Season 9 Episode 26

Episode 382


Sky One Transmission Date:

Sunday 16th April 2006


Directed By

Joss Agnew


GS: Birdman [Jimmy] (Martin Maynard)  Duval (William Travis)  Ian Finch (Sam James) 

Marek (Noel Le Bon)


The team are preparing to leave for The Valley and their away game at Charlton. After posing for a team shot taken by Amy, Eugene feels his neck go after messing around with Casper. Cass goes to get Alex and finds him arguing with Duval over the club not helping with Lynda's bail, and she’s been in prison for two weeks now! Eugene is taken to a teenaged-looking physio (Ashleigh is busy with Ryan) and Alex is told that Eugene will need at least a week's rest.



Ashleigh tries to convince Ryan to come and watch the game, but he is annoyed with her for thinking he would lie about something happening between them the other night. As Ashleigh leaves, two men sit in a car watching, and the man in a suit says he'll go in first. The man gets chatting to Ryan, and mentions he went out with his sister once, recalling a time when Ryan got them all into Chinawhites. The man introduces himself as Jimmy Finch, or "Bird" as his nickname. The second, bearded man walks into Studs shortly after, and as Ryan and Jimmy discuss an incident between him and Roy Keane on the pitch, the man, Marek, celebrates as his "home town" Denken have just taken the lead against Groclin at a match in Poland. Jimmy makes a bet with Marek, that Groclin will draw at the final score. Marek says there's only ten minutes left and it’s impossible, but raises the bet from £200 to £500 to prove Jimmy wrong. The men go upstairs with Ryan to watch the game on the internet, and with Denken leading 2-1 over Groclin, Marek is sure he can't lose.


On the coach, the team are playing cards, and when Danny is caught cheating (he just can't stop!) the lads make him face the ultimate forfeit by stripping him. Alex meanwhile, gets a call from a desperate Lynda, who has been attacked in prison. The other women are baying for her blood after they and their men all bought shares, and Lynda cries to Alex that she can't stay in there another night. Lynda's credits run out and the phone dies, leaving Alex with only one thing on his mind, and it sure as hell ain't the game! He yells for the coach to be stopped. At Studs, when the game suspiciously finishes 3-3, Marek turns on Jimmy and demands he give him his money back. Before things can turn nasty, Ryan steps in and hands Marek his own money, then showing him the door. When Jimmy suggests that happens to him a lot because he is always right with his bets, Ryan asks him how. Jimmy lets Ryan in on how he is a close associate of someone who could help Harchester out tomorrow, for the right price, and with Ryan out of the game right now can he really just hope that Harchester's good luck continues? Ryan throws Jimmy out of Studs, and Jimmy returns to the car where Marek is waiting. There he reveals that the game they showed Ryan was from last year and now just have to sit and wait since the bait has been laid.


Casper meanwhile is none too impressed when Alex tells him he is getting a cab back to Harchester to rescue Lynda, and will join the team in London tonight. Casper yells at Alex that the team supported him when he was given this job and if he wants that trust again he will get back on the coach now. Ryan is surprised when Eugene walks into Studs and explains what happened with his neck. Ryan knows this is bad as Casper is nothing without Eugene, and Gavin's game will also suffer with one Rose brother down. He begins to consider contacting Jimmy again. Alex has decided to stay with the team, and as he struggles during formation with the lads, Casper is busy organising the sale of his flat in Rome (which apparently overlooks the Vatican City) in order to get Lynda out of prison. That night, Ryan and Jimmy plot over how they can secure Harchester victory tomorrow, with Jimmy informing Ryan that his brother will be the 4th Official at the game. All they have to do is take the main official out and it's all clear for Jimmy's brother to step up into his place, and he will favour Harchester. When it comes to the money Ryan will pay Jimmy for this, the men come to the agreement that Ryan will hand over half before the game, and half when the Dragons' victory is assured. To complete the payment, Ryan sheepishly has to ask Eugene for help, only Eugene wants to come along and see who is "hassling" Ryan for money.


The next morning Alex is awoken by Lynda, phoning excitedly to tell him she's out and is coming to the game. This puts Alex in a good mood, and he strolls down to the lads waiting in the foyer full of encouragement for the game. For everyone but Casper this is, whom he informs he won't be starting today, despite Casper being responsible for Lynda's release! (although Alex doesn't know this). Lynda goes back to the Lair and receives a frosty reception. She speaks to Duval who informs her that Dragonscorp have accepted her resignation, and weren't the ones who paid her bail (Casper mustn't have spoken to Duve yet). A gutted Lynda is forced to clear out her desk and leave the club, which Chloe seems to enjoy watching. Casper storms onto the coach and sits down next to Ashleigh, blaming her for Dempsey putting him on the bench. They finally get onto the subject of her possibly sleeping with Ryan, and Ashleigh tells him she knows it didn't happen because Ryan told her so! Casper gives Ashleigh his take on the matter, and how her drinking took over again, before storming to the back of the coach to make a phone call. As the team make their way to the away dressing room, Marek, in disguise as a steward, hands intended referee Kevin Bishop a laced cup of tea.


