Tag Archives: Simon Barlow

Corrie Street Feb. 28/16

Grass

Tuesday, a thump-thump-thumping sound might have been heard in leanne with policethe Weatherfield Police Station: Les Battersby turning in his figurative grave. His daughter Leanne was there to grass up her son.

During a football game, Simon seriously injured another player. Was it just in the course of play or was it deliberate? No one knows for sure, but Simon tells Zeedan that he had intended to hurt the kid. Zeedan then tells Leanne. She asks Simon and he gives mixed messages in his replies. With his recent history of violence toward her, she cannot simply take it on faith that he did not intend harm.

So, against every maternal instinct and every predisposition in her Battersby genetic structure, she goes to the police. She tells them leanne-in-stationeverything, not just Simon’s attack on the boy but also his violence toward her . I don’t think she’d planned to do that. Maybe, once she started, she couldn’t stop until she had got the whole story out. Maybe the police became her counsellor, her confessional.

The police question Simon. He says he did not intentionally injure the boy. In the end, it turns out that is the truth. A parent had recorded the game and caught the moment of the fight. It was an accident. Simon is surprised and angry that no one automatically believed him. view into interrogation-roomHe, however, conveniently overlooks his initial statement to Zeedan that led to everyone’s erroneous assumption. He blames his mother, piling more guilt on top of that she already feels for not having believed in him and for turning him in.

Peter criticizes Leanne’s parenting

He phones his dad so that Greatest Absent Father in the World Peter can rip into Leanne about the horrible things she is doing to his son. And somewhere Les Battersby is smiling to himself and saying to Leanne, ‘that’s what you get for being a grass.’

Too bad Simon only knows his father’s family. If he knew his adoptive mother’s family, he would learn that there is nothing he can do that would shock them, no bad behaviour that they had not already done, leanne starts to grassand they would likely be able to teach him quite a lot that he’s never even thought of. Leanne has wanted to be a good role model for him. That has meant keeping her sketchy past and that of her family from him. Perhaps it’s time to let him know that his family has some big bad-boy shoes, and he can’t hope to fill them.

Corrie Street Dec. 6/15

Taking Leave

simon says mum as leanne leavesLeanne walks out Ken’s front door, taking leave. Simon runs out behind her and stops in the doorway.  His face goes from angry to surprised, lost and frightened. Young man to child in an instant. But he can do that, can’t he? Often and quickly.

The end of Wednesday’s episode, and I held my breath all the way through the (fortunately for me) short scene. As Leanne walks away, close up of simon saying -i swearSimon asks her to stop, to not leave him. She stops and slowly turns toward him. He says if she walks away, he will never speak to her ever again. He swears that on his grandfather’s life. Leanne turns away from him and continues walking. He cannot see the look of unbearable sadness and fear on her face. But we can. We can also see it on his.

Leanne had decided unilaterally that Simon should go live with Ken leanne-looks-at-simonfor a while. She is trying to avert violence in their household. She had come close to hitting him and understandably was very upset about that. Leanne also knows, but is more reluctant to say, that it is likely that he will hit her again.

Simon seems to have absolved himself of all blame, all responsibility leanne-turns-away-from-simonfor the hits and shoves that he has inflicted on her. Is that the response of a child? “Not my fault, yours.” The response of an abuser? “You made me do it.” Both? Simon is a man-child right now, big enough to inflict real physical damage and immature enough to have no firmly-rooted impulse control or taking of responsibility for his actions.

Leanne taking leave, as Simon watchesPeter gave him one piece of good advice before leaving, that a real man never hits a woman no matter what. Simon remembers a lot of stuff about what his father has said and done, but apparently not that.

Corrie Street Aug. 30/15

Simon Sez

Simon says sorry, Simon says dad says only cowards hit women. Then not-tell-him-anythingSimon goes off and strikes a woman – his mother – again. Kicks, hard shoves, nearly fists.

So not one scene, but all with Simon all week. Amy Barlow has long been the child who made me tense up every time she came on the screen – not knowing what she might do. Now it’s Simon. My favourite, he frightens me.

No matter how many times he reverts to the scared child and pleads with Leanne for forgiveness, no matter how many times she forgives simon-in-barlow-houseand consoles, next minute he’s turning on her, verbally and too often physically.

