Tag Archives: Michelle Connor

Corrie Street 19 Mar 2017

Backup Baby

Michelle throws up in the bistro kitchen sink. Leanne watches, horrified. Steve has just told all that he’s baby Oliver’s dad.Backup baby: michelle sick in sink

He and Michelle were having a ‘just the two of us’ meal at the Bistro. The Platts converged to celebrate the new addition to their family. Chaos, as always with them, ensued. Steve wound up holding the baby. He’s mine, he said.

Everyone thought Steve had lost his marbles. But he explained. The look on Leanne’s face, then on Nick’s, confirmed his story.

Hence, Michelle’s rush to the closest sink. And Leanne right behind her. “A spare,” Michelle spat at her. All this time, he’s had a backup baby.

But despite how truly horrible this is for Michelle, it really is hard to feel sympathy for her for long. Later on she tells at Steve, “I always knew you were an idiot but you were my idiot.” Oh, Michelle, please, just quit with that one. There are so many more insults, more appropriate here.

Corrie Street 12 Feb. 2017

How you doing?

How you doing – Fiz’s concerned face, asking this of Steve at the bar. Steve Alya and Fiz at the barYou know this isn’t going to go well.

It’s Friday, and it’s been a long week of sadness and anger. It’s the day after the baby’s funeral. Steve is working a shift at the Rovers. The factory girls are having a birthday party for Izzy at the bar. Fun, fun, fun – until Fiz noticed Steve.

How you doing Fiz asks SteveYou could see it in her eyes – the mental gears shifting. No more time for fun. It’s time for ‘oh, poor you, I want to make you feel better’. When you see that look, it’s time to run as fast as you can. Too bad Steve didn’t.

Fiz gave her condolences, and stopped speaking. Whew, maybe Izzy and Sinead with sad faces and condolencesthat’s it. But even that made everyone else put on a serious face and acknowledge Steve’s loss (something he was likely trying to put out of his mind for just a bit of time).

Fiz says Michelle is still youngAnd of course Fiz’s roll was just starting. Every bromide not fit for a sympathy card popped into her mind, it seems, culminating with “Michelle’s still young…” Those words, unfortunate at the best of times in this situation, came out of Fiz’s mouth just as Michelle walked out of the back room and into hearing distance.

Steve lost it. Earlier in the week, Michelle had lost it big time so Michelle tells Steve to forget the remarkperhaps she hasn’t had a chance to build up her reserves for another explosion. She dealt with Fiz’s insensitivity surprisingly well. I was grateful, I couldn’t have taken another Michelle outburst.

Steve hasn’t been able to let out his frustration and hurt and rage. So Steve yells at FizFiz’s words pushed all his buttons and she got the brunt of it. She didn’t really deserve it. Insensitive as her words were, and inappropriate as her extended expression of sympathy was in the first place at a lunchtime birthday bash at a bar, she meant well.

So everyone feels uncomfortable and embarrassed. Her friends have to comfort Fiz. And Steve will feel bad about taking it all out on her Fiz says she has the sense of a rocking horsewhen she was just trying to be nice. Steve and Michelle have had their noses rubbed in their loss at a moment when both thought they could try to feel normal for a little bit. Oh Fiz, please, next time just buy a card or flowers! Or just say sorry for your loss. Then zip it.

Corrie Street 29 Jan 2017

Rory McDonald

Little Rory McDonald never took a breath. He was way too premature. Twenty-three weeks. It was heartbreaking.michelle and steve after birth

Michelle felt something was wrong at the baby shower held for her and Leanne at the Rovers. Oh, a lot was wrong with that shower, but that’s a different topic.

Leanne took Michelle to the hospital to get checked out. On Thursday, it seemed she’d be ok. But the doctors decided to keep her nurses take rory to check him outin just to be sure. She and Steve, both worried, tried to talk themselves calm. Steve called his unborn son Rory, the name Michelle wanted and Steve hadn’t. It had grown on him, he said.

Then she went into labour. Hospital policy defines the point of viability of life at 24 weeks gestation. If Rory didn’t take a breath, doctors would not intervene. If he did, they’d work to save him.

After he was delivered, the medical staff held the infant and studied him. Michelle and Steve held their breath as they waited to find out his – and their – fate. Had he taken a breath? A sad, small shake of a head. No.steve hugs wailing michelle

What a gut-wrenching moment. The nurse handed the tiny infant, wearing a tiny blue knitted cap, to Michelle. She held him, willing life into him. But no, baby Rory will not live.

