obstruction of justice. They also release Tyrone and return Ruby to him. As Kirsty is taken to the cells, through a window she sees Tyrone walking down the street, carrying the baby with Fiz hanging off his arm. My heart broke for Kirsty.

All the actors in this story have been brilliant, but Natalie Gumede has been stunning. She has illustrated all sides of the cycle of domestic abuse. She has recollected the young girl, terrified of Kirsty-horrifiedher father and frightened for her mother’s safety. She’s shown us the young girl confused and let down by her mother’s unwillingness to protect herself and her child. She has also shown us a vicious abuser, able to hit someone she loves with anything that comes to hand and make him feel it is his fault that she is “forced” to do this.  Then she has shown the regret and horror that an abuser feels after their loss of control and the nightmare that she has become exactly the same as the person she feared and hated.

But she stopped the cycle, early enough that probably it will not affect Ruby in later life. I thought it would be her mother who stopped it, who said I can’t let another generation of abuse exist. But by not telling the court what she knew, her mother was continuing the cycle of abuse and convicting an innocent man. She was allowing her own victimization to destroy more lives, and calling it protecting her child. stupid-stupid

But two wrongs don’t make a right. Kirsty put more on the line than she had ever asked of her mother. She declared herself an abuser and put herself behind bars in order to save her child. All she had asked of her mother was for her to leave an abusive husband and father. I think her mother has as much self-examination to do as Kirsty has.

Coronation Street Scene (Mar. 24/13)

Blaming the Victim

Kirsty’s mom listening to her tell about her situation with Tyrone.  At first Alison believed her did-not-learn kirsty blaming the victimdaughter, wanted to believe her.  Then you could see her face change as Kirsty’s words didn’t add up.  Slips in use of “I” and “he” were caught by Alison.  She heard her daughter say familiar phrases, ones that blame the victim.  He makes me do it, it’s his fault I get so angry.  Phrases – excuses, justifications – Alison has heard many times over the years.  She has heard them from her husband, and now from her daughter.

She realized that there was violence within her daughter’s home. But it wasn’t being perpetuated by the man but rather by the woman, her daughter.  You could see her mind processing this, and did-you-hit-himrealizing that sadly it made sense.  She had seen nothing in Tyrone to suggest a violent nature. So she was surprised to hear that he had been charged with abusing Kirsty.  Baffled even that she had so misjudged him.  She wants to support Kirsty because she is her daughter and also because she knows she has let Kirsty down so many times before.  She well knows that her daughter grew up amid violence and abuse. Knows that both she and Kirsty were direct victims of her husband’s violent temper.  She must know too that often the abused becomes the abuser.

Victim and/or abuser

with-whatever-came-to-handAn innocent man is in jail, an abuser is free and on the streets and a small child is caught in a situation in which she too may become part of the cycle of domestic violence.  Possibly vulnerable to abuse herself, certainly being in a situation in which she in later life, like Kirsty, will have to make some sort of sense of the circumstances of her upbringing.

Alison knows it’s time to stop the cycle of violence.  She knows Kirsty must admit what she did, for her own sake as much as Tyrone’s and Ruby’s.  She succeeds in getting through to Kirsty.  Kirsty’s emotional protective wall collapsed as i-let-them-thinkher mother asked her straight out and Kirsty nodded, yes, it had been she who hit Tyrone repeatedly.  Kirsty will retract her statement to the police.

But next day, apparently not realizing that telephones have been invented, Alison goes to Tina’s apartment to tell Tina and Fiz.  Of course Kirsty sees her.  All Kirsty’s remorse goes out the window, vengeance shall be hers.  She confronts her mother with the set up job by Fiz and Tina, and her mother’s betrayal by colluding in this with Tyrone’s current girlfriend.  Skilled in manipulation and aided by her mother’s already existing guilt toward her, she convinces Alison to not further betray her now.

show-him-you-are-sorrySo Alison tells Fiz that she will not help Tyrone, that her first and only obligation is to her daughter.  She will let the unjust accusation and charge against Tyrone stand.  She will not let her daughter down.  I only hope she remembers Ruby and remembers that once before she let a little girl stay in an abusive home.  She is seeing now how that worked out for that child, her daughter Kirsty.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 10/13)

Open to Persuasion

A Joan Armatrading song mentioned by Jenna this week applies to three characters in two different storylines:  “I’m not in love but I’m open to persuasion.”  Jenna and Lloyd in one, Kirsty and Tyrone in the other.  Four actors, two great scenes.

beat-a-confession-outKirsty and Tyrone talk after she returns to Number 9 from the wedding that didn’t happen.  Tyrone desperately tries to smooth things over so that she will stay or agree to let him keep Ruby.  Kirsty isn’t buying any of it.  She is angry but also hurt.  She wants to tell him how it is going to be, but she also wants to explain herself to him.  It is both a huge fight and a cathartic opening up of her history and emotions.

