"Phoenix" is the 285th episode of Casualty and the first episode of the 15th series. It was preceded by "Being There - Part Two" and followed by "Accidents Happen". The episode was directed by Tim Leandro and written by Ben Cooper.
Josh and Fin wheel a panicked and confused man named Glen into resus after he was severely injured by a loose cutting wheel. Spencer, who has been employed by the hospital as a HCA, helps the team restrain Glen in order to administer a dose of propofol in preparation for a rapid sequence induction. Outside the ED, Andy Bishop and Luke conspire to burgle one of the department's nurses and pick Chloe as their target. In cubicles, Holly and Barney vent their frustrations with Duffy's method of running the department in Charlie's absence. Meanwhile, Duffy reintroduces Spencer to Max and assures him that Spencer has dealt with his drinking problems. The staff receive a postcard from Tina and Sean.
In cubicles, Duffy begins to regret agreeing to participate in an experiment by Dan Robinson aimed to reduce ED waiting statistics when the wards refuse to house the department's patients, and decides to confront him personally. Duffy admits that she misses Charlie. Outside, Charlie visits the department but is spotted by Spencer who fails to recognise him. Andy and Luke break into Chloe's room and find money that she has stashed away. Duffy enters Dan's office and tells Dan that the extra beds have had a negative impact on the department. When she mentions Charlie's dismissal of the plan months prior, Dan comments that he has not received confirmation that Charlie is returning to work. Dan tells Duffy that circumstances have changed, and the CEO wants to replace paediatric resus with additional beds. Nevertheless, Dan agrees to talk to the CEO about the bed situation.
Chloe catches Andy and Luke in her room and pursues them, but they get away with her money. Away from the hospital, Andy calls Luke "mental" for returning to being a thief and suggests another means of earning money, but Luke is unmoved and goes to break into the house of an elderly woman he knows named Rosemary who is apparently away in Disneyland with her grandson. While sitting by a boatyard, Charlie is joined by a young mother named Diane and her infant son Phoenix. Andy and Luke discover that Rosemary is still in the house, but she does not put a fight and allows the pair to take what they like. After noticing the poor state of Spencer's shoes, Duffy allows him to take a pair that had been donated to the hospital. Andy and Luke manage to find Rosemary's money and take what they need, but Rosemary's neighbour Colette knocks on her door.
Speaking to Diane, Charlie admits that his pulmonary embolism has made him re-evaluate his life and allowed him to spend more time with Baz and Louis. Meanwhile, Colette enters Rosemary's house and tries to stop Andy and Luke from leaving with the money, but Andy attempts to escape through a window and crashes through Rosemary's conservatory. When the paramedics arrive, Finlay is impressed by Colette's first-aid skills, whereas Josh criticises her for putting herself in harm's way. After Diane leaves to buy herself and Charlie an ice cream and does not return, Charlie gives Phoenix to the police. In resus, Chloe finds her credit card in Andy's bag. At the police station, Charlie tells Geoff Fletcher about Phoenix's fever and suspects that Diane lives around the boatyard, but Geoff suggests that Charlie leave the searching to the police. Nevertheless, Charlie goes searching and spots a boat he suspects to be Diane's. At the ED, Chloe makes a statement to the police about the burglary.
After Charlie finds Diane in the boat, she opens up to him about her struggle to raise Phoenix and asserts that Phoenix is better off without her. Charlie realises that she is suffering from depression and assures her that she can be treated, but he soon discovers that Diane has deliberately overdosed on opioids and calls for an ambulance. After finding out that Spencer is planning to talk to the police about Chloe's burglary, Luke follows him into the boiler room and threatens him, but Luke discovers that Spencer is living there. When Spencer tries to make Luke see sense, Luke lashes out and accidentally strikes the boiler, causing extremely hot steam to be released and scald Luke's face.
When Diane is taken to the ED, Charlie has flashbacks of his pulmonary embolism but is snapped back to reality by a delighted Amy who takes him to reunite with his old colleagues. Charlie thanks them for their support during his recovery, but Spencer bursts in and alerts the team to Luke's injuries. Luke is rushed into resus, and PC Howard recognises Andy, claiming that Andy had volunteered with a youth football training group and was supposedly reformed. Diane opens up to Charlie about her partner Jake's death and claims to not know who she is or where she is going anymore. In resus, Luke explains that his Luke's father has accrued debt through gambling; Spencer and Chloe sympathise and decide against reporting him to the police.
Josh finds Colette waiting in the department and is shocked to learn that she has been employed as an F-grade nurse. Duffy confronts Spencer about the den in the boiler room, and Spencer explains that he is homeless. Duffy and Patrick want to help him, but Spencer assumes that he is going to lose his job and urges them to prioritise the patients. Patrick asks Duffy not to report Spencer and volunteers to help him out. Charlie interrupts and thanks Patrick for saving his life. Patrick gives Spencer the keys to the on-call room but tells him to keep their arrangement private, claiming that it could "ruin [his] reputation".
As Charlie is leaving the department, Dan greets him and asks him if he is returning to work; Charlie confirms that he is. After finding a bottle of whisky, Spencer manages to resist the urge to drink it. Outside, Charlie explains to Duffy that he did not keep in touch because he needed some space after returning from Birmingham, and he has realised, thanks to Diane, that he has "the best job in the world".
- Derek Thompson as Charlie Fairhead
- Ian Bleasdale as Josh Griffiths
- Cathy Shipton as Lisa "Duffy" Duffin
- Robert Gwilym as Max Gallagher
- Jan Anderson as Chloe Hill
- Donna Alexander as Penny Hutchens
- Rebecca Wheatley as Amy Howard
- Pal Aron as Adam Osman
- Sandra Huggett as Holly Miles
- Ian Kelsey as Patrick Spiller
- Ronnie McCann as Barney Woolfe
- Kwame Kwei-Armah as Finlay Newton
- Michelle Butterly as Mel Dyson
- Ben Keaton as Spencer
- Adjoa Andoh as Colette Kierney
- Sylvano Clarke as Andy Bishop
- Stuart Morris as Luke
- Marcia Warren as Rosemary Davies
- Honeysuckle Weeks as Diane Gibson
- Iain Stuart Robertson as Geoff Fletcher
- Chris Alan as PC Howard
- Antony Byrne as Donald Mortimer
- Bedria Timimi as Nurse