(Series 20, ep. 6 ‘Not Your Home Now’ by Patrick Homes 7.2.18) She’s back! And she has several new blouses!
With Hanssen in emotional and psychological meltdown following his son’s recent gun rampage, he had to find a safe pair of hands to look after the hospital. Who better than Serena Campbell, now fully recovered from her own traumas and ready to – temporarily – take the Holby helm.
She kept emphasising, to anyone who assumed otherwise, that she was only there for about a month at most. Her heart, and her future, was with Bernie, who as we speak is setting up a trauma unit in Nairobi. Hands up who would like to see that as a spin-off series? Bernie got loads of mentions, because everyone wanted to know how she is, and we were left in no doubt at all that Serena would be Nairobi-bound at the earliest opportunity.
But by the end of the episode, after she’d found what a mess everybody is in (mainly Ric, Ollie and Jac, more of whom later), and seen that her nephew Jason really needs Auntie Serena’s guiding hand, Serena was calling Bernie and telling her that Kenya would have to wait. Holby is her home, and Holby is where she’s needed.
There were many moments to treasure: Donna calling Serena “bossy britches” before she realised to whom she was speaking, and Jac hailing Serena’s reappearance with, “the prodigal sapphist returns.” Serena gave Jac some incense sticks to help her meditate. “You never go full hippy, Campbell,” Jac told her. It was a mark of how badly Jac has been shaken by recent events that she actually gave the incense and meditation a brief try.
The most serious business for Serena was discovering that Ric Griffin had arrived on AAU with a screwdriver sticking out of his side, and nobody was buying the “I fell” story. She tried to work out where Ric had been when he mysteriously disappeared while he was supposed to be looking after Mrs Warren, and discovered he’d been getting Jason out of a sticky situation in which Jason’s ex-girlfriend Lola had been hurt when Jason caught her trying to steal some of Elinor’s stuff. While this news was an incentive to keep Serena in Holby, it still doesn’t help Ric’s case. When will someone think to go through a list of all the staff who were on duty that day?
Oliver Valentine, meanwhile, was having dreams that he was a surgeon again, and it was actually lovely to see him all gowned up and back in his element. The dreams took on a scary note at the end, when he unveiled the mystery patient lying under a white sheet. I guessed it was going to be Ollie himself and would be a metaphor for him bringing his old self back to life – but it was Roxanna, so I’m not quite sure what the metaphor is, or if it even is a metaphor. But it’s not surprising that he dreams of her, as she’s with him nearly all of every day.
Ollie is pushing himself really hard to get well, overdoing the physio (though it was the physiotherapist herself who collapsed) and trying to diagnose patients. One thing he can do quite well is the coin juggling thing that Jac taught him. Another thing he can still do quite well is flirt. He reminded Frieda that she used to have a soft spot for him, and said if she kissed him it might help his recovery. So she did, and I’m not sure how much it helped but it was a lovely moment.
Having come back after Tara’s death as Ollie 2.0, Ollie is now determined to be reborn as Ollie 3.0 (commercial break – if you want to hear James Anderson’s thoughts about this, Holby City: Behind the Screen will be out in a few weeks and you can find out. End of commercial break).
To Darwin now, and there was some business about Jac hiding one of the rare records that Raf had left to Fletch, so that Fletch would have a hobby trying to track down the missing one. At home, Emma had illustrated the aforementioned vinyl with the legend ‘mumy heart fletch.’ What a precocious child (if you ignore the spelling), and very perceptive, too. Does Jac heart Fletch? We’ve seen her giving him secret little smiles and he’s one of the few people she actually trusts (while at the same time making presumably inaccurate digs about his bad breath).
Her secret love is no secret any more, as she made the standard soap mistake of throwing the defaced record into the bin. Nobody in the real world would do this. I’d have popped it in a skip on the way home, but maybe I’m just a super-furtive individual. Anyway, it was no surprise when Frieda spotted it. “Amazeballs,” she said.
HOLBY CITY: BEHIND THE SCREEN the official book, out in a few weeks. Pre-order a copy now
Sue Haasler’s new novel Half a World Away available to pre-order