Holby City: A Ukrainian, a Chinese and a clown walked into a hospital…

(Series 14, Ep.26)  There’s a special magnetism between Greg and Sahira. That can be the only explanation for why every time they look at each other their beepers go off. It was happening constantly during the episode, and of course each beep was perfectly placed to thwart a Deep Meaningful Conversation. Greg did manage to tell her he loved her, but she was unable to reply as she was already hurtling off down a corridor at the command of her beeper. You’d swear Henrik Hanssen was in a control room somewhere coordinating all this. Greg has given up pursuing her along corridors bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!” He’s on crutches anyway, which has slowed him down a bit. Now he’s reduced to slumping in corners looking mournful, particularly when she said she was going to move to Nottingham with Rafi and enjoy all those cycle paths and finding out what their second child is called.

All this was just tedious, but the bit that really, really irked me was when Sahira was binned off an operation in favour of Jac, because “there’s no place for domestic entanglements in theatre.” Indeed not, and hurrah, but why did we then have to suffer the sight of Jac being unable to stitch up a heart that was shredding up like a used Kleenex and Sahira waltzing in, all scrubbed up, to save the day with some of her legendary stitching? Beyond annoying.

Thinking about Holby characters over the years, I realised that most of them are slight caricatures or one-dimensional when they arrive. You get a peg on which you can hang them – Donna the party girl, ditzy Chantelle, angry Malick, smooth operator Michael Spence, enigmatic Hanssen. Bit by bit, more sides of them are revealed. This can go on for years, as with Jac, whose story has evolved the whole time she’s been in the show. But with Sahira, I think the mistake the writers made was trying to offer a fully rounded, beloved character right from the off. We were expected to believe she was a brilliant surgeon, loving mother, object of adoration etc etc. It was too much for one character to bear all at once and it tilted the emphasis away from characters we genuinely did know and love and made her irritating. Jac’s comment to her this week, “Take a rest, Wonder Woman.  Eat a cupcake,” summed it up nicely.

Meanwhile, Tara Lo was getting to grips with the concept of patients dying, thanks to the hospital clown (yes there is one, and no, it’s not Greg). This was a man introduced by Chantelle as being just the sweetest man imaginable, so kind, so funny, so great with the kids. You just knew with an introduction like that he’d be collapsed on the floor within a minute. It turned out he had cancer, knew it, but was refusing treatment because it stopped him being able to amuse the kids.

And Luc let Liam down, so Liam trashed Luc’s van. Eddi helped him to sort it out again and Luc came good for Liam in the end.

Next time: It’s Sahira’s last day.  How will we manage without her? And, more importantly, will we find out why Hanssen cares so much?

Posted by PLA          (more Holby here)

10 Comments

Filed under Holby City

10 responses to “Holby City: A Ukrainian, a Chinese and a clown walked into a hospital…

  1. WaterlooVamps

    OMG – Luc & Eddi <3 <3 <3!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep – even I'm getting a bit annoyed of Sahira but I'm so disappointed :-(((((((

  2. HolbyLover819

    I felt a bit sorry for Jac in that last scene. Hanssen obviously manipulated it to force Sahira to show off her amazing needlepointing skills. The patient could have been a plant?

  3. VickyO

    I’m probably going soppy in my old age (slight exaggeration) but I genuinely teared up at the clown bit. Just such an understated (yeah, I know, he was dressed as a clown, you get my point), touching side story. I guess this is what makes HC a good soap, a notch above the rest.

    I am going to watch next week’s episode from behind the sofa, with a bottle of wine and a tub of ice cream. The whole Hanssen situation just breaks my heart. Having seen the preview of next week, I don’t know if I want him to admit that he loves her so the daft bint finally stops to think what it’s been like for HIM (for once), or to tell her to eff off and not show his weakness. Aw, I just want someone to looove hiiiim!

    Also, that was possibly the finest piece of “back-of-the-head” acting I have ever seen.

    Also, would Luc and Eddy just get on with it and get together already?? Jeez, all I want is for two fictional, good looking people to get together on-screen. Is that too much to ask, Holby writers, is it?

    And PLA, you’re totally right about the theatre scene. Holby in general, and Jac in particular, can function perfectly well without Sahira’s saintly presence. Urgh.

    Anyway, to all other Hanssen fans – I’ll be with you in spirit next week, from my position behind the sofa. We should form a support group, or something.

    • pauseliveaction

      The back of the head acting – yes!

    • Mrs H

      The Hanssenettes are in full voice about this on tumblr…where are you Vicky???? I will be sat hugging a cushion rocking back and forth with wine and chocolate. I even had to leave the country for a few days because I can’t cope with what he might say (not really!)…miraculously they let me back in!

      I cannot see there will be true resolution to this…he will either lie to her or he will drop a bombshell…a bombshell that no one will quite be able to believe. And whatever happens if we see images of the back of his head safe in the knowledge that his professional or personal heart is breaking I may weep!

      But that’s next week…

      Liked how Henrik managed to get his hair cut between 11pm of an evening and first thing in the morning!

      I got angry in the episode (have been getting angrier for weeks). Jac is not useless, Greg and Sahira’s final dismissive scene, pagers going off…my language has not been very ladylike! I almost (please sit down folks) felt sorry for Rafi!

      Another toilet scene…will these become as much of a prerequisite as Sahira Shah the Registrah being the only one who can do cross stitch and save the day?

      Anyhoo…as always PLA lovely review and I’ll see you next week if I haven’t been carted away!

  4. teacherlady

    Call me a b!tch but I just think Laila Rouass isn’t a very good actress. The best roles are the evil charcters and Jac’s part is the one I’d want to play. As you say she’s become more credible as time wears on and her character has been fleshed out.

    But Sahira will leave (you sure she is and this is not a wind-up) without regret on my part. Little Miss Goody-Two-Shoes makes me feel nauseous.

  5. HolbyNut

    Love the ‘back of the head acting’ comment (LOL) – I’m sure I could see his ears move…..

  6. Jeffiner

    OK I just did a complete U-turn on Sahira in that ep. I thought the whole point of us sitting through the lingering looks, the touches, the jealousy from Hanssen etc was because Sahira was supposed to have fallen in love with Greg while still loving Rafi. So she just led him on all that time?! Cow. Rafi I think you should just get as far from her as possible, Greg don’t worry, she’s not worth it, she can’t even come and say goodbye to you and you’re supposedly her “best friend”. Think the surgery thing has already been covered so I won’t bring it up again. It’s quite sad as I actually DID like Sahira and defended her for ages.

    Found myself warming to Tara for the first time (although I’m confused, I thought her rotation was supposed to be on Darwin, unless she maybe moves back up there when Sahira and Greg go). Really felt for her over the patient death and the clown (word of thanks to the Daily Mirror who warned me there’d be a clown in this ep, meant I had the cushion ready) and how she’ll find she’ll just have to deal with patient deaths.

    AAU storyline a bit meh, seemed it was more filler than anything else.

    Brilliant review as always PLA, you always hit the nail on the head.

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