Call The Midwife: 2015 Christmas Special (S4Ep9)Posted: December 27, 2015
I thought I was being a little overly optimistic about where the emotions destroying train wreck of Episode 8 left my favorite characters. I was thinking Patsy and Delia would eventually get back together and her accident was just a set back. I knew she was in this episode but I wasn’t expecting too much excitement. But, Call The Midwife outdid itself. Delia was back and they were holding hands in public and nearly kissed!
This episode was a welcomed douse of levity in comparison to the earlier episodes. But, this is still Call The Midwife so the path to it was still tearful, painful and had two death scares.
We drop in through a Christmas-y looking Poplar as Tom (Jack Aston) is christening babies and Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) is making Christmas pudding. Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is looking through the cabinets, talking to herself and coughing a lot. Sister Evangelina (Pam Ferris) pretty much calls her a loon. But, it turns out she was just trying to find the brandy to improve the pudding.
One of the few happy things to come out of Episode 8 was Trixie (Helen George) and Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) finally talking again. They get called out for their twins case. Trixie stops by the church to get Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) who was trying to not laugh with Shelagh (Laura Main) at how terrible the children’s choir is. Outside Shelagh and Tim (Max MacMillion) run into Iris (Victoria Hamilton), who is the entrance into our baby of the week story line. The mother from Trixie and Sister Mary Cynthia’s twin case is her niece.
Trixie and Sister Mary Cynthia get home late after the false alarm with the twin mom and find Sister Monica Joan sick at the bottom of the stairs. Then the pudding, which was left on the stove, explodes.
We get some back story for Iris through a few different scenes. She has been the long-time cleaning lady at the church, she had a daughter named Lorena who died when she was 4-month-old. She would be 22-year-old, which I’m guessing is about her niece’s age.
Over in the nurses’ room, Trixie brings in candies for Barbara and Patsy (Emerald Fennell) who are working on Christmas cards. Barbara sees Patsy is sending one to Delia (Kate Lamb) and asks how she is doing. Patsy says she doesn’t know because her mother hasn’t written in a while. Barbara and Trixie then say how bad recovering from head injuries can be and what poor shape Delia was in when she was taken back to Wales.
Two things about Trixie in that scene 1) She still doesn’t know about Patsy and Delia’s relationship. Just tell her, Patsy. I think she already knows. 2) Trixie has a quick line about alcohol being bad for her complexion and that is all we get in regards to her alcoholism story line.
Sister Monica Joan is getting sicker and more confusion. Sister Evangelina is getting increasing annoyed at her. Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) is watching after her when Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) brings in her family’s jewelry, which usually comforts her. She is refusing to eat or listen to the radio because she likes television better. She starts talking to Barbara, who isn’t able to go back home to Liverpool for Christmas. Sister Monica Joan goes on for a while about how everyone should be able to go home for Christmas.
Tom stops be Nonnatus to tell everyone, he was contacted by the BBC who wants to film a carol service in their church. Most of the nuns are against the idea but agree to help out. Tom gets the most help from Shelagh, who is going to help with the children’s choir. The producer from the BBC is a rather funny show biz stereotype. It was a rather simple conflict for Tom, Shelagh and Iris but the producer being from the BBC was a good way for the show to poke fun at itself. Shelagh starts preparing to hold auditions for the choir.
Back at Nonnatus everyone is around the table and Sister Evangelina is still trying to clean Christmas pudding off the ceiling. Patsy, with the Cubs, and Barbara, with her Sunday school class, are preparing to go see the Christmas lights in downtown London. Sister Monica Joan says she would like to come. But, Nurse Krane and Sister Julienne quickly shoot down the idea. Mostly for good reasons, but Sister Monica Joan says they are treating her like a child. Sister Evangelina and Sister Monica Joan then get into a screaming match about Christmas traditions and upbringings. I felt exactly like Patsy and Barbara looked in this scene. It was like watching older respected relatives fighting and knowing you shouldn’t be witnessing this. It was incredibly well done.
From that we go to Fred (Cliff Parisi) in a Santa suit while Patsy, Barbara, Tom and a bunch of children load onto a bus to go see the London Christmas lights. Tom and Barbara have a sweet and possibly flirty moment with some lollipops and one of the children is feeling sick. The Turners realized earlier there is a measles outbreak.
When it starts getting dark, Patsy looking out the window of the bus and is shocked to see Delia standing at a bus stop with her mother. They met eyes for a second and it is all incredibly cute. The bus pulls away and Delia barely gets a chance to explain or lie before her mother says she thought she was having another spell, which Delia’s tells her she doesn’t have anymore. Her mother makes it clear they are in London for Christmas and then she is going back home to Wales.
