(Series 7, Ep.21) The start of yet another half term on Waterloo Road (I seem to say that with increasing regularity. Are the terms getting shorter, or is it just old age creeping up on me?). No exploding caravan or child lost on the moors for this episode. Rather than Rochdale Gothic, WR went for Inner City Gritty and we had an episode filled with dangerous gangland violence like graffiti, knife-wielding, setting fire alarms off and pouring Sprite on the teacher’s desk.
It was Tariq who did the Sprite thing, and I think that tells us all we need to know about his bad boy credentials. He’s not really cut out for this hard man stuff. We already knew that, of course, because we were there when Trudi was telling Finn how Tariq used to cry a lot when he was in the Young Offenders Institute. Tariq had been settling down fairly nicely in Waterloo Road, give or take the odd bout of threatening behaviour, but this week he got dragged back into the world of gangland crime by one Mason Price, a school pupil who looked older than many of the teachers and who seemed to have styled his fringe with a mascara wand. In other words, he was Hard. Every Mr Big needs a right hand man, and Mason’s was Kyle Stack, who was over-compensating for his seductive body-popping in the school pantomime by being all snarly and unpleasant.
When you join a gang you have to prove yourself by doing something particularly mean, and Tariq was required to beat up, and preferably stab, Finn Sharkey. Finn was a suitable target because he’s going out with Tariq’s sister, the lovely Trudi, and Tariq was especially disgruntled because Trudi has stopped wearing a headscarf at school. Now, this wasn’t Finn’s fault at all, and in fact he’d bought her a hijab for her birthday because he’s Culturally Sensitive, but Tariq is not a man for subtleties like that. Anyway, it was all sorted out when Daniel Chalk turned up on a bike and Finn escaped with nothing worse than a bloody nose, which he manages to get at least once a series so it’s best he got this one out of the way.
If only gangs of rampaging youths were the only worry at Waterloo Road. There was also the issue of head teacher Michael Byrne having been run over at the end of the last episode – by a member of staff, no less. He couldn’t remember anything about the accident, and everyone else was blaming Jez Diamond. he had the motive, after all, what with his wife running off with the aforementioned Mr Byrne. But Jez had been with Janeece at the time, so she knew he hadn’t done it.
Once again, it was Chalky to the rescue. When he confiscated some spray paint from Tariq, which had come from the boot of Linda Radleigh’s car, Chalky noticed a few headmaster-shaped dents in the car bonnet. It was like CSI Rochdale.
Next time: Lauren contemplates cosmetic surgery; Tom contemplates Josh’s new drug habit (shock!); and Matt contemplates fatherhood – sooner than he expected.
Posted by PLA (see more Waterloo Road posts)