|Season 2, Episode 10|
|Written by||Elly Brewer|
|Directed by||Diana Patrick|
Sticks and Stones
Be My Girl
"GI Johnny" was the tenth episode of the second season of The Dumping Ground. It was first broadcast on 07/03/2014 at 17:30 on the CBBC Channel and CBBC HD.
After tacking a mugger and finding that his victim was a soldier, Johnny contemplates joining the army. Elsewhere, on learning that he cannot go to see a wrestling match, Harry decides to have a wrestling match in the Dumping Ground. All he needs is an opponent, but who will it be?
Rick, Johnny, Bailey and Jody are playing French Cricket in the garden, when Johnny sees a woman walking a dog being mugged by a man. Johnny pursues the man, even managing to stop him and cause the mugger to fall over. The woman pursues the man and Johnny tries to give chase, only to trip over the woman's dog. He does, however, manage to get photos of the mugger. The woman reclaims her bag and thanks Johnny, who learns that the woman is named Nicky, that she is a Sgt Major in the British Army, and that people have joined the Army from Ashdene Ridge.
Inside, the other young people learn about what happened outside. Bailey ends up making himself centre of attention by re-enacting Johnny tripping over Nicky's dog, and then receives a letter telling him that he has been granted a second trial (after his last one went belly up in Sticks and Stones). Whilst everyone congratulates Bailey, Johnny has a look at the card and decides to visit Nicky at the Army barracks. Johnny has gained an interest in joining the army, so Nicky hands him some brochures, including one that tells family members what army life will be like for their relatives.
Back at the DG, Harry asks May-Li if she will take him to wrestling match to see Death Head Dave. May-Li refuses as Harry does not have enough money and also refuses to give him an advance on his allowance. He then tries to get Mike to take him to the wrestling match instead, but learns that May-Li told Mike that she already said no. He then finds Mo, who is playing by himself in the garage. Harry tells Mo that he is not happy that May-Li will not let him go to the wrestling match, so Mo suggests they make May-Li do wrestling at the DG. Harry suggests that he could be Death Head Dave, but Mo does not want to be Harry's opponent. They go to see Tyler in his bedroom, who agrees to find Harry an opponent.
Elsewhere, Johnny has told Faith about a teamwork challenge, that involves taking some gerry cans from one end to another. The group may only stand on boxes, are only allowed two planks, and only two people are allowed to stand on each plank or box. Faith says that it is possible and the other young people assemble in the garden to do Johnny's teamwork challenge, but it is goes disastrously as Rick and Bailey refuse to take things seriously.
Inside, Jack, Liam's older brother, arrives to take a witness statement from Johnny, but first has a conversation with Mike, wanting to ask him for advice for dealing with Liam, who has not been taking his course at college in Plumbing seriously.
In the garden, the challenge ends in disaster with Bailey shoving Jody off a plank, leading to Jody breaking her wrist and everyone walks off. Johnny tells Bailey that if he had listened, things would have been fine, to which Bailey asks Johnny why anyone would want to listen to him and walks off.
Johnny gets taken to the office to give a statement to Jack about the mugging. However, Jack tells off Johnny for attempting to stop the mugger, saying that he should not have done it, which only causes Johnny's mood to sink even further.
After Jack takes the statement, he sees Frank in the hallway. He tells Frank that he has not come round to his and Liam's house for a while and invites him to come round sometime, but Frank says that if Liam wanted to see him, he would have done so by now and walks off.
Tee comes to see Johnny in his bedroom, telling him that she wanted to find him as she could not find him elsewhere in the house. Johnny tells Tee that he was receiving yet another telling off for attacking the mugger and yells that he wishes everyone would stop treating him like a kid. He goes to see Nicky at the barracks again, tells her of the disastrous events of the afternoon and that he is now questioning if he is soldier material Nicky, however, reassures him and tells him to trust his own instincts.
Back at the DG, Tyler asks Rick if he would like to be Harry's wrestling opponent, but he is not interested. He asks Jody, who has to decline thanks to her broken wrist.
Later that night, May-Li speaks to Johnny about his desire to join the army, having found one of his brochures when she came to his bedroom to give him his laundry. She advises him to speak to Tee about it. He does so, and Tee is aghast at the idea of losing Johnny in a war and his attempt to convince Tee (by telling her to read the brochure for friends and relatives) falls on deaf ears.
Downstairs in the lounge, Tee tells Rick, Bailey, Faith and Carmen about Johnny's decision. Faith is on Johnny's side, but Tee brings up the fact while he would not have to worry about being unemployed, he would have to worry about being killed. As if by magic, a report then comes on the tv about two soldiers who have been killed in Afghanistan.
Bailey finds Johnny in the bathroom and asks if he's serious about joining the army. Johnny says that he is at least doing something about his future instead of mouthing off, which Bailey counters with the fact he has a trial and claims Johnny does not have "the bottle". Later when everyone is asleep, Johnny switches on the computer and applies to join the army online. However, he still needs to get a consent form signed.
The following morning, Tee wakes Johnny, telling him that everyone has nearly finished breakfast. Johnny explains he did not get much sleep the previous night. Mike then walks into the bedroom. It transpires Johnny texted Sue (his social worker) at 4 in the morning to ask if she could sign the consent form to join the army and has just rung Mike over the matter. Mike believes Johnny has not thought things through and says that he will advise Sue not to sign it. Johnny counters, saying that May-Li believes it is a good idea.
