(Series 17, ep.13) There were two stories in this completely brilliant episode. One of them, involving Zosia, was a continuation of the story of her illness and the fractured relationship between her and her father.
The other story, centring on the wedding of Mo’s youngest sister Celia, was more of a stand-alone, bringing in a completely new element of Mo’s background. That this didn’t feel like an add-on was down to Rebecca Wojciechowski’s script, which beautifully drew in things that we already know about Mo (the surrogacy, the way she tries to hide an occasional lack of confidence), supported by key people from Mo’s life as we know it – Mr T, Jonny Mac and Adele.
It was clear even as she arrived at her mother’s house in Mr T’s little wedding-bedecked Smart car (he is so precious), that there were tensions between Mo and her mother. The reasons for this were uncovered gradually throughout the episode, culminating in an emotional scene back at the hospital in which Mo discovered that the person she’d always known as her mother was in fact her aunt, and her birth mother had been an unmarried alcoholic who had a nasty death with only the two year old Mo with her. Ma Effanga had done her best to provide for her but had always resented her and blamed her for everything that had gone wrong in her life.
What I loved about the reveal scene was the way Mo asked Jonny Mac to stay with her while she had the conversation with the old family friend. That seemed so realistic to me – to want your oldest, bestest friend with you at a time like that. I like to be reminded of how close Mo and Jonny are.
I also like how much Mr T loves Mo and how this has been consistent ever since we first saw them together. I definitely thnk Mo should take Aunty Rose’s advice to “Enjoy Derwood before I do,” and she almost did enjoy a kiss with him (I’m confidently assuming she’d have enjoyed it), before they were interrupted by Elliot and Jonny.
Chizzy Akudolu was once again brilliant in the big emotional scenes and it was an episode that really showed her range, from the funny scenes of wedding dancing with Mr T to the devastation of learning that her past wasn’t what she thought it was.
Another brilliant actress is Camilla Arfwedson, and in the second story we found Zosia was in a depressed phase of her illness, and once again the aptly-named Selfie was finding it hard to cope. Lisa, Zosia’s room mate from the clinic, needed brain surgery following a suicide attempt, and Zosia was named as her next of kin. So Zosia was once again at the hospital, and Selfie was once again struggling to cope with the idea of an ill daughter.
If only he could be more relaxed about it, like Sacha, Serena, Digby and Dominic, who have formed a wonderful little Zosia Support Team. Serena was particularly helpful, realising that Zosia needed to feel normal and giving her some admin to do so she could still feel a part of things. Serena told Selfie that she’d suffered from depression herself in the past (“Leonard Cohen would have crossed the street to avoid me”), and maybe this revelation and the fact that it hadn’t been career-breaking is the most helpful thing Selfie has heard on the subject, as when his daughter speaks he never seems to hear what she says. Anyway, father and daughter had a nice little moment in Pulses at the end of the episode.
Not really any AAU action this week, with Serena apparently on Keller for the day. At the beginning of the episode she was also at the gym, underlining exactly why she really is a role model to us all. She’d made the effort and put on a bit of Lycra, but on hearing what was involved in a healthy new year regime, she was unimpressed. “No booze…” she said, heading for the door. “This isn’t really my bag.”