How am I supposed to write about this episode without just screaming and posting photos of how great it was? This thing could all be:
Oh no, don’t you let your voice break while talking about how beautiful this moment is, Jenny Agutter. I can’t handle that right now.
No, Kate Lamb. You put that sad face away!
Reggie, you can’t just come for a visit and call Violet ‘mum’ while giving her flowers.
Okay now that I got that out of my system, let’s get on to this review shall we.
One of the first shots was Delia (Kate Lamb) sadly looking through the mail while Emerald Fennell’s credit appeared in its regular spot, which felt like the show saying, ‘don’t worry everything will turn out fine.”
Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) tells her not to worry. Much like last episode, Delia is still having trouble believing her. We then get a group lunch scene of everyone talking about how the clinic is getting a family contraceptive clinic too. The women going to that will have to go in through the side door. Valerie (Jennifer Kirby), Trixie (Helen George) and surprising Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) point out that is the entrance the unwed mothers use and that doesn’t seem fair. Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) tells them that is just how it is going to be.
Throughout that scene Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) is getting more and more emotional at reading her letter. Once Sister Winifred finally asks what is going on, she tells everyone her father is about to be sent on a mission trip to New Guinea. Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) launches into how that country can be dangerous for missionaries. But Barbara isn’t worried about. The posting is for three years so he wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding. She always wanted her father to officiate her wedding.
This might have been the best season finale in terms of comedy. My favorite part was when Shelagh (Laura Main) nearly started crying to Trixie about how unfair it was that women have to use the side door for the contraceptive clinic and how that will mess up the schedule in the regular clinic. Nurse Crane takes Shelagh to the kitchen and calms her down. Nurse Crane is concerned that Shelagh has been skipping her clinical appointments and hasn’t attended any mother craft classes. Shelagh said she has just been too busy. Multiple previews of this episode said there was going to be a death and I really thought it was going to be Shelagh or her unborn child.
We then meet not wanting to be a mother of the week Wilma Goddens, who goes to the contraceptive clinic to get the pill. We saw her earlier getting new buttons for her work clothes from Violet (Annabelle Apsion) and talking about how excited she was to get back to work. She is relieved that she doesn’t have to get permission from her husband because he is an “man’s man.”
Back at Nonnatus, Barbara and Tom announced that they are going to get married in three weeks, while Barbara’s father is passing through London on his way to New Guinea. Everyone is excited and looking through bridal magazines with her. She doesn’t like the modern style but Trixie says if she wants an inexpensive one on short notice she is going to half to settle. Another great moment of someone getting emotional in the midst of a large scene, Delia is trying to be excited but sadly puts down her magazine because Patsy isn’t there and as she had said before she wants nothing more than to marry her.
The next morning Shelagh comes by to drop off the insulin for her last duty before her maternity leave. She then asks Sister Julienne to be her midwife, because of course she would. But it seemed like Nurse Crane thought they had bonded enough the previous day. Thankfully Barbara notices her disappointment.
The other great comedy bit of this episode is that Violet is going through menopause. Thankfully, Wilma works for a cosmetics company that sells things that can help her. Violet agrees, commenting that she is an excellent saleswoman. Violet has a bit of a break down to Fred (Cliff Parisi) saying she feels useless since she is no longer a mum to her sons or Reggie (Daniel Laurie). Fred comforts her as he fans her with a pamphlet.
Barbara tells Tom about a wonderful day at the fair with her father, when she was able to go on one ride and chose the carousal. She also nonsense tells him she has an appointment at the family contraceptive clinic. Because it is Barbara, Sister Julienne is working the check in table and then Barbara has a few hilarious scenes with a diaphragm.
Over at the Turners’, Shelagh tells Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) that she wants to have a home birth and wants him to stop acting like such a doctor and start acting more like any other husband, but she is also failing to act like a regular mother and is being more of a midwife.
Valerie walks in on Barbara’s disastrous attempt to make her own dress. The rest of Nonnatus takes up a collection to give Barbara the money to buy a proper dress. She picks Nurse Crane to be her bridesmaid, which was the American equivalent of maid of honor. They go to get her a dress and Nurse Crane adorably guards the curtain to stop the attendant from walking in on Barbara.
Then three dramatic things happen at once. Delia is at Gateways, the real-life lesbian club from 5.7, talking to someone, who we don’t see for a bit too long, about how she used to have somebody who cared about her but she isn’t around anymore. It wasn’t that much more than promo and then it zooms out and we see that she speaking with some random girl, who is dressed in menswear, who says she’s going to call her a cab.
