(Series 23, ep. 34 by Ciara Conway 23.11.21) I’ve applied my usual critical lens to this episode for Metro, but before you go to read that…
I liked the visual effects that showed us some of what was going on in Ollie’s mind in that operating theatre. It was genuinely unsettling.
It wasn’t just visual effects, though. James Anderson has been so good at revealing different sides to Oliver as his Holby story has unfolded. From the cocky, confident junior doctor, to the more mature version shaped by the loss of his sister, to his current incarnation all of the versions of Oliver Valentine have been believable. Like Jac Naylor, he’s the product of all the stories that have gone before.
And of course Guy Henry tapped into the very deep sadness at the heart of Henrik Hanssen.
Which brings me once again to thinking how absolutely terrible it is that this programme is being axed.
Back to tonight’s episode, and Dominic’s storyline was really interesting. I liked that it was never suggested that Dominic was actually racist, but his attitude to Tianna was carelessness based on what Max identified as ‘unconscious biases.’
So sad to hear that Carole didn’t recognise him, too. No wonder he wasn’t firing on all cylinders.
He learned his lesson, though, and so did Ange. Josh doesn’t need or want to be mother-smothered.
(Series 23, ep. 30 by Ed Sellek 26.10.21) Please pop over to Metro to read the full review of this episode. But before you do that…
So Hanssen enjoys the music of Kano and Stormzy? Not surprising for a man who also enjoys playing the theremin. ‘I’ve always liked music, haven’t I?’
Line of the week: (Madge): ‘Valentine!’ (Ollie) ‘It’s Mr Valentine, or Oliver, or Ollie.’ (Madge) ‘Jac said shouting “Valentine” is what works.’
I said last week that Josh should tell Ange about his eating disorder because she’d be really understanding. I still think she would be, but Josh’s reasons for not telling her also make perfect sense and fit with how he sees himself as the one who has to protect her and the twins.
I really think Max was very unfair on Kylie. She did nothing wrong, and if anyone was at fault it was the nurse who left without writing down that he’d already given Lucky her medication.
Let’s hope it doesn’t drive a wedge between Louis and Max, because they’ve only just got back on good terms. Or between Louis and Kylie, because they’re lovely.
(Series 23, ep. 23 by Andy Bayliss 7.9.21) Another week when you might have to pick yourself off the ceiling before heading over to Metro to read my review (which says it’s spoilers in the title but it isn’t if you’ve seen the episode). But first…
When Cameron realised he was in AAU he was frantic to get back to Darwin, presumably because that ward is a nice long way away from the bomb. But then he told Bernie that he planned to die in the blast, rather than go back to prison. Was it just for Bernie’s sake that he wanted to be on Darwin? Or did he want to see Chloe?
He is a superbly vindictive character, though.
But what was Bernie thinking, hiding out in Spain for a year with Serena and not letting her jailbird son know she was still alive?
And how long has Hanssen known?
Josh’s nerves when Ange was having her procedure were so real it was making me tense – even more tense than the knowledge that there was a bomb in the basement. I hope nothing has happened to Ange and the twins because I couldn’t bear Josh to be upset.
It would be quite nice if a bit of falling masonry hit Jeni, though.
Line of the week: (Bernie) ‘I was shot. Captured. Rescued.’ (Cameron) ‘Sorry to hear that.’
Line of the week 2: (Chloe operates on Cameron) ‘We could just cut his pulmonary artery, do everyone a favour. I’m kidding.’ She wasn’t kidding.
Line of the week 3: (Bernie) ’Serena was the only person I could face.’ (Cameron) ’Because she’s too drunk to care?’
Line of the week 4: (Hanssen finds the bomb) ‘It’s real.’
(Series 23, ep. 8 by Isla Gray 25.5.21) My review is over at Metro, so please go and have a look. But before you do that…
Line of the week: There was some tough talk from the women in tonight’s episode, so it’s a draw between Ange’s ‘Show me your stoma bag!’ and Max’s ‘Having my breasts cut off can wait.’