While Ryan and Eugene wait in Eugene's custard-yellow car, the radio announces that Kevin Bishop has pulled out due to illness and will be replaced by Ian Finch. Eugene doesn't notice the name resemblance at this point. They get out all set to hand over the money to Jimmy, only for three of Eugene's mates from "south" to pull up and menacingly whip out metal batons. Ryan swears to Jimmy he had nothing to do with this and pleads with Eugene to call off his friends, but Eugene isn't having any of it. As Alex gives his team talk, Casper receives a call regarding Ryan and the money exchange events. Alex flips and smashes Casper's phone against the wall, prompting Casper to get up and leave, and Alex drops him. Ryan feels terrible after Jimmy's beating (although he couldn't have done much during it) and berates Eugene for being an idiot. Ryan runs off to the stadium as Eugene locks the money in his car, and chases after him. Eugene loses Ryan, who makes it inside and to the ref's dressing room where he bursts in. He startles Ian Finch, who claims he has no idea what Ryan is talking about and isn't in on any deal. The commotion continues out into the tunnel where Gavin overhears some of it.


The game kicks off as Lynda arrives at the stadium having hitched a lift (with two men!) from Harchester. She approaches a tout but all his tickets are gone. Lynda sneaks up the back stairs of the Valley and meets who we assume is the Charlton team co-ordinator, Sheila, who allows Lynda to watch the game from inside. During the first half, Ian Finch makes a number of controversial decisions, none of which are in Harchester's favour. One of these is Liam being yellow carded for a non-harmful challenge. Then allowing a goal by Charlton which should have been disallowed. After challenging Finch on his decisions, both Sully and Tyson are shown yellow cards, and Chloe furiously shows off her football hooligan side! When Eugene now notices the connection between the two Finch's, he confronts Ryan over what he believes is him bribing a Rookie-Ref. As they argue, Lynda walks through behind them and hides behind a wall, listening. When Ryan explains how Ian Finch said he wasn't going to favour Harchester, he says he believes it was because Eugene had his brother beaten up, and realises that by starting this whole thing he might have cost Harchester the game.


On the pitch, Finch continues to seemingly work against Harchester, this time allowing another off-side goal and sending Danny off with a red! Everyone knows the Dragons are in serious trouble...




·          Best Known For: William Travis' best known role was on "Where the Heart Is", playing Dick Lampard for more than 60 episodes between 1997-2002. Aside from his acting, Noel Le Bon is the Bassist with the group Colorfactory and appeared in the films "A Knight's Tale" (2001) and "The Illusionist" (2006). Among his credits Sam James appeared in a commercial for Leerdammer Cheese, which enjoyed a continued repeat for years following it’s initial airing, notably down to his co-star being one of Ali King's future "Coronation Street" cast mates, Katherine Kelly, and her character’s popularity in the show in the late 00’s.


The Best: The tout yelling after Lynda "Didn't you used to be Lynda Block?!" Ask her in a year’s time mate when she's treading the cobbles!


·          Quotes: Chloe (on “Idiot-Finch’s” refereeing): "That goal was NOT a goal!!".


Continuity: Casper flashes back to his pro days at Charlton, playing with Eugene during the 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons. Hibbsey, Terry, Julie and Jessica all feature from 367: War Of The Roses scenes. Lynda leaving the club with her belongings in a cardboard box is reminiscent of when Prash sent her packing five years ago (#225).


·          Additional Info: Nikki Grahame, who goes on to compete on the seventh series of “Big Brother” during summer 2006, and coming fifth, appears in an extra role as Damien Evans’ (Arvey Betts) girlfriend for this and the next few episodes. Sheila looked after Louis for Lynda during a League game. Strange how work-a-holic Lynda would have Louis around at a League match, but then she does like dumping him on other people!


What Was The Score?: We get up and leave the game while Harchester are down 2-0 (see next episode for exciting conclusion!).


·          Soundtrack: Arctic Monkeys: "Knock The Door And Run",  Jean Jacques Smoothie: "Love & Exil."


Behind The Scenes: This episode was originally intended to air separately from the next (383: Matchmaker) on Monday 17th April, but Sky decided to show both on the same night, in a 19:00-21:00 timeslot, due to a football match clashing with the latter episode’s intended timeslot.


Screencaps from 9.26’s original broadcast (@7pm) on Sky One on 16/04/06.


 One last team photo... but with


Lynda welcomed back into prison life



 The con is on for Birdman and


Cass throws it all at Ashleigh



 Now it really is spiralling out of


"Lynda Block? Or Carla Connor?"



 A yellow for Tys? Criminal!

And now Lynda knows!



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