In the office, May-Li stands with Johnny's decision. Mike counters May-Li's view saying that he has known Johnny for years and believes his stance is right. May-Li, however, says that knowing Johnny for only a few months gives her "distance and clarity".
Elsewhere, Harry shows Mo his completed outfit. Mo, however, thinks it could use some improvement (having taken a look at Death Head Dave's face from Harry's leaflet for the wrestling match) and doodles tattoos on Harry's face with a pen.
In the lounge, the other young people (except Floss) have learnt what Johnny did last night. Johnny says that he needs to get Mike round to his point of view and Faith tells Johnny to speak to his social worker. Tee yells at Faith not to encourage Johnny, asking Faith how she would feel if her brother wanted to join the army. Faith tells her that she would not be happy about it either but would try to understand.
Later, Tyler tells Harry and Mo he has found an opponent, but keeps tight lipped over who it is.
Tee comes to see Johnny to try to understand why he wants to join the army. Johnny explains that he wants something that no one can take away from him, fearing that he may not get into college, fail to get a job and even end up homeless like Frank was (in Finding Frank). After hearing Johnny's side of the story, the siblings leave to get the consent forms signed by their parents (something which Bailey raised earlier in the lounge).
Tee and Johnny spy on their parents' house, only to see a black couple come out of the door. Johnny approaches the couple and learns from them that their mother moved out nearly a year ago. The siblings return to Ashdene Ridge. As they leave, an Indian woman (one of the neighbours) spies on them from her house.
Back at the DG, Mike tells the siblings that that address was the last one they had for their mum. He tells off Johnny for trying to see their mum without his permission. Johnny yells at Mike saying that his mum is gone and his social worker will not sign his consent form, sarcastically asking if he is "happy". Mike tries to tell Johnny that he is not trying to tell him to not join the army, but Tee stops him.
In the lounge, Tyler tells everyone present the time of the wrestling match. Tee and Johnny walk in and Bailey proceeds to take the mick out of Johnny over the fact he could not get his consent form signed. This leads to Tee grabbing a plant and attacking Bailey with it. May-Li then enters, asks for the mess to be cleaned and tells Bailey to come with her. Johnny storms off.
Mike goes to see Johnny in his bedroom to tell him social services are looking for his mum and that he has a visitor downstairs. Johnny refuses, but changes his mind on learning that there are home made brownies involved. Johnny finds that the visitor is Sgt Major Nicky, who has brought the brownies as a way of saying thank you. All of a sudden, Tyler walks in with Mo and Harry, declaring that the wrestling match is about to begin. They are then followed by Jody and Harry's opponent - Floss! As this is happening, Nicky tells Johnny that she has spoken to the cadet force leader, who has allowed Johnny to do a stint with his group. The wrestling mathc then starts with May-Li as referee, only to result in May-Li being pummeled to the ground by Harry and Floss as revenge for Harry not being taken to the wrestling match.
Carmen finds Rick outside the bathroom with the last bottle of mouthwash and Rick learns that Carmen has found a tube of toothpaste at the back of the store cupboard. We then learn that they have permanent marker tattoos on their faces and (according to May-Li) using toothpaste and mouthwash will remove permanent marker. Carmen asks Rick if he is going to use the whole bottle of mouthwash. Rick says that he won't if Carmen lets her use half the tube of toothpaste, grabs it from her and runs of. Carmen pursues him.
- The episode's title may be a play on the name G.I. Joe, a term that originated around the time of the First World War to describe American soldiers.
- Mo helps Bailey again by reading his letter.
- Bailey's letter states that he will have a football tryout the following week. Assuming some kind of hold up did not happen, this places this episode a week after the events of Sticks and Stones, per Mike's comment that Viv would come to watch Bailey in a couple of weeks.
- May-Li references two of Marvel Comics's superheroes - Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk.
- This was the first television episode to acknowledge the events of Liam's Story.
- This is the first time Mrs Taylor's boyfriend is named (Keith). In previous episodes, he was only referred to as "mum's boyfriend". Mrs Taylor was later seen in Hope, while Keith eventually appeared in the following season's Dragon Slayer.
- The girls are seen watching an edition of BBC Look North in this episode, a regional news programme that broadcasts to the North of England (as its title suggests) including Newcastle where Ashdene Ridge is located.
- When Johnny switches on the computer, a wallpaper featuring names of the DG kids (including Lily, Gus, Elektra and Sapphire) is seen in this episode. The presence of Sapphire's name amongst Rick and Tyler's indicates the wallpaper was made sometime during or after season 3 of Tracy Beaker Returns when Sapph was still visiting/living at the DG.
- The unnamed Indian neighbour is seen again in Hope.
- Eye of The Tiger by Survivor is played when Harry is brought into the lounge for his wrestling match.
- When May-Li is telling Harry that she can't take him wrestling, the subtitles spell Iron Man as "Ironman".
- When the girls are watching the tv, the breaking news story about the soldier being killed is reported on BBC Look North. Why would the regional news be covering an international event?
- When Johnny switches on the computer, when we see the wallpaper with the names of some of the DG kids, Sapphire's name is spelt without the "h".