Joe vs. The Volcano
Carla swishes into work with a swanky new damage-control gift for Rosie. It’s a big red handbag, for Carla’s “eyes and ears”.
At home, Maria and Liam are talking. Maria has pulled out all the stops in trying to reconcile. Liam isn’t sure he has the energy to keep fighting for the marriage. Maria assures him she has enough energy for both of them. She says she finally believes that Liam loves her – not for her looks or her baby, but for the deep well of complexity that is Maria Sutherland.
Maria wants to know if Liam would like to be a normal couple, just for once: no shock pregnancies, accidents, funerals, just everyday life. She wants a chance to finally make some happy memories together. Otherwise…
(‘Kay, here’s where you know they aren’t a normal couple, or Liam would be un-muting the TV, replaying a sports highlight and hissing “Shhh! One sec, honey…”
“Otherwise what?” Liam asks. “Otherwise our little baby Paul lived and died for nothing.” They are agreed on that. “It’s all out in the open now,” says Maria, relieved. She moves closer: “When you look at me, do you want to run?” she inquires.
“This is real, isn’t it?” Dorothy Liam asks. Given his relationship skills, the confusion is understandable. Carla rings his mobile. Liam shuts it off, hoping he doesn’t smell too much like Nina Ricci residue. “This is more important,” he tells Maria
Maria wants to go round to Fiz’s and collect her belongings. The roulette ball is whirling around inside Liam’s head, trying to land somewhere. He tells Maria that, rather than her moving home, how about they take off, immediately, on a true honeymoon. A driving trip, with Ozzy. And safety helmets and flares. He leaves, going to get some food for Ozzy while Maria packs their bits.
Liam calls Carla, asking to see her at her flat, pronto. Rosie listens with interest. Perhaps there will be some shoes to match the bag. When Liam buzzes, Carla is dousing herself with a fresh cloud of scent. He pushes past her enthusiastic greeting. Coldly, Liam says he won’t drag it out – Maria and he are getting back together.
“No,” Carla cries, “you can’t!” She attacks Liam briefly, with a flurry of chicky-slaps (we can’t all punch like ‘R Becky). “User,” she accuses, shaken. “You’re as bad as your brother…except Paul left some cash on the dresser.”
“I had feelings for you,” Liam says.
“Had?? What was I, the 24-hour bug?” she snorts. Liam insists it was a fantasy and would never have lasted. She refuses to believe this. Carla tells him his heart led him there. “The other night,” he finishes, “was a mistake. I love Maria. I’m sorry.”
“You’re such a disappointment,” Carla tells him. “No second chances. If you walk out that door, you’re not coming back.” He walks.
He returns home to find Maria happily packing. In dumping his paramour and unleashing a gargoyle, he has forgotten the Kibbles’n’Tits.
Carla arrives back at the factory as Liam and Maria prepare to depart. Liam wants to be well away before she can react, but Maria is chatting with Fiz. As Carla approaches, Maria explains where they are going. “Oh, he’s told me,” Carla assures her. Maria apologizes for leaving her short-handed at the factory. “I’ll survive,” Carla replies “he knows it.” Carla makes a wise crack about them needing better luck on their holiday. After a brief reaction, Maria brushes it off: “I’m done with all the paranoid stuff,” she declares as Carla walks away. Across the road, Liam and Carla’s eyes lock, and it ain’t pretty.
Ted and Gail arrive at the jail to visit David. David looks extremely chuffed to meet his grandad. They introduce themselves as “Ted,” and “David”. “He didn’t know I existed,” Gail explains Ted’s sudden appearance to her son. David, cheeky and chatty, wants some history, and to know if Ted’s got any money. Ted returns, “what have you been trashing, how come you got caught, and more importantly, who cut your hair?”
David gives a run-down of the gangs in jail. He says he mostly keeps his head down. David wonders if Gail has given Ted his room. Ted explains that he just lost his partner. “Plunk,” says David, “penny’s just dropped. You’re a gay granddad, aren’t you? Gran send you screaming? Nice one, Audrey.”
Gail recounts the story of Tina and Anna’s fight. David is pleased that Gail defended Tina, and put her up. “Nice one,” says David.
Later that day, Gail comes home from the shopping, and it appears Ted is leaving. Gail assumes the family was too much to take in…she is concerned. Ted says he is an old man and simply wants his bed. But this is just adieu, not goodbye. “I came here lonely, I’m leaving with a family,” he says. Personally, I think Ted the gay granddad rocks and I am sorry to see him go.
When Harry Met Tacky
The street’s worst dressed couple of the day are Liz and Harry, chatting in the street and clashing in pink and canary. Liz is explaining the ins and outs of her home-spa night. Harry is listening with an intensity only a man in the first few weeks of courtship could muster. He offers a steady hand to apply the polish. Just then, Deirdre runs interference. “I don’t need a bodyguard” Liz tells her.
Some time later, Harry wanders into the Rovers, for a scotch and a favour. Steak Pie Liz has a seat with him. Harry wants to know when her next night off is, so he can ask her for a chat “as a friend”. She is unsure. “With Vernon being away…” (Oh Puh-LEEZE!!). Steve interrupts her to open the stuck till drawer.
Julie and Kirk are sitting on the couch. Fiz comes home and offers to make tea. “Tell her you’re not thirsty,” Julie whispers to Kirk, “You’ll have one at mine.” As they leave, Fiz oozes: “Have a lovely night.”