(Series 20, ep. 48 ‘Hold My Hand’ by Robert Goldsbrough 27.11.18) Head over to Metro for my proper, grown-up review. But first, here are my random thoughts o’ the week.
– We know that Berenice Wolfe knows 13 different ways to kill with her bare hands, so Dr Leah Faulkner should perhaps watch out. Or should it be Serena who watches out, given that she’s the one being unfaithful?
– Is anyone getting behind the idea of Lerena, or is the whole idea of Serena and Anyone Who Isn’t Bernie just an abomination that can’t be contemplated?
– Hanssen was just lovely with his patient Maeve, wasn’t he? Sacha levels of niceness. I really hope he does take up the ‘poisoned chalice’ of the Desk of Power, not least because I want the decor in there returning to calming Scandinavian neutrals ASAP.
– Despite missing fingers, people barfing blood and deluded young men trying to half kill themselves for afterlife kicks, this was actually a nice, normal episode after all the Gaskell craziness. Doctors, nurses, sick people – and Jac Naylor, a doctor and a sick person at the same time.
– I genuinely am going to miss Dr Meena Chowdhury. I liked her entitled-princess-meets-harsh-reality story arc, the way she’s fragile and lonely but inside her there’s a core of sterner stuff.
– I’ve already seen next week’s episode and the one after that. My lips are entirely sealed and no amount of bribery or cajoling will unseal them. My Pulses Loyalty Card is depending on my silence (buy 15 muffins, get one muffin for 10% off. They don’t just give them away at Pulses).
(Series 20, ep. 46 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part Two’ by Andy Bayliss 13.11.18) This week’s review is over at Metro as usual. A few additional thoughts:
– This episode went total body-horror, with Jac having the awful and full knowledge that to get the dreaded implant out of her she had to place her life in the hands of a man she knew she couldn’t trust at all. It’s scary enough having surgery when you know the surgeon is sane and competent and has your best interests at heart, but Gaskell? Yikes. And you could see all of that playing across Jac’s face coupled with the absolute determination that she had no alternative.
– The sight of Lana’s body with open wounds in Gaskell’s lab was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen on Holby. I loved how for a few seconds Ric and Sacha couldn’t quite comprehend what they were seeing either. It was absolutely horrific.
– The line of the episode for me was the Professor saying that Essie was ‘lying down in a cold, dark room.’ If Hanssen hadn’t immediately chipped in to say that she had a headache, would other people have picked up on just how sinister that sounded?
– The showdown at the lake was quite epic. I liked the hallucinatory bits where Hanssen thought Gaskell was on the bank with him rather than being in the water. Hanssen’s struggle to overcome the effects of the neurotoxin and stay with reality was mirrored by his struggle to understand the full extent of what Gaskell had been doing – particularly when he realised that Gaskell had killed Roxanna.
– This whole storyline has been ambitious and brilliantly done. Gaskell was a bit sinister right from the get-go, but never went full mwah-hah-hah until right at the end. It’s been gruelling, though. Hopefully there’ll be some lighter storylines coming up in the run-up to Christmas. After all this (admittedly brilliant) drama and horror we could do with a bit of sparkle, some romance, and a very large glass of Shiraz.
(Series 20, ep. 45 ‘Report to the Mirror, Part One’ by Andy Bayliss 6.11.18) As usual, you can see my full review of the episode over at Metro. I do have a couple of extra thoughts though, before you go.
– Jac’s description of her implant, ‘It cracks, it creaks… it throbs and it pulses.’ How on earth has she concentrated on surgery and stuff with all that going on inside her? Yikes.
– Abigail Tate disappeared without much ceremony, didn’t she? So Henrik Hanssen, the former CEO who’s still suffering all types of post-traumatic stress, takes it upon himself to pick up his old job where he left off. This is what moral compasses do. I hope he restores his office decor back to its former serene splendour ASAP though.
– Wasn’t Sacha lovely with Zav’s mum? Isn’t Sacha lovely generally? The world needs to Be More Sacha.
– It looks like the Gaskell story is coming to a huge climax next week (clip here). Will we be left with a Mr Nasty vacuum after that? Is that why Selfie’s coming back, to plug the villain gap?
(Series 20, ep. 44 ‘The Family You Choose’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 30.10.18) This week’s in-depth review can be found over at Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts.
– That lift dropping gave me the horrors. I have actually been in this situation in the Empire State Building of all places – the lift dropped from the 80-something floor to the 60-something with me, Mr H and Ms H and assorted other tourists inside. As soon as we pressed the panic button for assistance the display changed to floor 2 – probably so we didn’t panic. I panicked anyway, but I’m British so I did it quietly and passive-aggressively (this was mainly directed at the group of French teenagers who thought it might be fun to jump up and down while we waited).
– I’ve also been stuck in a lift very briefly at ITV in London. If I’m going to be stuck in a lift it must be at a prestige location.
– I’m very much enjoying the little bromance between Jason and Xavier. And Jules Robertson has been doing brilliant work with Jason’s character. His comic timing is wonderful.
– Halloween and Frieda were made for each other, really, and today’s outfit was perfect for the occasion while not frightening the patients. And I loved Frieda’s reaction to news of the lift dropping: ‘How exhilarating.’
– It seems that Jac and Fletch isn’t going to happen, which is good news as far as Team Joseph & Jac 4 Eva (i.e. me) is concerned. But my goodness, Rosie Marcel and Alex Walkinshaw are incredible together. That scene where he was talking about a parallel universe, you could almost hear this universe holding its breath for a minute or two. Stunning work.
