(Series 19, ep. 27) I always felt that the only possible satisfying conclusion of the Dominic/Isaac storyline would be for Dominic to find the strength to be the one to finally end it. I know that’s a very big ask for someone in an abusive relationship – Isaac has systematically undermined and isolated Dominic, making him doubt the reality of events and overlaying them with a twisted version (“That’s what grown-up love is… It’s scary”). Help was always going to be needed, and powerful help arrived this week in the form of Zosia, Essie, Sacha, Hanssen and Dominic’s old flame, Kyle (Alan Morrissey). With his gentle, loving, no-bullshit personality, Kyle was the perfect person to once again see through the fictions that Dominic creates. Hanssen said at the end that he regretted not acting sooner and more decisively, but actually his intervention was well-judged – he’d worked the situation out for himself but tried to empower Dominic to get help for himself. Continue reading
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(Series 19, ep. 26) It was one of those starts-at-(almost)-the-end episodes, and the start showed a panicking Bernie, flanked by Fletch and Jasmine, busting down the door to the roof (which was locked for the first time in its history)…
What had happened to Serena? Would we find her teetering on the edge of the parapet, or already in a messy mush in the car park? Would Bernie be in time?
Flashback twelve hours, which luckily for us had been condensed to just one hour. We found Serena “stuck on some hideous merry-go-round of blame and regret.” This could be construed as a general description of AAU on a good day, but it was all about Elinor’s death and Serena’s reaction to it, particularly in her treatment of Jasmine. It was also affecting her family – she said that even loving Bernie didn’t make her feel better, and she was so horrible to and around Jason that he wanted to move back in with his old carer, Alan. “I’m officially an out-of-control monster,” Serena said. She was still unable to address any of this properly until she almost hit Jasmine and Jac was there to (magnificently) intervene. Serena was summoned to see Hanssen, who was infinitely kind and understanding and said there was almost nothing he wouldn’t do to help her. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 25) Thank goodness for Ollie and Zosia and their little misunderstanding (did he sleep with Jasmine? Of course not. They didn’t even cuddle). It was soon sorted out, and he proposed to her in the grey area between the car park and the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery, with a Haribo ring. Sweets for the sweet! It was adorable and happy.
Earlier Matteo, speaking of a patient but also speaking Ollie’s brains, said that “Every egg has their egg cup.” Ollie might have found his egg cup, but Dominic sooo hasn’t found his. Isaac’s nastiness has escalated through low-level bullying to more sophisticated bullying, via infidelity and cruel/immoral/unethical behaviour with a man who became a patient – and has now turned into outright violence. The beating that he gave Dominic at the end of the episode was horrible to watch. Once again Marc Elliott played the iron fist in the velvet glove role of Isaac perfectly. Continue reading
(Series 19, ep. 24) If you’ve been knitting ickle baby things since last week, put away your knitting needles right now. Baby Zollie isn’t going to be happening any time in the near future, it seems. Being cautious about knitting was only the second lesson to be learned from the Darwin story line, though. Lesson one was to never leave your handbag carelessly stowed behind the nurses’ station (particularly as Darwin has no nurses to keep an eye on it).
Last week Zosia stood up to Isaac because she knows he hasn’t been treating Dominic well (this is an understatement, and it looks like things are about to get a lot worse). So Isaac set about eliminating that particular threat by messing things up between Ollie and Zosia, and when he discovered she’d apparently taken pills to end her pregnancy (after he rummaged in the aforementioned handbag for evidence), he had the ammunition. 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. 18) Hanssen was back, but he wasn’t wearing the tie of authority. he was wearing the open-necked shirt of civilian life. “Avante garde for the NHS,” according to Dominic. Hanssen wasn’t there as CEO, but as a patient’s relative. His son Fredrick (William Postlethwaite – son of Pete) had been in an accident, and needed surgery.
There was a strange drug in Fredrick’s system, the fictional Oxamorol, manufactured by Lovborg, the family business now run by Fredrick. It was a magic bullet for depression, according to Fredrick. Hanssen was devastated to think that he might have passed his own depression to his son.
The truth was actually even more devastating than that. Fredrick was using himself as a guinea pig to test the drug, which had already been shown to have nasty side effects including possible and actual death. He was willing to risk his own life, but also to cover up the negative trials that had already been done. And he didn’t even have depression, dismissing Hanssen’s condition as a weakness. Continue reading