Holby City: A multi-slap episode

digby dominic sacha holby(Series 16, ep.17) I spent the majority of the time during this episode wanting to slap one or other of the characters. Looking on the positive side, I suppose this meant there were characters I cared enough about to make me want to slap people who were being horrible to them, but still… all this aggression can’t be good for my blood pressure. Each story line had its own slapable person in it – some of them even had two – and the worst part of it was that one of them was Sacha, formerly the Nicest Human Being on the Planet.

sacha holbyAs the slapability count was highest on Keller, let’s get that one out of the way first. Following on from last week, Sacha was carrying out his threat of making Digby, Dominic and Zosia do tests in which a failure by one meant a failure by the group. This despite the fact that Digby is a year ahead of the other two and has only recently been crowned Doctor of the Year. Sacha, meanwhile, has morphed from being Mr Cuddles to being all stern and cross, and I don’t like it at all. Power used to not sit comfortably on Sacha’s shoulders – I remember once when he was put in charge of AAU and had a half-hearted attempt to get Mary-Claire to call him Mr Levy, which lasted for about twenty minutes. Maybe it’s because he’s been so horribly treated at the hands of Chrissie, but he seems like a different person now.  

He did redeem himself a little bit when he discovered Digby had thrown away his Doctor of the Year certificate, and he tracked him down to the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery (which looked particularly splendid) to have a quiet, and more sympathetic, word.

digby sacha holbyThe reason Digby was sulking in the Shrubbery was that the other slapable Keller character, Dominic, had spent the episode winding him up. Sacha had the pair of them competing with each other to sort out a sick fireman. Dominic came up with the diagnosis – cyanide poisoning – although he only stole the idea from Zosia and spent the rest of the time flirting with the patient (“Jamie Foxx would play you in the movie”). It was Digby who made the  bigger discovery that the fireman wasn’t a fireman at all, but not before things had gone pear-shaped and the fireman was left with permanent changes to his digestive system. Digby was out of his depth, and without Chantelle standing by with a paper bag for him to breathe into he was soon in high-anxiety mode, but being undermined by Sacha forcing him to compete with that little worm Dominic can’t have helped.

jac jonny holbyThere was no relief to be found on Darwin, where That Bonnie Creature was trying to decide whether to call Jonny “Daddy Mac” or “Mac Daddy.” Ooh, which is best? A clue: neither. To be fair to Jonny for just a second before I start properly slagging him off, Jac was being a bit of a nightmare, too. She’s started looking for a nanny for Emma, which is fair enough because the last thing I want her to be is a stay-at-home-mom – because then she wouldn’t be at Holby doing what she does best (ie ninja level surgery and sarcasm). But she’s also put Emma’s name down for the Elmswood Academy for Girls, which is a bit previous and sounds dreadful. It sounds like something Lady Byrne would have done – in fact, did try to do for wee Baby Byrne, as I recall.

jac holbyThis made Jonny go into eye-popping emoting mode, and he was aided and abetted by former patient Lexie and her Herzig heart and hotline to God. Jonny decided he wanted Emma to have a hotline to God too, and arranged for Lexie to christen her in the Linden Cullen Temple of Anguish. “The Jonny Mac I knew wouldn’t take no for an answer,” prompted the irritating robo-vicar, who only escapes a slap from me because Elliot is very excited that she’s a walking, talking Herzig owner.

I’d have expected Jac to tell Jonny where to stuff his religious twinges – she strikes me as the kind of woman who has the concept of God filed neatly between Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy – but she agreed to the christening. Just at a better venue than the LCMS, which makes sense because that place is probably a total infection risk.

serena selfie holbyOn AAU, it was Selfie who was looking for a slap this week, first of all for telling Serena to take off her “ridiculous shoes.” I would like to see him try that kind of crap with Connie Beauchamp or Dr Zoe Hanna, and I would dearly have liked to have seen Serena throw her coffee at him – she was handily holding a cup. But she did as he asked and presumably spent the rest of the episode in Crocs, which was a shame as she was looking extremely foxy and the plot called for her to do a great deal of flirting, which is not so easy in Crocs.

serena holbyThe person she was flirting with was the charming Mr Tressler. No, not Dr Tressler/Posh – this was Mr Tressler/Rich, father of the aforementioned Posh, who was having a hernia repair. Father and son weren’t the best of friends – like Oliver Valentine, Posh’s choice of career had been a big disappointment to his money-loving father. Tressler Senior had some spare cash kicking around, and in no time at all Serena had persuaded him to part with it in the direction of the hospital. Then Selfie showed up, diagnosed a neuro-thingy and Tressler Senior decided all the money from his newly-hatched Tressler Foundation should go to neurosurgery.

Serena was understandably miffed. “You said you’d give me my voice, but every time I try to use it you silence me,” she complained. Selfie said he didn’t give a damn about her ego. Vile, odious man. Serena decided a bit of power was better than no power at all, so she agreed to be in charge of the Tressler Foundation anyway.

