(Series 16, ep.8) This week we got to know more about Guy Self (or “Selfie” as he’s never called, but he should be). He lost his wife, which knocked his surgical confidence for a bit, but now he’s back. And he likes Miles Davis.
Do we know this because he confided in Sacha over a lemon and poppy-seed muffin at Pulses? No, we know it because a former colleague of his has arrived in the form of Colette Sheward. She appeared like a terrifying amalgam of Sahira Shah the Registrah and Best Nurse Eddie McKee – briskly efficient, stroppy and northern like the latter, and apparently indispensable to the CEO like the former. Irritating, in other words.
Colette had brought a patient with her. He was a former patient of Selfie’s and only Selfie could cure him blah blah. Which he duly did, and Colette couldn’t wait to get on the phone to the hospital the patient was supposed to be treated at and gloat a bit. Selfie then offered her a job. “I’m nothing without you,” he bleated. But is he anything with her? We’ll have to wait and see, because I remain to be convinced about either of them. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.7) It was Malick’s farewell episode, and didn’t we just know it? He was given maximum opportunity to do all the classic Malick things – rush around going “Grrr,” shout at Digby, have an almighty strop, mess up a bit of surgery and try to worm out of it, and wrestle with his conscience about what kind of father he was to Jake. The only typical Malick thing that he didn’t get to do was have a steamy encounter in the locker room, but there was hardly time for any of that nonsense because he was so busy elsewhere.
It was actually all rather magnificent (apart from the sloppy one-handed chest drain incident – what happened to the standard cry of “We need some help in here”? And surely there’s a call button in the CT scanner room?). Since he damaged his hand, Malick has (understandably) been a tad immersed in self-pity, which has at times been fairly tedious to watch. By the end of this episode he’d recovered his mojo, but incorporated a few life lessons into it and become a humbler and wiser man. He’s The Malick again, but he’s Malick 2.0 – teacher, mentor, father. Ego restored and off to Sweden with his son and a James Brown soundtrack. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.4) Jonny and Bonnie. It just can’t happen. It rhymes, for a start, and it’s impossible to make into one of those portmanteau names – though I have come across “BJ” on Twitter, which is almost certainly meant to be rude. Because the main reason Jonny and Bonnie can’t happen is that it’s making The Glorious Jac unhappy, and anything that makes Jac unhappy makes me unhappy.
Bonnie (she’s nice, darn her, and pretty too) is no longer an agency nurse. She’s a full-time, fully paid-up staff member, although obviously that means less within the fluid staffing configurations of Holby City than it would almost anywhere else. She is also “stepping out” with Jonny Mac, a fact which got our Jac so rattled she made a too-deep incision during surgery. Obviously she’s Jac, so she saved the patient anyway and treated her to a most beautiful piece of post-operative Naylor sarcasm. When the (annoying new-agey) patient complained that Jac had done an open procedure instead of a laparoscopic one as promised, Jac replied, “This morning you were suffering pericardial effusion as a result of your own actions and now, as a result of mine, you can go back to shopping and having lunch.”
Jac is aware of how she appears to other people, though. “I’ve just been called grouchy,” she said to Mo. “On a good day, maybe,” Mo replied. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.27) Apparently Jing Lusi knew right from when she auditioned for the role of Tara Lo what the outcome for the character would be. This being the case, you have to applaud her and the writers for not taking the easy route of making Tara completely lovable, sympathetic and sweet (Chantelle, basically) so we’d be devastated by her departure.
Instead, Tara has often been spiky, self-absorbed, stubborn and annoying. Although undeniably beautiful and although the situation she was in evoked sympathy, it was hard to warm to her as a person (unless you were Ollie – which I’m going to spell that way from now on because Tara did). And still we were devastated by her departure.
The masterstroke in this episode was that we were given two different perspectives on Tara’s operation. There was the operation itself, which looked absolutely horrifying – equipment like a sterile and sanitised torture chamber and the stomach-churning notion of being awake while someone else is poking about in your brain. Tara was being kept happy and comfortable by drugs – she even initiated a singalong – so the situation was possibly even more traumatic for Oliver and for Tara’s mother, who had to stand by and watch. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.26) The Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery has never looked lovelier. Twinkly fairy lights, hearts and flowers festooned the shrubs and turned it into a little grotto of sparkly festivity. The bride looked radiant – she had flowers in her hair and was wearing a cute little furry cape (essential as the episode was apparently filmed in December). The groom looked dashing and handsome, if a tad nervous, and the fairy lights were reflected in his lovely blue eyes. Blessikins.
Who’d have guessed (without access to Twitter etc) at the start of the episode that the hour would end in the wedding of Dr Tara Lo and Dr Oliver Valentine? They weren’t even engaged at the beginning. The proposal wasn’t the most romantic of events, either. Tara needed a next of kin who wouldn’t refuse her request to donate her organs if/when she died, as her parents were opposed to That Sort of Thing. Oliver was not opposed, and, as he confessed to Jac later, loves Tara to bits, so he agreed. On the eve of her horrible and scary surgery, they decided to get married. “Keep the champagne to a minimum and make sure she gets an early night,” was the ominous message from Tara’s neurologist. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.24) Even to the casual observer, something is very wrong with Dr Tara Lo. When faced with Oli in his PJ’s asking “Why you aren’t coming back to bed?” what right-minded person would opt to stay with the textbooks instead?
That aside, she’s been exhibiting a few more symptoms recently. Little lapses of concentration, gaps in her memory, falling-over and so on. Then there was a recent MRI scan that showed her tumour had grown. She’s on strict instructions to report that sort of thing immediately to Hanssen, but she’s stubborn, driven, in denial etc, so she’s been ignoring it, with almost fatal consequences for her patients as we saw last week.
Something had to give, and what gave was Tara’s knees as she went crashing to the floor in the prayer room. It wasn’t a bout of religious fervour, it was some kind of tumour-related seizure. Luckily she was with a rather calm trainee monk, who didn’t bother shouting “Can we have some help in here?” but sat with her till she came round. Unluckily, the monk was a friend of Tara’s patient, who was in line for the experimental Herzig 3 artificial heart, and the monk didn’t think his friend should risk having the procedure. Persuade him not to have it, the monk said, and I won’t tell anyone about your fits. You could tell from this that he wasn’t exactly gold-standard monk material. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.22) The theme of parents and children ran through all three stories in last night’s Holby City, both for the patients and the staff.
In Darwin Jac found an ideal patient to practise her exciting Japanese surgery on. It quickly became obvious that the patient was less than ideal, as she had a phobia of hospitals after being in an accident in which her son died. Then it was discovered that she was pregnant, but it wasn’t until she was in theatre and the cry of “We’ve got a bleed!” went up, that Jac realised she’d taken some medication to make her miscarry, as she thought having a new baby was betraying her dead son.
All complex enough, but made even worse because Jac was suffering from severe pains herself and had to leave the operating theatre. She tried to pass it off as period pains, but Jonny Mac wasn’t buying that. “Come on,” he said, “You’re the woman that never blinks.” He’s actually wrong about that, as Jac has the most sarcastic blink I’ve ever seen. He was worried that the problem might be her remaining kidney, but Jac gave herself a quick ultrasound scan and ran the results (anonymously) past Serena, who said it was probably something gynaecological. Oh, typical. No sooner do we get Jac and Jonny happily back together – she even allowed him to be seen arriving at the hospital with her – and there’s a spanner in the works. Not literally, as that would have shown up on the ultrasound. Continue reading