Holby City: Surgeon or mother?

jac holby(Series 16, ep.36)  I suspect this was an episode that was supposed to be a roller-coaster of emotions, but at the end of it the feeling I was left with was one of depression.

The climax of Custodygate didn’t take place in court, but more appropriately perhaps in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. Shortly before taking her last breath, the totally toxic Paula Burrows made sure that Jac’s confidence in herself as a mother was fatally undermined. Jac told Jonny she was going to Stockholm (following a phone call from Hanssen – how I would love those two to have their own spin-off series) and therefore she was giving him the baby full-time. At this point he desperately tried to back-track and unsay all the horrible things he’s said to her in an effort to get her to reconsider and to come to some co-parenting arrangement. At the start of the episode Sacha had reassured Jac that she wasn’t a “heartless automaton,” but Jonny has made the mistake of thinking she was, and that he could say anything he liked to her and it wouldn’t get through her bomb-proof shell. It turned out that everything had been getting through all along – and when you have people telling you that you have no heart and you’re cold and selfish and incapable of love, eventually you’ll believe it.  

jac jonny holbySo despite Jonny’s last minute dash to the airport, Jac has gone to Sweden and Jonny has been left with a baby strapped to his front. “Don’t worry Emma, we’ll get Mummy back,” Jonny said, so I hope this isn’t the end of the story. I know, I’ve been banging on for weeks about wanting Custodygate to be over – is there no satisfying me? But what I mean is that it’s just not satisfactory to have Jac giving up her baby like that.  She’s been through so much in terms of character development, and having a baby has opened up aspects of her we never knew about before. I’m just hoping the wise and wonderful Henrik Hanssen will convince her not to give up on her daughter, the way he gave up on his son for so many years. I think that’s a conversation they might have over a glass of Akvavit one evening.

essie holbyMeanwhile, I was once again left to ponder the question – exactly where is Holby these days? Sacha drove Essie to the Gower Peninsula without her realising it (she wasn’t drugged, either – just snoozing). This would be easier if we still believed Holby to be a thinly-disguised Bristol. Frankly Essie would have had to have been off her head on Camoxidan to have slept through the car ride from Borehamwood to west Wales.

It was absolutely stunning, scenery-wise, but the storyline of Essie hiding out from the press (one journalist) who wanted her to go to Poland to apologise for the Holocaust was a bit tedious. The presence of Sacha’s mum (Frances Cuka, who will be reprising her role as the granny in a new series of Friday Night Dinner starting tomorrow night) livened things up a bit, but between Essie nodding off in the car and Sacha nodding off under a comfy blanket under the stars it wasn’t very dynamic. It didn’t add anything to the very intense drama of the episodes about Essie’s grandfather.

So I was left feeling a bit depressed, a bit irritated and a bit jealous (of whoever owns that cottage overlooking the sea). But at least Jac has finally got herself a new coat. It looks a bit like a dressing gown, but it’s an improvement on that camel-coloured thing she’s been wearing for years.

Next time: Smug/Posh/Barf, What’s The Matter With Elliot? and a new infection-control-sniffer-dog-initiative.


Filed under Holby City

15 responses to “Holby City: Surgeon or mother?

  1. The Divine Bebe

    Most preposterous looking “journalist” I’ve ever seen. And I’ve known a few.

  2. mrssatan

    I know exactly what you mean Sue; the only thing that made this episode for me was the looming presence of my favourite Director of Surgery… so love your idea of a Jac/Henrik spin off – a girl can dream 😍

  3. wiggles

    Wow this was quick work (or did you see it early courtesy of BBC Scotland or the good old i-player?)
    I wasn;t actually quite as depressed as I thought I was going to be by the end of this episode (thought it was going to be far worse) and have hope that Hanssen will work his magic, Jac will realise how much she misses and therefore loves Emma and that Jonny will do everything in his power (including flying over to Stockholm if necessary) to keep his promise!!!

    Also, I actually really liked the Sacha/Essie storyline (and not just because of that house – oh how much do I want to live or, at least, stay there!!). Agree it was a bit contrived and that only having the one journalist was a joke, and I’m not really sure how they’d have a DNA match (surely they didn’t keep evidence from the war just in case in 50 years time someone invented a method of id’ing who it belonged to?) but it was so nice to see Sacha being Sacha again that I could forgive it those small annoyances.

    I think tonights episode proves that whatever OK (and that ahem good old focus group) think you don’t need spice to make a great show – just characters who the audience care about, brilliant writing and actors who can step up to the plate when necessary!! (And here endeth the lesson!!! :))

  4. Nana

    Great show. The Sacha bits were a bit boring only redeemed for me by the great scenery. What I want to know is, will Ms Naylor return to Holby?

    • wiggles

      Jac will definitely be back at some point. I’d imagine her Swedish sojourn and Jonny having to re-arrange his life to cope with being (hopefully temporarily) a single parent was simply an excuse to give Rosie and Michael well-deserved breaks. They must have been working flat out for the few months before this (Rosie’s only not been in 4 of the episodes this series and Michael’s only missed 2!) and they’ve had some really stonking episodes which must have taken a lot out of them.

      • Jac is coming back because I read in an interview with her that she’s going to have a new love interest. “Somebody on Holby who’ll definitely satisfy her ambitions.” Please say it isn’t Selfie!!!

      • wiggles

        I know – that’d be just awful!! Am rather hoping it’ll be some tall, blonde Scandinavian hunk she meets in Sweden and who then decides he can’t possibly live without her and follows her to Holby :). But unfortunately I think that Mr (Up Him) Self (Important)/Selfie is the only candidate that fits the bill (imagine angry smiley here).

  5. Mary Drew

    On ‘Next week’ I noted that there was mention of an infection sniffer dog. Could that be Honey, the lovely Battersea dog rescued by Jules Knight, alias Dr. Posh? Ever since I heard he had rescued her, I have been looking for blonde hairs on his scrubs. He plays such a cad but is a good sort in real life. Any bloke who is kind to animals is a keeper 🙂

    • I’m sure the wardrobe department are hyper-vigilant about the possibility of Dr Posh turning up with dog hairs on his scrubs. Can you imagine the complaints re hygiene? 😀

  6. MvOC

    I found the Sacha/Essie story tedious too, like you said it added nothing to the overall story. But Sacha/Bob Barrett is lovely so I’d rather watch him snooze than Smug/Barf/Posh do ANYTHING! A little surprised at Essie’s line about “breaking Griffin’s record”, given she’s only been at Holby a wet day (and spent most of it avoiding phonecalls) when did she have time to become so familiar with the personal life of a consultant who isn’t even there at the moment?

    Fantastic acting from Rosie Marcel as usual but I thought the story and particularly that ending was a let down and simply an excuse to drag custodygate out even longer. My guess is a sobering pep talk from Mr H about how he regrets abandoning his son all those years ago will have Jac jetting back to Holby. By which time Jonny will have had enough time to get pee’d off at being left holding the baby (in an awful yellow outfit!), despite it being what he initially wanted (as per recent character personality wishywashyness) and he’ll once again declare Jac an unfit mother for abandoning Emma and the whole darn thing will start over! On the plus side, as you mentioned, Jac has finally got a new coat. Downside: its rather hideous and does nothing for her. Bit like this storyline really.

    • wiggles

      Essie was a bank nurse before she became a permanent member of staff in her first ‘official’ episode so may have worked with Ric previously or just heard the gossip that circulates around hospital’s like air, particularly as Jess was recently back which would no doubt have got everybody’s tongues wagging about his personal life.

  7. Dreamer

    I fecking hate Jonny.

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