Season 8 Episode 22

Episode 346


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 20th March 2005


Directed By

 Marcus D F White


GS: Eli Knox (Shane Lynch)  Nathan Woods (Ike Hamilton)  Naomi Wyatt (Rebecca Loos)  Mrs. Woods (Jacqueline Kington) 

Marlon Wells [Baldon] (David Gyasi)  Eugene Rose (Junior Nunoo) (uncredited)


As Fletch laps up his new managerial status, Don watches from the hotel bar in Spain. When asked on the expected return of Don, Fletch says until Barker’s health improves he will be in charge. Don realises he has to get back to Harchester fast in order to stop Fletch from ousting his position. When his escort (who looks Jodie's age, eurgh!) asks why he is leaving he says he trusted somebody to screw up and he didn't. When Don arrives home Jodie tells him of what went on with Frank before adding there's something she hasn't told him - and shows Don the scan of the baby. On Fletch, Jodie reminds Don that he gave him the gig to fail so he's just got to wait it out until he does.



As the lads celebrate their win Dean arrives, having discharged himself from hospital. He tells Fletch that he wants Don out, as he nearly died because of him but doesn't go into the details. Dean says he is prepared for Fletch to take over full time, and with Eli coming to Tuesday's game he is hoping to persuade him to force Don's resignation on the grounds of ill health. Viv manoeuvres things so he ends up driving some of the lads home, including Nathan who cannot get away. He manages to drop everyone off until it is just him and Nathan alone in the car. Viv tells Nathan he is to hand a transfer request in to Dean, as he is threatening his position. He tells Nathan he has every right to defend his place in the team and uses Nathan defending his home or his mother from being attacked as the same as the situation he's in. Nathan however takes this to be Viv threatening his family. Don invites Curtis round where he begins to plant the seed in his mind on how Fletch and Boyle are conspiring to take over. Curtis worries about Fletch being in charge for the upcoming Arsenal games and Don says they will be putting all their attention into Tuesday's game in order to make Fletch look good, and it will be “sod the Champions League.” Don's manipulation works and he tells Curtis not to tell anyone they discussed this. At training the next day, Curtis voices his beliefs to the lads that Fletch is after Barker's job. Nathan is distracted when Viv trains with the squad and whilst Jaws seems to be back to his old self, Nathan's game suffers publicly. Viv then announces he isn't on the drugs anymore and that Naomi has OK'd it. The lads are surprised and Viv tells them he is getting better and to be happy for him.


Nathan goes to the boardroom to speak with Naomi about his problems with Viv, but is interrupted when the man himself turns up. Naomi questions Viv about not taking his pills and Viv reminds her he has been doing better in the sessions. Outside the Lair Nathan gets into a car with his old posse, led by Marlon and featuring future regular Eugene Rose. Nathan tells Marlon of Viv's harassment and shows him the transfer letter. Marlon tears the letter in two and tells Nathan if Viv tries anything again he is to come to him. The lads are annoyed at Fletch bringing them back for extra training. In the second session, Lee goes down with a sprained ankle and Fletch accuses him of faking it to get out of playing. Fletch and Lee have a massive barney over Lee's lack of respect for "Fletch the gaffer" and Fletch fines him a week's wages. When Curtis asks him to come back, Don says Dean wouldn't have him back without a fight, so Curtis says he will call a team meeting and the club will not refuse the players' request. Nathan returns home to find Viv's car parked outside his house. He goes in to find his mother flicking through the photo album with Viv. She invites the two of them to join her for tea and cake and Viv discreetly taunts Nathan by cutting the cake with a sharp knife as you do. As he leaves Nathan tells Viv he isn't giving the letter to Dean and isn't after his place, as there's room for both of them at Harchester. Viv tells him that's the wrong answer, anymore of which and Nathan will be out of the game. Nathan phones Marlon and that night he and the gang pull up outside Studs. Marlon tells Nathan to stay in the car as they go inside. Viv squares up to Marlon but the others get hold of him. Outside Curtis and Ryan pull up for the meeting, followed by some of the other lads. Nathan tries desperately to stop them from going inside and the lads realise something is up.


The gang flee and drive away without Nathan, and the lads lay into him as Nathan tells them Viv was trying to force him out of the club. Viv says it doesn't matter as they've already made up their minds, and the lads walk away disgusted with Nathan. The morning of the game Viv goes to Fletch and hands in a transfer request letter. In the Players' Lounge Lee is threatening Nathan over Viv when Viv walks in and announces he is off to Leeds as his health is more important than somebody crying wolf. The team blame Nathan for Viv wanting to leave. Before the game, Fletch tells Viv he is putting him on the bench to his surprise after stating he wants to leave. Fletch then brings up that he has seen Barker and learning he has been back for a few days, he is angry none of the team bothered to tell him. During the game Fletch receives both a yellow and red card and is sent off in the ultimate humiliation. At half time Don enters the dressing room where he tells Fletch he is to call him gaffer now and takes over. Don tells Nathan he has done well but he's going to put Viv on for the second half. As the team head back out, Don tells Ryan he will play again before the end of the season but only when he is ready and sends him to watch upstairs. Fletch watches from the Managers office and tells Gina that he is going to stay there and polish off Don's booze. Harchester win the game and afterwards Viv corners Nathan in the showers. Viv then suddenly begins hitting himself in the face until his mouth bleeds and asks Nathan who's going to go further? Viv reminds Nathan that Leeds need a goalkeeper and Nathan is forced to accept the position. Dean goes to Fletch in Don's office where Karl tells him how Don is putting him in the reserves after his ban. He tells Dean they were wrong to play fair and it's either Don or them, adding that this is war.




·          Last appearance of Nathan. It’s a shame he wasn’t brought back for Season 9, what with the link he had to Marlon and Eugene.


The Best: Fletch. The only one who supported Viv’s return to the team, and he is completely shitted on by the lot of them bar Dean. He has every right to be angry and hurt. Seeing Ryan defend Viv from Nathan is nice, considering what Ryan was doing with Viv’s wife earlier in the season.


·          Quotes: Jodie to Don (on Fletch): "One win don't make him Alex Ferguson".  Fletch (Upon Sky Sports News reporting on the "deep-seated tension" within the club, coming from ‘inside information’): "Inside information? Curtis Alexander!".  Don on Viv’s transfer request to Leeds: "Over my dead body!".


Continuity: Viv's transfer request letter states he has spoken to his agent and "she" will be in touch shortly, suggesting the departed Sofia is still acting as his agent.


·          What Was The Score?: Harchester beat their promotion rivals with a goal from Lee, taking them to 4th in the Championship. Harchester hit back twice from being 1-0 down to Sheffield with goals from Ammo and Sully.


Soundtrack: Craig Armstrong: "Niente",  Groove Armada: "Edge Hill",  Massive Attack: "Antistar",  The Killers: "Smile Like You Mean It.”


Screencaps from 8.22’s original broadcast on Sky One on 20/03/05.

Karl revels in his new managerial role

 Viv is determined to get his

 place from Nathan



The lads want Barker back...

 There's Eugene in the middle!



Eli can't wait for Don to get back either

 Things get worse for Fletch



Nathan is forced out

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