Holby City: Will Holby survive?

(Series 19, ep. 59 ‘Hungry Heart’ by Sian Evans 21.11.17) Holby fans are reacting in one of two ways to the character of Fredrik Johanssen – they either love to hate him, or just plain hate him. Either way, that’s job done as far as the excellent Billy Postlethwaite is concerned. Personally I’m in the ‘love to hate him’ camp. I like the way we see the petulant, rejected child at the heart of his various schemings, and I enjoy his “mwah ha ha ha!” face.

He had plenty to brood about in this episode, starting with learning that he hadn’t won the Junior Doctor Prize, which has gone to the lovely Dominic Copeland. Fredrik had brought celebratory cakes, too. No prize, no Holby job, but Nina is impressed by the Swedish Sulker and invited him to apply for a registrar post. 

While he pondered this, he had a maverick diagnosis to make. The patient was Sean Hagerty (Declan Rodgers), the former singer with Sound Escape (yes, him!) until he had a head injury that made him a bit erratic and then developed other symptoms which landed him at Holby.

Sacha did a biopsy, but Fredrik was keen to do a CT. He was convinced they were dealing with a rare and aggressive cancer. The reason he was so convinced by this was it was the same rare and aggressive cancer that had killed his step-father, but he didn’t mention this until after he’d done the CT and all sorts of other loose-cannon behaviour and really annoyed Sacha, in between trying to get Dominic into trouble by telling Hanssen he was still on steroids (he isn’t).

There were several opportunities for brains-speak. Sean’s girlfriend, Bella (Rose O’Loughlin), stuck with Sean despite some rather challenging behaviour from him. “It’s not easy to stop loving someone just because they can’t love you,” she told Fredrik. Later, when Sean went AWOL and Fredrik found him in the mortuary (that’s a new one), Fredrik told him, “You keep on loving, whether or not you’re loved back.”

So that’s Fredrik’s daddy issues laid on a plate for us, but to him love and respect are not abstract qualities. What he needed was for Hanssen to show him his approval by getting behind Fredrik’s experimental wonder drug. “I need you to back me,” he said. “No,” replied Hanssen. Even worse, there isn’t going to be a registrar job for Fredrik to apply for now, as Hanssen has put a freeze on recruitment, which even applies to close personal relatives.

So Fredrik stomped off, and when Matteo looked at him the wrong way he retaliated by telling him about Nina’s baby – remember that secret he promised he wouldn’t tell? He didn’t tell Matteo that he’d tried to kiss Nina earlier either…

Back to Hanssen, who had more important things than his sulky son on his mind. Today was the day that the news about the merger with St Francis’s was going to be announced. Hanssen (who’d been a nervous wreck earlier) rallied the troops and gave them the news – “Holby remains”! Hurrah! Let’s hope last week’s inflated surgical gloves and makeshift bunting haven’t been thrown away, because it’s party time – though of course we have to spare a thought for the staff at the hitherto unknown St Francis’s, who may be contemplating redundancies – or even transfers to Holby.

There was yet another thing on Hanssen’s mind, which is certainly a mind currently beset by problems. Ric Griffin is going to be prosecuted for gross negligence manslaughter, following the death of Mrs Warren. Donna was feeling all kinds of guilty, because her statement might not exactly have sealed Ric’s fate, but it didn’t do anything to help. But what was Ric doing when the Warren incident occurred? He was apparently away from the hospital “helping a friend,” but he won’t say more than that. Who’s this mystery friend and why is Ric being cagey about it? And why is Donna receiving chummy texts from Mrs Warren’s son Jeremy?

Hanssen isn’t going to let Ric go through all this alone, though. “Your trial is Holby’s trial,” he told him when they met secretly in the basement (Ric’s not technically allowed on hospital premises). “I shall be there.”

On Darwin, I don’t know if I heard correctly but it seems that Dr Damon Ford is leaving! Already! I’m not very happy about that, if that’s really what’s going to happen. I enjoy his sunny enthusiasm and the banter with Ollie and Matteo.

And there’s still something not quite right with Jac. She’s been offloading operations on to her colleagues, which is most un-Jac-like behaviour.

Holby City: Behind the Screen – the official BBC book coming soon!

And all my Holby reviews from series 12 – series 18 gathered together for your reading pleasure


Filed under Holby City

5 responses to “Holby City: Will Holby survive?

  1. Laura

    Good episode, terrible advert afterwards. I’m always puzzled that HC episodes and season trailers can be great yet their 30 TV ads can be dreadful.

  2. HolbyNut

    Holby needs more of it’s big hitters back to support Henrik.
    Come back Serena, Bernie, let’s see more of Jac, ditch Nina, free the Holby One (Ric) –

  3. Was that Paul McGann in the trailer?

  4. Donnty

    I’m keeping everything crossed that we finally get to say goodbye to Ric (of course we won’t). The smug streak of misery hasn’t done anything even remotely interesting for several years and story after story where he plays the martyr is tiresome.

    I love Fredrik! His daddy issues have messed him up good and proper haven’t they?!

    Looking forward to Paul McGann’s arrival.

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