"This Life" is the 997th episode of Casualty and the 36th episode of the 30th series. It was preceded by "Chain Reaction" and followed by "The Best Day of My Life". The episode was directed by Jermain Julien and written by Kim Millar. This episode received the lowest ever Casualty rating since its conception in 1986. The episode gained 2.69 million viewers in comparison to many of the other series 30 episodes which each gained around 5 million.
Big Mac wakes up, still struggling without the tramadol. He makes it into work and Noel encourages him with some pep talk and tells him to keep it up. Meanwhile, Elle and Connie speak following their argument the previous week, and they try to stay on friendly terms for the good of the department. Connie informs her and Jacob that she's taking the day off to go to Grace's sports day at the school. Elsewhere in Holby, Jez and Iain are called out to help a man named Paul who's stumbling around the streets with injuries, and they take him into the Emergency Department. His ex-partner Suzie receives a phonecall to tell her that Paul has been admitted to the Emergency Department following an injury. She tells her partner Rob to stay with her son Alfie at home whilst she goes to see him.
Connie meets another mum, Steph Sims at the sports day. Steph makes several remarks about how she's never seen Connie at any events before and implies that she's not making an effort which results in Connie opting in for the parents' egg and spoon race. However, when she wins Grace is left angry as she wanted to make friends with Steph's daughter Carmel and Steph was bitter about losing. However, when the parent and child sack race arrives, Connie and Grace purposely lose so Grace would have a better chance of getting to be Carmel's friend. After the race, Connie tells Steph that they'll have to meet up in the future, despite not getting along.
At a local mortality cafe, a man named Nathan calls for an ambulance after his friend Alison faints unexpectedly. Once in the ED, Robyn and David go ahead with treating her but she soon reveals to Ethan that she has lung cancer. However, Ethan discovers that she has received no treatment for it upon looking at her notes and upon running further tests, he informs her that it's very likely that she doesn't actually have cancer and she recalls that her GP never actually said she did, she just presumed as she had from the scan.
Meanwhile, Iain flirts with a nurse in the ED whilst Rita continues to cling to him. When she struggles in getting a new place to stay after her trouble with Mark, Iain offers up his spare room to her. Jez later speaks to Iain, urging him to tell her how he feels before it's too late, although Iain is reluctant to. Elle treats Paul and just as Suzie is discussing that fact they're married, Rob and Alfie walk in. Later on, Paul becomes angry and stabs Rob in the thigh with a pair of scissors and he soon finds himself in need of treatment too. When Elle gets Paul's test results back she discovers that he has been mentally ill for a while, therefore explaining why he walked out on Suzie and Alfie. Suzie explains to Rob that it wasn't Paul's fault.
Shortly after, Big Mac notices some tramadol in Suzie's bag and steals it. He later takes some tablets in the relatives room and when he's almost caught out by Alfie when he walks in, he shouts at him. Alfie runs outside the ED and Charlie notices Big Mac's strange behaviour. Big Mac later goes to apologise to Alfie and Suzie for scaring him, but she tells him to go away, and Big Mac retreats to the store cupboard. Elsewhere in the ED, Robyn overhears Nathan on the phone and thinks he's planning to break up with Alison. Robyn informs her and she breaks up with him instead but it later transpires that he was in fact discussing getting engaged to her and telling her how he felt. Robyn and David work together to get the pair back together and accompany them back to the mortality cafe to celebrate their engagement. Robyn also decides that setting up a mortality cafe at the hospital would be a good idea and plans to ask Connie.
Charlie discovers Big Mac in the storage cupboard and asks him what's wrong. He soon suspects that Mac is on something and demands the truth, and tells him that he'll be forced to report it to Rita. They later have a meeting in the office and Big Mac admits everything to Charlie. He tells him that it has to end and is unacceptable. He decides to put the drugs in a safe place overnight and puts them in his locker. At the end of their shift, Rita asks Iain if they're going home but Iain tells her he's going to the pub before kissing the nurse from earlier and walking away, leaving Rita distraught. Charlie takes Big Mac to the NA meeting and forces him to go in as he begins to admit his problems to the group.
As Big Mac's storyline continued, reception of the episode tended to concentrate more on Connie's day out at Grace's sports day. Reviewing for the Radio Times, Alison Graham said "For the first time, Connie attends daughter Ghastly Grace's school sports day and instantly butts heads with a Competitive Mum, a primped monster in lycra who bakes cupcakes for the kids. Of course, Connie's instinct to win at all costs kicks in, much to Grace's annoyance. You should have stayed at work, Connie, and watched Robyn once again interfere in the personal life of a patient. She just can't help herself. But Robyn's meddling brings shy new nurse David out of his shell, where we see a sensitive and rather sweet man damaged, presumably, by A Secret Pain. And Rita is delighted to be moving in with Iain, the laddish paramedic with the roving eye. Oh, Rita."