Esme (episode)
Series 1, Episode 12
Air date 15th March 2013
Written by Nimer Rashed
Directed by Diana Patrick
Episode guide
Seriously Funny
Scary Beasts

Esme is the twelth episode of the first series of The Dumping Ground. It was first broadcast on 15th March 2013 at 17:00 on the CBBC Channel.


When Carmen meets a rich girl named Esme, she becomes tempted at the prospect of leaving the DG and going to live in Rio. Meanwhile, Mike ends up in pain. Is he dying?


Carmen and Lily are in a shop that sells posh clothing. Carmen comes across a shoe with her shoe size and thinks it is a sign to buy it. A posh girl (Esme) then tells Carmen to buy it as it would go with her outfit. Carmen then fibs and claims she already has the shoes and is trying to convince Lily to buy a pair. Lily then gets herself and Carmen to leave.

Outside the shop, Lily takes the mickey out of the way Carmen acted in front of Esme. Suddenly, Esme (who has just exited the shop) is attacked by two gang girls. Carmen and Lily hear Esme yell and run to help her. The gang girls scarper with Esme's shopping. Thinking that she should not be alone after being mugged, Lily invites Esme back to the DG. Carmen is against this (embarassed of having Esme know that they are in care), but they end up taking her anyway.

Back at the DG, Gina enters the office, complaining that Elektra has refused to do something Gina asked her to do and drowned her out with the music in her headphones. Mike says that he will speak to Elektra about this, but he then yells in pain. Gina asks what is wrong, but Mike denies that there is a problem.

Now on their way to the DG, Lily explains to Esme that they live in a care home, which Esme does not mind hearing about. They bring Esme to the living room where Mo gives Esme a hug, who then gets shoved out of the way by Johnny who introduces himself to Esme and starts trying to compliment her - he has got a crush on her, much to the amusement of the other boys. The conversation is ended when Carmen drags Esme out of the room away from Johnny. Out in the hall, Esme and Carmen encounter Gina, who tells Carmen off for bringing a stranger home. Carmen shows Esme her bedroom, and learns that she visits Rio every summer, this year being an exception. Esme likes Rio as it is lively and her father lives there, while in England it rains, she gets mugged and her mother leaves her alone with a maid. Carmen likens this to how her mum treated her, only without a maid.

Lily goes to ask Carmen some questions (most of them from Johnny), only to overhear outside Carmen's bedroom door that she has no "ambition" or "imagination" and her dreams "average".

Mike goes to speak to Elektra, who is in her room listening to music with Faith. Rather than tell Elektra off, Mike gives them a short speech, telling them that they could both be "prime minister".

In the kitchen, the other young people (except for Mo) are in the kitchen, where Lily has told everyone what she heard Carmen say. Johnny tries to defend her, but gets rebuffed by the boys as he is love with Esme. Faith and Elektra enter the room where they learn what has happened, and Faith raises the issue that something may be wrong with Mike, as she saw him in pain earlier upstairs.

Esme tells Carmen that it is time for her to go home as the maid will have started cooking. However, Carmen suggests that Esme ring her house to say that she is staying with a friend. Esme likes the idea.

Downstairs, the young people say that Mike told them what jobs they could be, or in Tee and Harry's case, nice things he said to them (or in Jody's case, nothing). Frank mentions that his grandfather gave him a talk before his death and Rick says his parents did the same thing before they went to prison. Carmen enters the kitchen and Lily and Elektra snap at her and Esme, leading to them having to exit the kitchen. Mike enters asking what is happening, to which Faith replies that they wanted to ask him the same thing. The kids try to tease out from Mike what his problem is, when he suddenly has another spasm of pain. He denies that there is anything wrong with him, refuses to see a doctor and changes the subject to the kids being rude to Esme. He then walks out to try to find Carmen, but has to give up from being in pain. Gina finds him and Mike tells him that other male relatives in his family died from what Mike has. On learning, however, that this condition has not been diagnosed by a doctor, Gina tells Mike that he is to see a doctor, despite his protests.

Outside, Esme and Carmen climb up the fire escape and have a look at the view. Esme tells Carmen that she is going to take a plane to Rio by herself and extends an offer of going to Rio with her. Esme tells Carmen that "fate is what you make it", gives Carmen her address and leaves.

