Call The Midwife 5.8 American RecapPosted: May 22, 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 finale twice.
Six Things I Loved (because I needed an extra one this week)
1. Perfectly handled death
How could I not start with this? It is the main reason this episode is so great. It handled a death of an original character absolutely perfectly. It didn’t seem out of place and it wasn’t to forward another story line, it just happened. It was done respectfully and everyone was respectful about it.
2. Judy Parfitt and Jenny Agutter
Clearly this show is filled with powerhouse actresses but only every so often do we get to see them be this emotional. Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) gets a few more chances than the others. But, Jenny Agutter in playing the always calm and even Sister Julienne usually never gets to. That is why hearing the sadness in her voice as she replied to Sister Monica Joan is so upsetting, along with watching she go from laughing to sobbing and seeking comfort from Sister Mary Cynthia, who looks a mere child beside her.
3. The Lesbians are not just lesbians
In most other shows I would be annoyed if a character was commonly called the lesbian or a couple was called the lesbians by the fandom, but I am fine with it in Call The Midwife. And that is because it is basically a play on the fact that Patsy and Delia are so much more than that. Though this episode aired on May 22 on PBS, it first aired on March 6, which was three days after The 100 episode 307 aired and right in the start of the LGBT Fans Deserve Better movement. I just wanted to yell at everyone who was freaking out about that “but are you watching Call The Midwife?”
With all that swirling in the U.S., I was taken out of the episode for a moment when Nurse Crane sends Sister Julienne home from the Turners’ surgery and asks her to send Nurse Mount to assist in the thalidomide research. That makes perfect sense, Patsy is the most organized of the Nonnatans. And that is why I love this show, yeah we might sometimes call them The Lesbians but they are so much more than that and so much more important to this show than checking off a diversity box.
4. Rhoda Mullock
Do they give out BAFTAs for best guest starring roles? Because god damn Liz White is great as Rhoda Mullock. In the first episode I thought she was the greatest type of loving, happy-go-lucky mother to give birth to a thalidomide baby. Then she returns in this episode to be the struggling mother trying to create a normal life for her disabled child. Her line about watching Susan play with her other children and the remembering later that she isn’t like other children was so heartbreaking.
5. The nurses’ moment
This wasn’t even a full scene, it was just a shot in a mourning montage but it was fantastic. Every part of it was great, from Barbara crying because of course she would be the one to be with Nurse Crane taking care of her, while Patsy and Trixie sadly and anxiously pass a cigarette between them and Delia leans away from everyone because she barely knew Sister Evangelina.
6. Trixie and Peter
This was another tiny moment but dear lord was it great. For a moment I couldn’t work out why Trixie and Peter talking about Sister Evangelina was so great and then I realized it is because they are the only two non-nun characters, save for Fred, who have been here since the beginning. This show is usually rather episodic and when it pulls out these awesome serial moments, I am always floored and amazed. Also, both of them admitting that they used to be afraid of her was both a great show of their character growth but also a parallel of the audience’s growth.
My Complaint (if I have to get nitpicky)
I still don’t really like Barbara and Tom. When this story line first started, I compared it to Cynthia becoming a nun in season four. It was a story line I wanted to like but I didn’t for some reason and I couldn’t really work out why. But, Bryony Hannah, a guest appearance by Mrs. S and the moment between Sister Mary Cynthia and Trixie in 4.8 made me like it.
I know one reason I don’t like Barbara and Tom. Of all the woman in Poplar you had to pick your ex-fiance’s friend that she lives with, Tom? Trixie literally has one friend who would be interested in dating you and that is the woman you pick? Despite that (and their incredible sweetness), they make much more sense as a couple than Trixie and Tom ever did. Maybe the show will do something with them next season to make me like them more.
Ah God, Patsy/Damnit, Delia (the gayest moment)
Ah God, Patsy has got to be how perfectly she was having a I dislike my mother-in-law situation throughout this episode. And the nervous face when she tells Mrs. Bubsy she is taking Delia to Paris.
Delia, is this your I’m confident about my sexuality shirt?
There really isn’t one this episode. Some parts of it were fun, like Sister Monica Joan blaming the mice for the missing cake she is still holding the plate from or Patsy and Mrs. Bubsy sassing each other, but nothing was really funny this week.
Missing Moments from the American Broadcast
I don’t know. Great way to end my American Recaps, right? My little sister graduated from high school during the airing and I couldn’t track down a DVR I could use. If anyone watched it live and knows, please put it in the comments or hit me up at reviewsbymarika.tumblr.com and I will be incredibly grateful.
I will probably be doing a speculation, rumors roundup post about season six sometime soon because I don’t want to go seven months without Call The Midwife.