When Coronation Street's Geoff and Yasmeen Metcalfe storyline came to a head in powerful scenes last month, we had one small complaint in the back of our minds: was the show about to resort to one of its favourite clichés?
The ITV soap earned high praise – and a 17-month ratings high – as Geoff finally pushed Yasmeen to breaking point, causing her to lash out in a moment of terror.
At the time, we praised the impressive performances from cast members Ian Bartholomew and Shelley King, as well as Corrie's decision to devote a special episode entirely to their coercive control storyline.
Even so, we did have some small doubts about where things would head next. With Yasmeen destined for a tough fight to clear her name, surely it'd only be a matter of time before their gossiping neighbours spitefully turned against her?
It's no secret that Corrie is fond of putting its most popular characters behind bars every couple of years or so.
After the huge success of the 'Free the Weatherfield One' storyline with Deirdre in the '90s, we've seen Gail, Fiz, Tyrone, Maria, Anna and Sally all follow suit after being accused of various terrible crimes. The police's success records for the Street must make shocking reading.
The jail plots are fair enough – soap favourites in prison always provides plenty of drama and an interesting change of scenery – but it's the collective amnesia that usually accompanies such storylines that can be hugely frustrating to watch.
For example, when Sally was wrongly accused of fraud after being tricked by a conman a couple of years ago, even her own husband Tim doubted her for a while. So much for family loyalty.
Meanwhile, when Tyrone faced shocking false allegations from his scheming partner Kirsty in 2013, neighbours who'd known him for years were quick to stick the knife in. It led to some tense scenes on screen, but didn't quite ring true for long-term viewers.
Going even further back in time, Fiz's connections to her serial killer husband John left some people on the cobbles wondering whether she was a murderous accomplice. Really, guys? Fiz would have enough trouble planning a party, never mind a murdering spree.
Eileen also faced suspicion when Pat Phelan was caught out in 2018, with Tracy Barlow telling anyone who'd listen that she must have been in on the murders. That'd certainly put the Grim into Grimshaw, but seemed highly unlikely.
This time, we have to give Corrie credit for defying our expectations when it comes to Yasmeen's story. Much to our relief, any gossip about the Metcalfes' marriage has shown that the locals are firmly in her corner.
It's refreshing, for once in Corrie, to see the characters actually using their brains and being on the right side.
Evelyn Plummer won an army of new fans when she ranted about Geoff at the Corner Shop, while characters like Cathy and Eileen have also shown that they believe Yasmeen over him.
This could be crucial for the story's future, as Yasmeen's lawyer Imran Habeeb has said that recollections from her friends and neighbours will be crucial for her defence in court.
Even characters who you'd expect to be in Geoff's corner are doubting him much more quickly than usual. Sally turns against him and kicks him out in upcoming episodes, while even Tim starts to realise that Geoff's Mr Nice Guy act is as much of an illusion as his Great Magnifico tricks.
There's a nice mirror to a past storyline in the mix, too. Sally's loyalty towards Yasmeen is partly influenced by her own ordeal, as she remembers exactly what it was like to be unfairly jailed herself.
A scene from 2018, which some fans may have forgotten, saw Sally receive support from an unlikely ally – Yasmeen. This came despite past tensions between the two neighbours.
In a moving scene when Sally was locked up, Yasmeen paid a visit to her and promised: "You have the full support of the community. Everyone around here knows that you would never do anything dishonest."
Now Sally looks set to return the favour by putting herself firmly on Team Yasmeen in the coming weeks, whether Tim likes it or not. Far more enjoyable to watch than everyone queuing up to make wild accusations against Yasmeen.
By avoiding the usual "everyone believes the wrong person" trope, the Geoff and Yasmeen story hasn't lost the subtlety and careful scriptwriting that had built up over the past year.
Rather than focusing on everyone disbelieving Yasmeen, we're getting a far more nuanced storyline, as she has to go on her own journey towards accepting what happened.
So far, Yasmeen has been reluctant to confide in anyone about Geoff's mistreatment, but next week's episodes see her start to break her silence.
Corrie's desire to avoid unnecessary distractions may be why we haven't seen too much of Yasmeen behind bars.
There have been no scenes of Yasmeen being tormented by a fellow inmate, falling out with the prison guards, or running into a past character in the cells. All classic soap ideas, but not really suitable for this storyline.
Corrie's cast and crew will be returning to filming next week and this story is bound to be a top priority after its success in recent months.
Asked about its future, Sally Dynevor – who plays Sally Metcalfe – recently said: "Sally herself has been in prison and she doesn't want Yasmeen to be in there anymore. She knows that she is innocent.
"I think hopefully when we go back and get the scripts – because it kind of stopped there – I'm really hoping that the scripts come back and that Sally helps and fights for her.
"I think it might make them even closer because Yasmeen and Sally have this funny relationship. They really care about each other, but then every now and again, they're quite similar.
"They have these quirky sort-of rows, but then deep down they're both on a similar trajectory, with their posh conservatories on the back of their houses! They are both well-to-do and want to get on in the world, and so I'm hoping this will make them really close."
Coronation Street currently airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm on ITV.
Organisations including Women's Aid can provide further support and information on coercive control or coercive behaviour.
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