The Sugly Blisters I.
No one can read Roswell Ronnie's poker face, because she's filled up to the eyeballs with botox and the facelift is so tight, the neck is a dead giveaway. She is the lovechild of Michael Jackson and a Roswell alien. Cop a shaggy, blonde wig on that picture and you have Ronnie.
I'm glad the Saviour, DTC, has made her a villain. That means she has a shelf-life. Bitches develop and they own their bitchery. Villains are something different entirely. It's an insult to viewers' intelligence - well, those of us who aren't insipid, little teenaged girls - that the character has even returned at all; and it would be a supreme irony, if Janine, who was fighting for her life when she killed Michael, should go to prison, when we'll soon have two murderers living cheek-by-jowl on the Square.
I hate Ronnie. I hated her first time around, and I loathe her now. I hate her obsession with Roxy, for whom I think she holds psycho-sexual fantasies. But then, both sisters are supreme losers.
Roxy is acting like a twat - or as Phil said, a spoiled cow, which is just what she is. She's thirty-six years old, for fuck's sake, and this is still her reaction to being dumped at the altar by Alfie Moon. The reversion to bad boy meme isn't a progression at all for her character. She's pushing forty and she has a child, but she leaves that child with all and sundry so she can nurse her wounded pride by staying out three nights in a row with the local bad guy.
But this is Roxy, true to form. When Ronnie was swapping babies, Roxy had left Amy that morning with Dot and finished the evening, listening to Christian bare his soul about kissing a piper. God knows when she got to see Amy again. The night Amy fell into the bath, she was shown, staggering back to the Square, reeking of drink. Plopping Amy in front of the telly with a DVD has always been her method of parenting - and she handed it onto Christian, if I recall correctly, because he was always plopping Yasmin in front of a selected DVD.
I hope before her tenure is out, someone smacks the living shit out of Roswell Ronnie, so hard that her phoney plastic poker face bounces across the Square. Who the fuck does she think she is to comment of Phil's relationship with Sharon? She prefers Shirley, does she? Because Shirley is bitter and brittle and hard and would approve of Roswell's thug tactics and lies? Does Roswell know that Shirley and Phil stole from Roxy? It's not enough that she has to control Roxy, she's seeking to control Phil as well. I was glad when Phil told her, quite sincerely, that he doesn't give a toss whom Roxy sees because it's none of his business.
Roxy is a grown woman, capable of making her own choices. She is also sublimely stupid, a trait of which Ronnie takes extreme advantage. It's to Roswell's benefit that Roxy does as she does now, tarting about with dodgy men, sleeping around, coming home drunk, neglecting Amy ... it gives Ronnie a chance to step in and mop up whatever mess is made before it's made, even, convincing Roxy that she, Ronnie, and only she, is right and knows what's best for Roxy.
Ronnie found cocaine in Roxy's bag, but as Roxy stated, if she'd been interested in the coke, it wouldn't still be in her bag.
The discovery of Archie's signet ring was a direct reference to Sharon finding Den's signet ring (one of the few retcons of the original era - Den never wore a signet ring) in the market after he'd disappeared the first time. This time, it was used as a device to wreak tears of sympathy from the Ronnie-shipping teen brigade. Roxy still has familial feelings for her father and wants to remember him. Ronnie, obviously, doesn't, for reasons into which we won't delve.
I laude Pete Lawson for his continuity in one respect - Ronnie's still playing the same mind games with Roxy that she played re Damien (who didn't get a mention tonight) and the same game she played re Sean.
Remember what Roswell did with Damien? Hark Roxy's words at the beginning of the clip - Ronnie always insisted on tagging along in her sister's relationships.
Or the way she manipulated Sean in this clip. She tried the same old same old with Carl tonight - The Damien Technique - tell Roxy that Carl tried it on with her, that she was the one he really wanted, that he made a pass and held her hand. And Roxy is still still stupid enough to believe her ... at first.
In both of those above clips, it's patently obvious that Roxy knows exactly what Ronnie is about and what she wants, and it was good continuity, again, on Lawson's part, to have Roxy remind Ronnie again that she is just like Archie.
Roswell is a control freak, and I dare Dominic Treadwell-Collins to give the public something to talk about - since rape is ultimately an act of control, when is Ronnie going to rape Roxy?
She's a rude evil po-faced shit, and I hope she ultimately gets her comeuppance.
The Sugly Blisters II.
The Carters are settling in, but my jury is still out on them. At the moment, I can say that I like the wife and I thoroughly like the son, but I'm still undecided about Danny Dyer. Wearing the wife's pink dressing gown is a bit contrived, as well as the overt pushing of what they reckon to be a shy son toward the ladies - albeit the lady he happens to approach is the local bike, who makes mincemeat of nice boys once dodgy geezers come along. He should talk to Peter Beale or Fatboy.
One of the things spoiling the family's scenes is the fact that the viewers already know that Johnnie Carter is gay, and we already know that he'll enter into a relationship with Danny Pennant.
