Tag Archives: Pat Phelan

Corrie Street 10 Sept. 2017

Chocolate Eclairs

Phelan goes into a dark, dingy cellar at the end of Monday’s episode. phelan holds eclairsHe carries a grocery bag. He pulls out a box of chocolate eclairs. He’s talking to someone, telling them how nice it is of him to bring them food, to look after them. Then he eats the eclair.

The eclair reminds him of his mum, his childhood. She sometimes would buy a few chocolate eclairs from the posh bakery. They, and what they represented, made him want the good things in life. He found the easiest way to get them, however,  was by doing bad things.

So now, he tells his unseen audience, he’s at a crossroads. Good phelan-sits-talks-to-personthings in his life – his newfound daughter, Eileen presumably, life as a nearly respectable resident of Coronation Street – make him want to not have to deal with the bad things still remaining – his unseen audience in that dank cellar being one of those. He quotes Fagin in ‘Oliver’, “I am reviewing my situation.”

phelan-leaves-cellarWithout saying whether he’s choosing the left or the right path, he heads back up the stairs. Does he toss the food within reach of the person in the room? Or does he take it with him? Don’t know.

A lunge, and a chain clinking as it pulls to the end of its tether. Then a face – Andy. Remember him? Eight months ago, he disappeared after discovering too much about Phelan. (Also see my Dream Sequence.)chains-on-feet

Andy was trying to get away, packing a bag as fast as he could. But Phelan caught him and clunked him over the head with a laptop. We haven’t known if he was dead or alive.

andy-in-anguishAlive, and not actually looking that much worse for wear after eight months of being chained to a wall in a cellar. No light. No room to move. Phelan brings food, but it seems he also eats it while telling Andy how very delicious it is.

I’m of two minds about this story. What happened to Andy had to be resolved at some point. Six months earlier would have been better. By now, it’s almost like an American soap where somebody miraculously returns from the dead with whatever silly explanation is deemed to test audience incredulity the least.

Phelan has to be caught. He must pay for his misdeeds. But I like Phelan, and he’s been edgy but good Phelan for long enough now that I’m willing for him to just continue that way.phelan-kneels-by-garbage-bag

I’m not buying the story, but I loved the scene. It was a glimpse into Phelan’s mind and soul. You could almost see that little boy, and his anticipation when he saw his mother come home with the posh bakery box. Chocolate eclairs – a delicious treat and the good life.

Corrie Street 16 Apr 2017

Mad Street

Wednesday, Barlows scurry around, all upset about different things. All mad at Ken for different reasons. Pat Phelan like an injured bull – mad at Ken. Ken angry too, with his kids and about a kitchen torn apart for too long.ken-listens-to-music

Finally alone in the house but for Eccles, he sits in his chair and listens to music. Decides to have a cup of tea. Due to construction, he has to take the kettle upstairs to the bathroom to fill it. And ta-dum – a noise downstairs. Who’s there? No answer.

tracy-in-front-of-floristsWe check in on the others. Tracy is looking for Amy. She went AWOL from a recital at the community centre. She’s been frantic to get back to her grandfather’s house to hide money that she’d promised for someone.

daniel-looks-at-giftDaniel is in his apartment, fuming about Sinead. Then he looks at his father’s gift. A poetry book, with maybe an inscription. Two and two add up. He realizes Ken, and Oxford, may have played a part in Sinead deciding to have an abortion. So off he goes to confront Ken.

mad sinead-pounds-on-doorMeanwhile Sinead, drunk and mad, was pounding on Ken’s door, yelling to get in. Pat Phelan was in the Rovers, getting madder and madder about Ken – “that second rate Stephen Fry” – and his complaints.

peter-with-whiskey-bottlePeter is sitting in his apartment with a bottle of whiskey. Looking at it. Feeling it. Smelling it. His father and Toyah accused him of drinking again, wouldn’t believe that he wasn’t. He might as well prove them right. Almost, but no. Instead he smashes the bottle on the countertop.eccles-with-ken

So back to Ken. He’s on the floor, unconscious, at the bottom of the stairs. Eccles tries to rouse him. Daniel opens the door. He is daniel-sees-ken-and-phelanshocked to see his father. Then he gets another shock, as do we when the camera pulls back. Pat Phelan is standing over Ken. He says he just got there, and that he too is shocked. But is he?

Is it another stroke? A fall? Murder or attempted murder? If so, by whom? Family or neighbour? Ken has upset a lot of people lately, All of them were scattered, out of camera sight, during whatever happened.

adam-at-busIncluding one more Barlow. Hurrying to catch a bus, Adam in a hoodie and ball cap. Not in Canada, obviously, and also staying well clear of the family.

