Tag Archives: Sylvia Goodwin

Corrie Street Aug. 11/13

C is for Coping

Hayley-outside-hospital copingIf I ran Corrie, I’d have it in the contracts for some actors that they could never ever leave Corrie no matter what. Julie Hesmondhaigh would be one of those actors. Her character Hayley is needed by all of us. But I do not run Coronation Street.

This week Hayley has been coping with her diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and has had to tell Roy. Two scenes on Monday were heartbreakingly brilliant.

The first was when Hayley was being hectored by Beth for Hayley-in-factory-officemiscounting Beth’s knicker output. Carla, knowing something may be wrong, got Hayley out of the situation and into her office. There, Hayley broke down. She couldn’t keep up the brave façade any longer and told Carla she had a tumour. Carla hauled her bottle out of her cupboard and waved it toward Hayley who said no. Carla said she could certainly use a drink herself, speaking perhaps for us all.

Telling Roy

Hayley-at-cafe-doorHeading home, Hayley steeled herself to tell Roy and Sylvia. Their faces made words unnecessary. Sylvia’s face said ‘dear God in Heaven, how will we get through this?’ and Roy’s face said ‘What?’ Sylvia’s expression conveyed love, sorrow and worry in equal parts; Roy’s, total incomprehension.

He roy says going to be with hersoon rallied, however, and ran for his Mr Fix-it hat. Off to the library, the internet, the doctor; looking for alternatives, for better answers.

Wednesday’s episode ended on a shocker. Roy angrily blurting out at Audrey’s party that Hayley was fatally ill. Despite his Royston-like behaviour of obsessing in the “interweb” as Sylvia put it, his betrayal of Hayley’s confidence seemed uncharacteristic. Watching, Hayley-angry-at-Roywe discussed whether this was believable in light of Roy’s distress or if it was plot-driven writing in order to have everyone on the street find out. Our conclusion was that if the question even comes to mind, the writing needed reworking.

But the follow-up scene on Hayley-finishes-her-champagneThursday helped soften the shock of such un-Roy-like behaviour. Hayley told him in no uncertain terms what she thought of what he’d done, even defiantly finishing her glass of champagne. He realized the enormity of his error. I think the whole scene should have been part of the same episode without splitting it for cliffhanger effect.

Roy listens

Sylvia-talks-sense-to-RoyBack home that evening, Sylvia told Roy that Hayley didn’t need him looking for cures, that she had doctors for that and they knew more about it than he did. What Hayley needed was just him and his love and support. Roy listened to his mother.

When Hayley came from her bath, he’d made her something to eat. Expecting cheese-on-toastsome revolting healthful concoction, she told him thanks but no thanks. But he unveiled the plate to show her cheese on toast and brickmaker’s tea, strong enough to stand a spoon in. And then, with a bit of prompting by Hayley, he hugged her and held her close. She told him her fear of dying. He said he wished only that it could be him instead of her.  She said that would be worse for her.

if-that-makes-me-selfishThis storyline is being done absolutely beautifully. Still, I wish it wasn’t being done at all. Coping will be difficult.

Corrie Street Aug. 4/13

Mother Sylvia

Despite her pointed observations (usually accurate if not tactfully phrased), Sylvia is a truly warm-hearted person. A woman who acknowledges shortcomings, including her Sylviaown, and recognizes a person’s strengths. She knows when to confront issues and when it’s best to back off. As they say, a pillar of strength. I wish she’d adopt me.

On Thursday Hayley came home, rattled by being called back to the doctor’s office almost immediately after an inconclusive and unsettling ultrasound. Roy wanted to be supportive and interested in her world after putting her through the stress of his problems. Had she been shopping, had she bought anything nice? Hayley didn’t know how to answer him. Sylvia covered for her beautifully by telling him he couldn’t understand a woman’s approach to shopping, you don’t necessarily come home with anything.

