Update For Thursday, Feb. 12: Sometimes There’s Just Not Enough Kleenex.

Friendship and Support from Marcus

Friendship and Support from Marcus

In what is being called one of the most moving scenes in one of the most difficult stories ever to play out on the Street, Maria Conner visits the hospital for the induced stillbirth of her baby. 

Sadness and Support

Maria has barely awakened on the couch in her dressing gown when Liam comes downstairs and launches into a rant. Calling her a “drama queen” he wants to know when her sulk is going to end, and why she left the bedroom. “I never slept with Carla,” he reiterates, “how many times?” He thinks he’s being unfairly punished. Maria can’t get in a word.

Later, she comes downstairs dressed in a crisp white blouse, with a pink overnight case. She calls Liam’s name but the house is silent. Determined now to proceed on her own, Maria rings a non-Streetcars cab. When it pulls up, Steve passes with a quirky remark, but she ignores him. Audrey arrives at the salon, noting Maria is unaccounted-for two days in a row. “she must be poorly,” Audrey figures.

Marcus runs into Liam in the street, and sympathetically asks how he is. When Liam mumbles, “been better,”  Marcus assumes the topic is the couple’s loss..but Liam prattles on about their spat, and it becomes clear that he doesn’t know. “She’s overreacting,” he says, “after all, no one died.” Marcus realizes he doesn’t know a thing.

Maria sits alone in the hospital’s blue waiting room. A kindly nurse asks if she has anyone coming to support her, like a partner or mom. “No,” she says, “I prefer it this way.”

Liam has brought his non-stop grousing into the Rovers. “A right sulky piece,” he describes Maria to Steve at the bar. Steve points out that in his debates with Michelle, it is he that gets booted to the couch. (me too, Steve-o) He then recounts seeing Maria getting into a rival cab. Audrey and Rita enter; Audrey has not seen Maria either. Liam pulls out his cel. to call, but Maria is not answering. It finally dawns on him that the baby might not be okay. 

The waiting room door opens at the hospital; it is Marcus, come to support Maria. He says he saw Liam but said nothing…it’s Maria’s place to say something…he tries to talk further about Liam, but Maria cuts him off; she does not want to discuss it. “You can’t do this on your own,” Marcus says. “I’m not,” Maria’s voice wavers, “You’re here now.”

Liam goes back home and phones repeatedly, his worry mounting. As his call rings through, Marcus urges Maria to pick it up. She does answer, but all she’ll say is it’s “not important” where she is, and she can’t talk now.  “I’ll see you tomorrow,” she tells him, and hangs up. She enters the birthing room, holding Marcus’ hand.

Once on the table, Maria is understandably very frightened, and tries to settle herself on her elbows. Marcus asks her permission to call Liam. “Just pour me a glass of water,” she asks. After the inducement, Maria’s labour comes on quickly and she struggles to birth her baby, trying to calm herself through the pain and distress. Marcus, not leaving her side, encourages her gently along.

Meanwhile, Carla saunters into the Rovers to cheer Liam up. She is quite flirty, buzzing around him. After a little banter, he tells her that Maria has left. Carla seems truly surprised at this and even a whisker concerned. “She’ll be back by tea-time,” Carla says encouragingly. She offers to buy him a kebab later.

Heavily into her last stretch and pushing doggedly, Maria is finally able to birth a tiny, stillborn son. Marcus is silent, but his face registers deep sorrow as Maria lays back, exhausted. The nurse finally speaks. “Would you like to hold him?” she asks. This option has not occurred to Maria, but she does want to say goodbye to her baby. Sobbing, she tenderly accepts the tiny, wrapped bundle, out of which pokes a tiny, delicate hand. “Perfect,” she whispers, through her tears.

Dumb and Dumber

As they prepare for the day, Leanne wonders how long Janice plans to give her the silent treatment. “I was so proud of you,” Janice begins, thinking Leanne has taken stock of her life, decided she was worth more, and reformed. “Someone could have died,” she says. Leanne makes a lame, flippant attempt to blame Paul. Janice knows Leanne put him up to it. Crying and unable to hide her disappointment, she tells Leanne, “Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with you. You get off on doing dodgy things. And the worst,” she says, is Leanne’s weeks of lying and pretending. “I stuck up for you,” she rails, “when they were all gossiping and laughing behind your back. And I’m telling you now lady: not any more.”

