(Series 15, ep.39) It was the final episode for the man we’ve come to know fondly over the years as Young Dr Oliver Valentine. James Anderson has left for pastures new (including an episode of Poirot, apparently, which is excellent news – Mr PLA and I love to settle down in front of a good Poirot on a damp Sunday afternoon). I’ll miss Ollie, but more for the character he used to be than the one he’s been recently. As emotions go, sadness is not the most fun one to watch, and the poor lad has been immersed in sadness since the death of the lovely Tara.
James Anderson does misery beautifully, what with having those amazing blue eyes that brim with tears at the drop of a sad hat, and he also does anger really well – the scene recently where he nastily let rip at Prof Hope was shocking and upsetting to behold. Oliver’s reaction to Tara’s death, which was basically to put up a wall against the world, tell everybody everything was fine, and then shout a lot was realistic and consistent with his previous reaction to Penny’s death, but from a viewer perspective it maybe went on a bit too long and got just a little bit boring. It overshadowed the things I’ve always loved about Oliver – his fun side, his way with a witty one-liner, his kindness, his relationships with the other staff members.
Thank goodness, then, that we had a little glimpse of this right before he left in two touching and perfectly crafted scenes, one with Jac and the other with Elliot.
Jac hadn’t been around for most of the episode, and I was thinking there wouldn’t be a Pregnancy Watch at all this week, but there she was, sitting in the dark in the staff room. “Is that – a muffin?” Oliver said, incredulously. Jac hugged the previously scorned cakey product. “My precious!” she said. This on its own was enough to give him a clue that something was up. “I’m pregnant,” she told him, and the look on his face was a picture – laughing for a moment because surely it must be a joke, and then looking delighted. “If you hug me, I’ll puke,” she warned him, but he hugged her anyway and it was her turn to give one of her special Jac smiles. It was a lovely scene.
Ollie asked Jac to look after Prof Hope for him (“But who’s going to look after you?” she replied. Don’t you just love the new, improved, Nurturing Naylor?) and Ollie’s final scene was with Elliot. It was full of forgiveness, understanding and genuine friendship. Oliver said he might return one day. “No, you won’t,” Elliot said sadly.
Before Ollie left, he (eventually) fessed up to stealing Tara’s work for his CT2 test and for dropping Dr Honey in it over the dodgy chest drain business a couple of weeks ago. Added to this, of course, is the elephant in the room which is the fact that he wouldn’t have been a doctor at all if he hadn’t passed his sister’s exam paper off as his own all those many moons ago.
This left Dr Posh to inherit the CT2 crown by default, but he said he didn’t want it, because he likes to achieve his own achievements. Prior to that he’d said he would drop out of the race anyhow if only Ollie would tell the truth about Dr Honey and the chest drain. At that stage in her career, Jac Naylor would never have made such a rash promise. This leads me to suspect that Dr Posh doesn’t have quite the right stuff for the hurly burly of Darwin, but possibly it makes him a nicer person than I thought.
It’s nice that the patients have started using my nicknames for the staff, though. “Dr Harry Tressler,” his patient said. “Posh, right?” Yes, he is. Or, more properly, Dr Posh.
Dr Honey is still besotted with Dr Posh. This manifests itself in a bit of bitching and a bit of Gazing Adoringly. In one scene, Posh managed to insert a colonoscopy tube into his patient without the patient even noticing it had gone in. Honey was hardly able to contain herself. “That was… beautiful!” she gasped.
On Keller, Malick was back and his confidence, which took a knock following the Amanda Layton business, was perked up by his latest patient, who was a blind photographer. At one point she went AWOL (they should really tag these patients or something, the number who go missing per month) and Malick found her in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, which now has a little fountain and a fish pond. I’m going to call it the Tara Lo Memorial Water Feature, because even if it isn’t, it should be.
Next time: Digby is in charge; Jac is distracted; and Sacha has to cope with a pessimistic patient.
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