As soon as she had shooed him out of the room, she turned to Hayley. Concerned but Sylvia-and-Hayleybusiness-like, she asked what did they say. Hayley explained that she hadn’t been given any answers, just more reason for concern. Sylvia didn’t press for more information, didn’t ask more questions when she saw Hayley was frightened and couldn’t answer. She just gave her a huge lovely hug. Hayley and Roy are going to need Sylvia to get through the adversities both are dealing with, separately and together. Especially now, after Friday’s news.

Corrie Street Jun. 2/13

The Legacy

A two-year-old letter from Roy’s father has produced amazing scenes. It began with the legacy Mr-Cropper's-letterSylvia going to the hated Home to pick it up, then to her telling Hayley not to pressure Roy into reading it. Then Roy dithering about what to do once he knew about it and more dithering when he learned his father was no longer at the address given in the letter.

Thursday he unwillingly went to a newer Cropper-houseaddress he had found for his father, where he met his father’s widow. Three months earlier Mr. Cropper Sr. had died, believing that Roy wanted nothing to do with him. That was indeed the case, although Roy had not known that his father was trying to reach him. Four remarkable scenes followed Roy and Hayley’s entry into his father’s house.

Roy-and-mantle-photosRoy in the sitting room, surrounded by photos of his father’s other family. The three children, one in New Zealand, one in Cornwall and one near the parental home. No photos of the child Roy, his father’s firstborn.

Tea and conversation

Hayley, herself flummoxed, trying to talk normally and drink tea, trying to find out as much as possible about Roy’s Croppersfather and his life and hoping against hope that Roy can somehow find the answers he needs in light of his father’s death. Mrs. Cropper explaining that Roy’s father truly regretted leaving his eldest son and never contacting him, trying to explain that his family – all members – were truly important to him.  Roy listening but keeping very still as if he were just trying to hold himself together.

train-set-in-caseAs they prepare to leave, Mrs. Cropper gives him a suitcase saying his father had wanted Roy to have it. That St. John had spent hours playing with it and that none of his other children were interested but he knew Roy would want it. A train set like the one Roy had when a child. Roy refused it, saying maybe a grandchild would take it. Mrs. Cropper pressed it on him, saying it was his.  Roy took it reverentially.

After the visit

how-was-heBack home, Sylvia wants to know everything. What happened? Had he lost his hair? Because balding ran in his family, that Roy took after her side in that so he needn’t worry because he was nothing like that man. Roy would never run out on those who relied on him. When she ran out of steam, Roy said  “He’s dead”.

Last scene, Roy closing himself off again in when-one-is-abandonedorder to cope. Sylvia quiet, trying to keep herself together and, I think, giving Roy room to be quiet too. Hayley seeing the anguish in them both, but wanting to talk about it, to not keep it bottled up, sorry if what she’d done in showing him the letter caused him grief.

“If I’m in any way to blame,” Hayley said. Roy couldn’t take any you-are-Hayley-you-aremore. “You are, Hayley, you are to blame,” he said, after giving her a summing up of the unnecessary need felt by modern society to explore feelings, come to terms with things, find closure. He left the room, presumably to find silence. Sylvia, looking a bit shocked by Roy’s explosion, said to Hayley “I did try to warn you.” And she had.

I-did-warn-youThese three actors, and characters, are wonderful. These scenes were among the best ever from them. This is what Coronation Street does so well. In the storylines, there’s often something that may especially resonant for individuals. This one is a story about abandonment of a child and a spouse. That is a fear, and maybe reality, for many or all of us.

Coronation Street Apr. 21/13

Reefer Madness

waitress-sylvia reefer madnessTuesday, Dennis asks Sylvia about the effectiveness of her hash brownies for pain relief. Works a treat she said as she swiftly cleared and cleaned tables using her previously painful wrist. Having wrenched his back, Dennis stops scoffing about the expected effects of marijuana and pleads for some for his back pain.