Leanne shows up at Dan and Harry’s flat with her bag, as she’s fallen out with Janice. Harry suggests an excellent B&B with a mustachioed hostess. Leanne snivels and whines though most of the morning as Dan is attempting to make eggy bread. No recipe is leaping to the forefront of his mental index, so he asks Harry how to do it. Harry responds, “I wonder what prison food’s like these days? If you go down,” he tells them, “you have no one to blame but yourselves. Save it for the judge.”

Paul is off to the police station. Tyrone couldn’t care less. Jack wants to accompany Paul in a show of support (which makes his denouncement of yesterday sort of paper-bag, doesn’t it?) . Tyrone thinks maybe Paul’s a pyromaniac. Paul sarcastically suggests that he move out so they’re all safe in their beds. 

Paul returns home from court. The news is that he’s been charged, and will likely go down for it. His only consolation is that Leanne and Dan go down for it too. Jack asks about the quality of Paul’s solicitor and offers to pay for a better lawyer. Paul stoically says he has to deal with whatever’s coming. Maybe ‘Dave’ Platt will get a cellie that can cook.

In other news:

Rita and Audrey gossip in a corner of the Rovers….Audrey admits that Bill and her aren’t all hearts and flowers…he’s not much of a party. She equates Bill to a pair of comfy slippers one puts on after a party. Audrey confesses she would like a tad more excitement. Doesn’t Rita want to meet someone? Audrey wants to know. It might be nice, Rita concurs. Gail comes in before Audrey can discuss a possible second date with Ted. 

A note:

I volunteer for a very fine local association, Perinatal Bereavement Services Ontario. Anyone seeking support for the loss of a baby might wish to visit http://www.pbso.ca.

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About t. kunzie

Toni Kunz is a female soccer trainer in a mens' world, graphic designer and aspiring writer. She lives and works in Toronto.
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24 Responses to Update For Thursday, Feb. 12: Sometimes There’s Just Not Enough Kleenex.

  1. missusmac says:

    Despite the fact “tell your husband, or you will lose him too” screamed through my head during the entire show, I actually sniffled at the end. Very touching scene, and Liam nowhere near.

    Paul is the golden boy again? What the…? Whatever scene we missed the day before that got Paul sitting with Jack et al at the pub again seems pretty darn important now.

  2. TrudyC says:

    I didn’t see this storyline coming. I agree – very sad episode and not to tell Liam is unthinkable.

  3. haili says:

    I would have screamed at Liam to shut up. Maria couldn’t get a word in edgewise. He was so self-centered it never dawned on him that she could be having problems other than him. It was a very sad scene at the hospital and the actress did a great job. It seems that every time anything goes wrong the Connors turn to lots of booze. Carla doesn’t help but Liam should know better.

    I didn’t get why Paul is the golden boy again either. Jack must have had his tanty and now he’s back being nice.

  4. Gayle says:

    I wanted to slap Liam hard across the face last night. I had no idea what an immature jerk he is! Maria should have screamed at him to shut up and listen. He should have been by her side not drinking in the Rovers. I think in Maria’s mind her marriage is over now she’s lost the baby so what’s the point of telling Liam.

    I adore Marcus.

  5. pip says:

    I’m sorry but I just found that episode completely unbelievable. It made no sense that Maria didn’t tell Liam. Sure he wouldn’t stop talking, but telling a dad his unborn baby is dead is far more important than not interrupting. Liam’s not a mindreader, how is he supposed to know this happened? As for Marcus, he’s taking patient confidentiality way too far. Liam needed to know and he should have tried way harder to convince Maria to tell him and failing that he should have called. He must have known Maria’s failure to tell Liam might spell the end of her relationship with him. In no way is this Liam’s fault. Put yourself in his shoes “All right, I was rattling on like an idiot, but that means you don’t tell me our baby has died’. Please.

    I’m really saddened that such a tragic incident was handled so poorly.

  6. Mandy says:

    Pip, think about everything Maria was going through. First worried about the snake Carla and now this… I don’t blame her for just wanting to do it on her own and get it over with. Especially with Liam in such a mood. I am sure if he’d known he would have been there with her but as sad as it is the baby is gone either way. I too think Maria thinks the only reason they got married is the baby and she has some hesitation about telling him for that reason.

