(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
(Series 19, ep. 5) The very first scene was an unconscious Tristan (frankly, that’s the best kind of Tristan) bleeding all over a passport. Then a flashback to 24 hours earlier.
Despite the episode being called ‘Song of Self, Part One,’ Selfie didn’t do any actual singing. He might have been in the mood for singing to begin with – his Self Centre was about to be built (would they have to flatten the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery to create space for it? Surely not! Serena’s mum’s ashes are there) and the future was looking rosy. He even told his support group that he was finished with them now, because with his Self Centre he wasn’t Nothing or No-one any more.
At the heart of the episode, the story got very dark indeed. Tristan’s nasty side turned out to be far nastier than anyone had suspected. Jemima, back in the hospital after she’d been run over trying to run away from Tristan, was discovered to be pregnant. And Selfie deduced that she was pregnant because Tristan had raped her. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 3) That was such a dense episode – “dense” in the sense of there was a lot packed into it, rather than it was stupid, which it certainly wasn’t.
Much of it centred on Henrik Hanssen, which is always a marvellous thing. In this case, though, it led to him taking a period of “gardening leave,” which isn’t a good thing, because it means he won’t be around for a while. He’s drafted in Ric Griffin to deputise, because Holby needs its moral compass. “When will you be back?” Ric asked Hanssen. “When you most need me, I imagine,” was the response, which was a fabulous reply because it already has me thinking of some future episode when everything is looking dire and dreadful, and suddenly – there he’ll be, looming and magnificent in a nice suit, to save the day. I also loved what Simon Harper said on Twitter: “Hanssen is Aslan to Holby’s Narnia, he comes and goes and sometimes has other lands to attend to.” Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 1) There was another glimpse of Digby in the pre-titles ‘previously’ section. We aren’t being allowed to forget his sweet face, and I love it that his death is still affecting the characters into this new series.
The return of Michael Malone (Andy Lucas), who was the person who was going to get the experimental stent before Zosia manoeuvred to let Digby have it, was always going to be tough for Zosia. Every week I’m growing to admire Camilla Arfwedson more and more as an actress. Her face is like a landscape over which you see patterns of sunshine and clouds moving constantly. When she spoke about Digby to Michael Malone (“He was my best friend and I wasn’t there when he needed me”) it was such a sad scene. Then, in Michael’s dying moments, she wheeled his bed out to the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, and I doubt whether the Shrubbery has ever seen anything more poignant in its varied life. Zosia’s face as she sat under the tree, and the way she tucked the blankets around Michael after he died, made me cry. Again. How many tears can Digby’s death wring out of me? As for poor Zosia, I’m very worried for her. I just hope Ollie comes good and looks after her, because I rather love the way he says her name, like it tastes delicious in his mouth. Continue reading