(Series 15, ep.25) This episode started at the end and then flash-backed (back-flashed?) six hours earlier in a style that used to feature quite regularly in Holby. It even ended with a musical montage as staff members reacted to an email from Tara Lo, telling them about her brain tumour. Hanssen’s reaction was to make sure the pencils on his desk were parallel, a brilliant little touch showing his need for order and control in times of stress.
The meat of the episode was about Tara facing the prospect of either death or surgery that may leave her drastically altered (or dead) – and either way the probable end to her career. It was intense and dramatic, with Tara demonstrating to the long-suffering Oli how bad she was feeling by smashing up the windows of her car. “This is what the end of my career looks like!” she yelled as she took a metal pole to her windscreen. I couldn’t help thinking that smashing up Serena’s car might have ended her career even quicker, but that’s me for you. While it’s easy to sympathise with Tara’s situation, she doesn’t make it easy to sympathise with her as a person. She’s so spiky, defensive and insular that it’s Oli I feel sorry for. “I’m concerned you’re in a kind of denial,” Tara’s neurologist said to her. Tara’s reply? “Well, I’m not!”
All this anguish was beautifully balanced by the Keller storyline, which showed Digby trying his best to win the F1 Prize against the mighty opposition of Dr Gemma Wilde. Every week I love Digby more. He needed to practise delivering bad news to patients (people skills aren’t his speciality) and Chantelle offered to help by posing as a patient. It was a lovely scene as Rob Ostlere apparently tried not to laugh at Chantelle’s funny reactions. Digby is actually a genius doctor and he managed to diagnose a real illness in someone who was only supposed to be pretending to be a patient, and helped Malick to sort him out in surgery. This meant Ric Griffin had to be called in to pose as a patient for the rest of Digby’s test, and there was another funny scene as Digby managed to quote him chapter and verse of the rules about patients not harassing staff.
No surpise, then, that Digby won the F1 prize (hurrah!) – and he also went for a drink with Chantelle. Something of a red-letter day in the world of young Arthur Digby.
Chantelle also had something to celebrate, as Serena decided to drop her complaint against her following the intervention of a patient who was also a journalist.
Next time: A marriage proposal, a choice for Malick and an old face from Gemma’s past.
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