Wilma has been having weird pains and collapses while getting her kids ready for school. Dr. Turner runs over and sends her to St. Cuthbert’s, where Trixie has been helping out on women’s surgery. Wlima is having blood clots. Trixie goes to speak with her husband and asks him to have their children brought there and if there is anyone else they should call. He tells her she was brought up in the church.
Shelagh also goes into labor and calls Nonnauts. I am sort of sad we didn’t get a scene of someone answering the phone saying, ‘Nonnatus House, midwife speaking’ and Shelagh smiling on the other end. But, Sister Julienne arrives and starts helping Shelagh, who knows she shouldn’t have eaten an entire packet of pink wafers and knows what the gas and air case sounds like.
Tom comes to the hospital to deliver last rights to Wilma. Trixie decides to touch up her makeup, while nearly crying, because she knows how important it was to Wilma and that her children probably never saw her without it. Most of the time I hate Tom and I hate how much Trixie there is in Tom and Barbara’s relationship but I like Tom and Trixie being professional colleagues.
Shelagh’s labor is taking a while and being incredibly painful, which she knew it was going to be. Sister Julienne tells her she could start singing like the relaxation pamphlet Barbara gave her said. In a perfect being like all the other moms detail, Shelagh didn’t read it. She can’t decided between a song that was the old religious Shelagh or her new having a baby self. Sister Julienne says they are the same person. She then starts singing a song about secret love. Dr. Turner is standing outside the door and picks it up when Shelagh drops off. He then comes into the room.
Oh damn, that was beautiful. And I wish we would have cut to Delia for like a second. Dr. Turner and Sister Julienne help Shelagh deliver a perfectly healthy baby boy and nobody died, which I was so worried about. The death ended up being Wilma, who succumb to the blood clots from her birth control.
Trixie heads home with Tom and said she thought the pill was a miracle drug, but she should have known better than to believe in miracles. Tom says he will go check in on the family in the morning. Trixie asks if he is certain, tomorrow is the day before his wedding. He then says it is strange that at one point it could have been them. I nearly groaned but Trixie points out the reasons I actually like Barbara and Tom sometimes. They make way more sense than Tom and Trixie ever did and Tom and Trixie would have never worked out.
Tom says he has high hopes for her and Christopher. Trixie says it is complicated because he has a child. Tom says she has always been good with kids. Dear lord, this episode made me like Tom and Trixie. Also, Christopher’s child is a six-year-old girl. Trixie, why are you even worried?
Of course, the tea and ice cream with Alexandra, Christopher’s daughter, goes perfectly. She likes Trixie’s nail polish and Trixie says they should go look at some other colors after their ice cream.
Back at Nonnatus, Rev. Arthur Gilbert arrives. He seems to fit with the stories Barbara has told about him. She asked him for advice about how happy he and Barbara’s mother were. He is reluctant to give it. It seemed like Barbara’s mother died when she was rather young and I sort of wish we went into that a bit more.
Another good comedy bit was Fred and the parish men’s group talking Tom out for his bachelor party since his best man wasn’t arriving until the morning of the wedding. This whole gag might have been because it is the eighth episode of the season and we need to put Tom into an undershirt for no reason. So there you go ladies, who aren’t here for Patsy and Delia:
As I mentioned earlier, Reggie appears in Violet’s shop with flowers right when she most needs to see him. He attended the wedding with them and everyone else. The wedding was beautiful and I’m a bit glad we didn’t spend too much time going through everyone part of it. Tom and Barbara leave in Nurse Crane’s decorated car. He stops it outside the archway in front of Nonnatus. He tells Barbara to close her eyes and walks her toward Nonnatus. Outside is a carousel, which I guess he rented with his gambling winnings from his bachelor party.
The carousel scene was amazing. Mature Jenny (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) was giving a great voice over wrapping us up and taking about the changes and how sometimes there is room for tears in the midst of the happiness. Reggie is riding around waving at Fred and Violet. Trixie and Alexandra are riding together and waving at Christopher. Tim and Angela are riding together and waving at their parents and newborn brother. Barbara and Tom are riding on the same horse and kiss.
