(Series 9, ep.15) There was all sorts going on in Waterloo Road last night – a castaway, some unrequited yearning, some requited yearning, an exciting message from Edinburgh (about Kevin Chalk’s university application), souvenir T shirts, water-boarding, and the long-awaited Resilience Camp. I bet Connor’s kicking himself that he left Waterloo Road just a couple of weeks too early and missed all the excitement.
But I have to admit that the thing that was distracting me throughout was the wine bag. For one thing, it showed the difference in cunning between girls and boys. The boys’ attempt to smuggle alcohol to Resilience Camp was the laughably blatant “cheap bottle of spirits in the sports bag” route. Easily spotted and confiscated by Hector Reid, and set aside for his own personal use later.
The girls’ effort was much better. They removed the bag from inside a wine box and taped it to Dynasty under her clothing. It would have worked if it hadn’t been for sneaky Gabriella, and the wine bag was confiscated by Christine. Various people offered to look after it for her. “Don’t you trust me with a wine bag?” Christine said defensively, so they backed off and the wine bag remained in shot for almost every scene that Christine was in until the end of the episode. By the time she’d salvaged the remains of the disaster that was Resilience Camp, and been rebuffed by George Windsor who is no longer content to play the role of “the man who’ll do if nothing better comes along,” she couldn’t contemplate going back to an empty Connor-less house without a little liquid refreshment, so she popped the wine bag in her handbag to enjoy while watching The One Show and eating a Lean Cuisine meal for one. This was a shame, because I’d been looking forward to seeing her guzzle it straight from the tap in her office.
The eagerly-awaited Resilience Camp was supposed to turn the 20 or so pupils who attended into the high achievers and leaders of the future, via the medium of letting them get lost in the countryside and then giving them sausages to eat if they ever managed to find their way back to camp. Hurrah! And they also got T shirts in a nice shade of blue that said Resilience Camp on them. What a fabulous souvenir of an unforgettable few hours. It was supposed to be an overnight stay, but they didn’t actually get to the overnight bit. Or the sausages.
Dynasty Barry fully embraced the concept of leadership and led her team up-hill and down-dale, pointing and yelling, “This way!” and giving slightly cringey pep talks when people were flagging. Her goal was to win the prize of the Luxury Tent.
Gabriella’s goal, meanwhile, was Hector Reid. For some reason she has quite a crush on the suave PE teacher, even though she’s going out with Barry Barry, who chauffeurs her around and calls her “babe.” Her cunning plan was to row herself off in a handily-placed boat into the middle of a lake, lose the oars and then ring Mr Reid for help.
That would have worked beautifully if only Mr Reid hadn’t been busy with a personal project of his own – Nikki Boston. He’s had a bit of a thing for her ever since she set about him with a rubber baseball bat when they first met. Obviously there’s the gay issue – she is engaged to Vix Spark, after all – but Hector was confident of his own manly appeal and anyway, Nikki has previously had a relationship with a man (Eve’s father), so perhaps she wasn’t as gay as everyone thought. It was worth a go, anyway. Hector’s subtle approach was to take his shirt off (he got wet when Nikki tested the shower on him) and to loom over her with his slightly mottled bare chest until she cracked and melted into his damp and goosebumpy arms.
While all this was going on, he had no time to answer the phone from an increasingly upset Gabriella. She dropped her phone in the water, and was left floating in small circles until eventually someone noticed she was missing, Hector Reid picked up his voicemails, and using his superior pathfinding skills led the way to the lake and swam out to rescue her.
Resilience Camp was cancelled and everyone was summoned back to school. Christine was ropeable and gave Hector and Simon a good telling off, while keeping one eye on the wine bag. The students were ropeable about never getting a chance to eat the sausages and sleep in the Luxury Tent, so Dynasty used her recently-developed leadership skills to get everyone to go to the gym, where Gabriella was waiting for Hector Reid. We didn’t see exactly what happened next, but when we next saw Gabriella she was lying sobbing in a pool of water. The water had come not from her own tears, but from a hosepipe. Why would there be a hosepipe in a school gym? Why do I even bother to ask questions like that? It’s not as if it was the most implausible thing that happened in the episode.
Next time: Chalky is back! Gabriella has suspicions about Nikki and Hector; and we need to talk about Kevin.