– The actual lift plummet situation looked far more dramatic on the autumn trailer than it did in the episode, but it was an interesting way to get various story strands spread over more people, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the consequences in the coming weeks. Possibly Meena will now start to join the dots more about Gaskell and the come-uppance he so richly deserves will be heading his way. Or not.
– Quick plug for the Holby book. It genuinely is almost sold out everywhere and there won’t be any more, so if you’ve been thinking it’s a perfect Christmas gift idea it’s best not to hang around (unless you want a soggy second-hand one from eBay).
(Series 20, ep. 43 ‘Too Good To Be True’ by Gerard Sampaio 23.10.18) I’ve reviewed this episode in lingering detail over at Metro, but before you go to have a look please bear with me while I waffle on about a few additional things.
– Serena’s blouse. While I applaud a bold colour choice, I don’t think lime green is really her. It might look different on a big telly, but when I was watching the preview on my laptop screen it was making her hair look a bit greenish too. That could be just my laptop or my eyesight, I suppose.
– I thought the girlfriend of the Keller patient was going to turn out to be one of Leah’s former conquests when she recognised her. The story was actually more interesting than that. I wonder whether seeing Leah away from Serena has changed the minds of the people who thought she was a crazed stalker? She seemed rather nice here.
– When Bradley from EastEnders needed his brain operation and Dominic was telling him confidently that ‘our neuro team’ would sort him out I was thinking who’s that, then? Roxanna is dead, Gaskell’s in Lisbon and when we last heard of Selfie he was at home watching Blue Planet with Oliver Valentine (on Thursdays at least).
– The Fletch and Jac will they/won’t they – I’m really hoping it just fizzles out, because though they are great together, Sacha has just moved in with Jac and I don’t want him feeling like he’s a third wheel while Fletch and Jac play happy families. And Jac is a great mother to Emma and seems to get on with Evie, but coping with Mikey and the other Fletchlings? I can’t see it.
– Congratulations to everyone at Holby for winning the Inside Soap award for Best Drama Storyline for last year’s brilliant hospital shooting episode. Relive every tense moment in my blow-by-blow-account review of the episode here.
– And thank you to the BBC for mentioning the Holby book over the closing credits. It’s selling out fast (there are no copies left at the warehouse, so when current stocks sell out that’s it), so if you haven’t got yourself one yet, here’s where to get a copy.
I see Roxanna! (Picture: BBC)
(Series 20, ep. 42 ‘Stains’ by Patrick Homes 16.10.18) For this week’s review click over to Metro, but before you go here are a few random thoughts:
– Donna and Zav – is ‘Zonna’ ever going to be a Thing, do you think, or are they just going to continue having these Moments? When he told Alex that she was in her late thirties with two sprogs and she didn’t need the likes of either of them, I think he was speaking more about his own insecurity. Or is he really a twonk?
– Hurrah for Sacha and his clear-sighted assessment of Prof Gaskell, and having the balls to tell him to his face. At least there’s one person at Holby who doesn’t subscribe to the Cult of Gaskell. Sadly Hanssen seems just as far away from learning the truth as ever. What’s it going to take to expose the Prof’s crimes? Or will it go undetected and poor Roxanna will have died in vain? Surely that can’t happen?
– Essie was getting very judgemental about that murderer patient, wasn’t she? Particularly when you remember the rather ugly history of her own grandfather. Then she went and told Hanssen what a genius Gaskell is and completely threw him off the scent. Oh, Essie! Not your finest week.
– When the murderer asked Gaskell to kill him and Gaskell didn’t, it shows that he does have ethics – but in Roxanna’s case ethics were over-ridden by the necessity to keep his trial going, come what may. If I’m being kind I might call him a ‘bigger picture’ kind of guy.
– When Steven was talking confidently about nits to Jac, and Fletch said Steven had never so much as been near him with a nit comb when he was a kid, I thought Steven’s life-changing secret was going to be that he had a secret other family somewhere that Fletch never knew about and he’d spent many years happily examining his children’s heads for lice in a way he’d never done with Fletch.
– An insight into the writer’s thinking: episode writer Patrick Homes (@PatrickHomes) tweeted yesterday ‘Tonight’s episode of #holbycity was written listening to Pixies “Where is My Mind” on an endless loop. It may or may not show…’
The greatest gift of all (Picture: BBC)
(Series 20, ep. 40 ‘Inscrutable’ by Tony Higgins 2.10.18) Pop over to Metro for this week’s full review and a little extra piece about Jac and Sacha. Before you go, a few additional thoughts…
– I was so excited when Bob Barrett told me that Sacha was going to be moving in with Jac, because it was something both he and Rosie Marcel talked about when I met them last year for the Holby book. It seemed like quite a random idea at the time, but in the context of Sacha’s mental health problems (and Jac’s physical health problems) it really works. Jac really is kind when good friends need help – such as when she secretly financed Professor Hope’s Kibo project.
– I hope Scary Sue from ITU is going to be a regular character. As well as her having a brilliant name (obvs), I really liked her over-sharing northern personality.
– I liked Leah, too. Berena fans are possibly not best pleased at someone making a move on Serena, but Serena has always been a woman with needs. She’s resisting so far, but will her resolve be as strong come Christmas party time? I like that Leah has come to medicine a few years later on in life, so she’ll have a different angle on things from the usual F1s.
– Once again Hiran Abeysekera was really touching as Tyler, and his scenes with Bob Barrett were lovely.
– Hanssen kissing Roxanna’s hand! So absolutely heartbreaking.
– I knew Essie would blame herself for overdoing it with the alphabet board. I bet the Prof is happy he planted that little seed. Essie’s no fool, though, and once Meena and Hanssen have recovered a little, everyone is going to start joining the dots. I hope.