Jodie Whittaker checks out with a dramatic display in a finale full of shocking twists and life-changing spectacles. But dire consequences have to be faced…
Following the calamitous end to last week’s episode, it’s no surprise that we open on Cath having a nightmare. Using the trademark Trust Me close-ups, Jodie Whittaker is bathed in blue light as she helplessly tries to perform CPR on someone she knows. It’s a visually stimulating intro that sets the tone for the series’ final hour, grabbing your attention right from the off. Plus, little do we know it at the time, but it’s an eerie bit of foreshadowing of something that is yet to come.
This nightmarish feel, and certainly the bleeding together of reality and fantasy, is a key theme of the episode. The walls between Cath and Ally are breaking down, and we’re left waiting to see which way they will crumble. In a moment of relief, we discover that the victim of Cath and Brigitte’s botched surgery is still (just about) alive. But the authorities still want to investigate, and someone needs to take the fall. Andy tells Cath to let Brigitte take the blame, especially after finding out about her drink problem. It’d be a “mercy killing”, after all. But Cath decides to bite the bullet and protects her boss in the moment of truth. Still, she manages to escape a thorough investigation. The obvious, predictable way for Cath to get found out is shot down fairly early on.
“I don’t wanna lie. I’m not a liar!”
Instead, it’s the world outside Cath’s job that starts to light the fuse of trouble. Her kindly Scottish neighbour is brought into A&E with ‘indigestion’, which later results in a near-fatal heart attack. Cath is completely shaken up and begins to blame herself for everything going wrong. She manages to continually evade the firing line – but the people around her suffer because of it. Haunted by PTSD-esque visions, Cath has to balance her fears with her focus. In a graphic, terrifying scene with burn victims screaming for help, Cath’s abilities are put to the test. In the face of grave adversity, she is brave and steadfast – and her intellect wins out in the end. It’s a real doctor moment for Whittaker, in every sense of the phrase.
In spite of her surgical success, Cath has had enough of all this worry. She picks up Molly from nursery and plans to make a run for it. Her heart absolutely drops, then, when ex-husband Karl turns up in Edinburgh without notice. This simple undiscussed action, made so that he can be closer to his daughter, ultimately leads to the episode’s heart-pounding climax. Cath is forced to tell Karl the truth about her false identity. Disgusted by his ex-wife’s recklessness, Karl threatens to go to the police, but Cath persuades him otherwise. Instead, they go to Andy’s house to clear out her things and resume the life they used to have. It sure would be a shame if Andy himself caught them both in the act, wouldn’t it…!
“I never meant for any of this to happen!”
So, of course Andy turns up at his home, right as Cath and Karl are about to leave. The two men clash, first verbally and then physically, with Cath stuck between them. Who will she choose: Karl or Andy? Or, indeed, Cath or Ally? A clapping rhythm crescendos in the background as the tension builds. But in the heat of the moment, there’s one character everyone’s taken their eye off of. Molly has run out into the road, right into the middle of fast-moving traffic. Finally proving his worth as a father, Karl makes a bid to keep her safe – and gets knocked down by a car himself. It’s one of those moments that you just know is coming, and yet the thud and crunch of the impact still manages to shock you. Ouch.
Karl is rushed to the hospital and eventually becomes stable. But after a chilling scene where Andy is left alone with the unconscious Karl, he goes back into a sudden arrest… and dies. Andy insists that he didn’t murder Karl – although he did consider it – but Cath doesn’t know whether to believe him. Jodie Whittaker is at her most emotional and dramatic as she reacts to Karl’s death and tells Molly about his fate. Where can she go from here? Andy tells her to stay: “you love being a doctor”. Reality or fantasy, which does she choose? There’s nobody left that can be trusted. All of the innocents have suffered while all of the liars remain unscathed. The ending is summed up perfectly in just one line: “nobody gets what they deserve”. After four weeks of suspense, Cath manages to completely avoid being found out.
“I don’t trust you, and you don’t trust me”
The ending might not satisfy everyone who was (understandably) expecting Cath to get her comeuppance. But it’s hard to deny, we should have expected a left turn from Trust Me. What started out as a seemingly predictable premise has turned into quite the journey. No major press story, no major investigation, and no major consequences to Cath herself. In fact, she actually manages to come out smelling of roses. Brigitte goes on leave to sort out her drinking problem, leaving Cath to take charge as the new senior doctor. She fully embraces her adopted life as Ally and accepts the promotion. It’s harsh that she succeeds while everyone else suffers, but we guess that’s just life. Fantasy may prevail, but it’s a reflection of reality. Justice isn’t always done.
One has to wonder though if this ending was intended to leave the door open for a second series. It’d be hard to imagine a Trust Me Series 2 where Cath/Ally is locked up for identity fraud, after all. And we’d be more than happy to watch another chapter in the story, too – but we reckon Doctor Who might be in the way now somewhat! Still, as a one-off series, Trust Me was an unexpected delight that went from strength to strength each and every week. Jodie Whittaker shone through as the show’s brightest star, and if you ever need a showpiece for her incredible talents, this is definitely it.
As Cath, Jodie went from side-lined nurse to fully-fledged doctor. Now that she’s earned her credentials, she’s more than ready to step aboard the TARDIS later this year. With key in hand, all of time and space await… next stop: anywhere!