Call The Midwife: “Season 6 Episode 4”

There is always about one episode per season that is incredibly well structured and all the characters are used perfectly. A few characters have a focus but nobody is felt left out. I’m giving that title to this episode for season six. This was a Tom (Jack Ashton) and the Turners episode but everyone was used nicely. And for the first time ever, I didn’t hate Tom. I still don’t like him but he was all right.

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We start by swooping through Poplar to see Trixie (Helen George) is back teaching Keep Fit and get a spoiler from the credits

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Trixie and her Keep Fit class are both a little out of shape from the three month break. Barbara (Charlotte Richtie) seems to be doing okay, though. Also, how do we feel about Barbara smoking? I really don’t like it. It would have seemed weird before we had the smoking is dangerous episode and now that our characters know that too, Barbara shouldn’t be smoking.

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At the Turners house, Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) is being incredibly cheerful as he rushes off the hospital, leaving Angela and a questioning Tim (Max MacMillion) doing dishes. Shelagh (Laura Main) is doing better and hasn’t had anymore bleeding. Dr. Turner gets kicked out by the matron, Sister Douglas. We also see that Delia (Kate Lamb) is working on the ward and Shelagh has made friends with her bed neighbor, Gloria.

Over at Nonnatus, Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) and Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) are trying to work on the schedule and saying how short staffed they are with Patsy, Sister Mary Cynthia and technically Sister Evangelina’s spots all empty. Sister Julienne says she is going to put in an advertisement in the midwifery journal.

Trixie is having some trouble getting back into work in Poplar and almost makes mother of the week Marne late for her court date. She is having money troubles. Trixie helps her out and then goes to Tom to ask him if he could help her. He agrees too. And yay there was nothing about their previous relationship in that scene.

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Back at the hospital, Shelagh is outsmarting the doctor that is using her for observation. Sister Douglas helps her out of bed and sees she has bleed some more. The same doctor is doing observation on Gloria later. He asks Delia is she knows what could be done for her. Delia correctly answers that there is a surgery that could stop her from miscarrying again. He makes a jerky comment and then thankfully disappears.

Dr. Turner comes to visit Shelagh and tells her they were happy before and they will be happy again if their baby survives or not.

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Marne gets an eviction notice and goes to her posh cousin, Dot, who popped in earlier. Marne tells her she’ll accept her offer, which we slowly realize is her giving her unborn child to Dot, who can’t have children and her husband. Tom is having a moral dilemma about the issues and brings it up at tea at Nonnatus. Everyone says they should support the decision if it is what Marne wants. He also reveals that he was adopted when he was two-months-old.

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That was certainly the show trying to raise the person stakes for Tom in this episode. I don’t know it was the writing or the acting, but it didn’t work as well as it has with other characters in the past.

Hey remember how Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryonny Hannah) is missing? So did Trixie. She goes to Sister Julienne to ask about her. She says she talked to the mother house and Sister Mary Cynthia has been sent to some other facility and they should just wait until she is well enough to call them. Based on the promo, I think Sister Julienne is going to be regretting that decision.

Over at the Turners, Tim calls out his dad for trying to shield him from everything because he is old enough and smart enough to know something it wrong. Dr. Turner gets called to Marne’s birth with Trixie and Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates). Tim then calls a babysitter for Angela and sneaks out to St. Cuthbert’s.

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He stands outside not able to go in because he isn’t 16. It was an amazing parallel to when Shelagh couldn’t go in to see him when he had polio because she wasn’t officially his mother yet. Thankfully, Delia is there to tell him nobody will notice and takes him inside.

Shelagh tells him that his father is having trouble talking about everything because Dr. Turner, like her and to some extent Tim, know so much about what could happen and have trouble talking about it emotionally. He is reassured but gets found out by Dr. Turner who beats him home. He thanks him for going to see Shelagh and they have some male bonding time with pale ale and darts.

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Over at Marne’s, we see forceps being used. The baby is delivered safely. Marne refuses to look at the child and tells them to give him to Dot. She is incredibly happy. Trixie and Sister Winifred are trying to be encouraging. Marne asks Tom to baptize the child before Dot gets back. He does and tries to say something to make her feel better but he is no Nurse Crane with unwed mothers or Patsy with families with tropical diseases.

Dot ends up taking the baby home. She and her husband want an official private adoption. Marne goes to fill out the paperwork but realizes she doesn’t want to give up the baby. She, Tom and Sister Winifred go to get him back from Dot. Dot and Marne are both super upset.

In the end, Dot’s husband ends up giving all the stuff they bought for the baby to Marne. Tom tells him he can help them with adopting from an orphanage when they are ready.

I just wanted to get Tom out of the way, so over at the hospital Gloria starts going into labor. Delia jumps up to help and assists Sister Douglas, who has realized something is wrong. Gloria delivers the baby stillborn and Delia tries to keep it together. Sister Douglas tells her to take care of the child. Delia walks away trying to be professional.

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And that was a heart wrenching parallel. The first time we saw Patsy lose it professional was the first stillborn she delivered. She was then able to go find comfort with Delia, but Delia can’t do that because Patsy is gone.

Later on, Gloria asks Shelagh about what her baby would have looked like since she didn’t get to see her. When Gloria is leaving the next day she tells Shelagh she hopes they see each other in the market in a year both pushing prams. Sister Douglas brought Dr. Turner in to see if they can find Shelagh’s baby’s heartbeat. He does and she is discharged.

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Nurse Crane, Sister Julienne and Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) have a fun gag of interviewing the possible new midwife. Nurse Crane set the standards at no men and no Americans. Everyone is seemingly terrible and doesn’t know anything about Poplar. Sister Julienne then remembers Valerie Dyer (Jennifer Kirby) who helped them with the explosion at the docks a few episodes ago.

She goes to see her in the pub where she’s a bartender. She says she left the army because it was all curing and no caring. And that is enough for Sister Julienne. She applies and gets her acceptance letter. I’ve liked Valerie so far so I hope she continues to be a good addition to the cast.

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From what I have heard, it seems like episode 5 and episode 6 are going to be dealing a lot with Sister Mary Cynthia’s story line. That is going to be heart breaking but I’m looking forward to it.

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