(Series 30, ep. 21) Casualty and Holby are both very good at giving great send-offs to beloved characters, and this episode was no exception. But which beloved character was being sent off?
There was a choice of two. Disillusioned Ethan, who resigned last week, seemed the obvious choice, but this week found him already wavering in his disillusionment. Dr Lily Chao pleaded with him to stay (he’s her best and only friend, plus he’s a top quality doctor). When that didn’t work she got Connie Beauchamp to concoct a story that she’d already found a replacement. This forced his hand a little, and he realised that he wouldn’t be happy anywhere else. Not even AAU.
As for Dixie, it was the day of her disciplinary hearing and Jess of the Hardcore Holby Rescue Team turned up to speak at the hearing on Dixie’s behalf. This was kind of her, considering she’d triggered the disciplinary in the first place, but she knew Dixie had only had the best interests of her and daughter Olivia at heart. She also told Dixie that she and Olivia were moving to Cornwall – and they wanted Dixie to come too. Obviously this was a massive decision for Dixie. On the one hand her career and her mates. On the other hand the love of a good woman and a ready-made family, something she’s wanted since she lost Jeff (whose photo smiled at us from the wall in several scenes, just as a reminder of those fabulous teeth).
When there’s a dilemma, what you need is a patient who will help to clarify things for you. Dixie’s patient o’ the week was Gerald (Eric Richard from The Bill, who was brilliant). In what was a very sad story, Gerald was in denial about the very – very – recent death of his wife. Dixie helped him face things and, in the grand Casualty tradition, helped herself by realising that it was only her fear of not wanting to lose anyone else she loved (after Jeff, Carol, Polly and who knows how many others, a role call that beautifully evoked Dixie’s time in the show) that was stopping her from going with Jess. A note from Olivia sealed the deal and provided a sweet and tear-jerking voice-over to scenes of Dixie saying goodbye to her colleagues and friends and leaving for a new life in the country, without bothering to pack as much as a toothbrush. I expect they have shops in Cornwall though.
Dixie is going to be a hard act to follow. She was plain-speaking and blunt, but had such a reassuring way with patients. With colleagues she was a great mate, funny, supportive and calm in a crisis. Her relationship with Jeff was one of the sweetest and most believable soap marriages ever. Jane Hazlegrove and the writers created a warm, feisty, relatable character who seemed totally real. If I’d accidentally cut my leg off with a combine harvester, the first words I’d want to hear would be, “My name’s Dixie, I’m a paramedic.”