(Series 8, Ep.23) It was episode 2 in Dynasty Barry’s tussle between Education and Upbringing (episode one being the one where she chose education over pole dancing). With the arrival of her jailbird boyfriend Steve-O (he should wear brighter shirts then we could call him Hawaii Steve-O), all thoughts of the inter-school chess championship were thrown out of the window in favour of an engagement ring from the Katie Price for Argos Collection and a quick fumble in the Music Room.
She should have realised Steve-O was a bad sort, aside from the fact that he’d just got out of prison. She really ought to have recognised him as the nasty man who pimped out poor Whitney on EastEnders. Not that the actor (Jody Latham) is getting typecast or anything.
She saw the light when she saw the contents of his car boot – several top-of-the-range generic laptops which Cockney Lorraine had purchased for the school’s exciting new IT facility. Steve-O was dumped, and Dynasty ended up having a Thomas Crown Affair-style erotically charged chess game with Kevin Chalk (some sterling work by Dynasty’s false eyelashes), followed by a snog with him against a picturesque maritime backdrop. Talk about the odd couple… Anyhoo, Steve-O isn’t going to give up that easily, and administered a kicking to Young Master Chalk as a bit of a warning to Keep Off His Bird.
Back to those laptops. Visionary Lorraine “Gor Blimey Mary Poppins” Donnegan decided this week that the way forward for Waterloo Road, educationally speaking, was to abandon all the tedious stuff like English, History, Geography, blah blah blah. IT was where it was at. You’d never get a good job doing your boring standard subjects, she informed the massed ranks of speaking and non-speaking pupils. So she had her sister and the boyfriend of the teacher with the pointy face install about a dozen laptops (give or take the ones Steve-O took and Dynasty gave back). Well, bless. The looks on the faces of those kids when they stepped in that IT room. They looked beyond excited and couldn’t wait to rush to a computer and have a look for themselves, chatting excitedly. “Look! It shines with a secret inner light! Truly this is a thing from the future come to visit us in our humble school!”
With all that excitement, it was a hard task for the teachers of more conventional subjects to make them entertaining, but the teacher with the pointy face somehow managed it by brandishing a pointy sword, which she claimed to have found in a forest. This had the effect of making Harley come over all giddy with historical excitement. “That was brilliant, Miss,” he gushed. “I can’t believe I’d enjoy history so much.”
That would have been prime contender for Cringey Dialogue of the Week, but that award goes to this gem. Jane Beale assured Maggie the Dinnerlady that Grantly, currently in a coma in a nearby hospital, was in the best hands. “He needs more than the best hands now,” said Maggie. “He needs a kidney transplant.” Sorry, but LOL. As I predicted last week, Tom Clarkson has volunteered himself for the aforementioned organ donation. A quick glance at a Racing Post was enough to convince him of what would be lost if Grantly was to die. Maggie, of course, was thrilled and relieved at this news, though the chances that Tom’s kidneys will be a match for Grantly are very slim indeed. About as slim at Dynasty Barry finding Kevin Chalk attractive. Oh.
Back to the Barrys, and I was severely disappointed by Barry’s behaviour this week. When the nasty Steve-O basically sexually assaulted Kacey/Robbie in an effort to find out whether s/he was male or female in the pants area, Barry stood by and did nothing to help her. I’m also rather disappointed by Kacey’s later decision not to be Robbie any more. Apparently it was just a bit of a phase, and Tom Clarkson’s promise of a girls’ football team has been enough to persuade her that she’s female after all. Now, while I’m not disputing that a lot of people do go through such a phase and then decide they were happy the way they were, there are also a lot of people for whom it isn’t a phase. Waterloo Road seemed to go to a lot of effort to take the story of Kacey’s gender issues seriously. Brogan Ellis’s performance was brave and convincing, and the reactions of people around her (particularly Barry) and her reactions to their reactions (trying to live up to Barry as the only male role model she has) were well done. Abandoning it seems like a cop-out.
Next time: The Lovely Josh is back! I expect he’ll be keen for his dad to keep both kidneys.
Posted by PLA (More Waterloo Road here)