A Drop of the Hard Stuff is the 17th episode of Casualty and the 2nd episode of the 2nd series. It was preceded by "A Little Lobbying" and followed by "Shades of Love". The episode was directed by Antonia Bird and written by Roy Mitchell.
The department has had a facelift and on the first night, Charlie introduces Student Nurses Karen O'Malley and Cyril James. Dr Mary Tomlinson also arrives for her first shift, but receives a cold reception. Ewart invites Elizabeth Straker to shadow him for a shift, she is shocked at what they have to deal with.
An alcoholic man, Gerald, wakes up in a hotel, near the station. He comes from Manchester, and doesn’t remember how he got to Holby. He goes into the ‘Stag & Hound’ pub, where he has another drink. He then goes to Holby A&E, where Mary treats him. He is upset after having an affair with a woman Melanie – and her husband then killed himself after finding out, so she left him, this was six years ago. Mary urges him to give up drink before he dies.
Teenager, Lucy Cammack, comes in, she has an incontinent bladder. Mary discovers she has been having sex through her urethra, and she is desperate to get pregnant. She discharges herself. Tommy Harper, a famous footballer, goes home after drinking in the ‘Stag & Hound’, but after an argument with his girlfriend, he speeds off in his car. He hits Lucy, who then dies on arrival at casualty. Tommy goes through the car window, and suffers head injuries.
Julia, comes in with her neighbour, Ken, after being attacked by her ex-husband, Frank. But they come in again later, after Ken attacks Frank with a carving knife. Frank is taken to CRASH, where Duffy is shocked to discover he was the man who raped her last year. He dies in theatre, and she is not sad.
Susie has a flat warming party after the shift, which the staff attend. Charlie and Karen become close, which annoys Cyril, and Kuba tries to get Ewart drunk. Mary turns up, as well as Elizabeth, who is not impressed with the sight of drunken staff.