(Series 20, ep. 17 ‘The Way We Were’ by Becky Prestwich 24.4.18) There were lots of old faces in this episode. Apart from the main storylines featuring an ex-boyfriend of Frieda’s, and Dominic’s past coming back to haunt him, we also saw glimpses of Oliver Valentine and Arthur Digby – both of them gone but not at all forgotten.
Dominic and Lofty arrived at the hospital all lovey-dovey and smiling, which was beautiful to behold. They even held hands on their way in to work, because they don’t want to hide their relationship – that’s how happy they are, and how secure with each other. But this is Holby, so we knew the ever-circling poo-bird of fate couldn’t be far away.
Dominic is on AAU these days, so he got to work with Lofty, Donna (two nurses on one ward! Luxury!) and Serena, which is a marvellous thing. Sadly, their patient was a smug, annoying woman called Susan (Susie Amy) – and there’s nothing worse than a smug Susan. Especially when she’s writing a non-fiction book whose subject happens to be the man who terrorised you within an inch of your life. Especially when what she’s writing about him is lies cobbled together from his own fictional version of events. Worse still, Isaac (for it was him) had been telling Susan all about the time he faced up to his homophobic dad with the help of his best friend at a karaoke bar at the seaside. “As if he hasn’t taken enough, he wants my memories as well,” Dominic said.
The stress of all this led to Dominic making a bad mistake in theatre, resulting in him possibly acquiring Hepatitis C from Smug Susan.
This storyline showed Holby at its best, when it feels like a real community. Dominic had no shortage of people wanting to help him. Donna and Serena both offered their support, and Lofty withstood Dominic’s tendency to push people away when he’s feeling vulnerable and said he’d be there for him no matter what (“It’s been a bad day and I can’t promise there won’t be more bad days, but I can promise I’ll be there at the end of them if you’ll let me,” he said. Oh my gosh – everybody needs a Lofty in their lives). Sacha was the person Dominic sought out for support, and he was as wise and cuddly as ever. Bob Barrett and David Ames played this scene beautifully as they always do.
Talking of old faces, as I was, we’ve seen Marko Leht, who played Frieda’s ex Roman, before. Last time we saw him he was called Sol, he was a patient on Keller and I described him as “adorable,” so I was very pleased to see him back. This time, as Roman, he’d come to Holby looking for old flame Frieda, because he had a nasty wound on his shoulder but he couldn’t go to hospital because he was in Britain illegally.
While Frieda dealt with a case of TB at the hospital, she sent mentee and flatmate Nicky back home to look after the dangerously ill Roman. Frieda supervised via Skype.
Roman’s life was saved by some neat wound care by Nicky, but Frieda soon afterwards showed him the door. He may be adorable and all that, but apparently he’s not reliable boyfriend material. Frieda has no time to waste on useless men – not while she has Nicky’s suturing technique to perfect.
An old face returned to Keller, too. It was none other than Henrik Hanssen – not the CEO anymore, but just a normal doctor. Except that he’ll never be “normal” – he has too much of a regal bearing and air of authority. Poor Sacha felt quite intimidated at having to be the great man’s boss from now on, and spent much of the time trying too hard to second-guess what Hanssen might feel or want, and feed him biscuits. Perhaps some of Sacha’s cuddly, relaxed attitude might have rubbed off by the end of the shift, though, as Hanssen changed out of his trademark suit into an almost daringly casual jumper and open-necked shirt. He’s “retiring the more formal style,” he says, and even helped himself to a biscuit on the way out.
HOLBY CITY BEHIND THE SCREEN – “If you like Holby it’s an indispensable guide”
HALF A WORLD AWAY – “Beautifully written, and in perfect step with time and place”