How many serial killers can you find on one street? Well, if we’re talking specifically about Coronation Street, then the answer is: quite a lot. Something about living in that neighbourhood seems to turn the menfolk into homicidal maniacs. John Stape, Richard Hilllman, Pat Phelan, Karl Munro, Rob Donovan and now, of course, Gary Windass, who has recently joined the rogues’ gallery of Weatherfield wrongdoers.
His reason for resorting to murder? He no longer wanted to sleep on the Platts’ living room floor. No, seriously, that’s it. He was tired of being broke and kipping down on an airbed. But what he crucially then ended up doing was pinching the modus operandi of local villains from times past. Because, when you think about what Gary has done, it’s eerily similar to heinous acts committed by previous Corrie criminals. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look at the evidence…
The everyman goes bad
Gary is one of those “oops I did it again” Corrie killers, the type who stumble into murder almost by accident. He merely wanted to sabotage the factory roof, he didn’t want to actually slaughter a fan-favourite character on her wedding day. This, of course, echoes the reign of terror of teacher John Stape, who seemingly couldn’t bend down in the street to tie his shoelace without inadvertently knocking someone into the path of an oncoming car. His catchphrase, if you recall, was: “All I wanted to do was teach!” Gary’s could be: “All I wanted was a proper bed!”
You just know you’re about to get rumbled if Craig Tinker gets wind of a crime. Back in the day, he was on to Karl Munro in a flash. Now, he’s getting Gary hot under the collar by asking questions about the disappearance of loan shark Rick Neelan (bumped off by Gary last week in a woodland showdown). Craig may look unassuming, but he’s actually the closest thing Corrie has to Line of Duty’s Ted Hastings.
Bury Your Bodies
Remember when John Stape dug a grave for Colin Fishwick in the foundations of the Underworld factory? Well, it appears as if he left his shovel to Gary in his will. Hence the worried Mr Windass burying Rick under the cover of darkness. No doubt the corpse will be uncovered in six months’ time by a nosey dog. Or Craig. Whoever gets to it first, really.
We’ve been let into a killer’s secret so many times in the past that long-time viewers must feel that they watched every bead of sweat trickle down the faces of a panicked Rob, Phelan and Karl. Unfortunately, now that it’s Gary’s turn in the spotlight, the novelty has kind of worn off. So there’s no real tension in seeing him dissemble, despair and disintegrate because it’s all been depicted before.
Missing personal possessions
In a rather amateurish slip-up, Gary temporarily mislaid his St Christopher, believing that it must have ended up in the earth with Rick’s remains. Which is very much like the time that Phelan dropped his mobile phone in the liquid concrete where he was trying to dispose of Andy Carver’s corpse.
A stranger comes to town
This Friday’s double bill will see a teenage girl arrive on the scene asking questions about the now very-much-dead Rick. Corrie isn’t yet revealing the identity of this newcomer, but this surely has to be a relative of the deceased? If you recall, Charlotte Hoyle’s parents turned up after John Stape had done away with her. And Andy Carver’s backpacking mate started asking questions following his disappearance.
End of the line
Once you take a life on a soap a best-before date is immediately stamped on your character. So, even though Corrie wants us to be asking ourselves, “Will Gary get away with what he’s done?” we already know the answer: no. Richard Hillman drove into a canal, Rob Donovan went to prison, while Anna stabbed Pat Phelan. So you can expect Corrie to eventually do something similar with Gary, probably when the show is celebrating a birthday of some sort. What’s that you say? Coronation Street is 60 next year? We just can’t imagine what its anniversary plotline will be…