Holby City: Brains duly spoken by a gangrenous foot

(Series 14, Ep.17) Ooh, but I loved this episode. There was so much going on. So many amusing sets of sparring people, so many funny lines, I hardly even noticed Jac Naylor wasn’t there.

To Dull Dan first of all (he’s a bit less dull these days, but it’s so hard to let a good nickname go). Last week we had his sexual orientation being illustrated via the metaphor of a reluctant stallion. Apparently that was not enough to make Dan properly think about whether he’s a gay man trapped in a dull man’s body, so this week’s speak-your-brains came courtesy of a woman with a gangrenous foot. If she didn’t deal with it, Dan told her, it would have to come off. “What you don’t deal with will eat you away,” somebody said (it might even have been Dan himself). In case that was too subtle, Malick weighed in with, “Ignore it till it goes toxic.” Dan’s Thinking Face was in position for a great deal of the episode, apart from when it was replaced by his Confuzzled Face. This was generally thanks to Mary-Claire (hurrah! Given a bit of screen time at last), who spent the episode winding him up. As did Malick. “Orthapaedics. Real man’s work!”

Goth Dr Frieda is rather like Sacha, in the sense that she lights up any scene she’s in. Not bad for a surly Ukrainian emo. She also brings out the best in the other people in the scene, mainly because her bullshit detector is so finely tuned and so ruthless that people can’t get away with any pompous nonsense. When Frieda’s around, Eddi’s rather fun and forgets she’s supposed to be The Best Nurse in the Hospital and all the pressures that involves. One of the very best partnerships is Frieda and Michael Spence. They play off each other beautifully, Michael seeming to get Frieda’s humour and appreciate her no-crap integrity. So it was a bit upsetting to discover that this was Frieda’s last day on AAU. New consultant Alex Broadhurst (Sasha Behar) thought Frieda should try to get a place on Darwin. While there are a few up there (yes, you, Sahira)who could do with Frieda’s brand of telling-it-like-it-is, I really want her to stay on AAU. So does Michael. “I’m gonna miss you, Petrenko,” he told her, adding, “I can’t believe I just said that.”

Michael had other worries, as Hanssen, with his usual penchant for treating people rather like chess pieces, decided the clinical lead position should be open to competition. The competition includes the aforementioned Alex Broadhurst, who is seriously competent and doesn’t have a murky background of exploding boobs to blot her copybook.

In the absence of Sahira, Greg channelled his energies into being horrible to Dr Oliver Valentine. He kept getting little digs in about Oli being under Jac Naylor’s thumb (hello? Oli is not the one who spends most of his time wandering the corridors bleating, “Sahira! Sahira!”), but Oli had the last laugh when his and Jac’s research project on therapeutic hypothermia came in handy and saved his patient’s life. Oliver was really sweet with this patient. Her baby had been stillborn and she carried the ashes everywhere in a little urn. While Irish Dr Greg could only manage a very wooden, “I’m sorry for your loss,” when she told him, Oli took the time to listen and help her. He’s very good at all that touchy-feely stuff.

Next time: It’s Valentine’s day, so what luck that there’s a character called Valentine, and what luck Chantelle hearts him. Or is it? Does he heart her back? And Sacha has money worries.

Posted by PLA (more Holby City here)

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Holby City: Brains duly spoken by a gangrenous foot

  1. Frieda Fan

    “New consultant Alex Broadhurst (Sasha Behar) thought Frieda should try to get a place on Darwin.”

    Just a quick heads-up; she suggested Keller, not Darwin.

  2. WaterlooVamps

    Brilliant episode and loving the Michael/Freida bits.They are suuuuuuch a good match!!! ❤ I think Ollie and Chantelle would make a SERIOUSLY good couple but I am away next week and will have to record it!!! Dan and Mary-Claire……yeah, that's going to work. I thought the little She's-Marries-To-His-Brother-But-She-Loves-Him-Deep-Down bit was quite sweet and so was the stillborn baby bit, so sad.

  3. To the Right, To the Left

    Loved this episode but I don’t want all Spence/Freida/Eddi moments to end. 😦

  4. Jeffiner

    Look forward to reading this review every week even if I rarely post.
    Really getting to warm to Dull Dan more each week though thought Mary Claire playing him like that was brilliant. Incidentally thought it was a bit bizarre having her AND Lleucu in the same episode. Like them both so would be nice to see a bit more of them.
    Speaking as a Greg fan I have to admit he annoyed me quite a bit this week . Not so much the Ollie stuff but his general attitude to the patient. He’s usually quite good even if he’s missing a certain registrah. That said he was right to tick him off for blatantly disregarding orders even if Greg was being far too stubborn, registrah is higher than F2. Think Greg In general was a bit of a spare part without Sahira.

  5. Jeffiner

    And apologies for another post but hadn’t finished and phone internet is annoying.
    Have found myself warming more to Michael since See You on the Ice and he was great again tonight. Loved as always his interactions with Frieda and am interested to see how he further interacts with Alex. Although gutted that Frieda will no longer be on AAU but can’t wait to see her alongside Malick, another person on top form last night.
    Wasn’t enough of the scary Swede but brilliant in the little he appeared.
    Great review PLA as always.

