Season 9 Episode 23

Episode 379

 

Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 26th March 2006

 

Directed By

Marcus D F White

 

GS: Mario Ruoppolo/Lenny Clarke (Michael J. Jackson)  Buckman (Michael Buckman)

 

Amy is overrun by calls from the press, all inquiring about Harchester possibly holding up the World Cup fixtures. Hannah shows her a particular headline calling for Harchester to be blamed if England happen to go out. It is then Amy notices an envelope in the owner's handwriting, addressed to Lynda. She takes it in and Lynda immediately thinks she is about to be fired, as this is the first contact the owner has made for some time. Ryan is not happy about Gavin's stag-trip surrounding camping and hunting, but is stopped from complaining by Cindi's arrival. She too is displeased, and causes sniggering between the lads with her nickname of "Bear" for Gavin.

 

 

Lynda holds a meeting with Chloe over Liam's UEFA hearing, which has been set for the 15th May, the day after the last league game of the season. Chloe tells Lynda either her or Alex will have to travel to Geneva with Liam as a club representative. Lynda is distracted however by the still unopened letter, and cancels the meeting leaving Chloe bemused. Amy tells Lynda she will have to open it sooner or later, so Lynda gets it over with. A ticket falls out of the envelope and Amy picks it up. Lynda says the owner wants to meet her and the ticket reads for her to be in the stands at 7:00PM that evening. When Alex comes along, Lynda is dismissive about plans to see him that night, and tells Amy that as the owner asked for her to meet him alone, that is what she's doing. The lads travel on a mini-bus to the forest where they will be camping, and Ryan has brought Jaws along, who will supposedly collect the ducks after they've been shot from the sky. On the way, Cindi is already on the phone to Gavin, and Ryan grabs hold of Gavin’s mobile, chucking it out of the moving vehicle. The lads arrive at their destination, and find that a frozen, bare stretch of land awaits them. As they get stuck in to building tents, Ryan gets on the phone to two of Cindi's co-dancers in the DragonFlies, in order to spice things up.

 

At the club, after a near miss with Alex again, Lynda takes her seat in the darkened stands. From behind, a male voice calls her and she turns round to be told that she has some explaining to do. The man introduces himself as Mario Ruoppolo, and tells Lynda he made his money through paper. He says he brought the club because he had a dream - to build a team that would be loved throughout the world, and instead he's been left with this mess. They go inside and Mario tells Lynda he is selling the club. Lynda questions why now, as he has controlled most of Alex's life and now just wants to disappear. Mario seems confused and tells Lynda he doesn't know what she is talking about, quickly changing the subject. He tells Lynda he wants rid of the club by Saturday, and says he's already found new owners - 25,000 of them, referring to the fans. The boys sit round the camp fire, and Ryan tells Gavin his surprise has arrived. From a car pop out Bex and Suzi, and Ryan tells Gavin they weren't going to let him not have something to remember them by. Gavin is appalled, and yells at Ryan that he isn't going to cheat on Cindi, before storming off. The lads are equally annoyed at Ryan's gesture, and Gina Moliano look-a-like Suzi is less than impressed when Ryan suggests swapping them for some other girls!

 

Mario explains his proposition to Lynda over drinks at the Grange. Each fan will pay £100 for a share in the club, and Lynda notices that Mario will only get back £2.5M, which he backs off rather calmly at. Lynda is worried when Alex turns up in the Blue Room, and when he comes over Mario introduces himself as Jack. Realising he isn't being invited to join the table, Alex leaves, to Lynda's relief. At the camp, the lads discuss their feelings on marriage and the prospect of being faithful for the rest of their lives (not a chance!). When Eugene questions whether Cindi loves Gavin enough, Ryan admits he feels Gavin is making a big mistake in marrying her. The lads realise what he has done and Ryan cannot deny it. Liam lets Ryan know in no certain terms that he will be made to tell Gavin what he did. Lynda books Mario into the Penthouse suite at the Grange, under the name Jack Sommersby, making Lynda herself Jodie Foster. She’s clearly seen Sommersby but not Il Postino. The next morning Mario has Lynda taken to the club in his chauffeur driven limoscene, and eerily tells her that on Saturday she'll be giving the club back to its fans. After she gets out, Mario walks round to the side entrance of the club, and changes into his normal daywear before being greeted as "Lenny" by a co-worker. Inside the post room, Lenny takes his usual place before being berated by his boss, Mike Buckman, on being late.

 

In the woods, the boys are instructed on how to fire their shotguns, and Cindi arrives at the camp, accusing Gavin of fooling around with not one, but two of the DragonFlies! She is shut up however when Ryan, surprisingly, says Gavin did nothing with the girls, and wouldn't cheat on Cindi. Cindi gets uncomfortable with Ryan's words, and orders Gavin to leave with her right now. To her shock, Gavin says no and Cindi is left to leave on her own. As Lenny sorts through the post, he comes across a real letter from the real owner, simply reading "What is going on?". Buckman comes in and tells Lenny he must take the post to the Executive floor, which he is clearly hesitant to do. Upon arriving however, he gets a golden opportunity to see off the real owner, as the floor is empty and Lynda's computer is available. He sends the owner a message saying it's all a misunderstanding on the media's behalf, before disconnecting further use of the internet from the office computers. Lenny has a close shave though, as Amy knows who he is and catches him in Lynda's office. He explains it away by saying he doesn't normally deliver the post, but is in further trouble when Lynda arrives and is stopped by an irate Alex, asking how the owner could be selling the club. With his back to them, Alex realises who Lynda was having dinner with the night before, and Lenny manages to slide into the lift luckily without being seen.

