(Series 13, Ep.36) The episode dealt mainly with Young Dr Oliver Valentine’s inner turmoil and journey through grief and self-pity to acceptance and a fresh start. It did this via the medium of flashbacks, which often took in little bits of action that we’d already seen in previous weeks. At times the effect was quite hallucinatory – was that really Nurse Eddi McKee that Ollie bumped into as he tried to start a fight outside a nightclub? (And that almost-fight explained the black eye he had a couple of weeks ago – here was I thinking I’d missed something).
Ollie pitched up at Penny’s former flat to clear away her stuff, but ended up hanging around sharing reminiscences and a one-night-stand with Penny’s former flatmate Lucy. It was obvious that Lucy and Ollie were really looking for Penny in each other, which I suppose makes sleeping together a bit weird, but we’ll leave that to one side.
I did wonder why Penny had lived in a shared flat with second-hand (yet oh-so-shabby-chic) furniture, while Oliver had a swanky flat all to himself, but the reason for this became clear when his father, Simon, turned up. It seems that Penny was something of a disappointment to Simon – always wanting to fix things and make everyone better, the crazy fool, and, even worse, dragging her far more promising brother into the dead-end world of medicine. “Stop wasting everyone’s time trying to be like your sister. You’ve got far more potential than she ever had,” Simon told his son, handing him a cheque for £10,000 so he could have a little break and sort his head out. Apparently daddy loves Oliver and pays his rent.
Boy Valentine is a better man than all this, though, and he got his chance to prove it when a taxi driver he’d been treating was involved in a car crash. This was the same taxi driver, Mr Sharma, who popped up previously, the one who didn’t seem to have anything wrong with him. Chantelle had diagnosed a broken heart, and it seems she wasn’t far wrong. Oliver ended up pulling Mr Sharma out of the wreckage of the crash much as Penny had done at the train crash, and performing a venous cannula puncture in a moving ambulance to save his life. Ninja skills indeed.
He’s a lad with a conscience, though, and he decided it was time to come clean to Hanssen about his lack of qualifications. Perching himself in Penny’s favourite sulking spot in the basement, and sparking up one of the fags she’d handily left behind, he wrote a resignation letter. But Hanssen, like The Malick before him, wasn’t about to let his only and best Valentine go that easily, not after that neat scalpel work in the ambulance and a glowing reference from Mr Sharma.
So Oliver stays, which is marvellous because we rather like him in this house. I like that thing he does with his eyes where he makes them even bigger because he’s trying not to cry, and PLA Jr thinks that if you were standing on top of a cliff and he was at the bottom and said “I’ll catch you,” you could trust that he would.
While all this was going on, we were also finding out what had happened to Funny Little Nurse Tate since her mother showed up. This all culminated in Ric Griffin and the local pastor having a showdown about whether FLNT had a duty to sacrifice her own health and happiness (I’m presuming she does “happiness”) for a mother who’d abused her. That showdown was the first time this story really caught light – it took Ric Griffin to inject some passion and drama into it, because all the emotion we’ve seen from FLNT herself is a kind of downtrodden acceptance. Whether she’ll accept Ric Griffin’s help from now on remains to be seen, as he and the pastor and a psychiatrist went hammering on FLNT’s mum’s door and terrified the poor woman into setting fire to the house. Ric should really stick to general surgery.
Next time: Hanssen has to make ruthless decisions (again), Dull Dan gets jealous when Chrissie and Malick get friendly (which one’s he jealous of?) and Sacha has to give Chantelle some bad news.
Posted by PLA (more Holby City posts here)