Grange Hill. Series Thirteen – Episode Ten

Written by Barry Purchese. Tx 2nd February 1990

Last episode’s cliffhanger is casually negated after we discover that Justine and Chrissy are once again hale and hearty (which feels like a bit of a cheat).

They, along with Natalie, continue to ruminate over their t-shirt business, although it slips somewhat into the background today (only really surfacing when Matthew admits that he’s unable to pay for the shirt he’s ordered).

Matthew has regressed back to his series eleven persona – monosyllabic and with eyes downcast, he cuts a rather forlorn figure. Tegs comes to his rescue by offering to pay for his shirt, but when he hands over a fiver Justine is automatically suspicious.

The reason why he’s flush is quickly established (he’s going to stay with his estranged mother over the weekend). Justine is immediately contrite, but the fact she dithers so long before apologising is a mark of how much their friendship has fractured

Eventually she plucks up enough courage to speak to him, as he’s waiting for his lift. But before she can finish speaking, Andy pops up and acts like a bit of an idiot. In his defence, he didn’t know what was going on (although I doubt he would have cared anyway) but it once again makes you wonder what she sees in him …

The saga of Mr Hargreaves’ missing photo continues apace, although why he’s so intent on recovering a picture of a vintage car remains somewhat baffling. It’s slightly easier to understand why Mr Griffiths is happy to get his missing picture (a shot of a young him in uniform) back – especially if that was his only copy.

The plot then gets a little wooly. Mr Hargreaves, spotting that Mr MacKenzie has a photo (Mr Griffiths’, remember) wonders if it’s his photo (of his car, remember). Rather than asking Mr MacKenzie outright (and seemingly unaware at first that Mr MacKenzie could be found in the CDT room) he ends up rummaging in the bins, believing that his picture may have been thrown away with the other wooden rubbish.

Events are being manipulated by Rod, who has Mauler firmly under his thumb (he’s subcontracted him to get the empty frame). Since Rod also now has Mr Hargreaves’ photo, when he put it together with the frame no doubt he’ll be on a nice little earner. Today’s episode abounds with examples of Rod’s ability to make a profit – getting a bacon sandwich for Mr Hargreaves and then pocketing the change, for example.

Miss Booth’s new hairstyle causes a stir whilst Mr MacKenzie gets a nice scene (rummaging in a junk – sorry, antique – shop for a present for his wife). Even Mrs McClusky is the recipient of a few decent lines today (which is quite a rarity these days) as she ruminates on her early love life.

Aichaa’s dreams of becoming a model are shattered after she’s told she’s not the type. She takes the news quite calmly, deciding that after all it wasn’t the life for her. This seems slightly hard to swallow.

Georgina, who has accompanied her friend, seems much more the type though and may just have a future. Aichaa, after a momentary spasm of annoyance over the way her friend has manipulated her, forgets all about it. This seems slightly hard to swallow.

We meet Tegs’ stepfather for the first time (played by Brian Croucher). Mr Glanville (Croucher) has an uncomfortable discussion with Tegs, due to the boy’s inability to respond. As for Mrs Glanvile (Christina Avery), she has less screentime than her husband, so hardly has the chance to make an impression here.

This should be the conclusion of a long-running storyline (Tegs’ search for his mother) but his attitude all episode long suggests that today’s not the day for happy endings. So it’s no surprise when his mother discovers that he’s left the house via the bedroom window.

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