Holby City: Emotionally involved

michael holby(Series 15, ep.38) I think after this episode my love for Michael Spence, which has crept upon me with the stealth of Henrik Hanssen on a ninja activity day, is now complete.

Remember the days when people thought he was just in this doctoring lark for a fast buck, when he liked to inhabit the worlds of Holby Care and the more designer end of cosmetic surgery, shimmering from breast implant to buttock augmentation with as much graceful ease as his tight trousers would allow?

These days his trousers are a slightly more forgiving cut, he’s sporting that delicious grizzled facial hair look, and most of all, he cares deeply about his patients. In a storyline that reached an emotional climax this week, he became very involved in the case of Seb, a young man dying of cancer whose family had apparently abandoned him. Michael’s own feelings of inadequacy as a parent came into play, particularly when his daughter Jasmine turned up on a visit from America and became friends with Seb herself.  

As an emotional balance, Hanssen was back this week (hurrah!) counselling professionalism and detachment. Obviously Michael ignored him – “For an ice man like you maybe it’s just another day at the office!” Michael told him, in yet another “hell, yeah” moment. The scene where Seb died was wonderfully acted by Hari Dhillon and Dylan Llewellyn (and beautifully written by Julia Gilbert), and I bet Michael Spence’s weren’t the only tears flowing.

jac mo elliot holbyOn Darwin, Elliot Hope agreed to go to the opera with Psychiatrist Sharon, and then chickened out when Mo, Jonny and Jac told him it was officially a date. They then had to persuade him to re-invite himself. Mo offered to buy him new pants and Jac reminded him that he was the same age as Madonna and it was about time he had a life. I should think the same could be said for Sharon. That woman seems to be the entire Psych department at the moment. She gets summoned to sort out the problems of staff and patients alike, and even had Oliver Valentine ringing her up at home. She definitely deserves a night at the opera and a man with fresh pants.

hanssen holbySomehow mention of the word “pants” brings me to Dr Posh. Is it just me, or is he getting more annoying every week? He started off this episode by knocking Digby off his bike and ended it getting a dressing-down from Hanssen for helping a disabled man to smoke cannabis to help his pain. If Hanssen had had concrete proof that this had happened, Dr Posh would have been suspended, but as it was, he got away with a warning. And when Hanssen says “You have been warned,” you know you have been.

I suppose we were meant to think Dr Posh was the sort of maverick like Michael Spence who would bend the rules for the benefit of his patient and good on him etc, but frankly he’s just too smug and the way he plays off Dr Honey and Mary-Claire is very annoying. Not that I care about Dr Honey, and Mary-Claire can stick up for herself, but it’s just that we’re expected to buy into the notion that he’s God’s gift.

Talking of little gifts, it’s time for Pregnancy Watch. Jac appears to be suffering badly with morning sickness, but is calling it “something I ate.” She’s gone off coffee, but her enthusiasm for carbs is wonderful to behold, particularly when she gets them via the medium of ticking off Elliot about his bad diet then snarfing his baguette. She’s also showing her cheeky, fun side a bit more and is even acting like she’s part of a team. Who knew hormones could be so powerful?

Next time: Malick’s back – but is it goodbye to the beautiful blue eyes of Young Dr Oliver Valentine? (Not just his eyes, obvs).

Posted by PLA    More Holby City here

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Holby City: Emotionally involved

  1. Ann S

    Brill-as usual.

  2. Jane Thomas

    Lovely review. Spot on. Absolutely not a dry eye in our house I have to say. Michael´s tears (Hari) looked the real deal which was even more poignant.

    As for Jac, Jonny and Mo simple wonderful and it is nice to see Jac has a nicer side.

    If the BBC are reading this Doctor Posh is just to smug and needs a swift kick up the backside from Hanssen. Guy Henry will be greatly missed.

    • pauseliveaction

      Oh no! Is Guy Henry leaving? That’s tragic news!

