Holby City: Not your average WAG

(Series 19, ep. 42 ‘Baggage’ by Patrick Homes 25.7.17) Since Donna’s return there’s been a bit of mystery surrounding her. Why isn’t she relishing her WAG status and swanning about getting spa treatments and buying over-priced luxury goods for her swanky mansion, rather than mopping up pee, pus and sick in AAU? Why does she look sad when she thinks nobody is looking? And why has her credit card been declined?

We discovered the answers to all these questions when her niece/adopted daughter Mia (Briana Shann) turned up at Holby. One thing I especially loved was that Hanssen remembered Mia. I remember them having a sweet little scene together when he found her alone in the corridor in her first incarnation. Hanssen also very sweetly paid Donna’s bill when Pulses declined her credit card. He was very busy being Enigmatic and Delightful all over the hospital this week. 

But back to Donna. It seems that she’s split up with footballer partner Jared, who sounds like a bit of a twonk. I’m picturing someone like Jed ‘Alias’ Martinez, but I expect we’ll find out because he’ll probably turn up at some point. Despite Donna having a child with him (Amber), it sounds like she never really loved him and her heart is still with Kieran and they would still be together if he wasn’t struggling with the aftermath of his army experiences (“The nightmares came back, and he left us before he hurt us”). I like how, after some early reservations, Fletch is now firmly on Team Donna. She came back to Holby to find her “family” again, and some of them might have different faces but the support she needed is still there.

On Keller we were treated to an appearance from the wonderful Carole Copeland (Julia Deakin). The relationship between her and Dominic is entirely precious and becomes more so every time we see her. She used to have to worry about keeping the peace between Dominic and his father, but Barry is apparently a changed man these days (but we won’t dwell on the effect the medicinal herbs have been having on him). Dominic is also a changed man. The loss of Arthur and horrible relationships with Lee and Isaac have made him a little bit more emotionally honest and not so spiky and defensive. There was an absolutely beautiful scene where Carole told Dominic she always knew he was gay. The two of them together are just glorious – the scene was tender and sweet and completely real.

One of their topics of conversation was Lofty. Carole thought, because she has a finely honed grinder (“it’s gaydar!”) that there was chemistry between Dominic and Lofty. Inspired by this, Dominic tried to kiss Lofty, but Lofty didn’t react well. Even so, Dominic admitted that he loves Lofty “a little bit.”

Love was also in the air on Darwin, where Nina was taking up the post of medical director and trying to get Matteo to sign the divorce papers. Hanssen had enigmatically asked her to “give my regards to Mr Rossini.” It felt almost like Hanssen was supernaturally ahead of them realising that they still loved each other, although his timing wasn’t great when he loomed just as they kissed. This was following a concentrated bout of brains-speak involving a patient (Geoff Leesley) whose wife had died, but who still had a lot to live for.

And Damon was being mentored by Morven. Matteo gave him the rather suspect advice that the best way to not be nervous about this, given that he thinks she’s “fit,” was to imagine her naked. No, no, no. That advice only applies if you’re giving a public speech, not when you’re working one-to-one with an attractive person. The director did have a bit of fun by giving us a Damon’s eye view of a scrub-less Morven though.

To find out why Jaye Jacobs found this episode so emotional, you’ll need the Holby City book – coming soon!

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10 responses to “Holby City: Not your average WAG

  1. I loved this episode, sweet, even piquant but staying on the right side of sickly.

    I am a little concerned about the slow morphing of the cold, stern Mr Hanssen into a man so in touch with his emotions as to meddle (unobtrusively of course) with everyone else’s emotional needs. Did he visit Oz to ask the Wizard for a heart?

  2. Is it just me but I can’t get excited about 2 relative newcomers reuniting? They’d be so much better used interacting with longer term characters imo. Or maybe just Matteo would? Christian Vit has been such a fantastic addition to the cast. Matteo is such a breath of fresh air but I just don’t feel anything towards nina or any chemistry between the pair sadly :/

  3. Theophilus

    Damon and Matteo make an excellent comedic partnership!

    • Andrew Porter

      I loved the way Damon was looking over at Matteo to copy his stance as they waited for their respective partners to arrive!

      • David Ajao is brilliant at those little details, like the way he stood to attention when Hanssen came into the room last week. I really like Damon as a character.

  4. Lauren

    I’m loving Holby at the minute. I’m especially liking Donna’s return and I’m hoping that her and Morven form a good friendship.

  5. Donnty

    Enjoyed this episode but as someone else mentioned I’m worried by this new version of Hanssen. A twinkly eyed enigmatic Hanssen is ok now and again but I hope we don’t lose the manipulative stern Mr Hanssen entirely.

    I feel like every week makes me love Donna even more. Lofty still makes me want to heave.

    • Andrew Porter

      I think Hanssen has actually always been like this. He’s always been a sort of omnipresent force at Holby who turns up when people struggling; he even went all Aslan/Gandalf with Rick when he left, saying he’d be back when Holby needed him most. With Dominic, it’s a word in the right place at the right time, a leaflet in a locker. With Jac, it’s knowing when to step in and say something, and when not to.

      I think we’d all like to believe there’s a possibility that the person at the top of a massive organisation like Holby could find enough time in their day to stop and comfort a child in distress; that’s what makes Hanssen such a wonderful character – he doesn’t want to let on how nice he is a lot of the time, but he genuinely cares.

      What makes him more complex is the fact that he can’t deal with things in his own life, and that he carries these burdens alone. My fear for someone like that – whether fictional or not – is that they end up burning out; we’ve seen him come pretty close, and it would be devastating if it happened, but it’s certainly on the cards.

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