A week into her tenure as Director of Surgery, Connie enjoys her status and looks forward to making her vision of the hospital a reality, but Elliot is disappointed by Connie's absence from Linden's funeral and her hesitance to give her colleagues an explanation. Connie's authority is undermined further when she finds Henrik Hanssen in her office and learns that he has been appointed as her equal. Mark and Cunningham explains that Ric and Michael's joint tenures showed that having two directors is more efficient and insist that Hanssen has only been brought in to "facilitate [her] vision of Holby", but Connie is suspicious of Hanssen's impressive résumé and the genuine reason for his appointment.
Connie grows increasingly frustrated when Hanssen takes over the treatment of her patient Paddy and ridicules her lack of a definitive diagnosis. She is determined to find a diagnosis and not "let [Hanssen] win this", but she begins to prioritise her rivalry over Grace, prompting Elliot to urge her to go home and spend time with her daughter before it is too late. By the morning, Connie has come up with a theory, but Hanssen declares that Paddy has a pheochromocytoma. Later, Hanssen shoots down Connie's financial proposals at a meeting as "utopian" and "a work of utter solipsism and [...] naivety". When Connie confronts Mark, he reveals that the strategic health authority gave the hospital's management an ultimatum — either accept Hanssen as joint DoS and "embark on a process of efficiencies" or close half their wards, including Darwin, and merge them with St James'. Hanssen states to Connie that the hospital's staffing levels will be cut by at least five percent. In his first speech to his staff, Hanssen promises to be transparent and warns them that some people will be losing their jobs, but he asserts that it is "vital" to leave the past behind them and "look to the future".
Following Linden's funeral, Jac warns Joseph that Faye may "suck [him] back" into her life of slain lovers, but Joseph insists on offering her his support and compassion. While he is surprised to find Faye working when she is supposed to be on compassionate leave, Joseph is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and assumes that she is fit for work. However, in theatre, Faye freezes at the sight of blood on her hands and has to be escorted out of the room. Jac warns Joseph that Faye is "poison" and suggests asking Penny what happened on the day of Linden's death. To Joseph's shock, Penny claims that Faye and Linden were not close and that Faye was planning to leave the hospital because of him. Later, Joseph finds an erratic Faye fearing for her baby's life and insisting that she is "cursed"; she vows to protect her baby, claiming that it is the only part of Linden she has left. After snapping at a woman for showing little concern towards her baby's surrogate, Joseph secretly submits a sample of his blood to be compared with the DNA of Faye's baby; the results show a match. Joseph tells Jac that she was right and explains that he will keep Faye "on side" until the baby is born.
In the wake of Linden's death, Penny struggles to cope with steadying the helm on AAU and ends up working three overnight shifts in a row. When a patient named Rose storms onto the ward demanding to be treated by Linden, Penny finally loses her temper and ends up on the receiving end of a slap. She becomes more and more disillusioned with the NHS and questions whether or not she is even doing any good anymore. Ollie suggests that she asks Connie for help, but she is turned away. Rose is readmitted to AAU and has a seizure; Penny panics and does not know what is wrong with Rose, but Hanssen quickly deduces that she is hypoglycaemic and, upon learning that there are no senior doctors on AAU, appoints Michael as the ward's consultant.
After his ungraceful demotion, Michael is humiliated further when Annalese kicks him out of their home along with his belongings and when he is forced to share an office with Ric. However, Michael decides to rise above it and pledges to eliminate the hospital's deficit in six months via HolbyCare.
- Emma Catherwood as Penny Valentine
- Edward MacLiam as Greg Douglas
- Amanda Mealing as Connie Beauchamp
- Paul Bradley as Elliot Hope
- Patsy Kensit as Faye Byrne
- Luke Roberts as Joseph Byrne
- Robert Powell as Mark Williams
- James Anderson as Oliver Valentine
- Bob Barrett as Sacha Levy
- Rosie Marcel as Jac Naylor
- Hari Dhillon as Michael Spence
- Jaye Jacobs as Donna Jackson
- Guy Henry as Henrik Hanssen
- La Charné Jolly as Elizabeth Tait
- Hugh Quarshie as Ric Griffin
- Roger Barclay as Terence Cunningham
- Alan Morrissey as Nicky van Barr
- Niamh McGrady as Mary-Claire Carter
- Stephen Kennedy as Paddy Brenton
- Ben-Ryan Davies as Dylan Brenton
- Emma Davies as Pippa Robinson
- Claire Keelan as Rose Marsden