Corrie Street 5 Feb 2017

Dream Sequence

A dream sequence Tuesday, first time I’ve ever seen that on Corrie! It was well done, but I hope it doesn’t get repeated. dream and episode start Andy runs down street

I have always liked that fact that on Coronation Street viewers and characters see the same ‘reality’.Andy scared

The only time I remember something like this was when Jack Duckworth died, and Vera came back to accompany him to that stone-cladded castle in the sky. And that was fine because it sent Jack and Bill Tarmey off in very special style. (See my Goodnight, Jack Duckworth 4 Sept. 2011.)Phelan on street looking angry

Departing so far from the show’s style by showing viewers Andy’s dream? I don’t think so. Doing something like that, if deemed advisable at all, should be reserved for landmark events in the history of the show or long-established characters. Andy and Phelan’s story of villainy and bullying, in my mind, does not qualify. While I like the actors and their characters, I don’t have enough invested in them or their story to suspend disbelief that much.looming phelan

Instead of feeling emotionally caught up in the dream sequence, my mind immediately connected it to the use of incidental music that we have seen lately. Music playing throughout multiple scenes like a movie score, and therefore not conveying realism of a scene. The music in Coronation Street, with rare and again momentous exceptions, always fits with, and derives from, a particular setting.andy hits phelan with board

Another “innovation” for Coronation Street, we’ve seen musical overlay too much already in my opinion. Music and dream as conveyors of interior emotion are not innovations in the world of soaps. American daytime serials have long and extensively used both. One of the very good things about Coronation Street has always been that they didn’t use them. We the viewers were eavesdropping on the lives of the characters, we weren’t entering into their minds.andy helpless and terrified

The saving grace with seeing Andy’s dream was that it wasn’t shot in soft focus. But it wouldn’t be, would it? This was a nightmare, so it should be in stark relief. It was, and as the opening scene of the episode, it was effective. Visually, I loved it!phelan smiles at andy

On Phelan’s storyline with Andy and Steph and Anna and Kevin, even his nice-guy persona with Eileen? In the words ascribed to P. T. Barnum, the greatest showman ever, or President Abraham Lincoln:

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

It’s a small street, Phelan and his actions are larger than life. His time for getting away with villainy must be running out.

Corrie Street Oct. 2/16

In All His Glory

He had me fooled. But I’m enjoying seeing the real Todd back. I liked the nice Todd too, the Todd who cared about his family and wanted todd-says-billy-has-himto be a good boyfriend to the Vicar. I felt good about Todd turning over a new leaf or returning to his original leaf – the nice, bright and conscientious boy he was before he went to that London.

But he’s not. It turns out it was Todd who “complained” to the Bishop about said Vicar and boyfriend cohabiting. He did it with Billy’s best interests in mind, so he says and Billy believes. Make Billy think about the restrictions that he was living with in order to be part of a billy-says-todd-made-him-doubtchurch that would not fully accept him.

Billy ends it. He tells Todd “I always thought your lack of empathy was a defence mechanism. But this is the real you, the real Todd in all his glory.”

Sooo, that’s the end of Todd and Billy. But not the end of Billy having the scales lifted from his eyes. He tells Sean that, despite how it was done, he is questioning his vocation.

Todd is genuinely upset that he couldn’t keep the good person up front in his psyche and actions. He wishes he were the person Billy the real todd in all his glorythought he was or could be. But, if you are bad, you might as well be full-bore bad.

He joins forces with Phelan. He has tried to convince his mother that Phelan is scamming her and Jason and anyone in Weatherfield foolish enough to buy into their flat conversion. She tells him that he is being vindictive and hateful and just wants to ruin her happiness.

Before everything comes undone with Billy, he got Phelan to admit todd-realizes-billy-is-leaving-himwhat he was doing. Yes, it’s a scam, don’t tell your mother. Phelan has some sort of plan to shut him up and calls him to meet at the building site. Phelan’s partner Vinnie has a simpler plan. He brings his toolbox to the site. Shut Todd up permanently.

On his way there, Todd meets Billy, finds out Billy knows about the phoney complaint call, and whatever Todd had planned for the meeting changes. He’s in, he tells them. He stipulates his conditions, billy-walks-away-from-toddto protect Eileen and Jason. Phelan and Vinnie, gobsmacked, agree. It’s a partnership where all three partners would be advised to sleep with one eye open. But especially Phelan and Vinnie because, if I were a betting person, my money would be on Todd.

Corrie Street Mar. 6/16

Hmm, believe Phelan or Anna? I think Tim is the only one with his phelan-passes-timhead screwed on right. Looking at the damage Anna did to Phelan’s van, Tim tells Kevin that he figures Anna had her reasons. “Well, I know Anna, and she’s a good woman. Whereas him – he’s been on the street five minutes. I know who I’d trust.”

To argue Kevin’s side for a minute, it does seem that Anna went temporarily insane. Bashing the windshield in with an axe, breaking off mirrors, totally destroying the vehicle for apparently no reason. Kevin has dealt with a crazy not long ago, he knows people can do things that hurt others for reasons that make no sense to anyone else.

kev-and-tim-look-at-damage Anna did to vanBut. Anna has given him some of the reason she dislikes and distrusts Phelan. He knows there is more to it. Should he not give her the benefit of the doubt? Or redouble the effort to get the whole story? Maybe she owes him the whole truth. After all, Phelan has seemed to be nothing other than a good worker and friend to Kevin. Anna knows that Phelan has already ripped off Kevin, she even knows how he did it. She just can’t prove that he wrecked the garage wiring so that he could get work fixing it.

been-on-the-street-five-minutesIf she told Kevin the true story of Phelan’s evil, she might save their relationship and might save Kevin’s business. But he might not believe her. He might believe she was a willing participant in the sex for debt trade she made with Phelan. After all, Owen and Katy did not believe her and they benefited from her action.

