Rather a different start for the episode tonight, one that started off with the dark and dangerous Professor Gaskell screaming into the morning air as he stood in the gardens in the hospital grounds, quite the way to start the day, feeling a bit stressed are we?
Roxanna sees what he’s doing, but declines his offer of doing it herself, I don’t blame you Ms MacMillan I wouldn’t either, the pair then walk into the hospital together discussing their recent trip to Lisbon and what happened there, Gaskell conveniently making the remark that they’re better as a pair in regards to the trial, so you’ve got a scapegoat if anything goes wrong, this sounds more the translation of what he might actually mean. Just as they’re getting in the lift they see Jac, she tells them that she feels really good after her operation, question is how long for?
Roxanna and Henrik arrange to have a catch up and dinner after work, it seems he could benefit from his good friend and colleagues company at the moment, his face lighting up as the prospect of their dinner.
Sacha is helping out on AAU, and is rather surprised to say the least when Essie is wheeled in through the doors, it turns out she’s been admitted with acute stomach pains and is accompanied by Raf’s dad Enzo, this turning into a slight issue when none other than Henrik is drafted down to be the doctor who takes charge of Essie’s care and whatever treatment she may need for whatever is wrong with her, Raf’s dad stony faced as the Swede quickly makes his way to and then from Essie’s bedside as he begins to start to treat her.
A little guest appearance from a Casualty regular in the shape of Ethan Hardy appears on the ward with a patient for Roxanna and Gaskell, the middle aged woman Gina, has been having seizures and he thought that this might be the ideal place to try and see if she can be diagnosed and then made better. After settling the patient into a bed on the ward, Roxanna and Ethan talk about them not being able to accept him onto the trial as a patient like they did Jac, this being further made impossible by his own diagnosis of Huntington’s disease, he says that he understands why he couldn’t be on the trial and Jac was instead, before walking away looking somewhat rejected.
Meena is on the ward to tell Roxanna that Mr El-Awari has died in Morocco, this news seems to shock the neurosurgeon and this causes her to head to the lab and start looking through the paperwork of some of the patients, coming across the order form Gaskell had made for the things that made up the neo conduit that’s been used, she then asks for a colleague to test a sample of said neo conduit, could it be more sinister than she imagined?
After performing a CT scan and blood tests on Essie, Henrik is the one who has to deliver the news to her that she does in fact have ovarian cancer, her blood mark being over 10,000 instead of 0-50 in women without ovarian cancer. He tells her that he wants to go into emergency surgery and to find out more about the blockage she’s suffering with and give her a hysterectomy at the same time, telling her if he finds the tumour inoperable then the other option is to fit her with a stoma bag and then chemotherapy, assuring her that she’s receive the best care possible, with her eyes full of tears she agrees to his plans, can Henrik save her life?
Henrik and Enzo have a brief conversation outside about grief, he tells the former CEO that it comes and goes, some are bad days, some are good and better days, this seems to stir something in the Swede, something relatable that he himself also feels, his own grief for Fredrick as well as everything that comes with that and the events surrounding it.
With the results back in her possession, Roxanna meets Gaskell in the lab, telling him that human cells were found in the neo conduit sample but that he knew about this anyway didn’t he and that he’s been lying to her all this time, telling him in no uncertain terms that she knows that he bought tainted materials from an unknown supplier in the far east, he tries to justify it by saying it was quicker and cheaper to do this, asking his colleague what she takes him for? Roxanna fires back with ‘I don’t know you tell me?’ Gaskell then tells her that what happens next is in her hands, is that a threat or some manipulation or pressure from the Professor? These revelations cause the neurosurgeon to walk out of the lab and slam the door!
With the order form for the neo conduit, Roxanna is approached by Ethan on the stairs they talk and he opens up a bit more about his Huntington’s diagnosis, she tells him that the techniques they have or know about aren’t developed enough to help him, with a watery smile he asks that they hurry up with the techniques and that when they need a guinea pig he’ll be it, then he departs, cue Roxanna letting out a deep deep breath, she’s obviously feeling the pressure the ‘crazy’ Professor is continuing to put her under at every turn.
Essie’s operation has been a success and she’s now been moved to ITU to recover, Henrik and the other surgeon having performed a full hysterectomy and removed her ovaries, he comes to visit her when she comes around and tells her what they did and that they managed to remove all the cancer. When Dom comes to visit a short time later, Essie ends up crying in his arms with Henrik and Enzo looking on from outside her room, the enormity of what she’s been through proving too much for her, not surprising given the circumstances, everyone is behind you Essie!
Enzo tells Henrik that anyone can connect like Dom does with Essie and giving her comfort, and it starts with forgiveness, yes he means you Henrik and forgiving yourself!
Gina’s illness and symptoms are found to be a result of the lead she’s been in contact with whilst renovating her cottage and that she should recover in a few days, after giving her the good news Ethan and Roxanna talk briefly again, he admits to being a bit jealous of Gina’s diagnosis and that she is going to be alright, saying that it’s a privilege what they do at work every day, in seeing miracles and recoveries, despite his own diagnosis he tells her that progress is what keeps him going, alluding to the seeming progress of the likes of what Roxanna and Gaskell and their trial is doing, if only you knew Ethan, if only you knew.
Once again Roxanna and Gaskell are back in the lab, to which he admits that he feels out of control not knowing what she’s going to do or not too, taste of your own medicine there then Professor. She tells him that if she draws the line with what’s happened then there’s no going back for her and that if he forgets that this trial is a ‘we’ and not a him then she’ll end the trial and pull the plug on everything!
With everything that’s been going on today the neurosurgeon forgets she’s meant to be having dinner with Henrik as the episode starts to draw to a close, ever the gentleman Henrik tells her it’s ok and that they can do it again, Henrik you’re a lovely man! Before taking the double expresso ghasty Gaskell has bought for her, she goes outside needing a moment to herself, this moment being a rather loud one in the form of her walking to the garden where he was at the beginning of the episode and yelling into the air, all the tension and pressure having to be expelled by her somehow, you need to sort him out Roxanna and pull the plug on the trial before he does anything else, or you might be going somewhere else for a very long time!
Moving back upstairs to ITU for the final scene of the episode, Gaskell has found Essie in her bed and stands there not three feet away from her, simply looking at her as she sleeps, what exactly is he doing and what else could he possibly have planned now!?