"Shame" is the 981st episode of Casualty and the 20th episode of the 30th series. It was preceded by "Black Alert" and followed by "The Good Life". It was directed by David Beauchamp and written by Asher Pirie. This episode saw the first appearance of guest character Mercedes Christie portrayed by Hannah Spearritt, and also guest starred Kate Wilkinson, portrayed by Amy Noble, who previously appeared in the series 30 premiere episodes.
In Holby a young woman named Mercedes Christie is hiding inside her home from a debt collector who has arrived at her house to collect money she owes for rent. In a rush, she searches her house for valuables that she can sell and eventually finds a watch and some other pieces of jewellry, and heads for the back door. Elsewhere, outside the ED Big Mac and Noel have just finished their night shift when they notice Max kissing a young attractive girl named Victoria. After they leave, Victoria writes her phone number on Max's hand and walks away.
Meanwhile, Noel and Mac are walking through the park on their way home when Big Mac says he needs to go to the toilet, and Noel tells him that he'll wait outside. Unbeknownst to him, Mercedes Christie is also wandering through the park, and spots Noel on his phone. Viewing him as an easy target for robbery, she covers her face and runs over and attempts to take his phone. Despite his cries for help to Big Mac, he fails to pick up on the seriousness of the situation and doesn't come out of the toilet immediately. Noel is able to throw her onto some nearby wood and bricks, but whilst distracted she picks up a plank of wood and hits him with it, sending him unconscious on the ground. At this moment, Mac emerged from the toilets to see what was going on, only to retreat and hide in fear of being beaten up himself. Back at the ED, Zoe tells Ethan that he will be required to attend the morbidity mortality meeting in the afternoon regarding the patient who had killed himself the week before after Ethan had failed to provide proper emotional support for him in the chaos of the black alert.
To Robyn's delight, the new infuser has arrived in the ED, and Rita requires one of the female nurses to be in a photo for the Holby Pulse magazine. However, Robyn and Louise are left competing for the chance as it's clear that neither want to back down. Despite them asking various other members of staff including Jack to choose who gets it, they refuse saying they'll have to decide for themselves. Elsewhere, Dixie and Iain are on their way to the park to help Noel. In the ambulance, Iain attempts to cheer up Dixie following the personal issues with Jess but she says it's not working, so he tells her that he will clean out the ambulance in his underpants if he can't get her to feel better by the end of the day. At the scene, Big Mac tells them that he was beaten up, and by this time he had regained consciousness. They decide to bring him into the ED.
Meanwhile, Robyn and Louise's competition for the magazine photo opportunity continues and Robyn attempts to make certain deals with Louise, but she doesn't back down. Robyn tells Jack that she has had a subscription to the Holby Pulse since she was 16. In reception, Cal becomes even more paranoid that he is showing symptoms of Huntington's after he drops a bottle of pills. Charlie talks to Cal, and Cal tells him that he's going to go ahead with a test to find out for definite. They're interrupted by a man, Mick, who comes into the ED and says he needs help for his son, Isaac. Outside, the worried father tells Cal and Ethan that he was sick the night before and woke up in the morning with dizziness and a temperature. The only issue is that he won't get out of the car, so they're unable to treat him.
Back at the scene of Noel's incident, PC Amy Wilkinson asks Big Mac for any additional information on the attack. He tells her that he came as soon as he heard Noel call out, but he was too late. In anger of the situation, he punches a brick wall, suffering minor injuries to his hand. In the treeline, Mercedes looks on at the ambulance leaving with Noel, clearly feeling guilty. She then looks at her own hand which has two cuts on it from where Noel pushed her in self defence.
At an office, a young woman named Claire arrives for her shift. Her co-worker Murray greets her, and she suspiciously asks what he's done, to which he tells her he's done nothing. However, when she goes to sit down her chair collapses and she falls onto the floor. Back at the ED, Noel is being treated by Dylan and Zoe, and they request he gets a head and neck CT scan, which makes Big Mac notice the extent of his injuries. Iain also informs Zoe that she should take a look at Big Mac's back as he injured it when he fell from shock in the toilet earlier. However, Iain didn't know this and presumed it was something the attacker had done. Big Mac chats to Noel and Noel tells him that Dixie said he scared the attacker away.
Back at the offices, Claire scratches her scratch card and realises she's won £100,000. In delight, she storms into a meeting and tells her boss that she's quitting. However, Murray had in fact swapped the scratch card for a fake which he bought online. She ignored his attempts to tell her and in the rush, slipped on a water bottle which had earlier fallen on the floor. She fell onto a shelf, which fell back onto her when she was on the floor. When lifting off the shelf, Murray injured his hand, but Claire then realised that she had a pen sticking through hers. At the ED, Rita tells Big Mac that she should go and look at his back after Dylan confirms that Noel's injuries aren't as serious as they had first thought. Also, Mercedes Christie turns up at the ED to check that Noel is okay and also to get her hand injury seen to.
