Viva Carmen
Series 1, Episode 10
Air date 05/03/2010
Written by Elly Brewer and Ben Ward
Directed by Michael Davies
Episode guide
Good Luck Boy
The Werewolf

Viva Carmen was the tenth episode of Tracy Beaker Returns. It was orignally broadcast at 17:00 on the CBBC Channel on 05/03/2010.


Carmen's mother, Helen, shows up for Carmen, claiming that she has changed her ways.


Tracy arrives at the DG for work one morning and finds a hispanic lady at the door. The lady explains, she is "Helen", Carmen's mum. Tracy lets her in and goes to fetch Mike. However, on telling Mike that Carmen's mum has arrived, she learns from him that Carmen's social worker has just rung to tell Mike that Helen's visiting rights have not been approved.

Mike goes to the hallway where Helen is waiting, only for Carmen to come down the stairs with Lily. Helen greets Carmen, only for Carmen to yell "NO" and bolt back up the stairs.

Mike takes Helen back to the office and tells her off, saying that the visit needed to be approved by Carmen's social worker. What Helen received was an acknowledgement that her request had been sent in. Helen claims that she has changed and has got her priorities right, but Mike then sends Helen on her way. Before leaving, Helen gives Tracy a box, which she explains is for Carmen. Gina shows Helen the door and Tracy apologises to Mike for letting Helen in. Mike cuts her off saying that Tracy let Helen in thinking how good it would have been if her mum had shown up like that.

Upstairs in Lily and Carmen's room, Lily sees from the window that Helen has left. Carmen mutters that she hates her mum. Lily, however, says that she would give anything to see her mum, but cannot as she is dead, wheareas Carmen's mum is still alive, but Carmen does not want to see her.

Sapph, Liam, Frank, Tee, Toby and Johnny are downstairs in the pool room. Tee feels sorry for Carmen, but Johnny disagrees with her, saying that after the way Carmen acted, there is no way her mum is going to come back for her. Sapphire says "who cares", but Liam says that they do not know the full story and suggests to Johnny that Carmen's mum could be like his dad. Johnny takes umbrage at Liam's statement and stresses that his mum's boyfriend (Keith Taylor,his violent stepdad) isn't his "dad", but Liam then adds that his biological mother is not fighting to get him and Tee back. Johnny then picks a fight with Liam and the boys have to broken up.

Johnny and Liam are taken to the dining room by Gina and Mike. Whilst tending to Johnny's bloody nose, Mike tells off the boys and punishes them by docking their allowances and giving it to charity. Liam protests that this is unfair, which Gina retorts that he should have thought of that before he started fighting.

Back in Lily and Carmen's room, Carmen explains to Lily that she and her mum used to get along fine until her mum met Lee. Lee did not like Carmen and this led to her being left at home whenever Lee and Helen went out, including one incident where Carmen was left alone for a week after they left on holiday. Tracy then enters the room and shows Carmen Helen's gift (a flamenco girl in a box) and asks if she wants her to bin it. Carmen just shrugs. Tracy then apologises to Carmen, as Tracy believed Helen had been granted visiting rights. Carmen says that her mum promised to return but never did, until today, reminding Tracy of her own mum's failed promise to come back for her.

In the bathroom, Tee asks Johnny (looking at a mirror above the sink) if his nose still hurts. He replies that it is still throbbing a bit and goes on to say that he lost it after Liam started talking about their mum the way he did. Tee says that Liam was kind of right and the siblings hug each other.

Out in the garden, Liam and Frank are playing football (Frank is goal while Liam is trying to kick the ball past Frank). Liam kicks the ball at the goal and Frank runs out of the way. Liam yells at Frank for doing that to which Frank replies that he kicked the ball too hard. Liam yells at Frank again and Frank tells him to stop shouting and asks what is wrong. Liam explains that he is annoyed by everyone talking about "families" when he personally does not have any!

