Jac Naylor (Rosie Marcel) made a rare personal connection with a patient in tonight’s Holby City – but it ended in tragedy. Sandra (Vicky Entwistle) was a cancer patient who was facing surgery and more rounds of chemo. Exhausted from all the treatments she’d already been through, she grabbed Jac’s offer of an operation that could entirely get rid of the cancer but was extremely high-risk.

Elliot (Paul Bradley) and Kian (Ramin Karimloo) strongly advised against the operation, with Elliot especially concerned that Jac wasn’t emotionally strong enough to deal with the possible consequences of it. Jac’s daughter Emma is already living with Jonny and Jac is pretending to cope with losing her but is really struggling. Sandra seemed to understand how she was feeling. ‘All kids come round in the end,’ she told Jac. ‘She’ll forgive you.’ In return, Sandra felt that Jac was the only one who was really listening to her feelings about the treatment.

During the operation Jac discovered Sandra’s cancer had spread, there was the inevitable bleed – and in the heat of the crisis Jac yelled at Nicky: ‘We need more suction! For God’s sake, Emma!’ so we knew exactly where her mind was at. After Sandra died Jac refused to give up because she was so emotionally involved, and Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw) had to make her face reality and give up.

Elliot tried to sympathise with Jac but she angrily told him she doesn’t need ‘to be made to feel like a broken bird.’ It’s Jac’s usual defence mechanism to completely pull the drawbridge up when she’s hurt and reject other people, but her words to Elliot were shocking.

She said he was ‘Snffing around like an old dog because no one has the heart to put it down.’ Jac still doesn’t know that Elliot is himself facing an urgent problem with his heart that has got Kian quite flustered, so Jac’s comments sounded doubly horrific. As Elliot walked away she closed her door and looked close to a complete emotional breakdown.

Elsewhere in the hospital the mood was a lot lighter. Helen (Verity Marshall) was booked in for a scan and Lofty (Lee Mead) and Dominic (David Ames) were excited about seeing the baby. It didn’t stop the three of them squabbling about possible names, whether they wanted to know the gender of the baby (it’s a boy, we discovered later) and just about anything else they could find to bicker about. Dominic seems to be making the most concessions in this threesome and has the most grown-up attitude to it (which is quite a step forward for Dominic).

Lofty told Serena (Catherine Russell) that he worries that the whole thing won’t work, but Serena assured him that ‘You’ll have another pair of hands to catch you if you fall. And we all fall.’ There’s always a little shadow that passes over Serena when she talks about parenthood, and a catch in her voice, and you know that Elinor is never far from her mind. Helen, for her part, is definitely in love with Lofty and is obviously hoping that somehow they might end up together.

Two people who should be together and should never have been apart are Sacha (Bob Barrett) and Essie (Kaye Wragg). He’s been helping her out with Isla and Ange (Dawn Steele) spotted a spark between them, as did a patient. They both denied this, but when Essie mentioned that she’d had a fling with Kian, Sacha was upset. Ange advised him to talk to Essie to find out how she feels about him, so they ended up having one of those frustrating conversations where nobody says what they really mean.

There’s a new CEO in town! We’ve seen her before – it’s neurosurgeon Max McGerry (Jo Martin). Most people knew there was going to be a new CEO, and most people knew that neurosurgeon Max McGerry would be starting work at Holby, but nobody put two and two together and realised that the neurosurgeon visiting their wards was actually the CEO on a fact-finding mission to find out what really goes on in the hospital.

Her guide on this tour was Jason (Jules Robertson), who was his usual indiscreet self, but he didn’t spill as many beans as Donna (Jaye Jacobs) who waffled on happily about Serena ‘Sinking Shiraz by the crate-load,’ and her own go-to places for avoiding work for a little while and taking the occasional hospital loo roll home because ‘Every little helps.’ Max is most concerned about the fact that many people were aware that Ric Griffin was ill and not performing well but nobody reported it. She’s also somewhat concerned about Jac. As are we all.

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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