(Series 19, ep. 17) Ooh, but this was a dark episode. The AAU and Keller stories were difficult and gloomy, with some of our favourite characters going through horrible times, with Darwin providing a bit of welcome light relief.
It started with a Serena voice-over, sorting people into lions, lambs and shepherds. This came from an essay Elinor had been writing before she died, and later in the episode we heard it again, with both Serena’s and Elinor’s voices speaking together, which was a spooky kind of effect.
Serena was looking for someone to blame for Elinor’s death. Just like she pointed the finger at Chantelle when Adrienne had a stroke, another sunny junior was in the firing line this time – Jasmine. And, to be fair, perhaps if Jasmine had been more experienced and more mature she might have spotted that Elinor had a problem earlier. That almost isn’t the point, though. It’s more about Serena’s need for control, to impose some order on a world that’s just been turned on its head. This was underlined by the presence of recurring guest character Lexy – the vicar with the Herzig heart who seems to bob up at moments of crisis. The crisis this time was her own – her husband was involved in a car accident and later died, prompting Lexy to question her faith. She was also someone for Serena to get cross with.
The person she’s most getting cross with is Jasmine. The final scene saw her changing the rota so Jasmine is basically her minion for the foreseeable future. Then the “lions and lambs” voice-over again: “The lion has to teach the lamb. Even if it kills them.” Jasmine had better prepare herself for being mentored within an inch of her life.
There are lions, lambs, shepherds… and wolves. Isaac Mayfield is a wolf (no offense to actual wolves). Scenes between him and Dominic were excruciatingly painful to watch. Isaac is so manipulative. He love-bombs Dominic and draws him back, then he hurts him and pushes him away and makes sure Dominic thinks it’s really his fault. It’s subtle and worrying, and Marc Elliott is playing the role perfectly – he’s sinister and frightening but oh so restrained and charming. David Ames, meanwhile, just broke my heart. Dominic’s patient was a young man who was making himself ill because he didn’t feel worthy of love. “Remind you of anyone you used to know… Dazzle?” Isaac taunted Dominic. Poor Dominic did his best to help his patient, telling him to “be fabulous,” and admitting that he still struggles with the same issues: “I’m still just an ugly duckling.” Meanwhile Isaac’s jealousy has turned from Arthur to Zosia, as she’s the person Dominic turns to when he has a problem. I just want someone feisty and parental to notice what’s going on – Essie, Ric, Bernie, Carole (or Sacha if he wasn’t struggling with his own confidence issues at the moment). It’s a toxic situation.
On Darwin, Mo was trying to encourage Ollie to propose to Zosia. It was a bit of light relief, with the bleakness elsewhere in the hospital.