(Series 15, ep.31) There was some spooky old stuff going on in Holby this week, with a serial killer’s accomplice still languishing on Keller, a vampire attacking Dr Gemma Wilde on AAU, Dr Oliver Valentine being haunted by the spectre of his dead wife (“How do you live with a ghost?”) and Jac Naylor snacking on chocolate and anchovies. I mean, anchovies I can understand. But chocolate? Jac Naylor?
I’m going to start at the bottom (is AAU on a lower floor? I always imagine it is), because I need to show off. As PLA Jr will confirm, within two minutes of the goth patient trying to bite Dr Gemma Wilde because she thought she was a vampire, and then creasing up with abdominal pains, I’d diagnosed porphyria. It took handsome (oh gosh, yes he is) new doctor Harry Tressler (Jules Knight) most of the rest of the episode to reach the same conclusion, but at least he was doing better than Gemma and Ric Griffin, who’d had a dig about in the poor girl’s insides before concluding they had no idea what was up with her. How did I become such a diagnostic whizz? I might have graduated from the Holby School of Televisual Medicine, but I did my early training at St Elsewhere, which once featured a similar storyline.
Back to Dr Harry Tressler, who’s the new CT1. He’s good-looking, charming and flirtatious – he’s already got Gemma and Mary-Claire interested in him, and predictably the first round went to MC (“Hammer time!” – I do love Mary-Claire). While he’s in his element with the ladies, Harry seems less at ease with black people, mistaking Ric Griffin for a porter (but… but… the gravitas of the man! He wears seniority like an invisible crown on his grizzled head!). When Ric put him right, Harry made a clumsy attempt to relate: “You lead from the front – man of the people stylee.” Ouch.
For these amusing scenes alone you have to love an episode written by Joe Ainsworth, but he’s also not afraid to get into the really serious stuff, and it was all very serious indeed on Keller. Amanda Layton, the serial killer’s girlfriend Malick was looking after last week, was still there and still refusing to tell anyone where the bodies were buried. At the end of last week’s episode the mother of one of the victims turned up and thumped Malick. This week she was demanding answers. Dr Dominic Copeland, who proved last week he’s quite a good doctor, demonstrated this week that he’s a rubbish googler (to be fair he wasn’t using Google, but “Whippet Search,” which may have been his problem) by concluding that this girl, Simone Harris, hadn’t been one of the victims at all because her name hadn’t been mentioned during the trial (though it had come up in other accounts). Anyhoo, Malick believed Mrs Harris and set things up so Mrs Harris would get the chance to confront Amanda Layton without a prison warder present (on the subject of whom, Judith Jacob was very funny in the scenes where she was flirting with Dominic – and totally barking up the wrong tree, as we’ll see later).
The scene where the two women came face to face was very tense and emotional. Amanda ended up with a cut on her head, Mrs Harris ended up with an answer (but was it the right answer?) and Malick ended up looking totally traumatised. He was even more traumatised when he insisted on not resuscitating Amanda later (following her advance directive but ignoring his earlier opinion that she’d been suicidal and therefore not capable of making a proper decision) and she died.
When you’ve had the day from hell at work, it’s really nice to be able to talk it through with your partner. Unfortunately Malick had annoyed his partner, Nathan, at the start of the episode and Nathan was in no mood to hold his hand and make soothing noises. The next best thing is an admiring junior doctor, and the episode ended with one of those passionate locker room moments which are a speciality of Malick’s.
Before we leave Keller, can I just say that Jimmy Akingbola has been incredible in these two episodes? I do enjoy Malick, but his ego-driven, high-intensity character isn’t especially warm or likeable, even during the episodes when he was bonding with his son. I felt like this was the first time I’d ever properly seen under the surface of him.
Darwin was a bit low-key this week. Jonny Mac still doesn’t know that Jac is pregnant (no idea how Mo is keeping a lid on that one). As well as eating anchovies and chocolate (yum), pregnancy might be mellowing Jac, as she was really sweet to her patient.
Oliver Valentine has started his therapy sessions with Dr Sharon Kozinsky, but has been living in the on-call room because he can’t cope with the Essence of Tara still lingering in their mutual flat. What I want to know is, will it be Oliver or lovely old Elliot Hope who has a romance with the fragrant Dr Kozinsky? Both are possible at the moment. Or maybe neither.
Next time: Sacha gets bad news about his daughter; Jac’s still trying to keep Jonny in the dark about the baby; and Digby tries to impress Chantelle.
Posted by PLA More Holby City here