Holby City: Unfinished business

selfie holby(Series 18, ep. 45) Guy Self. Selfie. Self-centred, selfish, self-absorbed, self-promoting, always the villain of the piece. And yet an episode which started with Selfie in typically arrogant mode with the publication of his memoirs (Head Space – sadly not currently available from Amazon and all good book shops) ended with him in tears – and frankly, I was almost in tears with him.

The cause of this turnaround was the appearance – as a patient – of his mother Valerie, beautifully played by Brigit Forsyth. Zosia didn’t know that Granny was still alive, and she seemed so nice, too. But it was clear that Selfie was a haunted man. It wasn’t until Valerie made her presence felt at a meeting where Selfie was trying to impress bigwigs that her sweet facade started to crack – and as soon as Zosia wasn’t around, we caught a glimpse of something very nasty indeed. 

Then, in a scene that was powerfully played by both John Michie and Camilla Arfwedson, Selfie told his daughter that Valerie had been a tyrant, who locked him in a cupboard and beat him if he wasn’t perfect. His father had committed suicide because of it, and Selfie still had the physical scars all over his back, and the emotional scars all over his personality.

I now feel bad for (almost) every negative thing I’ve ever said about Selfie. And I never thought I’d be saying that.

fletch fletchlings holbyThe Curse of the Holby Relative was running high this week. As well as Valerie, Fletch’s daughter Evie was admitted to AAU after falling down the stairs at home. Or was she pushed by that wee imp Mikey? Fletch has been struggling with life as the lone parent of four kids. Even with Raf’s support, things have been too much but he never likes to admit it and ask for help – just like when he got into a life of crime with Clifford. With two of his children in trouble he finally had no choice but to talk to a rather lovely social worker (Patrick Regis) who just happened to be languishing on the ward recovering from a nasty cycling accident.

ric holbyWhile Selfie was busy going all sympathetic on us, a new villain appeared in the form of the snake-like Tristan Wood (Jonathan McGuinness). He’s the husband of Patsy Brassvine and co-holder of the Brassvine-Wood purse strings. Sacha said you can never trust a Tristan, and he was right in this case. Ric had more-or-less been offered the post of Deputy CEO, but then an issue came up about whether a piece of equipment should have been purchased or leased, and he went to Tristan to complain. When Ric walked away from Sacha muttering that the promised (by the Brexit campaign) £350 million quid would have come in handy, it was a hurrah! moment like Serena’s speech about the junior doctors a while back. But it was Ric’s last hurrah really, because Tristan didn’t want that kind of meddling going on, so rather than give Ric the Deputy CEO job he decided there wouldn’t be a Deputy CEO after all and they could spend the money on shiny new equipment instead.

If he thought that would be the last he’d hear from Ric, he was wrong. Ric found him in Albie’s and made it quite clear that the battle may be lost but the war isn’t over. Brilliant.

Holby is on again tomorrow (Thurs 25th) playing catch up after the Olympics, but I’m off to Stockholm for the weekend on a Henrik Hanssen Heritage Trail, so I’ll be reviewing episode 46 – and Saturday’s eagerly anticipated Casualty special – when I get back on Monday.


Filed under Holby City

2 responses to “Holby City: Unfinished business

  1. Dawn

    Thank you, thank you. Circumstances last night meant that I hadn’t picked up on the fact that Holby is on again this evening.

  2. Andrew P

    The Holby writers are evil geniuses. They give us these fantastically hateful characters – Jac, Selfie, Connie – and make them the pantomime villains of the piece; someone everyone loves to hate; and to misquote Roger Ebert, Holby episodes are often only as good as the villains.

    But then, time and again, these devious writers weave their magic, and someone who was totally unsympathetic, completely unlovable, starts to reveal a softer side, a backstory that makes you see them in a completely different light. We knew Selfie was going to some sort of therapy, but I’d always assumed it was to do with drinking, or the loss of his wife. We’ve seen him break down, and be vulnerable, but in some cases even thought “Finally, we’re going to get rid of him”. We’ve seen him being harsh to Zosia, pushing her in to achieve, even at the expense of others – and thought “Ah, there he goes, being mean again.”

    Now we see what was behind so much of that behaviour, and – shazam – the Holby magic works again, and this character is turned full circle.

    Bravo to the evil wizards behind this series which is so much more than it appears on the surface!

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