Written by Jonathan Harvey (7:30) and Mark Wadlow (8:30), directed by Stuart Davids
It’s a cold grey day in Blackpool as the search for poor little Simon Barlow continues. After being out all night, Leanne and Peter return to their hotel room to recharge their batteries. The police suggest they may as well go home, since they’re doing all they can. Oh, how can you possibly go home? Back home, Leanne and Peter are sat on the couch not knowing what to do with themselves other than blaming themselves. Peter decides to go back to Blackpool, as we knew he would. Someone buzzes the door, and it’s SIMON! Just there on their porch as though he’d flown in for the weekend last minute or something, saying “hiya.” Simon, of course, has no idea why his daddy is so relieved to see him again.
Peter and Leanne bring Simon over to Ken and Deirdre’s and they all ask Simon what happened. He says he’d been on two trains and a bendy bus. What? He really made it all the way there from Blackpool? Resourceful, is he? After his chocolate milk, Simon explains that no adults came up to him, because he stayed hidden since he was terrified. Peter tells Simon how dangerous it is to run away and he’s never to do that again. Simon tells him how he heard Granddad George saying he was going to take him to Berkshire.
George arrives at the Barlows and asks Peter if he’s heard anything, and Peter tells him “no” but Leanne comes and tells him the truth. Peter tells George to get lost as Simon never wants to see him again. Ken lets George in, much to Peter’s dismay. George, needless to say, is dropping all legal action and believes that Simon belongs there with Peter. End of Granddad George?
A cab rolls up to the street and none other than Rita Sullivan comes bounding out in a white fur coat, fresh tan, tinted shades and some good ole joie de vivre. Norris sees Rita and proclaims, “I say, the Rover Returns.” I haven’t seen Norris this happy in ages.
Tina’s preparing for her father’s funeral, and her mother isn’t coming – she’d feel like a hypocrite. Sean warns Tina that she might regret not letting Gail to go the funeral, even Eileen agrees. If I were Gail, I’d be there and with bells on! Well, maybe not bells it is a funeral after all, but you know what I’m saying. Gail is just spitting mad over Tina banning her from Joe’s funeral and figures she has no right. David tries his best and offers to talk with Tina, but Gail reminds him that Tina can’t stand him. Finally, angry sassy Gail and no more “whisper” Gail. Gail goes over the road to make peace, but No.11 may as well be the Middle East, as Tina doesn’t want anything to do with Gail. Gail doesn’t give a fig and lets Tina know that she’ll be attending the funeral – with her blessing or not.
Gail is ready in black for Joe’s funeral and looks as though she’s ready to attend her own. Is it really possible for one person to look so sombre? As is customary, the hearse pulls up to the street with a lovely identifying flower arrangement in back. On Tina’s side it says “Dad,” and on Gail’s, “Joe" – a clear divide. Graeme comes rushing into the funeral disrupting the singing part of the service. Why on earth is he there? Tina looks at Gail and the emotions flow and she then flees out of the church. Jason finds Tina outside and she tells him how she can’t give her eulogy and asks him to do it. Inside, since Tina isn’t there, Gail gets up to say something instead. I can hear it now: “He was a good man. The end. Literally.” Outside, Tina wishes she never laid eyes on David Platt, cause none of this would have happened then.
Tina comes back into the church to hear Gail wittering on about her father’s depression, of all things to talk about at a funeral. Verbal diarrhea, anyone? Tina starts clapping sarcastically and calls Gail a liar, and how she shouldn’t be talking at Joe’s funeral. Tina goes on slagging Gail off as the hymns start up again, competing for attention. Our Blanche would have really loved attending this funeral, refreshments or not. David tries to stand up for Gail and Tina shouts that she wishes Gail had aborted him. Ouch, low blow! David lunges towards her with Jason holding him back, all whilst the lovely hymns are playing. Wow, Tina, way to ruin your father’s memory, and your opportunity to say goodbye, nevermind everyone else’s. Outside the church, Tina calls the detectives and tells them she’s got information regarding Gail McIntyre and her father’s death.
While Joe’s is being placed into Gods green earth, Tina is on Eileen’s couch talking with the detective about how Gail got her to lie to the police. The police say she’s hasn’t got enough on Gail, then Tina tells them how Gail’s planning to flee the country. The funeral party is back at the Rovers, and Rita tells Gail that “time is a healer.” Oh, is it just me, or is it a relief to have her back? Tina pops into the Rovers and Gail tries to talk with her again but gets nowhere.
