(Series 17, ep.6) Adrienne’s story line was never going to end happily. The actors and writers haven’t flinched from showing the emotional devastation, the little highs but many more lows of dementia for both the suffererer and those around her, particularly her family.
Sandra Voe gave the character of Adrienne great intelligence, humour and grace, which made it even harder to watch the disease make her act in ways that weren’t really “her” – physically attacking Serena being just an outward sign of her deterioration.
So when Adrienne looked her daughter in the face and asked her to “pull the plug” on a life that was increasingly slipping out of her control, we knew she meant it. Serena knew she meant it as well, but as a doctor and as a daughter she pushed it away. In the end, she didn’t have to make the decision and Adrienne’s death (following another stroke) was quiet, gentle and very, very sad.
A photograph in her mother’s purse of Serena as a child was a final precious proof that Serena had been loved, and as she walked down the corridor to leave she looked so vulnerable and alone, and her tears started to flow. I always think this must be such a hard thing for an actor to do, but Catherine Russell’s acting throughout this story has been absolutely perfect. And I have to add a little cheer for Raf, who’s been gorgeously kind and supportive to Serena and her mother and whose shoulder was there to cry on when needed.
On Keller it was business as usual in the sense that everyone was being competitive, self-absorbed and working to their own agendas. Michael Spence wanted to lie low at Holby for a bit longer, because it was all going pear-shaped in the US with the senator’s wife scandal. So he asked Selfie if he could stay: “There’s no better knife man” than him, apparently. His knife skills were soon put to the test when the team were required to re-attach the two severed legs of a man who’d been in a road accident. The left leg was much worse than the right, which meant that Fleur and Michael were competing over who got to do it and Digby and Dominic competed over who got to assist. Both the juniors still have their eyes on accompanying Fleur on her American lecture tour and they wanted the chance to impress. Digby even took an opportunity to ask Michael what qualities Fleur was looking for. “You need skin like a rhino,” Michael said. “And a horn to match!” said Digby, quickly adding, “Please don’t say I said that.” Bless him.
Everyone went to Albie’s to celebrate the successful reuniting of man and legs, but Michael went off to find Selfie – to let him know he’s going back to America after all. He hinted that he may return to Holby, but next time he won’t be doing it just to hide from scandal. And hopefully next time he’ll stay for longer and grow his beard back.
On Darwin Adele was struggling to fit her work, her studies, her role as Elliot Hope’s research assistant and her new job as Secretary General of the United Nations into her life. The work almost suffered (excellent prioritising, Adele), but once again Jesse Law was there with Operation Encourage An Effanga (Any Effanga). When he made a move on her in Albie’s she made it quite clear that she didn’t need that kind of encouragement, ta very much. Not when she has to get home and file her astronaut application to NASA.