(Series 21, ep. 50 ‘Kintsugi’ by Martin Jameson 10.12.19) Pop over to Metro to read my review of this week’s episode. But before you do that…
– The ‘three wise men’ idea was quite sweet for a seasonal episode. There was a suspicion of tweeness about the gold, frankincense and myrrh gifts, but it was undercut by Jac’s relentless horribleness to Fletch and Sacha.
– Imagine slapping Sacha! You just couldn’t.
– I did love the Kintsugi idea of the mended thing being even more beautiful than the unbroken thing. Poor Jac has been broken and mended so many times she must be about the most beautiful thing possible now.
– Line of the week: So many to choose from, from funny lines like Fletch saying it was like Mission Impossible trying to get into the psychiatric unit and Jac saying, ‘What, you came through the ceiling?’ to Jac’s terribly sad words to Elliot: ‘Without you and without Emma who am I? No one.’ The episode was beautifully written by Martin Jameson.
– It’s a horrific situation that Chloe finds herself in – not least because now she’s got Cameron trying to work through his own guilt by stepping up to co-parent Baby Evil Evan, and she’s got Phoebe gearing up to be the clingy aunt from hell.
– If Jac is the sister Sacha never had, and Elliot is the father Jac never had, Elliot must be the father Sacha doesn’t even realise he needs.
(Series 21, ep. 49 ‘Bell Jar’ by Martin Jameson 3.12.19) If you’re not too absolutely wrung-out by this episode, please pop over to Metro to see what I made of it (spoiler alert: I was wrung-out). But before you go…
– How brilliant was Rosie Marcel? Jac is such a guarded person that when the walls come down and you see the soft, vulnerable creature who lives in that shell, it’s quite devastating.
– And I thought Alex Walkinshaw was brilliant too. That whole final sequence as Fletch took Jac from the operating theatre and looked after her while making sure she was safe and Emma was safe… well, he was just fabulous. I wonder if that scene was behind the decision to change his hairstyle last week? Maybe the quiff couldn’t be relied on to behave itself during the action scenes?
– I always notice bad hair continuity, when the hair moves about numerous times in the same scene. Made in Chelsea is a particular offender in that respect (it’s behind the ear, it’s in front of the ear, it’s behind again), but I digress.
– Heartbreaking dialogue of the week: Jac promises that Elliot will be fine. (Elliot) ‘What have I always told you about making promises to patients?’ (Jac) ‘When did I ever listen to your advice?’
– Carole Copeland! I love her so much. And if Lofty and Dominic are renewing their vows perhaps we’ll finally get to see Carole and Sheilagh Chiltern meeting.
– Maybe I can wear the fascinator that I’ve made out of recycled yogurt pots (it’s what Greta Thunberg would do) for Lofty and Dominic’s vows-renewing and David and Rosa’s wedding on Casualty?
– Oh, Cameron. Subjecting vulnerable patients to invasive and life-altering surgery just to salve your guilty conscience is not a clever thing to do.
(Series 21, ep. 48 ‘Blurring the Lines’ by Andrew Rattenbury 26.11.19) Dash over to Metro to read my proper, long review. But before you go…
– What did we all think of Fletch’s new hairstyle, then? It it ‘cool’ as Ange suggested? Or do we need to campaign to #BringBackTheQuiff?
– I was shocked by what Kian did in theatre. Shocked.
– I’m also shocked by how annoying I find Bea. Partly it’s because she calls him ‘Kee,’ and ‘Bea and Kee’ is just silly. Though it does avoid the pronunciation difficulties that some of the characters have with his name, which ranges from ‘something rhyming with Ian’ to ‘Kee-yong’ via ‘Kee-yawn.’
– Jac looked so alone at the end of the episode. Needless to say but Rosie Marcel has been acting her socks off throughout this storyline, with more to come (oh my gosh is there more to come), but I do find myself wishing her health could be left alone for a while to let her get on with ninja-level medicine and withering put-downs.
– Helen’s love for Lofty must have been accentuated by wanting to cling to him in their mutual grief. Verity Marshall has been playing Helen brilliantly – still making you feel sorry for her, but at the same time being deeply suspicious of the way she’s trying to split Dofty up.
– Did you notice that Kian got himself a hot cross bun from Pulses? That’s a very out-of-season snack! They’ll be serving mince pies in August at this rate.
