(Series 19, ep. 31 ‘The Heart Is a Small Thing’ by Sian Evans) Does Jac Naylor need to go to Specsavers, was the question troubling my mind while I was watching last night’s episode. Having previously seen a photograph of Matteo and Mrs Matteo’s wedding, when Mrs Matteo (whose actual character name is Nina Karnik) turned up, it took Jac an awfully long time to work out who it was. I suppose it’s always weird seeing people out of context.
Anyway, Nina was there with her friend/boyfriend Luke (Sagar IM Arya), who needed the kind of medical expertise only Jac Naylor can provide. Matteo made a big fuss and tried to ship him off to The Mythical St James’s, but Jac was having none of it. And eventually it came out that Nina and Matteo are married but estranged, and the estrangement was at least partly due to losing their son, Nico. I say “losing,” because Nico has been missing presumed drowned, and while Matteo has tried to accept this (by sealing himself off, “hermetically”), Nina still holds out hope he might one day be found.
This is an interesting angle for the storyline to explore. For all of his Latin charm and apparent openness, I felt that when Matteo told Nina that he couldn’t bear Nico to think Papa had forgotten him was the first time we’ve seen beneath the surface he presents to the world. And I really liked Nina.
On Keller, Dom was back – hurrah! His Keller mum and dad, Sacha and Essie, were keen to welcome him back and look after him, but he didn’t make it easy when he got all stroppy about a patient, Lisa (Georgina Rich), who seemed to be trying to play the system. What Lisa actually had was body dysmorphia (as well as a surgical ruler inside her left behind from an old procedure) – and at various times her insecurity and anxiety about her body made both Dominic and Sacha look a little introspective. It seems that Dominic might be handling his feelings about the Isaac situation by medicating himself with something or other – he told Sacha it was vitamins, but we’ve seen this sort of furtive drug-taking on Holby before and we know it spells trouble. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on your point of view), Henrik Hanssen announced that he would be managing Dominic’s rehabilitation himself, so he’s not going to get away with this for too long.
When Hanssen wasn’t keeping an eye on his little chicks, he was trying to promote green initiatives throughout the hospital in the company of a gang of visiting Swedes. This gave him the chance to exercise his Swedish and to introduce his staff to the delights of surströmming. This is a “delicacy” of fermented herring that is so powerful it’s normally eaten outdoors, according to Wikipedia. You can imagine the force of that being unleashed in Albie’s. It looked like a wave of vile had smashed into the people gathered round to watch Sacha try to eat it and I fully expected Ant and Dec to pop up with a bag of plastic stars. Sacha could only recoil with his hand over his mouth, so it was up to Hanssen to take a forkful and eat it with evident enjoyment. That’ll be three meals for camp, then.
The AAU storyline centred on the return of Cameron, our favourite Wolfe cub. This was mainly because Bernie wanted to get him away from his “ghastly new girlfriend” in London. It looks like she’s succeeded, too, because in a very sweet scene on the roof he and Morven kissed. And he persuaded Morven to make friends with Jasmine again and let her move back into their flat. He’s a good lad, that Cameron.
Next time: There are some new faces on the wards – yet some of them seem oddly familiar.
PS – For those who don’t know, I’m writing the official BBC Holby book, due later this year. More details here