“Holby City” recap (19.17): Of Lions and Lambs


 Last time on Holby City: Serena has been on compassionate leave following the death of her daughter, Ellie. Meanwhile, Bernie has returned to work but it’s abundantly clear that her heart is still with Serena.


Boy, oh boy, the Holby City team pulled no punches with this episode: a car crash ruins a wedding and the victims are spread all over the hospital. So, before we start, grab some tissues and try not to bite your fingernails too much.

We open on Serena (Catherine Russell), sitting silently in her car, awaiting Ellie’s patient review file. It’s her first day back at work, following three weeks of compassionate leave.


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Serena: [In voiceover] There are three types of people in the world; there are lions, there are lambs and there are shepherds. Life is all about working out which type of person you are.


She walks up to the doctor’s station and picks up the rota questioning why she has been put on administrative duties.


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Serena: What exactly is administrative duty and why am I doing it to the exclusion of all else?


Jasmine (Lucinda Dryzek) and Morven (Eleanor Fanyinka) tell her that she will be teaching the junior doctors, but this does not please Serena. She is even less happy when she finds out that Bernie (Jemma Redgrave) is the one who assigned her to it.


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Bernie: I wouldn’t call it lighter duties.

Serena: It’s what you’d call babysitting juniors in a wet lab.


Bernie makes it clear that she didn’t want to insult Serena, but just to make her return to work as easy as possible. “But wait”, I hear you cry. “Why didn’t Bernie discuss this with Serena beforehand?”

Well that, dear ladies, is because they haven’t really been talking… Serena needed space and time, so she pushed Bernie away. Although this is heartbreaking, it does explain why we haven’t seen the comforting scenes we’ve hoped for and Bernie’s (brash) behavior over the past couple of weeks.


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Serena: I know you’re just looking out for me but teaching the last thing I need to be doing I teaching. Nurturing’s not my thing.

Bernie: I’ve missed you.

Serena: I know


And before you start to think that this is the healing point for our OTP, Serena lies to Bernie about Ellie’s folder, claiming that it’s a research project. What does Serena hope to find in the folder? And why keep it a secret from Bernie?

Later, Serena takes on a patient with significant chest trauma following a car accident. Although Serena has never met the patient, she knows his wife. Lexy (Jenny Howe), but had no idea that she’d gotten married.

Lexy, a vicar, replies that Serena would have known if she still went to church. It’s not clear why this upsets Lexy so much.


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Serena: You’re married to him.

Lexy: Bit of a whirlwind. Which you’d know if you still came to church.


Bernie then calls Serena over to another patient; the drunk driver who caused the car accident.


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Serena: He’s just a boy.

Bernie: Old enough to drive, old enough to drink.


When Serena returns to Lexy and her husband, Lexy questions her about not returning to church after her mother’s death. Serena responds by cutting Lexy to the core; dismissing Lexy’s belief that the car accident was an act of God rather than the drunk driver. I’m starting to think that Serena might be taking out her anger over Ellie’s death onto her patients.


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Lexy: Adrianne’s faith gave her comfort.

Serena: Adrianne died terrified and in pain; by the end, nothing gave her comfort. Not me, not morphine and certainly not her faith.


This leaves Jasmine to apologize for Serena and explain that she’s going through a tough time following Ellie’s death.

A little later, Serena is sitting in her office, highlighting passages in Ellie’s file, which she promptly throws on the floor when Lexy walks in. Serena is less than impressed to hear that Jasmine has been talking about her, so Lexy tries to calm her down.

Lexy suggests that maybe Serena needs some more time off to grieve, which Serena doesn’t take well to. Even after Serena further insults Lexy’s faith, Lexy offers forgiveness and tells her that she hopes Serena will find peace.


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Serena: I’ll leave wailing to a non-existent sky-fairy to other people. I’ll look for my answers in science.


Then Morven arrives at the office, Lexy’s husband has taken a turn for the worse. When Serena arrives on the scene, she reprimands Jasmine for spending too much time gossiping rather than looking after her patient.

Following surgery, when Lexy’s husband looks like he’ll be okay, Lexy sincerely thanks Serena and gives her a hug. She then asks Serena to be nicer to Jasmine because the junior doctor believes that she’s responsible for the patient’s downturn.

Meanwhile, Jasmine and Morven are putting some file notes in Serena’s office, when Morven trips over the files that are on the floor. Jasmine picks them up, which is when Serena walks in. Rather than apologizing to Jasmine for her earlier comments, Serena orders the blonde doctor out.


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Morven: You can’t talk to her like that.

Serena: I find her going through my private papers, I’ll talk how I like.


Morven tries to talk to Serena, to ask if she’s okay and suggest that maybe she came back too early but Serena cuts her off. She tells Morven to back off and refuses to allow a comparison between Arthur (Morven’s deceased husband) and Ellie.


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Serena:  You had two months knowing that Arthur was terminal; two months to prepare, I had two minutes. You don’t know what I’m feeling at all.


Thankfully, after Jasmine hands in a transfer request and Morven attempts to explain everything to Bernie, Bernie decides that she has to go talk to Serena.

Serena tries to play it down as a simple check on procedures, to make sure that nothing like this happens again, but Bernie’s far too smart for that. Serena appears to be in the middle of a panic attack when she explains the ‘faults’ in Ellie’s case to Bernie.

Bernie attempts to take the file away from Serena, to which Serena screams, equating the file with her last remaining link to Ellie.


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Serena: Give her back to me.


It’s now glaringly obvious that Serena is not coping and she needs help.

Then Morven arrives at the door, alerting them that Lexy’s husband is suffering from an aneurysm, just like Ellie. Serena explains it to Lexy and tells her that they will be operating on him again but before that can happen, he crashes and cannot be resuscitated.

Serena and Lexy have a heart-to-heart about their losses, and Lexy rails against God herself, telling Serena that she should have allowed the drunk driver to bleed out on the operating table. Serena brings herself back to Lexy, to give the vicar comfort in her time of need.

Later, she goes to find Jasmine and convince her not to transfer out of the hospital and ask about Ellie’s last words. She then reveals to Serena that Ellie had written another draft of the article about her time in the NHS. Serena then finds the article, and tears up while reading it (and I teared up as well); she then redoes the rota to put herself on teaching duty with Jasmine for the remainder of the week.


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Serena: [Reading Ellie’s article] The Lion has to teach the lamb, even if it kills them.


Elsewhere in Holby: Dominic (David Ames) is devastated that Issacs (Marc Elliott) slept with someone else (and honestly, I’m sure most people watching this, wished that Issacs had stayed in Hawaii). Meanwhile, Ollie (James Anderson) and Zosia (Camilla Arfwedson) could be getting married.


Next week: Jasmine reveals some devastating news to a still struggling Serena, but what is it? I’m gonna guess that it involves Ellie’s drug use and how that relates to her death. Something which Jasmine discovered back in December and failed to mention to Serena.

What do you guys think? Is Jasmine going to reveal Ellie’s drug use? Are there yet more secrets that have been kept from Serena?

What did you think of this latest episode? And when do you think we’ll get some cute, loving Berena storylines without all the heartache?

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