Call The Midwife 5.7 American RecapPosted: May 12, 2016
I got too excited about Call The Midwife after the 2015 Christmas Special and could not wait until the American airings to write about it. So, I have seen all these episodes already. I have also written full length posts about each. This is my American Recap, which I am using as an excuse to write about the sex(y) episode twice.
Five Things I Loved
1. The moral issue of sex
I really enjoyed how much this episode talked about sex. This whole series is really kind of about sex but just focusing on the baby part. The show has dealt with unwed mothers, prostitutes, cheating wives and accidental pregnancies but this is the first time we have really talked about how we got there. And watching everyone argue about it was pretty great.
2. Birth control being perfectly woven in
I really liked how Leslie and Gina were used in this episode. It could have been rather on the nose with it but it waited a bit and left us wondering what was going on with them. It made the reveal that they could have really used some birth control much better. It also created a good conversation about birth control between Barbara and Nurse Crane.
3. Couples contrast
Parts of it were bad and I will get to those, but parts of the contrast between the two main couples at the moment were really good. The maturity level between Patsy and Delia and Barbara and Tom was played perfectly. In the first scene, Patsy and Delia have slept together (again) and Barbara and Tom are waving at each other from a window. The Bible Babies (do they have a real couple name?) are against pre-martial sex, while the lesbians understand that it happens sometimes.
Also, Mr. and Mrs. Church can dance together at Nonnatus, while Pupcakes has to go to a secret club to do so.
4. Former Sister Bernadette
I love when the show decides to be like, ‘hey remember when this awesome nurse/modern wife/mother of two used to be a nun? That’s weird, right?’ Usually when we are reminded of Shelagh’s former nun-ness it is played for a laugh, but I kind of liked that Sister Julienne was kind of scolding about it in this episode.
5. Strategic editing for the lesbians
I know I already brought this up in my 5.5 American recap, but I never expected PBS to cut out so many of Delia’s scenes. But this episode is the first that is incredibly strategically edited to ensure Patsy and Delia’s inclusion. They have three scenes together. The first is during the opening voiceover and the third is during the closing voiceover. Both of those can’t be cut. And without their second scene we have no idea what is going on in their third scene, which has no dialogue.
I don’t know if this episode was written or edited with how the stupid Americans at PBS would edit it down in mind, but regardless, thank you.
Patsy and Delia didn’t kiss this episode.
As I have said before, I don’t want to make the LGBTQ representation in this show a Patsy and Delia vs. Barbara and Tom thing. But, I feel like this episode made it a Patsy and Delia vs. Barbara and Tom thing. During some parts, they are so perfectly contrasted: the opening scene, what Tom says versus what Delia says during the birth control discussion.
All my problems with this episode would be resolved if either Patsy and Delia kissed on the dance floor at Gateways or Barbara and Tom didn’t kiss at Nonnatus. For the contrast to work they both needed to kiss or neither of them needed to kiss. If both the dance scenes happened at Nonnatus it would have made sense for only Barbara and Tom to kiss. But Patsy and Delia sought out a secret club instead of being at home. Was that not a contrast about where these couples could safely kiss?
And that isn’t even including Barbara and Tom’s kiss in their last scene, because I completely forgot about it. It didn’t need to be there and after the lesbians don’t kiss it seemed like they were rubbing it in our face that the longest standing couple on this show has never kissed.
Maybe I am being so particular about this because I thought the contrast between Patsy and Delia and Fred and Violet in season four was done so well, especially in 4.8. But that contrast was all about simplicity versus difficulty.
Patsy and Delia seemed to have moved past that difficulty a bit now though. They are being so god damn bold. So why can’t they make out in a common area and then freak out when someone gets home, too?
Ah God, Patsy/Damnit, Delia (the gayest moment)
I usually do these moments as a joke because they are so cute, but I’m going to have to get serious this week. This is the gayest episode of the season (especially in the PBS edits after what happened to 5.3).
For Ah God, Patsy it has to be her internalized homophobia this episode. She tells Delia she doesn’t want to be with women like them just her. And then in her next scene she is ensuring kids can fit into regular society with Sister Winifred, her most judgmental, homophobic friend.
For Damnit, Delia, it is the look on her face when she is standing at the top of the steps in Gateways. She looks at the girl walking past her realizing she is probably like her and the girl probably realizes the same about her and that is probably true for everyone there and she doesn’t have to worry or be afraid and everything is going to be fine.
Holy shit, I don’t know how Emerald Fennell and Kate Lamb can be this great at this. Also, I’m sorry that these stupid PBS edits are going to continue hindering you guys getting the recognition you deserve in the US.
Barbara fumbling around trying to cover up knowing what the stain on the wall was was pretty great.
Missing Moments from the American Broadcast
The cuts were not too bad this week. Sister Julienne getting a call to go the Turners’ surgery was cut. She also had a line about Tom coming to the birth control discussion for the moral angle. The scene with Sister Monica Joan and the apples on the porch was shortened.
And then the music in the Gateways scene was different. I have no idea what the reason behind that was.