Holby City review with spoilers: Double cancer trauma for Fletch and Essie

In tonight’s Holby City we discovered that Essie (Kaye Wragg) isn’t the only nurse at Holby who has cancer. For a while now Fletch (Alex Walkinshaw)’s health has given cause for concern: he’s been tired and has almost collapsed on a few occasions. Finally we – and he – know why, and it’s not good news. Fletch has advanced prostate cancer.

Having two nurses dealing with cancer at the same time is a difficult path for the Holby team to have chosen to take, but at the same time it’s an interesting one.

As we’ve already seen, Essie and Fletch can give each other the kind of support that goes beyond the usual ‘we’re in this together’ reassurances that well-meaning and loving people like Sacha (Bob Barrett) have been making to Essie.

Fletch and Essie really are in it together, though their illnesses are different and their treatment paths will be different they can understand the very specific fears and feelings that come along with cancer in a way that others can’t.

Essie has been having chemotherapy which was making her very ill. She felt like she was letting her work colleagues and patients down, as well as baby Isla.

She wondered whether the best course of action would be to stop the treatment. Sacha, desperate for her to take any hope that was offered, said she was ‘choosing to quit.’

Fletch doesn’t want her to stop either, saying ‘If you give up, what hope have I got?’ They’ve pledged that neither of them will give up. It’s a heart-rending storyline perfectly played by Alex Walkinshaw and Kaye Wragg.

So much heartbreak has to have a counterbalance and we were offered that in the shape of Jac (Rosie Marcel) and Kian (Ramin Karimloo) and their new relationship. ‘I’ve been thinking about this… new thing between us,’ Jac told him. She was thinking they should keep things professional.

This lasted as long as Kian remained fully clothed, but when he got covered in a patient’s blood and had to change his shirt he made sure to leave the locker room open so Jac could see exactly what being professional was making her miss.

‘You’re Canada’s most annoying export since Justin Bieber,’ she muttered, but fairly soon she was suggesting he get his shirt off again in the comfort and privacy of her office. The minx.

But is Kian hiding a secret drugs habit? he met a mysterious woman in the basement and traded a wad of cash for an envelope full of pills.

Can’t Jac just have a bit of no-strings unprofessional fun before Kian goes all ‘My Drugs Hell’ on us though, please? She deserves some fun at least.

Guy Self (John Michie) was back for his first shift at Holby in a while. The mother of his first patient got wind of the fact that it was his first day. ‘Apart from the 30 years before,’ he pointed out. This patient needed a brain tumour removing which was accomplished via the nose.

Don’t ask me what that looked like because I couldn’t watch. Ric (Hugh Quarshie) would be able to tell you because he was watching, mainly because he doesn’t trust Selfie. It looked like he was right not to trust him as there was the traditional wobble when things start going a bit wrong before they start to go right again.

At least Selfie has one fan – Cameron (Nic Jackman) looked a tiny little bit star-struck at times when he looked at the controversial neurosurgeon. I can’t help thinking that he’s exactly the kind of Self-centred, Self-absorbed and Self-serving role model that weak conniving Cameron really doesn’t need. Which actually means that this could turn out to be brilliant fun.

Everyone knows that Max (Jo Martin) and Selfie are an item, and the hospital is rapidly filling up with Max’s friends and family as son Louis (Tyler Luke Cunningham) has now joined as a nurse.

Shocked to see him, Max initially introduced him to Ric as ‘One of our new nurses.’ A little air-clearing chat later and she managed to introduce him to Selfie as her son – and he’s going to be staying around.

Sue Haasler is the author of five novels and the official BBC Holby City book, which you can read about here.

Holby City continues Tuesday 9 June at 8pm on BBC One.

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