Sylvia baked them herself, using ingredients given to her by Stan the brownie “pusher man”. Hers rita-pulls-dennis-off-floorclearly were stronger than his, and Dennis keeled over in a happy stoned heap after just a bite or two. Rita found him, then saw the leftover brownie. One sniff of it and she knew. Sylvia and Dennis were trotted off to Dr. Carter’s office for a talk on ‘proper’ pain control and unanticipated physiological dangers of marijuana.

Did producers fear a spike in marijuana purchase and usage by elderly Britons? Have physicians written to Coronation Street asking them to stop this storyline? Because if I suffered from chronic pain, I’d be at my local One O’Clock Club right quick looking for a Stan!

Social Impact

Rita finds hash brownieAnyone who has read about the social impact of Coronation Street knows that its stories affect people’s attitudes and behaviour. Two examples come to my mind. First, enquiries from men to nursing schools increased when Martin Platt went into nursing. Second, years before that, law suits against town councils about stubbed toes increased after Stan Ogden sued Weatherfield council for an injury to his toe from uneven cobbles on the street.

every-sprinkleGoogling Sylvia and hash brownies didn’t produce anything from medical and substance abuse professions about the current storyline. I did find this article about Stephanie Cole’s thoughts on her character’s actions. She indicates that it will treat the subject seriously and not just be a funny story about pensioner stoners.

I don’t know if the story has ended with Dr. Carter’s warnings about increased blood pressure and other health risks. Possibly, since they were using it for medicinal rather than recreational purposes and marijuana is not physiologically addicting in the way that opiates and cocaine are.

Hash or cocaine

sylvia-looks-at-candySo this story begs to be compared with the one about Ryan and cocaine. Within a couple months, Ryan began using cocaine to the point he was dangerous to himself and others, then he stopped. End of story. Sylvia and Dennis ceasing their brownie consumption immediately would be more realistic than Ryan apparently never having another thought about cocaine.

I’d like to know what Dr. Carter counsels for chronic pain relief. I hope it is not percocet or with-dr-carteroxycodone unless Corrie writers are going to delve into the real nastiness of those legal and heavily prescribed painkillers. They could do that; the continuing serial format allows for presentation of multiple sides of an issue and this is an important one. I am so sorry, though, that we didn’t get to see Norris and Mary stoned.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Mar. 3/13)

Counting Cards

Sylvia has found her Rain Man and her rainmaker. Having developed a liking for games of chance comfort-in-numberswhile in America, she realizes Roy’s odd and heretofore embarrassing mental acuity has a practical use. She has lost a great deal of money in casinos and Roy wants her to get it back. She would like to recoup her losses and make even more!

His abilities in mathematics and memory are perfect for the game of blackjack. He has never played before but, after scanning her book on card games, realizes the trick to it is in counting cards so you have a better chance of predicting card-practicewhat is left in the dealer’s deck. But he needs to practice with other players.

Enter Dennis and Ken, come to the café for tea and a bun but recruited into blackjack practice. How perfect that it is them! Like Roy, Ken has never been in a casino in his life and has moral qualms about all gambling. Like Sylvia, Dennis is in his element.

Casino Roy

blackjack counting cardsRoy decides that he is ready and takes the café float. He stops playing after winning back exactly what Sylvia lost in that casino. The manager comes over after suspecting Roy is counting cards. Roy freely admits he is and points out that he’s broken no rules by doing so. The manager says the casino has the right to bar him regardless. Roy says fine, he has no intentions of returning.

Back at the café, Hayley is horrified by what Roy did. Roy is proud but uneasy about using his feel-like-a-circus-actpowers for evil, as it were. Sylvia is exultant and sees riches in their future if only she can convince Roy to keep playing – using his great gift in a way she can be proud of. He stomps out, after referencing Alex Gilroy’s wish to turn him into a circus act.

