(Series 16, ep.7) It was Malick’s farewell episode, and didn’t we just know it? He was given maximum opportunity to do all the classic Malick things – rush around going “Grrr,” shout at Digby, have an almighty strop, mess up a bit of surgery and try to worm out of it, and wrestle with his conscience about what kind of father he was to Jake. The only typical Malick thing that he didn’t get to do was have a steamy encounter in the locker room, but there was hardly time for any of that nonsense because he was so busy elsewhere.
It was actually all rather magnificent (apart from the sloppy one-handed chest drain incident – what happened to the standard cry of “We need some help in here”? And surely there’s a call button in the CT scanner room?). Since he damaged his hand, Malick has (understandably) been a tad immersed in self-pity, which has at times been fairly tedious to watch. By the end of this episode he’d recovered his mojo, but incorporated a few life lessons into it and become a humbler and wiser man. He’s The Malick again, but he’s Malick 2.0 – teacher, mentor, father. Ego restored and off to Sweden with his son and a James Brown soundtrack.
Before I start getting too sentimental, I shall leap on a trolley that’s going in the direction of Darwin for a quick summary of events there. It was Elliot’s medical silver jubilee, which means it’s 25 years since he became a heart surgeon. Jonny and Bonnie (or JonBon, if you will) thought this was a hilarious opportunity to wind up Saucer and make her believe that they’d arranged a stripper as a gift for Elliot rather than a strimmer. Oh, what rib-tickling fun. Zosia was actually quite funny when she attempted to lecture Elliot on what harm his supposed fondness for strippers would have on his psyche, but Jon & Bon were just tedious. After working extremely hard to convince me, against my better Joseph Byrne-worshipping judgement, that he is a suitable partner for The Magnificent Jac, in this one episode Jonny has thrown all that away and made me think he’s just a giggling tosser. There. I’ve said it.
Fun and games on the ward is all well and good, but there was a major incident going on at the same time, and the staff should really have been more focused. A ceiling had collapsed at one of Holby’s fine array of leisure centres, so all wards were full of people in various stages of “Nnngh!” I never thought in all my days I’d have reason to use the phrase “human kebab tragedy” again (the first time was here), but here we had two unrelated people impaled upon the same pole. It fell to Serena Campbell to uncouple them, and it was exactly what she didn’t need on the day she found out she hadn’t got the CEO job. Nor did she need the person who did get the CEO job, Karl from Corrie (“I love yer, Stella!”), hanging around and questioning her judgement.
Frankly I haven’t warmed to this new CEO, Guy Self. It’s a silly name for a start (apologies to Will Self and any other Selfs [or Selves]), and I thought he was extremely uncooperative considering there was a major incident in progress. No amount of speechifying in the stairwell can make up for being a twonk when the mucky stuff is hitting the fan.
No wonder Serena was driven first to a failed attempt at smoking and then to a successful attempt to get her ex, Oily Edward, to cheer her up by accompanying her back to Campbell Towers. This was a good result for Edward, who’d spent the rest of the episode flirting with Mary-Claire and then asking her to cover for him – once again – when he messed up in theatre.
And – yawn – there’s a mysterious link between Guy Self and Saucer.
Next time: Even more new faces, and there’s a smuggler on AAU. If he isn’t wearing an eye patch and a wooden leg I’m going to be very disappointed.
Holby reviews from June 2009 to May 2013 available from Amazon in e-book (now only 77p!) or paperback here