Becky Cormett hosts a cabaret night at the Stardust Shine bar. Following a performance by a singing harpist, Becky thanks the audience for attending and expresses her pleasure at being able to hold trans nights and be open about who she is, claiming that "if you can't see yourself, you can't be yourself". However, men in balaclavas enter the pub with baseball bats and destroy the venue as they steal money from the till. Becky tries to ward them off, but one of the men spray her with a liquid which causes her to collapse in agony. Becky's mother Jane, believing the substance to be acid, calls for an ambulance and asks for water.
Becky is taken into the emergency department having sustained partial-thickness and deep dermal burns on her chest from the liquid that has been determined to be alkaline. Becky does not understand her attackers' motives and asks who would do this.
In admin, Jacob gathers the nursing staff and criticises them for failing to support the paramedics with offloading fit-to-sit patients when they may need to get to patients requiring immediate care. Charlie claims that they are trying their best, but Jacob asserts that it is not good enough and instructs his nurses to start reviewing ambulance queues. Charlie insists that they would be taking a big risk as there would not be enough nurses to monitor the waiting room, but Jacob suggests that it is a risk he is willing to take. Concerned, Tina asks Jacob if he is alright; Jacob explains that he is under pressure from a senior manager about meeting new targets. Tina suggests that they should spend some more time together, but Jacob is distracted by the sight of Mary, a frequent flyer, and instructs Tina to get her to visit her GP.
Elsewhere in the clinic, Jan pretends to be a woman with stress incontinence; she is shocked when she is immediately recommended vaginal mesh surgery by a member of staff and given the opportunity to speak to Ciaran in his office.
In HDC, Tina compliments Becky's clothing, and Jane claims that Becky makes her own clothing and praises her talent; Becky jokes that she is going to have to start wearing protective suits on stage and wielding a baseball bat. Rash informs Becky that her burns have been neutralised. Becky asks if her breast implants have been damaged, but Rash states that he will speak to a burns specialist and get them to assess her. Jane encourages her daughter to be positive and recalls watching a television programme depicting a woman being saved from a bullet by her breast implant. Becky wants the police involved as "some little waste of human tissue has to pay for this", but Jane is apprehensive.
Jacob tries to organise his staff and claims that he is down a nurse in resus. Tina volunteers, but Jacob asserts that he specifically made sure she was not in resus to give her a break. Tina takes issue with him giving her special treatment and reprimands him for interrupting her conversation with her patient, but Jacob notices Mary in the waiting area and demands to have her removed.
Nearby, Jade is horrified to discover that Bibi has been taken into the ED following an apparently intentional overdose.
At the clinic, Marty grows increasingly agitated but is relieved when Jan passes him with a nurse and signals that she has been successful. However, Marty notices that he has missed eight calls from Jade and is horrified when she explains the situation involving Bibi.
In Ciaran's office, Jan warns him that he is performing a procedure that has been paused by the NHS and condemns his indifference towards women like her, but Ciaran insists that his complication rates are "next to non-existent". Jan explains that she was not offered alternative treatments or exercises by the clinic and states that she is not an ideal candidate for mesh surgery, but Ciaran accuses her of "spying" and maintains that the clinic runs a "very positive" consultation process which does not suggest physiotherapy as "most women don't give a rat's arse about pelvic floor exercises". As Ciaran gestures Jan to leave, she reveals that she has been recording their conversation and states that she has no choice but to submit her findings to the CQC. Ciaran is called to the waiting room and finds Marty destroying the awards. Ciaran confronts him, and Marty punches him in the face.
After finally encouraging Jane to sit with her, Becky recalls seeing the faces of the people in the wings and enjoying the sense of belonging they exuded before the attack. Jane suggests that this may be a good time to step back from the bar for a while, but Becky refuses to be scared off by transphobes. Rash returns and confirms that he has spoken to the burns unit; he explains that they will not know about the implants until she undergoes a proper examination. When Becky fears that she will not be given new implants if they are compromised, Rash states that she would get new ones if her breast surgery was already funded by the NHS, but Becky explains that she went private because of the endless waiting list and consultations. Becky claims that her breasts help quell her dysphoria and begins to hyperventilate. Jane decides to leave her daughter alone.
Jan orders Marty to apologise to Ciaran, but Marty asserts that Bibi is back in hospital and seriously unwell because of Ciaran. Jan understands and offers to drive him to the ED. She acknowledges to Ciaran that Marty's actions were wrong, but she contends that the women who have been suffering because of their meshes deserve acknowledgement of what has happened at the clinic. However, Ciaran warns Jan that he could report Marty and end his career.
Jane returns to Becky after the latter finishes speaking to the police. Becky explains that the police managed to identify an attacker who had lowered his mask as an employee of "some loan shark guy" and asked her if she was having any financial issues; Becky believes that the police are purposefully trying to avoid branding the attack as a hate crime. However, Jane insists that it was not a hate crime.
As Marty returns to the ED, Jade assures him that Bibi is alright, but Marty refuses to believe that his mother would attempt to kill herself.
Jane explains that she overspent on some credit cards, so she ended up borrowing money from the loan shark. Becky is disgusted by her mother's actions and demands her to get out.
Jacob continues to complains about the number of ambulances outside the department unable to offload, but Charlie explains that they have all been reviewed, and none of the patients are fit-to-sit. Charlie empathises with Jacob's struggles and urges him to look at the bigger picture, but he instead instructs his nurses to start discharging patients faster. Jacob encounters Jane who deeply regrets dealing with the loan shark, but Jacob leaves her to deal with Becky. Determined to fix the situation, Jane organises a meeting with the loan shark.