It’s difficult, just the two of them. A boy approaching adolescence, wanting to establish himself as a person independent of his mother. A boy who has experienced so much trauma already. She isn’t his “real mother”, he repeatedly points out to her. She holds herself back from reminding him that she’s the only mother he has known.

got-nought-to-do-with-himLeanne cajoles and soothes, tries to understand, reprimands and punishes. Then he kicks her. She, I think, is frightened of him. And with reason. He appears to have no self-control whatsoever. While there may be good reasons for that, the physical target of his frustration is her.

Leanne hides her injuries

She so far has told no one. Excuses are made for her injuries. This week, Simon was hurt when she repelled another attack by him. He cannot-say-anything-everdoesn’t want anyone to know what really happened, so both of them are lying about it. He is holding it over his mother, however, with innuendo. One word from him and she’d be considered a child beater. And even if he says nothing to anyone else, he gives her reminders that she hurt her child. That makes sure her guilt level stays up. Never mind the wounds and bruises that child has inflicted on her body.

Frightening. And we don’t know if Simon knows yet that Grandma nip-out-with-EcclesDeirdre left money for him and Amy. We’re seeing how it’s eating at Amy, who wants to get her hands on it now. How will Simon react? He ought to be proactive because I think Amy is probably already thinking about how she can cut Simon out and keep it all for herself.

Aside from that, it’s nice to see Eccles back, but what’s up with her transformation?

In real life, sad news this week. Marguerite McDonald died in Ottawa August 24th. The first host of CBC Radio’s The House, she had been married to the late Harry Elton, Coronation Street‘s original producer. Condolences to her family.

Corrie Street Nov. 23/14

Parental Disappointment

simon-pleads-with-peterFriday saw leave-takings, and sad hearts. Peter took his taxi ride off the street. He is off to Portsmouth to get himself together. Cilla is off back to Wolverhampton, with ches-watches-from-windowFiz. Both Peter and Cilla have damaged relationships with their children. They succeeded in repairing some of the damage done, but not all, with the help of others.

Peter Barlow

Soon after getting out of prison, Peter realized he needed to get away. Carla was not go-back-to-normalgoing to forgive and forget, he had no job or prospects, the temptation to drink was there, he couldn’t let his very wary son down again or his ever-hovering father. Even the Barlow house was a constant reminder of Rob, and therefore Tina. Time for a fresh start.

Simon pretended he didn’t care when he a-right-cowheard his father’s news. He’s built a huge defensive wall around himself. But that wall collapsed and he pleaded with Peter to stay. Out to the bench for chips and a talk they went. Along came Carla. She quickly saw what was going on and fixed the impasse father and son were at.

Carla asked Simon to be honest about his feelings toward her and carla-hugs-simonshe paid him the same respect by doing the same about him. Peter was horrified, but it did the job. Simon saw that he was not the only one with mixed feelings about people and that events, past and present, couldn’t just be magically swept away. Sometimes life sucks but, with luck, there are others around you who feel the same way and together you might muddle through.

Cilla Battersby-Brown

cilla-and-fiz-at-bistroAt the same time as the Barlows were sorting out packing and life’s vagaries, so too were the Battersby-Browns. But no Chesney coming to the good-bye party. He has accepted that, this time, his mother is genuinely ill and in need.

Ches has tried to keep that in mind while thinking about his own childhood. But that childhood is not ches-and-sinead-in-kebab-shoplong ago. He does have a bit of distance to give him some perspective, and what it tells him is that maybe his mother does regret her actions. But she still came back to them only because she needs their help – just like always. He has had to come to that conclusion all on his own. He hasn’t had the help from others that Simon got from Carla.

cilla-gets-in-carWith soft heart and good intentions, Sinead has pleaded with him to forgive Cilla. And Fiz, so happy to have yet another person on a short leash, quickly forgave, forgot and moved on to her controlling form of fussing over.

Beth, I think, could help Ches understand his mother and his relationship to her. But she is still trying to figure Cilla out herself cilla looks back at houseand, like Carla, Beth doesn’t do touchy-feely. Maybe Simon and Ches would be the best support group for each other. They both know what it’s like to be let down by parents but still go on loving them.

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

Solomon’s Judgement

Judgement of SolomonIn the Old Testament story (1 Kings 3:16-28), two women claimed to be the mother of a child and King Solomon had to decide which one was telling the truth.  He called their bluff by saying the only resolution was to cut the child in half and give one half to each woman.  One said ok and the other said don’t do that, give him to her.  The woman who was willing to give up the child so that he would live, Solomon deemed, was the real mother.