    I think Samia Smith did a wonderful job. I think she is very talented. I totally felt for her when she was going through the labour and afterwards.

  7. MarkD says:

    Yeah, the dead baby is sad, and I cried and didn’t see this coming and think it was about time we had a really good episode/story…but Maria is a complete and utter idiot for not telling Liam! What a self centred little cow. I cannot understand how a woman (Maria) thinks she is the only one with a right to see THEIR dead baby!

    Again, I’m not bitter! Selfish, selfish, selfish! Their marriage is so OVER!

  8. fondue123 says:

    I thought this was a very moving episode, and Samia Smith did a wonderful job.
    HOWEVER, I think that if Maria and Liam had anything resembling a believable relationship, she would have told him what was happening. I cannot believe for a moment that two people who love each other would not be able to, or want to put aside everything else to deal with this awful event together. IMO, even possible infidelity would be trumped by this, they would support each other now, deal with that later (especially since nothing actually did happen between Liam and Carla). I think Maria will regret not leaning on Liam during this crisis.

    And I want a friend like Marcus, what a wonderful guy!

  9. beanie says:

    I agree. Samia was very believable. The real culprit here is Carla who could be called “C” She said from the beginning that Liam really wanted her. She even said yesterday that Liam only married Maria because he was half dead and she was pregnant. That would be hard to hear when you’ve just been told your baby is dead.

  10. debbie says:

    I don’t know. I think it is understandable that Maria didn’t say anything, and I think it has very little to do with her ideas of Carla and Liam. I think it has more to do with her own insecurity combined with astounding grief and fear. Her reaction is totally irrational, but I think I understand. It don’t think she decided not to tell him because she was mad. Remember she went looking for him frantically and couldn’t find him. I think she couldn’t tell him because it was just too hard to get the words out.

    The birth scene was so tragic with all that silence after she gave birth.

    Liam does make me angry, but not because of this. He can’t read minds. He makes me angry because he knows how Maria feels about Carla, but he allows Carla to buzz around him the way she does. I do think he should have left with Maria after dinner. He could have ignored Carla in the pub. But he just lets her do what she does. If he really wanted Carla to stop, he could make it happen.

  11. fondue123 says:

    I agree, as far as Liam is concerned, he’s not being a good husband, or even a very thoughtful person. Carla is out of line and needs to be told by LIAM, not Maria, in no uncertain terms, to back off. If he doesn’t, he himself is sending mixed messages to Maria.

    Re: Maria, I wasn’t trying to imply that she didn’t tell Liam because she was mad. My point (not very well made, sorry) was that there doesn’t seem to be any communication between these two people…why are they even a couple? What on earth do they talk about? It doesn’t seem normal or believable to me that she wouldn’t say ANYTHING to him about this, especially given so many opportunities, and being encouraged by Marcus to do so, as well. So she’s unsettled by Carla’s behaviour, but Maria’s been strong enough in the past to stand up to her (wedding slap, fave moment for me!!!).

    If it all boils down to her not trusting Liam to be there for her, my feeling is that she’s working on a self-fulfilling prophecy there. Just sad and weird all round.

  12. kunzie says:

    Interesting viewpoints, all.

    My impression is that a stillbirth is heart-wrenching and dramatic enough without adding the false suspense and concocted stress of Maria not telling Liam. I think this sad event, as beautifully acted by Samia Smith and Charlie Condou, could have stood on it’s own without the “As The World Turns” plot twist.

    As far as whether it’s realistic or not for her to keep it to herself…I am on the fence. People have been known to isolate with news of this type. If Maria wanted to tell Liam then yes, it’s totally unrealistic that she wouldn’t interrupt Liam to tell him this.

    Carla, in my view, is was not important to the story – yes she was trying to make trouble and yes, it worked.

  13. haili says:

    I don’t think Maria was thinking straight, or she would have yelled at Liam and told him. However, Liam was so wrapped up in his own feelings, that he didn’t even ask Maria how she was doing. Maybe shutting him up and getting him to listen was just more than she could cope with and she really didn’t feel up to coping with Carla. She should tell him now ASAP and if she doesn’t, Marcus should. I do think she was in a state of panic and grief.

  14. papasmurf1964 says:

    In my humble opinion Marcus acted in an absolutely correct fashion as regards patient confidentiality.

