Friday Maddie showed maybe there is more to her than meets the eye. I have been alternately bored and irritated by her and Sophie – please get off my screen! – pretty much since her arrival in Weatherfield. The Dickensian tough but vulnerable urchin that the character seems to be modelled after is done best by Dickens. Seeing this week that her story was about to ramp up again, I considered fast-forwarding through those scenes. But then she and her brother repaid me for not doing so.
Sitting in Mary’s RV, which Maddie had broken into, trying to plan a future after a series of rash actions, Maddie’s heartache tapped even my sympathies. I could feel her hurt and loneliness, and the desperation of her love for her little brother. And now he’s going to move with his foster parents to Devon. That might as well be in the Antipodes for all Maddie knows about geography or could find the means to travel to, even if she knew where it was.
It crossed my mind that if Mary came in right then, after she got over the shock of a break-in, she’d understand what was happening because it was so palpable. Even Sophie, for once not being shrill and know-it-all, added to the complexity of emotions swirling in that small space.
Two senses of care
Sophie presented the other, rational point of view about ‘care’ in both the official and loving senses. Also about legalities in the form of social services and police. That opened the door for Maddie to ask her brother what he wanted. And he told her: he loved Maddie but he wanted to be with his foster parents. Although I expected and would have liked to see Mary arrive and be the peacemaker, it worked out very well without her or any ‘adult’. The principals in this story – Maddie, Sophie and Ben – sorted out this complex and sorry situation by themselves. That was very nice to see.
Of course, we couldn’t have anything as simple as Maddie and Ben presenting themselves to the authorities and explaining. There had to be a confrontation and arrests of both Maddie and Sophie. Sophie’s arrest seemed to be mainly for shrieking, and maybe that ought to be sufficient legal cause.
That laid the groundwork, however, for another quite moving scene back at Sally’s when Sophie’s screaming subsided into pleading and enough tears to bring some to my own eyes. And, praise the Lord, when Maddie returned, she seemed sufficiently scared by what had happened that she managed to “keep her gob shut” as Tim has often suggested she do.
I was sorry to see Tim pack his small bag and leave at the end of that eventful day. But I could see his reasons for doing so. I hope he returns. If Maddie is going to continue being part of the Webster family, I want Tim to be there to inject some common sense into their drama. He makes Sophie more tolerable and is a fabulous foil for Sally. Also, he would be most helpful for Maddie in what might be her ‘one step forward two steps back’ growing up process.