In my review of the last episode of Waterloo Road I hoped that tonight’s final part of the run would concentrate more on Christine’s alcoholism than it did on Michael’s agreement to help his father to die. Thankfully my wishes were fulfilled as this end of term episode focused on Connor’s attempts to leave his mother behind and further his relationship with Imogen however as we see Christine isn’t easily fooled.
The episode starts with Connor playing happy families with his mother however he is secretly planning to move into the School House, which will be empty because of all the kids going back to Rochdale and Grantly and Maggie off on their honeymoon. With help from Scout and Phoenix, the couple are able to secure both the key and the alarm code which will enable them to come and go as they please however throughout the day Christine starts to learn of their plan.
Firstly she overhears Scout talking about the screen that Connor has made his girlfriend before discovering that the couple had packed all their belongings away in the art room. Christine later finds both the key and the code after concocting a silly scheme that allowed her access to Imogen’s bag and later her locker. The couple feel like they’ve got away with it and sleep together however Christine is lurking downstairs and it is clear that she doesn’t want Imogen coming in between the incredibly fractured relationship she has with her son.
With Connor snapping once again, Imogen dishes out some home truths in a fantastic scene which results in each of these women slapping each other however they really should’ve stopped Connor from getting his box of matches back out. After revealing his mother’s alcoholism to a stunned staffroom he goes to set a fire in the art room however as Imogen arrives the fire connects with a paint can sending her flying. Eventually we learn that Imogen has bad external burns however this event finally makes Christine wise up to herself and we see her attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
I think this final chapter in the storyline was handled brilliantly and I think a lot of the show’s fans will enjoy the fact that it is centred around the Connor and Imogen relationship as they really seem to be a popular couple. Personally I think Laurie Brett is fantastic in this final episode with her brilliant facial expressions representing the suspicion she has of what Connor and Imogen are getting up to. Throughout the course of these ten episodes she’s completely put the character of Jane Beale to bed and instead created a well-rounded character that for a lot of the time has been fairly unlikeable. Shane O’Meara and Kirstie Steele were also great as the young couple who just wanted some peace away from Christine however I did wonder what Imogen’s mother had done to deserve her daughter running away other than try to make her wear a short dress. It will also be interesting to see where their relationship goes now she has several severe burns which he was responsible for.
Although it’s not shoved into the corner, Michael’s storyline with his father doesn’t get as much time devoted to it as I originally thought it would. After last week vowing to help his father to end his own life this week he goes through with this promise however just as his father has slipped away his nurse walks in and catches him in the act. Like any other normal person Michael goes back to school but is later met by the police who officially arrest him for Culpable Homicide and take him away to the cells. Possibly the most interesting part of this story was how Sian took the news revealing that she had the opportunity to do the same thing with her mother but didn’t. Obviously Sian’s relationship with Michael is an odd one and at the moment it seems she can’t stand to look at him however it did seem that both she and Lorraine agreed that they need to get him off the hook. It seems that Michael never has it easy in the final episode of the term having previously been run over by a car and hit by a lorry it seems that nothing can slow him down. My prediction would be that he does return as head next term but the revelations about the death of his father will have a negative effect on the school’s reputation.
With all the fires and deaths going on what I really didn’t need was a story about how Lorraine wanted to get rid of some of the school’s failing pupils in order to improve the poor academic results at Waterloo Road however that’s what we got. Michael put forward a proposal to Lorraine about creating a new referral unit for pupils however she rejected it as they were still trying to get the school off the ground. As Lorraine wasn’t budging on the referral centre he told her it was her responsibility to kick Phoenix out of the school herself something that she thought she’d be able to handle. Though she went through with the deed she later regretted it after learning how much Phoenix liked being in Scotland and how much he needed to stay near his brother Harley. In the end there was some good news in this episode as Lorraine publically announced the plans for the referral centre however I’m guessing they might now have to wait until Michael gets out of prison.
The end of the term saw yet another exit of a pupil as Tariq’s time at Waterloo Road came to an end after he discovered he’d been accepted on the national paracanoeing team and would have to move to Nottingham. As Tariq has been missing for the past couple of episodes it seems we haven’t seen the evolution of his relationship with Liberty as the two are now a full-blown couple with him briefly proposing to her. Tariq’s final speech was fairly poignant and referenced his past life in one of the worst gangs ever and though I think he was one of the more interesting characters in the show it seems that his time is up. The inevitable conclusion to the Chalky and Kevin story also occurred in this episode as the former agreed to be the foster-father to the latter as they bonded over similar childhoods and chess skills.
Compared to some of the previous finales that Waterloo Road has presented this was positively low key as there were no car accidents and for the most part the school stayed intact. Both Billy’s death and Christine’s downfall were handled delicately with the influence of both stories playing over into the next series. As a whole I think the move to Scotland has been a success and the new characters introduced have on the whole been well-received while I think the scenery is a lot more eye-catching that it was when the show was set in Rochdale. With Michael in jail and Imogen having been badly burned there’s a lot more drama in store when we return to Waterloo Road next year and I for one will be re-enrolling when it opens its doors once again.
What did you think to this final episode of Waterloo Road? What have you thought to the series as a whole? Leave Your Comments Below.