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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: John, thanks to his role as The Stoic and the Dogged Nice Guy. Being played by Richard Armitage certainly helps.
  • Iron Woobie: Carol has been systematically abused by her father from a very young age, bore his child at the age of twelve, was forced to raise the child as her sister. And after all that, when Andrew's father tells him about Lisa really being her daughter, she is forced to tell him about her father's abuse, which makes Andrew unwilling to marry her.
    Andrew: How can you stand it?
    Carol: I can stand anything.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: Sarah Smart had previously appeared in Masterpiece Theatre's 1998 adaptation of Wuthering Heights as the young Catherine Linton, who eventually transcends Heathcliff's oppression and avoids the older generation's mistakes. Here she stars as Carol, the Distaff Counterpart of Heathcliff.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Paul. He tells Andrew about Carol being pregnant at the age of twelve in order to keep them apart. However, he spends his life being browbeaten by his Jerkass wife Kate, despite being in love with someone else, and eventually loses his son, partly due to his own actions.
  • Tear Jerker: Andrew's death. Made even worse by Paul's desperate attempts to give him CPR, while Carol screams, 'Do it! BLOODY DO IT!'
  • The Scrappy: Andrew seems to be highly disliked by viewers, due to his It's All About Me tendencies, his dismissive behavior towards his wife and son, and his inability to allow Carol to be happy and get on with her life.
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