Holby City: Time to get serious

(Series 19, ep.53 ‘The Coming Storm’ by Patrick Homes 10.10.17) From a medical point of view, this was a curious episode in that there were no patients o’ the week at all, on any ward. We never saw the Darwin patient apart from in the operating theatre, the AAU patient was barely conscious and the Keller patient was brain-dead.

So an easy shift all round then, yes? Well… no. In fact it was a very difficult shift for all concerned.

Fletch had his suit on for his first board meeting as King of Nurses. He looks quite nice in a suit (although everyone said that one didn’t fit him properly, but I didn’t actually notice), but the suit doesn’t suit him because he’s a hands-on kind of guy who likes to be in scrubs. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” he told Jac, attempting a “fake it till you make it” confidence about the whole King of Nurses gig. “Why is he dressed like an estate agent?” Jac replied. Jac and Fletch are beyond marvellous together. She’s designated his emails as spam. His special ringtone for her is a witch’s cackle. 

The first board meeting didn’t go that well, although Hanssen was quite kind about it afterwards (“Comedy ringtones notwithstanding”). Fletch discovered that terrible things were afoot – Holby and The Mythical St Francis’s (where have they found that one? Maybe it’s up on the moors in the rustic byways of Olde Wyvern so they haven’t thought to mention it thus far) are in talks to do a spot of merging, and the first thing to merge is the transplant coordinator’s job. “I didn’t sign up for this,” Fletch sighed, faced with the task of telling Essie that she’s going to have to go back to wearing the standard wine-coloured scrubs like everyone else on Keller.

This would have been bad news for Essie on any day, but this was also the day she had to say goodbye to foster son Parker. Parker’s mother Kim was out of prison, and was ready to re-bond with her son, who has been living with Essie on and off for months now and has only just revealed that he doesn’t like tomatoes. Kim dropped a bombshell – she was planning on re-locating to Gibraltar, and would be taking Parker with her. Essie was naturally concerned that the sunny climate would wreak havoc on Parker’s ghostly complexion, and she was devastated that the nearest thing she has to a child would be miles away. Thank goodness she had her fascinating job as a transplant coordinator to take her mind off things.

Fletch chickened out of telling her the bad news about that last bit, so she found out during a heated nurses’ meeting, which got so heated that some of the nurses who don’t usually get to speak couldn’t resist voicing their concerns. And a newish nurse, Amira Zafar (Poppy Jhakra), chipped in with news about the Holby/St Francis/transplant coordinator business.

If you watch Casualty you might have recognised this Amira. She was working in the ED on the day of the helicopter crash, and was fairly useless. She was fairly useless on Darwin as well (in fact the procedure she’d been employed to assist with was entirely beyond her, so Fletch had to scrub in instead). She also hinted she’d been fairly useless on AAU previously, when an old lady had died. Did this have anything to do with the old lady who died on Ric’s watch, the one he’s now under investigation for (more of which later)? I expect we’ll find out.

Essie’s shift ended with her waving goodbye to Parker in the Car Park of Broken Dreams, and getting a consoling hug from Raf.

Fletch’s shift ended with Jac giving him a new suit that fits him better (“Raf gave me your measurements. It’s unhealthy what that man knows about you”), and Hanssen giving him a pep talk. Actually, “pep” is not exactly the word I’m looking for here. “These are perilous times. Holby is beset with dangers external and internal,” Hanssen said, employing his Voice of Doom. “People look to you in a crisis. A storm is coming, Mr Fletcher.” Good grief. He’s going to need all the comedy ringtones he can get to cope with that.

Or perhaps what he needs is a lucky Japanese cat. Ric Griffin has got one. It’s not a real cat, which is just as well because Donna smashed it into little pieces. Luckily a helpful man helped her glue it back together. Unluckily, this man Jeremy (Nick Rhys) was not from the CQC as Donna thought, but was actually the son of an old lady who died on Ric’s watch (possibly the same one who was also on nurse Amira’s watch). Donna didn’t discover this until she’d first let the man know all of Holby’s failings and problems. She even took him to that nurse meeting where everyone got disgruntled and Essie found out she was no longer the transplant coordinator.

But Donna has a winning way, and when Jeremy saw what a brilliant and caring nurse she is, he realised that Holby probably had done its very best for his dear old mum. Then Ric Griffin blundered in and mixed up Jeremy’s mother’s name and Jeremy got all cross and complainy again. And Ric was left to contemplate his lucky Japanese cat, and the mixed blessing that is Donna Jackson.

Until the official BBC Holby book comes out, you can amuse yourself with a bumper collection of all the Pauseliveaction Holby reviews (series 12-18), in paperback or ebook. Gasp at the goings-on in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery! Thrill at more ninja-level surgery than you can shake a stick at! And marvel at/pity my undying love for Joseph Byrne…  Get it here

4 Comments

Filed under Holby City

4 responses to “Holby City: Time to get serious

  1. Sarah

    I couldn’t see what was wrong with Fletch’s suit either! So glad to see Jac with a sparring partner again, but without the viciousness.

    Hanssen’s speech at the end made me cringe, the cheesiness of it!! I’m not sure who wrote last nights episode but that last bit was laughable. I hate when they give Hanssen clunking, unsubtle dialogue like that. It could have been a nice little scene with Fletch.

  2. thunderchild

    Scrap the role medical director – that should help save a few pennies! In all seriousness, what is the point of her? Given that all she’s done is rehire Guy Self I rest my case!

    Love the Jac/Fletch double act.

  3. Maria Thomas

    Must confess I haven’t watched this episode yet mainly because when I saw there was a Parker/Essie storyline I consigned it to iplayer viewing & reading your always brilliant review.

    I loved Kaye Wragg in No Angels but Essie just leaves me cold. The whole Transplant Co-Ordinator job has been a joke from day one as she very rarely did any & was based on the wrong ward to be any use in that role. As for the Green Scrubs they were orginally a Johnny Mac deivice to get up Jac’s nose don’t know why they stuck with them. The Parker storyline was a bore from start to finish, as well as being very unrealistic.

    I love Fletch & I hope they keep him & Jac frenemies as there is loads of mileage in that, I dread another doomed romance though.

    Can’t help feeling we have done the whole gifted male Nurse stepping into a management role before with Mark.

  4. HolbyNut

    Really enjoyed Fletch and Jac last night, and Donna, as always.
    Don’t really get Raf and Essie though and are they really going to get married?

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