After Jacob orders Mary to leave, Charlie questions his decision to push for more discharges, but Tina suggests that they stop complaining and just get behind him.
Marty goes to visit Bibi in her cubicle, but he is apprehensive and decides to leave her be. Jan approaches Marty and claims that Bibi would be pleased to see him, but he insists on getting himself sorted first.
Becky tells Tina about her mother's actions and questions why she did not approach her for help. Noticing Jacob in the background, Tina explains that some people just struggling to ask for help even when they really need it, and she claims that it is obvious how much Jane cares about her.
As Marty observes Bibi from outside her cubicle, Ciaran approaches him for a chat. Marty claims that he does not care if Ciaran calls the police, but Ciaran warns him that he would be suspended from work and could be charged with ABH. Marty tells Ciaran that Bibi has been admitted to the ED three times since being fitted with the mesh and explains that she has deliberately taken an overdose of her painkillers. Ciaran acknowledges that the surgery was a mistake and apologises for failing Bibi. He offers to help make life easier for Bibi.
Outside the department, Iain calls Tina over to assess a patient who recognises her and refuses to leave the ambulance. Tina visits Jacob in his office and asks for his help, but he claims that he is busy and tells her to "let them walk" if they are refusing treatment. Tina refuses to take no for an answer and reminds him that patients matter more than paperwork.
In a corridor, Ciaran tells Marty that Bibi will likely never fully recover, but he offers Marty a non-disclosure agreement. Marty calls Ciaran's offer a "bribe" and claims that he could take him to court, but Ciaran suggests that reporting him to the CQC would be a hollow victory and would not help Bibi. As Ciaran explains that Marty may end up with caring responsibilities for Bibi, Marty argues that Bibi will be able to make a claim if they succeed in reporting him, but Ciaran offers to help make the quality of her life better immediately. Mary asserts that he is fighting for all women, but Ciaran reckons that Marty still values the life of his mother over those of anonymous women and promises to reshape his service, pause the mesh surgeries and perhaps have Marty and Bibi be part of it if Marty allows him the opportunity to "put things right". Marty considers Ciaran's offer and asks how much money Ciaran is willing to put forward.
Jacob asks Jane, who has received a beating from the loan shark, if they can get her inside the hospital, but Jane does not want Becky to see the state she is in. Jane explains that she borrowed enough money to pay for Becky's breast surgery, but she fell behind on her payments and does not want Becky offering to help out. Jacob tells Jane that someone close to him once kept a secret from him that tainted everything between them. Jacob reckons that Jane has been carrying the burden of her secret for too long and offers to help her. Jane agrees to leave the ambulance and accompanies Jacob into the ED.
Jan finds Marty outside the ED and approaches him about his actions in the clinic; Marty admits that he was wrong. Marty claims that he has been thinking about the situation and wonders if there may be a better way of getting justice, like consulting with Ciaran on best practices. Jan is confused by Marty's sudden change of heart and suspects that Ciaran has got to him. Marty claims that Ciaran apologised and admits that he made him an offer.
Jan confronts Ciaran in the ED and informs him that she has already got in touch with the CQC and that proceedings are underway. Devastated, Ciaran asks Jan if she knows what it has taken for him to get somewhere after his time as a troubleshooter in the ED and tells Marty that he is not going to have enough money to make a compensation payment after the investigation. Jan assures Marty that they made the right decision, but Marty berates her for losing him the money and wishes that he never got her involved.
Becky is shocked to find Jane beaten and bloodied and explains that she has realised that Jane lied about a big "bingo win" a few years prior and actually funded her breast surgery through the loan. Jane explains that she did not tell Becky about the loan because of how happy she was after the surgery and how much she was blossoming with her new friends at the bar. Becky assures Jane that she helped build her self-confidence. Becky insists on telling the police and offers to help her mother get through her predicament.
Tina is pleased to find Jacob joking with Mary by reception. Jacob thanks Tina for her help; Tina reminds him that, while he is a great manager, he will always be a nurse first. Jacob tells Tina that she is amazing, and that is why he loves her. Tina points out that they have never kissed before, but she tells Jacob that she loves him nonetheless. The pair share their first kiss and are cheered on by Mary. Jacob assures Tina that, from now in, it's just the two of them. They walk home together.
Marty visits Bibi and asks her why she tried to kill herself. Bibi explains that the painkillers helped numb the pain from her mesh, so she wondered if she could stop the pain permanently by taking more. Marty regrets not being there for his mother more and admits that the campaigning sometimes felt better than seeing her because seeing her makes him feel useless. Bibi tells Marty that she loves him, and Marty promises to be there for her from now on and get her the help she needs as long as she promises not to repeat her actions. Bibi promises. Jan goes to visit Marty and Bibi, but Marty draws the blinds.
- Di Botcher as Jan Jenning
- Shaheen Jafargholi as Marty Kirkby
- Charles Venn as Jacob Masters
- Adele James as Christina "Tina" Mollett
- Neet Mohan as Rashid Masum
- Gabriella Leon as Jade Lovall
- Derek Thompson as Charlie Fairhead
- Michael Stevenson as Iain Dean
- Caroline O'Neill as Jane Cormett
- Mariah Louca as Becky Cormett
- Rick Warden as Ciaran Coulson
- Sanna Kelly as Mary
- Julie Barclay as Sandra Boen
- Fisun Burgess as Bibi Kirkby
- Sam Hickman as singing harpist