SHARP DRESSED MAN
Dev Alahan is looking sharp and natty, minding the store in a crisp Saville Row suit, no doubt influenced by Tony Gordon. Apparently his bank is inviting him to lunch. Roy comments he was worried that Dev was attending a funeral. Just then, the phone rings and Molly answers – the bank has cancelled the lunch as Dev was the only attendee. Blanche, in line, says she wouldn’t bank at an institution that used her money to buy Dev his dinner. Dev assures her that her money is probably in a steel vault. He then repairs with the remains of his dignity to the back office.
Later in the Rovers, Norris brings his anti-Eyeball rhetoric to Dev at the bar. He says Tony will ruin the character of the neighbourhood; Dev says the neighbourhood has no character and that he actually admires Eyeball as a style icon, a man of means and an entrepreneur.
Dev sees Steve later in the Rovers’ back yard. He tells Steve that in stressful times, he sometimes retreats to his office, closes the door and draws the shades and it’s like getting back into the womb. Steve does not find this world view overly soothing and heads back inside, leaving Dev alone with his scotch, his suit, and a little bit more realistic dialogue than in the past few months.
Ken is setting off to Roy’s for work as Deirdre vaccuums and Blanche takes up space. He has an announcement – after today, he tells them, he’s chucking his job at Roy’s. Blanche is onto him at lightspeed: his pals from Uni have made him feel inadequate and unaccomplished and he’s binning his menial job, as Blanche puts it, “He’s scared one of them will find him in his pinny.” I guess Ken missed the part about being bohemian, broke and having three jobs while one is writing a book. Unless one is independently wealthy or wait, unless one has squandered all one’s life savings on lawyers fees for one’s bossy, psychotic step-daughter.
In the Caf, after a short preamble, Ken quits. He actually leaves Roy in the lurch by quitting on the spot as Roy had hoped to go visit Haley. I thought enlightened, high-brow people, as Ken imagines himself, would give a decent boss like Roy two weeks notice as a gracious courtesy. My bad.
There is a fabric van parked in front of Webster’s garage, apparently by order of Eyeball. Kevin suggests that they ignore it, instead of rising to the bait it obviously is.
Despite his cool joe approach, Kevin runs out of patience with the unwanted van rather quickly. Norris, sweeping the walk, discusses Eyeball with him and reminds him it’s Rita that caved, not Norris. Kevin barges into the office at Underworld and tells Tony and Carla that he’s going to lunch and the van better be shifted. If the van is there after lunch he’ll remove it himself and Tony will never find it. He leaves. Carla thinks Tony is being a childish, macho control-freak. This is because Tony is a childish, macho control-freak.
Kevin returns from lunch with a new sign: “Garage Parking Only.” The tit-for-tat goes on.
BE A MAN
Morning. Michelle comes downstairs in her ugly green ’70’s dress. Betty is at the sitting room table. She complains to Betty that she and Steve haven’t had two minutes together, outside of work, since his return. She seems anxious that the proposal may not come.
Later, as she cleans the windows, Maria sashays by with Ozzie, who is now a big-boy dog. Maria is excited and asks Michelle if there’s been any “news”. She makes Michelle promise that she and Liam will be the first to know when “it” happens.
In the cab office, Steve is being narky about Lloyd but won’t tell Eileen why. Lloyd comes in and they snipe at each other for a few moments before Steve leaves. Eileen, meanwhile has taken a cab request but won’t give it to Lloyd until he lets her in on the gossip. He promises to tell her upon is return.
At the Connor house, Maria is complaining to Liam that Steve has yet to pop the question. Cousin Tom points out that Steve had more than enough time in Spain to prepare. They two of them lean on Liam to have a word with Steve. Tom does a hideously weak Brando Godfather impersonation that does not dignify a pictoral reference herein. Liam agrees to have a word. This is a bad, rude, and invasive idea in my books.
In a bit of unexpected goonery, Liam finds Steve in the smoking shelter and goes a little mafia on his ass about the delayed proposal. Steve tells him that “somebody else” put the bug in Michelle’s ear about the proposal. Liam says he doesn’t want Michelle led up the garden path. She knows she’s to be proposed to. She wants to be proposed to. And, Liam’s high-strung, high-maintenance, impatient, poorly-dressed sister shall have what she wants. With that, Liam’s poser-thug soliloquy is over and he slopes off to find more of the world’s worst t-shirts, or possibly to daydream about shagging Carla or avoiding work.
In the Rovers later, Tom continues with the godawful Brando as they brag to Maria about strong-arming Steve. Liam, honey. Five words. Jim. McDonald. rearranging. your. face.
Carla and Tony enter the Rovers…Carla finds Michelle and wants to know if the question’s been popped. Michelle’s patience has now run out and she’s become grumpy and pissy with everyone as she hasn’t gotten her way.
Eileen has become increasingly forceful with Lloyd about wanting the goss. She says she’ll ask everyone, doesn’t matter who. Lloyd confesses to Eileen that it was he who invented the story of the Andalusian Castle, the fairy cakes and the satin mittens.
Eileen wants to know why Lloyd had to lie. She figures that it was, of course, a woman Steve stopped with that night. Lloyd says that because Michelle harangued him so much, he couldn’t resist spinning such a manic whopper. Eileen chastises Lloyd for not giving a second thought to Michelle’s feelings. She points out that the McDonald-Connor family could fall apart over Lloyd’s pathetic joke.
AND……In the lamest, lowest-effort, least creative, least-energetic proposal I have ever seen, Steve takes Michelle into the smoking shelter, and amid the stink of soaking yellow stubbed-out butts begins the proposal by saying…“You already know what I’m going to say,”...and then “Michelle Sinead Connor, will you marry me? And don’t tell me you need to think about it, ’cause Lloyd already told you.” No bended-knee. No thoughtful gesture, such as a flower. No small token in lieu of a ring. No meal, no candle. STEVE, YOU SUCK. You make Al Bundy look like Michael Bolton. Michelle is not my fave, but c’mon…not even some daisies from Dev’s??? Michelle accepts immediately. She confesses she was worried Steve had changed his mind. He says he delayed because he wanted it to be perfect. “Wot? In a smoking shelter?” she asks. He says he then realized it would be perfect anywhere. He mentions that there is no ring at this time, but it will appear soon. They happily agree to tell everyone together.
Eileen suggests that Lloyd own up to his mistake and take the blame for the fairy castle debacle. He should tell Michelle that he made it all up, and that Steve was never intending to propose at all.