Where do I start with this week’s episode? The fact that Duffy (Cath Shipton) is obviously making a subtle play for Charlie (Derek Thompson) (only it’s not that subtle to us viewers!). Two of the fantastic guest actresses in the form of Sheila Reid of Benidorm fame, playing a character called Sheila, with a cat called Sheila, as well as Liza Goddard as Gloria, an old crush of Charlie’s. Or the fact that David (Jason Durr) and his slightly estranged son stood atop Holby City Hospital and shouted “I have Bipolar!”. Spoiled for choice with what to gush about first with this instalment.
I’ll start with the tale of Sheila and the cat called Sheila, who arrive together in the ED and run Alicia (Chelsea Halfpenny) and Ethan (George Rainsford) ragged. It paved the way for an important health issue to be raised, Toxoplasmosis in this case, very likely caused by Sheila’s feline namesake. However, it also showed allowed for a particularly caring side of Alicia’s nature to shine through as she offers her help to the stricken patient, and thus Ethan is enamoured once again!
Then there’s Charlie and Duffy’s relationship development which takes place at Charlie’s school reunion. It seems clear that Duffy is treating this as a date of sorts, and the appearance of Charlie’s old school crush, Gloria, is not a welcome sight for the returned character. It’s not exactly welcome to Charlie that Gloria is married to his old school bully, Allan Francis (Terrence Hillyer). Unexpectedly perhaps, Charlie is soon embroiled in ‘fisty cuffs’ and gaining the respect of his fellow ex-classmates. There are so many missed moments between our favourite nurses during these scenes, it’s almost painful to watch, but it’s also a pleasure to see because I have to hand it to both actors for playing this relationship out so naturally. They are a class act individually and a force, together.
More twists and turns are in store when Allan arrives in the ED and promptly has a stroke. Following his rapid recovery, Gloria declares that they should divorce and puts her business card into Charlie’s hot little mitt…. “don’t take it, Charlie!” I shouted at the telly. How fortunate that he heard me and binned it later on, as Duffy looked on with a mixture of emotions on her face, well played, Cath!
So we come to David, who’s son thought that the answer to his mother’s reaction to his texting his father was a little extreme and therefore did what every under age youth would do, drove her car to the hospital to see his dad. While there he casually set fire to it, in a fashion and David was forced to leap to his rescue in another of Casualty’s spectacular scenes. However, the over-riding message from the episode was that there should be no shame in mental health, and David’s bond with his son was sealed beautifully with David’s heart-felt, public admission that he suffers from Bipolar, which his son has ‘inherited’. So, we know more about David, we can piece together his character traits and a strong message went out to viewers, a winning combination if you ask me!
Photo credits: BBC