In his grief over losing Fenisha just before their wedding in the devastating climax to Casualty series 35, Ethan (George Rainsford) hasn’t been looking after himself. In fact he gets rushed into the hospital by Charlie (Derek Thompson) after the older man finds him in a terrible state.
Ethan is haunted by the feeling that it should be him who died rather than Fenisha – after all, he was the one with the Huntington’s diagnosis.
As he sat with her after her death, Ethan told Fenisha, ‘It was supposed to be me. You, holding my hand. I was supposed to go first.’
In his mind he drifts back five years earlier, to when he’d just received the Huntington’s diagnosis. And standing by his bed is his dead brother, Cal.
Richard Winsor, who plays Cal, explains: ‘He’s there to help Ethan through a very difficult time, be his voice of reason and make him see that life is still worth living, especially for Bodhi, his son.’
There’s no doubt that Ethan has changed in the last five years – and not just because he’s stopped wearing his glasses.
As George Rainsford explains, ‘The last five years has included his brother being murdered, Ethan exacting some sort of revenge by allowing Cal’s killer to die, breaking up with Alicia, saving Connie’s life, getting promoted to clinical lead and being utterly useless in the role, nearly dying in a market explosion, having a baby, having to tell the mother of his child about his condition and finally getting engaged.
Quite the rollercoaster! In many ways he has grown up, he has lost his innocence, maybe some of the frivolous light-heartedness of youth and inevitably carries some darkness about him.’
By taking him back before these events happened, it allows Ethan to reset and focus on what he really wants from life.
As well as Cal there are other ‘ghosts’ in the form of Noel (Tony Marshall), who died of Covid, and Big Mac (Charles Dale) who didn’t die but hasn’t been around for a while. The banter between them makes up some of the lighter moments of the episode.
Of course, delving into the past isn’t only going to bring good things and positive memories.
As Ethan relives the aftermath of a terrible accident we see the seeds of a storyline that will have enormous impact on him in the present. There are good ghosts and bad ghosts, after all.
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