Carmen enters the kitchen and has a go at the young people. She is quickly silenced when Lily tells her that Mike is dying.

Later that night, Carmen asks Lily if she should go to Rio, to which Lily says that Carmen should do "what makes her happy". Carmen then tries to apologise to Lily, saying that she was talking about herself. Lily, however, bites off Carmen's head for making things "all about herself".

Early the following morning, Carmen gets herself dressed, leaves a note for Lily, takes her passport from the office and sets off to Esme's house. Afterward, Lily finds the note and goes to wake Johnny (as he has Esme's phone number).

Carmen arrives at Esme's house and is greeted by Esme in her dressing gown and a middle-aged woman (Esme's mother), who tells her to get inside. Esme introduces Carmen to her mum and it transpires that Esme lied that Carmen went to Esme's school and that her dad does not have time to see her. Carmen bites of Esme's head for lying to her mother and the fact she ran away from Elm Tree House for Esme and then leaves.

Outside, Carmen is found by Lily, who managed to track her down. She reminds Carmen that she is her best friend and they return to the Dumping Ground.

In the kitchen, Lily tells the others (who are having breakfast) that she and everyone else were wrong about Carmen and Esme and gets the others to apologise to Carmen. Mike then returns from the doctors where he has learnt that he is not dying. His pain is being caused by a kidney stone.


  • Final (normal length) episode of The Dumping Ground to be broadcasted at 5pm until the show's fourth series.
  • Rick says that Mike hoped that he would be a success in New Zealand, which is where his father wanted to take him in Dreamland.
  • A picture of everyone from the episode A Day in The Country can be seen in Mike's bedroom.
  • Carmen's birthday is 7 November 1999 (according to her passport).
  • The song "The Feeling" is used during the scene where Carmen is making her way to Esme, and Lily reads her goodbye letter. You can listen to the song on Sound Cloud.


  • When we see Carmen's passport, the "L" of her surname looks as if someone accidentally typed "I" and then wrote the line in afterward. Also, the bottom of her passport gives her surname as "Howie" (as opposed to "Howle").
The Dumping Ground episodes

Series 1: Home AloneLiberty in the DGBabyS.O.S.What Would Gus Want?The Real Faith DavisThe Truth is Out ThereDreamlandA Day in The PastOh, Mo!Seriously FunnyEsmeScary Beasts

Series 2: Kick OffQuittersThe Dumping Ground ExperienceThe BarbecueFinding FrankHolding OnEnduranceI Have a DreamSticks and StonesGI JohnnyBe My GirlHopeFace The Music

Series 3: Party GamesGrand Theft DGStuck with YouMischiefNow You See MeIt's Not About the MoneyFake it to Make itBreaking InThe Long Way HomeDragon SlayerThree DaysFree to Good HomeBetter Than YouWho Are You?Where is Love?Goodbye GirlSomething BorrowedWhat Matters?Coming RoundRefuge

Series 4: Lost and FoundBear-Faced LiarStepping UpThey Walk Among UsHold The Front PageGrowing PainsSubmarineFirst Past The PostSurvivorsThe End of it AllPerfect MatchDorisRisky BusinessI TrollIt Takes TwoGetting to Know YouTwo CampsHow to be PerfectOne For SorrowTwo For Joy

Series 5: Miscreants, Robots and BulliesBack in The GameOne Giant LeapThe Fairytale PrincessSittin' in a TreeFaking ItSasha Bellman P.I.BeliefVox PopuliFreeThe WardrobeFarvelChoose Your Own AdventureMaking WavesThe Phantom of Ashdene RidgeThe SwitchMission Totally PossibleSickRough JusticeWhere You Belong#SaveTheDGWhat Lies Beneath

Series 6: Jody On The RopesSaved By The BellGive & TakeHeroesSorryNotSorryCat's In The CradleChallenging TimesTwo Sides to Every StoryUtopiaThe LurgyRyanManHolding Out For a Hero

Specials: Jody in WonderlandLiam's StoryFloss The FoundlingDumping Ground IslandSasha's Contact Meeting