Sunday, September 18, 2016

Review - 13.09.2016

Considering this was written by someone who's arguably the worst writer on the show, this was a surprisingly good episode. It had the feel of an old EastEnders' episode, it had a community feel about it, and even the Mitchells were toned down a bit (but they still annoy me). It's funny how, under this producer, certain characters who never annoyed me before, now annoy me immensely - and those who annoyed be before, now annoy me even more.

Go figure.

More Family Values ... but Hang On, Someone's Missing. Wow, at least Phil and Ben included Sharon (and Denny) in the Mitchell family pow-wow, where he announced he was donating part of his liver to Phil - ne'mind, he doesn't know if he's a blood and tissue match, them's little fings.

But there's one person Ben hasn't told about this decision - his mother. Oh wait, I forgot. Kathy's off shagging Buster, which is why neither of them could make it to tonight's darts practice about which Linda was banging on and on and on and on again and again and again.

Sean O'Connor was left with a pretty thankless task of redeeming two primary families who have been turned into moral reprobates by the sniggering, giggling DTC, whose spies still remain amongst the backroom staff, and it's not an easy task.

Now, we're presented with Noble Ben, who reckons his decision is important enough to merit a large-scale family pow-wow, where he took centre stage to make the announcement. The Crown Prince is sacrificing part of his vital organ to save the King. We got a touching scene of Phil and Ben bonding on the sofa as Sharon and the Blisters discussed the arrangement over drinks at the Vic and where Sharon dispensed worldy wisdom to an increasingly annoying Linda.

Phil annoys me. Sharon annoys me - the way she swans around, almost as if she's floating, laughing and joking with murderers as if it were the most normal thing in the world. But the Mitchells are still rotten. Phil set Max up. Sharon flippantly dismissed Max landing in prison and scoffed at his threat to Ian. Ronnie's a fucking psychopath and a killer. These are not normal people. Oh, and did I mention that Roxy is the Mitchell's Tina?

In fact, I'm surprised she and Tina never became fast friends apart from that time they clubbed together and drank Billy's lekkie money.

But, lately, Linda's been annoying me more and more, and tonight, you just wanted to reach out and smack her. Banging on and on about the darts team and the honour of beating the competition in the name of the Vic. Sharon - again, dispensing wisdom - very nicely put her in her place. A winning darts team wasn't a true reflection of a successful pub - a pub full of punters, on the other hand, was.

I guess this is the beginning of SOC's redemption of the Mitchells.

Jane Wants a Return to Normality. Really, Jane? Sorry, but did you say that you wanted you and Ian to go back to being a normal couple?

Sorry, love, but normality stopped the night you dragged Lucy's body across the Common and dumped it. It came to a juddering halt when you fucked Ian right on the place where Lucy dropped dead. And it died altogether when you were forced to tell Ian what happened and when you both decided to protect widdle Bobby.

Jane wants to see Bobby. She's not stupid. She knows Ian like a well-read book, and she knows when he's trying to hide something from her. When she asks again about going to see Bobby, Ian has to tell her that Bobby doesn't want to see them, that he wants to keep his head down and do his time.

As bloody if.

Be afraid, Jane and Ian. Be very afraid. Because Bobby isn't just doing his time; he's spending all this time plotting about how he's going to make the two of you pay for dropping all the blame for Lucy's death on him. Yes, he killed her, but Jane moved her body and kept the whole deed a secret, and that's a very big crime; andr Ian kept the secret too. He was even prepared to see his younger brother go to prison for a crime he didn't commmit, in order to keep Bobby safe. So they should be in prison too. But they aren't, and widdle Bobby is probably very, very angry.

I find it incredibly arrogant that Jane can even consider normality after what she's done. She talks of visiting Bobby as if he were back at his posh school. A day out. Ian and Jane have simply whitewashed Lucy out of existence. She's a convenience, when necessary - to garn Ian sympathy or to use her name to commit credit card fraud - with the expatiatingly poor excuse that he felt good at seeing Lucy's name on some application, as if it gave him a pretend moment of thinking that she was still alive.

Ian's reverted to the same old cowardly, curmdgeonly weasel, someone so miserly and mean that he won't even allow his cousin's young daughter to have one Saturday off a weekend job to do the things that normal teenaged girls do. He was always thus with his poorer relations, and yet he had a hard time understanding why there was always so little compassion for him.

Although she should be in prison, it's curiously satisfying seen Jane imprisoned within the four walls of the house where Lucy died, sleeping on the spot where she was killed, bound forever to Ian, trapped in an armchair, unable to go anyplace, and increasingly becoming everyone's point of reference, even though she doesn't offer her pearls of wisdom. She can't run away from people seeking advice.

