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Holby City: Fighting the right fight at the right time

(Series 19, ep. 22) Jac and Jasmine seem like chalk and cheese, but it was no coincidence that the day of this episode was supposed to be their mother’s birthday. The legacy of Paula lives on in both of them. They both push themselves ridiculously hard in order to prove that they’re worth love, or respect or – well, just worth their place in the world. In Jac’s case she has a core of steel and the independence borne of having to more or less bring herself up. Jasmine, who had a lot more contact with the toxic Paula, tries hard both in work and (unlike Jac) to get people to like her, makes some bad decisions due to her inexperience, and then blunders on into more mistakes. It just occurred to me that what a person like that needs in a mentor is someone calm, wise and relaxed. Someone like Elliot Hope.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Sons and daughters

hanssen-fredrick-holby(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

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Holby City: Bleak hospital

serena-holby(Series 19, ep. 17) Ooh, but this was a dark episode. The AAU and Keller stories were difficult and gloomy, with some of our favourite characters going through horrible times, with Darwin providing a bit of welcome light relief.

It started with a Serena voice-over, sorting people into lions, lambs and shepherds. This came from an essay Elinor had been writing before she died, and later in the episode we heard it again, with both Serena’s and Elinor’s voices speaking together, which was a spooky kind of effect.

Serena was looking for someone to blame for Elinor’s death. Just like she pointed the finger at Chantelle when Adrienne had a stroke, another sunny junior was in the firing line this time – Jasmine. And, to be fair, perhaps if Jasmine had been more experienced and more mature she might have spotted that Elinor had a problem earlier. That almost isn’t the point, though. It’s more about Serena’s need for control, to impose some order on a world that’s just been turned on its head. This was underlined by the presence of recurring guest character Lexy – the vicar with the Herzig heart who seems to bob up at moments of crisis. The crisis this time was her own – her husband was involved in a car accident and later died, prompting Lexy to question her faith. She was also someone for Serena to get cross with.  Continue reading

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Holby City: Teabag of truth

mo-holby(Series 19, ep. 16) The thing that shocked me the most about this episode was finding out that the mythical HR department actually exists. We saw it! Although, thinking about it, we only saw the glossy facade and Mo never actually went in, so it could have just been a hallucination caused by sleep deprivation.

The reason Mo was hallucinating the HR department was that she and Mr T had a plan to go to Gothenburg for a year with the baby. Mo would be putting her career on hold for a life of smorgasbord and bilingual mother and baby groups.

That was never going to fly with Jac Naylor, who employed the strategy she used so effectively with Zosia – pretend someone is completely replaceable and not needed at all, until they realise that there’s no place like Holby and cancel their foolish plans.  Continue reading

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Holby City: From the head down

hanssen-holby(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

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Holby City: Hero syndrome

digby holby(Series 18, ep. 20) No news about Ric and the pain in his side this week. He was briefly glimpsed and he seemed healthy enough – no sign of a “Nnngh!” So maybe he’s fine after all.

Or maybe, if his cancer has come back, it’s just been parked for a while as the ever-circling poo bird of fate prepares to drop its load on poor Digby.

While having a blood test to see if he could donate a bit of his liver to Morven’s dad, Digby took his top off in case he barfed down it. Essie didn’t think to hand him a cardboard sick bowl, because she was too busy staring at his manly physique a mole on his back.  Continue reading

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Casualty: Dixie and Ethan figure it out

casualty(Series 30, ep. 21) Casualty and Holby are both very good at giving great send-offs to beloved characters, and this episode was no exception. But which beloved character was being sent off?

ethan casualtyThere was a choice of two. Disillusioned Ethan, who resigned last week, seemed the obvious choice, but this week found him already wavering in his disillusionment. Dr Lily Chao pleaded with him to stay (he’s her best and only friend, plus he’s a top quality doctor). When that didn’t work she got Connie Beauchamp to concoct a story that she’d already found a replacement. This forced his hand a little, and he realised that he wouldn’t be happy anywhere else. Not even AAU.  Continue reading

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