(Picture: BBC)

I know that a lot of Berena fans will be devastated that their favourite couple has split up. Ive seen a lot in the past week on social media from people who feel betrayed that the romance has been brought this far only to end. I hope the scenes between Bernie and Serena in this episode have changed that attitude, because I think it fitted perfectly with their characters to do things this way.

Its been hugely important that gay women have felt represented by this relationship and its certainly shown that there is huge under-representation of (particularly older) gay women on TV. The importance of Berena cant be underestimated. But from speaking to the producers of Holby they take this very seriously and honour and respect what it means to the fans, as do Catherine Russell and Jemma Redgrave.

(Picture: BBC)

Some people would have liked Berena to have gone on forever, but I just dont think that could have worked. Given that Jemma Redgrave wasnt able to pledge herself to Holby either full-time or as often as would be necessary, the only avenue open would have been for Bernie to have been an unseen figure in Serenas background, occasionally referred to but hardly ever (or never) seen. This would have kept the Berena story intact, but as time went on and new viewers started watching the show it would mean nothing to them.

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As a character, Serena wouldnt be able to have any romantic storylines, as thered always be the awareness that she was going home to Bernie at the end of the day. Isnt it better for lesbian representation to have Serena potentially in a new relationship somewhere down the line? Its also better for Serena as a character that there isnt a whole avenue of storylines closed off for her.

(Picture: BBC)

Given that the story had to end, this was a perfect way to do it. Bernies thirst for adventure and Serenas desire to stay with her family (both in the sense of Jason, and her larger Holby family) reflect the positions of Jemma and Catherine as actors. It also makes complete dramatic sense that two people who love each other so intensely would refuse to make one of them change to fit the others preferred lifestyle. As they said, Bernie wouldnt be happy taking the bins out and pushing Guinevere on a swing.

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She wouldnt be Bernie if she wasnt dashing around the world setting up trauma units and working in battle zones. And Serena wouldnt be happy knowing that the only family members she has are thousands of miles away. Maybe one day, when Bernie is ready to retire and settle down to a life in the Wyvernshire countryside, they might be together. But both of them have a lot of living to do first.

Sue Haasler is the author of the official Holby City book, which you can read about here. She also writes novels and theres information about all her books here.

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