(Series 20, ep. 13 ‘No Matter Where You Go, There You Are – Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 27.3.18) Last week’s cliffhanger made us wait an entire week for the verdict in Ric’s trial. And this week, we got that verdict, though it was a very low-key affair. We didn’t see the courtroom. We didn’t even see Ric. We heard the news as relayed to Ollie by Meena, and then Serena popped up to Darwin to present Fletch with a bottle of celebratory Shiraz.
Celebratory? Yes! Because the news is good. Ric Griffin is a free man!
Having swiftly wrapped up the ‘Ric’s Prison Hell’ storyline, the episode settled in to the topic at hand, which focused on Oliver Valentine and his determination to get back to being a doctor once again, and Henrik Hanssen’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with the consequences of his son’s actions. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 11 ‘The L Word’ by Katie Douglas 13.3.18) Holby is nominated for a RTS Award for Best Soap/Continuing Drama this year (and high time too). When you see an episode like this, you have to think how could it not win? Indeed you have to think how come it isn’t in the Drama category too? With acting as nuanced and powerful as we had here from James Anderson, Guy Henry, Hermione Gulliford and others, and production values that equal anything you’d see in things like Line of Duty and Collateral… well, I could go on. I probably will go on, whether it wins or not. But for now, I’d better turn my attention back to this particular, very dramatic and rather intense episode.
Professor Gaskell (or “the Great and Powerful Oz,” as Sacha rather brilliantly referred to him) was thinking that Roxanna was getting a bit emotionally over-involved with Oliver Valentine’s case. He’s shrewdly spotted that unless she’s been in a car with Hanssen or eating pizza in the on-call room, she has at all times been by Ollie’s side, frowning at him encouragingly. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 10 ‘Square One’ by Kathrine Smith 6.3.18) There seems to be something of a power-grab going on at Holby. Prof Gaskell, aided and abetted by old chum Roxanna, is about to be installed on the board as Director of Medicine. Have we had one of those before?
Hanssen has given his approval via one of those in-car consultations that he’s specialising in these days. I picture him spending his days sadly patrolling the car park at 15 MPH in case he’s needed, but terrified to get out of the car.
Roxanna’s motives in getting Gaskell a place on the Iron Throne of Holby are altruistic (she thinks it’ll help Ollie to get the treatment he needs, and she believes in the Prof and his work), and I could probably say that about the Prof, though I’m not at all sure I entirely trust him. His guinea pig patient, Fiona, died this week, and in the comfort of his lab the Prof realised that his trial had failed. He’s keeping this news between him and his voice recorder though, and hasn’t told major funder and cheerleader Essie, or Serena, or Roxanna. I’m sure he really believes it’ll work eventually and he mustn’t stop now, but the last person we saw with that kind of attitude to a trial was Fredrik, and look how that turned out. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 9 ‘Ache’ by Martin Jameson 28.2.18) Jac is struggling on despite being in horrendous pain (and Rosie Marcel is making sure we can feel that pain in every agonised breath Jac takes). I suppose she’s worried that if she gave up and went home they would have to get a locum heart surgeon in, what with Jac and Frieda being the only functioning heart surgeons left in the whole hospital. Or worse still, give half of Darwin away to some other unrelated department like they’ve tried before with plastics and neuro. Either way, Jac is not putting up with it and would rather try to carry on with her duties in between spells of lying on the floor with her teeth clenched. I have two solutions for her: (a) Pilates and (b) Mo. I would love to see Mo pop back to hold the fort until Jac is better, and I think Mo is about the only person Jac would trust. Apart from Joseph Byrne, but that ship has long sailed. And Elliot Hope, ditto.
Frieda’s solutions were (a) nagging and (b) very powerful drugs. When Jac was eventually persuaded to take the drugs (which Frieda had written a prescription for), did she thank Frieda for easing her pain and looking out for her? No. She thought Frieda was getting just a bit too uppity and needed taking down a peg by relegating her to the being the one who holds the suction thing in theatre (an important job, but not quite the role Frieda was expecting). Oh, Jac. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 7 ‘Precipice’ by Tony Higgins 13.2.18) Poor Ollie. It looked like he was on the mend last week, but this week the bullet that’s still in his brain started leaking poison. It would have to come out, said Roxanna. This threw Ollie into a proper rage (how brilliant is James Anderson being at the moment?), and he said it should have been Roxanna who got shot, not him. Bless him, he’s not himself at all, is he? That’s not normal Ollie behaviour. He accused Roxanna of using him as a way of avoiding her grief over her dead husband (whose ashes were in her desk drawer), and he was right about that – she’s been living at the hospital because she can’t face going home. I bet she’s pleased she opted for that low-maintenance hairstyle now, hospital facilities being what they are.
But back to Ollie and his life-or-death surgery, which he only agreed to after Prof Gaskell had a quiet word (and I mean quiet – he’s got one of those voices that’s more of a vibration than a sound, and I have to say I find it rather thrilling as long as he isn’t overdoing it with the poetry). Predictably, things went a bit beep in theatre, but Ollie came through it, only to wake up from the anaesthetic temporarily unable to see, hardly able to move, and convinced he was still engaged to Zosia. Nooo!!! Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 4 ‘Hanssen Is as Hanssen Does’ by Joe Ainsworth 23.1.18) I’m actually quite annoyed that writer Joe Ainsworth used the title ‘Hanssen Is As Hanssen Does’ before I’d thought of it. It’s brilliant.
And it gave us a clue straight away that it was going to be quite a Hanssen-focused episode. The poor man was struggling with the psychological after-effects of his son going on a shooting rampage around the hospital, and we saw various flashbacks of Fredrik in his rather dashing ‘We need to talk about Fredrik’ gunman outfit. Not that Hanssen was pondering how Fredrik really rocked the hoodie-and-boots look. He was too busy thinking about the lives lost or altered forever, and that sort of serious and sad thing. His veneer of calm was still there, but it was paper-thin and you could see it was a struggle for him just to keep functioning. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 1 ‘The Prisoner’ by Ed Sellek 2.1.18) This stand-alone episode dealt with four days in the life of Ric Griffin, in prison on remand following his assault on Jeremy Warren, and Oliver Valentine, returning to the world after being in a coma since being shot in the head.
Ric might have a posh voice and an air of refinement, but he has great intelligence, a boxer’s instincts and he’s seen a bit of the world. While prison obviously came as a huge culture shock for him, he navigated prison politics quite well. When he was befriended by a prisoner called Dillon (played by the brilliantly named Chord Melodic), it took him a little while to realise that Dillon had an agenda – he wanted Ric to use his medical contacts in the outside world to get drugs into the prison. As soon as he’d worked out what was what, Ric refused to have any part of the scheme – with the result that he’s now a marked man. Indeed he’s possibly literally marked by now, because when we last saw him he was surrounded by Dillon’s thugs in the prison yard. Continue reading