Tag Archives: Izzy Armstrong

Corrie Street Apr. 17/16

Medical Marijuana

It’s been like time travel, hearing Izzy and Gary and now Anna freak out about marijuana and drug dealing and the slippery slope. ReeferReeferMadnessPoster-wikipedia madness! Over a bit of weed.

Where have these people been, I’ve wondered. Have they not heard the debates of the past how many years about the medicinal uses of marijuana, the legalization, the dispensaries where people with prescriptions receive their allotted dosages? Marijuana is talked about a lot in media and general discourse, but as “medical” more so than “recreational”.

With her chronic illness and high levels of pain, I would think Izzy would know all about what is au courant in the medical community for long term pain relief. And, at least here in North America, that’s medical marijuana. I’ve even seen posts on social media recently about its value for chronic pain relief for your dog.

Pain Relief

And Izzy hadn’t discussed its possible benefit for her with her doctor? Instead she went to a decidedly sleazy bar and met a guy who sold her oregano. Good heavens, I had no idea that old trick could still work on anyone.

Izzy holds up tiny bag of marijuanaThen Gary gets her some. Problem solved, until she needs more. The next lot that Gary buys is way stronger. Tell your friend to use less, the guy warns Gary. Ya think? The teeny-tiny amount alone ought to be a clue. Izzy heeds the warning, but whatever else is in it is very powerful and she is totally disoriented by it.

Anna walks in, of course, and sees the state of Izzy and the evidence ashtrayin the ashtray (and presumably the smell). Off she goes with Jake, telling Izzy she’s in no fit state to care for a child. Until she sorts herself out, Jake will not be back.

Start at the end

So later in the week Izzy does what she should have done in the first place. She goes to her doctor and asks about a prescription for medical marijuana. The doctor turns her down as not qualifying for some reason. Now she will have to turn elsewhere for pain relief, in other buzzed out Izzy tells Anna it was different beforesleazy bars or with other high-powered opiate prescription painkillers.

Presumably we’ll be crawling into the underbelly of illegal or legal drug use along with her in the search for pain relief. It’s a real story about a real problem. If the writers had simply turned events in the plot around, it would be more believable. It should have started at the point it ended at this week, with Izzy asking her doctor about medical marijuana as an option for her.

Izzy could also ask about Sylvia Goodwin’s experiment with pain relief in hash brownies three years ago.

Corrie Street Aug. 18/13

Father of the Year

father Gary-by-bassinette“I can feel it across nations – people wanting to give Gary a good smack.” Such is the opinion of my husband about Gary’s reaction to fatherhood. Gary sees the baby crying or fussing as being a personal rejection of him. Get over yourself, Gary, it isn’t always about you.

On Monday, the first day of seeing Gary at home with Izzy and infant Jake, we could barely watch because it was first so annoying and then scary. Gary is nervous about holding and handling the baby, which, in itself, is not surprising. Even though they spent lots of time with him in the hospital, Jake was in the incubator much of that time. It’s different when he’s home, with you and no nurses around.

However, Gary seems to be feeling that the baby has bonded with him less than with Izzy. Probably that is because of the period of time during which she would not let him see baby-jakeJake/Joe, let alone hold him. Now, nervous and resentful, he is probably passing on his tension to the child. It’s likely a relief for little Jake, as it is for all of us, when his father passes him back to Izzy. As well, the baby is just doing what they all do – crying and fussing sometimes for no apparent reason.

Gary under pressure

Gary’s nervousness is one thing; what might come next due to it is quite another. He has shown before that he doesn’t do well with pressure. His petulance while putting the crib together was a foreshadowing of what would come. When he holds the crying baby, Gary trying-to-do-my-bitis so tense that, one time, I feared he was going to fling little Jake across the room. Afterwards, my husband said he’d thought the same thing. Mikey North’s acting is superb. He does not need to speak, his body posture tells the whole story.

What frustrates me is that Izzy doesn’t see the full extent of Gary’s anxiety. She isn’t remembering that he may not cope well, or at all. Keeping her captive in her apartment because he was worried about her? Totally freaking out during the tram crash? Diagnosed PTSD?  Remember all that, Izzy? Anna?

Izzy is trying to be supportive. But it isn’t enough to say ‘there, there, it just takes some getting used to’ when you’ve got a guy who is so tense he’s ready to pop. Also sometimes her issues collide with his.

