Holby City: I simply can’t let a good bird metaphor go

(Series 14, Ep.5) If you went looking for the Human Resources department at Holby City Hospital, you’d probably find a couple of stoned people giggling and making model ambulances out of Lego. This is the only explanation for the rather surreal approach to staffing which finds nurses hired on the spot, resignations accepted or not depending on the Director of Surgery’s whim, and doctors being allowed to carry on working even though they either aren’t qualified (Oliver) or maim people on a regular basis (Dan).

And it’s the only explanation for theatre liaison manager Gillian Kavanagh (Moya Brady). We were led to believe that Ms Kavanagh had just returned from a period of extended leave caused by either (a) back pain or (b) depression caused in part by Michael Spence insulting her at a barbecue. Had she been theatre liaison manager before? What, exactly, was a theatre liaison manager? Gillian interpreted her role as basically annoying as many surgeons as possible in the shortest possible time.

This was all part of Hanssen’s micro management of the hospital, and frankly it didn’t work. When a deputation, headed up by Sahira Shah the Registrah, informed him that they’d done quite well without Ms Kavanagh last week and they can definitely do without her next week, he told his staff that the power was now in their hands. Alone again in his plush office, he lifted the cover off his birdcage. Was it now time to let the symbolic bird fly free across the rooftops of The Hollywood of Hertfordshire? He opened the window a tad, and then thought better of it. Either he’s just grown awfully fond of his little feathered friend and doesn’t want to wave it goodbye, or the scriptwriters were telling us that he hasn’t quite loosened his grip on our favourite hospital just yet.  

Meanwhile, down on AAU, who’s that hunk with the broken wrist? Why, it’s none other than the Actor with the Fabulous Name, Lex Shrapnel. AKA Gay Nurse Stephen, who when last seen was doing his level best to prise Dull Dan out of the closet. Any regular viewer could guess what happened next. Chrissie grinned a lot and remained totally oblivious to the fact that her fiance and GNS kept giving each other Meaningful Glances. Dull Dan allowed his judgement to be clouded (what, Dan? No! Surely not) and let GNS walk out of the hospital with a hideously unstable fracture (which he seemed to get bandaged up somewhere between the ward and the car park). Dull Dan then pursued GNS to his taxi, where Irish Dr Greg spotted GNS giving DD an affectionate peck on the cheek, which made him Wonder.

Michael Spence continued his rehabilitation to All Round Good Guy by personally paying for an operation for a man whose surgery had been bumped by Gillian Kavanagh. The fact that the man turned out to be a con man provided amusement for The Malick and Young Dr Oliver Valentine and provided my favourite line of the night (possibly even better than Hanssen’s imaginary children,  “Little Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha”).  “He owes £30 grand. How do you rack up that sort of debt?” Malick wondered. Chantelle knew: “Catalogues,” she said.

Like Hanssen and his bird/tight grip on the hospital, Jac was not ready to let Baby Freya go. She feels personally responsible for the wee nipper (did the baby actually say “Mama” at Jac? I think so) and pretended she needed a scan rather than let her go to foster parents. I’m thinking it can only end in tears, and if she really wanted a baby to play with I’m sure Joseph would welcome her to Penrith, where they could play happily with baby whatever-his-name-was.

Next time: Oliver is in charge of orthopaedics, Greg and Sahira have to work together, and Malick has to ask Michael for help.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby City here)

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Holby City: I simply can’t let a good bird metaphor go

  1. toto

    Jac could go to Joseph and they could live as a family however that would be boring and we need Jac in Holby. I would rather she adopted baby freya but as you said it could end in tears.

  2. ella

    Fab review, as always! What an episdoe, loads of Jac AND loads of Mary-Claire :D

    My favourite line was Elliot: “Two words – Lord Byrne!”

  3. Barry

    This was a brilliant episode. So much humour – the ABBA reference, Elliot’s Lord Byrne quip, Chantelle’s catalogues, the Malick’s everything, the schoolyard treatment of Gillian, Gillian (great comedy from Moya Brady as usual) and most importantly, Marie Claire in paeds and in even fouler form than usual- loved it. I’d love to see Gillian back again – way more multidimensional in 60 minutes that some longer serving cast members…

    (Does PLA not approve of the Northern Irish siren that she didn’t get a mention – surely FLNT needs to be replaced by Actually Funny Marie Claire now?)

    And the sexual chemistry between Dan and not-Lex was scorchio! I haven’t rated Alex Astill at all, but he plays the scenes with not-Lex really well. As does Rosie looking at the baby like she looked at Joe – aw!

    • pauseliveaction

      I do love Mary-Claire, but somehow she got left out of the review. I’m hoping she gets more to do in future episodes, I’d like her to be a central character like Donna used to be. I also loved the Lord Byrne quip – it was a bit out of character for Elliott to say something like that, which made it all the more effective. Jac had no come back to that, did she?

  4. Brie

    Sahira actually didn’t annoy half as much as usually does……….. Until I rewatched the episode where she threatens to leave unless she gets the cardiac trauma unit. The reason being is in that episode she basically threw s tantrum to get what she wants and then in this one she is saying to hanssen how his system is petty and he’s treating then like kids etc. She quite literally does what she wants, when she wants and says whatever she wants to anyone (case being her running her mouth of last week as well)! And to call someone else smug??! So in this Particular episode she didn’t annoy as much as usual but in context of other episodes shes just as irritating in my opinion. Writers do something! You’ve been around decent episodes lately so fix this and we’re good! * rant over *
    I was laughing hard ag Hanssen’s children hehe. Wanted to hug Michael also because no-one was being nice to hiim, his own fault but still, awwww!

    • pauseliveaction

      You know you’re having a bad day when you don’t even get a smile out of Chantelle. I felt sorry for Michael, too, but we get to see the better sides of him that most of the cast haven’t recently.

  5. HolbyNut

    Also loved when Jac described herself as ‘the hospital’s best surgeon’….

  6. Helen

    Gillian should come back at some point – she is quite realistic of a person working in the nhs. power mad, annoying and normal looking.

    has Marie clare been stuck on the kids ward all this time? was funny at the end with Jac saying ‘fly my pretty’, for some reason Jac actually seems to quite like MC.

  7. Nikki

    Mary claire …. MARY-CLAIRE!!!! Shes back!

    *cries tears of joy*

  8. WaterlooVamps

    I saw about two episodes with Mary-Claire in before she mysteriously left, and she seemed alright, but she annoys me. I think I hate her. Loved Sahira shouting at the theatre liaison manager – “made up job” indeed. Was sooooo cute when Freya said “Mama” to Jac <3. And finally, "Fly my pretty…" ? What's that all about???

    • .::Big.Bang::.

      I think that’s a reference to the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of OZ telling her monkeys/evil minions to fly.

      I may be wrong.

  9. WaterlooVamps

    Oh, yeah it is, but….ah. Jac is the wicked witch. Lol Sahira is Dorothy! Elliot’s the wizard, Hanssen: Tin Man, Dan: Lion, Ollie: Scarecrow. Chantelle can be Toto!

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