(Series 8, Ep. 20) What did I love about this episode? Against expectations, I loved the wedding – particularly the part when Connor busted out his sign language moves. I’d completely forgotten that Imogen is deaf (or partly deaf), so it was unexpected but completely appropriate, touching and beautiful. It even made Emo Imogen genuinely smile.
I also loved the acting of Katie McGlynn as Jodie/Scout. Her useless mother died, and Jodie’s reaction was to go straight to school to sit her exam, so she could get a place at university and become a teacher and try to inspire and support kids the way the Waterloo Road staff have inspired and supported her over the years. I know – snarf at that last bit, since she spent most of this term being bullied by Nikki Boston. But we’ll forget all that for the sake of a happy ending for Scout, as we see her leave Waterloo Road for the bright lights of university. Or Coronation Street.
There wasn’t all that much Barry action in this episode, but there were two nice little scenes involving Kacee. In one, Tom Clarkson caught her reading some leaflets during class and was about to tell her off, but when he saw they were about her gender issues he covered neatly and she gave him a silent little ‘thank you.’ In the other, Kacee was trying to persuade Barry to accept her, and he said something like, “You don’t even know who you are,” and she said, with a look of quiet determination, that she did know who she was. I do love the Barrys and I’m looking forward to seeing how Kacee’s story moves on.
So what did I not love about the episode? Some of the dialogue was dreadful. Most of those kids don’t talk like any teenager I’ve ever met (and the teenager I live with agrees with me). It’s not just the kids, either. The IT expert who appeared from Down London to offer Daniel Chalk a job on the basis of his ‘addictive’ mobile phone game would have been funny if it was an episode of The Office, but in this he was just painful. Any scene Cockney Lorraine appears in is generally awful, though I did enjoy the little frisson between her and Nikki Boston (anyone remember Daniela Denby-Ashe’s foxy turn in Torchwood? YouTube here).
As a student of the Holby school of televisual medicine, I was a bit disturbed by the hospital’s somewhat rubbish attempt to do CPR on Scout’s mother. They didn’t even lie her flat! Since Grantly Budgen is currently in (presumably) the same hospital awaiting a kidney transplant (years of unchecked high blood pressure, apparently) I have to say I’m worried about the standard of care he can expect to receive. That pillowcase on its own would sap my will to live.
And Scout was finishing her exam at 4.30 (there was a very big clock on the wall), but all the pupils were shown leaving school some time later. Does the school day finish a lot later in Scotland? Or does Cockney Lorraine get to decide on the timings of the school day?
This and other troubling questions will have to wait until the next series, in which there’ll once again be a languages department (there’s been nothing since the last languages teacher tried to run off with a pupil), with the arrival of Angus Deayton.
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)