Izzy-lifting-babyWhen Izzy started to lift the crying baby out of his bassinette, Gary said he would do it. No, she said, she could. Gary was having one of his insecure moments and he needed to do the looking after for the baby. But Izzy insisted. She, I realized, needed to show herself, Gary and the baby that she could lift him out of his cot from a sitting position. Her lack of muscle strength was the reason having a baby at all has always been in doubt for her. So she has to prove she has the physical strength and stamina to do it.

The poor baby, a preemie at that, is caught between two people desperately trying to prove that they can do what they fear they can’t. My husband says it’s Izzy and Gary who need monitoring by adults.

Corrie Street July 7/13

Solomon Redux

King Solomon C14th-Psalter-St.-John's-Cambridge-joh.cam.ac.uk_library_special_collections_manuscripts_medieval_manuscripts_medman_A_K26_K26f10v.htmIn Peter and Leanne’s fight over Simon, I thought of the Judgment of Solomon in determining which of two claimants to a baby was the real mother. On Friday the tale, with Izzy, went to the conclusion: one woman deciding to give up the baby to keep him safe. Had Izzy spoken in Solomon’s court instead of to Gary in the pub patio, I think she would be given the baby Jake/Joe.

I doubt that she will stick with what she said, that the baby should stay with the person with whom he was bonding. Gary would not accept it and neither would Owen and Anna. But she showed she is putting the baby first. She, I think, is the only one doing so.

unspoiltThe turning point for her was Tina saying that the baby was responding to her voice and touch. The solicitor’s letter, saying there would be a hearing in a few months, confirmed her feeling.  A legal battle could take a year or more. Izzy realized that by then, if they won, they take the baby from the only person he knew as his mother. Regardless of biology, she and Gary would be strangers to him. In a moment of clarity, she sees that is unfair to the child.

Baby’s needs or Tina’s needs?

baby photoEarlier, Tina moaned to Tommy that she felt pulled apart by what the baby wanted and what Gary and Izzy wanted. Codswallop! It’s the baby who is being pulled apart by what she wants. He is in an incubator tended by shifts of nurses. At this point, he soon will grow accustomed to new arms holding him.

Tina’s concern for his needs is a smokescreen hiding her own. Maybe that’s subconscious but it needs to will-be-our-faultbe brought to light quickly for the baby’s sake. Maybe also subconsciously, she knows it’s wrong. She called the baby “Jake” after fiercely telling everyone “his name is Joe”. A slip in line delivery or a Freudian slip?

Tina’s enablers

Tina is being enabled in her selfishness by Tommy and, surprisingly, Rita. They know what she is doing is wrong. They had the chance to say so when Tina asked point-blank what they thought. Rita let-Tina-keep-himequivocated, saying she had feared this would happen from the beginning of the mad scheme but now she would support Tina wholeheartedly. Tina then asked Tommy. What could he say but “ditto”? Interesting no one asked Dennis’ opinion. I think he would have told Tina that she has to honour the deal she made no matter how difficult and that delay will only cause stress for the baby.

Rita later tells Tommy that he has to tell Tina that she should not keep the baby. What a Gary-disbelievingdifficult spot for Tommy! And he cannot successfully do it. Rita stands the best chance of getting through to Tina. Her relationship with Tina is of a different order than Tommy’s and there is a remote chance that her opinion might be listened to. By kicking the ball to Tommy, Rita has let Tina and Tommy and the baby down badly.

So in this murky melodrama of maternal izzy-final-frameattachment that feels, unfortunately, all too real, Izzy is the only person truly thinking of the baby’s best interests. The choice she is thinking of is probably not the best for anyone involved. But it does come from an unselfish, pure love of the child.

Corrie Street Jun. 16/13

Four for Four

The first four episodes this past week each had more than one contender for “the scene”. Four scenes - Izzy cries able-to-see-him-soonI cannot narrow it down any further than one from each day.

Monday: Izzy’s face as she realizes the newborn is not crying and the nurse hustles him off. Equally good was Izzy standing at the incubator holding the hand of the tiny infant inside it.

Tuesday: Owen giving way to his fear and sadness. “Vulnerable and venerable” my husband called Owen after seeing him lose his carefully constructed and maintained façade of bravery and bravado. With Anna, he can give voice to his inner fears and self-see-him-lying-in-the-incubatorrecriminations. He blamed himself for “pushing” Izzy and Gary into this surrogacy. Of course he didn’t. He was adamantly opposed when they said they were thinking of it and he gave valid reasons for his objections. But he did make it possible. They had the idea and he had the ability to figure out how best to do it as well as the resources to make it happen.