For the first time that I can recall, she gives details about her dad kirsty talks about childhoodhitting her and her mother covering it up.  When a child, she had asked her father if they could have a dog and a broken collarbone was her answer.  At the hospital, her mother told the doctor she had fallen off her bicycle:  “kids, eh!” she laughed.

Tyrone listens to Kirsty without interrupting.  It seems he, like me, is visualizing the little girl hurt by one parent and betrayed by the other.  All because she wanted a dog.  Tyrone is a dog person and I wonder if, like me, he’s thinking thank heavens they didn’t get one to be yet another victim for daddy.

top-of-stairsBut Tyrone returns to his immediate concern – who will have Ruby.  Kirsty, daddy’s girl after all, raises her fists to him as she tells him Ruby will be with her.

Paul-with-Kirsty-bottom-of-stairsThey push past each other to get upstairs to the baby.  At the top of the stairs, Tyrone ducks a punch from Kirsty. She keeps on going, all the way to the bottom.  High drama resumes.

Jenna’s persuasion

Lloyd arranging an opportunity for a heart-to-heart with Jenna breaks the ‘high drama’ be-anything-moreof Sally carping at Jenna about taking advantage of her innocent little Sophie.  As they decide what kind of take-out they want, he gently presses her about whether she has romantic feelings for Sophie or women in general.  She doesn’t answer directly but we and Lloyd accept her words as a yes.  And no, she never felt she could tell her mother or especially her father.  Lloyd questions this, saying her father was an open-minded man.  She says that her dad never again never-played-it-again jenna open to persuasionplayed one of his favourite songs after he heard that the singer was gay.

It was nice to see Jenna relax and open up.  I have liked her character but she always seems to be buttoned up with so much tension held in her neck and shoulders that she could benefit from physiotherapy herself.  Admittedly, she’s had reason to be tense with finding out her late father wasn’t really her dad and he knew it. That Lloyd is her biological dad and now is back with her mother.  On remember-that-songtop of that, Sophie, a teenager, has been throwing herself at her, as did Sophie’s dad.  And she doesn’t want to out herself.

not-marrying-me-becauseSo Jenna might persuade herself to love Sophie.  Tyrone tried to persuade Kirsty he was in love with her and Kirsty desperately wants to believe she is loved.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 3/13)

Teleflorist

My husband’s guess was that Kirsty would show up at her wedding with a hidden gun.  kirsty-in-dressAfter seeing her wedding dress, I asked where would she hide it?  I never thought about her bouquet as a hiding spot, and neither of us thought Tyrone’s secret cell phone would be what she hid in it.

Very clever is our Kirsty.  By reciting off some of Tyrone’s texts to Fiz, it’s Tyrone who looks bad here, not bat-crazy Kirsty.  It was an absolutely insane plan that Fiz came up with, made even more insane by Tyrone’s planned execution of it.

cell phone in kirsty's handFiz consulted a lawyer who told her Tyrone could establish parental rights by marrying the child’s mother.  But I feel there must have been a “however” in there that she missed.

Legal Opinions

Indeed, some UK lawyers have given their opinions online: there are kirsty on phone in churchother ways he could gain parental responsibility.  These options, and DNA testing, were mentioned in passing earlier in the story but haven’t been dealt with in a satisfactory fashion for most fans.

I could find nothing to show whether Tyrone’s plan to depart straight from his own wedding reception with the baby and Fiz would be kirsty and tyrone at altarlegally tenable for him to claim custody.  But it makes no common sense to me.  He would have not established even a legally binding marital relationship with Kirsty.

So, in following the real-life logic of this plotline, there are huge holes.  But it has been riveting due to the domestic abuse story content and the acting by both principals.  When the cell phone was kirsty reacts to textsfound in the couch and Kirsty realized what it was, it was impossible to not feel sorry for her as her dreams crashed around her.  Even though we feared what she would do next, the emotional devastation she felt was so real.

