Welcome to the final part of my recap style review of Bad Education season one. Today I’ll be covering the last two episodes “Football Match” and “Politics”
Let’s get started with “Football Match” and one of the funniest intros I have ever seen. Alfie is conducting a séance with the students in the classroom, but is interrupted by Fraser. He’s telling them about the annual football match against their rivals, Middleton House. Fraser asks Alfie to manage their school’s team. Alfie agrees and tells the students to pack up the Ouija board. Mitchell whines “you promised that we could talk to Hitler” and Alfie responds “It’s not like he’s going anywhere”
Alfie turns up to class wearing a coach’s uniform and manages to let it slip that the first team quit on him so he’s recruiting his class to play. They refuse as Grayson turns up and wants to play for the team. No one else says yes, but they are willing to try if Alfie changes his outgoing voicemail message. Isobel calls Rosie into her office. Isobel has a lot of makeup on her face, to the point that it comes off as sarcastic. Isobel is asking Rosie if she finds her attractive as Rosie looks uneasy and awkward. She’s relieved as Isobel is just looking to transfer to Middleton House.
Fraser meets Alfie on the pitch to motivate him. Rosie and Alfie are walking at the front of the school as Isobel nudges past them to greet the football team of Middleton House and their coach, Mr. Humpage. The players are kicking a ball around and it lands at Alfie’s feet. Surprisingly he’s too scared to kick the ball back. Back in the school with Alfie and Rosie are together and he hears a familiar old voice, it’s his old coach. He is bullying Alfie as he walks off. Alfie doesn’t explain his behaviour fully to Rosie as she assumes the worst has happened to Alfie when he was younger.
Mr Humpage goes to the staff room where he is greeted by a rather awkward looking Isobel. Michelle Gomez does a fantastic job here with her performance. In the canteen, the posh Middleton House students are drinking beer as Alfie watches on and Fraser joins him with dreadlocks on. Isobel takes Humpage to the computer block as he tells her they could use a teacher like her at their school and offers to put in a good word for her.
In the locker room, Alfie is reading a sports book while everyone else is seated nearby. He gives a strong speech to motivate his team for the game. Alfie is in the goal for the team and they’re all on the pitch for the match. Humpage is throwing insults at Alfie from the sidelines, while Stephen is warming up. Alfie’s team is doing terribly on the pitch and losing rather badly. At half time, the team is in the locker room waiting for Alfie to give them a speech before the rest of the match, but he looks surprised that there’s a second half.
Rosie turns up to talk to Alfie outside. She tries to comfort and encourage him to win. He listens to her and goes back to the locker room to give the team a speech to motivate them into fighting back on the pitch. He riles everyone up as they leave, but Rem Dog says that he can’t play because one of the wheels on his wheelchair is punctured so Alfie allows Stephen play in his place. Alfie is holding the ball and explaining to Stephen how to play football and gives him instructions on who to pass it to. As soon as the game starts Stephen does what he wants and everyone is surprised at how amazing he is at football.
Soon, Alfie’s team is getting points and there are more goals going in for them, all because of Stephen. The team starts feeling more positive about winning. Stephen really stands out in this scene. Even Alfie in the goal is stopping the ball from going in. Soon they are even and Stephen does a very impressive goal celebration, it’s amazing to see. Humpage decides to join his team on the pitch and he charges Alfie while he’s in goal. Humpage slips and breaks his leg. Rosie tells Humpage, who is on an ambulance stretcher, that he finally got what he deserved for treating Alfie badly as a teenager. It’s revealed that Alfie was not in a football club, but an Irish dancing club. He proves it by dancing in front of everyone. The referee says the match is abandoned and it’s a draw, everyone celebrates.
The last episode, “Politics” begins with a younger Alfie on YouTube, singing about the ‘egg smashing woman’ while his students are around him. They are busy laughing at him. A student walks into the class to talk about voting as Mitchell finds an unsuitable video for Alfie to watch. Alfie sends it to Fraser, but doesn’t realize where Fraser is. He’s in an exam with his laptop and the rude video is projected onto the screen behind him for all the students in the exam to see. The song playing is Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer and it plays instead of the intro music, a nice touch.
In the staff room, Isobel is telling everyone that Fraser has been suspended for the video in the exam and she is taking over. She wants to make drastic changes to the school and Rosie is so stressed that she gets up to leave for a smoke. Alfie joins her, even though he doesn’t know how to smoke and fails terribly in trying to smoke. They are talking about how authoritarian Isobel Pickwell is. They talk about school politics and Rosie reveals that the kid who walked into his class is David Millibank, her candidate. She thinks David Millibank will win the elections and Alfie thinks his class would win. Alfie picks Joe as the prime candidate and he gives the others jobs to help Joe with his campaign. Soon they are walking through the hallway with Alfie in the middle, discussing strategy. It looks very West Wing.
There are a lot of parallels to UK politics in this episode so you may not understand some of the jokes. Fraser is in an Italian restaurant with Alfie for a meeting to get him back into the school. He gives Alfie a list of things to tell the school committee so he can come off his suspension. Isobel is outside planning to remove a garden Rosie made in respect to her late brother. She wants to turn it into a parking space and Rosie, watching from inside, becomes furious.
Jing tells Alfie that David is out of the race and his brother Edmund is running instead. In the main hall, Isobel is holding a political debate for the candidates. Frank Grayson, the school bully, is running for the Conservative Party and he’s speaking to everyone. He’s just being mean to everyone and not accepting responsibility for his actions. Alfie walks to the podium to introduce Joe. Stephen has a speech prepared for him, but Alfie gives him a speech of his own to use. It seems that Alfie’s words are directed towards an ex-girlfriend, and throughout Alfie is making faces at Rosie. Next up is Edmund Millibank. He’s pushed back by Rosie, who storms the stage. She snaps at Grayson, who looks shocked. Rosie even tells Isobel to back off. The students laugh at Isobel.
Rosie and Alfie are sitting outside a room with a sign for probationary hearing and Fraser is insides. Isobel turns up to make sure Fraser gets fired. Alfie goes in to defend Fraser and finds out his first name is Shaquille, he’s surprised at the name, but he defends Fraser a lot. He goes back into the hallway as Rosie goes into the room. Jing appears in the hallway with some data she has analyzed. Isobel has been taking money from school expenses. Isobel eats the paper as Alfie boasts about multiple copies. Alfie tells Isobel to go into the room and get Fraser his job back. Then Alfie has an idea on who should be the winner of the election. Isobel is in the main hall announcing the winner and the student dressed up as Spiderman wins.
There’s a school disco in the main hall later with Alfie and his students dancing together, it’s sweet and nice. Fraser has spiked the punch and Rosie takes Alfie to one side. They talk about the school term. It leads to them kissing as she stops. Rem Dog is on the DJ decks with Mitchell. They play Alfie’s song from YouTube. Alfie watches Rosie leave to his song. Alfie doesn’t know what to think.
That’s the end of season one, what will happen when they start a new term? What does it mean for Alfie and for Rosie?
That’s a job for season two to answer. You can find me on Twitter with the handle @immiebroods if you wish to discuss season one and your take on it.