Last Saturday night saw the break out of a lot of distress and discontentment as it appears Alicia’s sexual assault storyline is nearing it’s finale. Elsewhere, the feud-ridden atmosphere is spreading as Connie and Elle disagree over the treatment of a patient.
The first episode in Alicia’s recent storyline, in which she was sexually abused and raped by former colleague, Eddie, saw Alicia running away from her house in distress. This same image was used this week as the episode opens with Alicia intensely jogging on a beach not soon after sun rise. Seeking isolated tranquillity and freedom is represented in this scene but then, after continuing her therapy and seemingly feeling much better, it all falls apart again when Bea loses it with Eddie.
I find this incredibly interesting because the audience can connect and relate with both Bea and Alicia and understand their actions and emotions, which makes it so real and difficult to determine what is the right thing; who is good and who is evil. Bea, in complete hatred of Eddie and his lack of any apologetic attitude, lashes out, revealing that she knows he raped Alicia. Eddie is still maintaining innocence and keeps up the pretence that their night together was consensual, confronting Alicia and arguing that she initiated it.
This is what has made this plotline so intriguing and detailed, because it’s not your average black-and-white rape story, and it feels confusing and grey which is what rape can be like. It’s such an intricate and sensitive topic and Casualty is exploring it brilliantly. Not only is it raising awareness, it’s also informative as it’s showing circumstances of rape which may not be as stereotypical or well-known, and that is really important because viewers are instantly given more space and opportunity to talk and learn more about different sexual assault experiences.
Alicia understandably gets upset to hear that her closest friend who she confided in has shaken things up and made things even more difficult for her, and she even tells Bea to move out. This results in quite a public argument in the E.D, ending in Alicia reaching her breaking point and hitting Bea in anger. It’s clear Bea only wants to be there for her friend as best she can. Yes, maybe she shouldn’t have riled things up making things worse for Alicia, but, personally, I don’t think I would be able to keep my mouth shut if I was face to face with someone I knew assaulted my friend.
Similarly, Alicia could have opened up and, as Bea described it, not lied to herself by pretending she was OK, but then we can see how much of an impact that night with Eddie has had on Alicia, understandably. Gone is Alicia’s bubbly personality and sense of humour as these past few episodes have revealed a stressed and enraged persona which we’ve never really seen before. It’s real and raw and the audience can clearly understand these two distressed women are just trying to comfortably get through the day. It may all come to something good eventually as Alicia ends the episode at the police station, mulling over her next move. The suspense is killing me!
The heat and drama spills over to Connie’s grand opening of her new trauma centre. It’s made quite clear that Connie is a little too eager to utilise her fresh, brand new facility when she operates on a stabbing victim in a critical condition, potentially put a patient’s life at risk for the sake of pride. I think we probably all agreed with Elle on this case, who appears to be one of the only people who can go head-on with Connie and publicly disagree with her. Elle, however, has always been blessed with a cool head and an objective mind. This is demonstrated greatly in this episode as it was obvious Elle was proud and excited during the opening of the trauma unit too, (having played a huge part in receiving the funding for it), but this doesn’t stop her from knowing what is right for the patient, and recognising when personal feelings could cloud one’s judgement.
Everything turns out alright in the end though as Connie embraces surgery once again to step in when the patient starts to destabilise. This leads me onto my favourite part of the whole episode in which it is quietly implied that Dylan made a £5 bet with David that Connie wouldn’t be able to control herself, and would end up taking over the first procedure in the new trauma unit; a bet that was blatantly won. Thankfully the drama doesn’t go too far as Elle cries peace after the shift is over in order to remain friends with Connie outside of work, and they walk into the sunset together to enjoy tapas. Aww. This initially does appear quite strange, but I think the reason behind the scene is because we’ve seen enough Connie Vs. Elle dilemmas to last a lifetime! I think it also shows how much the characters have grown and developed. It would be kind of repetitive and boring if the same two characters bore grudges and went to war all the time.
I guess I have to mention Sam and Jacob’s storyline they’ve got going on involving Blake. I don’t think this particular narrative has much substance, and I see Sam and Jacob as a fling rather than a passionate, emotional relationship so I’m not yet invested in what will happen to them. It’s just like Louise’s random parking ticket subplot – what is that about? New character, Ruby, only grabs a few minutes of screen time but we can still appreciate the amazing performance as the image of the nervous, trainee who desperately doesn’t want to mess up shines through with just her presence and tone of voice. I can’t wait to see more from her!