(Series 29, ep.14) This episode featured two men of God, one of them apparently Jesus; two fathers, one of the religious sort and one the father of Honey; several Santas, most of them secret; and several visits to the Jeff Collier Memorial Bench.
Big Dreadful Accident of the Week was an enormous chandelier thing plunging on to the congregation in a church. Among the wounded were the vicar, Father Jackson, a choirboy called Marty who had apparently only recently arrived from the 1930s, and Holly, with whom Father J was in love in a tortured and tempted way. Oh, and Santa, who’d previously been to Holby to have a bell removed from his hand.
Charlie and Ash were soon on the scene with the paramedics. “We’ve got one for St James’s here,” proclaimed Charlie, which probably meant he’d triaged the patient for dramatic potential and found no detectable storyline.
There was enough drama with the vicar, who had a crisis of faith but found himself praying when Holly’s situation looked dire. Marty the choirboy gave a rendition of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ (which temporarily filled the entire A&E with seasonal joy) and promptly passed out, but with the help of Father J’s invisible friend and a good deal of medical expertise, everyone pulled through.
I’m still a bit worried about Santa, though. He was told that if he blows his nose his eyeball could pop out. I’m fairly sure he wasn’t the real Santa, because the real one doesn’t steal people’s purses as far as I know, but just in case I hope he rests up before the Big Day.
While all this was going on, Lofty was looking after Jesus, who’d been found on a roundabout (the traffic kind) in the rain in a loincloth. He proved he was Jesus because by the laying on of hands he cured Max of hiccups. Even though Max had only hiccuped once, which is technically a burp as far as I’m concerned, Lofty was a little bit overcome with awe and wonder. “What if he’s the real thing?” he said. No surprise that ‘Jesus’ turned out not to be the real thing. “Those are not stigmata, they are injuries from the golf sign you were holding,” Dr Lily Chao informed him. She’s less impressionable than Lofty. The man was initially rattled by the news that he wasn’t the Son of God. “Who am I, if I’m not Him?” he wondered before remembering he was called Solomon. Never mind, still Biblical. Father J popped round and had a comforting word with him, which was accompanied by a montage featuring Marty the Choirboy, Noel, Honey, Connie and Grace.
Why were Honey and Noel in the montage? When Honey told Grace that she saw her father most days, but he didn’t know who she was, it didn’t instantly click that this was the reason she was giving Noel meaningful looks. It didn’t click for Noel either, until she spelled it out for him – he’s her father. It’s fair to say he didn’t take the news all that well, but maybe a soothing pint with Big Mac will put him right.
What’s going to put Ash right? He was still in Bruce Willis mode this week (“I need to be more productive”), but Rita helped him to sort out his priorities. “Jeff went out a hero saving a man he respected,” she told him. “Be that man, Ash.” So Ash decided to do the sensible thing and take a few days off to get his head together. “It’s all about the people who are still here,” he told Rita, as they gazed at the Jeff Collier Memorial Bench together.
Max, whose hairstyle has been restored to its former glory, spent much of the episode sniffing Zoe. A fair enough pastime for any lad, but he had a motive. He’d made sure he was Zoe’s Secret Santa – was he sniffing out her favourite perfume to impress her with his thoughtful gift giving? Nope, he was trying to work out why she smelled different. It was the lack of fags, he concluded. She’s on e-cigs and they just aren’t giving her the alluring ashtray aroma he’s used to. So he turned up at the boat where she lives with the charming gift of a cigarette. “You trying to lead me astray again, Mr Walker?” Zoe said flirtatiously, in her best tobacco-stained voice. Then Dylan popped his head out of the boat. Zoe was quick to tell Max that she and Dylan are just friends, but by then he was off along the towpath. Doh!
Grace had to spend another day hanging around the hospital when childcare arrangements once again let Connie down, and she ended up getting all tantrummy and throwing Connie’s tablet (the computer sort) on the floor in resus. To be fair to Connie, she did have her hands full doing CPR and couldn’t immediately sort out a charger for the tablet, but maybe it was a tad insensitive to tell Grace that “unless you’re on this bed, you’re not my priority!” What kind of message is that sending to the child? Will we see her do something stupid (even stupider than smashing a tablet) in the coming weeks just to get Connie’s attention? Let’s get Father Jackson to pray we don’t.