(Series 21, ep. 47 ‘We Are All the Stars’ by Katie Douglas 19.11.19) My full review can be found over at Metro, but before you get distracted by all that…
– The stillbirth storyline was beautifully done, with some gorgeous writing from Katie Douglas and lovely performances from all concerned. It was all so sad…
– Though I do wonder at Serena’s ability to drop everything whenever there’s some compassionate hand-holding to be done. I suppose it’s no problem in a hospital where the CEO is wandering around putting departments in special measures in between doing emergency brain surgery. Oh, the skill-set that woman has.
– And she looms as well! ‘Light footed – like a cat.’
– Fleur Fanshawe is wonderful and not for the first time I find myself pondering how some of the best Holby characters have come from the Obs & Gynae department. Yes, Mr T (MR T!!!), Owen and Mubbs, I’m talking about you too.
– Donna and Zav are adorable.
– I loved how everyone had Jac’s back at the M&M meeting, but it still felt like she was alone.
(Series 21, ep. 46 ‘Sandra’s Choice’ by Damian Mullen 12.11.19) My review of this episode is at Metro as usual, but before you go…
– Line of the week: (Serena spots Dominic at the viewing window in theatre and lets Lofty know) ‘It appears you have male.’
– Line of the week 2: (Max gets her priorities right) ‘I won’t have you smoking in the vicinity…’ (Of the hospital? Of sick people? Of all the lovely muffins in Pulses?) ‘…of my new coat. It cost me a fortune.’
– Jason giving Lofty parenting tips including not leaving a naked baby on the sofa: ‘I still can’t get the stains out.’ I would add to this, don’t take a nappy off unless you have another one immediately to hand.
– Poor Jac. And poor Elliot, who has made something of a career of being the punchbag when other people are suffering – remember how horrible Oliver Valentine was to him after Tara died?
– I thought Vicky Entwistle was really touching as Sandra.
– Catherine Russell’s acting really is ninja-level, though. The way she faltered a little bit when giving parenting advice to Lofty, you could almost see the pictures of Elinor that were playing across her mind. Serena’s pain is real and always present, however well hidden. It’s going to be such a loss to Holby when Catherine leaves.
(Series 21, ep. 45 ‘Remember, Remember’ by Joe Ainsworth 5.11.19) You know the drill – pop over to Metro for my full review of this episode. But first…
– What a pitiful turnout there was to that 150 year celebration thing. And why had Fletch decided that having it outdoors was a good idea in November?
– I knew Josie was going to die in Pulses. Not just because the service is notoriously slow. It was a poetic way to end a life which had apparently mostly been spent in the hospital anyway, though it was sad she didn’t get to have her free scones first.
– Spoiler alert: if you’ve read my Holby book you’ll know all about the ‘cupboard’ in Pulses where someone has to crank the lift doors open and shut because it’s not a real lift. Now they’ve moved the counter to a different side, you can see that cupboard door very clearly.
– How come Fletch and Essie didn’t recognise local MP Simone Milton? I’d recognise my MP if I saw her in the street. I wouldn’t have anything nice to say to her either. Yes, Theresa ‘Let’s back a hard Brexit even though my constituents voted to Remain’ Villiers, I mean you.
– I’m glad Ric got his mojo back. He’s recovered stunningly well from brain surgery, too.
– Jac seemed quite deranged when she dragged Emma towards the mortuary. I’m sad that the various pressures she’s under have made Jac behave badly to Emma, because she’s been a lovely mother generally.
– But Jac’s face when she saw Elliot – that was just heartbreakingly sweet.
Sad news from Holby City today as it’s been announced that Catherine Russell will be leaving after seven years playing Serena Campbell.
Catherine explained her reasons for the change, saying, ‘Playing Serena Campbell and being part of the Holby family has been an absolute delight. I just need to get out there, frighten myself again and pretend to be someone else.’
It’s been promised that Serena will make a ‘heroic’ exit in early 2020. She’ll face a ‘dark reminder’ of the past and we’ll see her ‘joyously rebellious side’ as she fights for her family and the values she holds dear. The door will also be left open for her to return – Catherine says ‘Hopefully I’ll be able to revisit the hospital as it really is the most wonderful place to work!’
Catherine has put a video on Twitter about her decision here
Executive Producer Simon Harper has paid tribute to Catherine’s work on the show. ‘She’s truly one of the Holby greats,’ he says. ‘We are all very sad to say goodbye to her – but it’s no surprise such a talented actor should want to go and play other roles again after seven outstanding years. Catherine, we wish you all the best, while raising a bucket of shiraz to the glory that is Ms Campbell – and I just can’t thank you enough.’