The detectives are concerned about Gail skipping the country so they go to the Rovers to find her. Is this not a day from hell for Gail? They ask Gail to come outside, but she refuses. The detectives promptly arrest Gail on the suspicion of the murder of Joe McIntyre, to shock and awe. Gail tells her family everything will be okay as she’s dragged off. Wow, how terrible would you feel if you were Tina, once they determine that Gail hasn’t done anything wrong?
Tina lets on to Jason that it was her that put the police on Gail. He asks her to look him in the eye and tell him that she thinks Gail is capable of murdering someone, to which she nods yes. Down at the station in the questioning room, Gail realizes that Tina’s the reason she’s in there right now. The police officially charge Gail with the murder of Joe McIntyre, much to her disbelief.
Carla lets NuNick know that she’s decided to accept his offer of business. As long as her solicitor talks to Tony’s solicitor and that whole round robin – they could have a deal come next week. It’s been a while since we’ve had a cocky crooked gent in the offices of Underworld, I suppose it’s due time. Kelly runs up to NuNick like a lost puppy and asks if he’s going to be there new boss, but only gets a cool dismissal. They say there’s one born every minute.
Over at Dev’s shop, where Sunita is still a fixture, Molly has a bit of a spell and needs to take a rest. Oh dear, whatever could be the matter? Sunita takes her over to the medical center, where she’s then told she needs to go to the hospital, since they think she might be anaemic. Well, Molly’s back from the hospital and she definitely looks more anaemic than she did before, as the blood is completely drained from her face. She walks right over to Kev and tells him they really need to talk, but he tells her to go on. Smote, she walks into the Kabin, gets a card, writes on it what she has to tell Kev, leaves it on a car windshield he’s working on and leaves. Kevin finds the card and sees a sonogram photo of Molly’s baby with “can we talk now?” written on the front. Panic, set, now.
Kev calls Molly to come by the garage. Is it just me or he is suddenly looking very old? I don’t know what Molly was expecting, but when she arrives Kevin calls her an idiot and asks her what she’s playing at. Molly tells Kevin she’s nearly four months along. Really? And she’s only figured this out now? Well, she’s never been the sharpest tool in the shed. Molly is still foolishly in love with Kevin, and thinks that in time, he’ll accept her and the baby. Wow, Kevin actually sets fire to her sonogram prompting Molly to ask who the hell he thinks he is. Kevin wants her to get rid of her baby, and Molly has to remind him it’s her body and she’ll decide. Molly finally sees that Kevin isn’t the man she thought he was and reckons she’s had a lucky escape.
Kev goes back to see Molly to give her a massive apology for how he’s treated her. Molly of course, sees this apology as him wanting her back. Oh, where is Aunty Pam when you need her? Kevin is adamant that he doesn’t want a baby, or her. Kevin tells her if she has the baby, he’ll have nothing to do with it. Kevin even requests she get a DNA test and he’ll pay his dues. Oh, then he offers to pay for an abortion. Why did he even come over?
- Performances by Chris Gascoygne (Peter Barlow) and Jane Danson (Leanne Battersby) during this entire Simon-missing storyline.
- Hurrah! Rita is back, babies and gentlemen!
- Jason Grimshaw ironing shirtless. Okay, this is not the first time we’ve seen a Corrie man ironing (shirt on or off) and I don’t mind it one bit! Gentleman viewers: take note.
- Carla telling NuNick that her solicitor looks a bit like him – ugly. Wasn’t even that funny, just fitting.
- The “evils” that Eileen was giving David from across the pew aisle in the church. What on earth? Eileen’s good at giving those “evils.”
- How supportive Jason has been for Tina through her father’s death and now burial. He may not have attended Joe’s wedding, but at least he’s attended the funeral.
- Tina “not allowing” Gail to Joe’s funeral. That’s just cruel and unusual punishment.
- Tina telling Gail that her father must have married her as a side-effect of his mental health issues. Puh-lease, her father was no prize. If it weren’t for Gail who knows what would have become of him - sooner.
- Gail proudly telling NuNick that he’s a proper grown-up man now, and him reminding her that he has been for some time. From the looks of it, he’s been so for about 20 years. What channel is Gail on?
- Deirdre and Janice puffing on fags outside, smoking away their stresses. Ugh, when are those two going to at least attempt to quit? Needless to say, it’s unbecoming.
- Kev burning Molly’s sonogram photo! Ouch, that was cruel!
Overall Episode Rating: 8/10
Drama: 10/10, Humour: 5/10, Classic Corrie: 8/10, Wow Factor: 9/10