Jack has spent the night with paramedic Nikki. When his brother, Tony, asks him how it went he is initially very cagey. However, he soon confides that it was Nikki’s first time and he now fears that she is getting too ‘heavy’. His fears are confirmed when Nikki invites him out for a drink after the shift but she is called away by Fin before he can answer. When asked by Anna, Nikki is also very evasive about her night with Jack. She confesses that it was her first time and that she had been ‘saving herself’ for the right man. She also says that Jack is a different bloke on his own – both kind and sensitive – and she feels that they have really connected. As they are talking, Tony passes through admin and Nikki guesses that Anna fancies him. She suggests that Anna and Tony should join her and Jack at the pub that evening. Anna plucks up the courage to ask Tony and he initially assumes that there will be a group of them going. He is horrified to realize that she is suggesting a date. He tells a very embarrassed Anna that, were things different, he would say yes but they’d have to be very different – he is gay. When he tells Jack later, his brother is very amused. However, he tells Tony that he is very lucky to be able to avoid unwanted attention. Obviously not having spoken to Anna, Nikki appears and suggests that Tony and Anna join them that evening. Jack tells her that their night together was ‘really special’ but he is not yet ready for a relationship. A few minutes later Anna finds Nikki in the car park and guesses what has happened. Back in reception Tony guesses that Jack genuinely does like Nikki and tells him that he should go and talk to her. Reluctantly Jack goes out into the car park where Nikki is now alone again. He suggests that they should go for a drink after all but she is having none of it and walks off. In resusc Tony confronts Anna and asks her if she finds his sexuality a problem. Having just dealt with a homosexual patient, she tells him that, if his lifestyle is all casual sex and drugs, then it is not her scene. Tony tells her that he does not take drugs and has been with his boyfriend for five years. He also cannot see why he should have to justify himself to her. Later Anna goes to apologise to him; she hopes they can still be friends. As she is walking away, Jack comes up and asks for her help. Given the way he has treated Nikki, Anna refuses to speak to him. She gives in though when Jack gets down on his knees and pleads. At the end of the shift, Anna grabs Nikki and tells her that she is needed urgently in resusc. When Nikki gets there the ‘patient’ underneath the blanket is Jack clutching a bunch of flowers.
Nikki and Fin pick Reg Newberry up from outside a newsagent’s where he has collapsed. He is brought into resusc very short of breath. His wife, Louise, comes in with a bag full of pills and tells Lara that Reg is suffering from lung cancer – the result of 30 years smoking - and is part of a chemotherapy trial at the hospital. Lara tells them that he has a collection of fluid around his lung which she needs to drain. Whilst she is doing that, he tells her that he has always wanted to go to Australia. She suggests that he should take a holiday but he says it would be difficult because his health makes his wife edgy about being away. He is very alarmed to see blood in the fluid draining from his chest and sits up to look at it. As he does, Lara points out that his wig has slipped. He tells her that he feels stupid wearing it but that it helps Louise think that things are normal. Whilst they are talking, Lara asks him if he is happy with the trial. He tells her that the doctors thought it would help but he knows he’s dying. Reg’s doctor, Dr Yazdoni, comes down to the department. He thanks Lara for fitting the drain. Away from Reg’s bed, she asks him about the chemotherapy as she feels that Reg is unhappy. Louise cuts in and insists that the trial is what they both want and tells Lara that is none of her business. Dr Yazdoni takes Lara outside resusc and tells Lara that he knows the family and that she is out of her depth. Reg later thanks Lara for sorting him out. She suggests that he talks to the doctor about the chemotherapy to check that he is still happy. Whilst they are talking he mentions that his son has just bought a house in Somerset but he has never seen it. Lara convinces him that he should go and see it. Later, Reg tells Louise that he wants to take a break from the chemo – he can’t see the point in buying time if they don’t use it. By the time he is wheeled up to the ward, he has removed his wig. As he passes Laura he tells her that it is time for a change.
Paul, the patient in the next bed to Reg, has been brought in with an irregular heartbeat. He had spent the previous night in a club and collapsed when he got home. A friend phoned for an ambulance but had left by the time the paramedics arrived. In resusc Colette wants to shock his heart to get the rhythm back to normal. Philippa, however, wants to use the drug adenosine but Colette feels his blood pressure is too low for this therapy. As Philippa sends Anna off to get the adenosine, Colette goes over to where Lara is speaking with Reg and asks for her assistance. Lara also believes that Paul’s heart needs shocking. Dillon comes in to ask for Philippa’s help with another patient and she has to reluctantly leave Paul in Lara’s care. She promptly shocks Paul’s heart, returning it to its normal rhythm. His tests are fine and Lara plans to send him up to the Coronary Care ward. She also discovers that his problems were caused by cocaine. Later, when Anna asks for some details from him, he is very evasive. She suggests that she might phone the friend who called the ambulance but he informs her that they were not close; he was just a one-night stand. On hearing this, Anna fears that he is being very casual about his health but Lara points out that not knowing the name of the man he took home might have been part of the attraction.
