Tracy Barlow is to finally let rip when she reveals to Robert that she knows all about his recent one-night stand with Carla. But, in the heat of the moment, Tracy also confesses that she used her power over Carla to force through the Bistro sale at a knockdown price.
Reeling from what’s happened, Robert will be left disgusted by Tracy’s actions, especially when he learns that she could have gone to Carla’s aid during the raid on the Bistro. But then comes the bombshell from Tracy that she might well be pregnant! So will Robert choose to stand by the woman whose behaviour he finds abhorrent – or will this be it for their relationship? Actor Tristan Gemmill tells us more…
So, did Robert have any inkling that Tracy knew about his one-night stand with Carla? I don’t think he did, no. When it all first happened in the New Year he was very cagey the first few times he saw Tracy, as she was behaving oddly. But he didn’t want to get into that in case she became suspicious, so after the initial scare he thought, well she’s Tracy and if she knew something she’d have brought it up by now.
What’s the first he knows about it? They’re having an argument because he’s been going through Carla’s wedding plans with her rather than having lunch with Tracy when they were meant to be spending some time together. Tracy also thinks she might be pregnant so she wants to have that conversation with him, but Carla interrupts that which makes Tracy kick off. Carla’s terrified that Nick’s going to find out, but Robert’s just had enough of Tracy mouthing off at Carla so they have a big bust up. During the bust up, Tracy drops the bombshell that she knows he slept with Carla.
How does he react when he realises that she knows? Robert is completely side swiped by it – he thought he’d navigated the waters of that potentially awkward situation and the trouble was behind them. He’s made an uneasy peace with Carla, he and Tracy have carried on the way they were before, so he thought he had got away with it. Although, as he does then point out to Tracy, they were on a break.
Tracy and Robert are set for a showdown after she spies him deep in conversation with Carla
She’s clearly furious – does Robert feel any remorse at this point? It all explodes with this moment of revelation, then as he and Tracy hang out all their dirty washing he’s very contrite at first. But as the episode goes on, the power balance between them starts to shift and while Robert starts off by being very apologetic, he then realises the extent of what Tracy’s done since. He discovers Tracy left Carla in the Bistro with the robbers and didn’t call the police and that’s quite a biggie as Carla ended up in hospital. So as Robert thinks it through, he concludes that Tracy’s done every bit as much wrong as he has, if not more.
What’s his reaction when she then drops the bombshell that she might be pregnant? He grills her about the moment she found out about Carla and that’s when he becomes really cross as he realises she’s known all along and could have done something to help Carla. She retorts that he should be thanking her as the knowledge helped her make sure he got the Bistro. But rather than bring him on side, that makes him even more upset because he realises how she’s blackmailed Carla for her silence. He’s so cross that he’s on the verge of walking out – and that’s when Tracy reveals that she might be pregnant. There’s then a very tense end of the episode as she goes upstairs to do the pregnancy test and he stands there with his whole world thrown upside down.
How does he feel about the prospect of having a baby with Tracy? Previously they’ve spoken about potentially having a baby, but they’ve decided it’s far too soon and they should be concentrating on the Bistro and Preston’s Petals. But at least they were together and in a reasonably healthy place, so would have worked through it. But now with the revelation about Tracy’s behaviour, that completely throws Robert into a spin.
Does he contemplate ending things? He certainly does yes.
Is he worried about how Nick might react if Tracy told him the truth? He doesn’t think that far ahead – he just takes a moral position on Tracy’s behaviour and acts that out. It’s Carla who comes into the Bistro having seen Tracy in a state and reminds Robert that an unstable Tracy is much more dangerous and more likely to tell Nick than a stable Tracy. Whether Robert will do anything about that I couldn’t possibly say.
How does Robert feel about Tracy now he’s seen her true colours? Every time she does something mean or bad he’s found a way to forgive her, but this time he doesn’t know if he can. He’s loved her from way back and they’ve got that connection – and there’s that element of danger about her that clearly he’s attracted to. But he’s seen how destructive she can be and he’s taken a moral position on that. Her behaviour and his moral stance don’t run a parallel course and, at some point, they’re going to collide and he won’t be able to find a way to forgive her any more. Maybe this could be the moment.
Do you think they can ultimately make it work given the deception there’s been between them? That’s the place we arrive at at the moment – is the relationship worth continuing? It seems that he might not be able to get past this and it could be curtains for their relationship.
If you were Robert’s mate, what advice would you give him about Tracy? Stay the hell away, with possibly stronger language than that!
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Coronation Street below.
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