(Series 19, ep. 37 ‘For You May Be the Next to Die…‘ by Patrick Homes) The hour started with an unsettling, dreamlike scene of young Fran and young Jac, presumably in the terrible care home they lived in when they were kids. We saw Fran – geeky and awkward-looking – going to Jac (who was uncannily, recognisably Jac) for comfort. A horrible song full of nasty death imagery played over it.
Then, in the apparent safety of Holby, there was Jasmine, singing the same song to herself. It was one of Paula Burrows’ favourites, apparently. Even if we’d never heard of Paula before, I think we’d have quite a clue about her personality just from that detail. Morven thought the song was horrible, but Morven is still too close to losing Arthur for death to be an abstract notion to her. To Jasmine, a naturally optimistic, full-of-life person, it was just a catchy tune.
But by the end of the episode, Jasmine was dead. It was a combination of bad intentions, bad luck and a very bad decision to put a scalpel in her pocket. What was she doing with a scalpel in her pocket? That was thanks to patient o’ the week Kelli (an excellent performance from Molly Casey), in a story that was a compelling and disturbing side dish to the main story. Kelli was pregnant by her abusive brother, who spent the entire episode in a coma because she’d stabbed him. Jasmine caught her about to try and finish the job off with a stolen scalpel, and talked her into giving the scalpel to her. I’m not sure that anyone would be daft enough to put an unprotected scalpel in their pocket, but heat of the moment and all that.
When Fran lured Jasmine to some obscure part of the hospital by texting her on Jac’s phone to confront her about breaking into her locker to find out more about Fran’s care home past, the situation soon escalated. As we’ve always seen with Jasmine, she has the best intentions but she often thinks she’s in control of a situation when really it’s slipping away from her. We saw her reassuring Fran that she would look after her (as she’d reassured Kelli earlier). This wasn’t what Fran wanted at all. She wanted Jac. And she wanted Jac without Jasmine. She fiercely pushed Jasmine away into a laundry trolley, and left ignoring Jasmine’s pleas for help, not realising that Jasmine now had a scalpel embedded in her side.
On Darwin, new F1 Dr Damon Ford had been having his first proper day of work. Once again he was excitable, nervous and sweet – I loved the way he was simultaneously scared of Jac but not really intimidated by her. Most of his shift was the standard “F1 disagrees with everybody else about the way to treat a patient. Lessons are learned,” but with the added revelation that Damon has a congenital heart condition himself.
Then Jac enlisted him to track down her missing phone. He used a phone finding app and followed the signal to the other side of the hospital, where he found Jasmine.
The scene where he carried her into AAU and all the key people were standing at the nurses’ station reacting to what had happened was so dramatic. Fletch took Jasmine from him, and then there was a battle to try to save her. Damon was sent to get Jac and he could only stand there in Darwin holding the blood-stained phone. Later on he broke down and was comforted by Matteo, whose philosophical calmness had once again been used as a lovely contrast to Damon throughout the episode.
It’s heartbreaking that Jac had only just started to thaw towards Jasmine, and her heartfelt “Jasmine, please don’t go!” as her colleagues tried to save her sister was so sad. Because Jasmine did go. Hanssen gave a speech from the AAU stairs, saying they’d suffered “a loss that is beyond measure.” At these moments, Hanssen is always at his most tender.
And Jac returned to the scene of the accident/crime, and started to listen to the voicemails Jasmine had left for her, but couldn’t carry on. She dropped her phone just before Jasmine said “I love you.” That would have been too much for her – you could see how hard she was trying not to be overwhelmed, and to keep her self control.
Writer Patrick Homes balanced all of this tragedy with some perfectly placed, very lightly done comedy on Keller, where David Ames, Lee Mead and Bob Barrett were all brilliant. Their patient o’ the week Vince (Syrus Lowe) was a bird watcher, and he was used to spotting mating rituals. He thought he spotted a bit of chemistry between Dominic and Lofty – Dominic smiles when he looks at Lofty. And really, how could you not? He’s adorable – sweet, kind, no agenda, just a thoroughly nice man. Rather like Sacha, in fact. Keller is so adorable at the moment.
But back to Jasmine. I’m going to miss her. Lucinda Dryzek played her beautifully throughout, making her enough like Jac so we could believe in them as sisters, but in other ways quite the opposite. It would have been interesting to have seen how their relationship developed in the future, but as it is poor Jac has to go on with yet another loss in her life.
You’ll be able to read about David Ajao’s first days on Holby, and Rosie Marcel’s reaction to Jasmine’s death, in the official BBC Holby City book coming later this year