(Series 16, ep.6) “After the year I’ve had…” Chrissie kept complaining throughout this episode, and I think we were meant to sympathise with her and think, “Yes, Chrissie love, you have had a horrible year and you deserve to run off into the sunset with the most attractive American medic in the hospital.”
But instead of thinking about poor Chrissie’s breast cancer problems, and My Son Daniel’s traumatic bone marrow donation and Sacha’s deception re same, all I could think about was how horrible she’s been to Sacha. It was left to the ever-wonderful Jac to sum up the car crash that has been Sacha and Chrissie: “You sleep with him – you break his heart. You have his child – you break his heart. You literally beg him to marry you and you break his heart. And now you’ve even found a way to divorce him, yet still give him a little bit of hope so you can break his heart again.” It was all true, and Chrissie wandered through the episode being as smug, self-righteous and manipulative as she has been recently. 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 16, ep.2) Arthur Digby is my kind of guy. The kind of guy who’ll bring you breakfast in bed and then demonstrate the workings of your brain via the medium of a croissant. And he has the most beautiful smile.
Still feeling guilty and worried about Chantelle, he installed her in Keller so he could keep an eye on her and so she could be among her friends and other ill people. She also came in handy by deploying her legendary people skills on a lady who was not being the most cooperative patient, because she wanted to put off her surgery till the man of her dreams arrived for a night in a posh hotel. The woman’s niece and Digby thought this man was literally something from the old lady’s dreams, but Chantelle had faith that he’d turn up because she’s a romantic.
Later, when Digby suggested she move in with him, she accepted partly because she’s scared to be by herself at the moment, but there was more to it than that. When the old lady was talking about her dream man, Chantelle was overcome by emotion for a minute and had to have a little cry. She wants true love and romance and security. Whether Digby is the person to provide it remains to be seen, but for now she’s about to fill his no doubt unhomely home with cushions and fluffy items. He couldn’t be happier, bless him. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.1) You can imagine that Antoine Malick wouldn’t make a great patient even if it was only for something fairly trivial like an ingrown toenail. He’d be tetchy and stroppy and wouldn’t do as he was told.
Now factor in that he’s almost lost his hand and will only ever regain 85% of the movement in it at best, and you have to feel sorry for him, and maybe just as sorry for the people looking after him.
This comprised a crack team of new Queen of the Hospital Serena, Michael Spence, Digby and occasionally Ric Griffin. The episode opened with a strange dreamlike sequence in which the four of them were ranged at one side of a long table drenched in a heavenly light discussing the fact that Malick is only half the man he used to be.
Ric thought Malick needed counselling. “We have a very good counsellor,” he said, though who that might be now that Psych Sharon has gone is anybody’s guess. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.51) Talk about emotional rollercoaster! I don’t mean Serena’s birthday, though I dare say it’ll be one that she won’t forget – and she doesn’t even know (or care) about beloved Tim dying in AAU or Mo and Sacha kissing in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. She doesn’t even know yet about the car crash right at the end, but obviously she’s going to, as half her colleagues were involved and there’ll quite probably be some life-saving surgery to get stuck into next week.
Phew. Let’s rewind a bit. It was the day of the Young Doctor of the Year award ceremony, and Digby was practising his speech – or his “rambling love letter to the Swede,” as Zosia put it. And this would be a good place to mention that I really, really like Zosia. I think there’s going to turn out to be a lot to her, and given time she could be one of the great Holby characters.
I also really love Digby and find him laugh-aloud funny. My favourite line was when his patient had just informed him that she was planning to call her unborn baby Destiny. Digby was explaining why she was in pain. “The appendix is being pushed up by the… by Destiny,” he said. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.50) Parenthood was at the front and centre of proceedings in all three departments this week, with Chrissie wondering how My Son Daniel would fare without her should the worst happen, Jac and Jonny going to an antenatal class and Hanssen pondering whether to meet the son he’s never seen. To add to the overall theme, Jac got a baby to hold and Hanssen got a young boy to look after. Chrissie got Paul O’Grady.
To Keller first, and Malick was out to prove himself to be consultant material. Hanssen said Malick would work with him for the day. It gave Hanssen the excuse to ask Malick what it was like suddenly finding himself the parent of a grown up son and to repeatedly lecture him about remaining rational at all times when dealing with patients.
Fredrik (Hanssen Junior) was on his mind, though, and it did make him overreact when it came to the welfare of young Josh, who had cystic fibrosis and needed surgery to sort out his spleen. Josh also had an absentee parent, a mother who’d left him because she was mentally ill, but who turned up to upset the apple-cart by taking him out of the hospital so he could collapse in the car park. He also collapsed in the stair-well earlier. If only he’d have collapsed in the toilets as well he’d have scored a hat trick.
The car park collapse caused Hanssen to actually run, which was a magnificent sight, but not as magnificent as him getting all shouty with the boy’s mother. Unfortunately he blew it slightly when he was about to operate. With the mother’s words of “treat him with the same care you would your own son” ringing in his ears, he went a bit wobbly and had to hand over scalpel duties to Malick. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.49) Second only to the “last-minute-dash-to-the-airport-to-stop-loved-one-leaving” scenario, the “father’s-last-minute-dash-to-the-abortion-clinic” has to be one of the most over-used scenarios in drama. We had it in Holby City this week, but because it was Jac at the clinic and Jonny doing the dashing, I actually cared about it.
