Yasmeen Metcalfe stabbed abusive husband Geoff Metcalfe in a violent attack as months of coercive bullying took their toll, but now he has regained consciousness and insisted his wife intended to kill him has he sealed her fate and could she end up behind bars?
“When he wakes up in hospital the first thing he remembers is Yasmeen coming for him and the bottle going into his neck,” says Bartholomew, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about the latest development in Coronation Street‘s much-discussed storyline.
“He’s shouting ‘She tried to kill me’ which is a knee-jerk reaction, but plays to the narrative that he has written for himself. It’s not a lie as she did try to kill him, but at the same time Geoff is playing to the gallery as it were.”
At the point of the attack Yasmeen was in a confused, deluded state, starved of food for days and on the precipice of a breakdown after enduring systematic psychological manipulation from her controlling spouse.
As Geoff unleashed a vicious verbal tirade Yasmeen believed, at that moment, the knife he was holding to cut some bread was intended as a weapon, and she acted in fear of her life as her entire ordeal reached a terrifying peak. But with Geoff playing the victim from his hospital bed, how will the police see the situation?
“There is a psychological disconnect in Geoff,” explains Bartholomew. “He thinks he is right all the time and he’s acting this way because he loves and wants to protect Yasmeen. He is a narcissist, a misogynist and a chauvinist, but because he doesn’t hit women he genuinely thinks it’s alright to treat them in the way he does, it’s a very skewed way of looking at it.”
The street is reeling from the incident and questioning what has really gone on in the couple’s relationship behind closed doors, although one resident knows Geoff’s true colours – Yasmeen’s crusading granddaughter Alya Nazir, who immediately leapt to her defence and pointed the finger at Mr Metcalfe for his bad behaviour. Could she expose him?
“Geoff sees that Alya poses a threat but feels he’s able to handle it. The person he needs to keep onside is his son Tim – if he convinces him what he’s saying is right he can spread the word on Geoff’s behalf throughout the community. What Alya is saying will then sound like sour grapes and anxiety for her gran.”
Yasmeen’s nightmare has chimed with the audience and the social zeitgeist even more than it was imagined it would, with awareness of victims trapped with their abusers in lockdown leading to Corrie taking part in a Women’s Aid campaign highlighting the issue and the support available.
Producer Iain MacLeod has said Geoff is beyond redemption and will get his comeuppance, but this is an ongoing storyline now entering a new chapter so that could be a way off. However long it takes for justice to be done, and whether we’re set for another ‘Free the Weatherfield One’ campaign if Yasmeen is charged with attempted murder, Bartholomew echoes MacLeod’s sentiments.
“In our research the common denominator running throughout was that the perpetrator thought they were acting out of love and protection. As far as Geoff is concerned he thinks he’s doing this for the ‘right reasons’. But the flipside is that he is terrified of being alone.
“He’s incredibly vulnerable and needy,” he continues. “That need to be loved makes him pursue this ‘ideal’ of love, which he’s never going to attain with anybody. He’s spoken of a hard childhood and difficult first marriage, but I think we can take much of what he imagines of those times with a pinch of salt. He is sort of irredeemable I think, and if you’re telling a morality tale the baddie has to get it.”
In the coming week the police will formally charge Yasmeen after which she faces a bail hearing, but what will the charge be and could she face life imprisonment for trying to extricate herself from her toxic marriage?