“Miracle Memory”

Hayley explains to Sylvia that the long-ago Rovers landlord and wannabe impresario wanted to create a stage act for Roy to amaze crowds with his “miracle memory”. Roy had felt humiliated by such exploitation. Sylvia realizes she was indeed doing the same thing.

hugWhen Roy returns, he has got back the watch Sylvia had pawned. She apologizes, says she was proud because he defended her and hugs him. Hayley is pleased. So is Roy, although his face shows his unease with such a display of physical affection.

Counting cards as Roy was doing it, all in his head, is legal. Casinos dislike it and watch out for it because it gives the player an advantage. Shuffling techniques, manual or automated, are used to lessen the likelihood of a player being able to keep track of cards played. Casinos cannot kick someone out for counting cards, as long as no aids in the form of technology or a helper are used. But they have the legal right to bar anyone from specific games or the whole casino if they choose without having to show cause.
dealing-cardsProdigious memory is not needed to count cards although obviously that helps. There are techniques you can learn that help. My husband says that in playing bridge, you keep track of cards played in order to anticipate what is coming next. And that is what counting cards is.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 17/13)

Pay Off

Amount of money needed to pay off debt: £9,000. Vengeance exacted while getting that money: priceless.

what goes around - lewis about pay offI still don’t think Lewis is justified in his outrage at Gail for testing his loyalty to her mother, and certainly not at Audrey for going along with it when she found out. It makes me think that his professed love for her and change in character isn’t so profound. The test, after all, was specifically related to his long-term vocation and avocation, ripping off women like Audrey. Had he been truly changed by his love for Audrey, he would have accepted that they had cause for doubt regardless of the humiliation caused to him.

However, he is a man with pride and an astounding ability to hold a grudge. While that has been bad for Audrey and now Gail, it’s been great for us as viewers.

Italian for Lovers

platt-family-viewing pay off videoGail assembles the family to tell them she and Lewis are moving to Italy.  Lewis texts her: start without me. He texts Nick: put the Italian for Lovers dvd in. It’s a lesson of a different sort.

Lewis is behind the bar at the Bistro, mixing himself a cocktail and telling Gail what he has done and why. He cleaned out her bank account because she had cost him his relationship with Audrey. lewis pay off you-made-it-easyHe tells Audrey that he truly loved her. But thanks to Gail, he was back to his former self and wanted revenge. And that, he said, is best served like a Bellini in a chilled glass – cold.

I knew the dénouement of Lewis’ scam would be good but it was better than I imagined. I ciaoactually felt sorry for poor Gail by the end. And I was happy to see Audrey vindicated. An added treat was Lewis’ message to weasel-of-a-husbandKylie: that she “could do a good deal better than that weasel of a husband”. In his words to Nick, that he too deserved happiness, there was a coded message to him and Kylie. The others in the room wouldn’t get it, but probably Kylie did in that she knew that Lewis knew about her night with Nick.

Kylie feels guilty about having given Gail’s banking password to Lewis. But he would have found it sooner or later. Back at the Bistro, she told Nick what she had done. I’m glad she did; a burden shared is a burden lightened and, after all, he can’t afford to rat her out to Gail.

Lewis, followed by Sylvia

treasure-islandWhat can possibly follow such a splendid scene? Why, Sylvia and Roy. Nicely timed, too, with Hayley and Roy looking at Sylvia’s steamer trunk for a few seconds. Very little dialogue to be missed while audiences are still exulting over Lewis’ tour de force. Then Roy talks about the trunk, familiar to him from his childhood. He used to hide in it during his birthday parties.

milton-sent-itSylvia hears him as she enters the room.  “I lifted the lid and there he was, playing with his little Dinkies. Well, lining them up in straight rows actually.” It is wonderful to have her back.

make-my-telephone-callWhat would make me really happy would be for Lewis to return and be in a story with Sylvia. I don’t know what the storyline might be but I think they could have the two of them sit in the café and read the telephone book and that would be a pay off of a different sort.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (May 20/12)

Yankee Doodle

Roy and Sylvia shaking hands as she leaves for airportWednesday it was so sad seeing Sylvia depart. Sad for her, for Roy and for me. I’ve come to like her so much. And she and Roy really need to sort out their differences, get past their history and acknowledge their affection for each other – if not for themselves then for Hayley and all of us.