Dixie and Iain arrive at the office where Claire is still on the floor. She tells them that she's a hemophiliac, and they decide to bring her into the ED. Murray decides to accompany her there. At the ED, Rita is treating Noel and says she can't properly treat him if she doesn't know the mechanism of injury. He tells her that he must have slipped over whilst chasing after the mugger. Ethan and Jacob start to treat Claire in the ED, and Murray arrives and tells them that his little pranks are just a bit of fun, but Jacob disagrees. After Charlie tells Mercedes to wait in a cubicle, Big Mac recognises her and goes to treat her himself. She inquires about a man who was beaten up in the park earlier and tells Mac that she thinks he was brought to the ED. When she asks if he's okay, Mac tells her that they did what they could but that he's in a coma, which leaves Mercedes in shock. At this point, Charlie interrupts and tells Mac that he shouldn't be treating her, but she leaves anyway. Meanwhile, Victoria arrives at the ED complaining of cramps in her belly, but Zoe tells Dylan that there's nothing wrong with her. Jacob also informs Claire that she won't require surgery. Also, Ethan worries when Robyn lets a patient discharge himself, but she lets him know that it was just a sprained wrist.
Whilst preparing Claire for having the pen taken out, Jacob reassures her that she will have something to look forward to when she gets out of the hospital due to her big win on the scratch card. Murray is left feeling guilty, but Claire notices that his hand has become injured from where he lifted the shelf. Jacob says that he should get it looked at but Murray tells him that it doesn't matter and leaves. Meanwhile, Isaac is still refusing to get out of the car and his father tells Robyn and Lofty that he wants his son to be seen in a hospital as he won't take any risks.
Back at the room where Noel's being treated, PC Amy Wilkinson is questioning Mac further about the incident. He tells her that he can't remember what happened, and that the attacker headed towards the estate afterwards. After she leaves, Noel asks Big Mac why he doesn't tell her the truth, which Noel thinks is that Big Mac fought off the attacker. Just then, Big Mac notices Mercedes standing outside in the corridor, and leaves to question her. She tells him that she knows he was there, and that he hid in the toilets whilst Noel was being beaten up. She tells him that she's not a criminal, but just needed some money. Meanwhile, Noel takes a turn for the worst when he suddenly has difficulty breathing, and Jack comes to get Big Mac due to the severity of the issue.
In the staff room, Cal asks Ethan if he'd be willing to donate some blood with him as part of the infuser fundraiser in order to do something good for the hospital. However, when Ethan recalls what Cal can be like, he just leaves the room. Ethan goes to speak to Zoe, and tells her that he wants to skip the meeting in the afternoon as public speaking isn't his strong point. However, she reassures him that he'll be fine as all he has to do is talk them through the patient's treatment. Meanwhile, Max is waiting with Victoria in a cubicle when Zoe comes to treat her, but she confirms her earlier theory that there's nothing wrong with her. Meanwhile, Big Mac spots Mercedes still lurking in the ED, and goes over to her in anger telling her to leave. She tells him that she didn't mean to hurt Noel, but she panicked. Big Mac threatens her with prison time should anything happen to Noel.
Elsewhere in the ED, Ethan and Jacob continue to treat Claire who has booked a first class seat on a plane with her new win of money. She tells Jacob she's thinking about a one way ticket. Ethan takes the pen out of her hand, but as he does so she notices Murray taking the scratch card out of her bag, and tells him to get out despite his attempts to let her know it's not a real one. Murray tells Jacob that he bought the fake scratch card off the internet, and that he just wanted to make her smile. Meanwhile in the meeting, Ethan explains in the meeting about Mr Dunham, the man from the previous week, that he left him in the relatives room having advised him to report to reception. However, he explained to them that he became distracted with other patients and failed to check up on him. When Zoe prepares to wrap up the meeting, Ethan becomes angry at the fact that no one has picked up on his mistakes and that he's not taking any blame. He relates it back to when he discharged Olivia Cranham months before, when he failed to pick up on her signs of abuse. Zoe advises that he goes and gets some air, as no further medical information can be provided.
In the cubicles, Murray confronts Claire and tells her that it's a fake scratch card. In anger, she jumps out of bed, inadvertently opening up her head wound. Outside the ED, Iain and Dixie's efforts to get Isaac to come out of the car are proving to be useless, but Ethan manages to get him out after taking up an angrier tone. Back in the ED, they manage to close up Claire's head wound, and whilst recovering, Jacob says he has an idea to get back at Murray for tricking her. Meanwhile, Dylan notices on an x-ray that Noel has dislocated his collar bone. When he asks Louise to fetch some equipment, she gets the wrong thing in a panic and Zoe tells her to calm down, as Noel is just a patient now. However, Louise can't think like that after having spent years working alongside him on reception. Robyn then offers to take over from Louise after she sees how shaken up she is. Dylan is successful, and Noel's blood pressure begins to improve.