 

As the boys go hunting, Jaws follows Gavin around, and Casper has a quiet word with him over making the biggest decision of his life at only eighteen years old. Gavin appreciates Cass' words, but tells him he is sure and loves Cindi. Casper goes back to the boys and says Gavin is going to marry Cindi whether they like it or not. When Danny says Ryan is just going to have to tell him, Gavin overhears and asks what Ryan has to tell him.Ryan takes Gavin alone to a quiet spot where he breaks the news to him on what he and Cindi did. Gavin is made to feel worse when he learns Ryan was in the dressing room when he proposed to Cindi. Ryan tells Gavin he can hit him if he wants to, but Gavin just storms off in silence. At the club, Lenny-in-Mario-form is explaining to Lynda the instructions for tomorrow when Alex discovers them. He pins Mario to the desk and demands he tell him why he has controlled his life. Thinking fast, Mario says it was a bet with his friend on who could get their selected player into the England team first, but Mario's friend happened to select Alex's opposite number on the Man United team - Beckham. Believing his life has been a bet, a broken Alex storms out.

 

As the boys pack up to head home, they notice they are a gun short - and Gavin is absent. A shot rings out from the woods and the lads rush to the scene, fearing the worst. To his horror, Ryan finds Gavin standing over a dead Jaws, and realises Gavin has killed his dog! As he sobs over Jaws' body, Gavin can only say the gun went off by accident. The next day Harchester face Charlton in the FA Cup Quarter Final at the Lair. As the gates open, the fans begin depositing their money. As the team enter the dressing room, Gavin goes to Cindi, and Liam is shocked he hasn't told her anything yet. Gavin comes in, and Ryan rightfully starts mouthing off at him for not even dumping Cindi yet, asking if that means anyone is welcome! The two nearly come to blows but are broken apart by Alex. As Amy is helping Buckman to place the bags of money into the lift like Mario requested, Lynda stops Amy from going up and questioning Mario for the things he’s made her do.* The two go out and take their seats in the Executive stand, with Lynda telling Amy she'll remember this day for a long, long time!

 

As the first half progresses, Lenny loads all of the cash into his sports bags, disposing of any cheques along the way. Amy pretends to Lynda that she is going to use the toilet, when really she sneaks up to the offices and catches Lenny as he is making his getaway. Lenny explains he was asked to collect the bags and to leave them at reception, which Amy buys, more interested in whether or not the owner is still in the boardroom. She goes in, looking for Mr. Ruoppolo and finds Lenny's discarded suit and dozens of cheques and opened envelopes scattered across the room. Horrified, she realises what has happened. Out on the pitch, tempers boil over between Ryan and Gavin, and soon they are having a full-on-fight on the pitch! The team pull them apart, but it's to their cost as both Ryan and Gavin are red-carded, leaving Harchester with only nine men. Lenny makes it to reception where Hannah stops him to wish him “good luck from Harchester”, to which he replies "Harchester United. Thank you every much!" before absconding with £2.5M pounds!

 

Notes:

 

·          Jessica-Jane Clement returns to the regular cast having been away filming the first series of “The Real Hustle”, and last appearing in 366: Tis The Season To Be Jolly.

 

Goodbye To: Jaws. A shocking end for a pet on what was constantly referred to as a “family show”.

 

·          Best Known For: Michael J. Jackson has had regular and guest roles across many shows including “Brookside” (1996-1998), “Doctors” (2004) and more recently “Emmerdale” as Jerry Walsh (2010-11).

 

The Best: Franco Rossi running with his guitar after Gavin’s gunshot rings out.

 

·          Quotes: Ryan (to Gavin) on Cindi: "He meant to shoot a dog, he just shot the wrong one!".

 

Additional Info: *Amy is shown to be under the impression that Mario Ruoppolo is the real owner - we are now meant to believe the upcoming Duval is the closest she has come to the real owner. DT writer Michael Buckman appears as the grumpy Buckman. Gavin got Cindi her job back dancing with the DragonFlies after Lynda fired her in 365: He Was Robbed.

 

·          Soundtrack: Girls Aloud: “Wake Me Up”,  The White Stripes: "Hello Operator" and "Little Ghost."

 

Screencaps from 9.23’s original broadcast on Sky One on 26/03/06.

 

 "So you're the mystery owner?

 OK then!"

Ryan is ever the gentleman

 

 

 Cindi comes to collect her

 boyfriend!

Sometimes it's staring Lynda right in the face

 

 

 What's the worst that Gavin

 can do?

...Oh yeah

 

 

 Casper can't be bothered with

 Ryan/Gavin, the club is being

 stolen!

And this time Amy isn't faking it!

 

 

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