Ethan Hardy (George Rainsford) in Casualty carried the ‘unlucky-in-love’ baton for a while but now he’s become a father to baby Bodhi, he’s turned his focus towards raising his son rather than looking for a partner – but could that all change soon?
It’s been quite a journey for Fenisha (Olivia D’Lima) and Ethan so far. Their storyline began as a complicated love triangle, Fenisha discovered she was pregnant, lied to Ethan about it and now baby Bodhi has been born, the bond between the Paramedic and the Doctor is growing stronger.
However, one thing Ethan is yet to tell Fenisha about is his Huntington’s gene.
Ethan was diagnosed with Huntington’s back in 2016, when a young Dr Hardy and his late brother Cal discovered their birth mother had the degenerative disease, giving them both a fifty percent chance of inheriting it.
Ethan has lived with knowing he will eventually start showing symptoms of this disease for five years and up until he found out Fenisha was pregnant, he faced no worries that he may pass Huntington’s onto anyone else.
Tonight, Ethan and Fenisha are in the Ambulance Station waiting for Jan (Di Botcher) – who’s promised Fenisha that she can look after Bodhi while the young mother can catch up on some precious and much-needed sleep.
Ethan and Fenisha’s bond is stronger than ever in this episode, they’re getting on, laughing, working as a team and we even see them playing the classic ‘two truths and one lie’ game and when it’s Ethan’s turn, he uses it as an opportunity to tell Fenisha he has Huntington’s.
Ahead of what promises to be some emotional and moving scenes, Metro.co.uk had a wonderful chat with George Rainsford where we asked him whether it’s Ethan’s increasing feelings for Fenisha that make him realise now is the time to be honest with her:
‘I think that’s it, I think to begin with he just didn’t know when it was a good time to tell her, and when Bodhi was brought in to hospital he was suddenly panicking and paranoid that this had something to do with Huntingtons. It was Connie who said all it would do was put the burden on Fenisha and actually there’s nothing that could be done about it until Bodhi is eighteen. I think at that point he’s sort of quite content to live with this secret, but because they start to co-parent really well and work really well as a team, he realises there’s no chance of them being a family unit if he’s not honest about it.
Ethan is reminded you have to cherish those moments in life and be honest with each other, he realises there’s no better time to do this, and he has got a really strong bond with Fenisha too.’
Back when Ethan initially learnt Fenisha was pregnant, he made his feelings perfectly clear, telling Fenisha he didn’t want to be a part of the baby’s life but was happy to support his child financially. Fenisha was distraught at Ethan’s idea, of course not knowing the reason he didn’t want anything to do with his child was because of his Huntington’s. Even when baby Bodhi was born, Ethan still couldn’t bring himself to be honest with Fenisha, and even after Ethan pushed her away initially, Fenisha refused to let him be baby Bodhi’s father, questioning how reliable he would be.
‘Still don’t really know you, do I?’ Fenisha says in tonight’s episode, and as Ethan readies himself to tell her about his gene, George explained how his character is expecting Fenisha to respond when she learns the news:
‘I think he is aware of how she’s likely to react which is complete shock that will put her head in a spin. He’s also been dealing with it for five years, so he has quite a lot of information about the condition and how it is potentially improving with all the development of the medication and the understanding of the disease.
He’s prepped with the stuff to allow Fenisha to think of the positives. There’s so many things going on, he’s obviously hopeful she will understand why he remained silent over it, but also he wants to comfort her and look towards a more positive future.’
Ethan’s current storyline is a far-cry from the dramatic events he is usually involved in. ‘He’s had an awful time!’ George told us when we looked back at Ethan’s time on the show, and it’s true! This doctor has caught up in a terrorist explosion, he’s had PTSD, his brother has been killed, there’s been a lot of tragedy for Ethan Hardy.
‘I think he probably doesn’t think he is’ George said when we asked him if he thinks Ethan is a strong person. ‘No-one wants to see someone endlessly carrying around the weight of all that tragedy, but there is a grown-up darkness to Ethan now, he has to be impacted by it all, he’s not light-hearted in the same way he was when he first arrived.’
The storyline that saw Ethan get diagnosed with Huntington’s was an interesting one indeed. Initially, Ethan attempted to change his life and try and live more in the moment, ‘be more Cal’ if you will. Since the diagnosis, baby Bodhi being born has really been the first challenge in Ethan’s life that’s been heavily focused on the degenerative disease.
During a conversation with Connie (Amanda Mealing) recently, Ethan admitted that he would’ve rather have not known about his disease and ‘lived in ignorant bliss.’ With these words in our mind, we asked George whether Ethan would ever regret telling Fenisha the truth:
‘It’s an interesting one as he feels it’s a selfless act to be secretive, but of course you can’t live your life like that, that’s the interesting thing about the condition because we probably all have a gut reaction to how we’d feel if we were to be tested. 50% of people choose not to find out because living with the knowledge of it can be so devastating and scary. I would assume most people would choose to find out but of course that’s hypothetical and it’s a really big thing to digest and find a happy life with.’
So, will Ethan and Fenisha find a happy life? We came to the end of our chat with George but before we said our goodbyes, we asked him about Ethan and Fenisha’s future, and it appears there’s some exciting things on the horizon for these characters:
‘I think there will be something else there, I think the thing I often mention is that what Ethan really wants is the family unit, that’s his picture goal, a wife and child and happiness in that regard. I’m hopeful at some stage that will happen as Fenisha and Ethan bring out the best in each other. At the start they were so different, and I think what’s really nice is that they realise each of them have these qualities, but they both love this baby and there’s a massive pull there to make it work as a family.
There’s some really good stuff coming up, lots of stuff between Ethan and Fenisha, some good and some bad, we’ve been filming some really exciting scenes!’
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