Comp image of Charlie Fairhead on the Casualty background (Credit: BBC/Comp ED!)

Casualty airs Charlie Fairhead’s final episode and fans declare it a ‘masterpiece’

It was goodbye after 38 years for Casualty's legend

Casualty aired the final scenes for show icon Charlie Fairhead last night – and boy was it emotional. Fans declared it a fitting send off for the ED stalwart.

Charlie has been in Casualty for 38 years and on Saturday (March 16) he said his final goodbye to the show.

Charlie in Casualty lies in a hospital bed fighting for his life
Things didn’t look good for Charlie at the start of the episode (Credit: BBC)

Did Charlie die in Casualty?

The nailbiting episode opened with Charlie being wheeled into resus after being stabbed by patient Kyle. There were fears the knife wound had done damage to Charlie’s liver.

However, Stevie was in meltdown and as she and Zoe argued over how best to treat Charlie, everyone was confused. Eventually Dylan took over, agreed with Zoe and Stevie walked out.

As they fought to save Charlie’s life, Stevie was called to another emergency. Mel had been found at the scene of the car crash and the paramedics needed a doctor on site to save her life. Stevie was the only one available, but she feared she wasn’t up to it.

At the scene, she panicked, so Iain calmed her and helped her through. Although she stablised Mel, Stevie knew she was an emotional wreck and not fit to be working. She signed herself off the shift as soon as she returned to the hospital.

Heading to say goodbye to Charlie, Stevie was called into action by Cam as Charlie’s vitals were dropping. Dr Nash realised the CT scan had missed that the knife had perforated the lung and Charlie was bleeding internally.

Knowing there was no time to waste, Stevie jumped into action to save his life. And that she did: Charlie did not die in Casualty.

Charlie Fairhead talks to Stevie Nash when they are both young
It turned out Charlie and Stevie had met before (Credit: BBC)

How did Charlie leave Casualty?

Throughout the episode, Charlie was drifting in and out of consciousness and flashing back to his old life before he came to Holby. He was a cocky young nurse working in another hospital, but still driving the yellow Beetle.

It even turned out he had met Stevie before, when she was a very little girl, and taken care of her after a nail bomb attack.

In these scenes his mentor, Shirley, was set to retire and she told young Charlie she was going to do “whatever the hell I like” when she was gone. Sadly she died at the end of her last shift, meaning she never got to fulfil her dream.

When Charlie knew he was going to be okay, he made the decision to retire. He echoed the words of Shirley and told Stevie he planned to do “whatever the hell I like”.

The ED were sad to see him go as he tried to leave without a fuss, but they threw him a send-off. Josh, who had returned to be by his side when it looked like the worst would happen, gave a moving speech and they presented Charlie with an iconic yellow Beetle that matched the one he had all those years ago.

Charlie drove off into the sunset with Josh as his passenger and smiled at Stevie as he left. Is this the last we’ll ever see of Charlie Fairhead in Holby?

Charlie in Casualty drives away in a yellow Beetle
Charlie said farewell to Holby in a yellow Beetle (Credit: BBC)

Fans react

Those watching at home thought it was the perfect ending for such a show legend.

Read more: Casualty legend Derek Thompson joins cast of Blue Lights

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Casualty next airs on Saturday March 23 on BBC One at 8.25pm.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)