We then see Delia sadly walking beside the carousel. She peers toward the archway and sees Patsy (Emerald Fennell) standing in the same spot she was during the “where on earth have you been?” scene from the 2015 Christmas Special. Delia walks over, grabs her hand and pulls her further away. Delia said she didn’t know if she was going to come back. Patsy tells her she got on the boat the day after the funeral and was always intending on coming back. Patsy also says she is never going anywhere without her again, then pulls her toward her and kisses her!
They finally kissed!
And it was much longer than I thought it was going to be!
Then Patsy, with her button down and trousers, adorably shoved her hands into her pockets as she followed Delia back to Nonnatus.
I am so glad none of the main cast died. I actually liked Tom in this episode. I’m liking Trixie and Christopher and the possibility of Trixie becoming a stepmom. The Turners were adorable. Patsy is back! Patsy and Delia kissed. That is a thing this show can do now!
I’ll probably do a few post between now and the 288 days until Christmas, but this is enough to hold me over for a while. I will also be continuing my American Recaps of the episode when they air on PBS, starting on April 2.
How am I going to go about recapping this episode without freaking out the entire time? This is the most I have cried so far this season and despite being a Patsy and Delia loyalist, I think this is the best episode of the season. And that is because of the Mullocks.
I love the Mullocks as characters and how they fit into the show. Before 5.8, we never had a mother of the week come back. I thought it was a bit strange that only Rhoda appeared in that episode but it didn’t effect the episode. We had the whole family back this time.
We start with Rhoda Mullock (Liz White) taking Susan to nursery school. She is only 18 months but she is wanting to get her on a waiting list like she did with her other children. She walks out looking disappointed and goes to the clinic. She is greeted by Valerie (Jennifer Kirby), who knows them from the neighborhood. Rhoda asks to see Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann). Rhoda said she was turned away because the school doesn’t teach “sick children.”
Dr. Turner and Shelagh (Laura Main) have the same look of support and guilt as they usually do about thalidomide. And I know the show is mostly episodic but we did a lot of clunky exposition and callbacks to 5.1 and 5.8 to explain this story line.
Our other story line this week involved Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) and the Antoines, a biracial family that is about to have their fourth child. The other three are in the cubs, which Nurse Crane is now leading. The mother insists on having a home birth because she doesn’t want to deal with the stares and talk at the maternity home or hospital.
The fact that Valerie is from Poplar was woven in nicely this episode. She commented about Mrs. Antoine’s sister reaction when she said she was going to marry a Jamaican guy. And we get Delia’s (Kate Lamb) line about not being able to choose who you love. That also introduced Trixe’s (Helen George) story line. She is getting ready for a date with Christopher (Jack Hawkins). He blows her off just like he did for the last two and she spent so much time getting ready with Valerie and Delia, who had very specific tips about how she should dress for the date.
Dr. Turner puts a call into a hospital that makes artificial limbs for the Mullocks. Mr. Mullocks get a little mad because they had decided they were not going to send Susan away, ever. Rhoda counters by saying it is only a week. And shout out to Chris Reilly, who plays Bernie Mullocks. He drove me to tears three times.
They reluctantly agree to take Susan for a visit. While there they meet Lydia, whose son was also effected by thalidomide. And I would also like to give a shout out to Claire Price, who played Lydia. She was basically an exposition dump but she delivered all the lines very well. Mr. Mullocks freaks out and doesn’t want Susan there. Dr. Turner attempts to help but it doesn’t go very well.
Nurse Crane goes to deliver the Antoine’s baby. They run out of gas and air and call Nonnatus for more. Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates), who hasn’t been actually practicing to drive but has been quizzing herself, answers the call. But, since Fred (Cliff Parisi) is doing maintenance on all the bikes she walks instead.
Okay, I have one small complaint about this episode. I don’t know if it is the direction or the editing but multiple scenes that were indoors made it appear to be night but then characters would go outside and it was the middle of the day. It was a bit confusing but didn’t stop this episode from being amazing.
The birth goes fine but Sister Winifred arrives after the baby is born. Nurse Crane scolds Sister Winifred for being so slow and saying it would have taken five minutes if she could drive. She tosses her the keys and tells her to drive them home. With all of Nurse Crane’s intensity, Sister Winifred stalls in the middle of an intersection and Nurse Crane kicks her out of the driver’s seat.