Sylvia arrived back at cafe - Yankee DoodleSo it was wonderful to see her come back to the café, bag and baggage. She left the airport before her flight boarded, overwhelmed by being surrounded by far too many Americans. Loud – “they don’t need telephones in America, they can go coast to coast from their bedroom windows.” One American, Milton “my Yankee Doodle Dandy”, was ok. A planeload of them far too much. The thought of an entire country full of them! Well, back to Coronation Street she came.

Sylvia looks at Roy I think in their own Cropper way, Roy and his mother have resolved the problems of their history. And it has been a delight to watch. Understated performances by both actors, in keeping with the personalities of both.

Family Cropper style

We don’t know their backstory, as we do with other long-time characters’ parent and child relationships. But we’ve gleaned a lot of it from the characters as they are today. There’s not been a lot of discussion of their past, either with each other or with other characters, but there’s been just enough that you can picture it: Sylvia’s previous life as a wife and mother with social Roy scrubbing counter as Hayley remonstratesaspirations, Roy’s as a “loner” and possibly a lonely child awkward in the company of anyone.

Hayley is a good glue between the two. She had a traumatic childhood herself, as a boy who wanted to be a girl. Also somewhat socially awkward, she has a natural demonstrativeness that has come out as she has become comfortable in her own skin. So she understands the reserve that both Roy and Sylvia hold dear to their hearts. Yet she is willing to storm the walls of it.

I am sorry to see the departure of Robert Vaughn as Milton. But I am glad that Sylvia decided that a back street Salford (or Weatherfield) café was better suited to her than the golf courses of Palm Springs, California. Development of the past, present and future of Cropper mother and son is one of the best stories on Coronation Street.


Katie comes in door and sees family waiting for herAs for the week’s other mother and child reunion, with Katy returning from her baby-free walkabout to find the household in an uproar after a near fire – she handled that by making an already bad situation even worse. She took off, leaving a note saying ‘you’ll all be better off without me’. Good one, Katy, that really solves the problem!

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 29/12)

Sitcom du Jour

A double-date at Roy’s Rolls, or four platonic pals enjoying a meal as Norris preferred party of four dining at cafeto think of it. Either way, Mary was spectacular. Her partner in spectacularness was Sylvia, known for that evening as The Waitress.

Mary, Norris, Emily and Dennis enjoyed a three-course meal courtesy of Roy. The free meal was the price Mary exacted for Sylvia having locked Norris, deliberately, in the café washroom overnight. Sylvia as their waitress, hand and foot, was the penance Mary exacted of her.

Sylvia glaring at Mary and Roy placating bothEmily offering to pay for her meal since Dennis had joined the original aggrieved three. Roy, white towel over arm, graciously saying you all are welcome. Mary in grande dame fashion, eagle-eying Sylvia just as Sylvia was eagle-eying her.

“Locate your inner cow”

soup du jour Mary asks Sylvia about menu“What is your soup du jour?” Sylvia refuses to answer Mary’s question if it’s not in “the Queen’s English.” Roy says “leek and potato.” “I want to hear it from The Waitress,” Mary trills, gimlet eyes on Sylvia. “It’s up there, sur le board” is as far as Sylvia will go in reply.

When Emily tsks tsks, Mary suggests, “for tonight leave your Christianity at home and locate your inner cow.”  When Emily continues being apologetic to Roy and Mary telling Emily to locate her inner cowSylvia, Mary whispers “imagine John McCarthy.” “Hostage John McCarthy?” asks Emily. The British journalist held hostage for over five years in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad.