On Tuesday at the train station, had King Solomon given that choice to Peter and Leanne, I’m not sure that both of them wouldn’t have said ‘go ahead, we’ll each take half of Simon’.  Instead, they asked their child to choose between them and it was excruciating to watch.

Leanne and Peter look at Simon with CarlaWhen Leanne first said let Simon decide, I thought that’s good!  But I didn’t realize they were going to act like they were in some extreme version of Family Feud. Each urging and pleading “pick me”, “no, pick me”.

Simon’s choice

I realize time was of the essence, with the train whistle blowing. So perhaps the reasoned out, cautious discussion I’d expected wasn’t possible.  But getting right Leanne and Peter pleading with Simonin the child’s face, wheedling and crying?  It was horrible.  Within the realm of realism, I guess.  That’s how divorce can really mess kids up, I guess.

There’s no way Simon can feel he didn’t let someone down.  And there’s no way that feeling is not going to stick with him for a long time.  On the upside, I guess he saw that both parents desperately want him.  But that upside likely isn’t going to apparent to him until many years and a lot of Simon trying to decidepsychotherapy have passed.  And, if he takes after his father, he will not resolve his childhood trauma even by middle-age.

Jane Danson (Leanne) talked (link is gone) about how difficult the custody battle storyline was for the adult actors to do.  They all have their own children so they probably can’t help but interpolate their real life feelings into their acting.  But they are grownups.

What can it be like for the real Simon looking at Leanne as Peter pleadsSimon, child actor Alex Bain?   He has been phenomenal in this entire story. But watching him, tearful and brokenhearted, have to choose between two people he loves – that was truly gutwrenching to watch.  I can’t imagine that it also wasn’t difficult for him to portray such emotional distress.

Leanne takes Simon awayIt’s been a cautionary tale about how hideously wrong things can go when one person decides to end a relationship, especially one that involves children.  I hope when Peter and Carla return, that one of them has learned enough about themselves and childrearing that none of them will ask something like this of Simon ever again.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 27/12)

Children of the Corn

A week of kids, and both children and adults doing strange and hurtful things.

Faye and Owen

Best scene Owen apologizing to Faye - children of the cornpick:  Owen apologizing and explaining to Faye.  He flat out apologized for smacking her and said he had been wrong to do it.  But – important point – he linked what he did to her killing the fish.

Owen didn’t do it in an accusatory way, he said he understood that she had killed the fish because she was upset and angry and wanted to Faye smiling at Owenget back at him.  He then explained that he had felt the same way – angry and upset at what she had done.  He didn’t point out that he had taken his “revenge” on the target of his anger whereas she had taken hers out on innocent and uninvolved fish.  I hope she got the message though.

And finally he and Anna got the message that Faye ought to have a shed in the back yard if that would make her happy.  Surprisingly, she said she’d come to like the pond.  Again, Owen didn’t take the opportunity presented on a silver platter to say that there would be a point in having a fishpond if she hadn’t killed the fish that were in it!

Now he’s made a pond of lights and flamingos and who knows what at her direction and she seems happy.  Is it real or is she plotting some revenge on the plastic flamingo?  I still don’t trust that girl, although it was nice seeing her smile and being actually civil.

Katie and Owen

Owen hugging Katie goodnightThe scene that brought tears to my cynical old eyes:  Owen and Katie hugging when she finally came home.  He has taken a lot of flak in the show and online for flying off the handle about Katie leaving the baby alone.  I think he’s the only one that has acted like a normal person.  Why shouldn’t he be furious?  His teenage daughter wanted to play grown up so badly and now can’t handle having a baby because he doesn’t sleep and cries?  And she doesn’t have the sense to tell anyone she can’t cope before she just walks out the door?

Owen’s outrage is perhaps not helpful, but it’s certainly understandable.  And it’s in Owen and Anna announcing babysitting planskeeping with his character.  Since his arrival, he’s been a hard man with a quick temper.  But, although sometimes not the perfect parent, he clearly loves his daughters and would defend them to the death.  I hope his and Anna’s help with the baby eases the considerable pressure on Katie and Ches and I hope that they appreciate the effort being made to help them.

Simon Barlow

Simon lying through his teeth about CarlaAnd Simon – making the most of the opportunity presented by street gossip.  With all the furor made about the incident at the school when he refused to come home with Carla, it didn’t take him long to see a chance to get rid of her for good and get his ‘mother’ back.  Lie.  Carla’s got her hands full winning that one over; he’s smarter than Carla, Peter and Leanne put together.

