(Series 16, ep.31) The conclusion to last week’s story about Joe, the patient who may or may not have been a former SS guard, started fairly comically, with Zosia having forced Digby to stay up all night researching the man’s background on th’internet. Zosia reported their findings to Sacha, who held the opinion that a patient’s background should have no bearing on their medical care. “I thought you would understand,” Zosia pouted. Because he’s Jewish, she expected him to have the same knee-jerk reaction as her.
But because Sacha is Jewish, and because he’s played by the wonderful Bob Barrett (who hasn’t been given a lot to do post-Chrissie but was absolutely at the top of his game here), the story turned into something far more subtle and moving.
The scene between Sacha and Joe as the old man lay dying, having already confessed his past to his beloved granddaughter, was a masterful piece of writing (from newbie Anna McPartlin) and acting (from Bob Barrett, and Julian Glover as Joe). Resisting the cliche of a deathbed transformation, Joe held on to his belief that what he did had been the right thing – he wasn’t simply “just following orders,” he was actually proud of what he’d done.
Nobody would have blamed Sacha if he’d walked away, but he stayed and did what was physically necessary for his patient, while not letting him avoid how much Sacha – and the world – loathed what he’d done. As Sacha said, in the end he was the better man, even though it took every bit of humanity and every bit of his medical training to keep him by that bedside. It was an amazing scene. I was in tears.
Comic relief was provided by the lovely Effanga sisters. Mo accidentally overheard her sister on a radio show, giving advice as “Dr Mo.” The advice was rubbish, until Mo rescued her with some swift text messages to ensure she wasn’t telling patients with potential heart problems just to pop a Gaviscon and forget about it. Adele’s career as a radio agony aunt was pretty short-lived.
Mo was still hiding in AAU, which was sensible of her because in Darwin a familiar story was once again playing itself out. Baby Emma was rushed into hospital but turned out to be fine. Jac and Jonny stood on the other side of the glass smiling at her and looking a bit tearful, and decided, as they usually do when they’re at Emma’s bedside, that they should really be more cooperative with each other for her sake. Jonny had finally realised what a nasty piece of work Jac’s mother is, too. So all was going to be well. Until – there’s always an “until” in this storyline – Jonny’s phone rang and it was Paula wanting to know how to work the burglar alarm in his flat. The cad! He’s only got the Kidney Thief living with him! So as swiftly as mediation was agreed, it’s now off again.
Next time: Serena, Elliot and Adele all have a struggle to prove they can cope with the pressure.