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S15 E08

S15 E8 (22 Oct 00) : Sympathy for the Devil by Len Collin

Episode Summary

A protest is going on about the demolition of squat houses to make way for a new supermarket. It is being led by Councillor James Hughes. Summer, who was living in one of the houses, is dragged out of it. James Hughes stands up in the path of a JCB; a brick is thrown at him from behind the vehicle, but it bounces and hits Summer, knocking her over. Josh and Finlay are already on the scene in case of trouble, and they go to her aid. James Hughes and his wife Laura fuss round Summer, offering her help. They come to see her in Holby A&E, where she is being treated for a fractured wrist and tell her they’ll find her somewhere to stay short-term. They leave her their card with the address of a shelter on it, then go. Barney is surprised that Summer, with her middle-class accent, lived in a squat and joined in protests. She said she wouldn’t want to live in a little house with gnomes in the garden, like her sister Vera – although Vera wants Summer to come and live with her. Summer tells Duffy she has a pulsating pain and her back feels like a red-hot poker. Duffy goes to get Max. Meanwhile Vera comes in to see Summer; she tells her sister that she looks terrible but that she’s reaping what she sowed. She looks round and says that she wants to transfer her to a private hospital. Summer tells her she doesn’t need her. Suddenly Summer deteriorates; she is taken to resus and it runs out she has an aneurysm. Vera blames herself and is sorry for her behaviour. She tells Summer she wants her to live with her, and begs her not to die. The aneurysm needs to be removed straight away, so a surgeon is called down and it is done in resusc before Summer is taken to theatre. Chloe tells Vera that Summer seems stable at the moment, and that she’s a survivor – she should make it.

Mel tries a psychological game on Penny: she’s won a competition and David Ginola, Clive Anderson, Einstein or Brad Pitt are in a room; she has to decide who she’d spend the evening with. Finlay tries the same game with Josh, with four women – Josh picks Marie Curie.

Two boys, Kevin and Liam, are playing football when they kick the ball over the wall of Henry Wallowski’s garden. One of the boys climbs up to try to fetch it back. He goes up to the door and peers in, but Henry shouts at him and he runs off. Ivy Watson comes to Henry’s door, and when he doesn’t open it, she shouts that he owes her one pound fifty. Henry collapses inside. When he still doesn’t answer, Ivy calls an ambulance. Penny and Mel arrive, but the door is locked so Mel has to climb up to get in a first floor window. She finds Henry, and they take him to Holby A&E. Ivy follows as Henry refuses to let her come in the ambulance. They squabble all the time. Ivy goes back to fetch some things for Henry; he tells her not to go upstairs, and she agrees, but says she’ll clear up some of the newspapers he collects. She arrives just as Kevin and Liam, who have gone in to collect all the footballs Henry has confiscated from them, are about to leave; they run upstairs. Ivy starts to clear up, and is sitting at the stove burning all Henry’s newspapers when she hears a noise from upstairs. She goes up to find Kevin and Liam looking at an old photo album, of Henry and her when they were younger. She is about to shout but instead picks up the album and looks through it. She tells the boys to go home, and sits looking through Henry’s memorabilia of their times together. She opens a box and pulls out a white wedding dress. Downstairs, a burning stick has fallen out of the stove onto the floor, setting the room alight. Ivy notices the smoke and opens the door. She goes through the flames to get out of the house. The fire brigade and Mel and Penny arrive. They take Ivy to Holby A&E but she is not seriously injured. She tells them that she and Henry fell out because they had planned to meet at Victoria, but he went to the coach terminal and she went to the railway terminal; they didn’t meet and Henry thought she’d stood him up – he’d been about to ask her to marry him. He didn’t speak to her for three years, and whilst he was sulking she went off with a Canadian. Ivy brought the box out of the house with her, and takes it to Henry. Ivy tells him his memory obviously wasn’t too good even back then, if he’d bought her a white wedding dress. Penny says that it would be a shame to let it go to waste, and Ivy agrees.

Josh and Finlay are called out to a house. A young lad, Paul, leads them to his father, who has been stabbed, telling them that thugs had raided the house and attacked his father. They reach the patient, who turns out to be James Hughes – his wife Laura is with him. Josh and Finlay comment that they were only told the patient had breathing difficulties – nothing was said about a stabbing. They set to work treating James, and Finlay goes back to the ambulance to fetch the trolley. He finds that the tyres have been slashed and the radio broken. He goes back to break the news to Josh and the others. They wait for the police to arrive but realise they’re not coming – Paul never called them. They ask where the phone is but Paul tells them it’s not working either – the nearest phone box is a mile down the road. Finlay is getting suspicious of Paul and wants to go to the phone himself, but Josh says he needs him there and they tell Paul to go. Finlay tells Josh they’re not being told the truth; he wants to know what they’re dealing with. Josh says all that concerns him is that the patient is bleeding to death – that’s the bottom line. James is losing a lot of blood and is deteriorating. Paul returns but there is still no sign of any help arriving. Finlay says he’ll go to the phone box himself; when Paul objects, Josh tells him that maybe the ambulance control thought it was a hoax call. Paul says he’s not having this. Laura objects; she tells Paul they can’t hide it, that James isn’t a bad man but just needs help. Paul makes Laura show them her back, which is covered in cigarette burns – James has been abusing her for years. Paul tried to kill him to stop all this, but Laura couldn’t stand by and watch James die so she phoned for an ambulance. Paul asks Josh to just let James die, saying it doesn’t matter to him whether or not James lives. Josh says he can’t do that. Paul threatens them with a poker, saying that nobody is going anywhere until James is dead. Josh tells Paul that he’ll end up in prison; he says that in the circumstances Paul has a good defence for his actions, but if he keeps preventing them from saving his dad’s life, the defence won’t work. Laura talks to Paul, begging him to see that James is a good man deep down; she says she loves him. Josh tries to go to the door; Paul threatens him again but Josh says that if Paul hits him, it will make him as bad as his dad. Laura begs him to put the poker down, and Paul does so, and starts to sob. Eventually they get James to Holby A&E. While they are waiting, Paul tells Josh and Finlay that he’s got to live with what he’s done. They say they don’t judge people, and hope that things work out for them. In resusc, James dies. Duffy goes to inform Laura and Paul. The police are with them; they hug each other.

Back in the ambulance, Finlay asks Josh if they could have saved James if the ambulance hadn’t been vandalised. Josh says they did what they were trained to do. Finlay says Josh was right: it’s the patient that counts. Josh tells him he’s not as cynical as he makes out. Finlay changes the subject by saying, “I’ve got a good one for you. There’s an Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman all in one room…” Josh interrupts, “Oh, I don’t have to pick one for a date, do I?” They both crack up.


Summer – Fractured wrist and an aneurysm is discovered later.

James Hughes – has been stabbed, later dies in resus.

Ivy Watson – Smoke Inhilation.

Henry Wallowski.

First Scene/words

[A protest is being held, and people are chanting and holding signs with the slogan: “Say no to valu-right”.]

Last Scene/words

[Josh and Fin are in the ambulance.]

Fin: Hey, I’ve got a good one for you. There’s an English man, an Irish man, A Welsh man and a Scot all in one room….

Josh: I don’t have to pick one for a date, do I?

[A shot of the ambulance is seen as we hear their laughter.]

Review by Alison.


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