(Series 19, ep. 21) There was ninja-level acting in AAU this week, as Serena’s “what doesn’t kill you makes you a better F1” mentoring of Jasmine reached critical point. Catherine Russell showed yet again what a great range she has as an actor – there was no sign of cheeky, Shiraz-swilling Serena as grief for her daughter has made her more angry, upset and confused than she knows how to deal with. Some of her scenes were heartbreaking – especially the little moment when she looked at her sleeping patient and you knew she was picturing Elinor, her meltdown in front of all the staff and her speech to the counsellor at the end.
Lucinda Dryzek has also been excellent in this storyline. Jasmine’s whole body language has changed – she’s tired, worn down, stressed out. But you never lose the feeling of who she essentially is – the perky, lively, optimistic person who seems to be the opposite of her sister. 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. 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
(Series 19, ep. 15) There was luck for some and not so much for others in this episode. Fletch was the lucky one – he’s inherited a sum of money so large it had to be written on a piece of paper and not uttered aloud. This always happens on telly. I suppose it might be so the viewer can put their own figure on it – Noel Edmonds used to call £250,000 “a life changing sum of money” on Deal Or No Deal, and to me it would be but to Sir Paul McCartney probably not so much.
Anyway, I was squinting at the piece of paper Bernie was holding for Fletch and I thought it said £75,000, but whatever it was, it’s hopefully enough to stop Fletch having to get involved in crime in the future. It’s definitely enough to get new shoes for Mikey and his siblings, and possibly enough to enable them to move out of Di Lucca Towers. Who knows what house prices are like in Wyvernshire these days? Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 12) I know we’ve seen Elinor before, but once again well done to the people in casting for finding someone who actually looks like she could be related to Catherine Russell. I wonder if Serena was anything like Elinor when she was younger – in other words, a bit of a tiresome brat? Because it has to be faced, Elinor was teetering on the edge of being majorly annoying and I thought she quite deserved that whack on the head – if only for being a bit of a princess over the whole #Berena thing.
She wasn’t the only person with questionable views on AAU. Patient Tracey was suffering from pancreatitis and racism, and this led to Jasmine delivering a brilliant speech to her about the NHS. Of course, Serena couldn’t condone that kind of ranting behaviour in her junior staff – “But, off the record – well done.” Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 6) He’s been the egotistical brain surgeon that everyone loved to hate, or just simply hated. And as such, Guy Self has been a magnificent villain and possibly the most aptly named character ever. This Guy was all about himSelf: a smarmy super-ego who didn’t mind whose feelings were trampled over to get what he wanted.
And yet, by the end, I think everyone will have been pretty much rooting for him. Over the past few months, the writers and John Michie have been steadily filling in the blanks about Selfie’s past life that put his character and his actions into perspective. We’ve always known about his dead wife, and his sometimes fractured relationship with his daughter. Occasionally his treatment of Zosia has been cold and heartless, at other times he’s given her the support she needed, but it’s always been obvious that he loves her. Since we met his monstrous mother (and what a brilliant performance that was from Brigit Forsyth – it was a shame she was killed off so swiftly) and discovered his background of abuse, it’s been clearer why he acted like he did. He craved approval, and he only knew one path through life, which was through ambition and success. His template for being a parent was based on what his own parents had given him, and the loss of his wife had thrown him back on that as the only way he knew how to be. Continue reading