The scene was a good payoff for a week of OTT plots. Truly enjoying Sylvia, I’d looked Sylvia putting priced sachets on counterforward to her taking over the café. “I survived the Blitz and four Labour governments” she said when Roy asked if she could handle it. A new classic! Carping about portion sizes and about Becky laying about the café as if it were her living room was believable and funny. But charging for condiments and milk for tea? Nah. Even if she tried, Roy would have stopped it immediately. It got too silly.

Norris looking through washroom window at SylviaOf course, the writers had to do all that to get to the big event – Norris flouting the new rule of paying for washroom use. And Sylvia locking him in all night, hence the free dinner. I’m glad the dinner scene was worth it because I hadn’t been too happy up to that point.

Julie and Brian OTT

Even with my other favourites, Julie and Brian, I felt let down. It started wonderfully, Julie in that fabulous ’40s dress and hat needing Julie in Bistro accusing Brian of flirtinga bit of Rovers’ courage to get her through her date and plan to get Brian into bed. And she was great in the Bistro, the unsteady walk, the near miss with the chair when she sat down. But again, it then went too far in silliness. Not the actors’ doing – they were brilliant. But it seemed like the writers were writing for a laugh track.

Julie and Brian’s date spiraling out of control was plausible. But it became a sitcom scene. Sylvia instituting new rules in the café –not even plausible, at least not beyond snatching back a strip of bacon from a full English breakfast.

Norris Poirot

Norris ColeDavid Suchet as PoirotBut a new image stuck in your mind forever? When thinking of how to find the missing Norris, Mary suggests a recreation of the scene. “Who should play Norris? One of the Suchet brothers, I think. The one who plays Hercule Poirot.” Emily: “David, but he’s a very big actor now.” Bwahahaha.  Watching Poirot will never be the same.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 15/12)


Monday’s theme seemed to be parenting, or not. Heart-breaking for so many characters. Three parent-child bonds struck me in particular.

Sylvia and Roy

parenthood - Sylvia talking about the child Roy as he overhears Hayley is at the end of her tether with Sylvia’s remarks about her in loco parentis skills with Hope. Inferred, but not said, is because Hayley is really Harold, how could she be expected to cope with a baby.

Hayley’s unusual flash of temper causes Sylvia to explain her own feelings about being a parent – of Roy. It’s not complimentary to Roy, and he overhears. But through the non-verbal Sylvia and Roy in cafe discuss Roy's childhoodform of communication that they seem to have, they come to understand the other’s position. They reconcile to the extent that Roy defends his mother against Becky’s wisecracks to her! Who’da thunk it!! And Sylvia, with the support of Roy and Hayley, indulges in cooing and cuddling baby Hope. Oh, I think Sylvia is an absolute prize. I’m liking her more each week.

Sean and Dylan and Marcus

Sean and Marcus discuss fatherhoodNote my arrangement of the names: Sean, Dylan, Marcus. That’s how Marcus is feeling – tacked on at the end. While he is expected to tend for the child as if he’s his own, he can’t cross that invisible line into feeling like a parent. Seem familiar? Becky and Amy?  As much as I like Sean, if he doesn’t get over himself and this “I’m the daddy” foolishness, I won’t be blaming Marcus if he heads for the door.

Leanne and Stella and lost baby

Leanne at top of stairs calling after PeterLeanne finds out she’s pregnant right when she’s dealing with her biological mother returning and wanting to play happy families. She is lashing out unreasonably at Peter about Carla and pretty much everything. Peter’s response is to go into a huge sulk and talk of going to Portsmouth. Oh, that makes sense, Peter.  When Leanne realizes she’s gone too far with insulting Peter, she goes to the top of the stairs to call after him. Trips, falls all the way to the bottom. Stella sees Leanne at bottom of stepsOf course, Stella is the one who finds her. In that she’s stalking Leanne, it’s not surprising.