      I agree with you about Hari’s tears. I thought everyone involved in that storyline seemed to be very emotionally engaged with it, somehow. Lauren Drummond was also excellent.

      And the BBC (the Holby branch, at least) do read this blog 😉

      • Jane Thomas

        This is what one of our Admin found out. I´m not saying it´s forever but I think it could be.

        http://www.britishtheatreguide.info/news/casting-announced-for-rscs-1865

      • pauseliveaction

        Might be just a little panto time out (fingers crossed). There’s still a lot that could be explored in Hanssen’s character – he can’t leave yet!

      • Jane Thomas

        I hope you´re right. We think that they may write him out for a while maybe using Michael´s quirk about “For an ice man like you maybe it’s just another day at the office!” when he said about children.

        I´m sure they are lining him up for the son to appear or him to go rushing off to Sweden. If we find out anymore will let you know.

      • Wiggles247

        Its a 3 month stint (and in Stratford-upon-Avon) so can’t see him being able to do both like Hari did with his play recently. But I do hope it’s just a sabbatical – can’t really imagine Holby without him now and, if I’m honest, don’t really want to 😦
        Let’s hope the Holby branch of the BBC do take notice!!

  3. Summer E

    i love pregnancy watch can’t wait to see her show

  4. Laura A

    Hormones are mor powerful than you think. And then they also work their mnysterious ways in each and every one.

  5. Maria

    PLA, a lovely review and yes, I love Michael more and can forgive him for his other flaws, any stone hearted person seeing these scenes would have cracked. Agreed with your analysis of Harry and Gemma, if the writers are trying replace Leddi in AAU, they are failing miserably and I hope we don’t have to endure much of their silly courtship. They have zero chemistry and their banter is tedious. They work better separately in my opinion but I don’t find Harry that convincing as an AAU doctor either. AAU is such a dull place these days, even Sacha can’t salvage it with the new staff he’s got

  6. Dreamer

    Gosh, I really loved this episode; it made me cry one minute and laugh the next, and the remaining time it just made me want slap P&H. HC needs to get rid of them.

  7. Collins1965

    I too love Michael more and more as time goes by. I was reassured by his comment to Jasmine that he won’t be leaving Holby any time soon but I am dreading the thought that he may well get dragged into the leaving storyline of Chrissie Williams. He, like Sacha, is just far too good for her!

  8. “…which has crept upon me with the stealth of Henrik Hanssen on a ninja activity day”.

    Brilliant. Best coffee and keyboard incident of the week.

    • pauseliveaction

      If I manage to destroy one keyboard per week with snorked coffee, my work has not been in vain 😀

      • Jane Thomas

        One of the best review I´ve read but that one comment sums up HH perfectly.

        As Mary-Claire has said on Holby before now “Does the man not wear shoes” HH is our very own Swedish ninja. Thank you pauseliveaction xx

  9. I definitely agree with your comments about the Michael and Seb scenes, and that picture you’ve used almost makes me cry every time I look at it. I also agree with what you said about Harry being extremely similar to Michael, but as for your opinion on him as a whole – I don’t think you should judge him or his relationship with Gemma so quickly, you never know, there may be more to him than meets the eye, just as we have seen with Michael since he first started. Still, awesome review, there’s just bits I don’t completely agree with, but then again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion xxx

    • pauseliveaction

      Good point, Chloe. I didn’t like Jonny Mac to begin with, but as the weeks went on I liked him more and more. I still don’t feel I really know what Harry’s personality is – he seems to be slightly different every week – so I might grow to love him as much as I love Michael Spence.

      • Chloe Leanne Derbyshire

        Harry hasn’t been there long enough for us to find out though, maybe that’s why we don’t know him yet xxx

  10. HolbyNut

    ‘Am I on the water yet?’ – remember that line? Blubbing! Michael Spence, adorable! Elliot, adorable! Jac and Jonny, adorable!

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