Holby City recap (19.19): Four Letter Word


Last Time on Holby City: Serena is struggling to deal with Ellie’s death and she’s taking it out on Jasmine, specifically. Although, in Serena’s defense Jasmine may have contributed towards Ellie’s death by not breaking doctor-patient confidentiality to tell Serena about Ellie’s drug problem, and Jasmine keeps getting caught talking about Serena behind her back.


It’s Valentine’s Day in Holby City, with helium heart balloons and red velvet cupcake stands all around, but Berena doesn’t appear to realize.

While every other doctor appears to be planning romantic Italian getaways or romantic chicken dinners or finding out they impregnated a patient just before Christmas (?!), Bernie (Jemma Redgrave) and Serena (Catherine Russell) are still not back to where they were.

The accident and emergency unit is in the midst of its usual rush hour when Bernie rushes to find Serena in her office. Although she is originally trying to explain the utter chaos outside of Dr. Campbell’s office, Bernie is caught off guard by the fact that Serena is changing into a shirt which has a stain on the sleeve.

Bernie points out the stain but Serena rolls up her sleeve to hide it. Serena claims that she’s been walking to work and just had to get changed before starting her shift. Bernie exclaims that the walk must take a long time, which Serena brushes off as not long at all.



Serena: An hour and sixteen minutes; thirteen if the wind’s behind me.


Bernie is rather perplexed at this reaction (as most people who live in England in February would be) and instead chooses to compliment Serena on her new coat. Serena then hurries herself and Bernie out onto the ward, without another explanation.

A few minutes later, Bernie is watching Serena, who is talking to a patient, from across the hospital ward and barely listening to the junior doctors, Morven (Eleanor Fanyinka) and Jasmine (Lucinda Dryzek), as they deliver their prognoses for their patients. They manage to snap her out of it but Serena’s behavior is still worrying her.




Around midday, the hospital is experiencing a shortage of beds and the doctors need to cancel non-urgent appointments and treat patients faster. Bernie tries to find Serena so that they can make some important decisions about which patients should be sent home today, but Serena doesn’t appear to be listening.



Bernie: The ship’s sinking and I need help drowning the women and children.


As they walk to Serena’s office, Bernie compliments Serena on her expert training of Jasmine, before attempting to broach the topic of the bed shortage, but Serena just keeps talking, not allowing Bernie to get a word in edgeways.

When they arrive at Serena’s off, the brunette doctor takes a pill (without giving any explanation) which worries Bernie further.



Bernie: Rough night?

Serena: Sorry?


Then Jasmine arrives at the door to hand Serena her purse; apparently, Serena left it in a taxi which raises alarms bell with Bernie, because when was Serena in a taxi? She walked to work. However, Bernie can’t question Serena, who is suddenly needing to leave the office, leaving Bernie for the second time that day

A little later, Jasmine inadvertently reveals to Bernie that Serena has been working late (super late), so what else is Serena hiding from her partner? Is she working so late that she’s sleeping in the hospital? Or did she oversleep, which explains the need for a taxi? But then, why did she need to change in the hospital? And what, oh what, is that stain?





Well, Bernie certainly wants answers and takes to Serena’s office to investigate. At the same time, Serena receives a phone call and heads back to her office to talk the call in private.

Bernie pulls open the desk drawers but upon reaching the top drawer, she finds it locked. She hunts the desk and Serena’s bag until she finds the key. As Serena walks in, she sees Bernie pulling the third bottle of red wine out of the top drawer and it becomes clear that Serena has turned to alcohol again.

Suddenly, the pieces appear to fall into place; the stain is probably a wine mark, the purse was left in a taxi because Serena was running late to work after a night of drinking, and the coat was probably a replacement for one left at a bar.



Serena: Oh, who do you think you are talking to?

Bernie: My partner. Where does this stop? How many late-night sessions have you had?!


Jasmine arrives just in time (of course) to defend Serena, take the blame for the wine bottles and take Serena away for an emergency consult on Jake (Mark Bagnall).

However, saving Serena from an awkward conversation with Bernie doesn’t exactly get Jasmine a gold star. Serena blames her for not noticing earlier the other symptoms that Jake presented, which isn’t entirely fair because Serena was with Jasmine during the initial consult.



Bernie tries to apologize for going through Serena’s office, but Serena isn’t having any of it, and when Bernie begs Serena to forgive her, Serena snaps at her.



Serena: I think you just lost the right to give me advice, don’t you?


In the late afternoon, Morven comes into Bernie’s request help for Jasmine. Serena has left her all alone and refuses to respond to calls and pages about Jake’s emergency surgery. As no one is able to contact her, Bernie takes over and is the lead on Jake’s surgery, while Serena is still on the phone in her office.

Halfway through the op, Serena arrives to take over but she gets the shakes while making a very precise incision into Jake’s leg which causes his vitals to drop. Bernie tells Serena to move so that she can save Jake’s leg.




Following the op, Bernie storms into Serena’s office and tries to have it out with Serena.




Serena takes Bernie’s key, declaring that she needs to borrow her car. Then, before Bernie can stop Serena from leaving, Jasmine arrives to let Bernie know that someone is on the phone to talk about Serena.

After taking the call, Bernie rushes outside to stop Serena from beating up a stranger’s car.



Bernie: That’s not my car- look at it.


Serena pleads with Bernie that she needs to go see Edward (Ellie’s father) because he isn’t coping with the death of their daughter. As it turns out, Edward wants Serena to stop calling him.

Serena and Bernie have a heart-to-heart in Serena’s office; Serena has been trying to contact Edward who went on holiday following Ellie’s death, and while that seems cold and unfeeling, Bernie reminds her that everyone grieves in their own way and begs her to see a professional.




At the end of their shift, Bernie offers Serena a lift home but Serena declines, preferring to walk, which Bernie accepts, even if it looks like she might cry.



Then Serena asks Bernie to come round later and Bernie pulls her into a hug.



Bernie: I don’t want us to fall apart.


It looks like Berena may be on the mend after all; it’s a Valentine’s Day miracle.


Next time on Holby City: Serena’s harsh behavior towards Jasmine worries Morven, but Jasmine doesn’t take kindly to her friend’s concern. Is Serena hard on Jasmine because she feels she has the makings of an excellent doctor or is she still taking her aggression out on the junior doctor?

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