(Series 19, ep. 20) Imagine the scene. You have a cage fighter with anger management issues and a grudge, trapped in a lift with one of Holby’s premier surgeons. And the cage fighter is not the scary one.
Marc Elliott was absolutely mesmerising in this episode. From almost the first scene, when he saw Dominic talking to another man (the cage fighter, Adam, who was a patient) when he’d said on the phone he was with Zosia, Isaac Mayfield was in A Very Bad Mood Indeed. Dominic was the obvious target of his wrath, but in provoking Adam, who was already angry and frightened and embarrassed about his planned surgery (for breast cancer), Isaac demonstrated that he’s even more dangerous than we thought. He has an unnerving understanding of psychology and how to press people’s buttons, which he chooses to use to needle people and exert power over them. In the scene in the lift, Yinka Awoni as Adam was also brilliant. It was one of those scenes where I hardly remembered to breathe.
Another scene like that came towards the end. Dominic had finally realised that Isaac was no good for him and the relationship was messed up, and he tried to finish things – but then instantly seemed disappointed when Isaac agreed with him rather than objecting. Then Isaac played Dominic like a fish on a hook, knowing that the best way to draw him close again was to try and seem vulnerable himself. This scene was even more intense than the lift scene, with the camera focused tightly on Isaac’s face for a lot of the time as he told Dominic about his experiences of abuse as a child. I knew before he did it that he was going to use the story Adam had told him in the lift about his father hanging a belt on the end of the bed, and pass it off as something that happened to him – but it was still shocking when it came. And poor Dominic believed every word. That this behaviour was something that Dominic used to do himself back in his “Psycho-Dom” days was quite interesting – but I’m very, very worried for our Dazzle. With any luck, Hanssen, who loomed rather grandly at certain points and seems to have picked up that Isaac is a bit “off” will be a protector when Dominic needs one.
AAU patient o’ the week, Frankie (Ayoola Smart), dubbed Serena Campbell “the scary, shouty lady,” and that’s what she was throughout the episode. This was mainly directed at Jasmine, who is still being mentored till she squeaks. Morven tried to intervene and stick up for her, which I thought was very brave. I liked the way Morven and Jasmine were sticking together.
Thank heavens for Mo and Mr T, who despite baby Hector presenting with possible meningitis (what soap baby has ever escaped childhood without a meningitis scare?) provided some much-needed comedy. They were helped by guest Debra Stephenson as an outrageously dreadful yummy-mummy. I will treasure the memory of Mr T singing ‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ to Hector via the baby monitor in the middle of an operating theatre for quite some time.