Season 8 Episode 24

Episode 348

 

Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 3rd April 2005

 

Directed By

Kate Robinson

  

GS: Eli Knox (Shane Lynch)

 

Dean makes Don sit and watch the recording of him propositioning Nicole. He then tells Don he is to take the easy way out and resign. Don surprisingly agrees and Dean tells him someone will pack up his desk so there's no reason for him to come back to the club again. The next morning Dean holds a press conference to announce Don's departure due to ill health. Outside however, Don turns up and when the press surround him he states he most certainly has not resigned. The team demand answers over why Don has suddenly left. As Fletch steps in and says he could continue as manager, Don walks in to his and Dean's shock. In the tunnel, Don calls their bluff by daring them to release the tape before turning to Dean and telling him to make sure he gets someone's resignation in writing before he goes blabbing to the press.

 

 

Nicole is upset to learn Don is still at the club. Dean says they have to find a journalist they can trust and give them the tape, but Nicole is dead against the idea and gets upset at the thought of anyone else knowing. Dean promises them he will get Don out if it's the last thing he does. On the training pitch, Don tells Caskey he got by against West Ham but he's going to have to prove that he's capable. Dean then comes out with two security guards and tells Don he is giving him his notice and he will now leave the premises. Don is forced to co-operate and tells the lads he will have to go. Curtis demands to know why Dean is backing Fletch over the gaffer, and accuses Dean of being capable of blackmail. Coming to conflict with his best friend, Dean nearly tells Curtis the whole truth but stops himself, regrettably. Curtis organises a press photo call where the lads wear t-shirts emblazoned with 'Show The Don Respect'. Fletch tries to persuade Caskey not to take part, but he sides with Don as he believes he gave him a chance. That night, Eli arrives at the club and demands to know what is going on with Don. Dean shows Eli the tape, but to his shock, Eli sides with Don saying that Nicole could have walked out of the room at any time. Eli paints Don as the man who has kept the club going and bluntly tells Dean that Don is to go nowhere. A defeated Dean goes back to Fletch and says Don isn't going but he is. Fletch begs him not to but Dean tells him it's over and they lost. Outside Don once again arrives to the waiting press and Eli publicly shakes his hand welcoming him back. From behind them Dean brushes past and Jeremy Langdon asks Dean if he is still Chief Executive of Harchester United. Dean says he'll have to ask Mr. Knox that, and Eli announces that Dean no longer works for the club. At the Caskey's, Carl and Savannah celebrate Don's reinstatement while Nicole receives a call from the man himself, telling her he is sitting outside in his car and wants to see her. Nicole goes out and Don makes it clear that their little arrangement is still very much on, saying she will be busy for the next Friday nights here on end.

 

The next morning Dean is leaving his house when Curtis stops him. Dean says he will probably be going back to Liverpool but Curtis insists on him staying at his, at least until after the Arsenal game. Inside Dean breaks down crying, saying last year he and Curtis changed the club for the better and this year it's just been for worse. Curtis tells Dean he has a room at his for as long as he wants. At the Grange Gina tells Nicole the only alternative is telling Carl, otherwise she'll be sleeping with Barker every Friday night. Nicole says this is the happiest she has seen Carl for five years, like the man she fell in love with. Gina goes to Don in his office and hands him her resignation letter, telling him she can't work for him after what he did. Don is sorry to see her go and tells her she was the best team co-ordinator he ever had. On the training pitch, Don tells the team that what happened yesterday was down to people at the club thinking they had “alternative preferences for management”, and tells Fletch to get his arse to where the reserves are training. Dean watches a tape titled 'The Glory Days' featuring the team coming together when the club went bust last year. This gives Dean the needed boost to continue fighting and he phones Fletch. At his room, Dean says he wants them to tell the team as no-one is going to want to play under Barker if they think it could be their wife or girlfriend next. Fletch says he is going to tell Carl himself as it will be the easiest option for everyone. Caskey is pleased to learn from Don that he has made the team sheet for tomorrow, but then gets a call from Nicole saying the house is being repossessed. Fletch arrives at the Caskey's just as the job is underway, and is unable to tell him. The two go for a drink and arrive back at the Grange late, missing dinner. Don berates Caskey and tells him to stay away from Fletch, adding that he is the last thing his career needs now. Fletch goes back to Dean and Gina and tells them he couldn't do it, and left feeling responsible, tells Dean he's sorry.

