(Series 19, ep. 41 ‘Going the Distance’ by Chris Murray 18.7.17) Essie is a mass of thwarted maternal instinct, isn’t she? She’s currently directing it all at Parker (whom she inherited from a former patient). He’s a perfectly nice lad, but Essie is constantly worrying that she’s not looking after him properly, or he’s going off the rails or whatever. A template for mother/son perfection presented itself this week in the form of patient Roma (Maria Miles) and her utterly devoted son Lewis (Jack Kane). Essie wished that she and Parker could have such a bond, but actually Roma and Lewis were teetering along that fine line where devotion can become harmful for one or both parties. Roma realised that and made some changes, and Essie realised, with the help of Raf, that she needs to relax about Parker a bit. I bet she won’t, though.
Poor Morven. Though she’s suffered a lot in her young life (including her husband dying and then her flatmate dying), it seems that Holby is always ready to offer her a life lesson about coping with loss – remember Keith Barron after Arthur died? So she lost a patient this week, which could have brought her to an even lower ebb. Luckily Bernie had assigned The Radiant Donna to keep an eye on her, and Donna is such a joy-spreader that by the end of the episode Morven was declaring that she “will not be defined by grief.”
Fletch had installed a punch bag in a side room, and ended up being accidentally flattened by Donna twice. It was also the source of some amusement when Bernie heard Fletch and Oliver ‘Handbags’ Valentine enthusiastically going at it behind a closed door. Bernie didn’t realise there was a punchbag involved and thought they were indulging in some Adult Fun. Can you imagine the furore if they really had been? The “Holby is too gay” lobby would have gone into meltdown. Actually I’m surprised Bernie just tiptoed away with a knowing smile on her face. Adult Fun is all well and good, but not on company time.
On Darwin, Jac had received a letter of condolence about Jasmine from darling Professor Elliot Hope. And was there a hint of a job offer in there too? She spent the day mentoring Damon, which was a joyous thing to behold. I absolutely love Damon, and have the feeling that we’ll grow to love him as much as we loved Digby. His Tigger-ish enthusiasm initially annoyed Jac, but he’s a good doctor and a thoroughly nice person and you’d have to have a heart of ice not to like him. Yes, I know technically Jac does have a heart of ice, but she likes him anyway. And she decided she wanted her old job back. Matteo didn’t put up too much of a fight for his new role, because as Jac correctly pointed out, all he wants is to “wallow elbows deep in a chest cavity and come up smelling of roses,” not bother with paperwork. So just like that she has been reinstalled as Queen of Darwin, and she dismissed Matteo and Hanssen like naughty schoolboys so she could get on with rebuilding her empire.
There are exclusive interviews with Kaye Wragg, Eleanor Fanyinka, Rosie Marcel and all the Holby cast in the official BBC Holby book, to be published later this year.