(Series 14, ep.51) Have you noticed how people on TV have really tidy desk drawers? Typically the top drawer of any given TV desk will contain a few sheets of paper and One Thing important to the character or plot. If the character is an alcoholic, the One Thing will be a bottle of whisky. If they’re a bit dodgy, it’ll be a gun. If they’re worried they might be pregnant, it will be a pregnancy test in a large pink box. If they’ve recently removed a huge nail from their own abdomen, it’ll be a suture kit. But more of that later.
This episode had been hotly anticipated. The trailers looked tense – Hanssen kidnapped in the back of a van in the hospital car park by the son of the late Nice Mr Mooney, crazed with grief and after retribution. There were bottles of inflammable liquids and a lighter. There was a nasty-looking nail gun. But in the end, that part of the story wasn’t very tense at all, because for tense you need someone who’s looking scared, and Hanssen was as cool as could be. Little George Binns was flying the flag for “tense” and “scared” elsewhere, though. Continue reading
(Series 14, ep.47) So the non referral policy is over and everything’s right with the world, yes? Actually, no. The shadow of the death of Nice Mr Mooney hung over everyone in this episode. Little George Binns was keen to lay the blame at the door of Michael Spence, who has a history of being maverick and so on. Michael has responded to adversity the best way he knows how – by letting his beard grow again (hurrah!) and by being ever more maverick, sending referrals up to Keller like it’s going out of style.
All these patients turning up at Keller’s door made Chrissie even more tense and irritable than usual. You’d think living with Sacha would make her all mellow and cuddly and want to make jam and bake sponge cakes (or is that just my reaction to Sacha?), but she’s been quite the bitch recently. She was particularly horrible to the angelic Chantelle this week. We know how Chantelle operates, though. She just pushes through with her niceness agenda – because she genuinely just is nice – and everyone ends up smiling in a twinkly way at her by the end of the episode. Even hard cases like Chrissie and Serena. Continue reading
(Series 14, ep.46) Little pen-pushing, calculator-prodding George Binns has been in need of a bit of lesson-learning. You know, the kind of lesson where patients cease to be statistics and you find yourself with your face shoved up against the grim reality of death.
Trust Michael Spence to take that quite literally. If I’d had a tiny American flag to hand, I’d have waved it merrily at the end of this episode, when our favourite tight-trousered surgeon decided he’d had enough nonsense from Little George Binns for one lifetime and frogmarched him through the hospital to show him exactly what the non-referral policy had meant in terms of human suffering, as embodied by guest artiste David Troughton, a nice man who ended up dying despite Michael’s best efforts to find him a bed. George had been getting rather above himself (not difficult, as he’s only about five feet tall) during the episode. When Michael started to leave a pointless managerial seminar early, Little George had a bit of an edge to him when he said, “I wouldn’t miss it… if I were you.” It was only a matter of time before someone punched him. The thought did cross my mind, “Where’s Joseph Byrne when you need him?” but I think that most weeks anyway. As it turned out, Michael rose to the occasion magnificently. I do love Michael when he’s full of righteous indignation. Continue reading
(Series 14, ep.45) Much of the episode revolved around Michael Spence’s attempts to convince Tiny George Binns that AAU was brilliant and efficient and that, but the non-referral scheme just doesn’t work. All he succeeded in doing was convincing Tiny George Binns that AAU was brilliant etc and the non-referral scheme worked beautifully and needed keeping. Bummer, as Michael Spence might say. George Binns is very amusing. He reminds me of Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2 – I keep expecting someone to suddenly clap heir hands to their cheeks in horror and yell, “We forgot George!”
As suspected last week, Best Nurse Eddi McKee has been trying to get over Dr Luc Hemingway by succumbing to the dubious charms of Dr Max “Wolfie” Schneider. I still find Wolfie visually appealing, but as a character he’s got nothing else to recommend him and frankly Eddi is showing all the taste and discernment of Early Chrissie – ie none. Oh, Luc, come back soon, please.
Dr Tara Lo was living on caffeine tablets to try and keep up with Jac Naylor’s demands. Jac wasn’t even there, but she’d left Tara with a mountain of work and a fear of failure to add to her usual work ethic and desperate need to please. It’s a powerful combination and something had to give. The thing was Tara, who ended up fainting and knocking a locker over. Oli was concerned, but Tara shrugged it off and then attempted to show just how perky and competent she was by attempting to take an arterial blood gas without the supervision of Oli or Elliott. Luckily, the patient didn’t die, though he did bleed like a stuck pig for a while. Adorably, Oli was going to take the blame – how contrary to his usual mode of behaviour – but all was well that ended well when Tara redeemed herself by spotting her patient had been full of cocaine.
On Keller, Chantelle proved for the umpteenth time that despite being sunny and cheerful and a bit ditzy sometimes, she’s a damn good nurse. Heartwarming etc, because I do love Chantelle, but I think we got that particular message a while back.
Next time: Michael takes drastic action; Serena clashes with Ric; and Jonny tries a bit of matchmaking for Mo.
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(Series 14, Ep.44) Oh, Mo. Hardly any time at all since she gave birth to someone else’s baby, and she was back at work. Ignoring the fact that she had puerperal mastitis, was in pain and her hormones were in shreds, she battled in to work with her very best “I’m a tough cookie, me” head on to look after a cheese enthusiast who’d had a heart attack. Because the cheese enthusiast had blood that wasn’t suitable to use a bypass machine with (must’ve been all the cheese), Mo had to operate on him while his heart was still beating.
This would be pressure enough for the average person, without also knowing that the baby they gave birth to and haven’t seen since is now called William and is currently in the very same hospital. Mo went to pieces slightly in the operating theatre, and had a heart to heart with Jonny afterwards. “They’re not tears,” she told him, “They’re liquid hormones.” It really works that Jonny is around. Because he’s known Mo a long time he sort of puts her into context, because he understands her like no-one else in the hospital does.
Inevitably, Mo went to visit the baby. Inevitably, it was heartbreaking, but like the birth scenes a few weeks ago it was subtle and not overdone. She held the baby and said hello and told him he was beautiful. Then the baby sneezed and it was a genius piece of acting from Chizzy Akudolu. She said, “Bless you!” while she was smiling and crying at the same time. It was tender and spontaneous and absolutely, heartbreakingly real. Continue reading