Tyrone Dobbs (Alan Halsall) and Fizz Stape (Jennie McAlpine) have not always had the smoothest of relationships, surviving a murderous husband and an abusive partner but this week their bond is pushed to breaking point as a jealous Maria Connor (Samia Ghadie) attempts to sabotage their relationship in the hope that Tyrone, her ex boyfriend, will fall for her once again. Tyrone however, is unaware of Maria’s true feelings for him and his own relationship problems are unwittingly pushing him further into her arms as she provides him with a shoulder to cry on. Fizz grows increasingly impatient with both Tyrone and Maria’s closeness and begins to suspect that they are having an affair even though they both protest their innocence and insist they are just good friends.
The three of them have a friendship which stretches back over a decade. When a teenage Fizz first arrived in Weatherfield in 2001 the first man she set her eyes on was Tyrone but unfortunately for her he was engaged to Maria, yet their subsequent closeness caused Tyrone’s relationship with Maria to break down when he later admitted his feelings for Fizz (Keeping up?). Despite this, all three remained good friends and even after Tyrone and Fizz parted their friendship was still strong. Fizz dated Maria’s brother Kirk for a short period of time bringing the girls closer, whilst both of them were there for Tyrone when he was being abused by his ex girlfriend Kirsty.
This latest storyline however is perhaps the first time we have seen the friendship between the three of them potentially fracture beyond repair. (This is where it gets complicated). The catalyst of this storyline actually began with Maria’s own relationship failure which saw her relationship with Marcus breakdown after she caught him sleeping with Todd, her ex-boyfriend’s brother. (Is it any wonder Maria’s emotions are all over the place?!). She sought comfort in Tyrone’s arms and kissed him, mistakenly believing that they had rekindled their feelings for each other when in reality, Tyrone was just being his usual nice self and merely comforting a friend when she needed him most.
Maria had earlier argued with Todd on the street which resulted in her throwing her mobile phone at his face (a great moment, a fight on the cobbles which Corrie always does so well) which meant her phone was broken and she needed a new one. At this point in real life that usually means having to text everyone in your phonebook with your new number, but not it seems if you are a resident of Coronation Street. Maria’s failure to give Tyrone her number results in both of them misjudging a text sent by Maria, a text Tyrone mistakenly believes is from his ex, Kirsty, due to the number being one he does not recognise. Upon realising her mistake Maria has a chance to come clean to Tyrone but chooses to let him believe that Kirsty is trying to get in contact with him again. Maria’s heartless act is the result of her own personal problems but she also pursues the idea in order to damage his relationship with Fizz, partly out of jealousy because of her own relationship failure and partly because she believes she is in love with Tyrone once again. Viewers were perhaps sympathetic to Maria at the beginning of the storyline when Marcus cheated on her but her subsequent callous actions towards Tyrone (an audience favourite) will not endear her to many and it is hard to see how she can repair her friendship with Tyrone when the truth eventually comes out (Alan Halsall has hinted that Tyrone will not find it easy to forgive her, if at all). However the storyline has allowed the audience to see another side to Maria and perhaps indicates a new direction for the character as well as toying with the idea that Kirsty is on the peripheral of Weatherfield and is a threat to Tyrone and Fizz’s happiness, something that could be explored in the future.
Coronation Street continues Friday at 8.00pm on ITV.
Contributed by Rachael Miller