Call The Midwife: “Season 6 Episode 2”

 

There has only been one other episode that I needed to take some time thinking about before I wrote my review. It was 5.7, another incredibly great Patsy and Delia episode that I have one huge complaint about. They still haven’t kissed.

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As Delia alluded to in 5.7, they have been together since they were 19 or 20. That’s means they started dating in 1955 or 1956, so before Jenny Lee come to Poplar and the show started. They were together before Dr. Turner started flirting with Sister Bernadette. They were together before Violet started attending Fred’s CDC meetings. And they were certainly together before Tom randomly decided he wanted to date Barbara because Trixie broke it off with him.

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I could have written a whole lot about how the show did an almost kiss fake out again before separating them for a indeterminate amount of time. But, I decided I was going to take some time, go stress clean and then return to this. Because this was an amazing and beautiful part of the love story of Patsy and Delia and I didn’t want to overshadow that with my disappointment and frustration that they still haven’t kissed.

Anyway, we open on Patsy (Emerald Fennell) and Delia (Kate Lamb) excitedly running down the hall at Nonnatus House until they are stopped by the worst character ever, Sister Ursula (Harriett Walter). Patsy has another letter from Hong Kong. She quickly hides it as Delia tells her to read it. She says she doesn’t have time and runs off.

Sister Ursula continues her list of offenses by criticizing Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) for arranging flowers, telling her she can’t phone the Mother House to check on Sister Mary Cynthia and then literally stealing candy from Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt).

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At the clinic, Patsy sees Mrs. Reed for her first visit. She is incredibly happy about being pregnant, despite her and her husband having dwarfism. Patsy is a little concerned that she doesn’t seem to know the risks and brings her concerns to her medical bro Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann), who says he will look into what could happen.

That night at Nonntas, Patsy is lying on her bed with Delia. She is trying to ignore the news from Hong Kong because she knows her father wants her to come. Delia is trying to be supportive but also looks like she is about to cry. Kate Lamb was awesome this episode.

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We briefly cut downstairs to see Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) answering the phone. Mrs. Marsh is in labor. She heads upstairs to get Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) just as Delia is leaving Patsy’s room. Nurse Crane stops and watches them looking a whole lot like more than friends.

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About a second after, Patsy closes the door Sister Winifred comes out and Nurse Crane quickly acts like she saw nothing. That fit perfectly like how I have been hoping/drudging someone to see them for so long.

This episode is also about Shelagh (Laura Main). She’s down at the docks giving men smallpox vaccines. While she is leaving, there is an explosion in the building where Mr. Marsh works.

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Shelagh starts barking orders and Valerie Dyer, a bartender we briefly saw earlier, tells Shelagh she is a military nurse and can help. They both assist the men and go inside. Shelagh tries but fails to save Arthur as Valerie helps Mr. Marsh, who is badly burned and can’t see.

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I knew I wasn’t going to be hard on Valerie after how terrible Sister Ursula ended up being, but that was a really good character introduction. Jennifer Kirby has joined the cast, I’m guessing as Patsy’s replacement at Nonntas. She just got home from being in the military and is working as a bartender at her aunt’s pub. She was also super excited to be in Nonnatus House because she grew up in Poplar.

Sister Winifred safely delivered the Marshs’ son and Dr. Turner goes to give Mrs. Marsh an update on her husband. Sister Winifred takes Mrs. Marsh to see her husband but he isn’t taking possibly being blind very well. The Coroner sends a letter to Shelagh asking her to testify at the investigation into the explosion at the docks. The Turners also tell their kids about the new baby. But budding-doctor Tim (Max MacMillion) had already figured it out.

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At lunch, Sister Ursula continues her rule by saying everyone is getting too emotionally attached to their patients, which is ridiculous because as Sister Winifred later points out that is the way they do things. Patsy also points out she came to Nonnatus so she could care more about her patients than she was allowed to at The London. Sister Ursula also says people are going to have to start earning their place at Nonnatus. Sister Monica Joan quotes something about death after she stole an extra bun.

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Patsy finally decides to open her letter after seeing it in the bottom of her medical bag. She runs through the phone room nearly crying and tosses it in the trash can. Sister Monica Joan sees, picks it out and reads it. She goes to find Patsy, who is stress cleaning. Sister Monica Joan confesses to her crime but tells Patsy that no matter what sometimes people need to be called home.

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Patsy tells her that her father is dying. She is good at being a nurse and a midwife and caring for the people of Poplar but she is not good at loss. But of course Sister Monica Joan and we already know that.

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I hope we are building to an all out revolt against Sister Ursula because everyone is still secretly following Sister Julienne and rebelling against Sister Ursula. Sister Winifred brings food for the Marshs after she is told not to. Sister Julienne tries to stop Patsy from going to the hospital to see Mrs. Reed because Sister Ursula called an freaking ambulance for Mrs. Reed because she was booked for a c-section. Patsy says she didn’t come to Nonnatus to not care and this isn’t how Sister Julienne taught her to handle this situation.

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Over at St. Cuthbert’s, Mrs. Reed is freaking out a bit but still being used for observation by Delia’s midwifery class. She apologizes to her just as Patsy arrives. Patsy tells her everything will be all right and is left behind as she goes in for a c-section, which Delia witnesses. The baby didn’t cry and was taken away so quickly Delia doesn’t know if it survived or not. Patsy goes to the doctor and asks to be the one to break the news to Mrs. Reed.

Despite all the possible compilations the baby is fine and does not have dwarfism, which causes Mrs. Reed to think she will not be good enough for her daughter. Patsy explains, with the information about the camp, that if she loves her daughter that will mean more than anything. She also admits that her worst fear growing up was losing her mother and after she did she thinks she shut out her father.

Shelagh and Valerie both testify at the investigation about the accident. Shelagh is mad that they are not interested in making the docks safer if another accident happens they are only concerned about how Arthur died. She is able to convince Mr. Marsh to also testify. He eventually comes to terms with being blind and makes up with his wife and greets his son.

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Safety regulations get added to the docks and Shelagh goes to tell Valerie in her aunt’s pub. She is equally as happy but looks a bit sad when Shelagh leaves her among all the dock workers in the pub.

When Patsy gets home, she calls her father’s nurse and says she will come. She is struggling to hold back her tears as she makes it toward the stairs but gets stopped by Sister Ursula, who tells her she might dock her pay because she went to the hospital when she wasn’t supposed to. Patsy tells her off and that she doesn’t care because she has to go to Hong Kong to be with her dying father.

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Next we see Patsy, she is sitting in the courtyard with Delia. Patsy says she is leaving as soon as she gets passage booked. She asks Delia what they are going to do. Delia tells her they will do what everyone else does; write, love each other and wait. Then we get that shot from the promo and I really thought it was going to continue into them kissing.

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After some insane cuteness between the Reeds and the Marshs, we cut to Patsy putting her box of personal items into a suitcase and Delia slipping in a letter addressed to ‘my love.’ Patsy says she is isn’t sure if she can do this. Delia tells her she can and that she loves her. Then they go in for a kiss and fucking Fred (Cliff Parisi) opens the door, saying Patsy’s car is there.

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Patsy says goodbye to everyone, minus Sister Ursula, and gets a chance to whisper “I love you” to Delia before she gets in her car. Delia is standing slightly away from everyone as it drives off and looks like she is about to cry again.

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Nurse Crane runs into Delia in the upstairs hallway. They talk about Spanish and having something to distract yourself. Delia tries to walk away to hide the fact she is about to cry but Nurse Crane anxiously stops her by telling her about a book a Spanish love poems she has and quotes a poem to her and says “The pain it costs to love I believe it is always worth it.”

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That is why I didn’t want to be angry at this episode. That was amazing and so beautifully said. And I knew you would figure it out and be supportive, Nurse Crane. But, because that wasn’t beautiful enough or enough to show us that Delia will be picking up the separated from her love torch that Patsy used to carry, the final scene is Delia walking into Patsy and Trixie’s room.

Nobody is currently living in it for the first time. Delia goes to the always metaphorical mirror, holds Patsy’s perfume and then lays down in Patsy bed with the book of love poems.

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I really want Patsy and Delia to kiss on screen, just so we can check that representation box. But, this show still has amazing LGBTQ representation without it. Though, I’m sad that Patsy is going to be gone for a while I am excited to see Delia without Patsy. Also Trixie is back next week!

 

 

 


Call The Midwife 5.5 American Recap

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 lopsided/smoking episode twice.

Five Things I Loved

1. The Turners

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Though the Turner’s story line had a bit of an after school special vibe, I did like how they were used in this episode. It has been a while since we have spent a long time at the Turner home and in this episode more than any other Dr. Turner’s surgery was feeling like a family business. I was a little sad that their incredibly dorky first scene was cut (I’ll get to that) but the banter between the three of them and the frogs and biscuit was rather funny.

2. Nurse Crane’s monologue

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Nurse Crane’s monologue about making choices and not choosing who loves you makes me tear up every time. I feel like this episode is good in pieces but as a whole it is weird, but this one my favorite piece.

3. Rosanne as a concept

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I really like the concept of Rosanne’s character and it was a different angle to prostitution. We have seen life-long prostitution. We have seen formerly well-off women turn to prostitution. But this is the first time we have seen a former prostitute become a well-off woman. I thought the actress who played Rosanne was good but I think the strange dynamic between her and her husband made me dislike this story line a bit.

4. Possible midwife Delia

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I will get to the jarring massive amounts of Delia in a moment, but I really like the possible future story line this episode set up. Delia did really well delivering a baby over the phone and said midwifery is more rewarding than male surgical. Are you building toward something, Call The Midwife? Please be building toward something.

5. Strategic editing for the lesbians

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I wasn’t going to bring up strategic editing until Episode 7, though I am sure I will bring it up again then, but the strategic editing actually started in this episode. I didn’t think I would need to bring it up because, despite all the eye-sex, nothing gay happens this episode. But, I wasn’t expecting PBS to cut so many of Delia’s scenes. So, this week it didn’t cut or even shorten any of Delia’s scenes. They were all important to and intertwined with the plot.

My Complaint

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How do I even start this? I have so many problems with this episode. Complaint number 1: A super dramatic birth starts 8 minutes into this episode, which is why I call this the lopsided episode. Usually if a birth is going to be that dramatic it happens around the end of the episode. I feel like in a normal CtM structure, Roseanne would have had a smooth birth and all the drama would be around her not connecting with her baby. I don’t feel like the dramatic birth and the inability to connect were both needed. But, then again that dramatic birth did give Delia her first solo story line.

Complaint number 2: Roseanne’s husband. The first time through this episode my theory was that Roseanne had been kidnapped by her older, mommy opposed husband. My aunt’s theory was much tamer, so maybe I am just being weird. But, their dynamic seemed like something much stranger was going on under the surface.

Complaint number 3: This is not the best example of an ensemble drama. I’m not really sure how this happened because this episode was written by Harriet Warner, who I praised for her ability to write ensembles perfectly in 5.2. We spent a lot of time outside of Nonnatus this week. I like that the episode gave some scene time to characters who don’t usually get much: Fred, Violet, The Turners and Delia. But, Trixie had one scene, Sister Mary Cynthia and Sister Julienne were only in the group scene. Patsy seemed under used too, but all her scenes were in relation to Delia’s story line, which is a good role reversal for them.

Ah God, Patsy (The gayest moment)

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This proud little gay smirk. But all those fuck me eyes is a close second.

Funniest Moment 

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I should really just call this the Sister Monica Joan Moment of the Week. She made a dick joke, which scandalized the nuns and amused the lesbians.

Missing Moments from the American Broadcast

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It was not too bad this week, but a lot of scenes were shortened. In the first 7 minutes of the episode, two scenes were shortened and one was cut. I feel like I should apologize to the Turnedette (Dr. Turner and Shelagh) fans because you guys are losing scenes at about the same rate the Patsy and Delia fans are, but I keep forgetting to mention them.

So for the missing moments. Trixie’s Keep Fit class scene was a bit longer.

In a cut scene, Dr. Turner runs in excited with the medical report. Tim said he thought it was the new James Bond novel. Then Shelagh creates characters of them being a medical spy and a Russian nurse spy. It was really dorky and cute.

The scene with Roseanne arranging the flowers with the housekeeper was a bit longer and the housekeeper said another creepy line about Dennis’ mother. There was a cut scene of Dr. Turner and Tim setting up the surgery for the chest clinic. Mostly it is Tim requesting more pocket money for helping out. The scene with Nurse Crane asking Shelagh to look up Roseanne’s medical records was a bit longer. Shelagh does explain everything well enough in her next scene with Nurse Crane.

It seemed like there were a lot of cuts this week, but now of them seemed that important. So, I guess it was alright. I feel like I should apologize in advance to the Turner fans because I bet their story line is going to get slashed next week. But if PBS cuts one second of Bryony Hannah’s screen time, I going to be pissed.


Call The Midwife: “Season 5 Episode 5”

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I decided to start with that because this is the Turner focused episode of the season, usually there is one per season. Actually calling this the Turner episode might be unfair, it is more the episode of characters we haven’t seen a lot of recently. The Turners, Fred and Violet and Delia played a significant role, while Trixie and Patsy each have a scene a piece. It was a fun way to mix things up. Maybe a little weird, but hey I still enjoyed it.

Of course, the Turners are being dorks in the first time we see them. Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) is running in excited that his copy of the medical report has arrived. Tim (Max Macmillan) says he thought it was the new James Bond novel because of how excited he was. Shelagh (Laura Main) then creates a story about Patrick being the James Bond of medicine and her being the Bond girl.

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A little while later, they are going through the report taking about the chest clinic Dr. Turner is holding the next day as Tim is just casually reading Freud beside them.

Violet (Annabelle Apsion) attends Trixie’s (Helen George) Keep Fit class and falls victim to Trixie’s slave driver ways. At home, while she is trying to get Fred (Cliff Parisi) to do exercises with her, she throws her back out. Dr. Turner stops by and tells them Violet is going to have to rest for the next two weeks. Fred agrees to look after her shop. Violet isn’t that keen about the idea.