    • pauseliveaction

      Thank you, Jeffiner. And I agree with all your comments. I like Lleucu too. I like the way Greg pronounces her name as Clakey. It’s nice to see that she’s not just used as a substitute Mary-Claire and they can both appear in the same episode. M-C is so funny. I loved when she said, “Was he just flirtin’ with me?”

  6. Corumba Love

    Wotcher PLA

    Oddly enough me ‘n Old Girl found much of this episode pretty irritating, if only for the usual cliches that afflict soaps – sorry, continuing dramas – when a new character is introduced (and there has been quite the herd of late). Having said that, I did like the way Michael maintained his stunned rictus (way to go there, semi-tautology) through the early scenes featuring his competent competition.

    Did warm to the Oliver/Green Jar Girl (GJG) scenes though. You’re right, he’s good at that stuff as both an actor and a charactor. A word for GJG too, it was refreshing to see a young bit-part actress keeping it in with the grief; so much more powerful than the default setting of 11 that many dial up.

    And then we had the stinky toe lady. By coincidence I was working yesterday on marketing material for my new range of obscene (read: accurately named) pharmacy products. Yes really. It’s childish and entirely in bad taste but it keeps me entertained (and Old Girl in mock shock) and I have just the tonic for stinky toe lady:

    Puss in Boots
    Advanced gangrene treatment (see also Athlete’s Foot).

    Athlete’s Foot
    From a real live athlete – order early to beat Olympic rush.

    The rest are worse, by the way, but I’m hoping to knock up some packaging so that I can nip into the Dragon’s Den. Be the shortest presentation ever, I reckon, especially when I try to apply some samples to bits of Deborah Meaden.

    Good stuff as usual Pause – thanks.

    CL

    • pauseliveaction

      Puss in Boots! I don’t know whether to larf or barf. Just keep your obscenoceuticals away from La Meaden. She is a National Treasure, not a guinea pig.

  7. toto

    I loved the episode. It was really funny. I love the AAU team with Michael, Frieda, Eddie and Luc. It is sad that she’s leaving AAU, that is where she belongs although it will be lovely to see her interact with Dan, Malick, chantelle and chrissie. She is sure to brighten the wards of Keller. Michael was so sweet saying he was going to miss her. I want those two to get together. Holby is in need of a super,dynamic and hot couple and i think Frichael could fill that space. There is a video of lovely Frieda and michael scenes. It is a good watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GifkSW2bhE

    I also want Malick and Dan to get together. Dan can be irritating and up himself but i think the malick likes him.

    Line of the episode- “you are so far in the closet, you are in Narnia” LOL.

  8. Mrs H

    Hmmm I’m not sure about this episode!

    There were lots of individual things I liked.

    See I love Michael (secret crush with tight trousers) and Frieda and Eddi together (I would like to know when I will see my Holby Lover Luc again…sad times) and yet I love Frieda on her own…she brings something to any scene and it doesn’t matter who she’s with. She even floored his Imperial Swedishness last week! And twas nice of my Holby husband to come and recognise his new girl Frieda (in a pure “she’s talented and therefore I will keep an eye on”…not in a Sahira way)

    And speaking of his lordship he was being magnificently sneaky again with his new puppet…I hope she doesn’t turn bunny boiler! But more worryingly I am worrying about his stripy ties at the moment! I’ve always loved the way he interacts with Michael…he seems to take genuine delight in winding Michael up. After all he did make him undo his top button once and look all stressed over the plastics thing!

    GREG’S BALD PATCH ALERT – there was a blinding if brief flash of it. What was Greg on? He was either over compensating for missing the dense one or else he was just a tool.

    Tears with the jar lady and Ollie, Marie Claire I salute you and Dan please, please, please sort yourself out. I love Malick’s one liners but please (and I am envisaging Ruth Jones in Little Britain here) admit that you are mad for a bit of……

    Actually I’ve convinced myself this episode is passable!

    Next week…..JAC!!!!!

  9. nikki

    Ohh Mary-Claire I love thee!! Smart, scheming, sassy … I’m so glad to see her back on our screens with a proper bit of plot to play with, even if it is contained in the episode. Looking forward to seeing some more of it though, maybe flirting with him to annoy Chrissie or winding him up for the sheer fun of it. Cos hes so easy to annoy and shes just awesome! And yeah, Lleucu and her in one episode is weird, mind you they are pretty low on nurses these days. Were missing a good Donna and Maria duo. You know? Its all Doctors these days!

    Michael and Frieda were cutes. They do have a good relationship, just before she moves to Keller too! I kinda wish it was Darwin, though Frieda and Chantelle are going to be hilarious …

    Olli is shaping up to be a good character. He has more depth these days, and thats good. He was kinda sucky after Penny, but Im warming to him now. As long as he stays away from Jac 😉 Jac and Mary-Claire would be kind of awesome right? Run with me on this!

    What else happened in the epsidoe again? Oh yeah, new doc in AAU. She was alright. Shes not Connie Beauchamp though is she. Rocked the skirt and shirt look in fairness, I’ll give her points for that. And was kind to Frieda. So shes got enough points to come back next week. But still. Jac would snap her down with a string of witty one liners. My point is I wonder if shes tough enough. I guess we’ll find out next week. And PLA you better promise me now that Jac and Olli dont make out. Promise me.

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