Natalie Gumede has successfully conveyed a woman on the edge; trying to control the violence in herself that she hates so much, hoping that she can change her behaviour, hoping that they can truly be the happy family textthat she has wanted for so long.  Then seeing the texts laying out the whole of Tyrone’s betrayal of the dream and what had appeared to be the reality.  And betraying her and the life she and Tyrone had with the woman Kirsty for so long has seen as a threat. Despite knowing that Tyrone has good reason for what he’s doing, my heart still ached for Kirsty.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 6/13)

Kirkys Turkys

Interspersed amid the turmoil, a little tale of giving and goodness unfolded this week thanks to our Kirk and young Craig.

kirkysturkysBeth wants a fancy necklace for Christmas. To make the money, Kirk goes into the turkey selling business. He’s really not good at it so Beth’s son Craig helps him out for a cut. Then Chesney, indirect source of turkeys, has reason to think they are stolen goods and tells Kirk they have to get rid of them fast.

turkeysTurkeys, frozen in blue plastic wrappers, bob on the canal. Kirk says that ice is lighter than water so they won’t sink unless they thaw which they won’t do in December Manchester waters. When Chesney asks, in amazement, why Kirk hadn’t told him that earlier, Kirk says he’s always wrong about things. Since Ches hadn’t said anything, he figured he must be wrong on that too. He wasn’t, the floating turkeys made the front page of the Gazette.

kirk-and-emilyBut Kirk has taken people’s money and now has no turkeys. So he goes to Freshcos and buys more at a higher price. He arranges delivery of Emily’s turkey, explaining it will be larger than she had ordered. But not to worry, he won’t charge her extra. She is pleased –  Norris won’t be able to complain about no leftovers.

Where will they live?

Even more in debt now, he worries about money for both the necklace and for a deposit on a flat because Peter has given necklaceBeth her notice. Kirk despondent is a very sorry sight. Then Beth runs up and smothers him with kisses. She found the necklace hidden in Craig’s dresser drawer. Isn’t Kirk the clever one, trying to hide something from her. Kirk has no idea what she’s talking about. Later, telling Craig, the light bulb slowly comes on. You bought it, he says. Craig admits that he sold his iPod so he could buy the necklace for Kirk to give Beth.

Necklace solved, but a place to live not. Kirk asks Maria if they can stay with her for a few days. Absolutely not. How can Kirk tell Beth that his sister said no?

Snowflakes fluttering down, the odd little family sit on the Maxine Peacock Memorial Bench, Santa hats and earmuffs on, eating fish and chips while Beth says how wonderful is Kirk-Beth-Craig-Christmaslife and how wonderful is Christmas going to be! Kirk tries to put them off Maria’s place. The telly’s broke, it’s cramped, Marcus cooks fancy food. Just as Beth realizes there is something he’s not telling her, Maria comes outside and begrudgingly says you can stay with us for a few days. Beth is happy, Kirk is relieved. And they look forward to their perfect Christmas together.

And back to Kirsty

On the week’s story of horror, the escalation of Kirsty’s violence and regret has been riveting and Tyrone’s fear and loathing of her palpable. Fiz has, well, annoyed me. I can’t decide if her inability to stay the hell away from him for five minutes so he doesn’t get beaten to death is believable for her character or if it is evidence of plot-driven burnett-conway-wrong-numberwriting to hurry along the big confrontation. If that question even comes to mind, I think it shows plot contrivance.

My husband summarized the storyline very well: “Reminds me of the skit with Carol Burnett and Tim Conway, a wrong number in the middle of the night.” I watched it and, yes, absolutely. Here it is.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Oct. 7/12)

Tick Tock

A quiet build up of scary tension in four parts Thursday.  Kirsty, wound tighter than a Kirsty nervously holds Ruby - tick tock timeclock on a time bomb.  Wait – that’s just what she is!  The baby is crying and fussing, and Kirsty is tired.  You don’t notice the signs of tiredness as much as the signs of tension at the breaking point.  She’s calm on the surface and trying to show Tyrone she can handle it alone.

He goes back to work but he’s worried about the baby and Kirsty.  Kev doesn’t want him to take off for 10 minutes to check.  They’ve got work to do.  So Fizz and Sally go, with Tyrone’s reluctant agreement.  He knows what the sight of Fizz will do to Ms Nutbar and hopes Sally will alleviate Kirsty’s suspicions and animosity.

