Season 8 Episode 26

Episode 350


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 17th April 2005


Directed By

Clair Breton


GS: Paul Hankin (Leigh Cranston)  Barrister (Susan Gilmore)


Hankin approaches Frank and informs him that tomorrow his paper will be running a story on Frank seeing rent-boys. The next morning Frank is relieved to find the story has not been printed. Hankin meanwhile goes to inform Jodie that a man has come forward claiming he has slept with Frank. Outside, we learn that Don was the one who tipped Hankin off about the story. Hankin questions Don's motive that he is doing this to get Frank out of their lives, and suggests the real reason is that Don wants to unsettle the team only three days before their next leg against Arsenal. Don tells Hankin that Jodie will talk, and inside gently persuades her that giving an interview would be for the best. Frank goes to the house and tells Jodie he wants to move back in as he needs her and begs her not to leave him on his own in this.



As the team discuss what to do about Viv not attending training since the Arsenal game, Ammo comes in and says Viv is out on the training pitch and to see what he's up to. They find Viv has built a replica of everyone's positions when the goal was scored by Arsenal, and tells the team they will be re-enacting the goal. The "game" presses on with Viv making the team go through the same routine over and over. Later, Curtis and some of the lads ask Dean what to do about Viv. Dean suggests that it's up to the team to sort out what they need to do, by letting the team manage the team. He adds that Viv is still their goalie so not to go messing with his head but to look after him. Lee thinks he's found the solution as to move back in with Viv, and decides to use that he has split up with the off-screen Shanice as the excuse. That night Lee goes to see Viv at Studs and tells him they have split up. To Lee's anguish however, Viv uses Lee's supposed parting with Shanice to open up about how raw he feels about Chelsea. Lee quickly gets to the point and says he's come to ask Viv if he can move back in. Viv agrees and they head upstairs where Lee finds that not only has Viv built the wall again but has a replica of the ground at Highbury running across the living room floor. Frank goes to see Samuel Taylor about why he supposedly went blabbing to Hankin. Mr. Taylor tells Frank that the press came to him and when Frank offers to double what the paper is offering, Hankin drives past getting a couple of shots of Frank and Samuel together. A horrified Frank goes back to Jodie and she comforts him, saying she should have stood by him earlier. A barrister comes round to fight Frank's case. She says she will plead that the case is unreliable as Mr. Taylor is receiving money for his claims. After an incident involving a teabag and a stool which I can't be arsed writing out, Lee makes Viv see sense about letting the goal go and he tells Lee that tomorrow they will start working on their passing.


As Frank and Jodie wait up late to hear back from the barrister, Jodie begins to feel the baby kicking inside her, and the moment brings her and Frank closer together. The barrister phones and tells Jodie they have got the injunction so the story won't be printed tomorrow (at least). The next morning Lee heads for the secret training session in the park. Viv however hears him leave and decides to follow. At the Stones', Jodie brings in the morning paper with the story on the front cover, and a layer of black ink obscuring Frank's face. Dean accompanies the boys to their training session, where they see the headline about the player cheating on his pregnant wife with rent boys. Lee arrives and tells the lads that Viv is going to be OK as he sorted it last night. As the team set up for Arsenal tomorrow, Viv pulls up and sees what's going on. He gets out of the car and walks over carrying his Ryan-favoured shotgun. The lads freeze as Viv asks them if they think he's gone soft, and then fires a shot into the air, sending the lads scurrying in all directions for cover. Lee remains to talk Viv down and Viv points the gun at him. Lee says he'll be honest with him, and tells Viv he's been a terrible manager! Viv confronts Lee about letting him discuss how he feels about Chelsea, when all that stuff about Shanice was rubbish. Lee has had enough and taunts Viv, yelling at him to shoot as if he does Arsenal will go through to the semi's and it will be all over for them both. He continues to shout until Viv fires at his car, blowing out the tire. At the Grange, Hankin overhears a West Ham representative welcoming Don on board, and joins him at his table. Hankin tells Don that if Harchester are knocked out by Arsenal tomorrow the Frank story is dead in the water, so if he has anything to go on he needs it now.


In the dressing room the team gather to hear Viv out over the gun incident. Viv tells them he is having an amnesty and hands the gun over to Curtis. He tells the lads that if they are going to beat Arsenal they have to hand over their phones and go straight in the bubble together (the Grange). Lee apologises for lying to Viv about Shanice. Outside Hankin approaches Curtis about him and Frank allegedly playing around with rent-boys. Curtis denies it and once again proves how much of a Christian he is by telling Hankin he "ain't no gay boy". Hankin gives Curtis an ultimatum - to tell him what really happened or wake up to an expose tomorrow morning. The morning of the Arsenal game comes and the team see the story on Frank, with Curtis having outed him. Viv lays into Curtis, telling him that he failed as a captain by exposing Frank like that. Curtis, although a twat, rightfully reminds Viv that if he hadn't been such a head case he could have come to him, and so could've Frank. At the Stones' Jodie is horrified at the story and tells an annoyed Don that she is going to the club to support Frank. In the dressing room, Frank finds he is alienated by the team and Fletch comes over to politely tell him to get changed in the physio room. After he leaves, Lee is the only one to speak up for Frank and tells Viv that the lads have sent him to Coventry to change. Viv goes to Frank and tells him he is going to fight his corner all the way on this, but cannot play him tonight, explaining that his head is not in the right place for the game. Frank is forced to accept and slumps down in the physio room. Viv goes back into the dressing room where he makes it clear how disgusted he is with how the team have treated Frank. Shortly afterwards Jodie barges into the room and slaps Curtis. She yells at him that this is all his fault and he's ruined both her and Frank’s lives. After her tirade, Curtis tells her to consider who else knew about Frank other than him. It dawns on Jodie what her father has done and as the team head out to face Arsenal she begins to feel pains in her stomach, and Gina rushes to fetch the paramedics.




·          The Best: Viv’s various replicas. Sully's scouse impression of Lee. Lee moving back in with Viv and the two of them being the only ones in the team to support Frank. Jodie’s tirade at Curtis (what a slap!) and the episode’s end as her miscarriage begins. Both Lucinda Rhodes-Flaherty and Colin Parry are excellent throughout, as always.


Quotes: As the team head for the coach, the press surround Viv with questions on Frank and with another line of his character’s career, he baits the pack with: "Yeah he's gay. I'm gay. Yeah we all are - the only gay's in the Championship.” Classic.


·          Foreshadowing: Viv handing the shotgun over to Curtis, who will make good use of it in 354: Caught In A Trap.


Continuity: Curtis and Dean refer to their last training session in the park (314: 11 Angry Men).


·          Additional Info: Don will be joining West Ham as their Director Of Football.


What Was The Score?: No mention of the QPR result. For Arsenal see next episode.


·          Soundtrack: New Model Army: "Green And Grey thunder and consolation" and "Vagabonds",  New Order: "Elegia",  Snow Patrol: "Spitting Games",  Underworld: "Two Months Off.”


Screencaps from 8.26’s original broadcast on Sky One on 17/04/05.

Reliving the same game...




Viv with his gun (again!)

 Injunctions 'R Us!



Viv feels he's let Frank down

 Fletch banishes Frank from the

 dressing room



A furious Jodie confronts Curtis


 <<SE08 EP25


Back to Season 8 episodes


SE08 EP27>>