Next time: Emma’s christening or extremely rare cardiac procedure? Ummm…


Filed under Holby City

13 responses to “Holby City: A multi-slap episode

  1. Loopy

    Please don’t say they will go down the Serena/Guy romance/ using each other for personal gain route. I’m still hanging out for Ric/Serena…. Serena looked fabulous though, but seriously that woman needs to be running the shop.

    Keller, once again I dislike this ward, it’s a joke, Keller needs Ric.

    I’ve never bought in to this Janny stuff – those pair need to stay away from each other, I feel for their daughter being caught in all this.

    Oh and Tressler Foundation? Pah Byrne Foundation is where it’s at.

  2. HolbyNut

    Lots of people have been saying to me that they think Holby has lost its way a bit recently…and even though I am a life-long fan, I would tend to agree. I know it’s fiction but it is becoming a tad ridiculous and I don’t really care as much about the endless procession of new characters. For example, I used to love the Zosia character but she has totally lost all of her interesting-ness (I know that’s not a real word!) since this hook-up with Dom (who is so annoying, makes me want to hit FF). LOVE Jac, but even the storylines for her are very predictable – she resists at the start of the episode, shouts at Jonny and then softens at the end.
    OK, rant over…now when is Michael Spence coming back? And while they’re at it, bring Joseph and Connie back too!

    • Sue Haasler

      I’m not ready to give up on Holby yet, HN. It’s only been a few weeks since we had the glorious episode where Jac gave birth, after all. Though obviously I would never say no to the prospect of Joseph coming back!

  3. MvOC

    Did anyone else find Guy’s treatment of Serena completely unacceptable? From the way he snappily ordered her onto AAU, to the totally inappropriate comment about her shoes and then the arm grabbing. If this is supposed to be some sort of lead up to a relationship and the grabbing a sign of sexual tension or passion then I’m afraid the writers need to put down their copies of Fifty Shades and have a look at real life. Imagine you had a disagreement with your boss and he followed you and grabbed you by the arm? and as for Guy accusing Serena of not being a team player? Eh bottle, kettle, black? He’s the one snapping and snarling and refusing to discuss anything with his ‘my way or the highway’ act. As you can possibly tell the whole thing wound me up good and proper!

    And then on Darwin we have Jac personifying another cliche – The Bitch. Why can’t this show seem to find a balance between portraying their female characters either as somewhat weak individuals who need a man in their lives to tell them what to do and make them happy or the complete opposite – cold hearted and ruthless. Where are the normal women?

    • Sue Haasler

      I totally agree that Selfie was a complete twonk to Serena. That remark about her “ridiculous shoes” was totally out of order. I hope Serena runs a mile at the first sight of any romantic interest from a man who’d talk to her like that.

      As for Jac, I never think of her as a bitch or as a cliched character, because there’s so much to her. She may be ruthless but she’s not cold hearted. She’s put a security cordon around her heart which can make her seem cold sometimes, but in the right company (Elliot, Sacha, Mo sometimes, Jonny to begin with, Joseph) she’s lovely.

  4. holbylover819

    Guy was being annoying but Serena was wrong to blame him about the funds being redirected. I mean, he didn’t try to persuade the guy or anything.

    • MvOC

      Guy was more than just annoying and certainly more in the wrong than Serena. Yes, she threw a bit of a sulk after Daddy Tressler changed his mind about where the money was going, but this was after being unreasonably bawled out by Guy for something that wasn’t her fault (and not for the first time), his completely unacceptable remarks about her shoes and his patronising offer to allow her to head the fund. I suspect that offer was simply to save himself the hassle of extra work.

  5. Hello! Long time reader – love the reviews! Sadly, though, I have decided to use my first time commenting to elaborate on why Guy Self is History’s Greatest Monster, based on the fact that you seem to dislike him as much as I do. 🙂
    I’d assumed that when he first came in and I didn’t like him was b/c I was still associating him with Evil Karl from Corrie, but he’s just getting worse. Obviously, his treatment of Serena is the main bugbear – his behaviour towards her is – frankly – abusive. He seems to be intent on breaking her spirit to make sure she falls into line. In an interview, the producer said (I think) that he views her as a threat (Ric, Elliot, and the rest of the consultants don’t seem to have much desire to be CEO), and his behaviour certainly seems to bear that out.
    – He disrespects her (the feet on the table a few weeks back was a deliberate show of that).
    – He calls her up just to yell at her for things that aren’t her fault (the funding, and her reaction seemed to imply it was a regular occurence).
    – He criticises her dress sense (the ridiculous shoes comment).
    – He undermines her (the Tressler foundation – he was deliberately trying to divert those funds to show her who’s boss – the comment about the ‘newer machines showing an even greater resoloution’ was VERY pointed, and the sort of thing that you’d never bring up naturally. Indeed, last week, he was quick to sidestep Raf’s comment in front of a patient about needing newer equipment).
    – He is (sort of) gaslighting her (accusing her of not being a team player, making her think that SHE is the one at fault, and that her criticisms are invalid, based on jealousy and resentment).
    – He doesn’t consult her on key decisions (when he had that meeting to lay off those people a few weeks back, a meeting she was aware of, but unaware of the purpose and distinctly NOT invited to).
    – He grabbed her arm last week rather forcefully. That can’t be acceptable, can it?
    There’s probably more, but that’s just the stuff that come to mind.
    Then, of course, there’s his behaviour to everyone else.
    – His conversation with Sacha where the subtext was ‘If my daughter fails this rotation, I will fire you’.
    – Discipling Zosia in a manner that ensured she missed her psych rotation – a rotation he doesn’t want her to take. (Not saying that she shouldn’t have been disciplined, but she shouldn’t have been disciplined by her father – that’s a conflict of interest, surely?)
    – His general slipperiness and lack of taking responsibility (how many times has he said words to the effect of ‘You’re taking full responsibility for this’ or ‘This is on you’, ensuring he doesn’t have to take the fall if something goes pear-shaped?)
    – General manipulation (did he know how closely that case at New Year paralleled his and Zosia’s situation before he ordered her to work with him on it? If so, that’s….creepy.)
    – His possible sexism (he clearly values Ric & Elliot’s opinions more than Serena’s, though that might be just b/c he hates Serena).
    – The annoying way he twists every disagreement to make it seem like he’s the one being calm and rational, and thus right, even when he is clearly in the wrong.
    – Just little things that come to mind – like when Zosia is talking to him and he says something to her like ‘You’re not even using my name. Doctor March – what’s up with that?’ An odd thing to say considering March was Zosia’s mother’s (and thus his late wife’s) name…
    Anyway, sorry for rambling. I might be completely off base, but Self really has rubbed me up the wrong way so far. 🙂
    Oh, I notice in your list of slappable people you left out Raf. I know he was barely in it this week, but I felt he proved very slappable in his brief appearance.

