(Series 18, ep. 31) Holby City was trending on Twitter last night, as viewers up and down the country blinked away their tears to share their thoughts about what was a brilliant episode.
It wasn’t an episode I’d been looking forward to. I avoid serious spoilers (the detailed ones that almost make watching the programme pointless), but it was obvious from all the hints that things were not going to go well for Digby – even if you factor in that he got married to a gorgeous woman who makes him very happy.
I’ve always loved Digby since he first appeared. One of the most brilliant medical students of his year, he also had to cope with a lack of social skills and general anxiety (as well as a nasty car crash, a mugging and being pounced on by Zosia). At the same time, he has such a beautiful smile and is obviously such a nice person that you’re always on his side. He’s quirky and funny and he has a backpack with horses on it. He’s adorable. His colleagues think so, too, and his relationships with Chantelle, Zosia, Morven, Sacha and especially Dominic have been precious to behold.
So for a character like that to get cancer that spreads and becomes fatal – that’s hard to watch. For it to happen when he’s just fallen in love is even harder.
Full credit to everyone involved in this episode. Rob Ostlere was heartbreaking – I think everyone watching would have wanted to give Digby a hug, and the scene where Sacha did just that had me in bits. Morven was a beautiful bride and was trying to be strong, as was Dominic, whose facial expression often says more than a thousand words could.
The big drama was nicely balanced with some stress-relieving humour, with writer Joe Ainsworth giving Serena, Bernie and Fletch some comedy gold in the form of a man with a bath tap up his bum (cue lots of “He’s feeling hot and cold” type jokes).
Serena seemed to have thawed towards Bernie a little bit after last week, which was good to see, because they make a great double act (and there are already ‘Berena’ fans out there hoping for more). Sadly Serena has been suspended, after carelessly leaving her laptop in her car. The car was stolen, and thousands of patient records have made their way on to the internet, which is a PR nightmare for Hanssen. It was good to see that, even in the midst of a PR nightmare he can still take the time to sit at a table and eat a hard boiled egg very nicely. It’s also exciting to learn that Holby has its own ‘IT boffins.’ I remember when all the computers in the ED went down because of a corrupted USB stick, and it was left to Max the porter to sort it out. No sign of an IT boffin when one was really needed.
All of this would have been enough for most hours of top quality continuing drama (speaking of which – that BAFTA should have gone to Holby). But there was another, huge, part to the story. The Mo and Mr T ‘will they/won’t they’ relationship that has been rumbling on for literally years moved on in a massive way yesterday. The episode started with Mo waking up in Mr T’s bed (I’m guessing it was his bed because of the duvet cover. I can’t imagine zoo animals being Mo’s thing). It seemed their relationship had finally ‘moved to the next level.’ A nation threw its collective hat in the air and shouted ‘Hurrah!’ As did Mr T. Mo, however, seemed less keen. Mr T had been offered a job in Gothenburg, and he was about to leave. Sleeping with him, it seemed, was Mo’s idea of a goodbye present and seemed like a good idea at the (slightly drunken) time.
Normally I’d have been wondering what she was thinking, loving him and leaving him like that. The fool! But I have to admit that, for the first time ever, I found Mr T a bit annoying in this episode. He was just so full-on and more or less had the wedding speech written and the little Effanga-Thompsons registered at good schools. I could understand why Mo would have second thoughts. Though I did laugh out loud when he gave a random man in a wheelchair a high-five. On the other hand, for 99% of the time, Mr T has been a complete darling, so I wasn’t that surprised when Mo had third thoughts and realised she’d hurt a very good man very badly.
When Jac appeared briefly in her motorbike gear and suggested a dash to the airport, I thought she was going to offer Mo a lift like she did for Sacha when he dashed to catch up with Chrissie (but look how that turned out). She didn’t, and maybe that would have been the difference between getting to Stansted in time and not. We’ll never know. Mo missed her chance – though as Jac pointed out, there’s always the phone.
So much going on, then, and all top quality, unmissable stuff. Like I said – that BAFTA should have gone to Holby.