Holby City: I thought you would understand

sacha holby(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.  

joe sacha holbyThe 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.

adele holbyComic 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.

jonny jac holbyMo 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.

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Holby City: I thought you would understand

  1. Mary Drew

    Groundhog day on Darwin but totally agree with you that the scriptwriting was up to its’ old standard and Bob Barrett (who is such a dear) was wonderful. I actually found myself answering the old Nazi and finding that Bob was scripted with the same answer! Really moving and well written.

    • Irene C

      I agree with the above but please please please get rid of Zoshia and Arthur the storylines with them are dragging out so much that I am giving Holby one more chance and then stopping watching it.

  2. mrssatan

    Bob’s performance moved me to tears too. This shows what can happen when excellent writing combines with excellent acting (other writers on the show please take note). The downside was Jac ~v~ Jonny round 752; I really thought we were getting somewhere… but no… yawn… can they possibly milk this much longer; I really hope not!

    • Chloe Derbyshire

      The BBC do seem to have s habit of dragging out storylines like that, I mean, look at what they’re trying to do with the Lucy Beale storyline in Eastenders…

  3. HolbyNut

    New romance for Sacha when the grand-daughter comes back as new nurse?

  4. Thunderchild

    Not related to the current episodes but has anyone been watching the new season of 24? It’s like the Holby City Hall Of Fame – Linden Cullen, Luc Hemmingway and Nick Yorke have all popped up so far – the casting directors must like Holby as Dan Clifford was in the last series. I’m expecting Lola Griffin to be exposed as the evil mastermind behind it all!

  5. Karen B from Brum

    As a grandma, I have struggled with, but am finally starting to enjoy my son’s relationship with the mother of my grandson, after a terribly long and saddening time in earlier years, when things were not good. They (son, ex-daughter in law) are both now in new relationships and Nathan – my grandson – has two sets of parents. Surely a story of family breakdown is not ‘milking it’ but an attempt to tell a story that is real to some of us viewers? Sorry if this is too long a thought for here, dear Sue (whose reviews I so enjoy) p, but I’m just getting going, having my say, with my ex daughter in laws’ help! So, you see – things do come out good!

    • You’re absolutely right that it’s a real issue which affects the lives of a lot of people – and I’m very happy that things are going well now in your family.

      I’ve got no objection at all to it being a good subject for a TV drama to tackle. What I’m not enjoying in this particular Holby storyline is the way it’s been going in circles for such a long time – Jac and Jonny fight, something happens to make either or both of them try to sort things out calmly, then something else happens to put them back to the position they were in at the beginning. So we start the next episode in the same situation as we started the last one, and apparently nowhere nearer to a resolution. I know this is how things happen in real life, but in a drama it can become repetitive and boring. It’s not the subject matter that I don’t like, it’s this weekly pattern of almost making up then not quite. It’s the feeling of “here we go again.” You said in your comment to the last episode that it’s a story that should “twist and turn” and I totally agree with you. I just think it’s not twisting and turning but going in a circle at the moment.

      Glad you enjoy the reviews!

  6. mrssatan

    Tried to post this twice… 🙂

    Spotted Hari Dhillon in The Mentalist the other night…

  7. mrssatan

    He certainly was Sue… but he was also a nasty piece of work; smuggling women into Mexico

  8. mrssatan

    Karen B – sorry if my “milking it” comment offended, it was not my intention, especially not as my family is having “issues” similar. But I do agree with Sue that a story that goes round and round in circles chasing its tail does not make good drama, and that is what we watch Holby for.

    Sorry again for any offence caused.

  9. Karen B from Brum

    Heavens, I’m not at all offended, not at all, and now I exactly see your point Sue – perhaps they are being too timid. Thank you for taking such trouble to respond.

  10. Pingback: Holby City: Surgeon or mother? | pauseliveaction

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