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Recap / The Brittas Empire S5E5: The Boss

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Colin: Sorry I'm late Mr. Brittas.
Mr. Brittas: Sit down Colin.
Colin: Only the surgeon consultant at Whitbury General asked me to do a photographic session for The Lancet.
Mr. Brittas: Colin-
Colin: Apparently he'd never seen a man with a perfect button hole sewn straight through his c-
Mr. Brittas: Colin, this is my debriefing session!
Colin Weatherby turning up late to one of Gordon Brittas' debriefing sessions.

  • Date First Aired: 28/11/1994

Gavin has completed his management course and other forms of training needed to get him a job in management, and he's now become Assistant Acting Deputy Manager. As part of this training, Brittas has decided to, alongside Laura, stand down for the day and allow him the chance to be the Manager for the day. However, Brittas has failed to mention to his staff that he's leaving for Brussels in six weeks, which Laura calls him out on. Brittas replies that he didn't want to as if would be "like clubbing little baby seals", but at Laura's insistence decides to tell them at the next debriefing.

Meanwhile, Carole is hoping to go out for dinner with a man named Gerald, who she had encountered in the family changing room. During this, Brittas is coaching Gavin through the places that he needs to check for the day. They come across an open messy cupboard, which Brittas uses as an opportunity to teach Gavin how to delegate by getting Tim to do it instead. Included amongst the mess is a metal disc which Brittas remembers landing beside him as he was leaving his car. This will be important later.

Meanwhile, Helen comes into the centre trying to raise money. Laura catches her quickly however and she reveals the truth - she got extremely drunk one night at a club and got an explicit tattoo. Laura immediately helps out with removing the tattoo During this, the situation starts to look unfavorable to Gavin - there's a fire in the centre, a girl trapped in the sunbed,a fire in a waster paper basket, and a case of suspected smallpox. And that's not counting the milk tank out of the centre, which leads to the cancellation of the W.I Craft Fair and another tanker full of ethanol chloride which could hurt a bus full of children. When they get to this bus, however, it turns out that it was all just a training simulation that Brittas had set up to train young Gavin. Gavin is, rightfully, pissed but Brittas wants him trained up, allegedly on the off chance that he's killed.

Meanwhile, Gerald has come to the centre and he and Carole get along quite well. In fact, Gerald wants to give her a house, which Carole is happy with as long as she basically becomes her husband in all but name. However, Tim, who had been made to close the cupboard, pushes the metal disc through the wall and onto Gerald's head, killing him. Unfortunately, when Carole announces these, Gavin thinks she made it up as part of the situation and isn't sympathetic to her, which leads to her whacking him and Mrs. Heaten-Jones, who had organized the craft event, decking Gavin in the face. It's at this point that Brittas decides to end things and take over. On the bright side, Helen has gotten a less explicit tattoo.

The event of the episode eventually lead to the staff taking a strike meeting. However, when Laura reveals the truth that Brittas is leaving. This pleases the staff greatly, and they decide to participate in Brittas' training in the end.

Tropes featured in this episode:

  • Accidental Murder: Tim accidentally kills Gerald when, in an attempt to close a cupboard, he unknowingly pushes a metal disc contained within through the wall and onto his head on the other side.
  • Butt-Monkey: Gavin is put through hell in this episode, ending with Carole beating him.
  • Chocolate of Romance: Gerald gifts Carole a box of chocolate when he comes to the centre for a date at Normandy for her. She ends up weaponizing it when Gavin seemingly gives her No Sympathy for Gerald's eventual death.
  • Crying Wolf: Brittas puts Gavin through the wringer this episode making up situations for him to deal with. Naturally, when Carole's potential boyfriend Gerald dies, he thinks that it's part of these situations as well and doesn't react sympathetically to her, leading to her attacking him.
  • Curse Cut Short: Colin nearly says "cock" during Brittas' debriefing as seen in the page quote.
  • Dies Wide Open: Gerald's eyes don't close when he dies, which contributes to Carole thinking that he was still alive for a little while longer than expected.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Helen spends the episode trying to remove a tattoo that she doesn't remember getting (the tattoo being something explicit with "I'm a Goer" written underneath it). She's eventually able to change it into a tattoo of a butterfly with I ♥ Gordon written under it.
  • First-Name Basis: Whilst Brittas is just an ordinary member of the staff for the day, he makes it quite clear that he should only be referred to as Gordon and not Mr. Brittas as per usual.
  • Foreshadowing: When Brittas is explaining why he's putting Gavin through his trials, he makes mention of having his team trained just in case he's killed for some reason. Later on in the same series, "The Last Day" would see him actually get killed saving Carole.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Scheme: Helen's plan to raise money to remove her tattoo, which involves sending money to some people on a list. Laura catches her out before she can get too far with it, however.
  • Groin Attack: Colin does it to himself with his sewing machine in an attempt to fix a broken fly.
  • Improbable Weapon User: When Gavin seemingly gives her No Sympathy for Gerald's death, Carole begins to attack him with a box of chocolates.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Implied with Helen, whose tattoo (which she got whilst drunk) features the phase "I'm a Goer" (goer being another term for a sexually promiscuous woman) on it. It's also hinted at by Laura's claim that the tattooist would know her when they try to search for the man in question.
  • May–December Romance: Gerald is far older than Carole, yet he really does love her.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Mrs. Heaton-Jones may be an old woman, but she decks Gavin in the face when she is forced to reschedule her event.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Brittas' attempts to train Gavin lead to him having a nervous breakdown.
  • Noodle Incident: When Carole is telling Julie how to maintain her desk and her children, she makes a reference to Jessica's drawer having gotten stuck once prior to the events of the episode.
  • One-Shot Character: Gerald and Mrs. Heaton-Jones.
  • Shout-Out: Colin was asked to do a photographic session for The Lancet.
  • Take Our Word for It: What Helen’s tattoo looks like (aside from the message). All we find out is that it has legs in it and that it's so explicit that even Laura is willing to see it removed.
  • Tragic One-Shot Character: Gerald; who's purpose in the episode is to provide Carole with the possibility of a better life than that of the Leisure Centre only to be killed off by the end.
  • Training from Hell: Brittas sends Gavin through the wringer this episode as part of his "disaster training". Poor Gavin is lead to believe a tanker full of ethanol chloride has crashed into a milk float outside the centre and caused a spillage of hydrochloric acid, a bus full of school children are trapped in the acid spill, a serious fire has broken out in the squash courts and a woman has become trapped inside a sunbed with only minutes left to live... on his first day. The poor guy doesn't handle it very well and has a mini-breakdown at the end of the episode.
  • Trapped In a Tanning Bed: Colin traps a woman in a sunbed in an attempt to assist in the ridiculously extreme hypothetical situations that Brittas was putting Gavin through as part of his management training. Due to this, however, Brittas dismisses Colin's warnings that she doesn't look too good under it under the belief that this was a hypothetical situation too, until the woman eventually shows up looking extremely red and sun-burnt near the end of the episode.
  • Trashcan Bonfire: Gavin mentions having to deal with a fire in a waste bucket.
  • Three Lines, Some Waiting: The B-Plot of Carole considering moving in with her new boyfriend interacts with the main plot in several ways (mainly Gavin, put on his tether by Brittas' training, mistakenly thinking that Gerald dying was part of the training exercise, and Gerald dying in the first place because the lost property cupboard had to be cleaned and closed as part of said training exercises). The plot of Helen trying to get an Embarrassing Tattoo removed however has little to no bearing on the other two plots, outside of removing her and Laura from said plots.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: All that Helen remembers about the night she got her tattoo is that it ended with someone producing a crate of Bowes Beer at a Flemish Class for Beginners.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Carole gets yet another chance at happiness with an old boyfriend. Too bad Tim accidentally kills him.


Video Example(s):


Colin's Excuse

Colin tries to explain to Mr. Brittas why he's late for the debriefing session, although he gets cut off before he can say the word "cock".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / CurseCutShort

Media sources: