Call The Midwife: Season 7 and Barbara

I wanted to write regular posts about 7.6 and 7.7, but I can’t now. I hadn’t written my post for 7.6 by the time 7.7 aired because I couldn’t work out what I wanted to say about it. This season has been slowly unraveling for me since 7.3. I haven’t felt as emotionally invested as usual and none of the story lines have felt all that grand because the characters I have spent years with aren’t here. I love Val and Lucille by they are the fun, young cast of a show I’m not sure I signed up for. They are not Patsy or Trixie or Barbara.

So, that brings me to Barbara. This is why I couldn’t write a normal post about 7.6 or even 7.7 really because it ended with the show killing Barbara.

And in doing so outlined everything that I have been disliking about this season. The season so far has had tearjerking moments but I don’t know if I cried at them. One main reason was because I didn’t feel like I knew those characters. I cried twice during this episode: 1) when Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) told Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) that she knew she was dying and 2) when Nurse Crane finished the prayer because Tom couldn’t.

Those moments has so much backstory to them. Everyone is always trying to protect Barbara but she is smarter and more mature than most people give her credit for and of course she knows she is dying. And Nurse Crane is an atheist and basically mocked Tom once for his ability to turn to god in a moment of crisis while she can only turn to science and reality. But she prayed for him because she knew what it meant to him and Barbara.

Those parts of this episode were beautiful. But, what does this mean for the show now?

An elderly nun dying in her sleep took a whole lot out of Nonnatus and Poplar, but a 25-year-old newly married nurse who died suddenly? That doesn’t seem like an issue that can be handled in one episode. And I really hope it isn’t.

Also, half the cast is missing! Is Trixie going to came back from rehab in Italy for her little sister stand-in Barbara’s funeral? Are Patsy and Delia going to came back from their African adventure? Is Sister Mary Cynthia going to return from her mental health facility?

I’m assuming next week is going to be all about everyone but mostly Tom and Nurse Crane dealing with Barbara’s death. I am much more interested in Nurse Crane’s side of that than Tom’s. And no offense to Val and Lucille, but I would so much rather watch Trixie and Patsy’s reactions.

I am starting to see the show get criticized for having soap opera story lines again. Most of the time I like to defend it but if Barbara’s death doesn’t shake up the entire show for a while, I’m not sure if it deserves being defended.


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