In the hospital, Leanne and Peter are told she has miscarried. She is devastated, Peter not so much. Relief? Guilt? Disappointment? All three? Stella, like a bad penny, turns up. When Peter is not in Leanne crying while Stella reappears at the hospital room doorthe room, Leanne gives way to her sorrow and sobs her heart out. Who comes into the room but Stella. And no, she doesn’t back out of the room. She sits on the bed.

But just when I’m thinking “Good Lord woman, haven’t you got the sense to go Leanne crying in her mother's armsaway!”, Leanne turns toward her, clearly thinking the same thing I am, but then folds herself into her mother’s arms and sobs. Maybe at that moment, she’d have done the same if it had been a post sitting on her bed, or Norris. But it’s her mother.  And her mother, for the first time since Leanne was a baby, has the chance to comfort her child. Unfortunately, it’s over the loss of Leanne’s own child.

James, Ken and the ’60s

James fights Ken to get phone awayAnd a fourth. On Wednesday James admits all to Ken, and blames him and the 1960s for it all! It’s a version of a defence I remember using in my own childhood: ‘I didn’t ask to be born!’ Even after he knocks Ken down and leaves him unconscious on the floor, Ken protects him. Is that parental love or guilt or just reacting in total disbelief? I don’t know.

I’m not alone in my picks. Bluenose Corrie has a post on the same Monday scenes and there’s a comment on Corrie Canuck about Leanne and Stella at the hospital.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Jan. 1/12)

Eunuchs and Parasites

Tracey telling Sylvia about Hayley's sex changeOnce they’d decided it was necessary, Hayley and Roy didn’t have a chance to tell Mother Cropper the truth about Hayley’s sex change. Tracy Barlow, trademark sneer in place, was happy to enlighten Sylvia even while Roy was shooing her out of the café.

The three Croppers then had a moment of Sylvia looks askance at Hayley as she explainsmutual self-revelation. Sylvia tried to avoid it, but Hayley said ‘sit down’ in a tone that even she had to obey. Hayley then reverted to herself, trying to placate and explain. Sylvia reverted too, pronouncing on the abnormality of Hayley, Roy and their relationship.

Roy changed his usual way of dealing with his mother. His love of Hayley takes precedence over even his fear and dread of his Roy tells Sylvia to leave if she cannot accept Hayleymother. He told her that even though she had absolutely no money and he and Hayley had been happy to welcome her into their home, he was happy to see her walk right out the door if she could not accept Hayley as his wife.

The mix of emotions in Sylvia’s response – in words and expression. Memories of his childhood flickering across her face, her frustration or incomprehension of his ‘differentness’. “There was no help in those days,”  she says. Roy says, “you were ashamed.” Maybe she Sylvia explaining her feelings about Roy as a childwas but she wasn’t going to admit it. “Disappointed,” she says. Then she speaks of her pride when she saw him with a business, a wife, friends, standing in the community – normal is the unspoken word. Then the shock of finding out Hayley is transgender.

Becky speaks truth to Sylvia

She’s an intelligent woman and a caring one despite the crusty exterior. As Roy said, “this morning, you thought the world of Hayley.” She knows that too. She will come around. And it’s Becky who will help, just as Sylvia will cause Becky to rethink her pity party.

Sylvia talks to Becky about eunuchs and parasitesBoth of them exiled upstairs to the apartment while Hayley and Roy do make-work in the café, trying to avoid their houseguests. Sylvia decrying the state of a world where you don’t know who or what anyone is. “Cavorting with eunuchs and taking in parasites” she says, that’s what Roy has done. “I don’t know what she is.” “She’s Hayley Cropper, simple as that,”  Becky turns to Sylvia and replies.

Sylvia suggests to Becky that it might be time for her to sort her life out and make up Becky telling Roy and Hayley she is going to find Stevewith a husband who clearly loves her. Becky listens to her. And two difficult women of different generations and worlds take stock of each other. I think they see themselves mirrored and they like what they see, although both of them would deny it to the bitter end.