(Series 7, Ep.10) Whenever I think of Chris Mead, I shall picture him bounding like a young gazelle across Formby sands in pursuit of Finn and Amy. It was a magnificent feat of athleticism, and one which he reprised in the final episode of this term, as he jogged gamely along the platform at Manchester Piccadilly Station to save Scout and Our Little Liam from evil drug dealer types. Not a hair out of place. Breathtaking. Scout, however, was less impressed. She didn’t want to go into “curr.” She curred so much about not going into curr that she made Denzil swurr not to tell anyone that she was planning to take Liam, a fistful of drugs money and a packed lunch to That London on a train. But Denzil is a curring type of lad and he’s seen the documentaries, so he told Chris what was going on.
Chris’s hasty departure from the school premises in pursuit was badly timed for Karen, who was busy trying to impress school inspector Alison (Tracy-Ann Obermann). Throw in Finn, Josh, Amy and Lauren taking a turn around the school car park in Tom Clarkson’s car, via the cycling proficiency class helmed by nervous cyclist Daniel Chalk, and you have all the makings of what most school inspectors would term “failure.” “Your deputy head just seriously undermined your authority, minutes after four of your pupils were caught joyriding,” summed up Inspector Alison. Put that way, it didn’t sound good.
The TWOCing of a teacher’s car was only a side issue, though (it was Finn’s way of expressing his grief over Sam, you know). Inspector Alison was most disturbed by the news about Chris Mead allowing Scout and Liam to use his lovely home as a B&B. She got on the phone to The Authorities, and Slimeball wasted no time in ordering Karen to pack her belongings and get the heck out of Waterloo Road.
So while Chris was busy rescuing Scout from a hideous fate on the Euston-bound platform, Karen was sadly carrying her little box of desk accessories out of the school. But while she’d been packing, the rest of the school had been getting busy, and the entire cast and assorted extras had assembled on the roof and the front steps with badly-drawn placards. They were not going to let Waterloo Road go without a fight. Karen’s face as she realised what was going on was an absolute picture – it takes a good actress to maintain that perfect balance between smiling and crying, and the absolute believability of Karen even when all around her is getting pretty ludicrous is why Amanda Burton will be so much missed from the show.
Eleanor Chaudery came good in the end by rounding up her press contacts to give the protest maximum publicity. Kyle Stack came very good by throwing an egg at Slimeball. With such a display of solidarity (and throwing accuracy), Inspector Alison had no option but to award the school a positive review, although Karen’s future hangs in the balance as she has to wait for a formal meeting to decide if she stays or goes. She ended the episode happily enough, though, in cosy coupledom with newly-qualified teacher Robson Green.
One person who’s definitely going is Chris Mead, who admitted to Karen that he’ll always be a bit of a renegade and would never learn to play by the rules. He doesn’t know what he’s going to be doing next, but it could well involve a spot of light jogging.
As well as Eleanor, Aiden also decided to come good. Rattled by the news of Vicki losing her (his) baby, he told Jess he wanted to be a sensible and supportive father for her (his) baby. So they went hand in hand into the Rochdale sunset, and I suppose that’s the last we’ll see of them. When Waterloo Road returns in the autumn, there are going to be a lot of new faces.
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)