Meanwhile, Murray goes to visit Claire, and she tells him that her organs were starved of blood for too long, and her kidneys couldn't take it. In the moment, he offers to donate one of his kidneys to her. Ethan comes in, and notices that the oxygen isn't even on, and Jacob reveals that he just told her to put it on, and Claire tells him that it was just a joke. Despite being initially shocked, he realised that he deserved it after everything he'd put her through. Elsewhere in the ED, Cal treats Isaac, but he refuses to have any needles. Isaac's father Mick explains that they lost Isaac's sister the previous year to meningitis and he is now afraid of needles after his sister's illness. Cal informs them that he thinks he may have a solution.
Victoria catches up to Max to return his phone, which she has decorated with gems on the back. She tells Max to meet her in the toilets in two minutes, much to his dismay. Meanwhile, Jacob tells Claire that he has spoken to Ethan and that they should be able to discharge her. Claire asks Murray if he really would have donated his kidney, and he tells her it's not like he needs two of them. He admits to her that he fancies her, and she returns the feelings. He tells her he will try to get her job back, but she says that she doesn't want to waste her time on a job she hates, and they make up. Outside the ED, Big Mac once again confronts Mercedes and lets her know that Noel is going to be okay, but he's angry when he notices that she's planning to steal a woman's handbag who's sitting nearby. She explains that she can't go home without the money as the debt collectors are there, but Mac assures her that that won't be an issue for her when she's in prison. However, she tells him that he won't report her, and threatens to reveal the truth to all of his friends who think he's a hero. She tells him to go and get £70 for her.
In the ED, Cal attempts to encourage Isaac to have an injection by performing a demonstration on Ethan first to prove that it doesn't hurt. However, this is Cal's way of getting a sample of Ethan's blood to send off for testing for Huntington's. After taking the blood, Cal pockets the sample he took from Ethan. Meanwhile, Robyn and Louise still haven't reached a conclusion regarding who will be in the photo for the Holby Pulse and with the arrival of the photographer, Rita says she will be forced to go with the one who raised the most money, which is Louise. Despite this, Louise says she doesn't want to do it anymore, therefore allowing Robyn to be in the photo. Also in the ED, Victoria comes looking for Max as he hides in a room to avoid her. He later tells Zoe that he'll need her help to get rid of her.
Elsewhere in the ED, Big Mac goes to retrieve the £70 for Mercedes Christie in exchange for her not to reveal his lie. However, he doesn't have enough and takes the remainder from Noel's wallet which he recovered at the scene of the mugging. Back in cubicles, Ethan informs Mick and Isaac that there's no sign of major infection and that he thinks it's just a tummy bug. Mick tells Ethan that he's a good doctor, and praises him for giving blood just to get Isaac to overcome his fear. Meanwhile, Zoe goes to check up on Victoria with Max and her blood test results, and Max tells her that he thinks they shouldn't see each other anymore and tells her he's moving away, and that he might be gay. This prompts her to quickly leave, and her symptoms to suddenly dissapear. At the ambulance station, Iain keeps to his promise and gets cleaning the ambulance but wearing nothing but an apron. Dixie tells him she was promised underwear, but the apron was the best he could do. To Iain's embarrassment, Rita arrives with Jack and Louise and he feels publicly humiliated. Afterwards, Dixie opens a letter regarding her disciplinary hearing which says it will take place on 30 January 2016. Rita asks if she's okay, but Dixie jokingly says she's just overwhelmed by Iain's nudity.
Back in the ED, Big Mac is staying by Noel, and PC Kate Wilkinson comes in and tells him that in order for them to find the culprit, she needs to know everything he knows. He tells her he told her already earlier. However, Noel tells Big Mac to tell her what he did for him, not knowing that it isn't actually true. Meanwhile, Lily attempts to reassure Ethan on his competence as a doctor when she notices a letter addressed to Connie in his hand. She asks what it is, and he tells her that the ED doesn't suit everyone, and that he's fed up with the system and that he is going to quit. Outside the ED, PC Wilkinson tells Mac that it takes real courage to confront a criminal. He is clearly left feeling bad for going along with the lie to make him sound like the hero. Just before she leaves, she promises him that they'll find the culprit. Just then, Mac spots Mercedes hiding round a corner and hands her the money. He tells her that it ends here, and that he never wants to see her face again.
Controversy was caused when fans on BBC Casualty's social media pointed out a joke made about an epipen. Some fans thought the joke shouldn't have been made, as it could have been seen as offensive to users of epipens. The joke was made when Dixie and Iain were chatting whilst on their way to the scene of Claire's injury at the office.
The scene was initiated when Iain said to Dixie: "Have I ever told you about that mate of mine who gave me his EpiPen when he was dying?" When Dixie didn't respond, he said "Seemed really important to him at the time that I have it." Although no directly offensive comment was made, some fans took to the social media to express their views.