The Nurse – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

The Night Shift

That night, Pernille takes photos of all the medicine strips from the room as episode 4 of The Nurse begins. There are two terminal patients for the night and Pernille feels Christina has a sense of what is going on and calls Niels.

He says if Pernille feels uncomfortable she can stop, but Pernille decides to soldier on. While looking at the vitals of the patients in the nurse’s room, she notices a sudden drop in SPO2 levels (oxygen levels in the blood) in one of them. She immediately rushes to the room and sees that he is being administered some unadvised drugs. She tries to change the tubes but finds Christina lurking outside. Pernille keeps the tubes and vial of diazepam hidden in the medicine room and informs Niels.

What happens on the final night in “The Night Shift?”

When she comes out of the room, Christina tells her that Viggo, the concerned patient, has died. Another patient is brought in and Christina jumps to attend to him. Pernille looks on fearfully as the worst turns out to be true; the new patient goes into cardiac arrest. That is the third death on this shift already and Pernille is worried that Christina knows what is up since she cannot find any syringes in the room.

Another patient is brought into Pernille’s room with abdomen pain. She is quite young and Pernille falls asleep beside her.

Christina wakes her up by saying another patient, Maggi, is having heart troubles. The situation is under control as Christina tries to convince others that they should start heart treatment on Maggi. This time, Pernille finds an empty syringe in the bin. She finds unadministered diazepam in it and hides the syringe in the bin in the medicine room.

Pernille comes back to the nurse’s room to find that Maggi’s alarm system has been turned off. She sneaks up to her room and finds Christina administering the diazepam to get Maggi to into cardiac arrest.

She confronts Christina, who nervously stops. Maggi suddenly goes into cardiac arrest as Pernille’s worst fears come true. Christina takes centre stage and starts compressions, but her heart is fine and the attending doctor concludes Maggi suffered a brain haemorrhage. Then how did the alarm for cardiac arrest get activated? Pernille explains to Niels that Christina accidentally pressed the button in panic when she saw her.

How does Pernille trap Christina and confirm her own suspicions?

Pernille mentions the possibility that Diazepam might have been given to Maggi which caused the haemorrhage. The male nurse is confused and looks at her chart. He discovers that Maggi had a blood clot a few months back. He notices the same shadows in his brain scan as back then and asks Pernille to turn on the oxygen. He also instructs her to get flumazenil, the antidote to diazepam.

The move works and Maggi opens her eyes. She is completely normal and this confirms that Maggi was given diazepam. Christina congratulates Pernille on saving Maggi and emotionally indicates that she is accepting her fate. She knows Pernille has evidence now to implicate Christina.

What happens in the aftermath of Christina’s arrest?

The next morning, Niels shows up. They embrace and together call the police accusing Christina of killing three patients the previous night. She is arrested and the police take Pernille’s testimony. They also collect a lot of evidence from the hospital – used syringes, inventory of medicine stripes, and more. Pernille feels a weight lifted off her shoulders and watches her daughter sleep calmly. The news goes viral nationally and the press covers it on the channels.

In 2016, we see Pernille returning back to work. Niels is now staying with Alberte and he feels there might be resentment against Pernille for what she did to Christina… but Pernille couldn’t care less. She gets a cold shoulder at work but continues as she left off. Pernille takes Kenny’s blood sample, and confirms her name and thanks her for bringing justice to Arne. It is a poetic nod to the heroic acts of Pernille Larsen, the real-life nurse who helped catch Christina and bring justice to the grieving families of so many victims.

We see more information about what happened in the real-life case before the credits roll. Based on Pernille’s testimony, Christina was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for the murders. Since the exact cause could not be scientifically determined, the charge was reduced to four counts of attempted murder. Christina’s sentence was reduced to 12 years and she is still serving time. Everyone except Pernille in Ward 3 has moved on to different jobs, showing her determination to stay and keep saving people’s lives. She is also now married to Niels Lunden.

The Episode Review

Props to the makers for handling the final episode with such respect for the real-life victims and the audience as well. It was always going to be a challenge to balance the two essentials of The Nurse. The final episode had a frantic pace as we saw Christina’s last night shift in the hospital.

The Nurse had a ginger, contemplative pace in the first three episodes. Despite the knowledge of how it ends, we were still serviced with edge-of-the-seat stuff in “The Night Shift” as Pernille’s anxiety spoke to us through the screen. Christina’s reaction to her arrest was one of arrogant disbelief. She really was in over her head thinking Pernille reporting her would not see her getting arrested.

Kenny thanking Pernille was a poetic nod to the nurse’s real-life heroics. When no one else believed her, Pernille stood by her principles and courageously brought a murderer behind bars. She saved the lives of many who could have potentially been victims of Christina’s hubris and need for attention.

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