Holby City: Time’s up

serena holby(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. 

raf serena holbyA 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. 

michael fleur holbyOn 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.

adele jesse holbyOn 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.

Sue H


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5 responses to “Holby City: Time’s up

  1. HolbyNut

    Loved last night’s Holby.
    Shed a tear for Serena and Adrienne and spluttered out my tea at Digby’s rhino horn line – priceless!
    Sad to see Michael go again so soon – hurry back Mr Spence!

  2. Thunderchild

    Superb performance from Catherine Russell and such a shame that it will probably go un-noticed during the annual TV awards season. I do feel that the writers have softened Serena a bit though and I’d like to see a return of her more ambitious/feisty side.

    Where on earth is Ric Griffin? I can’t help think his presence might have added something to Michael Spence’s return (and Serena’s story for that matter) – all in all it was a bit lacklustre and dare I say it rather pointless; he did even share a scene with Jac although there was that rather random scene with Connie.

    I get the impression it will be new ‘Nurse Bland’ jetting off with Fleur rather than Doris or Digby – again though was is the purpose of bringing in all these short term characters (Fleur, Amy etc) when there are several main characters who are in serious need of a storyline – Sacha, Fletch, Mary Claire – even poor old Colette had hardly anything noteworthy.

  3. Chloe Derbyshire

    I disagree, I think Michael looks better without his beard

    That conclusion to the Serena Adrienne story was so heart breaking that I almost couldn’t stop shaking through those scenes. And at least Raf is now redeeming himself.

    Jesse’s gonna end up getting a second slap in the face if he’s not careful…

    • It’s good to see Raf behaving in a totally un-smug way. I knew he would appear when Serena was walking along the corridor at the end.

      We’re just going to have to disagree about the Spence facial hair. Maybe if and when he ever comes back he could do two weeks stubbly, two weeks smooth. That would keep everyone happy apart from the people responsible for continuity!