Dillon is doing triage and has to treat a tramp who has been brought in by ambulance. He has had his boots stolen and is suffering from frostbite. Philippa examines him and tells Dillon that, if they are to save his feet, they must heat them up with warm water. She warns, however, that the patient will not like the procedure, as it will be very painful. Dillon fetches some water and it instantly turns black when the man puts his feet in the bowl. Later, he is in a great deal of pain, despite a dose of morphine, and Philippa is angry as she feels it to be a problem for the surgeons, not the A&E department. The tramp informs her that he didn’t ask to be brought in, he fell over and ‘some do-gooder called them green characters’. Philippa tries to persuade him to put his feet back in the water, warning him that they will have to be amputated if they cannot be warmed up. He promptly removes them from the bowl, splashing her with filthy water, much to Dillon’s amusement. Dillon later tells Philippa that he is keen to see the old man admitted. She tells him that the last patient she treated like this was when she was working as a surgical registrar at Broadway General: he was admitted and spent six weeks on her ward, having the time of his life. Shortly after, as Dillon is in reception looking at Colette’s photos of her honeymoon (all of which are underexposed!) he catches the man trying to leave. He not only persuades him to go back in to the department but also to let himself be admitted, on the grounds that he would be in for weeks and couldn’t be released until the authorities had found him somewhere to live.
At the beginning of the shift Lara pulls into the car park, driving Patrick’s car, as Nikki and Fin are unloading Lewis, a category B prisoner, from the ambulance. The officers accompanying him inform her that he is serving a sentence for manslaughter and has sustained a head injury during a fight at breakfast. Lara sends him for an x-ray which reveals that there is no glass in the wound. The officers are keen to get him back to prison but Lara insists that he must stay a little longer – his wound is close to his eye and will require further examination under anaesthetic. When they are alone, Lewis tells Chloe that he would rather not bother with the operation: a scar would give him character. He is also adamant that he will not have a general anaesthetic. His father had a hip replacement and never came around and he fears that he will suffer the same fate. Whilst they are talking, Chloe’s boyfriend Jason drives into the car park with a friend. He is dressed in a hospital porter’s outfit. Chloe goes to tell Lara what Lewis has said and Lara suggests that they should get the plastic surgeons to perform the procedure in the A&E department under local anaesthetic so Lewis won’t be knocked unconscious. Whilst Chloe is bandaging his head, Lewis again insists that he won’t have a general anaesthetic. She is suspicious, however, when he talks his mother’s hip operation. As she is leaving the cubicle Lewis has a ‘funny turn’ and tells her that he is feeling a little faint. His condition soon deteriorates and Lara decides he needs an urgent CT scan. The prison officers are unhappy about this further delay. As they wheel him to the lift, Jason is standing on the balcony in reception talking into his mobile phone. They discover that the CT scanner is being serviced so take Lewis for an MRI scan instead. Outside, Lara insists that they must first remove his handcuffs, as they will interfere with the magnets in the scanner. The prison officers initially refuse as it is ‘not policy’ but ultimately have to agree, albeit reluctantly. Lara sends Chloe back to the department but as she leaves the scanner room she is grabbed by Jason who is hiding in the corridor outside. He urges her to get away as fast as possible so she is not involved. As Lara is examining Lewis’s scan, Jason breaks into the room, Lewis jumps out of the scanner and they leave together, barricading the others in the room. Meanwhile Chloe has returned to the department but has a change of heart and goes in search of Jason who is now trying to escape with Lewis. As she passes a laundry trolley she is grabbed by Jason again. He tells her that he did intend her to be involved but they need her help to get out and avoid the security guards who are now searching the hospital. She learns that Lewis’s ‘funny turn’ was all an act and he and Jason had been planning his escape for a while. She leads them to the service entrance where Jason’s friend is waiting the car. Chloe decides she will go too but Jason tells her she can’t and that he will be in touch again soon. He kisses her and speeds off in the car, leaving Chloe in floods of tears – in full view of a security camera.
Episode first broadcast Saturday 5th January 2002
Henry Ian Cusick
Written by Helen Barratt
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