Then she asked Steve, “What do I say to people when they ask how many kids I’ve got?” Not including him means “it’s like he never existed. Like I’m betraying him. I can’t do that. He’s my son.”nurse hands rory to michelle

I had thought that a still-born birth must be the hardest thing in the world. Now I wonder if it is this: having a baby who might or might not live, depending on a single breath. Maybe they can’t be compared, they’re equally horrible.


Rory was what is called a micro-preemie, according to a piece on CBC Radio’s The Current (Dec. 29, 2016). I listened to the story of baby Juniper and was moved by her parents’ description of watching her body actually develop. But I could still think dispassionately Michelle holds baby and criesabout the pros and cons of superhuman efforts to save such early babies.

But watching Rory? I desperately wanted to hear a breath and, failing that, I wanted to see those nurses whisk him off to an incubator and hook him up to all the machines they had.

Corrie Street 13 Nov 2016

Explaining Why

michelle-in-back-roomPoor Michelle! Not a thought that often crosses my mind, but it did on Wednesday. Michelle had to explain to Amy why her tablet was open on an abortion clinic website.

Against Michelle’s wishes, Amy knows Michelle is pregnant. But Amy doesn’t know that the baby might have a congenital disease. Telling her that would introduce the topic that Amy too might have it. They were waiting for the tests results so they would know better what exactly they were dealing with. Or avoiding the discussion?

For Michelle to even contemplate an abortion must be extremely amy-enters-back-roomdifficult. She wants this baby, and she knows it’s pretty much her last chance to have another child. But she is afraid, with good reason. So exploring options is a reasonable thing to do. It also must be very, very hard. What she doesn’t need is to have to justify herself to anybody.

michelle-pleads-with-amyAnd Amy is maybe the most judgemental critic Michelle might ever meet. She seems to have inherited the harshness of her mother and great-grandmother Blanche. She also shares their belief that she should say exactly what she thinks, regardless of the hurt or consequences that may cause.

But Amy is also a child, and cannot therefore fully understand the ramifications of Michelle’s dilemma. All she knows is that she’s going to have a baby brother or sister. She cannot comprehend that there amy-confronts-michelle about considering abortionmay be problems further along that must be considered, no matter how difficult that is to do.

Amy’s mind is, simultaneously, one of a child, a scheming manipulator and a nasty old biddy who wants to mind everybody else’s business. That’s a bad combination for complex explanations, especially one like the sorrowful process of abortion consideration.

We knew, of course, as soon as we saw the site Michelle was looking at that Amy was somehow going to find it. But it annoyed me that the writers made it so easy. When she opened the tablet, I thought she would go through its history and come across the website that amy-runs-from-roomway. She’s nosy enough to do that.

After the business with Michelle flipping out about the phone call that Amy overheard, Amy’s antennae for suspicious behaviour must be up and at full alert. You’d think therefore that Michelle’s cautionary sense would be up too. So leaving that page up on the screen? I don’t think so.

Corrie Street July 17/16

steve tries to talk to annoyed michelleMichelle decides that if she and Steve are not going to get back together, she might as well leave. She gets a cruise ship job. Doesn’t want to leave, but what’s the point in staying, yadayada. Liz, Maria and Tim try to get them back together. Come on come on, I think, let’s get to the leaving part!

maria with frying panThe black taxi takes her away. Next day Maria checks on the flat. What’s that? Someone is there. The bedroom door opens and Maria, armed with a frying pan, sees Michelle. Surprise, I’m back! Nononononono! I scream silently in my head.

It’s wrong to feel that way, I suppose. Michelle and Steve have shared custody of a child, they have a business and neither of them are spring chickens. They have a life together and they ought to build on maria-asks-why-michelle-is-backthat. They should sort out their problems rather than just get mad and walk out.

The cruise job entailed her being Sporty in a Spice Girls tribute act, Michelle tells Maria. That I’d pay to see but Michelle won’t do it even for pay. She’s still leaving, for Ireland to spend time with her parents while she sorts herself out. Lucky Connors.

Maria and Amy get Steve on side to save his marriage. He goes with steve and amy wait as maria and michelle leave flatMichelle in the back seat of a Streetcars cab. They can talk on the way to the train station. He talks and she softens. The car drives only as far as the Rovers. Home. Amy and Maria stand at the pub door, a happy and excited welcoming committee.

Back together. Happy?

