Holby City: Small things done in a great way

(Series 15, ep.4)   Not wanting to run into board member Cunningham, Hanssen pressed the B button on the lift and found himself in the basement. The basement is generally the place Holby cast members go to collapse, be attacked or have a sulky smoke. Nothing good generally happens there, but on this occasion, Hanssen found himself chatting to a Polish porter, Karol, whose job was under threat. This porter was a wise old sort, although he was blissfully unaware that he was talking to Henrik Hanssen, somewhat implausibly, given that Hanssen’s face had been all over local newspapers and TV news for weeks. It reminded me of the encounter between Kevin and the owner of the toy store in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (I’m sorry, but that film is my cultural touchstone). Karol was a people-person and liked to make a difference to the people he worked with. He had the following advice: “If you can’t do great things, do small things in a great way.”  

“Small things in a great way” beautifully sums up Guy Henry’s portrayal of Hanssen. It’s all about restraint and control, with emotions leaking through the carefully positioned mask. In this episode, he was caring for the son (played by Ben-Ryan Davies) of his first ever patient at Holby, but he was unable to save the son’s life. When Karol called by his office later to give his sympathies, Hanssen explained why the boy was so significant to him, and it was an incredibly moving piece of acting. “My first day here,” he said, “I saved his father… And I thought that I could save him.” The “him” just got lost, as he was so close to the edge of tears.

It was a classic Hanssen moment, and it was almost the last, for now at least. He packed a box with the things from his desk, and left the hospital. Watched from the Window of Regret by Jac, he put the box into his car and glanced around one last time before driving away. When will he be back? Will he be back? And what was the phone call about that he received in Swedish earlier? *

Jac was also watching Jonny Mac – it was that rare beast, the three-way Window of Regret. The reason there was a pane of regret between them was that Jac had just dumped him, because he’d started to get in the way of her career, and when it comes to romance v work, there’s no contest for Jac. Jonny had also managed to annoy Mo, when he tried to steer a middle path between both of the women in his life and get them to work amiably together with the slightly misguided strategy of being really annoying.

Meanwhile, Sacha was walking through a storyline which he and Chantelle seem to do on alternate weeks – trying to be something they’re not, until they eventually work out that what they are is just fine as it is. For short, we’ll call it “People skills save the day.”

* Apparently what Hanssen said in Swedish was, “I understand. I’ll come as soon as I can.” (Thanks to I♥NordicTV on the Digital Spy Holby forum).

Next time: Now Hanssen’s gone, Serena is apparently in charge of the hospital. That’ll go well. Jonny tries to build bridges with Mo. And Michael Spence has a bad day.

Posted by PLA More Holby City here

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Holby City: Small things done in a great way

  1. Ann S

    Mr Henry-please collect your Bafta now.

  2. holbylover819

    I thought Jac was quite sensitive when she broke up with Jonny. You know, for Jac.

  3. Jac's Pet Cretin

    Please excuse me while I weep at the loss of Jac and Jonny, and weep at the fact the Window of Regret scene reminded me of Joseph 😥
    Also what on earth was going on with Mo’s eye makeup-did someone do it in the dark?!

  4. Mr Donnelly

    Sorry to labour the point, but when did Hanssen stop being Director of Surgery and start being CEO? It’s only in the last couple of episodes he’s been referred to as the latter. Jane Greyson and the lady who replaced her, whose name I can’t recall, were non-clinical. And during Mark Williams’s brief period in the role, he was no longer practising as a nurse on AAU as he had formerly done.

  5. Corumba Love

    Hey, hey PLA – had to drop in for this one.

    No one character can ever be bigger than a good soap – sorry, continuing drama – but it’s pretty much HH alone that’s kept me and Old Girl watching these last few months. Jac’s great ‘n’ stuff but some of her best scenes have been when she realises that Hanssen’s got her number.

    I loved the scene where Henrik, always ahead of the game, even n sadness, gathered his pups (Ellliotttttt, Michael, Jac and Serena) to confirm what he already knew; ooh, and the later one where he left the board twiddling and swivelling. Masterful. Excellent actor playing fantastic character – and you know my admiration for Guy Henry’s detail – quite caught the sob, I did, with Hanssens swallowed “him.”

    The rumours are that that it’s not quite the last of Guy Henry so, where there’s Hope there’s donuts and where’s there’s donuts there’s jam. Tomorrow.

    • Sligfo

      Definitely hope there’s jam tomorrow. GH is the best. Only watch HC for him. AND I got the answer on Pointless about his being Sherlock Holmes. Yes, he was.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a soap actor play a character with such nuance, such clever subtly, as Guy Henry has done with Henrik Hanssen recently. He was particularly sublime in this episode, and if he doesn’t win an award for this, the world is even madder than I thought. Wonderful, complex characterisation played to perfection.

    I’ll be devastated if he doesn’t come back – lately I’ve only watched it for him 😦

  7. Maria

    Guy Henry was magnificent. Seeing him at his most vulnerable and emotional state was an amazing piece of acting. His scenes with the porter was so philosophical and I wish that porter was a regular cast in Holby City. The final scene with Chantelle was so endearing and it gives a feeling of hope that we haven’t seen the last of Henrik. He will be back, better, stronger and more invigorated.

  8. WaterlooVamps

    If he’s on his way to somewhere then hopefully he’ll be back!

  9. Wendy

    What a fabulous actor Guy Henry is!……come back!

  10. Tigermama

    A raised eyebrow, the twitch of a lip or the merest quiver in the voice, and he has us in the palm of his hand. I even found myself prepared to put up with the return of Sahira Shah the Registrah if it would make HH happy.

  11. Blue midnight

    Thought he was amazing, I find him quite mesmerising and hang on his every word, such a wonderfully charismatic actor and a truly fabulous character. There is going to be a huge HH shaped hole now, if I can be bothered to watch.

  12. pauseliveaction

    Awww… so much love for Guy Henry. There’ll be a tall, looming gap in tonight’s episode.

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