A great opportunity to cross over with Holby City was offered this week, with the arrival of self-confessed ice queen, Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) to operate on young Grace (Emily Carey). The poor kid still isn’t out of the woods yet and causing her mother, Connie (Amanda Mealing) to quite literally have nightmares about the tragic situation. Sam Strachen (Tom Chambers), who is Grace’s father, or sperm donor, depending on what sort of mood you catch Connie in, has also arrived to be at his daughter’s bedside. So all in all, it’s a bit of a Holby City reunion!
Connie is in a state of utter despair in this week’s episode, and Amanda Mealing must be congratulated on her continued top class performance during the 30th anniversary show itself and the ensuing fall-out. When she attempts to ‘work’ following the collapse of a patient’s spouse, outside the hospital, it becomes all the more clear that she is in no fit state and highly incapable in her current state of physical and mental health. Seeing Connie ‘broken’ is something that we as viewers as so unused to, that I feel it’s testament to the writers for bringing her down in the worst way possible and stripping the character bare.
Meanwhile, Charlie (Derek Thompson) is on his knees having had very little sleep and a shoulder for Connie to lean on. Luckily, Duffy (Cath Shipton) is close by, observing his exhaustion and there’s a touching scene when she catches him asleep, head on his desk and puts his coat over his shoulders. This mutually caring relationship is what has kept viewers on tenterhooks for decades, now – maybe we’ll watch it develop further this time? Or perhaps not, as Duffy’s wedding ring was clearly on show when all of the team de-camped to the pub to wait on news of Grace’s operation. I liked the way that Charlie and Duffy were portrayed as the ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ of the department during those scenes, the social hierarchy was explored, beautifully.
I am enjoying the development of the ‘friendship’ between Lily (Crystal Yu) and Ian (Michael Stevenson), I had toyed with the idea of a potential romantic relationship blossoming in the future, between the two of them. That might not be what the writers have in store for them, but it has certainly lodged in my head!
I felt that despite its usual guest characters, this week’s instalment was all about the team, and given the timeline of the events post-30th anniversary, this seemed like the right way to take the direction of the episode in.