Friday, November 30, 2012

Just Some Thoughts About Alfie

This thread is making the rounds now on Digital Spy, started by one of the most intelligent and astute commentators on the forum, Scrabbler.

Scrabbler posits the observation:-

Firstly he cannot tell the difference between a dinosaur and a reindeer. 

Then he didn't see how defensive Kat was in tonights episode, surely he would be more suspicious of things like getting a letter about a bedsit through the post and thinking that someone may want him out of Walford thats why their giving him the cash, I mean really, are we meant to believe that he is that Stupid?
Good observation, but it unleashes a torrent of replies and observations which don't make it past the basest level of character interpretation. Sorry, but that's so. And some of the commentators are of the highest level of people who participate in the fora, which proves either that the writers for the programme have achieved what they set out to achieve - which is making yet another man into Wimp of the Western World, or rather, Wimp of Walford; or rather, the commentators have lowered their own expectations in alignment with what the writers are trying to achieve.

You see, I've watched EastEnders since the getgo, and I can never remember a time when there were so many outright weak characters, male and female, in its history. 

Strong women? Believe me, a woman doesn't have to be mouthy and loud to show strength. Pat rarely raised her voice, yet she was - morally, emotionally and psychologically - the strongest woman on the Square. Most of the women resident on the Square today are totally dependent in some way on a man's services or presence, and without that, they shrivel into nothingness (example: Shirley).

As for the men, if we're going to label Alfie a doormat, what about Masood? He rightly told Zainab some blatant home truths at the time of Syed's wedding. In fact, he did more than that - he kicked her ass out. He told her to leave, and she left. End of. But not even a week later, she shows up on the doorstep, effectively stops a Guy Fawkes celebration and barges right back into where she was before. And all it took for Masood to forgive her, take her back into the fold and look lovingly at her was Syed's departure. She learned nothing from that ordeal and he's back right where he was before.

Or Max, who repeatedly cheats on Tanya yet somehow manages to weasel his way back into her bed, simply because he knows she can't resist him. Yet Tanya - Tanya - has always been labelled a strong woman.

The only really strong woman resident in the Square is absent for the moment, and that's Janine. She might be down at the moment, but she'll recoup her strength and come back triumphant - and Janine is one of the few left who doesn't feel the need to raise her voice incessantly.

OK, in answer to Scrabbler's observation and to the thread in general, in the first place, Alfie knew the toy was a dinosaur. He even referenced it as such in the subsequent conversation he had with Kat. He was simply using his imagination with the toy in telling a story to Tommy, as you do with kids.

Also, I don't particularly think Alfie is stupid; in fact, since Kat's less-than-half-truthful confession, he's been watching her surreptitiously with a jaundiced eye. He also understands something about relationships that Kat doesn't - and that's when someone cheats in a relationship, there's usually something wrong on the home front; and Alfie is the sort of person who wonders maybe he's been doing something wrong. He also realises that whenever Kat feels she's ignored, she strays; but at the same time, he's been burying himself in keeping busy with other things - the Christmas malarkey, for example - because it takes his mind off worrying about what Kat might be doing on the sly. He wouldn't be the first person to bury his head in the sand and tell himself that everything was getting better or even work at it getting better when it was a hope against all hope. No less than Ian Beale and Tanya have done that in the past with their respective partners.

A lot of people making these blase' remarks about Alfie being a doormat etc may never have been on the receiving end of a marriage or long-term relationship breaking up. It's no picnic. It's always been mooted that Alfie has a dark side, and I think we just might see that; however, reading Lorraine Newman's interview, she seems determined that Alfie and Kat have miles to go together, which means the up-coming year will probably see kabuki theatre of Alfie getting with Roxy, only to have something drastic happen, and he will draw closer to Kat. It's only my opinion, but I'll bet it will be discovered, around about September 2013, that Tommy is actually Alfie's son, which means that Christmas 2013 will see a Kat and Alfie reunion, something, I think, the character of Kat doesn't deserve. But Ms Newman is the boss, she was in on the creation of Kat as a character, and she wants her to stay onside - when under any other dictate, she'd leave Walford in disgrace.

I also don't think the public, as a whole, was laughing at Alfie. Whether the Branning brothers were or not is debatable, but we'll see how much they have to laugh about during the Christmas period. One will be dead, the other will be left exposed a fraud and the third will be dumped for Phil Mitchell.


1 comment:

  1. I think we saw a glimpse of Alfie's 'dark side' when he threatened Michael on his wedding day. The cheeky chappie persona vanished for only a few moments, but thinking back on that moment has made me start to think that when Alfie does discover the shagger's identity, he's going to lose it big time.

    I also think he's playing a waiting game. He's watching Kat VERY carefully, and waiting for either Kat or shaggerman to slip up. Then he'll attack. But in the meantime, he'll play the fool and doormat while missing nothing and biding his time.