  15. debbie says:

    Well, I think it has everything to do with Maria and very little do with Liam. I think she was just too emotional and messed up to tell him.

    She did say something to him. She kept saying that she was sorry. She was talking about the baby, but couldn’t get the words out.

  16. missusmac says:

    Marcus’ first responsibility as a health care provider is to Maria. He did that in trumps. And remember, he got into a lot of trouble when Violet accused him of divulging confidential info, when in fact Sean tricked him.

    Even if Maria had whispered the news, she would have got Liam’s attention by opening her mouth. Too many opportunities passed by for me to blame that on Liam’s non-stop mouth.

    Absolutely, insecurity playing a role here, and huge grief. But even so, IMO Liam should have been told ASAP, and at the very least in the last phone call. Whatever she thinks his feelings were to her, it was clear he adored his unborn child.

  17. Bea says:

    I think that Maria was in shock at first, and couldn’t find the words to tell Liam. She should never have been left on her own to go and tell him. She should have had someone go with her for support. The longer it went on, the harder it would have been to tell. But I agree, she definately should have said what was going on when Liam finally phoned her that last time.
    It was awful that Liam wasn’t there to see his own baby son.
    I am also in love with Marcus, hopeless as it is.

  18. Jody says:

    Marcus endeared himself to us all I believe.
    Poor Maria…I shed a few tears watching her hold her baby.

  19. Tracy Emm says:

    I was so annoyed at the whole storyline that I couldn’t even come close to crying! I thought Wednesday nights episode was terrible, and I knew it would only continue into Thursday… More of the same tonight, I expect. Ugh. Now I have never experienced the anguish of a still birth, but I seriously doubt any woman would head off the to hospital, on her own, without telling a soul about the death of her unborn child. What more can we all say? This is just utter nonsense, and I can’t even see the ‘great acting’ that others are describing for actress Samia – as I’m so annoyed with the whole story!

  20. pip says:

    I agree with you, Tracy Emm. In fact, I have to admit that I stopped watching last night’s episode about 20 minutes into it because I found it so incredibly unbelievable. The story line just seems completely forced and contrived, I suppose in an attempt to to explain why Liam and Maria will now break up. Isn’t the loss of the baby itself enough to accomplish that. Such tragedies commonly split families up without any of the drama the writers are concocting for these two.

    When a woman is pregnant and the baby is wanted (as it obviously was in this case, despite the rocky start), then it is thought of as ‘their baby’. So this is not a situation analogous to an abortion when the mother makes decisions and acts on her own. This is a situation where their baby has died, and it’s inconceivable that Maria wouldn’t tell Liam this at the first opportunity, just as she would have immediately told him if their 6 month old had died of SIDS. I really don’t see much difference between the two situations in terms of real-life motivations (not in terms of morality or rights).

  21. haili says:

    Unless she still believes he and Carla were up to no good the night he stayed over. Then I could see that she wouldn’t want him with her. She will have to tell him eventually but is probably still in shock. She must think he doesn’t care that much or he wouldn’t have spent the night with another woman. She’s had a double whammy: husband’s perceived adultery and loss of the baby.

    I’m of the older generation where they sent the men home and the women had the babies in hospital with just the doctors and nurses so it doesn’t seem as strange to me as it would to younger women.

  22. Tracy Emm says:

    Following Friday nights episode… I was sickened and angry to hear Maria crying to Audrey about how Liam spent the night with Carla!!! THAT seems to be the pressing issue for her, taking priority over the loss of the baby.
    Pip: I don’t blame you for turning it off! I can’t wait for this storyline to be over with – it certainly has disappointed me like nothing ever before!

  23. Gayle says:

    Liam needs to be told full stop! Maria is beeing extremely selfish and cruel. Liam has every right to mourn the loss of his child. Maria needs to get past the stupid Carla crap and tell Liam what happened.

  24. Joy says:

    I’m firmly in the Maria is an idiot camp. I can’t believe that she didn’t blurt out at the first opportunity the news about the baby. As to Liam staying at Carla’s after Maria left, he offered to go & she said “No. It’s okay. You stay.” Somehow, he is supposed to interpret that as “Yes, I would like you to come with me, please.” Say what you mean & mean what you say or forfeit your right to complain.

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