I cared because I really want Jac to have the baby. It feels like this is a huge moment in her life, where she could open up and find out how it feels to love someone unconditionally and have them love her back. The alternative is for her to become ever more closed-off. You never know with Jac, though. She could have gone through with a termination, basing everything on cold logic and statistics.
Jonny Mac is the total opposite of her in many ways – he’s all emotion. In fact he almost explodes with emotion sometimes, such as when he was running around the clinic yelling at Jac’s voicemail on his phone (why did no one come out and ask him to shush?). He’s also an enlightened, sensitive man who wouldn’t dream of telling a woman what she could and couldn’t do with her own body, and this has held him back from telling Jac how he really feels.
So it was lucky for him that Jac decided she’s going to keep the baby anyway. Maybe there was a tiny tad of cussedness about it, as the doctor in the clinic turned out to be someone Jac had known (and disliked) a long time ago. “We called you Jac Frost at medical school,” she said. “You had a nickname, too,” said Jac, and when asked what it was, she said, “I don’t use language like that any more.” Advantage Ms Naylor! Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.46) If we hold this episode up against my patented PLA Relationship-o-meter™ we find Serena/Edward and Jac/Jonny going up, while Elliot/Sharon and Chrissie/Sacha (especially Chrissie/Sacha) plummet.
In a way, it makes me feel a bit cross that I was so happy about the fairytale Christmas episode where Chrissie failed to get on the ImagineAir flight to Sydney and Sacha hurtled all the way to Stansted on the back of Jac’s motorbike, and it was snowing and everything was romantic and twinkly. Because ever since then, Chrissie and Sacha have not made each other happy. Apart from when he got stabbed and Chrissie fed him quiche in a desperate attempt to keep him alive, Sacha has been nothing but a disappointment to Chrissie and she’s wasted no opportunity to agree with anybody who offered the opinion that she could do far better than him. And despite the thrill of knowing he’s married to a woman so beautiful that it has to be remarked upon by everyone who meets her, Sacha has really had only insecurity and a lack of proper emotional connection throughout the relationship.
This week Chrissie discovered that her cancer is not as bad as she was fearing, and the outlook is reasonably good. I can understand her not wanting to throw a party and scream “Hurrah!” from the rooftops, because obviously she’s still terrified about her future and about Daniel etc. But where my patience runs a bit thin is the way she treats Sacha. Come home, she says. I need somebody there. But on the other hand – don’t think things will be the same as before (i.e. it’s not going to be the same as the first week we were married, before I realised I could have done a lot better and you started going to Fit Club with Mo because she was 100% more fun than me). On second thoughts – don’t come home at all. “I can’t do complicated,” she sighed. Darling, you can’t do anything else. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.45) As we approached our favourite hospital for yet another fun-filled episode, the first thing we saw was the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery absolutely over-run with undesirable types (no, I don’t mean Sahira Shah. She’s not back). They really need to get to grips with that garden, otherwise no one is ever going to want a fairytale wedding there ever again.
Apparently the reason for so many bodies hanging around was that there’d been some sort of incident at the gig of ageing punk rocker and one-time support artiste to the Buzzcocks, Rex. It fell to Sacha to look after Rex, who had an abdominal aortic aneurysm, diseased kidneys and a fractured relationship with his marine biologist son to sort out. Rex also claimed to be able to feel the heat coming off Michael Spence’s loins, which is frankly a skill I’d pay good money to have. It did nothing for Sacha, though, whose wife was supposedly the reason Michael’s loins were in such a state of warmth.
Michael was actually just being a friend in need to Chrissie, who does have cancer and has to have surgery. She seemed to be partly confiding in Michael because of his winning bedside manner, but partly because he’s proved to be good at getting procedures fast-tracked for her. To Sacha, though, it seemed like the inevitable had happened. His daughter Rachel said to him, “I always thought that if you and Chrissie broke up it would be because…” and Sacha finished the sentence for her: “She wanted an upgrade?” That’s how Sacha sees their relationship and has always seen it. Sadly, that’s also how Chrissie has seen it, too. Continue reading
(Series 15, ep.44) Sacha and Mo and Jonny were talking about these conjoined couple names that irritate me so much I generally refuse to use them. You know the ones – Brangelina etc. But it was quite funny when Mo mentioned ones that are commonly used by Holby fans – “Janny” for Jac and Jonny for example. It was like Mo had been reading the Digital Spy forums or Holby fan tweets, which would be weird as she’s fictional (I know, it’s a shock).
Anyway, one of the more apt names she came up with was for Chrissie and Sacha. I suppose it should technically be written “Chracha,” but it’s pronounced “Crasha,” and it really fits their relationship, which has been a bit of a car crash all along.
Over Chrissie’s long Holby career she’s mutated from being the good time who was had by all, to a rather bitter, smug, superior woman who thought she was worth far more than being married to the Nicest Man in the World. It always seemed to be just a matter of time before she swanned off with a better-looking, more suave example of humanity (yes, you, Michael Spence), but the actual demise of her relationship with Sacha has been much more subtle. Driven away by Sacha’s lack of trust in her and failing to properly talk to her about Daniel being a bone marrow donor for Rachel, Chrissie did turn to Michael Spence, but only as a friend. Even though Sacha believes that it was more than that (because he’s never believed he was good enough for Chrissie), what has torn them apart has been the loss of trust and emotional intimacy (if it ever really existed). When Chrissie had her breast cancer scare, it wasn’t Sacha she turned to and when she found another lump it was Michael Spence she went to again. Continue reading