(Series 19, ep. 45 ‘Calm Before the Storm’ by Katie Douglas 15.8.17) In a nutshell: Sacha found God, Nina and Matteo found each other and Selfie found Ollie’s Achilles’ heel. It doesn’t sound like a lot to fill an hour of TV, but I was gripped throughout. The hour just flew by.
Guy Self really is a brilliant baddie, and I think he’s even better this time around than he was during his first stint, because now we know what a complicated personality he really is. He’s no cartoon villain, there’s a vulnerability there which at the moment he is reigning in tightly as he reverts to his default setting of Manipulative and Devious – though would the old Selfie have become quite so flustered during surgery?
His target is future son-in-law Oliver Valentine. I can’t imagine Ollie was really looking forward to Christmases around the Selfie hearth even on a good day, but now it seems clear that Selfie is doing his best to drive a wedge between his daughter and her fiancé. He’s doing it by exploiting the grief and possibly guilt Ollie still feels about the death of his first wife, Tara Lo. It was a particularly nasty trick to get Ollie to join him in presenting a proposal to Hanssen, and then the case study of a brain tumour patient being a “Ms Lo.” Hanssen was obviously angry – “Her name was Doctor Lo” – and hopefully this will mean that Ollie has Hanssen on his side. He should be able to rely on Zosia too, but as Selfie figured, sowing that little bit of doubt about whether Ollie is really over Tara has given Zosia a bit of a pause for thought.
There was high drama out of a low-key situation on Keller, when Sacha’s rabbi (David Horovitch) was discovered to have cancer. We found out that Sacha had been taking lessons with the rabbi in an attempt to reconnect with his faith, and there was a powerful scene where Sacha told the rabbi he was angry at God for so many things – Digby, Elinor and Jasmine dying, Essie not being able to get pregnant. I like that it was revealed that Sacha, this kind, funny, comforting man, has been anguishing over these things. Hopefully his renewed faith will help him to cope with life better than shoplifting and liposuction did.
Matteo and Nina had been on a romantic trip to Verona, only it wasn’t all that romantic (he treated her “like his aunt” all weekend, apparently). Matteo eventually admitted that he was still struggling with them selling their old house, with its memories of their son. And he was hoping/expecting romance to be rekindled in their new apartment.
Line of the week was Jac, on the prospect of Selfie and Ollie doing complicated surgery together: “It’s like leaving the Chuckle Brothers to repaint the Sistine Chapel.”