Holby City: Sons and daughters

hanssen-fredrick-holby(Series 19, ep. 18) Hanssen was back, but he wasn’t wearing the tie of authority. he was wearing the open-necked shirt of civilian life. “Avante garde for the NHS,” according to Dominic. Hanssen wasn’t there as CEO, but as a patient’s relative. His son Fredrick (William Postlethwaite – son of Pete) had been in an accident, and needed surgery.

There was a strange drug in Fredrick’s system, the fictional Oxamorol, manufactured by Lovborg, the family business now run by Fredrick. It was a magic bullet for depression, according to Fredrick. Hanssen was devastated to think that he might have passed his own depression to his son.

The truth was actually even more devastating than that. Fredrick was using himself as a guinea pig to test the drug, which had already been shown to have nasty side effects including possible and actual death. He was willing to risk his own life, but also to cover up the negative trials that had already been done. And he didn’t even have depression, dismissing Hanssen’s condition as a weakness. 

hanssen-holbyWe know that Henrik Hanssen is a man with very high moral standards, but Fredrick tried to tempt him back to run the family company and when that didn’t work he threatened that he would never see his grandson again. Hanssen had to face the fact that his son was actually rather a nasty piece of work, so for the sake of his grandson he let the relevant authorities in Sweden know about the problems with the drug. Not seeing his grandson again was the price he’d have to pay for his humanity, he said.

Earlier, he’d had a discussion with Essie and she said that “home is where you’re needed the most.” When Hanssen ripped the temporary “Ric Griffin, Acting CEO” notice off his office door, the tiny smile on his face suggested that he agreed with her, and Holby needs him most right now. I just hope he puts his tie back on before we see him next because I felt quite unnerved by the informality.

dominic-isaac-holbyBefore we leave Keller, I really am thinking of getting up a small-to-medium posse to swoop in to Holby and rescue Dominic from the grip of Isaac. Last week I said Isaac was a wolf, but this week he reminded me more of a cat. He plays with Dominic the way a cat plays with a mouse, letting it almost escape then putting out a casual paw and batting it flat again. It’s not nice and it’s making Dazzle lose his sparkle. This can’t be allowed to continue. Who’s with me? We ride at dawn!

serena-holbyThere wasn’t much sparkle to be seen on AAU (apart from the beautiful smile of Ms Bernie Wolfe), because even Jasmine has had all the pep wrung out of her by trying to live up to Serena Campbell’s exacting mentoring demands. Serena’s treatment of Jasmine is somewhere between (a) punishing her partly for her perceived role in Elinor’s death and just because Serena needs someone to blame, and (b) using her as an Elinor substitute, but trying to mentor her so closely that she doesn’t get out of hand and make the same self-destructive life choices that Elinor did. If that makes sense.

jac-holbyOne thing that didn’t quite make sense to me was whether Jac dumped Matteo at the end of the episode. If she did, I can’t imagine he’ll stay dumped for long – he’ll just refuse to believe it – which is a good thing because it’s so much fun when Jac lets her guard down for a man. She’s behaving like she did in the early days with Jonny Mac. Her face when she let slip about the relationship to Ollie and Zosia, thinking they already knew about it was just a picture.


Filed under Holby City

15 responses to “Holby City: Sons and daughters

  1. mrssatan

    My heart broke a million times over for Hanssen… beautiful acting by GH.

  2. I’ve been looking forward to your latest post, as I was a bit confused last night – please say it wasn’t just me! Having said that I was pleased beyond measure to see the wonderful Henrik back and I still hate Isaac with a vengeance. That’s pretty much all I need, isn’t it. The rest is incidental. Oh and I think Serena is unwell and needs help, urgently. Please sort her out Bernie. I’m worried.

  3. Sirena

    My heart broke when I saw Hanssen’s face when he thought he had passed on his depression to his son you could see he was devastated. Fredrick was such a nasty piece of work, emotional blackmail, manipulative behaviour, and a Machiavellian personality to boot (Although he did remind me of early Hanssen). Hanssen is the moral compass of the hospital there was no way he would of seen those victims of the drugs trials as collateral damage I’m glad he walked away but also sad for him.

  4. Sirena

    Meant to add this to my last post but is it me or does Hanssen’s son look like Kylo Ren which is ironic considering that Guy Henry has spent the last few months on a death star. 🙂

  5. helen

    Sue H, love your reviews. Very thoughtful. Thank you. Helen .

  6. Donnty

    I found bits of the episode confusing but I put it down to it being one of those episodes where the director seems to have prioritised style and funny camera angles over connecting with the characters – they seem to have one of these episodes every now and again.

    I will actually be glad to see Serena go. I find her strangely unsympathetic in this storyline but I’m glad to see Jasmine getting lots of screen time (and hopefully a few more scenes with Jac).

    So. Where the heck has Hanssen been all this time then?

    • I know what you mean about Serena being unsympathetic at the moment, particularly as she’s being so horrible to Jasmine. Catherine Russell was amazing in this episode though. She’s done grief before after the death of Adrienne, but this is on a different level – you can see it’s tearing her apart.

    • Adelaide

      I think (hope) Serena coming across as unsympathetic is deliberate rather than sloppy writing. She’s trying to pretend that she’s dealing with it much better than she is, and everyone is believing her because they are so used to her being a power house.

      But she’s actually not okay at all. All her reactions to people treating her as though she is are really off.

      Bernie needs to up her game. I get that Serena is pushing her away. And maybe she’s so relieved to see Serena acting like herself again that she’s letting herself be deceived. But for heaven’s sake – how can she possibly believe Serena is ready for joking and teasing and being made fun of about her nurturing?

      It’s a pity Ric is MIA and Raf’s off on the boys’ ward. Either of them might be better for Serena right now.

  7. Blanche Rennie

    This is the first time I’ve read your review Sue, it won’t be the last, love you’re analysis of the episode,very clean and to the point. Well done. I, like most fans of Holby, would like to see Dom out of his abusive relationship, it’s actually making me feel angry and sick to the stomach watching it. But then I suppose that’s the purpose of this script, mirroring what does happen in life, I was also in a verbal abusive relationship,( not anymore) maybe that’s why I feel ill watching it play out on Holby.

    • Thank you Blanche, and thank you for taking the time to comment! I imagine there are a lot of people who feel angry and sick about the Isaac/Dom storyline. Both actors are doing a brilliant job with it and it’s not an easy watch. I’m glad to hear you got out of your bad relationship.

  8. Philip Day

    Consistently good stuff, but at 13:12 of ‘Losing Game’, Serena mentions about ‘Palpitating her abdomen’. Sorry, you mean Palpating her abdomen’. Elementary blooper!

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