(Series 20, ep. 27 ‘The Anniversary Waltz’ by Joe Ainsworth 3.7.18) This episode was Holby City’s tribute to the NHS on its 70th anniversary, and it was full of lovely moments.
It was topped and tailed with voiceovers of Ric, Serena, Xavier and Jac talking about what the NHS means to them. To Serena “it’s a beautiful thing – a health service available to all, from cradle to grave.” Ric agrees: “Every patient who comes through those doors is equal.” Xavier, meanwhile, likes “the action, the buzz.” And Jac? “None of your business.” Jac doesn’t gush, not even for the NHS.
Holby was the receiving hospital for casualties when the roof of Holby indoor market collapsed. Beds were cleared, protocols were enacted, everyone had to be on top of their game. Patient Lennie Jefferies (Gary Beadle) immediately recognised Serena – or “Dr McKinnie,” as he’d known her. Many years earlier he’d been stabbed in a knife fight, and the young doctor who’d saved him had been Serena. Not only had she saved his life, but she’d inspired him to turn his life around and he was now a father and a model citizen. When he was found to be suffering from some nasty internal injuries it fell to Serena again, with Ric’s help, to try to save his life. Again she succeeded.
I emitted a small squeaking sound when Lennie was visited later by his daughter. Her name was Serena. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 26 ‘Fallen Idol’ by Kathrine Smith 27.6.18) Nicky accidentally dropped a flask of what may or may not have been E. coli, meaning she and Xavier were trapped in a room with only half a bag of chicken crisps for company while they waited for the decontamination team to arrive. “I didn’t know I was stepping into a toxic germ-dungeon,” Zav complained, though he’s worked so much on AAU that he must be used to it by now.
This was the opportunity for some serious truth-telling, with Zav telling Nicky she wastes her potential by drinking too much and having a bit of a chaotic lifestyle. In return she had a go at him about how he was a rubbish boyfriend to Meena, and we finally found the deep secret in his past – that his parents blame him for his younger brother’s death. That’s as much as we were told, which was a bit annoying because in real life someone with the famed people skills of Nicky would have wanted Detail. I know I would have. Possibly the details are being left for another time, maybe when Maman et/ou Papa Duvall appear in person having succumbed to the Curse of the Holby Relative and in need of the medical skills of their sibling-killing son. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 23 ‘None but the Brave’ by Gerard Sampaio 5.6.18) Jac’s back! Her hair is shorter and wavier! But apart from that, she isn’t feeling any better for her time off. In fact, according to Roxanna, she’s getting worse and might be in a wheelchair within a year. Nooo!!!
The reason Roxanna was looking at Jac’s scans is that Jac wants to be Prof Gaskell’s new trial subject. Naturally this is worrying news – we’ve seen the trail of destruction that the Prof tends to leave behind him. Even the Prof was worried. Despite his belief in his own god-like legend, he knows it would be terrible publicity to incapacitate or kill Holby’s top CT surgeon. So he asked Sacha to have a word with her and talk her out of it. Sacha’s opinion of Prof Gaskell is exactly the same as mine – that he pushes the boundaries, but without due concern for the individual patient.
Unfortunately, boundary-pushing is exactly what Jac wants. Though she was almost swayed by Fletch’s persuasive argument that if she dies, Emma will grow up without a mother. Almost. Because she can’t visualise herself as anything but a surgeon, so she’s willing to take a risk. I’m already extremely tense at the prospect of watching that particular piece of surgery. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 18 ‘Headstrong’ by Johanne McAndrew and Elliot Hope 1.5.18) It was one of those shifts that had started off so busy that its busyness could only be conveyed via the medium of a quick montage. Fletch had gone into work early to deal with a myriad of nurse stuff. he also made a strong case to CEO Abigail that AAU needs some new nurses and a senior staff nurse, and for that latter role only Donna will do. Abigail said yes to the new nurses and senior staff nurse, but she wasn’t convinced by the Donna part, because Donna wasn’t up to speed on some little protocol or other. I hate to keep comparing Abigail with Hanssen, but I’m quite sure he wouldn’t have put ignorance of a new protocol over being a damn fine nurse. Serena certainly didn’t. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 16 ‘New Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be’ by Nick Fisher 17.4.18) At the beginning and end of this episode we saw F1 Nicky McKendrick as a child (played by Chanel Zinyemba). Even as a nipper she was practising her surgery skills on assorted toys. This is because she’s Super Keen (and possibly somewhat spooky).
It was her first day on Darwin, and she was Super Keen to make a good impression on Jac. So was Fletch, who’d got Jac a welcome back card and a cactus – “small, redhead, very prickly” as he confirmed with Sacha later, before they decided they’d take turns looking after it, both as a literal cactus and a metaphorical Jac. They won’t be able to look after Jac in person, because she’s looking after herself by taking more time off to get better from her gunshot injury. Continue reading
(Series 20, ep. 9 ‘Ache’ by Martin Jameson 28.2.18) Jac is struggling on despite being in horrendous pain (and Rosie Marcel is making sure we can feel that pain in every agonised breath Jac takes). I suppose she’s worried that if she gave up and went home they would have to get a locum heart surgeon in, what with Jac and Frieda being the only functioning heart surgeons left in the whole hospital. Or worse still, give half of Darwin away to some other unrelated department like they’ve tried before with plastics and neuro. Either way, Jac is not putting up with it and would rather try to carry on with her duties in between spells of lying on the floor with her teeth clenched. I have two solutions for her: (a) Pilates and (b) Mo. I would love to see Mo pop back to hold the fort until Jac is better, and I think Mo is about the only person Jac would trust. Apart from Joseph Byrne, but that ship has long sailed. And Elliot Hope, ditto.
Frieda’s solutions were (a) nagging and (b) very powerful drugs. When Jac was eventually persuaded to take the drugs (which Frieda had written a prescription for), did she thank Frieda for easing her pain and looking out for her? No. She thought Frieda was getting just a bit too uppity and needed taking down a peg by relegating her to the being the one who holds the suction thing in theatre (an important job, but not quite the role Frieda was expecting). Oh, Jac. Continue reading