Owen is the quintessential male in the schema of gender roles found in Men are from Mars, Women… Venus. Mr. Fixit, taking a problem and solving it. Now, with the baby’s prognosis for survival not great and the mess Izzy and Gary have made of their relationship, he blames himself for taking their hare-brained dream and making it a reality.

Wednesday: Tina entering the nursery where Izzy and Gary are fighting beside the baby’s he-might-have-your-eyesincubator. She lays down the law to them.  They will sort out their problems somewhere else and, until they do, neither of them will see the baby. She has deliberately tried to avoid bonding with the child she was carrying. But she will defend him against anyone, including his biological parents. Good for her.

Thursday: Carla telling Rob what is going to happen in order for her to not report his theft to the police. Her performance, as the character, belied Tracy’s earlier jibe that loser-I-grew-up-withbeneath the designer clothes and six inches of makeup, you’re nothing. You could see Carla collect herself, and her strength, and say everything quickly before she lost her resolve.

She needed that focused composure in light of what Rob had said earlier to her, when she caught him out at the warehouse with the stolen silk. Showing himself to be a master manipulator, he turned everything Carla said on its head. He knew exactly where to poke clear-your-lockerto hit her own self-doubts and her love for him, the little brother she believes she abandoned long ago. In the Bistro you can see the look of confusion on Rob’s face. His tricks aren’t working on her. Rob’s scenes this week have been the best I’ve ever seen from him. I like him even less. But I’m fascinated with watching the narcissist, verging on sociopath, side of him reveal itself.

Coronation Street May 5/13

Other People’s Kids

Friday, in the café Anna comments to Tina about both of them having “other people’s kids, hope you have better luck than I’ve had.”

owen faye and anna - other people's kidsThe story of the week was Anna and Faye and Tim – and police and social workers. Tim having bought a sofa bed, Faye took that as her cue to have sleepovers at Dad’s. When Anna refused that, Faye escalated it to moving in to Dad’s. After Anna refused that, Faye alleged Anna had hit her. After having been removed from her home during the investigation, it finally dawned on Faye that she was being taken very seriously and maybe this was going to have consequences greater than just her getting her own way with her mother.

faye-giving-statementWaiting at the police station, Izzy, Faye’s temporary guardian, responded beautifully to a difficult situation. Asked by Faye if Anna would go to jail, Izzy said “that depends on you.” Faye retracted her allegations, and all agreed that Faye was a very troubled child. I’ll say! I’d go back to sleeping with one eye open.

Faye got her way in the end, and Anna really had no choice. Faye has moved temporarily to Tim’s sofa bed. We’ll see how that goes. Very real issues affecting adoptive children and parents are being raised in this story. A Guardian article talks about the new minefields presented by social media like Facebook, which of course was how Faye found Tim in the first place.

Tim gives my husband and me the creeps. But then so does Faye, so maybe it’s just a family trait. So as of Thursday, my only dilemma was which gut-wrenching scene to choose.

Other people’s unborn kids

izzy-gary-tinaThen Friday the story moved to another complicated parentage story – Izzy, Gary and Tina. Tina had a prenatal class and Izzy and Gary were going with her. Makes sense they’d go, even though Beth questioned why Izzy was taking time off work for it. After all, she pointed out, it was Tina who had to know about childbirth.

people-moving-for-izzyBeth’s words came to Izzy’s mind, and ours, when they were actually in the class. Pregnant women and partners all sat on the floor and Izzy in her chair. Tina and Gary sat on the floor. Tina, like the other expectant mothers, needed a partner for the exercises and, of course, for the forthcoming big event. Izzy realized she was in the way, so she had to navigate her way across a floor filled with pregnant women-and-their-partners to sit in the back, out of the way, out of sight, out of mind.

Tears came to her eyes as she sat off to the side like a fifth wheel. Beautiful camera work and acting in too-late-to-change-your-mindconveying the emotion. Leaving aside where this story looks to be heading with Gary getting too interested in Tina, this moment was heartbreaking. Izzy, feeling extraneous to her child’s development, watching her partner busy partnering with the woman who is carrying the baby. What, she must be wondering, are the next months going to be like?

izzy-leaving-roomAnna’s comment about other people’s kids was fair enough, but she might find she could also extend her sympathy to Izzy. She too feels like ‘her’ child is not really hers after all.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec. 23/12)


got-any-questionsMaybe the whole thing coming out in the Rovers about Tina being a surrogate mother for Izzy and Gary was just a build up to Tina throwing a pint over David in Wednesday’s episode. I hope so because I’m just not understanding what the big deal is.

