Holby City: Welcome to our beginning

birdie-mo-holby(Series 19, ep. 13) I want to say what a glorious, funny, touching episode, but that would be to ignore the fact that, by the end of it, Bernie was asking Serena whether her daughter was on the transplant register. It was that kind of episode that Holby does so well – heart-wrenching drama one minute, a tipsy Jac Naylor fending off the attentions of a hairy Swede the next.

hanssen-holbyIt was Mr T and Inga’s wedding – though luckily, as it turned out, not a legally binding wedding but a Swedish “hand-fasting,” presided over by Helga the Hiccuping Humanist. It was quite a splendid affair, with Swedish costumes, Swedish music and a Swedish best man – none other than Henrik Hanssen himself. “Aren’t you in Sweden?” Mo asked him. “No, I believe I’m here,” he replied. Who knew that he and Mr T play chess together, and Mr T is winning? 

Mr T’s sister hadn’t come to the wedding in protest because she knew Inga wasn’t the right woman for her brother. Mr T’s mother, Birdie, was doing her best to stop the nuptials by pretending to have an asthma attack, but that was never going to work with Mo around.

inga-holbySurely the wedding would never happen, not with so much opposition. The groom himself was only going through with it because he believed Inga was pregnant (“I can’t be the man who jilted his pregnant bride at the altar”) and knew fine well that Mo was his one true love. Mo herself was being ever so brave, and looking ever so glam, despite being heavily pregnant herself.

Inga then went and ruined her careful plan by telling Mo that she (Inga) wasn’t pregnant at all, figuring that Mo would never break Mr T’s heart by telling him. She wouldn’t have, either, but she did tell Birdie, who took time out from hilariously pursuing “Henry” Hanssen to announce to the assembled wedding party that Inga was a fraud.

The way should have been clear for Mo and Mr T to get together, but there had to be an extra twist when Mr T found out that Mo had known Inga’s secret (for all of five minutes) and declared he’d never trust her again. This was the excuse for the slowest car chase of all time, as Hanssen squeezed himself into Mr T’s tiny car and adhered faithfully to the speed limit as they tried to catch a taxi that they thought had Mo in it.

Mo, meanwhile, was going into labour back at the wedding venue, and once again Jac was on hand for support (somewhat against her will). Mr T got back to find Mo giving birth in a hot tub. It was a lovely moment when he discovered the baby was his, at the very moment he was examining Mo. “That’s my baby! My baby’s got a head!”

mo-mr-t-holbyThe happy couple and the new baby looked so cosy all snuggled up together. Mr T suggested calling the baby Charleston, after his father. Mo agreed but had it quickly shortened to Charlie in the very next breath. And what a cutie Baby Charlie is.

bernie-jason-serena-holbyBy total contrast, back at Holby things were going horribly wrong for Serena’s family. Elinor was carrying on her previous brattish behaviour. Serena noticed this, but didn’t notice that she was also most likely chemically enhanced. In the ensuing argument, Elinor attempted to drive away in an angry mood, and while faffing with her seatbelt almost ran Serena over. Jason heroically lunged in front of her to save her, and ended up with a liver absolutely gushing blood in theatre. Bernie performed ninja-level surgery while giving Morven a masterclass in staying cool under pressure – and I loved how we’ve previously seen how fond Bernie is of Jason, so we knew how much it was costing her to stay calm and focused.

bernie-holbySo Jason was fine, but there were worrying signs that Elinor wouldn’t be. In an episode with so much going on, I really liked the way the writer, Michelle Lipton, handled Jasmine’s role in the story. I find Jasmine totally believable as a newbie doctor, in that the mistakes she makes are generally due to her inexperience rather than any incompetence or arrogance. Maybe another doctor would have probed more fully when asking Elinor about her symptoms after the accident, and wouldn’t have ignored the way she was getting words confused. As it was, she told Morven she was a bit worried about Elinor, but by then it was too late. Elinor had suffered massive brain damage.

Bernie was lovely in her support of Serena, and I also loved how Morven offered her support to Bernie in a touching scene that showed that Arthur’s death has only amplified Morven’s natural compassion.

Birth, (brain) death and (non-legally binding) marriage – what a roller-coaster of an hour of telly. And what a brilliant start to 2017.

17 Comments

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17 responses to “Holby City: Welcome to our beginning

  1. Ulrike Hutchins

    This was the first time in ages that I had been able to watch an episode of Holby when it was transmitted, rather than much later or not at all. I do so rely on your updates, Sue!
    This episode had absolutely everything necessary for good entertainment and drama, including the Tall Swede!!
    But the best moment really was when Mr T exclaimed:“That’s my baby! My baby’s got a head!”
    That was a laugh out loud moment!! 😀

  2. Rachel Fleming

    I absolutely loved this episode and I loved what different emotions it brought. I was laughing my head off at some aspects of the wedding (mr T scaring Hilda to get rid of hiccups which caused the rings to fall in the pond) to near tears at the end with Bernie and Serena. Possibly one of the best hours of tv for a long time and another reason why I feel Holby city is underrated by many.

  3. mrssatan

    Yes, I did spend a lot of the episode laughing (and shouting at Birdie to keep her hands off the Dark Lord of Looming)… but I spent the rest of it feeling sorry for Serena and Bernie… excellent performances from the entire cast…

    On a side note; does anyone know the wedding venue? Looked a little like the Reid Rooms in Dunmow but I don’t think it was…

  4. Carole

    Brilliant episode…. and I share my birthday with Charleston!

  5. thunderchild

    Brilliant episode and sadly shows up just how dismal Casualty has become lately.

    Was I the only one thinking Holby looked rather green and warm for the 3rd January?

    Credit to the writers and Rosie Marcel – after over a decade on screen Jac Naylor still steals the show.

    Can the next stand alone episode be based around Hanssen and Mr T’s chess group?

  6. Sarah

    That was one of the most enjoyable episodes they’ve had in ages. I agree that Jasmine is really convincing as a newbie junior doctor. I like that for once they’ve given us a normal, believable F1 rather than another genius super doc in the making or someone who’s arrogance is the set-up for them being a complete shambles.
    So sad for Serena but also hoping this means we get a break from her for a while. And rather than ‘calm under pressure’ I thought Bernie was just wooden.
    Mo and Jac are glorious and I certainly didn’t expect Hanssen and Mr T to be such a perfect double act! Although this riposte missed was Dom!

  7. HolbyNut

    LOVED this episode!
    Jac was hilarious and I was heartbroken for Serena.
    Wonderful, wonderful characterisation – we really believe and care about them all in their own way.

  8. babsmorley

    I agree – this episode really had it all. Pure comedy genius – very timely to bring on the pantomime. I’m just sorry Rik wasn’t there – I’m sure he could have added something to the general air of misrule and, with that in mind, I do hope we’ll see more of Birdie.

  9. thebigmart

    Was the food at the wedding reception made by the Swedish chef ?!!

    Is Hanssen now coming back to Holby?

  10. Andrew P

    Good work, Holby. I wasn’t entirely convinced by the mix of high drama at Holby and the humour at the (non-)wedding, but it was a bold and entertaining hour of TV. I was glad to see Jason looking better, good to see Bernie actually doing some cool stuff (feel she’s had a rough ride in terms of actual medical work, so this was more in character), and I do feel sorry for Jasmine, especially after all her hard work last week. Lots of laughs at the wedding – the slow driving, the chasing after Hansen, Jac (!). I just hope the curse of Holby doesn’t strike Mo and Mr T now they are happy together.

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