It was touch and go, but Coronation Street‘s Gary Windass (Mikey North) and Maria Connor (Samia Longchambon) are finally married, despite the groom keeping some whopping secrets from his new bride – not only is a killer, he’s also still in love with his ex!
Monday 17th August’s nail-biting episode picked up from Sarah Barlow (Tina O’Brien) sharing a charged moment with her hot-headed old flame on the morning of the nuptials. Caught by Sarah’s suspicious brother David Platt (Jack P Shepherd), the couple didn’t act on their furtive feelings and Gary dashed to the bistro to tie the knot, before whisking his bride off for a romantic honeymoon. After being told she was the love of his life, how does Sarah feel about Gary choosing Maria in the end?
“She doesn’t want to be with Gary, but she does resent him marrying Maria,” explains O’Brien, speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com. “Sarah’s whole life is falling apart because she is protecting Gary’s secret that he murdered Rick, while his life is starting a new chapter – he gets to skip off with his new wife!”
Sarah’s decision to cover up the bad boy bludgeoning and burying the loan shark has been at the expense of her marriage to Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson). After he walked out last week, Sarah begged him to take her back in tonight’s episode, only for him to declare them well and truly over as she still refused to report Gaz to the cops.
“Maybe this is the end for them,” sighs O’Brien. “Would he forgive her if she sat him down and was honest about everything, would that salvage the relationship? Too much water has gone under the bridge, there are possibly too many lies now.
“Sarah is covering for Gary as she feels responsible for Rick, otherwise he would’ve come after her. Then a few weeks ago Gary admitted he still loved her, and saved her life when she almost got knocked down by a speeding car. She’s so confused about everything.
“She’s not in love with Gary but she has feelings for him, and doesn’t want him to go to jail and have his life ruined.”
O’Brien observes her alter ego is making the situation even more complicated by allowing Gary to carry on unpunished by his crime, which also has more troubling consequences for Sarah she may not be aware of.
“I think she is facilitating his bad choices,” notes the actress. “She’s trying to be protective, but in the process is enabling him to continue this destructive behaviour. It’s like someone having a drink problem and their partner covering for them, thinking it’s the kind thing to do.”
And what of cursed Maria, the oblivious new bride who’s just got hitched to yet another dodgy fella? Does Sarah feel bad she’s sent her friend off on honeymoon with a homicidal husband?
“Sarah doesn’t know the extent of Gary’s other crimes, sabotaging the factory roof and all that, and thinks Rick was an isolated incident and it was purely self-defence. So she doesn’t see Maria being in any danger. If anything Sarah is probably jealous that Maria doesn’t have a clue about any of this!”