Kirsty telling Fizz and Sally she needs nothing from themDoesn’t quite work that way.  The tension that started in the audience, at least in me, at the first sight of tight, controlled Kirsty, builds when Fizz and Sally come in.  Fizz is wary and, given her druthers, would leave.  But Sally blithely pushes her way in, oh we can help, we’ve been through it too, let’s put the kettle on.

Kirsty stalking around the room, ready to kirsty takes baby from sallypounce on them if they disturb the baby.  She’s absolutely aghast when Sally just picks little Ruby up and cuddles her.  Whew, she doesn’t attack Sally with talons out, snatching the baby back.  Well, not quite immediately.  She soon does, saying the baby (who is quiet as a mouse) needs changing.  When Sally says she can change her and doesn’t hand Ruby back, Kirsty does take her and tells her visitors to get out.  They do.

Kirsty screams at baby - tick tock buildsNext look in, the baby is fussing and Kirsty loses it.  She pushes everything off the kitchen table.  She picks up the baby’s mobile from in front of her little cot and throws it.  Finally, she screams at the baby – what is it you want from me.  But she doesn’t touch her, this time.

Tyrone keeps baby awayWe come back to them as Kirsty is cleaning up the mess she made and Tyrone comes in.  Thank heavens, I think.  And he, despite his willingness to put up with Kirsty’s abuse of him, shows his fear of her behaviour and his absolute unwillingness to put his daughter at risk.  He turns his back to Kirsty, with the baby in his arms, when she wants to take Ruby.  Then he takes her to the medical clinic, just in case she is hurt.  Good for you, Tyrone.

Kirsty beseeching Tyrone to stay with babyAnd good for you, Natalie Gumede.  You created a wonderfully done portrait of violence and paranoia and danger.  And building tension. Tick tock.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Sept. 9/12)

Love Hurts

It’s the story of Kirsty and Tyrone I guess, more than any one scene this week.  Although Kirsty listens to Tyroneevery scene where Kirsty gets or might get annoyed or has an implement of any kind in or near her hand is scary.  After her return, that meant pretty much every scene she was in.  And Tyrone, desperate for love and a baby, willing to sacrifice himself, his friendships – everything to keep a madwoman happy.

On Friday, two scenes that happened after Kirsty found out Tina and Tommy knew about the way she vents her stress illustrate both points.  Tyrone walked in the house and Tyrone looks at iron and goes no nearer KirstyKirsty was there ironing clothes.  He looked at the hot steam iron more often than he looked at her.  So did I.  He made a move once toward her, as if to hug her, but stopped short at the sight of the hot iron between them.  I’m sure he was more relieved than I was when she unplugged it and put it away.

Next scene, over a meal, she once again says she’s willing to get help. But she can’t bear the fact that anyone else knows about what she does.  That she loves him but it won’t work, Tyrone and Kirsty talk over takeout mealblahblahblah.  Not with Tina and Tommy knowing and watching her every move.  And Tyrone once again falls into her trap.  He says that he will totally cut off contact with Tina and Tyrone, anything to make her happy and let him have his little family.  And you can see the self-satisfied glint come into her perhaps truly remorseful eyes.  If he does it, she’ll have total control over him.  And she seems to need that.

This is an excellent storyline remarkably well done by Alan Halsall and Natalie Gumede.  steam rising from iron in Kirsty's handThey beautifully portray the complexities of two people who want to love and be loved but have some self- (and other-) destructive issues that neither want to actually deal with.  The thought of a baby being added to this mix is horrifying.

Kirsty blames her dad

I missed the episodes when Kirsty’s parents were there and she explained that her dad beat her and her mother.  Maybe I’d feel more Tommy confronts Kirsty about taking her work home with hersympathy for her if I had seen those.  As it is, I see only the pride that is keeping her from getting help that she knows she needs.  I am relieved that she is no longer a cop. Interestingly, Tommy is the only one who has explicitly connected the dots about that and her being abusive.  She is a bully and that’s not what any police force needs on the streets.

And it’s not what Tyrone needs.  In the final scene of the week, Tyrone cut his friends Tyrone walks past Tina and Tommy on streetdead, told Tommy he only wanted to see him with the loan repayment and for them both to stay away from him.  I wonder what it’s going to take for him to think, if not of his safety and sanity, but of the protection of the baby that is soon to arrive.  If Kirsty wants to blame her father for what she is doing, Tyrone ought to remember that her dad beat both his wife and his child.