(Series 15, ep.50) Parenthood was at the front and centre of proceedings in all three departments this week, with Chrissie wondering how My Son Daniel would fare without her should the worst happen, Jac and Jonny going to an antenatal class and Hanssen pondering whether to meet the son he’s never seen. To add to the overall theme, Jac got a baby to hold and Hanssen got a young boy to look after. Chrissie got Paul O’Grady.
To Keller first, and Malick was out to prove himself to be consultant material. Hanssen said Malick would work with him for the day. It gave Hanssen the excuse to ask Malick what it was like suddenly finding himself the parent of a grown up son and to repeatedly lecture him about remaining rational at all times when dealing with patients.
Fredrik (Hanssen Junior) was on his mind, though, and it did make him overreact when it came to the welfare of young Josh, who had cystic fibrosis and needed surgery to sort out his spleen. Josh also had an absentee parent, a mother who’d left him because she was mentally ill, but who turned up to upset the apple-cart by taking him out of the hospital so he could collapse in the car park. He also collapsed in the stair-well earlier. If only he’d have collapsed in the toilets as well he’d have scored a hat trick.
The car park collapse caused Hanssen to actually run, which was a magnificent sight, but not as magnificent as him getting all shouty with the boy’s mother. Unfortunately he blew it slightly when he was about to operate. With the mother’s words of “treat him with the same care you would your own son” ringing in his ears, he went a bit wobbly and had to hand over scalpel duties to Malick.
Malick did well, though, in the sense that the boy didn’t die. Hanssen not only handed him the scalpel, he also left him completely to it, which was odd given that last week Malick wasn’t allowed to do urgent surgery until there was a consultant present.
Even stranger, at the end of the episode Hanssen was so pleased with Malick’s work and attitude that he took him for a little walk in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery and handed him a consultancy post. Only last week he was asking which of Malick’s colleagues he ought to sack to create a vacancy, and this week he’s already moving his knickknacks into the spare desk in Michael Spence’s office. But, such are the fluid staffing configurations of Holby City.
Up the stairs to Darwin we go now, where Jonny was left holding somebody’s baby and singing it a lovely lullaby of ‘Won’t You Take Me to Funky Town.’ “Can you find somewhere to put that? There’s a cardboard box in my office,” Jac told him. Oh, typical Jac, thinking you can file a baby away like paperwork! But what a lovely look on her face when she was discovered later in her office, with the baby happily and comfortably asleep in the aforementioned cardboard box. She might just be parent material after all.
Jac felt the baby kick, which gave Jonny the opportunity to do the standard, hands-on-belly, face-full-of-wonder thing while Jac smiled happily at him – for about a nanosecond, before she told him to get off.
To further prove that they’re absolutely normal parents-to-be, Jac and Jonny went to an antenatal class. Jac rather enjoyed it, what with being able to dispense unwanted advice about overeating for two, the horrors of an episiotomy (OMG, I just googled that for spelling – you do not want to see what pictures come up), the risks of multiple births… the other mothers were left pale and trembling. They were also left bitching about what a cow she was – which Jonny overheard, and he defended her absolutely brilliantly. Even though she’d given the impression that he was a gay sperm donor.
Paul O’Grady was back, to tell Chrissie to put her best foot forward and show everyone “what a little ray of sunshine you are.” Well, he hasn’t known her long.
So she took his advice and tried to get on with business as usual (being brisk with the patients and horrible to Sacha) despite going “Nnnngh!!” every five minutes just like Ric did when he had cancer and Mo did when she was in labour (though Mo was “Oof!” rather than “Nnnngh!”). They’ll never learn to take it easy, these medical types.
It was My Son Daniel’s first day at nursery and Sacha forgot to give him his toy monkey, which was the excuse for Chrissie to get all cross with him. But she wasn’t just being horrible for the sake of it this time. As she confided to Paul O’Grady later, it was because she was worried about dying and leaving Daniel, and whether Sacha would be able to cope as well as she does. I know that sounds like typical Chrissie – nobody, least of all Sacha, will ever measure up to her high standards – but on this occasion I knew what she meant.
Paul O’Grady implied that his chemo had worked, which cheered Chrissie up a lot, but we saw his face and I didn’t believe him for a second. He’s back next week, but will it be as a patient this time? Or will he get to live his dream of standing naked under a waterfall in Venezuela with Chrissie (best not to dwell on that image)?
Next time: Hanssen takes his guilty conscience out on Chantelle; Sacha confides in Mo; and it’s Serena’s birthday.
Holby reviews from June 2009 to May 2013 available from Amazon in e-book or paperback here