(Series 29, ep.5) Staff members in peril is a thing that happens a lot in Casualty. Who can forget Tess impaled on a spike, Charlie having a heart attack and Sam plummeting from the first floor? There have been too many staff traumas to mention, but it always brings out the best in Holby’s top quality A&E staff.
This week, the staff members in peril situation was dialled up to 11, as not one but five of them were involved in a nasty car crash – and a brilliantly-done car crash it was. I’m sure I lost contact with my seat for a second, it was so sudden.
First out of the wreckage were Connie, Tess and Lily, but Connie’s arm was hurt so badly that Charlie told her she wasn’t allowed to get involved in any hands-on procedures and must just stand around and advise. Connie, who’s been trying to edge old Charlie into retirement recently, looked like she might be about to slap him with her good arm for a second, but as the episode went on it dawned on her just what a loss Charlie would be. When everything is chaos and everyone is frantic with worry for their colleagues, Charlie comes through with his years of experience and his steady and assured way with a pep talk, and with a department.
And they certainly needed it. Ethan and Ash were still trapped at the crash scene and it wasn’t looking good for either of them. By the time Ethan was released he was in a very bad way, and there was no two-armed doctor left in A&E apart from his brother, Cal. In an episode of brilliant performances, Richard Winsor’s was a standout. Cal spent part of the episode being tricked into thinking a son he never knew he had was in the department. He’d definitely had the boy’s mother, though. And grandmother. What a lad. But faced with having his little brother’s life in his hands, he was terrified and emotional, but he did what had to be done and saved Ethan’s life.
Back at the crash, everyone was trying to get Ash out of the wreckage. He had a bit of metal stuck in his leg, and the wonderful Jeff decided he could get it out. Jeff was in a specially good mood, because he’d decided to propose to Tamzin as soon as he got back, and Dixie, seeing how happy he was, had agreed to a divorce. Ash was released, everyone smiled with relief, and it was a job well done.
Then the car exploded.
Connie went to find Charlie in his office and he was ripping the retirement forms to little pieces. He wasn’t going without a fight, he said. What did she think to that? Connie said it was a good point well made – but the staff were going to need him outside.
Dixie came back alone and everyone was waiting for news of Jeff. “Where is he?” Tamzin said, but Dixie didn’t need to say anything. Tamzin went to pieces, and there can’t have been a dry eye in the house. Gemma Atkinson and Jane Hazlegrove were heartbreaking.
So it’s farewell to the man with the most beautiful teeth in the NHS, the lovely Jeff. If only he’d been back at Holby earlier to hear Charlie’s advice: “Can I ask one thing? No heroes.”