This episode saw the arrival of F1s Nicky McKendrick and Meena Chowdhury, portrayed by Belinda Owusu and Salma Hoque respectively, as well as the return of Olga Fedori as registrar Frieda Petrenko who had not been part of the main cast since series 14 (Holby City).
Three weeks after the hospital shooting, Hanssen attends a counselling session with Jerry Clark, but Hanssen is more concerned with finishing a game of chess. Hanssen asserts that all that matters are the hospital and his staff, and he needs to continue working to "bring order to the chaos". Jerry asks what has brought Hanssen to him, and Hanssen proceeds to recount the day's events.
In the morning, F1s Nicky McKendrick and Meena Chowdhury arrive on the hospital grounds for their first shifts; Nicky remarks that she is "terrified", but the two joyously proceed to the entrance regardless. As they discuss whether Hanssen will be working so soon after the shooting, they are unhappy to find visitors being questioned and searched by security at the entrance. In Hanssen's office, Roxanna informs him that the neuro team have positive indicators for Ollie's potential recovery, and she wants to wake him up today. Hanssen agrees to have Ollie transferred from ITU to Keller, but he comments on HR's report of Roxanna not attending the offered counselling sessions. She claims that she attended one the night prior and asserts that they need to keep busy. Hanssen asks if the session was helpful; she asks him if it helped him. Before he can answer, he answers a call about a situation at reception.
At reception, Donna and Lofty watch as Nicky and Meena are detained by security and remark on the issues the new security system has been causing, such as patients being frisked and relatives being turned away. However, Hanssen overhears and explains that Fletch has assumed responsibility for patient safety and staff security, and they should take it seriously. He collects the two F1s and directs them to their first rotations - Meena will be practising general surgery on Keller with Dom, and Nicky will be working on AAU and answering to Hanssen himself. Nicky attempts to apologise for her behaviour towards the security staff, but an irritated Hanssen immediately puts her and Meena on restricted duties and threatens to have them reassigned to another hospital if they break his rules.
At the counselling session, Jerry asserts that Hanssen's rules were "contradictory" and "impossible", and Nicky and Meena would have proved themselves "unequal to the task of becoming the kind of surgeon they need[ed] to be" by not breaking them. Hanssen claims that he could protect a surgeon "who learns to walk before they run", but Jerry suggests that Hanssen was trying to protect Nicky and Meena from themselves. Recalling Hanssen mentioning that three new surgeons had arrived in the morning, Jerry asks him about the third one.
Back earlier in the day, a woman wearing highly ornate clothing enters the hospital. On Darwin, Fletch tries to inform Jac that she will undergo a transoesophageal echocardiogram and potentially corrective surgery by a surgeon of Hanssen's choice if necessary, but she refuses. However, when Fletch helps her when she begins coughing, Jac asks him why he puts up with her, and Fletch claims that she has scared everyone else away. She asks who Hanssen has assigned as her surgeon, and she is horrified to discover that Frieda Petrenko has been selected. On AAU, Nicky tells Donna that she always wanted to work at Holby and with Hanssen, and Donna tells her to "give it time" as they pass Raf's memorial. On the ward, Morven asks Nicky to remove some glass from the face of a patient named Trinity, but Donna informs Morven that Hanssen has benched Nicky. Instead, Morven tasks Nicky with keeping an eye on Trinity's son Thomas who has ADHD.
On Keller, Meena tells Lofty that, unlike Nicky, she is happy to just observe, but Dom calls her into a patient's cubicle to assist with alleviating a volvulus. Lofty informs him that Meena is only allowed to observe, but Dominic insists on her helping. Meena manages to insert a flatus tube but forgets to attach a collection bag, resulting in her being sprayed with faeces as Dom removes the sigmoidoscope. In the toilets, Meena cleans herself up and returns to the ward. On Darwin, Fletch learns that Frieda decided to retrain in cardiothoracic surgery at St Francis rather than Holby due to "memories", one of them being of Ollie. Frieda informs Jac that her build-up of chest fluid could be more serious than a "simple" effusion, and she will perform a TOE, but Jac continues to refuse to allow her anywhere near her.
On AAU, Hanssen finds Thomas who is refusing to return a hospital-issue tablet to Nicky and take it off him. Thomas rushes to his father Zachary who has just arrived on the ward, and Nicky leads them to Trinity. On Keller, Lofty asks Dom when Sacha will return and points out that he has not had a single day-off since the shooting, but Dom insists on moving on. After Dom leaves Meena with a list of tasks, she suggests to Lofty that Dom does not like her. On Darwin, Frieda tells Fletch that, while she has not given up on Jac, she cannot force her to accept treatment. Fletch catches Jac trying to leave her bed to go to the toilet and criticises her stubbornness, but he soon acquiesces and helps her onto a wheelchair. In the background, Frieda calls King's Hospital in Lahore.
On Keller, Lofty discusses his relationship with Dom with Meena and explains that the police have found Fredrik's list of targets. Dom interrupts and informs them that Roxanna is about to bring Ollie out of his coma. When Meena drops a kidney tray on the floor, a patient vomits on her, forcing her to clean herself up again. In the bathroom, she calls her father and tells him that her day "couldn't be going better". On AAU, Zachary confronts Hanssen after he orders for Thomas to be removed from his office immediately. Nicky notices that he is exhibiting symptoms and tries to help him, but he hits her to the floor. During the counselling session, Jerry asks Hanssen how watching Nicky being hit made him feel, but Hanssen does not understand the question and explains that he had Zachary removed from the building by security.
Back on Darwin, Jac fails to climb back onto her wheelchair and asserts to Frieda that she is "fine", but Frieda claims that she has a perdicardial effusion and needs to perform a TOE to make sure. Jac asks what Frieda is doing at the hospital, and Frieda explains that Hanssen felt that Jac was not acknowledging a secondary complication and sent her patient notes to Elliot who then contacted her because of her experience with tuberculosis. Frieda tells Jac that she can speak to Elliot herself as he is waiting to have a video call with her, but Jac begins to tear up and explains that she does not want anyone to see her in such a vulnerable state. She eventually agrees to allow Frieda to treat her, albeit under one condition.
to be added
- James Anderson as Oliver Valentine
- Rosie Marcel as Jac Naylor
- Guy Henry as Henrik Hanssen
- Belinda Owusu as Nicky McKendrick
- Hermione Gulliford as Roxanna MacMillan
- Jaye Jacobs as Donna Jackson
- Salma Hoque as Meena Chowdhury
- Lee Mead as Ben "Lofty" Chiltern
- Olga Fedori as Frieda Petrenko
- Eleanor Fanyinka as Morven Digby
- Alex Walkinshaw as Adrian "Fletch" Fletcher
- David Ames as Dominic Copeland
- Paul McGann as John Gaskell
- Jeff Rawle as Jerry Clark
- Mia Mackie as Trinity Mathews
- Andy Gibbins as Zachary Mathews
- Oscar Bennett as Thomas Mathews
- The title of the episode was not published until after "Group Animal - Part Two" was broadcast.