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'Derek' recap: Beach day!

Season 1 | Episode 5 | Aired Feb 20, 2013 (UK Channel 4)

For four episodes, our favorite crew of caretakers have tackled mean-spirited daughters, money issues and the passing of dear friends. Needless to say, they need a break and get one during episode 5. A field trip to the beach has been planned. Not only do we get to interact with the boys outside their element, but we learn exactly how important they are to Hannah, who’s left behind.

But first, money is on their minds as our threesome head out to raise funds for the home by selling some of Kev’s autographs. As we know from the first episode, Kev has a monstrous collection of signatures, and it’s a surprisingly nice gesture for him to part with a few.

Derek goes first by going through his book, which turns out to be a sweet disaster. He doesn’t know who signed the pages and often asks the celebrity to sign it as the character, not their actual name. The shop clerk kindly tells Derek he can’t offer to buy any of them—but hang on, shopkeeper. Kev is here to show you his best stuff!

At first, the clerk is interested, until he notices all of the pictures are of Kev standing with the stars with the autographs made out to him directly. Anybody who’s seen an episode of Pawn Stars knows a personal autograph is worth much less than a generic one. If you were going to buy a piece of memorabilia, why would you want to buy one made out to “Kev”? The clerk then begins to doubt the authenticity of Kev’s autographs, stating that Katie Holmes wouldn’t sign as “Kate,” and Uncle Ben is a brand of rice, not a real person. As Doug provides his usual commentary about how mucking around with the two of them is pure pointlessness, you almost feel bad for Kev while his prized collection gets picked apart. Almost.

Derek - S1 - E5 - Kev vs Autograph Clerk

But the boys have bigger things to worry about: a day trip to the beach! Excited for the journey, Derek celebrates by putting Kev and Doug into surprise wrestling holds. We’ve seen Derek do this before, but we now get a firsthand account of his WWE moves, courtesy of Kev and Dougie. It seems nothing will stop Derek from releasing his superstrong holds, including pretending to pass out. The problem with that tactic is that Derek can fall asleep while lovingly choking you out.

Awesome Doug Quote #1: “I make it like a game of Twister just to make it seem a little bit more normal. Just in case the council pops in unannounced.”

Awesome Derek Quote #2: “I loves wrestling because I’m strong and grabby. I like wrestling. It’s kind of like strong cuddling, really.”

After the wrestling match, the gang leaves for their trip to the shore. Hannah laments having to be left behind, but since she has a new resident to check in and some of older people can’t be left alone, she knows it’s part of the job. It’s another example of Hannah’s dedication to the people she cares for.

Back in the bus, Derek continues to grill Doug with hypothetical questions involving the battle of terminal diseases. Would rabies or AIDS win in a bloodstream race? Would it be possible to give rabies cancer? As Doug again comments that having Derek in the backseat is worse than driving while on the phone, we see a glimpse into the life Derek has had to lead. He’s well aware of all the terrible ways people can pass on.

Derek - S1 - E5 - Rabies vs Aids

Next we head back to the home, where the new resident arrives with her well-to-do daughter, Rebecca. It turns out she and Hannah were old schoolmates. After some snide “I feel sorry for you” questions to Hannah about if she ever graduated or went to college, it’s clear that Rebecca, much like Shelly from episode 4, has a high opinion of herself. After Rebecca asks about Hannah’s qualifications and snidely comments on her being a high school dropout, Hannah feels self-conscious. More insight into who Hannah was before her work in the home.

Still traveling to the beach, Kev and Derek need a quick bathroom break. After Doug tells Kev to not piss on the wheel, the two go to the bushes. Derek gets a glance at Kev’s knob and announces to the bus that he’s just seen the worst penis in his whole life. Entirely too much information.

Back at the home, Hannah tells the camera how seeing Rebecca again has made her feel a bit bad for herself. Hannah admits she’s never been a go-getter, and seeing her obviously successful and judgmental friend has dimmed her day a bit.

The “Feel for Her a Bit” Moment: Hannah thinks back to a quote from our long-passed friend Joan, who said, “You make a living from what you get; you make a life from what you give.” As she recognizes Derek is the epitome of that sentiment, it’s clear she desperately wishes the boys were back—oddly enough, even Kev.

Doug comments how Hannah’s life may not have turned out the way she originally hoped, but it’s only because she thinks of everybody else before herself. A touching montage of Hannah giving and giving reminds us of that simple fact.

When the bus finally arrives at the shore, the lads are having a fine time jumping around on rides, wrestling on a bouncy castle and sleeping on the merry-go-round. (Kev. Obviously.) Doug is the only one who seems incapable of having a good time, as his attempts to relax get thwarted by Derek and a paddleball game with one of the residents goes frustratingly wrong.

Still hanging with Rebecca at the home, Hannah is relieved to see Vicki come in to start her shift. After Rebecca learns she’s an unpaid volunteer, she implies there’s no way Vicki could possibly care about her work. Hannah quickly interjects how hardworking volunteers are, and after being dismissed again by Rebecca, Vicki very politely threatens to shove Rebecca’s head down a toilet if she disrespects her again. Rebecca is disgusted and assumes Vicki is getting a stern talking-to for being so crass. As Hannah and Vicki leave, it’s obviously quite the opposite.

Heartwarming Derek Moment: Seeing a snail crawling through the sand, Derek wonders if he can help it by carving a route for it to the sea. It’s another simple gesture showcasing Derek’s wonder with the world around him.

But what has Kev decided to do as their beach day winds down? Write curse words on crabs. The beauty of this is how Doug and Derek go right along with him. Kev explains there’s not much else to do when presented with a marker pen and a blank crab back, and they both shrug and accept it. Kev’s an odd bird, but sometimes you need to stop fighting and let him write QUIM, TITS and COCK on the backs of crustaceans. He could be doing a lot worse.

After a day of Hannah listening to Rebecca prattle on, the crew finally returns and tells her all about their adventures. Derek saw Kev’s terrible privates, Kev wrote nasty words on living crabs, etc. Rebecca hears all this and, after Hannah refers to them as her friends, she huffs to her mom in disgust.

“Lovely Kick in the Gut” Moment: After Rebecca’s obvious disapproval of Hannah’s friends, her mom comments, “You should get some.” Flustered, Rebecca goes to leave and lays some “Sorry I’ve been such a disappointment to you” drama as a parting shot. Her mom’s response? “It’s always been the other way around, and you know it.” Quick but completely telling.

As the residents make their new friend feel at home, Hannah gives one last camera confessional. It was nice to see Rebecca, but for all of the stuff she has and all of the rooms in her home, she doesn’t have one for her mother. Hannah’s final quip puts a solid period on an episode that reminds us it’s not have you have, it’s what you give. More important lessons from an important episode. #BeLikeDerek