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Series / The Clinic

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The Clinic is an RTÉ Ensemble Prime Time Soap created by Orla Bleahen-Melvin and Lilie Ferraril that originally ran from 2003 to 2009, comprising 7 series and 63 episodes.

This Irish series follows the ups and downs of the Clarence Street Clinic, a multi-disciplinary medical clinic, run by husband and wife general practictioners Ed and Cathy Costello. Storylines follow the various clinic employees and patients in a semi-serialized manner.

This show provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Many, given its Soap Opera nature and frequent cast turnover.
  • Brand X: When medication labels are shown, the name of the drug will be an authentic-looking fake.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Daisy returns after Cathy's accident.
    • A heavily-pregnant Keelin returns for acupuncture in the series finale.
  • Character Development: All the regular characters evolve over the course of the series. Sometimes in connection to specific events, sometimes just a natural maturation (Ex: the flighty young receptionist grows up). The consequences of events linger, sometimes over the course of the entire series, and characters react appropriately.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Cathy and Patrick take stress-relieving smoke breaks but constantly talk about quitting. Clodagh bums a one-off during a really stressful time.
  • Cliffhanger: The end of every series from three onward. Unfortunately, including the last series, Cut Short.
  • Dramedy: Despite its Soap nature of high drama, there's a lot of humor mixed in, particularly in the earlier series. For example, emotional funeral scenes contrast with the antics of the admin staff being left on their own for the day in one episode.
  • Domestic Abuse: several cases, as befits the medical setting. One domestic abuser becomes a major plot point. The attitude towards spousal abuse is shocking from a US viewpoint. Numerous times it's stated that reporting abuse, unless a child is involved, is not allowed without the patient's permission, never mind being mandatory as it is in the States.
  • I Am Not My Father: Cathy explicitly states this after her father's death.
  • Insistent Terminology: Dan is a plastic, not a cosmetic, surgeon. Later, he seems to embrace the cosmetic part, as it brings in more income.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!: An overdue patient tries lawn-mowing and eating spicy food before successfully bringing on labor by dancing in a club. There's time for the obstetrician to get there before the birth, but not an ambulance?
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything:
    • Daisy and Brendan. Their series-ending kiss would seem to prefigure a relationship, but by the next series, the reset button has been pressed.
    • Daisy and Conor. Conor claims not to remember the incident, but later it's clear it did mean something.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Married Cathy and Ed have trouble conceiving after the stillbirth of their first child, while Cathy and Dan get pregnant the first time they resume their stalled relationship.
  • Meaningful Funeral: Keelin's mother's funeral allows Cathy and Ed to work through their issues and reconcile.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Keelin misinterprets the bit of argument she hears between Cathy and Ed. The consequences lead to the couple's final break.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Daisy accompanies Conor on his European tour.
    • Keelin, twice. Once to follow her fiance to New York, and, finally, to start another clinic in a hospital.
    • Aine's husband accepts a job in another city.
    • Julia accepts the position of Medical Director at St. Matthew's Hospital.
    • Alex flees the country when his fraud is discovered.
    • Brendan follows his dream of traveling the world when he sells the house he inherited.
    • Ed goes off to foreign countries to be a medical missionary.
    • Marta returns to Cuba.
    • Susie leaves to travel to Indonesia.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Keelin's sister Rhiannon who appears to be around seven in series one reappears in series four (which takes place maybe two years later storywise) as 13.
  • Stalker with a Crush: An atypical version with Cara towards widower Kieran. His baby Hope is the true object of her maternal affection.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. Patrick is the resident counsellor and almost all the staff informally consult him, to his chagrin.
  • Too Much Alike: Many of Cathy and Dan's difficulties spring from them both being driven control freaks who tend to push others away when stressed.
  • Unexpected Inheritance:
    • Cathy's father's shares in the clinic go to his previously unknown lover, Julia, to Cathy's shock.
    • Daisy inherits Cathy's portion of the clinic, to her and Dan's surprise.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Liam believes he has treated Ian this way, and it does push Ian back into the wrong crowd.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Keelin blackmails Dan.
    Dan:: "This time I, I really am impressed. I've gotta say, I couldn't have handled it any better myself."
    Keelin:: "But the difference between me and you, Dan, is you actually enjoy that."