Some soap fans live for these high-octane weeks where Coronation Street forgets that it’s a kitchen-sink drama and turns into a 1970s’ disaster movie. Me? I can take or leave them.
I don’t mind a bit of crash-bang-wallop, but while watching characters drowning or getting shot or being swallowed up by a sinkhole, I can’t help but think: “How on earth will anyone be able to sell their house or business after this? Just imagine what a home buyers’ report is going to throw up.”
In truth, the whole neighbourhood must now be so structurally unsound that it ought to be condemned or bulldozed. But they’ve tried that kind of thing before and Ken Barlow usually halts any construction workers by shouting at them through a megaphone.
He, though, was curiously absent on this occasion, his saviour role given instead to Roy, who’s surely now close to being canonised for his saintliness. After rescuing Abi from the jaws of death, he uncharacteristically gave her a hug. I think he might even have put his shopping bag down to do so.
At the other end of the spectrum, we had horrible Harvey, the local drug dealer whose biggest crime, as it turns out, was plagiarism. The scoundrel stole Tony Gordon’s exit storyline note for note, as he broke out of a prison van and headed back to the Street intent on getting revenge.
His target was Leanne, who after being gaffer-tapped across the mouth, seemed to inexplicably lose her sense of direction as she started hiding from Harvey around corners instead of kicking in the doors of her neighbours’ properties to get help. She did, of course, ultimately turn the tables by ramming a car into a skip. Her air bag was activated, his wasn’t. So, minor bruises for Leanne, but it's now touch and go for Harvey.
Also a little bit derivative was Dev’s “which child do I save?” quandary following the car crash involving him, Asha and Aadi. Though he was finding inspiration not in old Corrie episodes, but from Hollyoaks’s Terror in the Tunnel drama from 2018, which itself seemed to be inspired by Sophie’s Choice.
The Alahans did all survive, though – at least physically. Things might just be a bit more frosty than usual in future around the frozen food section of the corner shop when Aadi discovers that his dad essentially left him to die.
Speaking of death, we had one definite fatality, and the high chance of another. Hangdog Johnny, showing more spark in his final moments than in the last six years, realised that he was never going to get over son Aidan’s suicide and slipped beneath the depths after falling into a sewer. It was unexpectedly affecting, I have to say.
Natasha, meanwhile, took a bullet in a case of mistaken identity, but will no doubt cling on just long enough to give her brilliant young son Sam enough time to steal the death scene out from under her. By the way, did you notice that both Corrie and Emmerdale have chosen to traumatise their youngest, most adorable characters? Little Millie and Sam will need to form a soap survivors’ group at their respective primary schools.
There are, of course, many unanswered questions about all this mayhem. Why was Debbie holding her Horrornation Street event a week and a half before Halloween? Surely it was bad taste to use police crime-scene tape as decoration so soon after Seb was kicked to death? How come the sound effects of rising water were so loud that they obscured much of the dialogue? Who was in that ghost’s costume?
And — most importantly — why weren’t viewers issued with waders and a pac-a-mac in advance? I know the Beautiful South once sang, “If rain makes Britain great, then Manchester is greater”, but this truly felt like an end-of-days downpour.
To the extent that I was left wondering how the writers will be able to top this catastrophe the next time they’re crafting a big cliffhanger?
A typhoon? Meteorites landing on the Rovers? Actually, let’s not encourage them, eh?
Watch: Sally Carman and Sally Ann Matthews on action week