Back inside Mike asks the kids in the pool room (who are slumped on the sofas, depressed) if they have seen Carmen. He does not receive an answer from them and then goes to kitchen to speak with Gina. They agree that the kids need cheering up and decide to take them bowling. Tracy then enters with some laundry and tries to tell the care workers that it will not work as from her experience, care kids only get taken on treats when something is wrong. The care workers, however, disagree thinking they are experienced enough to know how to deal with the kids. Tracy then asks to stay back at the DG, her excuse that she has laundry to deal with.

Mike finds Carmen in the area of the garden with the car seats to tell her that her social worker has approved Helen's visiting request and if Carmen wants to see her mum. Carmen says no, but Mike tells her that her mum appears to be making an effort and gives her time to reconsider. He then tells her that the kids are going bowling, or she can stay back at the DG with Tracy. Carmen decides on the latter.

Later that day, after the kids get taken off bowling, Carmen asks Tracy if she should agree to the visit. Tracy says no, her reasoning being that anyone who goes on holiday and leaves a kid alone for a week does not deserve to have kids (Lily told her how Carmen ended up in care). Carmen then asks what if her mum has changed. Tracy then says that when she was in care, she still agreed to her mum's visits even when she knew her mum wouldn't show up, that way she couldn't blame herself for not seeing her.

The kids return from bowling. Liam and Johnny are at loggerheads again and Gus chews out Sapphire for throwing a drink at Toby. Gina yells at the kids to shut up as they go off to their rooms. Tracy and Carmen then approach Mike and Gina, where Carmen explains to Mike that she has reconsidered and has agreed to her mum's visit.

The following morning, the kids are still in a bad mood. Mike asks Tracy what to do and says that to cheer up the kids, what they need is a disaster.

Tracy goes to the cellar and flips the fusebox switch. Elsewhere in the house, the television and computer switch off and Sapphire's hairdryer stops working.

Carmen is waiting nervously in the hall for her mum, Lily sitting beside her. The other kids come from elsewhere in the house with various complaints. Mike tells the kids that there has been a power cut and Tracy tells everyone to unplug everything and switch the lights off in the event there is a power surge. After the kids (aside from Carmen and Lily) go off, Mike takes Tracy to the office and asks her if it is a good idea. Gina backs Tracy up, saying that she had fun during power cuts. Tracy says that they can turn the power on again in the afternoon and asks for the time. Gina says that it is 9:40 - Helen is late.

Back outside, Carmen laments to the others that her mum is not coming and is about to head upstairs when there's a knock at the door. Helen has arrived! She, Carmen and Tracy proceed to leave on a shopping spree, while Mike tells the other kids to empty the freezer and clear the garden for a barebeque!

After the shopping spree, Helen and Carmen talk with each other over cakes. Helen apologises to Carmen and also tells her that she broke up with Lee and has been lonely ever since. She then gets the idea to take Carmen back to Spain with her. Tracy then intervenes and tells Helen she needs to speak to Mike about that.

Back at the DG, Carmen tells Lily and Tee that she is uncertain about going to live in Spain. Tracy is speaking to Gina when Gus and Harry bring her a box of torches they have found. Tracy asks why they need torches, to which Gina replies that the electricity company will not be able to send someone round until tomorrow. After Gina sends the boys looking for more torches, she tells Tracy that she and Mike decided to extend the "power cut" until tomorrow. Tracy thinks the kids will get suspicious, but Gina disagrees, noting how everyone is getting on.

Mike brings Carmen to his office where Helen is present. He explains that if Carmen wants to move to Spain, they can arrange a trial period for Carmen to live in Spain with Helen. Helen then bids Carmen goodbye, saying she will still be her mum if Carmen does not come to Spain.

