(Series 21, episode 3: part two, Graham Mitchell) Starting scenes switch seamlessly between a gormless, silent Nikki, and a loud police investigation asking, “where the hell was security?”. Our annoying British DCI has no time for Nikki’s emotions, questioning her about what had happened the night before. Something wonderful in this opening part of the episode is the subtle references to Nikki’s experience in Mexico, showing it is still an important arc. Her senses have heightened, picturing exactly what had happened, and being able to replay the muffled sounds she had heard while being trapped in the bathroom, mirroring her experiences while being trapped ‘underground’ in Mexico. Because of her personal involvement with Mr Garcia, Nikki is moved off the case, but knowing Nikki, viewers realise this won’t be for long. Continue reading
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(Series 16, ep.38) Someone at Holby HQ had been raiding the Camoxidan cupboard for last night’s episode (possibly it was left unguarded while Dr Amy Smug was busy barfing in her mouth somewhere else). It was one of those episodes with odd camera angles and general randomness, and a particularly hallucinatory scene where Elliot Hope wandered off into the basement in search of the source of a ghostly moaning sound. Was it in his own not very well head? Was it the ghost of Linden Cullen, doomed forever to walk the corridors in search of Faye? Was it a corpse who wasn’t actually dead (it’s happened before)? Or was it a live patient who believed he was a corpse? It was Leonard Bloom, a live patient who believed he was a corpse. “I am already dead,” he announced to Elliot, adding disturbingly, “You are as dead as I am.” As if Mr Bloom wasn’t being metaphorical enough, he was also a watchmaker and he had a special watch that stopped the moment he “died” – and started again the moment Mo fixed him, because he wasn’t really dead, he was just spooky and unwell. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.37) You know when a love triangle is reaching critical mass. It’s when every corner of the triangle gets a haircut the very same week, which was the case for the Smug/Posh/Barfs in this episode. It’s like some sort of adultery telepathy. Dr Amy Smug-Barf was still covering for Posh’s mistake the other week, because she needs to get him moved on to another department and can only do that if everybody thinks he’s competent and he passes all his tests.
So far so Smug. And Posh. What it all needed was a hefty dollop of brains-speak and a Big Reveal (and then more brains-speak). That’s exactly what we got, but in the capable scriptwriting hands of Nick Fisher it was quirky, funny and very dramatic. Continue reading
The climax of Custodygate didn’t take place in court, but more appropriately perhaps in the Linden Cullen Memorial Shrubbery. Shortly before taking her last breath, the totally toxic Paula Burrows made sure that Jac’s confidence in herself as a mother was fatally undermined. Jac told Jonny she was going to Stockholm (following a phone call from Hanssen – how I would love those two to have their own spin-off series) and therefore she was giving him the baby full-time. At this point he desperately tried to back-track and unsay all the horrible things he’s said to her in an effort to get her to reconsider and to come to some co-parenting arrangement. At the start of the episode Sacha had reassured Jac that she wasn’t a “heartless automaton,” but Jonny has made the mistake of thinking she was, and that he could say anything he liked to her and it wouldn’t get through her bomb-proof shell. It turned out that everything had been getting through all along – and when you have people telling you that you have no heart and you’re cold and selfish and incapable of love, eventually you’ll believe it. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.35) Don’t tell me Holby isn’t educational. Aside from learning all manner of instantly forgettable stuff about crustaceans, I also discovered, via Jac Naylor and the power of Google, that Gigglebiz is a real TV series for kids. I’m no longer up on that sort of thing, what with PLA Jr being nearly 17 and that, so I had to check.
We learned a lot about Emma and her preferences, as Jac had sacked the third nanny in a row (for putting Emma to bed too early so Jac never saw her) and was forced to bring her daughter into work. The crèche was full. The crèche is always full, and if Selfie wasn’t so busy building his empire and obsessing about Zosia, he might usefully employ himself in sorting out better crèche facilities.
No staff member’s child has ever spent a day at Holby without going missing, but Jac was fairly confident in leaving Emma with Elliot while she was in theatre. Unfortunately, as we’ve glimpsed previously, Elliot isn’t quite his usual self and he wandered off and left Emma to her own devices for a bit, during which time she promptly vanished. My money was on her being with Paula, who was in the hospital with pneumonia. Emma did end up with Paula, but that was via Jonny Mac after he found his daughter being looked after by Adele. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.34) There’s been a massive development in the Smug/Smug/Posh triangle! I can exclusively reveal that the Triangle will henceforth be known as Smug/Queasy/Posh, since Dr Amy Smug spent most of the episode gipping into her own mouth and unable to look a muffin in the face. Lightweight. By this stage of her pregnancy Jac was on a heady combination of chocolate and anchovies.
There’s a sinister side to the triangle, too, as Dr Harry Posh (currently unaware that Dr Amy is pregnant because, unlike Selfie, he hasn’t had his hands on thousands of pregnant women in his career yet) is blackmailing Amy. Basically she has to smooth the path of his career-haltingly troublesome relationship with Dr Raf Smug, or else Posh will spill the beans about their night of drunken lust. The cad! “I’m a proper cad,” he told Amy. The proper cad!
As previously mentioned, Selfie knows at a glance that a woman is pregnant – it’s just one of his billions of skills – so he twigged that the Smugs are multiplying and took Amy to Pulses for a heart-to-heart, where he also worked out that Posh might be the father. Just why he thought Pulses was the venue for a woman with a muffin aversion is a puzzle, because muffins are the only food they sell. Continue reading
(Series 16, ep.33) Where was Ric Griffin in this episode? He was behind the camera, as Hugh Quarshie had his first bash at directing (there’s an interview about that here).
Content-wise, we were back to Smug/Smug/Posh (which took a not completely unexpected twist) and Custodygate (which didn’t). More amusingly, Mo has gone all showbiz and Adele has gone all Darwin.
The most engrossing storyline was Serena’s. Her mum Adrienne reappeared, this time as a visitor, come to see her friend Roger, who was a patient. It quickly became clear that Adrienne was suffering from the Curse of the Holby Visitor – nine times out of ten they end up having something worse than the patient has. In this case, Adrienne was showing signs of dementia, which Selfie verified with a quiz after Adrienne nearly killed Roger by giving him soluble aspirin, which he was allergic to. It was clear that Adrienne was going to need support, and Serena was soon on the hunt for a nice care home. It’s not that she doesn’t love her mother and care about her – it was etched on her face that she does – but both mother and daughter are feisty, independent types. Serena was left with no choice but to have Adrienne move in with her for now – an arrangement which is bound to take its toll. Continue reading