But Dominic’s defenestration of Sacha also deserves a mention for its sheer nerve: ‘Ever since Essie passed, he’s changed. He’s become reckless and if he’s able to do that to me, who knows what else he’s capable of?’ Speak for yourself, love.
Dominic, though. His face as Sacha was saying he was pleased they were putting their troubles behind them made me think, ‘That man is up to something.’ But throwing Sacha so comprehensively under a bus – was that really his plan the whole time?
Hanssen gave him the job rather easily. Ange was casting doubt on his whole story, so Hanssen should at least have been a bit hesitant. And I know there’s a shortage of senior staff at the moment, but surely Ange could be redeployed to Keller and Max could take over AAU?
What we really need is Serena or Ric to return. We need some grown-ups at that hospital as Hanssen’s judgment has gone temporarily AWOL.
Where did Treve Harding pop up from? And did the writers borrow the name from Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge, who plays Josh?
Is it just me who wants to scream every time Lucky Simpson rattles a pill bottle at Kian?
And if Kian’s stupid behaviour gets Evie into danger he’ll have me to answer to as well as Fletch.
(Series 23, ep. 7 by Davey Jones 18.5.21) For a review of this episode please look at Metro. But before you go…
All the prizes must go to Guy Henry. In what has been a massively harrowing storyline his performance has been outstanding. His body language as he went to Lucky’s office at the end almost told the whole story by itself – shame, revulsion, secrecy, fear, concealment, but finally the realisation that he needed to save himself and he was worth saving.
Josh is also a rather remarkable man and reacted to knowing Hanssen’s secret with a lot of maturity and understanding. ‘Big boys don’t cry, right?’ was a perfect thing to say.
And Lucky was also very good with her analogy that just as a broken leg was able to heal, a damaged mind could also get better with the right help.
I’m probably not as bothered that Kian has to lie bleeding on the ground in the car park for a week than I would have been if it was Sacha. I feel like Kian has brought all his misfortunes on his own head.
Which is not the case for Dominic. Yes, he’s been bratty and selfish recently, but I feel like he’s had good reason and it’s been realistic in the context of his character and what he’s been through over the years. But I’m hopeful he might be ready to move forward with his life now.
I like how Holby with Mary the bus driver’s story and Casualty with Marty’s mum’s story have highlighted how women’s symptoms often differ from men’s.
It was lovely to have Jason back. It would be doubly lovely to have “Auntie Serena” back too. Everybody loved her, you know.
And how adorable to have a Fletchling working in Pulses.
(Series 23, ep. 1 by Patrick Homes 6.4.21) My proper review is over at Metro and I kindly invite you to please go and have a look. But not before I’ve shared a few random thoughts with you…
Sahira has always come across as thick as mince, and her refusal to contemplate that Hanssen might be telling the truth is another example.
Though to be fair to her, she’s had a lifetime of the sort of manipulation and gaslighting that Hanssen experienced from Reyhan, so she’s a victim of that nasty man too, in a different way.
Fletch was absolutely adorable, doing what Fletch does best – taking kind, calm control of a situation.
It’s really good to see Guy Henry getting some serious stuff to do on Holby, and it’s similarly excellent to have Louis in the middle of a storyline of his own that’s complex and emotional and brings up some of the issues that trans people are currently facing. His history with Vicky Turner and the lengths he’ll go to put that right is really interesting.
I’m not loving the Josh and Ange storyline, though. I didn’t even enjoy it as comic relief.
And Kian and his (yawn) drugs (yawn) problem?
But what was Lucky doing at the operating theatre observation window telling Kian – in front of Chloe and presumably an anaesthetist at least – that he wasn’t to touch a patient until he’d ‘gone for a tinkle.’ Does Lucky not have to maintain any patient confidentiality?
Line of the week: (Max’s mum isn’t impressed by Ange’s appearance) ‘Consultant? You look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards. We had a name for girls with morning hair like that.’
