(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 18, ep. 39) This was my favourite kind of Holby episode – there was a lightness of touch about the whole thing, with lots of funny dialogue. There were some lovely character combinations – Sacha in particular was beautifully used to bring out the sweeter and more human side of Jac, while appearing in his own story line that involved a hilarious scene with Ric.
Jac was suffering from the effects of being sprayed with nasty gas last week (this was the second of a two-parter), which was unfortunate timing because she had to do ground-breaking surgery on that hot-shot tennis player. No worries – Mr Oliver Valentine had been training for this moment and working his precious socks off for her, so he was ready. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 38) It was the hottest day since Holby records began, but before you cancel your scheduled holiday to Tenerife and book a static caravan in Holby instead, it actually didn’t look like fun. Everyone was irritable and fed up, and that was even before you throw in the added pressures of grief, heartbreak, jealousy and Jac Naylor.
For everyone who’d expected Dominic’s reaction to Arthur’s death to be totally heartbreaking, this was the episode that finally delivered that. He’s been holding everything in for a few weeks, talking to Arthur’s photo but not allowing himself to cry. That all changed when he seemed to get a message from “the other side,” via a patient who was in touch with the dead via the medium of flatulence. The message he received was to sail Arthur’s ship, a beautiful model of a sailing ship that Arthur had left incomplete. Continue reading
(Series 18, ep. 10) Carli Norris must be a brilliant actor. Fran Reynolds started her Holby life as a fun-loving, funny, caring person (I think I described her as “relatable”), friend of Essie, amusing thorn in Sacha’s side, always available for a bit of plain-speaking relationship advice whether it was asked for or not. And in the last couple of episodes I don’t think there’s been a character I’ve wanted to slap more – at least not since Sahira Shah left. To be so believable in both roles (as the same person) takes skill.
Character-wise, I suppose Fran’s fondness for Selfie should have rung alarm bells, but otherwise there was nothing to suggest that the mere sight of Jac Naylor would have her turning to the dark side so thoroughly. There’s obviously something behind it – there’s history between the two of them, which Jac is unaware of and which looks like becoming clear in the next episode. Continue reading
I asked you to give me a hand!
(Series 30, ep.10) Four things were going on in this episode:
– Dr Lily Chao’s mentoring of Dr Perky Pinky-Hair was rude, abrupt, spiteful, useless and borderline bullying (and I like Dr Lily Chao). Again.
– Dr Ethan Hardy and especially Dr Cal Knight were adorable with baby Matilda. Again.
– Nurse Jacob Masters was lumbering around the place getting all snarly and threatening with people (who admittedly deserved it). Again.
– And there was some business about a big fish.
The continuing storylines have inched further forward in the sense that Jacob is apparently about to exact some kind of vengeance on the man who shot him – who is a police officer, lest we forget. I have to say, I really don’t care.
And the presence of a Mysterious Vehicle at the end, just as Cal was having a bonding moment with baby Matilda, strongly hinted that Taylor or one of her representatives might be about to rain on Cal’s fatherly parade. I do care about this, because I like Cal as a character, and fatherhood has suited him (and it’s really suited Uncle Ethan), but frankly it would be more of a surprise if he got to keep the baby and raised her safely and happily. That’s the sort of thing that just never happens in a soap.
(Series 17, ep.48) When I say this episode was an absolute joy (as Nick Fisher episodes usually are), it wasn’t just because Selfie had to hold a live grenade for most of it. There was also the delicious banter between Mr Oliver Valentine and Dr Zosia March (“Makes my toes curl just thinking about it”), and Dr Dominic Copeland trying to maintain his perkiness between the twin difficulties of getting evils from Hanssen and having to deal with the world’s gloomiest (and funniest) man.
But first we’d best keep an eye on that live grenade. Ron (John Bowler), the husband of the recently deceased Milly, was wandering around the hospital carrying a Napoleonic era box (thank you, Digby) containing photos of his late wife. He wanted Selfie to see them, to see the woman Milly was and had been rather than a set of symptoms. Selfie proved to be a hard man to get to, what with being locked away in the ivory tower of the Self Centre. Adrian ‘Fletch’ Fletcher is an easier man to get to, because he wanders around previously unseen areas of the hospital exterior just for the purpose of finding upset people to be nice to. He’s been trained on Casualty, where they do a lot of that sort of thing. He’s kind and he’s lovely (Dr Raf Not-Smug adores him and the Fletchlings and wants them to stay forever at Not-Smug Towers) and he oozes empathy. So he said he’d bob up to the Self Centre and get Selfie to come down and talk to Ron. Continue reading