(Series 17, ep.4) Imagine you were given this choice: you could either go and work in a hospital in Chicago, where all the doctors look like George Clooney and Noah Wyle (or they used to). Or you can stay at Holby and spend your days being belittled in front of bigwigs and taken for granted by Selfie.
This was the choice offered to Top Nurse Colette Sheward, and the only surprise was that it took her almost 60 minutes to reach her decision.
I’ve never been a fan of Colette – the character was initially promising, but a combination of being tainted by association with Selfie and her deadpan delivery made her hard to warm to. It’s only been in recent-ish episodes, in her interactions with Serena and Fletch, that a softer side to her personality has really come out. But in this episode, I really felt for her. She so much wanted to fix everything for Selfie – sorting out his patient with her top quality people skills and doing her best to help Zosia, only to have it all thrown back in her face by a man who’s so arrogant and so wrapped up in himself that he has no idea that other people have feelings. Or maybe he does: “I spend all day manipulating people’s feelings,” he told Colette. “It’s just grey matter.” Says it all, really.
The saddest bit was when Colette appeared all glammed up for a night at the opera with him, and all Selfie could say was that she didn’t need to bother going if she didn’t want to. And there was Jac Naylor looking even more glam. Selfie had obviously had a better offer.
Via the medium of a patient who collected butterflies and had a paper replica of a rare one, Colette finally realised there was more to life than the paper replica version she was currently living, and decided to spread her wings (the butterfly metaphors just won’t stop now) and fly to a new life.
Maybe Colette’s departure will be a wake-up call for Selfie and he’ll finally get some proper help for his daughter, who’s struggling. Zosia had made a DVD for Colette, and it was basically her rambling incoherently to the camera about her “research.” Camilla Arfwedson is playing Zosia’s mental illness beautifully. Sometimes it’s so understated that you could think there was nothing wrong, but there’s always a brittleness about her. At other times, like in this episode, it’s clear that she’s very unwell and desperately needs help, but so far people seem more inclined, for various reasons, to cover it up and pretend nothing’s happening.
Down in AAU, Antony Costa from Blue arrived fresh from Saturday’s episode of Casualty (not exactly “fresh,” poor lamb, as he was quite badly burned) and in need of some highly specialised plastic surgery. Dr Raf Smug decided he’d do it himself, but Michael Spence wasn’t best pleased, accusing him of “swanning around like a tourist with a scalpel.”
The situation was further complicated for Dr Smug because he’d kissed Antony Costa’s girlfriend in Albie’s earlier. Really, if he was going to get back on the romance scene he should have gone a little further afield than the nearest bar.
Darwin was the romantic hotspot of the day, with Adele Effanga and Jesse Law doing the classic bickering/sexual tension thing. She thought he was trying to steal Elliot Hope’s latest invention, but he was only trying to help, while he teased her constantly about her “days of the week” pants. At some point when I wasn’t looking Adele has graduated from being an HCA to being in joint charge of Prof Hope’s research project. “We’d love to have you on board,” she told Jesse when it became clear that he not only had the Prof’s best interests at heart but also had handy skills. Unfortunately Jac Naylor was too busy getting glammed up for the opera – where’s a handy verbal take-down when you need one?
There was a also a brief appearance from Connie Beauchamp, who materialised in Selfie’s office. To be honest I have no idea why she was there, but it’s always nice to see her anyway.