(Series 22, ep. 44 by Lydia Marchant 30.3.21) Pop yourself over to Metro to read my in-depth probe of this episode. But before you do…
My heart was practically broken by Louis’s message to Nicky: ‘I should have fought harder for you.’ But there were so many reasons why he didn’t and couldn’t. I would like to think that their friendship will continue away from the cameras (yes, I know they’re fictional, but they can be my invisible friends any time they like).
But it seems from what Vicky was saying that Louis stole some money from her. I’m choosing to believe that Louis is good and kind and true, though, until I have explicit proof otherwise.
Ange and Josh is all sorts of problematic, though. Yes, I know he was a more than willing participant to proceedings, but Ange is his head of department and he’s a junior doctor. If it had been a male doctor requesting the ‘healing touch’ from a female F1 I think it would have been viewed very differently.
Ninja-level acting from Guy Henry when he told Sahira what had happened with her father. The scenes between Hanssen and Reyhan were superbly acted and written. Reyhan revealed all the tricks and gaslighting that had allowed him to abuse a young Hanssen in the first place, and Hanssen later tried to use what power he now has to make sure Reyhan isn’t in a position to abuse again, by saying he shouldn’t work any longer and should really be in residential care. The only residential care he should be in is prison, but it took seeing Abs in potential danger to make Hanssen realise he couldn’t keep quiet about what had happened to him.
Dominic doesn’t really have any friends left, does he? Donna has previously been really kind and supportive to him, but him taking the credit for her work was a step too far. While I find the ‘vengeful Dominic’ storyline interesting, I really miss the comedy and lightness that Dominic can bring to Holby, so I hope he’s not going to be nasty for too long. I want scenes like these between Sacha and Dominic.
(Series 22, ep. 37 by Ciara Conway 10.2.21) My full review is over at Metro so please have a look, but before you go…
Sahira Shah is back! But she’s no longer a registrah, she’s a clinical lead. This doesn’t rhyme as well, but it’s certainly a step up for her career-wise.
On her previous appearances on Holby she amazed everyone by pioneering heart surgery in caravans in Tesco’s car park, or something like that. And she did a lot of crying.
I was convinced that Hanssen was in love with her (though Guy Henry himself told me he didn’t think it was a romantic sort of love between them) so I’m quite interested to see what may or may not develop between them this time. Especially as we heard that she’s getting divorced from husband Rafi.
I would love to see Hanssen in a romance scenario, mainly because I just can’t picture it at all.
Now might be the best time to do it though, because socially distant wooing is probably exactly Hanssen’s thing.
At least it’s something for him to do apart from shepherding his F1s from one ward to the next before disappearing, which has been his main function recently.
I didn’t expect the Jodie baby twist – when Sacha was failing to find a heartbeat I was convinced it was because there wasn’t one. I felt genuinely sorry for her – she’s so vulnerable.
But that car crash! Is she dead? Is Dominic dead? Dominic had better not be dead…
I’m looking forward to seeing more of Kylie, not least because of her lovely accent.
To celebrate, let’s look back at some key Hanssen moments.
1. The new CEO arrived in October 2010 and assembled everyone in the stairwell to tell them it was “time for change.” In my review of that episode I wrote, ‘He is a fabulous addition to the cast – an arrogant surgeon in the mould of Anton Meyer and Nick Jordan, he oozes around the hospital ever so elegantly dropping bombs of unease and discord wherever he goes.’
2. The Looming. He’s tall, is Hanssen. You’d think you would see him coming from quite some distance, but he has a way of surprising and disturbing people by looming up behind them when they least expect it, such as this fine example from May 2012: ‘Hanssen Loom of the Week came quite early on in the episode, when Jac was briefing the staff about the paperless workplace. “When was this decided? Does Hanssen know?” Elliott asked her. “I should think so,” said Jac. “Since he’s standing behind you.” People, when will you learn? Hanssen is always standing behind you.’ Continue reading →