Tonight she had Sonia confessing that she didn't love Tina and wanted to leave her. Jane's advice is basically for Sonia to seize the day. Carpe diem ... because that option is lost to Jane. 

Sitting in her armchair, getting her enema changed, awake in her bed on the spot where Lucy died, you wonder if Jane ever regrets returning to Walford and to Ian.

Mutton Dressed as Lamb. Really, has there ever been a more self-obsessed, self-centred and selfish character on the show before Carmel? Carmel is the centre of her own special universe, where the sun revolves around her. You have to wonder how long she'll keep her "Market Enforcer's" job, the amount of time she spends swiggling through the market wearing yesterday's clothes, with a dreamy expression on her face. 

All that's lacking is a yellow post-it on her forehead reading Just Been Fucked.

God, I hate this shallow character. She plays all coy and reticent when her sons confront her about her absence at home the night before, she acts like what she's not - a giddy, self-centred schoolgirl with a secret she's just dying to tell. The woman Louise and Rebecca have more maturity. Her head is so far up her arse that she falls for the oldest trick in the book - the sweet-talk a man will give a woman just in order to get his leg over her. Basically, it wasn't Carmel hearing what she wanted to hear from Masood, it was probably Masood telling her what he thought sh wanted to hear in order to get what he wanted.

Look, I get that she's lonely, but from the first time she set foot on the Square, she was only ever about herself. It was she, more than anyone else, who propelled Kush in the direction which accounted for his marriage break-up and that she's so staggeringly self-obsessed that she thinks Masood would want to settle down forever with the woman who was partly responsible for his daughter's humiliation, is, frankly, quite astounding. 

Even if that clueless, incoherent knobhead of a youngest son gives a "whatever ... what he said" sort of approval to her involvement with Masood, Kush was totally sceptical about the association, much less about Carmel's fantasy confession that she and Masood were "an item."

So Masood used and abused her ... well, he used her. And, at the risk of sounding cruel, good on you, Masood, my old son. Because she cared nothing about your daughter's feelings when she started pushing Kush to break her heart and tell her about Arthur, she thought nothing about Martin or even Stacey's wishes when she started forcing Kush into a position with which he felt uncomfortable regarding Arthur - all because she wanted access to another human being whom she could raise to worship at her altar.

She was so convinced that Masood was about to give up his notion of traveling in order to stay there in Walford because of her. If Masood stayed in England for any reason, it would be for Shabnam. 

Bitch, please!

Sonia and the NuFowlers. Natalie Cassidy is on maternity leave, but the fact that Sonia is taking a new job in a new city has a sort of air of finality about it, and I wonder if this is really good-bye.

We've had to put up with three years of Sonia being unpleasant, interfering and unbearable, and just now at the end of everything, she's her old familiar self. It came with the realisation that Tina was a div who was using her - as she said - as a cook, a cleaner and a carer for Sylvie. In fact, Sylvie's presence is a constant reminder of the Carters' innate selfishness, how they can put a caring, compassionate front to the world, but when they really have to deal with a problem like an elderly relative in the throes of dementia, they begin to fray into a dozen excuses of how not to involve themselves.

Tina tells herself she's doing well by Sylvie, but she isn't. She feels good because Sonia makes Sylvie bearable. Sonia's always walking into situations where Tina's having a hard time dealing with Sylvie.

This entire episode was leading up to her finishing with Tina and, heartbreakingly, handing her daughter over to Martin and Stacey to raise. The scene with Tina was justifyingly satisfying from Sonia's point of view. Tina was so caught up in herself and had taken Sonia so much for granted that the entire break-up came as a total surprise to her. Notice that Tina's assumption for the future consisted herself, Sonia and Sylvie - there was no inclusion of Rebecca. I'm glad Sonia held firm and stony-faced when Tina resorted to a childish tantrum at the realisation that Sonia was binning her. 

I just hope Tina and Sylvie don't stay in the Jackson-Butcher house. I'd quite like to see the NuFowlers live there. 

And how remarkable were Stacey and Martin, especially Stacey, how she encouraged Sonia to open up to her about her expectations and reservations about the new job - her primary worry being Rebecca moving and interrupting her studies. Stacey was first to offer her a place to stay - as long as she didn't mind sharing with Lily. Equally as remarkable was the way Stacey brought Martin around to thinking that Sonia wasn't being selfish at all, but one thing was niggling. 

Stacey remarked that Sonia had congratulated them when they told her they were expecting Arthur. She didn't. There was that infamous scene where Stacey and Sonia sat and dissed and speculated about Martin's ability to deal with someone having bi-polar syndrome as well as being pregnant. That was appalling, but yes, she did support Martin when Stacey was ill.

Rebecca's description of them all as a blended family was apt. I look forward to the NuFowler unit of Martin, Stacey, Rebecca, Lily and Arthur.

Decent episode. 

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