So she is simply asking Kevin to take her words and actions on faith. But Tim is the only person who does. I guess I’m a little surprised that i-know-who-i-would-truston such a small street, the backstory of Phelan and the Armstrong-Windass family doesn’t resonate for other people. Why doesn’t Jason remember more about the animosity and difficulties that had to be obvious on the street? Phelan was very much present at that time, as were bailiffs emptying the Armstrong-Windass house, and Owen and Gary shouting and fighting. Even if no one else knows what exactly happened, I think Jason would remember that there were problems and Phelan was in the middle of them.

At the end of Friday’s episode, Kevin maybe is seeing the side of what the hell are you doingPhelan that he hasn’t seen, or wanted to see. With Tim’s words still in his head, I hope, he sees Phelan turning away from a frightened Anna backed against the wall of the café. I hope this time he takes Anna’s story, complete or incomplete as it may be, on faith.

Corrie Street Jan. 31/16

Nothing jumped out at me all week – until Friday. Construction work construction work - jason and phelan with maskby the low bid contractor started at Kevin’s new garage. Problems also started almost immediately with a power line getting cut accidentally. But the biggest problem isn’t going to be shoddy workmanship as Jason had predicted.

A worker with his face hidden behind a mask and goggles took them off to introduce himself to Kevin. “Pat Phelan. Nice to meet you.” I didn’t see that coming!

kevin-meets-pat-phelanIt makes me very happy when I can avoid all spoilers, including the ones hidden in statements like  “since x is leaving” or “as we know, x is returning”. I knew that Phelan likely would be back at some time, and that was okay. He is such a good villain that I looked forward to his return. Didn’t look forward to it as such: I wanted to see him again and didn’t want to.

Because he’s such a good villain, he is truly scary and upsetting. He does horrible things to people’s heads and lives. Anna has just got her phelan-introduces-himself-to-kevinlife back on a relatively even keel. I like her with Kevin. Dealing with Sally about that will be traumatic enough for Anna. And now Phelan is back? Might as well just kiss her new relationship goodbye, and check Anna into the psych ward right now.

If you’re not familiar with this odious man’s previous storyline with the Armstrong-Windass household, type ‘Phelan’ in the site search box on the left sidebar for my posts about it.

Corrie Street Apr. 27/14

Playing with Fire

The Windass-Armstrongs are playing with fire, literally and metaphorically. Phelan new-foremanpushed Owen too far by hiring a new foreman, overseeing everyone including heretofore manager Owen. Obviously happy to be in Phelan’s pocket, the new guy tells Owen what a safety hazard the site is. As he talks, and smirks, he grinds out a cigarette butt on the worksite floor and lights a new one.

Lit cigarettes amid the new wood, sawdust and shavings gives Owen an idea, a crazy one but understandable. At the end of the day, he tells Gary to go on without him. He piles skids in the middle of the building, then pulls out a Zippo. Fortunately Anna comes in. Owen-holds-lighter-  Windass-ArmstrongsShe was worried when he didn’t come home with Gary, and she knows he’s at the end of his endurance. She coaxes the lighter away from him, then tells him off. What good does he possibly think this is going to do for anyone, etc.

He realizes he had indeed lost his mind. How can he continue taking the physical punishment of the hours Phelan is demanding, the mental punishment of humiliation dished out by Phelan, and the continued strain of total financial ruin? Owen is a good man. A hard man, even a bully, but at heart he has honourable intentions and is willing to do whatever is necessary, good or bad.

After his death this week, I saw a quote from Cape Breton writer Alistair McLeod: “And then there came into my heart a very great love for my father and I thought it was very much braver to spend a life doing what you really do not want rather than selfishly following forever your own dreams and inclinations.” That, I believe, applies to Owen. And Anna too.

gary-panic-attackGary pukes up, gets despondent, has tantrums and then, more seriously, panic attacks.  Izzy says she can’t take Gary’s moods and ‘wot’s it all doing to little Jake?’. Katy either mouths off at Phelan or speaks platitudes like ‘we all have to pull together’.  Faye gets disappointment after disappointment but does her best to ‘pull together’.  And Anna and Owen just keep putting their heads down and forging through in order to survive.

Both Owen and Anna are barely keeping themselves together, but they cannot show the extent of their despair. The whole family would fall apart if they did. The night before his mad plan to burn the place down, Owen did tell Anna just how desperate and exhausted he was. I found I was holding my breath throughout the scene. Ian Puleston-Davies anna-holds-new-contractconveyed Owen’s words and emotions with frightening intensity.

And Anna’s contribution to resolving the situation? Mother love will stop at nothing. Phelan gives her a choice: prostitute herself and he will let Owen out of the contract and destroy the incriminating video, don’t and he won’t. Rock, hard place.