Craig Tinker

Craig eating Steve's cookiesAnd finally, a kid who doesn’t have to do a thing to be truly scary – Craig.  Whether staring, eating or, as he has done at long last, speaking, he is absolutely fabulous.  As long as he stays on his side of my television screen.  I would be petrified with terror ever actually meeting a child like him.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 9/11)

Ashes to Ashes

Platt family ready for Joe's funeral - ashes to ashesWhatever the Joe McIntyre storyline was like, his death has been perhaps the most entertaining I’ve ever seen. The funeral Monday was a gem. From the gathering of the mourners on opposite sides of the street when the cortege was forming, and Norris and Dev, like a Greek chorus, Grimshaws & Tina ready for Joe's funeralintoning “decorum” as they observe the hostilities. Then, in the chapel, the interruption of the solemnity by the noisy arrival of Graeme, late because he had to catch a bus to the chapel. Next, the almost as noisy departure of Tina because she couldn’t stand the sight of Gail in the pew across from her.

David & Jason fighting in churchThen the cat fight between Gail and Tina, with Audrey taking up the “decorum” motif.  Then the moment at which I broke up laughing – the physical fight in the aisle when David is going for Tina and Jason is trying toMinister singing despite everything stop him. And the poor minister, hissing “start” at the organist and trying to get everyone singing nicely. Oh my, too funny for words. I watched it in two time zones and again on tape. Church events often are very good in Corrie, but usually the chaos occurs in weddings. (Remember Karen and Steve’s?) This time it was poor Joe’s funeral. And Gail doing a little public service announcement for mental health issues in her impromptu eulogy! If I were Tina, I’d have gone for her just for that.

Simon and Rita home

More impressive scenes, also on Monday – Simon turning up at home safe and sound. A relief certainly, also a Simon in Peter's arms, Leanne relievedsurprise. I don’t want to complain about a missing child story having a happy ending, but. The subsequent wrap-up was very quick, with Simon’s “two trains and a bendy-bus” explanation of how he got back, and George’s contrition and promise to leave Simon and the Barlows alone. After the previous days of mounting tension in Blackpool, I felt like telling Simon myself, “don’t ever ever do that to me again! I was worried sick.”

The story seemed truncated to me. I’d thought maybe there had been a last minute reshoot or cutting of whole scenes, and maybe there was according to what I read on line from last year. Anyway, Leanne leaning against the doorframe crying with relief and Peter hugging Simon to his chest saying “my baby” brought me to tears.

Rita, back on Coronation Street cobblesAnd a black taxi pulling up on the street, and the glorious Rita getting out of it. Looking fabulous in her white furry coat, saying “it’s good to be back.” All I could say to the screen was “well hello Rita, it’s so good to have you back where you belong.”

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec. 31/10)

God bless the child

Simon looks out at his fighting family - god bless the childNot really a “scene” this week – a shot and a background, both part of the same storyline. Poor little Simon, looking out the door at his feuding family. That child can tear the heart out of you. You can feel how confused and frightened he is about the behaviour of the pack of jackals (and jackasses) he now must live among.

Barlows fightingIt is rare to see child actors, especially ones so young, be able to carry their parts in a storyline all by themselves. Simon’s emotions and reactions do not need propping up or explaining by the adults at all. We’re more accustomed to children whose expression basically doesn’t change and we only know if they’re happy, sad or upset by the context of the story, indeed even the verbal explanations we’re given. “Look at —, he/she is upset now!” Ok, thanks for telling us. But we don’t need that with Simon: he tells us or shows us quite well on his own. I hope he stays on the show for a good long time.

And thinking of characters who may or may not require explanation – it was nice to hear John refer to Schmeichel this week. I’ve been wondering what happened to him. It’s been so long since we saw him or even heard him mentioned. Schmeichel is also a blessing to the show. Like Simon, he can hold his own in a storyline

George & Eve with Simon on Blackpool pierNow the background of the week – Blackpool. So nice to see the beach and the arcades and lights in daytime and at night. I had a hard time concentrating on the story of Simon taking off because I wanted to see everything behind the actors.

Barlows & George on Blackpool street at nightIt’s been a while since we had a Corrie trip to Blackpool, and especially the night shots on Friday were spectacular. I’ve never been to Blackpool, always wanted to go. Thanks, Corrie, for the little New Year’s Eve trip.Carousel at Blackpool at night

And thanks, CBC, for finally posting Sunday morning’s omnibus sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning so I could finally post these pictures!