I’ll try and avoid the temptation to wax lyrical about the beautiful ending to this festive episode of Casualty. After a will they/won’t they situation throughout, for Charlie (Derek Thompson) and Duffy (Cath Shipton), fans were delighted to see them finally seal their love with a proposal from Nurse Duffin to Nurse Fairhead and a Haribo ring to make it all official!
The end of the previous episode saw Ryan (Russell Boulter) turn up, he just happens to be married to loved up Duffy and they are in the throes of a divorce, as far as she’s concerned. However, it seems that he’s back with a plan to win his wife back, putting Charlie decidedly on edge. Duffy is convinced that he and her son, Paul (Roly Botha) are back to see their new granddaughter, but Charlie’s suspicions are roused and quite rightly so, Charlie’s radar is correct. With Ryan out and about Christmas shopping and totally in the wrong place at the wrong time when he is in the midst of a crush situation in a shop, his injuries land him in the ED and Duffy is instantly concerned for his well-being. Poor Charlie has his Christmas Day duvet day with his favourite colleague knocked on the head as a result of Ryan putting Duffy on the spot to decide whether she wants to spend the day with her family. What a way to guilt trip her, Ryan! However, it seems that Ryan has sensed that there is something between Duffy and Charlie, I think it explains why he feigned further illness and ended up wasting the Trust’s money by having extra unnecessary tests, anyway.
Meanwhile, Connie (Amanda Mealing) starts to warm to a cosy Christmas at home with Jacob (Charles Venn) and Grace (Emily Carey). Her interference in the choices of a victim of the crush in the shop, who turns out to be a random doll collector seems to set her off on the right track. The appearance at home of Jacob dressed as Santa was one of my favourite scenes and the fact that they had a puppy for Grace was also a touching moment.
Love is in the air, as well as mistletoe, in a continuation of last week’s theme, and it’s rather awkward between Ethan (George Rainsford) and Alicia (Chelsea Halfpenny), even though Ethan is trying his best to rectify the situation by suggesting that Alicia takes Cal (Richard Winsor) to her Christmases with each parent. It’s uncomfortable and a cringe-worthy kind of awkward between Dylan (Will Beck) and Sebastian (Rik Makarem) and this storyline looks set to get even more complicated as Dylan’s threat to fail the trainee causes him to lie to Elle (Jaye Griffiths). He feeds her a story about Dylan coming onto him and it looks like she’s bought it, for the time being anyway. Oh dear, I foresee trouble ahead! Although I do think that Sebastian as a character has fitted right in and a bit of stirring up never goes amiss in my book.
So, what of lonely old Charlie, while Duffy is off for a romantic meal with Ryan, courtesy of Paul who booked the table to see if they could work things out (I’ll deal with that lad, later!!!). Well, Charlie thinks it’s game over, but in the rather lovely restaurant Duffy is rejecting Ryan’s gift of earrings (thank goodness they were only earrings!) and asking him for his autograph on the divorce papers which he had tossed up in the air without so much as a bye your leave, earlier on. Duffy asks Ryan to let her go, which is a very moving scene and I was tickled to note that she had a good swig of champagne first – good girl! Where was the first place that Duffy headed to after parting company with Ryan? Back to work of course, and why, I hear you ask? Because where else would you find Charlie? It’s snowing, which is a fortunate festive coincidence, and Duffy is down on one knee in front of the man she loves extremely promptly! Not because she’s slipped in the snow, I know it’s Casualty but still… Seriously, it’s a glorious proposal and I really felt that some of Cath and Derek’s best work went into this episode.