Waterloo Road Review: Maggie and Rhiannon and clash while Lorraine assesses the teachers in another story-packed episode

by Matt D

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The one thing I’m not a fan of in terms of Waterloo Road is that some storylines are instantly forgotten about once they’ve happened. For example last week’s plot involving Fergal and his mother Theresa wasn’t even mentioned in this instalment while Maggie didn’t seem to miss her new kitchen assistant. That may be because Maggie has other things on her mind what with Grantly’s kidney failure and the fact that she now has to prepare a pitch to Lorraine in order to keep her catering tender at the school.

As well as these two issues, Maggie is also concerned about Rhiannon who returns to the School House having not slept in her bed all night. Maggie is concerned that Rhiannon’s job at the take away, and her relationship with the owner’s son Nazir, is having an impact on her behaviour. Maggie marches round to the takeaway to confront Nazir’s father Uzman who tells her that if Rhiannon’s employment at his establishment is a problem, then he’ll sack her. Little does Maggie know that Uzman is her main rival for the school’s catering tender and it’s also a big deal for him as it’s the last chance to save his business. As Maggie worries about the row she’s had with Rhiannon, Grantly tells her to make amends with her charge or it will affect her pitch. However, just before she finds Rhiannon, she hears her classmates discussing Rhiannon and Nazir sleeping together. Despite Rhiannon lying about the extent of her relationship with Nazir, Maggie believes that the two have been intimate together and is shocked. As Maggie and Rhiannon have a blazing row, the dinner lady reveals that she got her sacked from her job leaving a shocked Rhiannon out for revenge. Rhiannon ends up sneaking into the kitchen and stealing Maggie’s spreadsheet for the catering tender before giving it to Nazir. Nazir, who has been working on his father’s pitch, uses the spreadsheet to his advantage and his able to fix the prices of his father’s quotes to undercut Maggie’s. While Lorraine is impressed with both pitches, Maggie ruins her chances when she accuses a shocked Uzman of using Rhiannon to get the contract. As Michael gets involved in the matter, Maggie embarrasses Rhiannon in front of her classmates as Nazir finds out that she lied about the nature of their relationship. It takes some wise words from Grantly, who explains the full extent of his medical problems to Rhiannon, to solve the problem as Maggie and Uzman decide to work together so both can get the catering contract.

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Putting the catering tender up for grabs isn’t Lorraine’s only plan to cut the school’s budget by 30%, as she forces Michael back into the classroom. As Michael prepares for his first science lesson in years, he doesn’t realise that Lorraine has enlisted Nikki’s help to monitor all of the classes and feedback the results to her. This angers an already flustered Audrey who complains about the lack of notice she received in regards to Nikki’s observations. However, by the time Nikki has got round to observing Christine’s lesson, the teachers are fully prepared for inspection and Christine welcomes Nikki’s feedback to all elements of her classroom management. From Nikki’s feedback it appears as if Audrey’s history class may be under threat as she feels that it is undersubscribed. Lorraine is also on the hunt for a new school handyman and Sonya believes she has found just the man in Audrey’s friend Ndale. As Sonya watches Ndale at work, she becomes entranced by the handsome African but it appears as if he and Audrey are more than just friends as he kisses her hands during lunch. Despite Sonya’s envy, Lorraine still offers Ndale the handyman contract allowing him to work while he is studying in the UK.

Finally, Connor is annoyed that know he is living at Michael’s house, Imogen is no longer allowed to stay over. Despite the pair being secretly married, Michael feels that it will reflect badly on him if he lets two of his students spend the night together under his roof. Desperate to spend some time together, the couple consider buying a car however their finances might prevent them doing so. Connor enlists Kevin’s help in finding new transportation; but their conversation is overheard by Barry who sees a money-making opportunity. Though Connor initially rejects Barry’s offer of help, Barry isn’t taking now for an answer and drives up in the car that he has bought for Connor. When Imogen sees the car, she believes that Connor has already bought it, leaving him no choice but to owe Barry a load of money. I’m sure that this Connor and Barry story will end in tears, but I have to say that I’m not really interested in it.

As with last week’s episode, I’m most involved in Grantly’s plot and this week he continues to feel incredibly rough. It appears as if his kidney issues have softened him slightly as he is able to diffuse the situation with Rhiannon as well as offering private chess lessons to Dynasty. I have to say the Grantly and Maggie relationship is one of the most believable elements of Waterloo Road, and part of this is down to the chemistry between Philip Martin Brown and Melanie Hill. The last five minutes of the episode got me quite emotional and I’m really intrigued to see what will happen to Grantly next. I’m also interested to see where they’ll take the Audrey and Ndale story especially seeing as the history teacher’s career is under threat. However I’m really starting to get annoyed by Lorraine and her cost-cutting measures while her relationship with Nikki just doesn’t seem particularly realistic. Overall another story-filled instalment of Waterloo Road but one in which I was only really interested in one story that climaxed with a shocking emotional scene in the episode’s final act.

What did you think to tonight’s Waterloo Road? What are your current favourite storylines? Leave Your Comments Below.

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1 Comment

  1. Lorikki Doston on May 10, 2013 at 12:06 am

    I think Lorraine and Nikki’s relationship is totally realistic, the way Lorraine turns all of their conversations into something related to the school because she can’t handle the thought of a serious relationship so her business wall is built up around her. And also the way that they talk to and look at each other is so cute and I’m dreading their possible break up 🙁

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