A lot like with the filming of Delia riding that bike in 4.8, this whole thing was making me anticipate a car accident. I really thought Nurse Crane was going to get them into an accident and that crying from the promo was because she had seriously injured Sister Winifred. But then Lenny, the Antoine’s oldest son, runs into the street and Nurse Crane hits him as she is adjusting the rear view mirror.
Sister Winifred tells an onlooker to call an ambulance. Nurse Crane stands stunned. The police arrive. The other Antoine boys run away. The constable asks who the driver was and Nurse Crane tells him she was. She gets taken to the police station and gets booked by Sgt. Noakes (Ben Chaplan). Mr. Antoine comes running in to inquire about his son and yells at her.
Nurse Crane gets released from police custody but is suspended from nursing duties until the police are done investigating. Despite Barbara’s (Charlotte Ritchie) best efforts she can’t do anything to make her feel better. Sister Winifred also gets interviewed by the police. She tells Sgt. Noakes that she saw the other boys at the accident scene but they ran away and she knows why. Peter goes to speak with them and their parents.
They are only supposed to play on a street that doesn’t have traffic. They were but after getting called names by racist bullies they ran away. Mr. Antoine says Nurse Crane is a good woman and he does want to press charges. Peter says there are no grounds anyway, since it was an accident.
Over in the Mullocks’ story line, Rhoda takes Susan to the hospital without telling the rest of the family. Belinda and Perry get mad at her. Belinda asks if Susan cried when she was left there. Perry says Mr. Mullocks is going to be pissed, which he is. Rhoda tells Bernie that they can’t keep protecting Susan all the time. They have to let her go a bit and that includes admitting there are things they can ‘fix’ with artificial limbs. Can the Mullocks get their own spin off?
Though she isn’t facing any charges, Nurse Crane is still questioning herself in terms of nursing and driving. She sits in the garden, per Barbara’s suggestion and then Tom (Jack Ashton) brings her tea. He tries to help but Nurse Crane shoots him down in the best way possible saying people like him look to the almighty for answers while she, as a rational atheist, only has herself to answer to.
Trixie actually goes out on a date with Christopher. He explains that he blew her off the other three times because he has a daughter and is divorced. I saw a spoiler for this and I was really hoping he was going to have an out-of-wedlock child. That seemed like it would have fit better with his character. Trixie gets mad that he didn’t tell her. She is in the midst of realizing she is being hypocritical when he asks if they could go to a pub. She quickly leaves.
Back at Nonnatus, she is eating custard (with bananas so it is healthy) in the kitchen with Valerie. She says it is hard to tell people secrets especially if they are afraid of being laughed at or judged or prosecuted. Interesting word choice, Valerie. She doesn’t know about Trixie going to AA it seems. I am not sure how much I believe this Valerie is also gay and is going to drive a wedge between Patsy and Delia theory, but homosexuality was grounds to be discharged from the British Armed Forces until 1994.
Trixie ends up inviting Christopher to tea at Nonnatus. She tells him the truth and he says “good for you” and jokes about not bringing drinks to dates anymore.
Nurse Crane gets left on call at Nonnatus with Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt). A mother calls that she is in labor. Sister Monica Joan finds Nurse Crane nervously staring at her car and says she must not know the directions but she does so she will come and assist. The drive and birth goes well thanks to Sister Monica Joan’s encouragement.
All of the Mullocks go visit Susan and Rhoda and Bernie get invited to a thalidomide parents group by Lydia. That parents meeting got me crying again. Mature Jenny (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) tells us about the work of the thalidomide parents and how they spent 50 years trying to get justice for their children.
Also at the end of the episode, Nurse Crane finds Delia sadly reading a newspaper. There is an obituary for Patsy’s father. He died two weeks ago but Delia hasn’t heard anything from Patsy. Nurse Crane reassures her that she will write soon. Delia doesn’t sound so certain.
Patsy better be back next week. It also looks like Shelagh is going into labor and Barbara and Tom are rushing to get married for some reason.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
The American airings of Call The Midwife have now ended. Meaning there is more than six months until there is new Call The Midwife or even episodes I have already seen airing with terrible edits in the U.S. So, I decided to write out my speculations and hopes for season six.
Things 5.8 set up
Thalidomide is not over
The thalidomide story line was great. I like that the show as able to a season long medical arch. Rhoda and Susan Mullock were a great way to simplify and humanize a larger issue. Everything surrounding thalidomide started slowly coming to the surface and I don’t think we are done with the issue. The last time it is mentione Rhoda and Dr. Turner both seemed to take the blame for the issue. I would love to see Rhoda back, but if we don’t Dr. Turner and Shelagh are going to have to deal with this sometime.
