It was summer 2020 in Casualty – that brief respite from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, a time to take stock as a little blissful normality returned to our lives. For the staff of Holby’s ED it meant dealing with the recent loss of beloved colleague Noel, as well as a return of some of the problems that had been put on hold while the focus was on Covid 19. It also meant a new face and the likely loss of another old one.
Jacob (Charles Venn) knew that Connie (Amanda Mealing) blamed herself for Noel’s death and he was doing his best to try to get her to ‘give up the habit of a lifetime’ by leaving work on time and having a nice romantic evening at home with him. Connie promised she would, but this promise lasted as long as it took for the inevitable tricky case to be wheeled through the doors.
As Connie dealt with accident victim and alcoholic Cindy, Will (Jack Nolan) was treating Cindy’s son Shane. Both of them showed signs of previous physical abuse, though who was abusing whom was a complicated puzzle that took a while to unravel. When Connie finally got the police involved because Cindy was at risk from her son, Will was furious with her because he thought it should have been handled differently. This was the last straw for Will and he resigned.
Jacob was waiting patiently outside for Connie while all this was going on, but when she finally appeared she told him to go home – without her. He protested that they’d spent the whole of lockdown together. ‘But lockdown’s finished, Jacob,’ she told him.
The end of lockdown also spelled the end of Lev (Uriel Emil) needing to stay away from the family home to protect his son Luka. He seemed ready for a new start, with a new clean-shaven appearance to match. The happy homecoming lasted about five minutes, when Faith (Kirsty Mitchell) happened to recall Dylan (William Beck) telling her some daft thing about Lev having an affair with a man. Lev’s reaction made her realise that Dylan had been telling the truth, and she was distraught. Lev pleaded that it had been a mistake, it wouldn’t happen again, he was under pressure because of Luka etc etc, but Faith was having none of it and told him to leave. We saw a devastated Faith consider calling Dylan and then changing her mind – but he’s bound to be the one she turns to.
Jan (Di Botcher) was not impressed when new paramedic Leon (Bobby Lockwood) mistook her for ‘some doddery old cleaning lady’ because she was cleaning an ambulance when he arrived. Despite this bad start, he earned Jan Points by rolling his sleeves up and helping out. He’s a bit daft and flippant, but he’s clearly not all bad. And both Marty (Shaheen Jafargholi) and Jade (Gabriella Leon) decided he was ‘fit.’
The loss of Noel was being felt all over the department, and there was a particularly poignant moment as Jacob read out a card to the department from Noel’s daughter Honey (who used to run the ED’s coffee bar for a while). Nobody was feeling Noel’s loss more than Connie, but one of the tougher aspects of being in charge is that you’re the one who has to be across the brutal practicalities. When a locum doctor needed a locker, Connie asked Rosa (Jacey Salles) to empty Noel’s. Rosa clearly thought this was somewhat disrespectful to Noel, on top of having to tidy away all the flowers that had been piling up for him in reception too. But Connie showed that she honoured Noel’s memory by placing one of his beloved action figures in among the floral tributes. Gone, but most certainly not forgotten.
Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.
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