Waterloo Road: Just call me Hatchet Mulgrew

connor waterloo road(Series 9, Ep.2) I was very disappointed to learn that the theatre trip to see A Streetcar Named Desire has been cancelled. There’s no better excuse for mayhem than taking the Waterloo Road pupils en masse out of school to a public event.

I wasn’t as disappointed as the sixth form were, though, and they were probably feeling the pain more acutely because they were hungry, what with breakfast club having been cancelled too.

Without the Lorraine Donnegan fortune behind it, Waterloo Road is now having to make cutbacks. So breakfast club (proven to improve results and make for happier, healthier, more settled pupils) has been binned off in favour of a Mandarin assistant (proven to be essential to Kevin Chalk, the only pupil who seems to speak Mandarin). Good decision-making, Christine Mulgrew. Or “Hatchet” Mulgrew, as she suggested we might call her.

sue spark waterloo roadIf only cutbacks and a revolting sixth form (they had a wee sit-in in the school-house) were Christine’s only problem. She also finds herself with the most useless teacher since the last useless teacher, in the form of Sue Spark. Despite (or because of) being the daughter of the Director of Education and the fiancée of deputy head Useless Simon, Sue is absolutely rubbish at her job and found herself at one point locked in a cupboard during a fire alarm. There wasn’t an actual fire – it was a lot of smoke in a beaker caused by Verruca Salt and some jelly babies – but it was enough to give Imogen a panic attack. This led to Christine suggesting Connor might have started the fire (“It’s not like he hasn’t got form”), which made him – quite understandably – go all sulky. Sulky is Connor’s default setting, but prior to that he’d been defending his mum against all the grievances against her by moaning, “She’s in a difficult position!” every five minutes.  

barry simon waterloo roadConnor was lovely with Imogen and helped her get away from the (non-) fire. If only Sue Spark could have the help of a gallant hero. Cometh the hour, cometh Barry Barry, sporting what looked like a touch of eyeliner and looking like the suave villain in a silent movie. He made Sue an offer: he’d keep her classes under control, for the reasonable sum of £20 a day. Bargain.

Elsewhere, Lenny and Lisa were still holding Audrey’s cat hostage in the school house. Lennie had its food needs sorted out (Lenny is so sweet), but there was no mention of its toilet needs. There is no way they could have hidden the smell of cat poo from the nose of Maggie the Dinnerlady. It’s the most toxic smell on the planet. Cat and owner were reunited, but not before Lisa had seen Audrey’s internet dating profile and poor Lenny had had to deliver Cringey Dialogue of the Week: “None of this is Mitzi’s fault!”

george waterloo roadMeanwhile, Nikki Boston has apparently relinquished all classroom duties and is now devoting herself full-time to teaching Kacey Barry how to be a top boxer. So she won’t be too worried to learn that Christine has handed a joint-deputy-headship to George Windsor (wouldn’t that mean a pay rise? How does that fit in with cuts?). George is Christine’s best ally, and currently one of the programme’s best assets. He’s brilliant at the sarcastic quips and comedy bits. There should be ample opportunity for those next week, as Waterloo Road implements Useless Simon’s plan of a version of The Apprentice (which I’m sure has already been done in an earlier series, but that was in another country and another time).

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)

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5 responses to “Waterloo Road: Just call me Hatchet Mulgrew

  1. remotecontrolled

    I enjoyed this episode and I still like Christine as head (although it seemed odd to me that she seemed a bit too cynical about a student council – the obvious (and completely free) solution. Also think she should have at least given the strikers an after school detention post resolution (and post revolution)! I hope they bring Useful Badass Christine back instead of this ep’s Hopeless Badass Christine. There are few storylines at the moment which they didn’t get from the archives. We have boxing (Bolton), useless teacher (Hopeless Helen, Ruby Fry, Lorraine Donnegan’s former self etc. etc…), nepotism (Rachel Mason and many more I’m sure), secret staff relationship (Hopeless Helen again), Apprentice style (see: https://pauseliveaction.wordpress.com/2011/03/03/waterloo-road-karen-fisher-thick-or-what/), student protest resulting in a committee (Mika and Brett – no?), and what looks like the good old student gets off with teacher (Oh Kevin – Dynasty is going to rip your bumbling balls off.). The list goes on. How long before that annoying kid who they’re trying hard to shoehorn in as the new idiot boy turns out to actually be an abandoned rich boy with daddy issues? At least we have Mitzi.

    I still don’t really care though as I do like the way it’s being written at the moment! Some storylines may be done better this time around anyway.

    • pauseliveaction

      You have such a good memory for Waterloo Road storylines! I had Hopeless Helen at the back of my mind, but I couldn’t get her to the front of my mind enough to think of her name. There was also Eleanor Chaudery, who was useless in a more aggressive way. And I suppose we shouldn’t forget dear Steph Haydock.

      I agree with you that if Kevin decides to take his Mandarin tuition to Jonah Kirby levels he’ll have a lot more to worry about from Dynasty than from George.

      • remotecontrolled

        Oh I forgot about Eleanor! Let’s not forget Mama Barry too…and Barry Barry. Oh Kevin!

        And of course I have a good memory – I have your book *cough cough second plug cough*

  2. holbylover819

    I don’t think Simon is that useless, of it hasn’t been for him the sixth form would’ve been expelled. I was starting to think Twinkle wouldn’t be that bad as headmaster after all.
    Also, if Christine could make George a deputy then why did Nikki have to lose her title in the first place? It’s just like how Holby seems to have a fluctuating number of consultants in each department.

    • pauseliveaction

      Simon is seeming less useless as we get to know him. When he first arrived he was spectacularly useless when he thought he could turn Kyle Stack’s life around – and that didn’t end well.

      And yes re Nikki/George. I can’t imagine Nikki will be very happy when she finds out.