The Stink in the Room.
Sonia is on a power trip. She's on a subtle mission to displace Carol and to manipulate her into an inferior position in her own home. She was the embodiment of self-righteousness, the way she treated Carol when she and that vile piece of shit, Tina, returned. Sonia's head is so far up her arse and her snottiness so imbedded, that she wasn't above slagging Shirley off in front of Tina, and in the worst sniggery classixt sort of way, looking down her nose that Carol could even think of talkng to someone of Shirley's ilk, let alone bare her soul to her.
Oh, and where was Sonia's child in all of this? I saw Cindy, but for ages, there's been no sight of Rebecca for ages. She's certainly not with Martin, but I thought the beginning of the final scene in the kitchen between Sonia and Carol was eerily reminiscent of the scene in the lounge between Sonia and Rebecca when she psychologically manipulated the girl over donuts. This time, it was over doing the dishes.
Carol is manipulated into apologising to Sonia, so much so that by the end of the scene, Sonia's become the victim, and Carol's apologised for what Sonia's interpreted as Carol's selfsh actions. Sonia felt put out and displaced, insulted that Carol could articulate her fears to a woman of her own age, and not her "professional" daughter, who really has no comprehension, other than the medical science of it, of what Carol's going through at all. I hated her condescending little remark to Carol, dismissing her about only wanting to feel needed and wanted.
Sonia thinks buying presents and occasionally waiting on Carol hand and foot, as well as chaperoning her to hospital appointments is supposed to be understood by Carol as concern and caring. For Sonia, it's all about control. Besides, Sonia's first priority isn't Carol, it's her daughter.
Shirley got the line of the night:-
I'm not all claws and fiery breath. Underneath I'm all warm and cuddly.
This is Shirley at her best, and I've missed the Shirley of the one-liners.
Honestly, however, I don't know anyone who can bear Sonia and Tina. Natalie Cassidy, as evidenced by her last scene tonight, is arguably the worst actress ever to appear in the programme. She was bum-clinchingly embarrassing in that scene. In all her other scenes, she comes across as smug and mean.
However, just maybe we got a glimpse of the beginning of the end of Max, who appearsto have been living in filth for awhile. Doesn't Abi ever visit her father?
Namwar. Wait! Did I hear correctly? Was Shabnam speaking on the phone to Zainab, and did she actually intimate that Zainab was returning, if only for a visit? Tamwar was right in assessing that Zainab would react adversely to Shabnam's beating and even more adversely to her pregnancy. I hope it's true that she's coming to visit for her daughter's wedding. If Screaming Jean can make an appearance, so can Zainab.
Tonight was all about Tamwar and Nancy, opening up to each other and building a trust. We learned tonight that Tamwar has used his religion, just as Shabnam has used hers, to mask his deepest fears and insecurities from his physical scarring. Nancy was pitch perfect with him tonight, so I don't understand why Nancy was keeping it a secret from him about her epileptic seizures, unless her epilepsy has become the sort that can't be wholly controlled by medication.
I know a lot of people are on a massive downer about Tamwar and Nancy, but I can see now why Tamwar has been such a monotoned automaton for the past five years. He was deeply hurt by the events surrounding his burning to the point that he pushed his young wife away, and he's built up an idea of himself as a freak of some sort - he referred to himself as such tonight. I've said all along that Tamwar was depressed, but we saw tonight how he let himself and his personality go around Nancy. It's true that she's the first girl he's actually appreciated and who's actually appreciated him. I love the way he makes her laugh and how he smiles at that.
Good luck to the pair of them. They're a couple for whom to root.
Buster and the Donkey. Tamwar should have answered that phone. Somehow, I don't think Buster's going to open a fish stall on the market now, even though he waxed lyrical about it being the best time of his life. Vincent is going to give him another sort of fish to fry.
Stoppin' and Startin'. Ian Beale needs to wind his neck in. He's got no right to sit in judgement on Stacey as Martin's girlfriend, certainly not after what he and Jane the Queen have collectively done.
Stacey needs to really look at Martin. This is a man who really appreciates her. James Bye continues to come into his own as Martin, just a nice, sensible man who wants a peaceful life, surrounded by a family who loves him. He put his whole heart into his simple confession to Stacey:-
I just fancy you.
... and all she could do was look put out and keep refusing phonecalls from someone whom she'd convinced herself was Kush. Because of that thought, she couldn't really concentrate on Martin, and so she misconstrued his remark about wanting to understand what's going on in her head as him wanting to control her. She was totally knocked for six when he confessed that he knew about her bi-polar condition, and he wasn't put off by that at all. He just didn't know much about it. At least, he was honest. But then, Stacey's reaction is to cut and run ...
I can't handle this.
Can't handle what, Stacey? That the bigger man, whom you think of as the lesser one, understands you and loves you, wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and the man for whom you're horny knows nothing about your medical condition and would run a mile from you to avoid getting involved if he did know?
Martin looked relieved when she left. He's already spent his twenties getting emotionally downtrodden by his bitch of a wife. He's wary about any sort of similar involvement, and who can blame him?
Wherever Stacey went, Martin beat her home, just in time to welcome back Screaming Jean, who's about to marry Ollie ... I just realised now that there are two Ollies on this show.