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Casualty review with spoilers: Lev comes out as his father arrives

Lev and Anton in Casualty

Alexei Sayle’s first scenes as Anton Malinovsky aired tonight (Pictures: BBC)

It’s taken a long time for Casualty paramedic Lev (Uriel Emil) to openly admit he’s gay. After he’s spent his life suppressing his feelings and his identity because of growing up surrounded by homophobia, tonight his wife Faith (Kirsty Mitchell) finally got him to say the words, ‘I’m gay.’ It was a huge step for him and you could see the relief in his face as he thanked Faith for her support and planned to fight the charge that he assaulted Sam Richards (Harri Rees-Jones) – whose life he actually saved in this week’s episode.

Happiness is generally short-lived in Casualty, though, and as Lev returned to the family home to spend some time with his children, there was another family member waiting for him – his dad. Mr Anton Malinovsky (Alexei Sayle) appears at first glance to be the stereotypical Russian hard-man. Lev is certainly not ready to have any conversations about his sexuality with his dad, and begged Faith not to say anything. Surely it can only be a matter of time before Mr Malinovsky Sr is run over by a bus or has a funny turn and ends up in the ED, where secrets have a habit of spilling out?

Lev’s happiness and relief didn’t last long (Picture: BBC)

Back in the ED, an old Holby face had returned. Vanessa Lytton (Leslie Ash) was previously the CEO of the hospital and her reign was marked by incompetence and manipulative behaviour. ‘She sounds like the wicked witch of the west, east south and north all rolled into one with all the redeeming features surgically removed,’ remarked Dylan (William Beck). Now living with a long-term disability, Vanessa was in the ED following a fall.

She also had some suspicious bruising, and Tina (Adele James) thought something was ‘a bit off.’ Could Vanessa’s husband, the apparently caring and sensitive Mike (Bill Ward), be abusing his wife? It turned out to be Mike who was being abused by Vanessa, because she’s not such a reformed character after all.

It was revealed that Vanessa was abusing her husband (Picture: BBC)

Rash (Neet Mohan) and Tina were working together on this case and we saw at the beginning that Rash doesn’t quite trust Tina and even finds her a bit scary. These feelings were only confirmed when Tina pretended she’d previously been in an abusive relationship, in order to get Vanessa to open up. Afterwards she told Rash the story was partly true but she’d ‘gilded it a little.’ Charlie (Derek Thompson) thinks that Rash and Tina should work together more often, but Rash isn’t sure about that at all.

Talking of Charlie, he recently had a strange woman claiming that she knew him. In this episode he found out why, it seems someone is using his identity to catfish people online. This all came to light after a man came to the ED claiming that Charlie was having a fling with his wife. He even showed him the messages. ‘Just to put your mind at rest, this is my little phone, have a look through,’ Charlie told him. Poor Charlie looked really sad at the thought that the man had the chance to mend things with his wife, whereas Charlie, of course, has lost the love of his life. But a mystery remains.

Whoever is using Charlie’s identity knows a lot about him. Could it be someone in the department? ‘What kind of sick creep would do this sort of thing?’ he wondered. Indeed.

Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.

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