As Holby City opened tonight in Albie’s with New Year celebrations in full swing, it was almost a shock to find that Sacha’s daughter Beka (Francesca Barrett) wasn’t already a hospital patient – or even dead.
At the end of the last episode before Christmas we saw Jodie (Sian Reese-Williams) slip something nasty into Beka’s drink, so it seemed like Beka’s fate was sealed.
Surprising, then, to find her alive and apparently well, and actually sharing a Christmas drink with her future step-mother. But it wasn’t long before we saw Jodie was still at it, adding unwanted extras to Beka’s beverages. Not long after that Beka collapsed in agony.
Sacha at first didn’t want to leave the operating theatre where he was working to see his sick daughter, and dismissed her symptoms as her having too much to drink. By the time Hanssen (Guy Henry) insisted that Beka needed an emergency gastroscopy and Beka started barfing blood Sacha was forced to realise that something was very badly wrong.
Thanks to the surgical skills of Henrik Hanssen Beka is going to be fine (unless Jodie has other ideas), but before that could happen there was a beautiful scene between father and daughter (expertly played by real-life father and daughter Bob and Francesca) where Beka finally got Sacha to admit how desperately sad he feels without Essie – that all that’s left without her is ‘a terrible black hole.’
As Sacha allowed himself to let go of his feelings and break down, he and his daughter hugged. Sacha admitted that his relationship with Jodie wasn’t right, but he felt it was too cruel to break up with her on New Year’s Eve. He may regret that decision, as we last saw Jodie handing Beka a glass of water – but was it just plain water?
Kian (Ramin Karimloo), meanwhile, was in desperate need of some of his special white pills, but his dealer, Sarah Jane, wasn’t returning his calls. It was lucky for him that a patient’s son was similarly addicted to prescription painkillers and tried to steal some from the drugs trolley.
Kian gave chase and confiscated the pills, which means he’s now secured himself a temporary supply. This was just in time to hear the news that Sarah Jane has been arrested and has told the police she was supplying hospital staff with drugs. ‘Once I’m done shaking trees there’ll be nowhere to hide,’ Max (Jo Martin) vowed. Kian started sweating again.
The newbies were having their first New Year’s Eve shift on AAU, the highlight of which was diagnosing a man with worms, moments before he threw up a heap of worms all over the floor. Viewers who were eating spaghetti at the time possibly pushed their plates quietly to one side. Josh (Trieve Blackwood-Cambridge) also amused himself by flirting with Ange (Dawn Steele), who said she’d ‘immune to sucking up.’ But is she, though?
Nicky (Belinda Owusu) spent New year’s Eve in Albie’s with Cameron (Nic Jackman), but rather than gazing into her loved one’s eyes she spent most of the time gazing over his shoulder at Chloe (Amy Lennox), who was sitting at another table. Is the novelty of being with Cameron wearing off? You’d have to hope so.
Lucky Simpson (Vineeta Rishi) wafted around trying unsuccessfully to get Sacha to unburden his grief. She also gave the staff of Keller a jar in which to put a little note of everything 2020 has taken from them.
Donna (Jaye Jacobs) didn’t want to – but later on we saw her write the word ‘Xavier’ on a piece of paper and pop it into the jar. Yes, we know – we miss him too.
Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.
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