Last night’s episode (update to follow) saw our Steve receive a call from his dad, everyone’s favourite ethnic stereotype, Jim McDonald the Blast from Belfast, an Irishman with a penchant for getting drunk and punching things. So for those of you not familiar with our Jim I offer you this quick Corrie history lesson.
I’m going to hold myself down to the facts and the facts only because I think Jim is one of those few characters that people either really love or really hate. Myself and Ms. Debbie have come down to wicked blows involving feathers and Jell-O discussing if Jim is a hard luck story with a bad temper or serious freaking evil head case.
Whatever your opinion of Jim is, we can all agree with one thing…if it wasn’t for Mr. McDonald elder, an entire generation of Brits would have been kept ignorant of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The McDonald clan arrived on the scene close to 19 years ago on October 27, 1989. Jim had been in the army, a life he had adored but Liz had wanted a more stable existence, so he hung up his uniform and moved the family (twin boys Andy and Steve) to Weatherfield. Once in town he worked various jobs such as a mechanic in the garage and being Bill Webster’s right hand man.
He even held down a job as Mike Baldwin’s chauffer but this fell apart after an attempt by Liz and he to buy the Rovers. During the bid Liz called Jim to urgently sign some papers at the bank (or some such thing) in order to get the bid in before the Duckworths. He drove off, abandoning Mike in the middle of nowhere without a ride; but unfortunately he was too late and they lost the Rovers to Jack and Vera. Needless to say Mike also canned his ass.
Jim and Liz’s relationship has never been spectacular and when they lost their baby daughter only a few days after she was born it truly began to go down the crapper with her looking for love in all the wrong places and he well, getting drunk and punching people.
A Quick History Jim Punching People
Liz leaves Jim after he punches a young Steve.
Jim punches Liz’s new boyfriend Colin.
Liz and Jim go to his army reunion and he notices that she’s being overly friendly with one of his mates. On the ride home, he badgers her and she finally tells him that she slept with his friend. Jim stops the car, punches Liz and leaves her on the side of the road.
A remorseful Jim feels bad and tries to reconcile with Liz. He does this by breaking into the house by punching the back window – he’s arrested shortly after and slapped with a restraining order.
After Steve is beat up by gangster Jez Quigley, Jim pays Jez a visit and well, punches him. Except he keeps punching and Jez ends up dying from internal bleeding. Jim confesses to this crime and is sent up the river for 8 years.
Jim’s Best Line Ever
After stumbling upon Liz in bed with his physiotherapist, Jim tosses her ass out and (quoting Wikipedia) in his strong northern Irish accent says, ‘Get out. Just get out Liz, you slapper. Sleeping with my physiotherapist.’ (Glacia is going to get drunk tonight and re-enact this line for her husband, complete with accent.). Divorce quickly follows. (The McDonald’s, not the Glacia’s.)
Life Behind Bars
Jim and Liz get re-married before he goes to prison and at some point he escapes from prison because he thinks Liz is having an affair. His plan was to run Northern Ireland but on his way out of town he sees Ashley and Claire adrift on a boat. So he stops to take time to punch them. No, just kidding, he rescues them and in the process gets arrested and sent back up the river.
The last time we saw Jim was when he was about to be paroled, but as Liz waited for her husband to return she received the news that he had his parole revoked after an argument over toothpaste with his cellmate which ended in Jim punching the cellmate.
Liz decides that she can’t spend her whole life waiting for a man who can’t control his anger long enough to get paroled. She decides to divorce him and goes to the prison to let him know. Our last vision of Jim was the rather pathetic vision of him calling out ‘Elizabeth! Elizabeth!’ as the prison guards haul him back to his cell.