(Series 10, ep.2) In the parallel universe of Waterloo Road, it’s a perfectly normal idea to throw open the doors of your school to anyone who wants to wander in and make it into a “community hub.” Why not throw in a helpline so that people can ring you and ask for tasks to be performed – cleaning, DIY, whatever. If only somebody at Waterloo Road had absorbed the lessons of the various Mentoring Initiatives or the Apprentice Initiative, they’d have raised a few practical questions, the funding of the free tea and biscuits being the least of them. If Grantly Budgen (RIP) had still been around, he’d have at least had a good grumble about it all, but apart from George Windsor, everybody else was thrilled with the scheme.
Nobody was more thrilled that Lisa Brown, who quickly spotted a money-making opportunity. Along with her friend Shaznay, who occupies the “dim sidekick” role that Darren used to fulfil for Barry Barry, Lisa decided to befriend an old man for the purposes of stealing things from his house. Lisa is never going to be a criminal mastermind (though she is a rather nasty piece of work) because the thing she decided to steal was the urn containing the old man’s wife’s ashes. Oh, how we laughed, but not as much as when the old man tried to turn the tables and scam money out of Vaughan Fitzgerald later on.
Vaughan was slightly less wet this week, apart from when it came to his own son. Justin continues to have anger management issues (despite the efforts of Simon Twinkle-Spark and his famous mediation techniques) and threw a tin at George’s head when he tried to give him detention.
Vaughan refused to back up his staff member against his son, so George resigned. It was only a matter of time anyway, as Vaughan was trying to oust him out in the direction of Havelock High (“They’re less imaginative”). Also, George had £15,000 burning a hole in his pocket. This was compensation for the cruise he and Carol went on where they spent three weeks on the toilet. George would have kept it all for himself if Christine hadn’t let slip to Carol that George had got the money, but even then he lied and told Carol it was only £1,000 each. Bless her, she was thrilled with that much, and thought George was a very kind and generous man. Oh, Carol.
The episode was considerably enlivened by the presence of the wonderful Dynasty Barry, who was there for a farewell party before going off to join the bizzies. There was a lovely little scene between her and Simon Twinkle-Spark, one of those “To Sir With Love” moments that I thought had gone forever with the loss of Tom Clarkson. I hope Abby Mavers is back on our screens before long, because she’s brilliant. I’m really going to miss Dynasty.
In other news, Verruca Salt and Darren have taken their relationship to the next level. This has come to the notice of Maggie the Former Dinnerlady who has implemented a “no creaking floorboards” policy in the school house. Next week’s New Initiative is those lifelike robo-babies they give to schoolkids to make them think about the realities of parenthood, but it looks like it might be too late for Verruca and Darren.
And Hector’s fitness classes for the less mobile have attracted the attention of Sue Twinkle-Spark. Not that she’s less mobile, but when you’ve seen Hector do a couple of lunges it’s hard to ignore his allure.