So they’re back together, and one hopes they will indeed discuss maria and amy watch as steve opens cab door for michelle in front of roverswhat caused the rift between them. One also hopes that at some point, and the sooner the better, she will stop talking down to him, stop belittling him. But she just can’t seem to help herself.

Earlier, while moaning to Liz, Michelle can’t resist a demeaning dig when Steve does try to talk. Liz is coaching her and Tim is coaching Steve. It’s going not badly, all considered, when Michelle stomps off again saying Tim and Steve are acting like a pair of juveniles. Oh just back together and michelle tells steve to not stand there looking gormlesswonderful, Michelle, and why exactly does Steve and everyone else think you are so good for him?

So despite some great visuals of their return to the Rovers, I couldn’t get past the thought that Steve is back to a life of being nagged, henpecked and lorded over by Michelle. And being told how lucky he is.

Corrie Street June 26/16

The week opens with Amy Barlow showing that she has learned well from amy barlow ponders approachher mother. Last week she eavesdropped on Michelle and Will and discovered that they had a sort-of fling while Steve was away. Amy soon let Michelle know that she knew and that there was a price to pay for silence. Amy wants to stay with Steve and Michelle. Michelle will make sure that happens. Otherwise, Amy makes clear, Steve will find out what Michelle was up to in his absence.

I’m sure, had it continued, Amy would add new demands. Michelle michelle-avoids-looking-at-amyknows that too. She looks at Amy and sees the future – catering to Amy’s whims whether they be toast with chocolate spread for breakfast or 20 quid here and there. Amy has blackmailed people over less.

Amy loses her advantage when Will’s furious fiancée Saskia tells Steve about the dalliance. The truth was not good for Michelle, but I think it was a lot better than her life being held hostage by a particularly cruel twelve year old.

Amy: Eyes of a shark

Watch the eyes in that lovely face: they are the eyes of a shark. Amy is amy-gives-warning-look-to-michellefrightening. Easily as single-minded as Tracy and better at manipulation. First, she doesn’t let emotion cloud her actions. When she sees an opportunity for herself, she takes it. But she is not motivated by vindictiveness. It is getting what she wants or simply seeing if she can get someone to cave in, survival of the fittest. The passion of hate is not there as it often is with Tracy. For Amy, it’s just playing the game.

michelle-waitsSecond, she is still a child so she has lots of time to hone her skills. When emotions do become a motivator, she will know how to work around them. She has watched her mother. She has seen when Tracy won and when she lost, and why. She’s learned from those lessons. Already, I think, the student has surpassed the master.

And third, she is a child. That gives her a huge advantage. Her adult victims underestimate the extent of her evil, the damage she is willing would-hate-for-dad-to-knowto do. They consider her a child playing childish games. But the games are blackmail, done in dead seriousness on her part. Even adults forced to buy her stuff or shell out cash chuckle and say ‘just like your mother’. Yes, folks, she is. The same people do not see Tracy as harmless. But because Amy is young and, so far, the payouts haven’t been major, it’s seen as cute. With Michelle, Amy graduated into the big leagues.

Lastly, because she’s a child, it is especially frightening to watch. She is distressed by her mother’s actions and the fact that people do not michelle-gets-the-messagelike Tracy. She does not want to grow up to be like her mother. But unless someone challenges her with what she is doing, that is exactly what she will do. Robert was the only person who saw what Amy was capable of and confronted her with some unpalatable truths about herself. And now he’s out of her life.

Corrie Street Feb. 8/15

Once I was prescribed pills for severe stomach pains. The doctor told me to eat “a bland diet”. I thought milk and cream soups qualified as bland. The pain, despite the pills, Michelle-and-Stevegot worse. Later, another doctor told me to avoid food high in fats, like milk and cream soups. Then the pills worked fine.

I think Steve too is caught in conflicting “remedies”. He’s got pills to counteract his depression. But he’s also got Michelle. Oh, she wants to help him. Poor man. Much more of her help and he’ll be teetering on the upstairs window ledge.

After she finished with her own indulgence about “should have seen the signs” (yes, Michelle, you should have), she started watching him like a hawk and quizzing him. Have you taken your tablets, how do you expect to get better, and on and on until I wanted to jump out a window myself.

Norris-about-bad-drivingThen it got worse. She defended him. Norris was picking at him to others at the bar, about his driving, about sitting like a zombie while injured people needed help, about Sinead maybe paralyzed. His audience, Eileen, Nick and Leanne, were actually sticking up for Steve. But Michelle couldn’t let it go. She got right in Norris’ face: Steve’s got problems too you know, he Steve-watches-Michelleis clinically depressed. Oh great, exactly what he had asked her to keep to herself.