    • MvOC

      This ^^ All of this!! I’m so glad I’m not the only person to see Self’s behaviour as unacceptable and bullying. He does appear to be targeting Serena, and fair enough if he sees her as the competition then I would expect some rivalry but I would also expect him to keep things professional. As you said he keeps highlighting Serena’s “bitterness” at not getting the CEO job and using that to belittle her opinions. He snaps at her when he’s in a mood and treats her like dirt and then offers her a patronising ‘good girl’ pat on the head when he thinks he’s brought her into line. Like Sue said above I certainly hope Serena would run a mile at the first hint of romantic interest from such a cretin.
      I hope this is all leading to Self’s eventual downfall and the writers haven’t completely lost the plot and actually think this behaviour makes him a dynamic character we should all love. If anything it’s highlighted the kind of everyday sexism which happens in workplaces but fewer and fewer women put up with it and I hope we’ll see Serena getting the upper hand soon and putting him in his place rather than falling into bed with him.
      I don’t understand his relationship with Colette. But then I don’t really understand Colette at all. I’m not quite sure what her purpose is except to further highlight Self’s unprofessional behaviour in hiring her and the extremely incompetent HR department at Holby (seriously, at some point the whole HR thing needs to be addressed right? Even just for someone to mention that the HR department is being reviewed or something! It’s getting naf!)

      • I don’t understand Colette at all either – she seems to be quite loyal to Self, but I’m not sure why – he doesn’t really inspire much to me. They’ve had some relationship in the past – professional or person we don’t know – and Zosia clearly hates her for some reason.
        I guess Colette’s job is still being advertised? We haven’t heard much since that episode. Either that or Self had had her bumped off – we know he’s got form (Sunitaaaa! Never 4get!) 🙂

  6. Rose

    MvOC and I have had the Guy Self debate a few times. We both agree he’s a twat but whilst MvOC has thought him irredeemable from day one, I’ve been hoping to warm to him and thought perhaps all the character needed was a little tweaking to make him more interesting. Last week’s episode changed my mind! Unless he undergoes a major transformation there is no forgiveness of his behaviour towards Serena last week. It was abusive and unacceptable and the writers better not be trying to convince us this was just the behaviour of a passionate, driven man. I can see the Guy/Serena shippers lining up already though as they did with Edward who was also clearly a bad ‘un! It looks like Serena might be drawn to bad apples! And whilst Ric is supposedly Mr Nice Guy the thought of him and Serena in a relationship is an absolute snorefest! I think they are much better as friends. Bring back Buttons from Cambridge I say! 😀

    I actually liked Harry in this episode (well liked might be a bit much but…) and enjoyed Adele playing devil’s advocate a little with her teasing. Is she the new Mary-Clare as MC moves on to becoming a more mature, sensible person? The new doc Raf is a bit too enthusiastic and perky – he’s bound to come crashing to earth with a bang soon. Keller was really annoying. REALLY annoying. And I’m bored silly of this Jac/Jonny stuff. I wish she’d go off on maternity leave and Jonny would disappear permanently. I used to like Jac but now I find her petulant and she just reminds me most of the time of my stroppy teenage sister when things don’t go her way.

  7. wittyladysim

    I cannot stand the character Zosia March. She is interfering, devious but above all her arrogance is just too much. I hope she gets sacked soon along with spiteful Dominic. How can these two characters enhance the show they both show signs of huge instability – not the way to portray hospital staff. Holby used to be good – Now even Jonny is beginning to be nasty !!
    There must be another way to write exciting episodes without making half the staff unhinged !