(Series 16, ep.1) You can imagine that Antoine Malick wouldn’t make a great patient even if it was only for something fairly trivial like an ingrown toenail. He’d be tetchy and stroppy and wouldn’t do as he was told.
This comprised a crack team of new Queen of the Hospital Serena, Michael Spence, Digby and occasionally Ric Griffin. The episode opened with a strange dreamlike sequence in which the four of them were ranged at one side of a long table drenched in a heavenly light discussing the fact that Malick is only half the man he used to be.
Ric thought Malick needed counselling. “We have a very good counsellor,” he said, though who that might be now that Psych Sharon has gone is anybody’s guess.
Michael thought it might be therapeutic to show Malick photos of his severed hand, but I reckon that was mainly because the production team were so proud of that hand and wanted us to see it again (there’s a fascinating video here of how the prosthetics department created the arm and hand. Lots of innovative use of cling film and popcorn buckets! ).
On Holby the staff are always careful to make sure that there’ll be someone in an adjacent bed who can shed light on your situation. Malick found himself next to Eva, who’d officially been slashed while protecting one of the pupils at her school from a random knife-wielding attacker. Eva couldn’t let go of being a teacher any more than Malick could let go of being a surgeon, but after a rocky start they managed to support each other. “You’ve no idea what you can achieve if you put your mind to it,” Malick told Eva, as well as himself.
In the short term, what he can achieve might be carrying on as a clinical skills tutor – if he accepts the counselling as Ric advised.
Someone else who might need counselling soon – ironically, as he’s just lost Psych Sharon – is Elliot Hope. The latest thorn in his side is Zosia (pronounced “Saucer,” according to Jac). Elliot was excited at the prospect of having her on his team. “Her clinical excellence is matched only by her questing intellect,” he enthused. “There’s bound to be something wrong with her,” Jac predicted.
Well, obviously – but I really hoped it didn’t mean she’d be pouncing on Elliot Hope like she pounced on Digby. He’s a Professor and we must accord him some dignity. But she didn’t. It turns out she isn’t too interested in cardiothoracics at all and is just biding time till she can pursue her real interest of psychiatric medicine. “Biding her time” consists of trying to analyse patients’ relatives and Prof Hope himself (“Elliot, are you a rejected misfit?”). This seems to be a new interest which she didn’t exhibit while she was on Keller, but that must be her questing intellect.
She might have Elliot terrified, but she’ll have to work extremely hard to frighten Jac. When she asked Jac about her urge to make babies, she got a Naylor Special Stare. “And what urge do you think I’m feeling right now?”
In the yo-yoing world that is Chrissie and Sacha’s relationship, Chrissie has yanked the string back in and Sacha is, as we speak, moving his toothbrush and rom com DVDs back into the marital home. What has prompted this? Well, after Chrissie had a horrible day involving Tim’s funeral in the morning (she was the only one who wore black) and radiotherapy in the afternoon, she was looking a bit fragile, bless her. Nice work, makeup department. So Sacha surprised her with a trip to stand naked under a waterfall in Venezuela. Always one to look on the bright side, Chrissie said it was because he thought she was going to die. Sacha reasonably pointed out that he wouldn’t have spent all that money if he’d thought she was going to die and he promised she wouldn’t. Not yet, anyway.
Their patient for the day was a man who was terrified of spiders. His wife had punished him for a suspected affair by putting a spider in his car. I wonder what Chrissie will put in Sacha’s car if she ever finds out about him kissing Mo?
Next time: An old friend of Dr Posh turns up; Digby tries to help Chantelle move on; and who is Mr Semi?
Holby reviews from June 2009 to May 2013 available from Amazon in e-book (now only 77p!) or paperback here