Maybe the others ought to know and it is not something he need feel shame about. But he should have a chance to come to terms with his diagnosis, and the accident, a little bit by himself so he can handle the questions and opinions of others. It is not her story to tell. Tracy made that point abundantly clear when she barged in the back Tracy-asks-if-Steve-is-gagaroom, asking Steve if what she’d heard was true, that he had gone “radio gaga”.

Steve is starting therapy in addition to the anti-depressants. That’s good. But Michelle will be there, hovering. What I think would help the most would be if Michelle went away, with poor Hamish or whatever. And, of course, for Liz and all to stop telling him how lucky he is to have someone as great as Michelle. It’s little wonder he’s depressed, she’s like a great vampire sucking out his lifeblood of self-esteem.

Corrie Street June 22/14

Michelle-yells-at-SteveThursday’s episode was a shocker. Michelle was without her trademark eyeliner. Less surprising was her attack on Steve for keeping Peter’s secret, although the savagery of her words was more than I had expected.

“Blood on your hands,” she said. He should have told her about Peter’s affair with Tina because a) nothing should be kept from her and b) she could have stopped Peter and all now would be well. Yes, Michelle, Peter Michelle-points-at-herselfwould have listened to you, sure he would. Because you are the avenging angel, and all listen to your pearls of wisdom.

Steve explained his decisions. He hoped Peter would get back on the wagon with no one knowing. He hoped Peter would end it with Tina and no one need know. He has had to live with his choices, knowing that he was keeping secrets from Michelle and watching the Tina/Peter/Carla situation explode Michelle-screams-at-Stevebefore his eyes. “Anything for a quiet life,” Michelle sneered. How, I wondered, has Steve’s life been “quiet” with what he has been doing? The way for him to stay out of it all would have been to tell Michelle the whole story right off the bat. Let her make the difficult decision of what and when to tell whom, to choose whose lives to destroy. Steve could sit back and leave Michelle in the thick of it – for better or worse.

“But keeping his grubby little secret was more important than us, eh?” Us, not Carla, not Tina, not the equilibrium of the neighbourhood, but us. In Michelle-speak, us means me. Michelle-calls-Steve-traitorSteve dared keep something from her. Never mind that she had known about Carla’s pregnancy and did not share that with Steve – because Carla asked her to keep it to herself. But Steve keeping something to himself because Peter asked him to just doesn’t count for Michelle. By doing that, Steve was “a coward, and a traitor.” Michelle dresses it up in the vocabulary of trust and honesty in a relationship. But there is only one side of their relationship she is concerned with – hers.

Tina was murdered and Carla miscarried her baby, but it’s all about Michelle. Liz and Steve-and-Liz-watch-Michelle-leaveSteve understandably have been devastated by what has happened to their friends, but their greatest apprehension has been about Michelle’s reaction when she finds out Steve knew. They are right to be afraid. Michelle’s fury is really for herself, but she wraps her words of betrayal in the cloak of real tragedies that have befallen other people. By that, she takes the moral high ground and she further sears the guilt Steve feels into his heart.

Michelle-leaves-RoversIn perfect Michelle high dudgeon mode, with arms figuratively crossed, she stomps out. The upside is that she is out of Steve’s life!  Maybe.

Kym Marsh was excellent, as was Simon Gregson as the object of her harangue.

Corrie Street Feb. 23/14

Michelle may tell him he’s thick, but Steve sometimes seems smarter and more insightful hardly-said-two-words-to-methan even he thinks he is.  In scenes on Thursday and Friday, there is deftness in the writing and portrayal of Steve, first with Michelle and then with Andrea.

He tries to explain to Michelle why he is unhappy about Lloyd and Andrea dating.  It’s a friendship thing, he says, one with Lloyd and a separate one with Andrea. He wants the situation with both to stay as it is.  He tries to explain the nature of best friends and how the entrance of a third person changes that, steve-explainseven when the third is also a friend. One party can end up feeling like an outsider, a gooseberry.  He is the one feeling that way, especially with Lloyd and Andrea changing friendship to romance.  Michelle cannot understand.  All she can see is that he is being ‘stupid’, as usual, or that he is interested romantically in Andrea.

