(Series 17, ep.26) When Jonny Mac left the Wyvern County Jail with a friend he’d met inside, it was inevitable the friend (Archie) would end up being a patient on Darwin before the hour was out. He only had time to steal some drugs from the pharmacy, get bladdered and utter some life guidance to Jonny, before he was whisked away to theatre to die on the operating table with a heart turned into a soggy sponge by a lifetime of poor lifestyle choices.
Jonny’s made a few of those in his time, but starting a relationship with the stunningly out-of-his-league Jac Naylor wasn’t one of them. Not only did they mutually create Wee Emma, but Jac also paid for the hot-shot lawyer who sprang Jonny from prison (with the loose change she had left over from funding the Kibo prototype). When he had a post-Archie meltdown, Jac was there to deliver some honesty. “You sound like a moaning, whining, crying little bitch,” she told him sweetly, adding that he should cheer up because he had Wee Emma and if he wanted, he could have her too. Yes! She really said that.
We were then treated to possibly the finest Jonny Maconie moment ever, when he found Selfie and delivered a little straight talk in his direction (“You, Mr Self, do not get to squeeze my pips”). Then he left the hospital arm in arm with Jac, who’d even purchased a ‘Welcome Home Daddy’ balloon to celebrate the fact that she’s possibly gone a little soft in the heed. Nevertheless, a suitably warm exit for Jonny, who’s been by turns cuddly, human, exasperating, downright nasty and back to cuddly again. Also nice for Jac to have some happiness, and I like the way the writers have built up to this gradually. I can’t help thinking that if Joseph Byrne became available, Jonny might seem a less attractive proposition, but that’s possibly me projecting my own feelings on to Jac.
Also being welcomed home this week was Essie, which is marvellous news because there aren’t any other nurses on Keller who speak (and she speaks sign language as well as English, as a bonus). Sacha was thrilled to see her for that reason, but also because he hearts her romantically. Unfortunately, he’s not great at communicating with the women in his life, particularly when My Daughter Rachel has a health crisis of any description. It happened with Chrissie, and it’s happened with Essie. While he wasn’t communicating with her while she was in Germany and Rachel was ill/pregnant, she sought solace with someone called Dirk. This news made Sacha decide to push the self-destruct button on the relationship before it could really get going again, because he’s sick of being a cuddly teddy and he doesn’t even want to be a spaniel. We’ll have to wait till next week to find out what he does want to be, though.
What Digby wants to be is a good doctor, but he found his first shift on AAU rather bamboozling (Digby in blue scrubs – winner). This is because on Keller he’s been used to the luxury of every patient having at least three junior doctors and a consultant at the bedside at all times. On AAU all you’ve got is Raf pretending to be stern and Mary-Claire and Fletch being a bit giggly and undermining. That could all get very wearing, but Digby was still able to pull one of his brilliant diagnoses out of the bag and impress everybody. “You out-smugged Dr Smug,” Fletch told him admiringly. I do like it when they get the staff names right.