Still reeling from the shock of his son (Harry Collett) going on a shooting spree around his school and then dying in a recent Casualty episode, and still bearing the scars of being beaten up by an angry mob, David (Jason Durr) was desperate to find some kind of normality by working.
This was despite the fact that it was the day of Ollie’s funeral. Dylan (William Beck) had kindly agreed to arrange the service, telling the minister that Ollie’s mum wouldn’t be coming at all and he wasn’t sure about David.
He was surprised to see David in the ED later in his scrubs, but David pleaded to be left alone to get on with his job. ‘Just for once be my friend and not my boss,’ he implored Dylan, who’d spent the morning doing exactly that.
It was a typical day in the ED, with patients including the almost obligatory relative-of-a-staff-member, a woman who’d had her fingers chopped off by a Samurai sword, and a little girl who had the habit of wandering around the hospital on her own – sometimes carrying a severed finger with her.
All of these stories had something to say about parenthood. While a lot of people – including David himself – thought that David should known that Ollie was capable of such horrific violence and was in some way to blame, we saw other parents getting things wrong.
Faith (Kirsty Mitchell) realised that her daughter Natalia (Zoe Brough), who was in hospital after a sex game had gone wrong, had aspects of her life that Faith had no idea about. While offering a timely and important lesson in consent (‘Sex should always be about pleasure, always’), Faith realised that her previously judgemental attitude towards David had been too harsh and she told him he deserved to say goodbye to his son.
At one point David was accidentally elbowed in the face when he got in a fight with the stepfather of the Samurai sword victim (who was absolutely not a great example of parenting). In panic, he rushed to the safety of a store cupboard and locked himself in, only to find it was occupied. Millie (Seosaimhin Hennelly), the little girl who kept wandering away from her own loud and angry mother (Julie Atherton), was crouching in the corner.
Millie’s mother had previously told her to keep away from David because he was a bad man, after recognising him as Ollie’s father. In her innocent way Millie helped David to open up a little bit as he explained about Ollie. ‘My son did something very bad,’ he told her. ‘Is he still your friend?’ she asked him.
Later, David decided that he would go to the church after all. He’d even prepared a few words to say and Dylan had arranged for as many as the staff team as possible to be there for support. David asked for a few moments on his own, and as the organ played he looked at the fresh grave of one of the shooting victims, and thought about Ollie as a little boy and as a young man.
Looking very alone and vulnerable, he turned around and walked away.