Last time on Holby City: Serena’s daughter Ellie turned up at Holby to film a documentary but after the pair have an argument, Ellie storms off. She attempts to drive away but fails to pay attention to the road and very nearly runs her mother down. Luckily, Jason, Ellie’s cousin, pushes Serena from harm’s way but ends up in surgery with life-threatening injuries. At the end of the episode, Ellie collapses in the bathroom, and despite the best efforts of the surgeons, Ellie ends up on life-support.
It was unclear at the end of the last episode, whether Ellie (Amy McCallum) would be taken off life support or if the writers would surprise us by having her pull through, so Berena fans held out hope that Serena would be granted some happiness. However, this was not to be and it is clear now that Ellie has died.
Aces High didn’t focus much on our lovely ladies; indeed, Serena (Catherine Russell) didn’t even feature in the episode. It’s not that unusual, considering that she’d probably have been on compassionate leave, but I, along with most of you, would have appreciated some closure, even if it was just a couple of scenes of Serena at home with Bernie (Jemma Redgrave).
Most of the episode focuses on Oliver (James Anderson) and Matteo’s (Christian Vit) fight for funding, Dominic’s (David Ames) attempt to hide his relationship with Issac (Marc Elliott) from his parents and Cameron (Bernie’s son (Nic Jackman)) wrestling with his feelings for Morven (Eleanor Fanyinka) as he prepares to leave Holby.
Woah, that was a lot of names; sorry about that.
Morven: Does your mum know [that you’re leaving]?
Cameron: She has enough on her plate looking after Serena.
All in all, Aces High provides some light relief following last week’s hard-hitting storyline, even if I just wanted to see how Serena was doing.
Funniest Scene: A patient, Daisy (Rachel Isaac), dumping a glass of water over her ever-complaining husband, Steve (Alex Blake), after he attempts to ruin Oliver’s career. Steve had earlier received a scolding from Oliver, over his refusal to allow Daisy to have recovery time following a major operation and an insulin overdose that the husband caused.
Daisy: This man saved my life. You can’t even open a tin of spaghetti hoops properly.
Steve: That’s a bit harsh.
Daisy: When I get out of here, there’s going to be some serious changes. And you’re going to have to start pulling your weight or you’ll have to go. This man has got nothing to apologize for.
At the end of the episode, just as Cameron is saying goodbye to Holby for the final time, Bernie catches up with him. It’s a touching scene. Even, though Bernie has just found out that Cameron tried to get away without telling her, she doesn’t hold it against him. Instead, she said that she’s not going to stop him from leaving, even though it’s clear that it’s breaking her heart.
Cameron then asks the question that everyone has been shouting at the screen, since the beginning of the episode: How is Serena?
Bernie reveals that Serena is trying to be brave and that although she doubts Serena will ever be “okay” again, she knows that Serena is a survivor.
Bernie: I doubt she’ll ever be okay again, but she will survive.
Cameron: Yeah, I’m sure she will, with you at your side.
Stick or Twist
The episode opens with Serena and Bernie walking down a hallway in the hospital when Serena realises she’s not ready to return to work. Bernie offers to drive her home, but Serena refuses, insisting on walking despite the long distance.
Throughout the episode, Bernie is trying to adjust to being back without Serena but at least Fletch’s (Alex Walkinshaw) patient is there to provide some comic relief. An older man who had a fall outside of his house is insisting on keeping his casino winnings in a duffel bag beside him at all times. When Bernie attempts to take it to the safe, he tries to refuse but she is insistent.
Bernie: Mr Chernik, having cash like that on the premises represents a serious security risk.
Fletch: Now, you’re in trouble.
Morven attempts to talk to Bernie about Cameron- who has now left Holby for good- but it’s clear that Bernie’s mind is still on Serena and Morven apologizes for bringing it up.
Unfortunately, it seems that Arty Chernik (Nicholas Woodeson) may not be out of the woods, tests show that he has a large abscess near his heart but they can’t operate because he also has an infection. When Bernie delivers the news, she is less sympathetic than normal, leading me to believe that while her head may be at Holby, her heart is definitely with Serena.
Arty becomes increasingly anxious about the idea that he could have a heart attack, so Fletch and Morven come up with a new plan to save his life but Bernie still has her concerns.
Bernie: Whatever the approach, Morven, there’s a very strong chance he could die in theater anyway.
Morven: So, the alternative is to do nothing?
When Bernie still digs her heels in, Fletch accuses her of not listening to them. Realising that Fletch is far more concerned for Arty than any other patient, Bernie asks what makes this one case so special. Fletch reveals that Arty reminds him of his father, and with that Bernie agrees to think the operation over.
Eventually, Bernie comes around and agrees to the procedure, but then Arty decides he wants to go with his gut and not go through with the op. Fletch asks Bernie to convince Arty to have the op but she notes that it’s his choice.
He changes his mind, but unfortunately Arty doesn’t make it and Bernie has to break the news to Fletch.
Bernie: We did everything we could.
It’s a heartbreaking moment for Fletch, but I can’t help but feel for Bernie; this is the second time in three episodes that she’s had to tell someone she cares for, that someone they love has died. I imagine that she’s recalling what happened to Serena two episodes ago.
Bernie reveals that right before Arty went into surgery, he’d made a will leaving his winnings to Fletch. The two meet in the bar after work and toast to Arty’s memory. She reminds Fletch that it isn’t how long you know a person, but the difference you made to their lives.
Unfortunately, Serena is still on compassionate leave following Ellie’s death but Bernie does have some brilliant moments that underline how our fave ladies are coping since the events of I Do, I Do, I Do, and I needed to share them with you.
When Bernie sees Fletch arrive in his literally smoking car, she goes over to ask how he is. He notes that she has taken up smoking again, but this time with an e-cigarette. She teases him that he should switch to electric too (referring to his car) and when he complains about the cost, she tells him to use his inheritance.
Fletch: I thought you’d quit.
Bernie: Tough month.
That, right there, is the understatement of the year.
Bernie, then, has to lay down the law when a serious leg issue goes undiagnosed by Dominic and Issac. The two have been arguing over whether to treat and street the patient or look for the underlying cause of his condition.
She scolds the two for putting their personal squabbles above of their professional duties. Consider how much Bernie is going through and remember that she’d still never miss a diagnosis like that.
Bernie: Why are you, two very capable surgeons, only just finding this out now?
Later on, she is none too pleased to find out that Issac used her as a reason not to take Dominic to a medical conference in Hawaii. As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Issac is selfish enough to blame her for his manipulations. What a [insert expletive here]!
Good news, everyone; Berena will be making its official comeback next week.
What are your hopes for them?
Let me know in the comments below.