Later that night, Mike tells Gina that he wants to turn the power back on so he can check his e-mail in case there are any urgent messages. He also thinks he will not get caught as he thinks the kids are asleep. He is unaware that in Frank's room, Frank, Liam and Johnny are playing cards (Liam and Johnny are no longer at loggerheads with each other). Carmen then enters explaining that she cannot sleep and does not want to go to Spain as she is worried about what will happen there, but Liam tells Carmen that she is scared and tells her not to think about that, but rather, what she wants. Frank and Johnny back him up and Carmen thanks the boys.

Mike goes to turn the power back on. This does not go unnoticed by the boys when Frank's alarm clock activates. Elsewhere Carmen wakes up Lily to tell her that she is leaving for Spain. Back in Frank's room, the boys notice the power go out again. They go to the stairs and see Mike come up from the cellar. Liam realises that the kids have been had.

The following morning, Helen returns to see Carmen. Lily tells Carmen that she will miss her, but Helen tells Lily she can visit. Elsewhere, Gina finds Gus talking to someone on a phone giving the name of the house. Gus explains to Gina he is on the phone to the electricity men. He hands the phone to Gina, where she learns that an investigation team is going to be sent to the house regarding the power cut.

Mike and Gina head to the cellar and bumble about in the darkness, only for the lights to come back on (Sapphire flipped the fusebox switch) and to find the other Dumping Ground kids waiting for them. Mike admits he has been busted but tells them that it was not his idea to begin with.

Helen bids Carmen goodbye. Gina, Mike and the other kids come out of the cellar to confront Tracy, who tells them she only meant for it to be played for a few hours and that it was Mike and Gina who turned it into a "24 hour show". Helen then receives a phone call from Lee again, but much to Carmen's chagrin, Helen decides to take the call, even though it is to tell him that she is not interested in him.

Not long after, the kids and care workers are in the dining room when Helen enters, claiming that she has "wonderful" news - she and Lee are giving things another go. She claims that Carmen can still move in with them, but not until they have found a bigger apartment. Carmen, however, is completely distraught and tells her mum to go away. Helen attempts to protest, saying that things have been "hard", but gets told to leave by Mike.

Tracy, however, decides Helen has not been criticised enough and follows her. She tells her off for her behaviour; abandoning her daughter, wanting her back after she got dumped, and has now dumped Carmen again after she gave her a second chance. 

Before Helen can make anymore claims of reforming, Tracy cuts Helen off and tells her "adios!", and she walks out.


  • Just before the tv switches off from the power cut, an episode of CBBC gameshow Get 100 can be seen.
  • This is the first time bowling is mentioned. In this episode, it is used as a treat to (attempt to) cheer the kids up.
  • Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves is heard during Carmen and Helen's shopping spree.
  • Adios is spanish for "Goodbye", which is a reference to Helen having lived in spain and going back there.


  • Once again, it is claimed that Tracy never saw her mother, again contradicting The Movie of Me.
  • When Tracy is talking to Gina about Helen bringing up Spain, the subtitles read "till Helen brought up" (as in the cash register), instead of "'til Helen brought up" (short for until).
  • Tracy told the boys to unplug everything, but when Mike goes to turn the power on, Frank's alarm clock goes off. Though it is possible Frank missed it out by mistake.

Tracy Beaker Returns episodes

Season 1: Tracy Beaker SuperstarNew Life's EveBad Luck BoyBy The BookFamily ValuesAnarchy in the DGSecretsSistersGood Luck BoyViva CarmenThe WerewolfA Day at The BeachMoving On

Season 2: The Burnywood MenaceDrainedCrushedRefugeesMoneyElektraWhat You Don't KnowA Day in The CountryThe Scare GameOut of ControlSnake BiteGrandadChain Reaction

"You Choose" specials: Come Alone, CarmenCyberbullyingBeg, Borrow or Steal

Season 3: The VisitorsFirestarterShadowsBig BrotherBelongingEggsJustine Littlewood ReturnsRewardSummer HolidayGoing HomeJody JacksonThe InvitationGoodbye Tracy Beaker