Emotional scenes as Iain exits Casualty

One of the most moving and important stories to come out of Casualty wrapped up in fine style tonight as Iain Dean (Michael Stevenson) said farewell to the ED. It was the conclusion of a long-running story that’s seen him dealing with severe mental health issues including an attempt to take his own life, and his gradual recovery and ability to seek out help and learn to cope.

The last thing we saw him do was throw a pebble into the sea – the pebble his therapist asked him to get, from Mia’s favourite beach. It didn’t symbolise the end of his struggles with mental health, because the programme has been careful to point out that depression isn’t an illness with easy answers and pat solutions. Instead it symbolised his readiness to move on to another phase of his life.

The episode was full of poignant moments for Iain, not least being called to patient Stan, whose dog Iain had previously treated. This time the dog had died, and sadly so too did Stan. Everyone watched Iain carefully for signs that he mightn’t be able to cope with this outcome and Dixie (Jane Hazlegrove) tried to get him to talk about it. Was Iain shutting his colleagues out again?

Anna, a patient who’d dropped a piano on her foot but whose underlying problem was mental illness too, helped Iain to sort out his feelings as is often the case on Casualty. Anna’s husband wanted to take care of her, but Anna insisted on living on her own. Iain let her know that he really understood her, from his own experience. ‘What if there’s no coming back from this?’ she asked him. ‘Who wants to go back anyway?’ Iain replied. ‘It’s moving forward that counts.’

So he’s moving forward, into a new job with HEMS. There was a beautiful scene in the pub with Jan (Di Botcher), Dixie and Ruby (Maddy Hill) where they all said they’d miss him. Iain thanked Ruby for everything she’d done for him and the expression on his face was relaxed and happy – his mind was made up. It was a touching end to a story that Michael Stevenson has played perfectly throughout.

Iain had another duty before he went – to let Rash (Neet Mohan) know that Gem isn’t coming back from Thailand any time soon and Rash is therefore formally dumped. This seems a very harsh way to treat poor Rash, and he wasn’t having the best of days anyway what with his dad constantly fussing and Mason (Victor Oshin) taunting about the bike he no longer has. On top of all this, Mason once again threw Rash under a bus for a mistake that he’d made himself. Dealing with a woman’s dislocated shoulder, Mason had shown Rash an old X ray rather than the current one that showed she also had a broken bone. The result of this was that when they gave her arm a good yank to relocate the shoulder they left her in absolute agony. Dylan (William Beck) was not best pleased, but Mason made sure that he put the blame firmly at Rash’s door, telling Dylan that Rash had been ‘distracted’ all day by the news from Gem.

So far I’ve been willing to cut Mason a bit of slack – he’s new, and quite often Casualty doctors will arrive with an over-inflated sense of their own competence until a few life lessons and some choice words from Charlie sort them out – but he really does seem to be quite a nasty piece of work. An upcoming episode will give us more insight into his personality, so perhaps we should wait and see.

Is romance brewing for Ethan (George Rainsford)? Effie Lawrence (Abigail Hardingham), his friend’s daughter who has cystic fibrosis, came to the hospital to be screened for the CF trial. Ethan was also called upon to give his opinion, which meant he had to basically lie about her state of health when she was admitted to the ED last time. It’s a move that could put Ethan’s career at risk, but he seems to be willing to take his chances. When her place on the trial was confirmed, Effie hugged Ethan and Will (Jack Nolan) thought he detected signs of romance. Ethan told him that was ‘ridiculous,’ but he looked a little flustered all the same.

Sue Haasler is the author of the official Holby City book, which you can read about here. Her other TV books and novels are listed here

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