Following Han’s orders in last week’s episode, Shaun has moved from surgery to pathology, where he’s shown the ropes by the perky and personable Dr Carla Lever. Her perky personableness does not, however, move Shaun, who still hankers after a return to surgery. And he sees an opportunity for just that, when Sadie, a young woman who presents with vague symptoms of tingling limbs and a premonition of doom, is scanned and diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Shaun, however, thinks that Sadie has something else, and wants to talk to her to work up a full history.
This request is rejected, but his conclusion is correct: Sadie is, in fact, suffering from an unpleasant but entirely non-fatal parasite thing related to the eating of sushi. Unfortunately, Han takes the view that this kind of proves his point: Shaun has terrific diagnostic skills, which make him ideal for pathology; and he’s unlikely ever to develop his communication skills to the point where he’s suitable for surgery. So Shaun stays where he is. Whether that decision is right or wrong I’m not yet convinced that Han is a bad guy per se. Maybe he’ll do something vicious next week.
The other Case of the Week features Clarence, a pastor with a tumour on his spine. This one is treatable, but Clarence wants a risky intervention which will remove the tumour but leave him with pain he thinks he deserves for failing to save a parishioner from suicide. This is clearly idiotic, whatever one’s view of religious faith, but if that’s what the patient wants that’s what the patient gets. The funny thing, though, is that when the tumour is removed it’s shrunk to half its original size without any apparent medical reason. Is it a miracle? Or is it explicable? Morgan (theist) and Claire (agnostic, I’d say, rather than flat-out atheist) debate the relevant issues. And who’s to say? Not the writers, who leave it unresolved. A good rather than exceptional episode.