(Series 18, ep. 29) Essie makes a mean shepherd’s pie, apparently. I start with Essie because I’ve been a bit critical of her in the past (when she was being Chrissie 2.0), but in an episode like this, where she’s very much embedded in the general goings-on of Keller and doing her transplant coordinator thing, I really like her. She has a warmth, steadiness and dependability which is exactly what you’d want from a nurse.
It’s also exactly what Digby needs at the moment, though he’s pretending hard that it isn’t. Everyone was worried about him in this episode, as his cancer treatment was taking its toll on him and he looked quite pale and fragile at times. Sacha, Essie and Dominic wanted him to go home and rest, but when Morven’s dad was brought in following a car accident, he insisted on staying.
Much of the story revolved around Morven’s brother AJ (Petrice Jones), who has been sitting on the fact that he’s a donor match for his father – because he’s going to be a father himself and didn’t want to take the risk of surgery. Digby’s illness seems to have given him a new depth of understanding and wisdom and he – and Austin – understood AJ’s position, whereas all Morven could think was that he’d let their father down.
Luckily, a liver was found for Austin, so AJ (Austin Junior?) gets to keep the whole of his, and hopefully Austin will live to see his new grandchild.
And Digby finally got a bit of sleep, on a heap of cushions thoughtfully provided by Essie in a touching scene where Dominic got to use him as a ventriloquist’s dummy (Sacha doesn’t let him do that to the patients) and Morven snuggled down for a sleep with him.
Meanwhile, Digby’s other bezzie mate, Zosia, wasn’t coping very well knowing that her friend was ill. She threw all her energy into one of those cases where there’s an adorable patient for whom the outlook is bleak, but there’s a risky procedure which just might work. Mia (Sue Vincent), a foster mother with a heart of gold and a nasty tumour (not of gold), didn’t have long to live, but Zosia thought she’d be a good candidate for Jac’s new balloon stent trials. Mo was against the scheme, thinking that palliative care was a gentler option, and it seemed she’d been proved right when Mia suffered a stroke in theatre and subsequently died. Mo reassured Zosia that it had been worth a try, and that the knowledge gained about the new procedure would save lives in the future, so like the AJ story it wasn’t a case of right or wrong. Camilla Arfwedson was brilliant in some of the scenes with Mia – she totally nails that smiling-on-the-verge-of-tears thing that I always think must be so hard to do.
Bernie Wolfe was on AAU this week because Raf was off sick. Get well soon, Raf – but his absence meant we got to see more of Serena and Bernie in action together, and what a superb double act they make. They have a very similar sense of humour (“You don’t need a corkscrew if you’re drinking straight from the box,” Bernie said – but that could easily have been Serena). This made for some excellent dialogue as Bernie was served with divorce papers, and nobody gives better divorce advice than Serena (“Expect the worst – anything less is a bonus”).
Next time: A shock for Bernie, a new love interest for Fletch, and Zosia still isn’t coping well with Digby’s illness.