(Series 20, ep. 48 ‘Hold My Hand’ by Robert Goldsbrough 27.11.18) Head over to Metro for my proper, grown-up review. But first, here are my random thoughts o’ the week.
– We know that Berenice Wolfe knows 13 different ways to kill with her bare hands, so Dr Leah Faulkner should perhaps watch out. Or should it be Serena who watches out, given that she’s the one being unfaithful?
– Is anyone getting behind the idea of Lerena, or is the whole idea of Serena and Anyone Who Isn’t Bernie just an abomination that can’t be contemplated?
– Hanssen was just lovely with his patient Maeve, wasn’t he? Sacha levels of niceness. I really hope he does take up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Desk of Power, not least because I want the decor in there returning to calming Scandinavian neutrals ASAP.
– Despite missing fingers, people barfing blood and deluded young men trying to half kill themselves for afterlife kicks, this was actually a nice, normal episode after all the Gaskell craziness. Doctors, nurses, sick people – and Jac Naylor, a doctor and a sick person at the same time.
– I genuinely am going to miss Dr Meena Chowdhury. I liked her entitled-princess-meets-harsh-reality story arc, the way she’s fragile and lonely but inside her there’s a core of sterner stuff.
– I’ve already seen next week’s episode and the one after that. My lips are entirely sealed and no amount of bribery or cajoling will unseal them. My Pulses Loyalty Card is depending on my silence (buy 15 muffins, get one muffin for 10% off. They don’t just give them away at Pulses).
(Series 20, ep. 43 ‘Too Good To Be True’ by Gerard Sampaio 23.10.18) I’ve reviewed this episode in lingering detail over at Metro, but before you go to have a look please bear with me while I waffle on about a few additional things.
– Serena’s blouse. While I applaud a bold colour choice, I don’t think lime green is really her. It might look different on a big telly, but when I was watching the preview on my laptop screen it was making her hair look a bit greenish too. That could be just my laptop or my eyesight, I suppose.
– I thought the girlfriend of the Keller patient was going to turn out to be one of Leah’s former conquests when she recognised her. The story was actually more interesting than that. I wonder whether seeing Leah away from Serena has changed the minds of the people who thought she was a crazed stalker? She seemed rather nice here.
– When Bradley from EastEnders needed his brain operation and Dominic was telling him confidently that ‘our neuro team’ would sort him out I was thinking who’s that, then? Roxanna is dead, Gaskell’s in Lisbon and when we last heard of Selfie he was at home watching Blue Planet with Oliver Valentine (on Thursdays at least).
– The Fletch and Jac will they/won’t they – I’m really hoping it just fizzles out, because though they are great together, Sacha has just moved in with Jac and I don’t want him feeling like he’s a third wheel while Fletch and Jac play happy families. And Jac is a great mother to Emma and seems to get on with Evie, but coping with Mikey and the other Fletchlings? I can’t see it.
– Congratulations to everyone at Holby for winning the Inside Soap award for Best Drama Storyline for last year’s brilliant hospital shooting episode. Relive every tense moment in my blow-by-blow-account review of the episode here.
– And thank you to the BBC for mentioning the Holby book over the closing credits. It’s selling out fast (there are no copies left at the warehouse, so when current stocks sell out that’s it), so if you haven’t got yourself one yet, here’s where to get a copy.
(Series 20, ep. 41 ‘The Three Musketeers’ by Joe Ainsworth 9.10.18) For a full review of this episode, head over to Metro. Before you go, a few additional points:
– What a brilliant bit of acting from Marcus Griffiths as Xavier sat in the Linden Cullen Temple of Anguish (AKA the multi-faith room/prayer room/whatever). Holby actors seem to be very good at crying on demand. It must make them very tricky to live with.
– It was a nice outcome to find that Reg didn’t have dementia and wasn’t being beaten up by Alex, but had a treatable condition after all. Maybe he’ll get well enough to become a porter.
– Hanssen is holding himself together well, but Guy Henry is such a superbly subtle actor that you can see the emotion just under the surface. He’s channelling his love for Roxanna into caring for Gaskell, and when and if the story fully comes out about what he’s been up to – well, it’ll be a double blow and I honestly don’t know how Hanssen will start to cope with that.
– There’s definitely chemistry between Donna and Xavier. Is he the kind of man who’d be happy to have a girlfriend with two children, though? He’s always seemed a bit of a player, so we’ll have to see.
– There’s been a mixed reaction to Leah’s pursuit of Serena, and I can see why. If you’re very invested in the Berena relationship then it’s not easy to think of Serena even contemplating anyone else. Quite possibly she’s going to carry on rejecting Leah and be happy with her long-distance love, but it’s interesting to see her being tested. It also made for some very funny scenes, especially when Ric and Serena were inside the office and Leah was outside, fully aware that Serena was listening to everything she was saying.
– Scary Sue needs to be a regular character. Sometimes new people arrive on Holby and it takes a little while to work out who they are as characters. I feel like we already know Sue, thanks to the way the writers have brought her in and Angela Lonsdale’s funny, clever portrayal of her. And of course you can never have too many Sues.
The greatest gift of all (Picture: BBC)
(Series 20, ep. 40 ‘Inscrutable’ by Tony Higgins 2.10.18) Pop over to Metro for this week’s full review and a little extra piece about Jac and Sacha. Before you go, a few additional thoughts…
– I was so excited when Bob Barrett told me that Sacha was going to be moving in with Jac, because it was something both he and Rosie Marcel talked about when I met them last year for the Holby book. It seemed like quite a random idea at the time, but in the context of Sacha’s mental health problems (and Jac’s physical health problems) it really works. Jac really is kind when good friends need help – such as when she secretly financed Professor Hope’s Kibo project.
– I hope Scary Sue from ITU is going to be a regular character. As well as her having a brilliant name (obvs), I really liked her over-sharing northern personality.
– I liked Leah, too. Berena fans are possibly not best pleased at someone making a move on Serena, but Serena has always been a woman with needs. She’s resisting so far, but will her resolve be as strong come Christmas party time? I like that Leah has come to medicine a few years later on in life, so she’ll have a different angle on things from the usual F1s.
– Once again Hiran Abeysekera was really touching as Tyler, and his scenes with Bob Barrett were lovely.
– Hanssen kissing Roxanna’s hand! So absolutely heartbreaking.
– I knew Essie would blame herself for overdoing it with the alphabet board. I bet the Prof is happy he planted that little seed. Essie’s no fool, though, and once Meena and Hanssen have recovered a little, everyone is going to start joining the dots. I hope.