(Series 19, ep. 30 ‘Gold Star’ by Ed Sellek) Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Apart from the dead patient at the end, which was extremely sad. But up until that point, it was one of those episodes packed full of one-liners and excellent comedy stuff from – well, everybody, really. There was a bit of slapstick from Zosia (did you see her whizzing off with troublesome Mr Phibbs in a wheelchair in the background of the scene where Hanssen was talking to Birdie at her bedside?), some funny business with the vending machine and Hanssen’s favourite snack, the Whippy Whirl, Sacha smiling again thanks to a relaxing shvitz (it’s like a sauna, apparently, and it certainly did Sacha a power of good), and Bernie and Ollie teasing Ric about needing naps.
A lot of the comedy involved Henrik Hanssen. Not only was he in fear for his moral and physical safety thanks to Birdie being in the hospital (“Are you always this stiff, Henry?”), but we were introduced to his new hobby. He’s got himself a theremin. This was an absolutely inspired idea by writer Ed Sellek. Of course if Hanssen wanted to play another instrument (he already plays the sousaphone, apparently) he’d pick a theremin – obscure, weird and other-worldly, just like him. I liked how the noise it produced made even him jump.
I’ve hardly mentioned any storylines yet. The Darwin story involved Mo and Mr T and their quest to balance parenthood with work life and a bit of me-time. We saw Mo telling Hector at the beginning that she wanted to be an example to him of what’s possible, how to live up to your talent etc. This optimistic scene was balanced at the end by Mo sadly contemplating the newborn baby of previous patient Trixie (the lobster fishing woman, played by Alexia Traverse-Healy). Despite Mo previously telling Trixie that she could live a normal life and carry her baby to full term, complications with her heart this week meant the baby had to be delivered by caesarean and sadly Trixie died.
Adding to Mo and Mr T’s worries was Birdie possibly having cancer (she doesn’t), and disagreeing with Mo over aspects of Hector’s care. This was in between her pursuing poor Hanssen, who’d unfortunately positioned himself on Darwin for the day. We were introduced to a new Hanssen manoeuvre, which I shall call the “de-loom” – where he tries to reverse his direction and disappear before anyone (Birdie) notices him.
Ollie’s first patient on AAU was called Dr Harris Shorley (Richard Lumsden). This led to fun when Ollie introduced Bernie as “Ms Wolfe” and thought Harris responded with, “It’s ‘doctor,’ surely?” Ollie explained that it was customary to call surgeons Ms or Mr and Harris said, “I’m just saying my name.” That’s the sort of thing that makes me snort tea out of my nose, but only when I’m drinking tea, which thankfully I wasn’t.
Ollie didn’t fit in very easily to AAU. For one thing, I couldn’t get used to him in the lighter scrubs, but that’ll sort itself out in time. More difficult, for him, was living by the rules of Ms Major Bernie Wolfe, who thought he should stop faffing with CT scans and whatnot and get on with dealing with the wound at hand. He ended up in bother with Bernie and Ric, but his over-zealous CT approach did end up uncovering a serious problem that hadn’t previously been picked up.
I liked how Ollie tried to pay a little visit to his comfort zone on Darwin mid-shift, but Mo met him on the stairs and gave him a pep talk, telling him to stop measuring himself by the standards of Penny, Tara, Jac or Zosia. He needs to find his place, in other words, a view that was echoed by Hanssen as he explained that the theremin worked by correct placement of the hands.
As mentioned above, Sacha was looking much happier this week, thanks to his shvitz and a change of shirt. Just as well, because his patient was a former girlfriend (Jackie Marks) who was reminiscing about how he used to write poetry for her and once fell in a bed of stinging nettles and her mum had to rub Vaseline all over him. This might have been a bit too much information, but Essie and Mo were agog to hear more.
Meanwhile, Essie had found condoms in Parker’s bag, and she felt the need to give him The Talk. Poor Parker.
Next time: A shock for Matteo; and Cameron and Dominic are both back.