(Series 15, ep.48) Jac Naylor was never going to be a stereotypical mother. Maternity leave? “You think some midget is going to halt my inexorable rise?” Nursery essentials? They’re for “the slack-jawed, yummy-mummy, coffee morning crowd.” And don’t even think about referring to her as “preggers.”
This is the thing with Jac, though – the things that are the most important to her are the things she gets most spiky and defensive about. And there’s no doubt at all (even despite the “some midget” quips) that the baby she’s carrying is the most important thing that’s ever happened to her.
Because Jac is such a wonderful character and Rosie Marcel is such a wonderful actress, the scriptwriters don’t ever give her an easy time. It was too much to hope that she’d have a normal pregnancy, give birth normally and go back to sarcastic normality. So it wasn’t a total shock that her 20 week scan revealed that the baby had a congenital problem that means it only has a 50/50 chance of survival, but it was very, very sad.
The saddest scene was when Jac and Jonny attended a case conference about the baby and Jac spotted something on the scan: “It’s a girl.” Jonny took hold of her hand, and for a few seconds she let him. Just for a few seconds, though, because you get the sense that only the famous Naylor iron will is holding her together. As it was, she permitted herself a little cry in the ladies,’ which is practically unheard of. This was intercut with a scene where Jonny had gone to talk to Mr Thompson the Obs & Gynae guy (still hankering after Mo, bless him), about the baby’s chances of survival. “Let’s hope she’s as tough as her mum,” he said, as we watched a tear roll down her mum’s cheek.
Jonny wants Jac to do what’s best for her, in his new man sort of way, but what she wants to do at the moment is blame him. “You gave me a 50/50 chance once of anything coming out of my womb being the Antichrist,” she said. “It’s one of the worst three things anyone’s ever said to me.” I wonder what the other two were?
The atmosphere on Keller was somewhat lighter, largely thanks to the arrival of new doctor Zosia (it’s pronounced “Zosher”) March, played by Camilla Arfwedson. When a Holby actress describes her character as “sexually voracious” and her very first scene includes Michael Spence, you think you can see which way the wind is going to blow. But no. The early object of her sexual voraciousness was none other than Arthur “I can’t believe he’s not a virgin” Digby. Was she attracted to him because they share an interest in antique pens? Possibly.
Zosia has a stroppy and frankly scary bedside manner (not a million miles away from Dr Lily Chao on Casualty), but she’s beautiful and she’s also brilliant at maths. If she ever gets bored with medicine, she should consider a job putting the letters out on Countdown.
I did enjoy Digby’s little yelp of fear when Zosia pounced on him, but the patient walking into the lab and finding them in a state of disarray behind a desk was a bit silly. Still, silly was probably what we needed at that point.
On AAU, Edward Campbell decided to take Mary-Claire under his wing. It was marvellous to see MC having her own storyline in an episode. After some good work in saving a patient, she asked Ric if she could be involved in his Primary Defence team (still not sure what that is). After being initially unsure about her committment, he agreed when she did more good work with the same patient, and she joined the team in theatre.
I replayed what happened at the end of the surgery twice, and I’m still not entirely sure what happened – it was edited rather strangely – but I think Edward picked up the wrong drug from a tray, almost killing his patient in the process, and then let Mary-Claire think it had been her fault. This made Mary-Claire tell Ric that she didn’t think she was up to the job. “Too much like hard work, is it?” Ric said. But he told her she’s on the Primary Defence team (how exciting! Does she get to wear a cape?) and she will not fail. I hope she doesn’t fail, because I like her stroppiness and her eyebrows. If she does fail, it will possibly have something to do with Edward Campbell (I just typed “Edward Cullen,” but he’s not in Holby). There’s a bit of a frisson between them.
Next time: Tough decisions for Jac and Jonny; Chrissie starts her cancer treatment; and will The Malick be able to handle pen-loving Dr March?