As soon as Nick’s shiny van made its debut, you just knew it wasn’t going to stay roadworthy for long. A branded Bistro mobile doesn’t just appear without there being consequences and, sure enough, by the end of tonight’s double bill it was looking even more crumpled than Nick’s permanently frowny forehead.
Which is a shame because I thought the Bistro wagon had definite potential. Perhaps if Nick ever recovers he can try out further merchandising ventures – Bistro tie-pins, Bistro tea-towels…Maybe Rob could sell them in his cash converters-style store instead of the golf clubs, stereos and cuddly toys he’s currently flogging. Where did he source that stock, by the way? The Generation Game?
Anyway, back to the scene of the accident where Nick and David currently lie comatose. You do have to wonder why David chooses to go in any moving vehicle: this is the man who was driven into the canal by Richard Hillman and then drove himself into the same stretch of water when faking his own suicide. If anyone were to offer David a lift, you’d have thought he’d tell them he was taking shanks’s pony. But no, the offer of sampling some vino collapso in the company of the brother he wants to destroy was just too good to resist.
The trouble was that there wasn’t any wine-tasting event and Nick just wanted to get David to confess to carrying out his long-running campaign of revenge. David’s response? Unbuckle Nick’s seatbelt, grab the steering wheel and send them weaving across traffic into the path of a truck. You have to admire David’s efforts – in a soap where every feller is either weak willed (Peter Barlow), unreconstructed (Owen Armstrong) or a buffoon (Norris Cole), Devil Spawn David really is a force of unbridled malevolence. This latest act of madness – which was really just a twisted way of David saving his own marriage – even came close to topping that crowd-pleasing cliffhanger when he jettisoned Gail down a flight of stairs.
You see, the great thing about Nick’s one-night-stand with Kylie is that we’ve had sizeable incendiaries regularly detonating ever since that fateful Christmas bunk-up. First Lewis blackmailed Kylie, then Gail found out, then David overheard everything and contemplated killing himself. But tonight’s episodes were the biggies: a backstreet Cain and Abel confronting each other in a Ford Transit. And what tension there was too – “You’re too clever for me,” snarled David, while all the time we know that you have to possess the nous of Hannibal the Cannibal to get one over on Platt the Plotter.
Though with such a showdown unfolding, was there any need to devote precious screen time to Craig and his theft of the Kabin’s plastic delivery boy? There were more than a few echoes here of the execrable Derek Wilton missing garden gnome plotline that blighted Corrie in 1995. And tonight, such pranking was the last thing we needed when relations between Nick and David were tanking in dramatic style.
Because you do have to wonder whether the Tilsley-Platts will be left permanently destroyed by this mess. They’ve come through Hillman, Lewis scarpering with all that cash, even Gail’s time in a prison tabard following the bungled demise of Joe McIntyre. But David jeopardising the life of his nearest and supposedly dearest in a high-speed collision? I can’t wait to see Gail doing her startled fieldmouse routine when she hears about this one.