I have thought they were keeping her pregnancy a secret just because it’s early days. Get past the first trimester and all that. But after Norris blabbed last week in the Rovers and everyone congratulated why-pick-margarineTommy on being a dad, it seemed to me it was time to ‘fess up. Horrible to have everyone thinking it was Tommy and Tina’s baby. Awkward for them and embarrassing for all the well-wishers when the truth came out. But at that time, I thought it’s a hard spot for Tommy, especially when he’s angry and just wants to be left alone. Gary could set people straight, but emotions were running high. Maybe a case of coulda, woulda, shoulda.

But when it all started up again on Tuesday, why not just say listen, folks, let us explain. All the principals were there, so what better time? What were they planning to do, wait until the baby is born then Tina say “oh, I decided to give her/him to Gary and Izzy”?

The reactions

you got something to sayAfter worried looks darting back and forth and attempts to put people off the topic (like that’s going to happen!) finally they realized they had no choice but to tell people. The truth couldn’t be any stranger than what the factory girls and Norris were coming up with on their own. But I was confounded again by the reactions to what they were told.

Tina-is-carryingAre the people of Coronation Street living in a time warp or a cave? You’d think this was the first ever case of surrogacy. No one seemed to have ever heard of such a thing.  It wasn’t just a case of moral disapproval or wondering about the difficulty in handling the emotional bonds of so many parental figures, it was kind of like “Eh?  Wot’s that when it’s at home?”

All about David

renting-my-wombThen David came in, upset about his baby-making plan going awry. Totally fed up with everyone, Tina tells him “I’m renting out my womb” in answer to his question about what’s going on. After he absorbs the news about the surrogacy, the hamsters in his little brain start up their wheel. Quickly he turns it to being all about him. You can hear his thoughts: Tina’s carrying a baby for someone else and Kylie won’t even carry my baby, and Tina aborted my baby. When the abortion is mentioned, barmaid Tina flings a beer in customer David’s face.

pint-over-DavidNot that I didn’t enjoy seeing him getting a pint thrown over him. I think they should incorporate that into every episode. David sitting at home watching tv, someone walks in the door and flings a beer over him. Crossing the street, someone jumps out and pours a beer over his head. Especially with the way he’s acting, I think it would be wonderful. A little message of “grow up David” plus the wherewithal for a new drinking game.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Dec. 16/12)

In Vitro Veritas

On Friday, a drunk and pouting Tommy Duckworth actually made a lot of sense.  Not the happy-days Tommy Duckworthpart about suggesting – no, demanding – that Tina abort this medical science-conceived baby.  The part about the Windasses hovering like something out of a horror movie.

Throughout this story, I have wished someone would tell Gary to back off. As well as Anna and Owen, and even Izzy.  Give Tina a bit of space and peace.  Stop plumping her Tommy-wishing-Gary-awaypillows, stop offering cups of tea, stop following her closer than a dog on her heels.  Especially stop following and fussing when Tommy is around.  It’s claustrophobic enough for Tina, but doing it to both her and Tommy?

Whether or not you think that Tommy is being a jerk about this, he and Tina have a relationship that does not include the Windass family.  Tommy could not make his feelings about this whole surrogacy any clearer unless he hit a Windass over the head with a plank, so why can’t they take the hint?  Respect his feelings, be thankful that he’s doing the best he can to be supportive and give him, and Tina, a bit of space.

A jerk amid a crowding crowd

I do think that Tommy has been a total jerk over this.  I don’t know how Tina has tolerated the sullen pouts, the fits of temper, the incredibly stupid ideas he’s suggested.  And it’s only been a few weeks.  Nine months of Tommy sulking or throwing tantrums?  everyone-knowsAs well as having the Windasses glued to your backside?  If I were Tina, I’d be packing a bag and taking me and Little Armstrong-Windass to Land’s End or somewhere no Windass, Armstrong or Duckworth would ever find me.  Send the baby back to Coronation Street when it’s born if you want to keep your end of the deal.

Failing that, Tina ought to stand up and tell them all to back off a bit.  Tommy’s ranting, enjoy-it-while-you-can Tommy Duckworthafter his hideous experience in the Rovers, gave an accurate assessment of the situation in which he and Tina find themselves.  One or both of them need to calmly and politely explain the same thing to the Windasses.

Tina perhaps also needs to once again remind Tommy of exactly why they need the still-have-a-choicemoney she is being paid for this:  to bail him out of his debts and support both of them while he flails about feeling sorry for himself.

So, words of accurate insight coming out of an unlikely source, Tommy Duckworth.  I hope Tina matches them with words to Tommy and her new surrogate family.