 

Don reminds Nicole if she doesn't show he will drop Caskey from tomorrow's game and they’ll lose two grand. Caskey decides he has to go and apologise to Don for earlier and heads to his room. Barker opens the door thinking its room service and Caskey gets an eyeful of a horrified Nicole topless in his manager's room! As Nicole spills the whole truth to Carl, Lee goes and fetches Fletch to intervene. They arrive back to find Caskey kicking Don's door in and Fletch watches with glee as Carl repeatedly whacks Don in the face. Caskey is carted off by the police as the team gathers outside Barker's door sniggering about how they wouldn't have thought the gaffer still had it in him. The next day Harchester face Ipswich at the Lair, and a bruised Barker tells the team that he won't be fielding Caskey. Fletch goes to meet Carl out of jail and shows him the footage of Barker propositioning Nicole. She turns up but neither do any good at changing Caskey's mind and he tells Nicole he never wants to see her again. Dean is about to leave when Fletch tells him that as he was their boss until five minutes ago he has to be the one to end it and hands him the camera. They go into the dressing room and play the recording for the boys who are all repulsed by what they hear. Curtis is furious with Don, reminding him that he gave him everything. He speaks for the team and tells Don to get his things and leave as of now they have no manager. Don asks what if he doesn't and Curtis replies that they will call a press conference and play the tape. Don watches from the tunnel as Curtis leads the boys out and Fletch and Dean turn to see Don standing there, almost stunned that they have finally got him out. Don turns to the Harchester club crest and plants a kiss goodbye from his palm before walking out of the Lair, confusing several passing fans who yell "Show the Don respect".

 

Notes:

 

·          The Best: Frank and Fletch refusing to take part in the photo call for Don. Nicole getting caught and Caskey’s subsequent battering of Don. The team turning against Don and his slow walk out of the club to Coldplay’s “Trouble”. I think maybe Dean should have left the series at this point though, as he feels pretty redundant for the rest of his time in the show now. He could have returned for the season’s last two episodes (beginning with 355: The Day Before Tomorrow) but not killed him though!

 

Quotes: Dean (to Eli): "Mr. Knox"  Eli: "I know me own name Dean!".  Don (during a pummelling from Caskey): "Fletcher! Get him off me!".

 

·          Foreshadowing: When Fletch says they'll have to get Caskey out of the way before telling the team about Don and Nicole, Gina asks how long will it be before one out of a squad of twenty players lets it slip; "And even if all twenty swore to secrecy, twenty people, especially footballers, wouldn’t be able to resist the whispering and sniggering until one day Carl will be listening. And then not only will he know his wife cheated on him with his manager but his team knew about it as well." Gina completely describes the situation with Ryan, Chelsea and Viv and how the team are currently keeping this secret, although she and Fletch are completely unaware of this having occurred shortly before their return. The only difference being Don is Caskey's manager and not his team-mate.

 

Continuity: Fletch says he's never wanted to kill anyone before, forgetting Prash amongst others. Dean watches footage from where Harchester played Charlton at the Valley last season, featuring shots of the disappeared (Sandra and Grace) and Chelsea, and fast-forwards to find the news coverage of his passionate speech outside the F.A on what a football club truly is [314: 11 Angry Men].

 

·          Additional Info: Danny “Millsey” Mills and Jon Whiteman have now both disappeared from the squad. A poster on harchester.net with a believed connection to the show revealed that Millsey’s career was ended due to injury, whilst Whiteman most likely remains at the club until being sold in the summer. Luckily for them they are not in Cardiff for 356: Play-Off.

 

Please Drink Responsibly: Nicole is sitting in her car sipping what looks like vodka when Barker calls wanting to know where she is. She tells him she’ll be there shortly i.e. driving involved.

 

·          What Was The Score?: Result from the Ipswich game is revealed in the next episode.

 

Soundtrack: Babyshambles: "Killamangiro",  Bloc Party: "Helicopter",  Coldplay: "Trouble",  Republica: "Ready To Go",  St. Germain: "Montego Bay Spleen",  The Music: "Freedom Fighters",  Vines: "Ride."

 

Screencaps from 8.24’s original broadcast on Sky One on 03/04/05.

 

Deano lays it out for Don

 The lads give Don their backing

 

 

The end for Dean at the club

 Barker won't let Nicole go

 

 

Gina knows where her morals lie

 Fletch enjoys the moment!

 

 

No way back for Don Barker

 

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