(Series 19, ep. 30 ‘Gold Star’ by Ed Sellek) Well that was fun, wasn’t it? Apart from the dead patient at the end, which was extremely sad. But up until that point, it was one of those episodes packed full of one-liners and excellent comedy stuff from – well, everybody, really. There was a bit of slapstick from Zosia (did you see her whizzing off with troublesome Mr Phibbs in a wheelchair in the background of the scene where Hanssen was talking to Birdie at her bedside?), some funny business with the vending machine and Hanssen’s favourite snack, the Whippy Whirl, Sacha smiling again thanks to a relaxing shvitz (it’s like a sauna, apparently, and it certainly did Sacha a power of good), and Bernie and Ollie teasing Ric about needing naps. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 26) It was one of those starts-at-(almost)-the-end episodes, and the start showed a panicking Bernie, flanked by Fletch and Jasmine, busting down the door to the roof (which was locked for the first time in its history)…
What had happened to Serena? Would we find her teetering on the edge of the parapet, or already in a messy mush in the car park? Would Bernie be in time?
Flashback twelve hours, which luckily for us had been condensed to just one hour. We found Serena “stuck on some hideous merry-go-round of blame and regret.” This could be construed as a general description of AAU on a good day, but it was all about Elinor’s death and Serena’s reaction to it, particularly in her treatment of Jasmine. It was also affecting her family – she said that even loving Bernie didn’t make her feel better, and she was so horrible to and around Jason that he wanted to move back in with his old carer, Alan. “I’m officially an out-of-control monster,” Serena said. She was still unable to address any of this properly until she almost hit Jasmine and Jac was there to (magnificently) intervene. Serena was summoned to see Hanssen, who was infinitely kind and understanding and said there was almost nothing he wouldn’t do to help her. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 19) Unusually for me, I’m going to start with a patient storyline. I usually whizz over them as just a backdrop to the regulars’ stories, but I really loved the Darwin story about Sandy, who was terrified of surgeons. Erin Shanagher previously appeared in an episode of Casualty in which the patient story knocked my socks off, and she was equally good here. Sandy was justifiably upset, angry and fearful about the way she’d been treated as a baby, and I liked the way her story was used to highlight aspects of Jac’s and Matteo’s personalities and relationship.
It was Valentine’s Day, as if we would ever be allowed to forget. Darwin was full of (appropriately) heart-shaped balloons, courtesy of Mr T, but Jac wasn’t feeling the love as she’d dumped Matteo last week. But then how to resist a romantic Italian who presents you with a ticket to Rome? Jac had a good try, but between Matteo’s cheeky charm and a bit of business with Mo and a voice recorder, all was well that ended well. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 17) Ooh, but this was a dark episode. The AAU and Keller stories were difficult and gloomy, with some of our favourite characters going through horrible times, with Darwin providing a bit of welcome light relief.
It started with a Serena voice-over, sorting people into lions, lambs and shepherds. This came from an essay Elinor had been writing before she died, and later in the episode we heard it again, with both Serena’s and Elinor’s voices speaking together, which was a spooky kind of effect.
Serena was looking for someone to blame for Elinor’s death. Just like she pointed the finger at Chantelle when Adrienne had a stroke, another sunny junior was in the firing line this time – Jasmine. And, to be fair, perhaps if Jasmine had been more experienced and more mature she might have spotted that Elinor had a problem earlier. That almost isn’t the point, though. It’s more about Serena’s need for control, to impose some order on a world that’s just been turned on its head. This was underlined by the presence of recurring guest character Lexy – the vicar with the Herzig heart who seems to bob up at moments of crisis. The crisis this time was her own – her husband was involved in a car accident and later died, prompting Lexy to question her faith. She was also someone for Serena to get cross with. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 16) The thing that shocked me the most about this episode was finding out that the mythical HR department actually exists. We saw it! Although, thinking about it, we only saw the glossy facade and Mo never actually went in, so it could have just been a hallucination caused by sleep deprivation.
The reason Mo was hallucinating the HR department was that she and Mr T had a plan to go to Gothenburg for a year with the baby. Mo would be putting her career on hold for a life of smorgasbord and bilingual mother and baby groups.
That was never going to fly with Jac Naylor, who employed the strategy she used so effectively with Zosia – pretend someone is completely replaceable and not needed at all, until they realise that there’s no place like Holby and cancel their foolish plans. Continue reading