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These are the kind of days that you hope you never have to face. My goodness. Four fatalities at the school. Seven more here. 15 admitted and brought into theatre. 18 minor injuries admitted. Nearly all of them children. But there are kids in here who will be alive tomorrow, and that is because of you. So, thank you.
— Jacob gives a speech to his colleagues at the end of a nightmare shift.

"Wednesday's Child" is the 39th episode of series 36 of Casualty and the 1250th episode of the show overall. It was directed by Judith Dine and written by Stephen McAteer and Hilary Frankland.

In the wake of the Uvalde school shooting in May 2022, the BBC reviewed the episode and eventually decided to air it a week later than originally planned.

Synopsis

David drops Ollie off outside Carsbury Park High School and wishes him luck in the tournament Ollie has claimed to be participating in. While Kerry Thrones teaches a sociology lesson, she and her students, including Natalia, hear a loud bang and students screaming in terror. Hoardes of children try to flee down a set of stairs, but many are injured and trampled on in the stampede. Kerry is uncertain if the school is conducting a drill and directs her students while seeking confirmation; she and her students are horrified to learn that there is an armed intruder in the school.

In the school's drama theatre, an English lesson is interrupted by gunfire; two girls, including Louise Prierton, are shot without mercy, and a boy named Jamie falls inside the stage and injures himself. Having cleared the room, the gunmen ― Ollie and Rob — give themselves 30 minutes to kill as many people as possible, and agree to a suicide pact.

A major incident is swiftly declared at the school, and news of the situation reaches the emergency department. David insists that he is capable of leading the nursing staff despite fearing for his son's safety, whereas Faith unsuccessfully attempts to get to the school. David manages to lead his staff effectively as the first casualties are brought in, but he asks for people to keep an eye out for Ollie. One of the trampling victims — Leon Malony — experiences severe internal bleeding due to him having haemophilia, and Dylan argues that it would take too long for additional factor IX to arrive and declares Leon dead. David, having just spoken to Leon's father, is left shaken and nauseous.

In the sociology classroom, Kerry tries to calm down Jack Lawton and urges him and her other students to stay where they are, but all of the students except for Natalia decide to risk fleeing. Kerry and Natalia listen in horror as Jack is cornered and shot by one of the shooters, and Kerry leaves Natalia on her own to help a mortally wounded Jack. However, Rob confronts Kerry and shoots her. After Kerry is rescued from the site and taken to the ED, Paul recognises her and explains to Robyn that Kerry is his ex-fiancée. Paul is unable to contact Kerry's sister and volunteers to sit with Kerry and keep her company. Having been informed that Kerry will probably not make it to theatre in time, Paul holds Kerry's hand and talks to her until she passes. Outside, a grieving Paul tells Robyn that he loves her but immediately apologises.

With less than ten minutes left on their timers, Rob and Ollie split up to search the remaining classrooms. Ollie enters the sociology class and spots Natalia; he chooses to spare her and report the classroom as empty. Once Ollie and Rob leave, Natalia frantically tries to escape the building, and she accidentally runs back into Ollie as his timer finishes. Regretting his actions, Ollie insists that he does not want to die and begs Natalia to take the gun away from him. Rob shoots at Natalia — injuring her hand — but she escapes. Ollie admits to Rob that he cannot go through with killing himself, so Rob angrily turns his gun on Ollie. Ollie tries to wrestle Rob away from him, but Rob shoots and sends Ollie falling off a staircase balcony. Rob is subsequently confronted by armed police, and he deliberately initiates a firefight.

Rob is rushed to the ED with multiple gunshot wounds. Despite briefly losing his composure, David assists in treating Rob and stabilising him. However, upon overhearing Paul mentioning a boy wearing striped trainers, David rushes into resus to find Ollie being treated. After the news breaks that Rob has died, David and Dylan gather Ollie's possessions for the police, and three shotgun shells fall out of his clothing. David refuses to believe that Ollie could be one of the shooters, and he accuses Natalia of lying when she is brought in and identifies Ollie. With Faith standing firmly by her daughter's side and questioning how David could have missed the signs, David begins to accept Ollie's role in the shooting and hands the shells over to Ffion who states that Ollie has been identified by multiple witnesses. To his mother Rosalene's shock, Ollie is promptly placed under arrest, and David relinquishes his house keys.

Jamie's mother Nina approaches Marty about her son's whereabouts, and Marty promises to look out for him; back at the school, Jamie bleeds out under the stage while the paramedics retrieve the last few survivors. After learning that the school had banned face piercings — one of Jamie's most identifiable traits — Marty takes Nina to identify a child's body; it is not Jamie. Despite all of the casualties being accounted for, Marty encourages Nina to keep trying to phone Jamie while he requests another search. Jamie manages to answer his phone and claims that he can hear people nearby, so Marty has Jan alert the paramedics still at the school. Iain and Sah soon find Jamie under the stage and rush him to the ED. In resus, Marty and Stevie successfully stabilise Jamie and have him sent to theatre. Nina thanks Marty for his help and support.

On his way to theatre, Ollie goes into cardiac arrest and is rushed back into resus. Outside resus, David is confronted by the grandfather of one of Ollie's victims who chastises him for not knowing about his son's activities and hopes for Ollie's death. Feeling that he is physically strong enough, Dylan and Ethan decide to perform a clamshell thoracotomy in order to cross-clamp Ollie's aorta, but their attempts are unsuccessful, and they are forced to give up. While a distraught Rosalene stumbles out of resus, David feels that he let his son down and sobs. Once Ollie's body is removed from resus, Dylan decides to take David home with him and assures him that he is not to blame for Ollie's actions, but upon seeing a child's body being moved into a private ambulance, David falls to the floor.

Cast

Behind the scenes

"Wednesday's Child" constitutes two[1] of the 46 episodes commissioned for series 36 of Casualty.[2]

Postponement

"Wednesday's Child" was originally billed for 11 June 2022. On 1 June, eight days after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the BBC announced that the episode was under review; a short synopsis referencing a school shooting was removed from the episode's page on the official Casualty website.[3] On 8 June, the show's social media accounts posted a trailer for "By Any Means" — a different episode — which was slated for 11 June, and it was announced the next day that "Wednesday's Child" would air on 18 June.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Kitson, Calli. (09 June 2022) "Casualty confirms change as school shooting episode is rescheduled" Metro News [Accessed 10 June 2022]
  2. "CREDITS / CV — Justine Barker composer" justinebarker.com [Accessed 3 November 2021]
  3. Warner, Sam. (01 June 2022) "Casualty school shooting episode under review just days before broadcast" Digital Spy [Accessed 10 June 2022]

External links


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