This episode, apparently called ‘The Chinese Horde’ has a lot to do with communication problems. And it is one of the first genuinely good episodes in the whole show. Why are they suddenly making good episodes when it is nearly time to say goodbye to the series?
Jake loses his Oyster card and has taken the keys. Pete battles with predictive text and its perils; Familial responsibilities are like diplomatic negotiations with the U.N, as we have seen in this episode. Karen is also having trouble adapting to secondary school and she is causing trouble because she wrote to the governors about the school’s failings.
Ben is talking to cold-callers and Sue’s work Skype call is having problems, all the while she is trying to sort out problems at home and sorting out a neighbour’s emotional problems at the same time. Karen’s headmistress rubbishes the work of Dahl who showed all adults as stupid. She tells Karen to read Lord of The Flies instead. She manages to tell Karen some home truths. Pete is having car trouble and the receptionist distracts him with juice. Ben has to go to a cafe in Ealing to retrieve his phone from a chinaman called Li. The cafe, is of course, Chinese-centric. An amusing episode about communication problems between a family, this shone out more than any of the episodes from the previous series. Karen also manages to finally (at least, for now) shake off her militant streak and it shows that Pete and Sue probably underestimated her a bit as well.
A golden episode. I will miss this series (I can’t believe I said that!) when it is finally over but it has stopped being a comedy merely about what kids say and more about how they grow up emotionally. And the best comedy often happens when they are not based in-house, because there’s only so much in-house comedy that you can have. MY RATING: 5 / 5.