Call the Midwife: “Season 4 Episode 5”

After a quick word from Mature Jenny (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) about the heat and summertime in Poplar, this episode jumps right in with our baby of the week couple as Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) is delivering a baby for a Christian Science couple.

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Over at Dr. Turner’s (Stephan McGann) office, he and Shelagh (Laura Main) are talking about him handling patients from other doctors that are sick. Shelagh is worried he is taking on too much and stressing himself out, which is understandable because most of the time it seems like he is the only doctor in Poplar.

Back at Nonnatus, Trixie (Helen George) is sorting through her engagement gifts and giving Patsy’s (Emerald Fennell) back. To again highlight the miscommunication theme between Trixie and Patsy this season, Trixie is going on about gifts and lipsticks, while Patsy is trying to offer words of encouragement and the hope that Trixie could talk it through with Tom (Jack Ashton). It doesn’t go anywhere. Trixie doesn’t seem like she is ready to face everything yet as she hides from Tom later on.

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Outside Barbara (Charlottle Ritchie) spots a rather pregnant and uncomfortable looking woman. She asks if she needs help. Her son runs up tells Barbara she doesn’t speak English and translates for her. The mom says she is fine, but the son says she has been having trouble walking.

Sister Julienne goes to visit the Christian Science family. It has been a week and their baby has been crying constantly. Sister Julienne realizes he might have a broken collarbone, which she thinks happened during the birth.

At the mother house, Sister Evangelina (Pam Ferris) pops around a corner and tells someone she better get going or she is going to miss the train back to Poplar. And we get our first shot of Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryony Hannah).

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She says she is excited to get back to work but nervous about everything else. Sister Evangelina tells her to just trust in god’s plan for her. When Sister Mary Cynthia does arrive at Nonnatus one of the first things she sees is Nurse Krane (Linda Bassett) driving away, just to point out how different everything is going to be. She is greeted by the nuns first, then by Trixie as she is running done the stairs to answer to phone. In her excitement, Trixie forgets and calls her Cynthia. They don’t hug, stand super far apart and then leave each other as Trixie goes for the phone and Sister Mary Cynthia follows Sister Winfred (Victoria Yeates) upstairs. Trixie lingers back for a moment and sadly watches her walk away.

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As I have said before the Sister Mary Cynthia story line makes me really uncomfortable. Maybe it is because my personal experience with nuns all involves being yelled at to take off my hat in church. But, I don’t have a problem with nuns when they are spunky older British ladies. Despite all the religion, this show never tries to push one or the other. It is more about supporting everyone’s decision to find their own religion. I want to support Sister Mary Cynthia’s decision, but I hate what it has done to her and Trixie’s relationship.

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Speaking of religion, Sister Julienne goes back to see the Christian Science family. The baby is still screaming because the mother didn’t give him the medicine. Christian Scientist don’t belief in medicine and the mother says they are praying for him because that is how you get rid of pain. Even Sister Julienne says that seems a little extreme. She tries to come up with another option.

Barbara is able to track down the foreign lady, Ameera, through her son’s schools. Barbara deals with a bunch of cultural differences and translations.

Back at Nonnatus, Patsy is trying to get Trixie to come out with her, Barabra and Delia (Kate Lamb). Trixie stays behind. She is working on erasing Tom from all her things. In doing so she finds a photo of her and Cynthia. But, when she takes it down the hall to show her, Sister Mary Cynthia is praying. Trixie leaves just before Sister Mary Cynthia notices her and she seems to nervous to follow her.

Ameera and her son come to the clinic. He has to sit on the other side of the curtain to translate. Trixie and Barbara run into a problem because it would be strange for them to ask a 9-year-old to translate everything they need to do, like an internal exam. The son said his mother doesn’t have any female friends because they usually stay behind but she loved his father too much to stay behind. This almost drives Trixie to tears and she finally goes and knocks on Tom’s door in the next scene. They go and talk. Trixie apologies for breaking things off but says he should have a girl who would follow him anywhere.

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Fred (Cliff Parisi) thinks he might know someone who could translate for Ameera. Barbara goes with him to find her. She splits off and does. Fred stays behind to speak with Violet (Annabelle Apsion), who owns the buttons, ribbons, fabric store. He invites her to come join the Citizen Defense Core.

Christian Science Mom takes her baby to see Dr. Turner and he says the baby will have to go to hospital for a broken leg. Dr. Turner and the doctors at The London start to think it might be child abuse. The dad gets rather pissed. Dr. Turner brings his concerns to Sister Julienne. They speak to child protective services and the baby is taken into protective custody. The parents question each other about it later and Dr. Turner feels terrible. They both can’t explain what happened to their baby.

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The baby’s foster mother ends up bringing him into Dr. Turner’s office with another injury. Dr. Turner realizes it is brittle bone disease and takes the baby to the hospital. Dr. Turner and Shelagh realizes what has been done to the Christian Science couple. Dr. Turner has a bit of a freak out on the way home, which is inter-cut with Trixie finding more photos of Tom and taking a drink from the bottle she has been glancing at all episode. To be expected, Shelagh handles the situation the best.

Sister Julienne and Dr. Turner have to go apologize to the Christian Science parents. The dad is still rather pissed. Dr. Turner then goes back to his office, but has a bit of a freak out while he is checking on Fred’s back. Fred makes jokes about some war memories. It has been a while since the show has mentioned it, but Dr. Turner suffered a mental breakdown after his stint as a medic during the war. Fred gets Shelagh to go help. She decides he needs to go home and she and Patsy handle his patients. Everyone keeps thinking Shelagh is just the receptionist so she goes and changes into a nurse uniform, which is a great visual contrast between her and Sister Mary Cynthia. This is the first time we have seen Shelagh is a nurse’s uniform.

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Sister Julienne helps the Christian Science Mom once the baby gets back. She doesn’t seem to fully understand the situation and says he will be cured with enough prayer. Sister Julienne doesn’t say anything and realizes how strong belief can be sometimes. She tells this to Shelagh, when she voices her concerns about not knowing how to help Dr. Turner believe in his abilities again. He finally realizes once he sees his living room filled with presents that people have been dropping off and some encouragement from Tim.

The lady Fred knows is able to translate and Barbara is able to do a full check up on Ameera. She brings food to Nonnatus to thank her for the medical help and spending time with her. Ameera gets sick later and Barbara and Sister Mary Cynthia go to help her. Sister Mary Cynthia goes to fetch Dr. Turner after an ambulance doesn’t arrive. He is able to save her and stop the outbreak from spreading. He thanks Shelagh for helping him when she arrives to help. At the end of the episode, Ameera is at the clinic getting a check up with all the other mothers.

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The Turners haven’t been getting that much screen time so far this season, so it was nice to have an episode devoted mostly to them.

 

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