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Our baby of the week is introduced by incredibly nervous mother Rosanne. She has an older, rich husband but it seems like there is some secret we do not know about her. While she struggles to read a pamphlet she was given at the clinic, her water breaks. She phones Nonnatus and Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) tells her she will be there in five minutes. There was some mix up with the schedule and Delia (Kate Lamb) and Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) are the only ones left at Nonnatus. Nurse Crane tells them to run to the clinic and get Patsy (Emerald Fennell) if anything happens.

Nurse Crane’s car won’t start is she is forced to take a bike.

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It takes her much longer and Rosanne calls Nonnatus again and starts freaking out to Delia, who has never done midwifery and works in male surgery. Delia tells Sister Monica Joan, who is still eating Violet’s jam from last episode, to go get Patsy. Delia talks Rosanne through her contractions, when she starts bleeding, as her baby is born and how to get it to start breathing after it is born.

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Nurse Crane arrives at Rosanne’s as Patsy runs to find Delia asking if it is a girl or a boy. Aw look at how proud she looks:

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At lunch everyone honors Delia for everything she did though she feels silly since it is what they do all the time. She then says it is much more rewarding than male surgery. I think this whole ordeal and the multiple schedule mix ups and talks of being understaffed recently is slowly building toward Delia becoming a midwife. God, I hope so. What do you think, Patsy:

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Dr. Turner hosts his clinic with help from Shelagh and a reluctant Tim. One of this patients, Frank, has lung cancer but is refusing to get radiation treatment. As Frank is leaving, Tim watches him and Dr. Turner lite a cigarette. Tim brought up earlier that there is a link between cigarettes and lung cancer. Dr. Turner told him that is only one school of thought.

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Fred tries to run Violet’s shop for the day, but is having problems with all the lady things, like bra fittings. He drags in Barbara (Charlotte Richtie) from her half day off and she assists him. Rosanne, who has been having trouble connecting to her baby, stops by and is acting rather weird. As Barbara is leaving, she finds Rosanne’s baby in its pram outside with no Rosanne in sight. Nurse Crane brings it back and tries to get an explanation out of Rosanne. She doesn’t get anything, but we see her tell her husband she isn’t real and she isn’t good enough for the baby, which they still haven’t named.

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Dr. Turner gets invited to an autopsy by a friend of his from medical school for a guy who died of lung cancer. And Dr. Turner gets a real life this is what smoking does to your lungs scare. His friend believes that cigarettes cause lung cancer. Dr. Turner is flipping out a bit over this and then goes home to see Tim lighting a cigarette and trying to smoke it. He yells at Tim, who sasses back saying what is he going to do since he is smoking all the time. Tim runs off to his room as Shelagh tries to calm Patrick down.

Patrick goes to apologize to him and says he is going to stop smoking. He lumps in Shelagh with that promise too and she reluctantly agrees. They spend the rest of the episode making origami frogs and eating biscuits to cope.

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Dr. Turner goes to the head of the Poplar board of health and is able to expand his chest clinic, using a psychology trick Tim taught him. He then realizes it was the same Tim used to get his parents to stop smoking. Frank also agrees to get radiation treatment and stop smoking so he can spend more time with his family.

Nurse Crane goes back to Rosanne’s to check on her and finds her child alone and a note of her apologizing to her husband. He says she must have gone to see her mother, but we see her walking through a street filled with prostitutes and then goes to see an old friend, who is still in the business. Nurse Crane realizes she didn’t go see her mother with some help from Shelagh. Rosanne was abandoned as a child, grew up in an orphanage and spent some time in jail on a soliciting charge.

Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) overhears the conversation and Nurse Crane asks her to come and get Rosanne back. She and her husband are rather religious and maybe Sister Winifred has had some growth since nearly killed a woman with how uncaring she is. But, then again she has done well working with prostitutes before.

Nurse Crane and Sister Winifred are able to convince Rosanne she can still raise her baby right and be a good mother, despite never having one herself. She also deserves the life she has created with her husband. Nurse Crane talks about mothers doing whatever they can to give their children their best chance. Nurse Crane also hints that her mother, who we knew was unmarried, seems to have been a teenager who was kicked out by her parents.

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Nurse Crane gets Rosanne home, she connects with her child and names her Faith.

No surprise, Fred ends up messing up and forgetting to place an order for Violet’s shop. They have a bit of a fight but Violet isn’t as mad at him as she is at a customer who says she should except it because everyone knows Fred Buckle can’t follow through with anything. Violet kicks out the customer. She apologizes to Fred, but also says he is not allowed in her shop anymore.

Overall, this episode was pretty good. I thoroughly enjoyed all the Turners stuff. It was a little strange that the majority of the episode took place outside of Nonnatus and the only Nonnatan who was around for most of it was Nurse Crane. But whatever, next week is the violence against women episode that I keep hearing about and Trixie and Sister Mary Cynthia had a scene together in the teaser, so I am excited for that.