(Series 29, ep.33) Connie Beauchamp has left the building. She has resigned from her post and reactions within the ED were, predictably, mixed.
My reaction was mixed too, and I’m still confused. I was preparing a little valedictory paragraph for her, but she’s in the cast list for next week so perhaps that’s a bit previous.
For this week at least, though, there was a void where a Clinical Lead should be. So who would replace her? Max didn’t want it to be Zoe again. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a Clinical Lead in bed before midnight and keep them there till 6 AM?” he reasoned. A phone call to Zoe from Henrik Hanssen sealed Dylan’s fate – he was the choice to take the job, at least as a temporary measure. This was a rather bizarre choice given the hoo-ha that was made after Jeff’s death about the Clinical Lead needing people skills, but Hanssen does move in mysterious ways. “Why are you doing this to me?” Dylan complained to Zoe. “I thought we were friends.” By the end of the episode he was already losing sight of his new desk under a pile of paperwork. Let’s hope Dervla enjoys filing.
All the patients this week came from one incident, as so often happens. It wasn’t a multi-vehicle pile-up on the ring road, but a robbery of an amusement arcade gone wrong. The medical problems were mainly fairly simple – a few dislocations, broken bones and grazes, although there was a lady who thought she had leukaemia but didn’t. This was further complicated because there was a bad man who was running a sweepstake on when she would die. Dr Lily Chao got very involved in this because at first they thought the woman who didn’t have leukaemia couldn’t speak English, so Lily spoke to her in Chinese and gained her trust.
It all culminated in a fist fight in the waiting area. Charlie had a proper rant. “You come into my ED with your broken bones and your busted noses and your sob stories… Get out!” he fumed, all stampy and cross. Tess had to take him aside and patiently explain to him that he wasn’t normally like this and maybe he needed time off to look after his waste-of-skin son Louis.
(Series 29, ep.32) It’s not often we get to leave the grim confines of Holby, but this Romanian adventure was well worth the air fare. It was gripping and thoroughly enjoyable.
In pursuit of Charlie’s waste-of-skin son Louis, Connie and Charlie hurtled to Bucharest, pausing only for Connie to grab her Touche Eclat, a gorgeous woolly jumper and some hand sanitiser.
Bucharest looks rather lovely, albeit cold. There was snow on the tops of the buildings, but mainly slush underfoot, which was nicely atmospheric but probably a bit of a nightmare for the actors. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.31) Free the Holby One! Who’s going to join me in my campaign to get Connie out of prison? I’ve got the placards, I’ve prepared the online petition…
Oh, hang on. She’s already out. Blimey, that was quick. And we have to thank none other than Charlie Fairhead, the Hercule Poirot of Wyvern. He didn’t even have to look in Rita’s locker to know that the missing pills were there (how thick is Rita to keep them in her locker anyway?). He just knew, because he’s Charlie and he sees into the human soul. “Do you really hate her that much?” he said to Rita, with a shake of that grizzled head, before convincing the police that the pills just happened to turn up.
So Connie is free. She hardly had time to get used to walking in flat shoes and sleeping in low thread-count sheets and she was out again, feeling the green green grass of Holby beneath her Louboutins. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.28) The very sad Alfred Maxwell story continued, and we found that Connie had been visiting him in his care home after work every day. Alfred was unable to speak any longer and relied on spelling words out by blinking. The words he spelled out to Connie were stark: “Help me die.”
Charlie has, of course, been in exactly the same position with beloved Megan, so he was well placed to advise Connie. “It’s a hard way to say goodbye to a friend,” he said. Connie also knows this, having supported Elliot Hope on his trip to the assisted suicide clinic with his wife Gina, who also had MND. This scene was classic Charlie – some wise words and that middle-distance stare that’s his trademark. No matter how dire the circumstances get, you feel like the world is still balanced nicely on its axis as long as Charlie’s around. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.26) Sometimes Casualty departs from its usual straightforward narrative style and does something a bit different. This was one such episode, in which we saw the same day repeated three times, Groundhog Day-style.
Like Groundhog Day, each section opened with an alarm going off, but instead of Sonny and Cher we had ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead. Frankly that would have been enough to make me want to put my head under the pillow and give up, but Dr Zoe Hanna is not me and, besides, she had Max to wake up next to, and his smile would be an antidote even for Thom Yorke-induced gloom. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.23) Another powerful performance from a guest artiste this week (following Marcia Warren’s brilliant portrayal of a serial killer a few weeks ago). This time Michael Byrne played Alfred Maxwell, a former CT surgeon who was in the advanced stages of motor neurone disease. An accident with a hot beverage brought him to Holby A&E, and into the care of Connie Beauchamp, for whom he was something of a hero. Continue reading
(Series 29, ep.22) In this episode, we received an explanation about why Connie is currently an ED doctor rather than a CT surgeon. It took a lot of coaxing by Charlie to get her to part with the information, but nobody can withstand a Charlie coax for long. It turns out that her father died after being left uncared for on a trolley for 45 minutes (not at Holby, because several people were anxious to point out that things like that never happen at Holby). So it’s Connie’s mission to ensure that doesn’t happen to anybody else. Continue reading