Trixie and Sister Mary Cynthia are preparing twin mom for the births. Iris is there because her niece’s mother is out of town. The one baby is breached but Dr. Turner is there and everything goes smoothly. Iris looks rather sad as one of the baby’s is taken from her when the grandmother arrives.
Sometime during all of this, Sister Monica Joan walks out of Nonnatus. In the morning, Nurse Crane realizes she is missing. Sgt. Knoakes (Ben Chaplan) makes an appearance when Sister Julienne has to report Sister Monica Joan missing. Sister Evangelina is beating herself up about their fight. Everyone goes out searching, Fred finds her shoes and a police officer finds a vale in a trash can. Sister Evangelina goes out, buys a tree and decorates its earlier than Nonnatus usually does, which was one of the traditions they were fighting about.
A few days later, Delia stops Patsy outside of Nonnatus, saying she had to catch her outside because she didn’t want the first time they saw each other to be with other people. Patsy goes inside to change and then they go to the coffee bar from the earlier episodes.
Delia says she wrote to her but from the look on Patsy’s face realizes her mother didn’t send the letters like she said. Patsy is worried her mom might know but she still thinks they are friends. She also thinks Delia will never be well enough to go back to work. Delia admits she isn’t sure if she is but she has appointments at the London and they will tell her if or when she can return to work and London. She also wants to restart from exactly where they were. Patsy looks significantly less nervous about everything then she did before the accident.
Delia has to go back to her aunt’s but promises to call after she sees the doctor. I think Patsy’s face here sums up my feelings on this scene:
But, this is Call The Midwife. So we then jump straight into death scare number 1. Two dock works find a rather Sister Monica Joan looking body washed up on the beach. Sgt. Knoakes has to go Nonnatus to tell everyone and take Sister Julienne and Sister Evangenlia to go identify the body. In a still incredibly sad scene, it isn’t her but the nuns are still distraught over the poor woman who died alone. We briefly cut to Sister Monica Joan, who is coughing, freezing and chatting with a mouse. The next morning she is walking through the woods.
The measles outbreak continues and Dr. Turner gets a quarantine that cancels all children’s group, including Shelagh’s choir. She is able to convince the BBC producer that they can do it without children. Shelagh asks the nuns and nurses to do the singing instead. Sister Julienne agrees because she believes showing love and caring in the world is important.
Sister Monica Joan reaches a rundown looking estate and finds two hippie squatters inside. They start calling her Antonia, her pre-nun name, and taking care of her. Sister Moncia Joan said she was almost never happy at the house but home is important.
Back at Nonnatus, Sister Evangelina is talking with Nurse Crane about Sister Monica Joan and how she kept rambling about her home. Sister Evangelina realizes she knows where she went and goes to find the address in Antonia Keville’s file. She runs to Sgt. Knoakes, who isn’t that much help because the address is out of his jurisdiction. She yells at him, stops Fred in a van full of Christmas trees and makes him drive her to the address.
Back at the Keville Estate, Sister Monica Joan tells the hippie boy she isn’t going to hospital and she is content on meeting her maker in her childhood home. She then closes her eyes and death scare number two.
Iris’ story line takes a rather on-the-noise turn at this point but it is a Christmas Special and the metaphor works rather well. She starts having pains and I instantly thought she was pregnant. But, in a still sweet reveal scene — because the Turners can make anything sweet — they realize she is pregnant and in labor. She is rather scared but Sister Julienne, who delivered her daughter, comes from Nonnatus to help. She has a daughter, which she names Joy.
Sister Evangelina and Fred reach Sister Monica Joan’s house. She wakes up and starts praying along with Sister Evangelina. Sister Monica Joan tells them they can call a taxi to take them back to Poplar because she pawned her family’s jewelry, which was an interesting experience.
Patsy gets a call from Delia, who is in Poplar. They talk in a phone booth. Delia says she just has to rest for a little while longer and then she will come back to London where her work, life and Patsy is. It was all so cute, they almost kiss and then someone knocks on the booth. They both look terrified for a moment but then Delia jokes about them having to wait.
The choir services goes well and Sister Monica Joan uses the rest of her money to buy Nonnatus a television. It ends with everyone watching it when it airs on Christmas Day.
Overall, this episode was great. There is no airing date yet for season five in the UK or the US. I’m not sure which one I’m going to blog along with yet. This episode was great enough to hold me over for a while.