Michelle sees Steve’s jealousy as indicating only that he doesn’t regard her as a friend or michelle-lookswant her as a lover.  Steve is caught in the impossible situation of trying to explain to his partner why another woman’s friendship is important to him, when he doesn’t really understand it himself.  The dynamics of emotional connections are very hard to disentangle.  It is especially difficult to do with an audience of an already jealous girlfriend who appears unfamiliar with the complexities of friendship.  Michelle listens, but you can see her mind so busy working along her own lines that she does not hear him.

Most of us know from experience what Steve is saying about friend alliances.  We know Michelle’s fears too – the heartbreak that awaits when professed ‘friendship’ masks something much more your-flaming-historythreatening. Both are speaking truths, and they are truths that might overlay or disguise each other.  Is it a case of the gentleman doth protest too much?  Is Steve trying to avoid something as simple as the fact that he fancies Andrea?  I didn’t know at the end of the scene.  There is, of course, a bit of wishful thinking on my part.  With the way Michelle has been toward him lately, I’d rather see him with anyone but her.

Friday, Steve told Andrea he had mixed feelings about her going out with Lloyd.  Andrea was delighted; he was jealous therefore he must like her, oh happy day she thought.  But he cut the moment short before she could tell him how she felt.

always-will-beShe got another chance a bit later.  As she leaned toward him, ready to tell him how she felt about him, his face showed that he was very quickly assimilating what she was about to say.  He averted it, by talking about mates and how happy he was to have her as one.  She stopped what she’d been about to say and said yes, mates, that’s us.  The switch in direction was not so smooth good-friendsthat they couldn’t see what had happened, but it was enough that they could pretend that the other wasn’t saying something awkward.   Nicely played, Steve.

Corrie Street Oct. 27/13

high-heelOh, the joy of seeing Liz McDonald come through the Rovers’ door!  A real landlady back.  And just in time, before Michelle and her ego have a chance to completely destroy the business.  I agree with Michelle:  being the barmaid is a less taxing job than being the landlady.  Having no real responsibility or authority better suits her skills.

However, now having her feet planted behind the bar as landlady and being able to lord it over the likes of Tracy, Michelle will surprise-gift-for-menot go gently.  The next fight, I predict, will be between her and Liz about the sign over the door.  It will be more evenly matched than fights Michelle has with Steve.  He proudly put up a new sign proclaiming Steve McDonald and Michelle Connor as proprietors.  If Liz put money into the Rovers’ purchase this time, she will want her name back up there.  And incidentally, have the rules changed?  Last time sign-over-doorSteve bought the bar, his criminal record meant that he could not be the legal licensee.*  That is why Liz was, despite having no financial investment in it at all.

I don’t know if I have ever wished that a grown man would revert to living with his mother and being a perennial ‘mamma’s boy’ but, given the choice of Michelle or Liz as Steve’s partner in life, I think he’s better off with Liz.  Although she is very good at belittling him, she’s not a patch on Michelle.  Of all the bitchy women who have been part of Steve’s life, Michelle has raised it to an art form.

Consider her initial reaction on Thursday to his surprise gift of the Rovers to her.  steve-plays-possumDespite knowing, as everyone on the street except Steve knew, that Michelle doesn’t like surprises, I was shocked by the nastiness that came out of her mouth.  In front of the whole bar, she told him what a loser he was and that having to work all hours in a “backstreet boozer” was not what she had dreamed of for her life.

One’s mouth can run ahead of one’s brain, so maybe Michelle would quickly realize that what she said was hurtful and ungracious.  She took herself off to the Bistro for a think or why-is-she-sayinga sulk.  Steve came in to make amends.  Nope, she was not having any of it.  It was a step back for her, she said, she had a career at the factory, she said, that she loved.  Fair enough, but she made it sound as if he had been responsible for her no longer having it.  Steve did not say, you got in a snit and walked out.  He’s a bigger man than I am.

Round three of negotiations:  Michelle returns to the Rovers ostensibly to apologize.  But liz-settles-fightshe still makes it Steve’s fault.  The words she said about “we need to communicate like adults, with inflection and pointed glance, came across clearly as you.  Steve really should have told her, when she asked if there was anything else, that there was another partner.  But after her earlier explosions, who would willingly cause another one?   How he thought he was going to hide the presence, and involvement, of Liz, I don’t know but I can’t blame him for wanting to.

pack-it-inAs soon as she walked in, Liz had to settle a catfight in the middle of the bar.  Her biggest fight is going to be with Michelle and my money is on Liz.

* The answer is here.  Thanks.