One curious lack of continuity tonight came when Danny, who seemed to follow Johnnie everywhere, came into the launderette to leave a service wash with Dot. Dot asked his name and effected not to know who he was; yet it was Danny Pennant who organised the five-a-side football match which raised the bulk of the funds she needed for the church roof and who presented the profits from the match to her.
One thing for certain was Danny's gaydar was soaring when he saw Johnnie, so we're in for a coming-out tale that will, most likely, involve a love square rather than the love triangles of which Newman was so fond. We'll most likely have a Whitney-loves-Johnnie-loves-Danny-loves-Lucy fiasco.
As Diane Butcher would tell you ...
So, all in all, the kiss at the end of the episode wasn't all that much, because we knew it would happen. Still, I'm glad they're approaching this coming-out theme again, because it's still hard for some people to address their sexuality and go public with it comfortably.
The other thing that's killing the Carters for me are Shirley and Tina. These two are moochers. At least Tina is a part-time pop girl, even if she does drink the punters' drinks, but basically, these two are happy to mooch off the proceeds of their younger brother's profits, whilst Shirley is openly rude to Linda. All Shirley does is sit at the bar and drink the profits, looking as if she's the most important thing in Walford.
She leeched off Phil's position, and now she's leeching off Mick's; and the sight of her and Tina robbing fruit off the Beale's fruit and veg stall was disgusting. I was hoping Tamwar would have seen that, but he was more concerned about Peter leaving the stall unattended, and that was irresponsible of Peter, who was more concerned with returning Phil's money in order to get back into Lola's knickers to care about the state of the stall.
I'm still not sold on Danny Dyer. One thing for certain is that I do not think he is eye candy. He looks like a cross between a rat and an orangutang; although I can see DTC trying to evoke the Den-Ange era in the Vic with tonight's impromptu darts match. The bonhomie was far too forced and contrived. Still, I'm game for giving him a chance to see how he works out. One thing's for certain - he's not the saviour of the show.
Another thing I don't like is Treadwell-Collins turning his first character creation, Shirley, into the eyes and ears of Walford. That's what ego will do to you.
Let's Do the Timewarp Again.
Pete Lawson's and DTC's one big retcon too many came tonight in the form of Frank'n Furter Phil turning to Sharon on the rebound from The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
As fucking if.
And as fucking if Phil would solicit sex from that dried-out old prune, but I'm not surprised he'd think she was interested. And she still would be, were she not entitled to sit and drink, free of charge, at the Vic. When Shirley had nothing, she couldn't shake Phil from her psyche, so much so that she betrayed her so-called best friend's memory and chose not to shop him to the police in the cover-up of Heather's murder. Now that her brother is Mr Central Male in Walford, she can turn Phil down and say she's moved on.
Who does Treadwell-Collins think he's kidding? Phil would never ever treat Sharon as a piece of meat. He would never imply that she came running for his favours as second place to Shirley. That's never been the Phil Mitchell who loved Sharon Watts. This is the man who, wordlessly, told Shirley that he'd never have become an addict if he had been with Sharon, and he'd never have cheated either. He told her that as well. And now, Sharon's become second best because Phil Mitchell was horny and Shirley was his first choice?
This is why I don't trust Treadwell-Collins and never have. If anything were an obvious retcon, this angle on the Phil-Sharon dynamic is blatant. Newman made it a business arrangement. Treadwell-Collins restored the chemistry, but pulled the carpet out at the last minute to make it all about Shirley.
I'm Team Sharon. She's nobody's rebound, and if she and Phil do get together, Grant should come back and she should shag him until he's blue in the face in front of Phil, then tell Phil how much better it was ... with Grant.
Hairy Cindy the Greek has gone to her grandmother's. Please, can she stay there?
I guess the money for playing Ian Beale must be good, because I don't know how Adam Woodyatt could stand to have his character lowered to such a craven state. Here's another incongruency with DTC - oh, what the hell, let's just say he lied.
He said in an interview that he doesn't want to portray the parents through the eyes of the children, but that's just what he's doing in the case of Peter Beale and Ian. Ian shits himself at the mention of Phil Mitchell's name. Thanks to Peter, Ian can redeem himself in Phil's eyes by returning the money Cindy stole back in the summer.
But here this EP ratchets this stupid feud up one level, by thinking that Ian encouraged Cindy to steal the money and then that he knew about what she did and kept it hidden. Has Phil forgotten that Ian owes Cindy jack shit? She's nothing to do with him and the product of his ex-wife's affair, the same ex-wife whom Phil followed to Italy in order to retrieve two of Ian's kids, one of whom was Peter.
Most people who've watched the show for longer than twenty years, have even forgotten the reason for the feud. It's just silly now and a chance for Phil to act the mindless thug and for Ian to be Mr Chicken yet again. And that's getting ridiculous.
At least, Sharon was the adult in the room and diffused the situation. The Sharon of old, yes, but not good enough considering the events that transpired in this episode.
Oh, and the bad smell that is Dexter, now known as Black Bradley as he's staying, uninvited, in Max Branning's house, is still lingering about the place, trying to pick up Lola.
Could do better. Could do a lot better.