Lesbians in Paris
Patsy is taking Delia to Paris for her holiday in the spring. Spring is usually the second, third or fourth episode of the season. And with most of the show travelling to South Africa for the Christmas special, I have a lot of hope for the Paris trip. Take the production to Paris or build a Paris looking set, I don’t care, just please show us it and don’t have Patsy and Delia just be missing for an episode when they are off being “thick as thieves” in Paris.
Delia is the new midwife
Okay maybe this belongs in the speculation section, but Delia said she might be enrolling in a midwifery course. Also, it is more rewarding than male surgical and is what her girlfriend and everyone she lives with does. Throughout season five there were little hints about Nonnatus being understaffed; Nurse Crane apologizes for having to give Trixie so many night shifts in a row, Nurse Crane introduces a new charting system to keep everyone more organized and everyone being out on rounds lead to Delia’s story line in 5.5 and the Barbara and Tom make out session in 5.7.
A lot of that was because of Sister Evangelina not being there and now that she is still no longer there, someone is going to have to fill her spot and the extra position Nonnatus seems to need.
“Let’s see what Father Christmas brings”
That is a strange thing for you to say to Trixie in probably late October or early November, Nurse Crane. It was rather on-the-nose set up, but whatever it excited me. One of the big themes for Trixie in season five, which she states in 5.8, is that she doesn’t know where she belongs anymore. So, I guess she is going to find it during the Christmas special.
Thoughts on things we actually know
Christmas in South Africa
Most of the characters are going to in South Africa to help out at a hospital there for the Christmas special and production actually moved to outside of Cape Town to film it. And by “most of” I mean everyone expect for Sister Monica Joan, Sister Mary Cynthia, the Turner children and Patsy and Delia. I am super excited about this because the South Africa story line seems really interesting. It is also late 1961, so that is right in the middle of apartheid. But, I really hope we still get part of the episode back in Poplar because with that being who is left behind at Nonnatus this Christmas special might be even gayer than the last one, which was pretty god damn gay.
Chummy is back
Miranda Hart is coming back as a full-time cast member for season six. I am not sure how I feel about this. Clearly, I like Miranda Hart and I always liked Chummy, but I don’t know if she needs to come back. This show is different than it was in season three, the last time Chummy was always around, and I don’t know if she fits into the narrative anymore. Also, in Chummy’s absence I have grown really attached to everyone else from Patsy and Trixie all the way down to Violet.
But then again, should I be doubting this show? It hit a lesbian with a car and then completely redeemed itself within two episodes and actually made me like that that happened. So, Chummy’s return will probably be great.
Rumors and speculations
Why does everyone think Trixie is leaving?
I hope this is just some terrible rumor with no truth behind it because why does everyone still think Helen George is leaving? She can’t leave. I love Trixie too much. This was a fear through most of the latter half of season five because of this photo that was posted on Helen’s Instagram and then taken down:
Because that looks like a funeral scene that Helen is not in, which lead to everyone thinking she was going to die in 5.6 or 5.8 But:
I thought we were done with this. But now everyone is thinking Trixie is going to find where she belongs in South Africa and possibly stay in South Africa. I don’t want to say I would hate that because as I said above this show can make me like lesbians being hit by cars, but I don’t want Trixie to leave. Miranda Hart coming back after being MIA for more than a season does give me hope that if Helen George decides to take some time off we will still see her again.
When is someone going to find out about Patsy and Delia?
I recently re-watched 4.3 with my aunt who is getting into the show and was reminded of one of my favorites moments in Patsy and Trixie’s friendship. Patsy is asking Trixie in their room if she is the only one who doesn’t hate the queers. Trixie asks her why she cares so much, Patsy gives a weak response and turns off the light. Trixie peers into the darkness like she might realizing something then takes a drink. That was more than a season ago and still nobody (save for Mrs. Busby) knows about Patsy and Delia.
Trixie isn’t that high on my list of people who have worked it out anymore, because Nurse Crane and Sister Monica Joan clearly know. I loved the subtly and reluctant acceptance of Mrs. Busby. Can we have some other scenes like that in season six? Of course with more acceptance, I don’t think anyone is going to a jerk about it. Well, expect for Sister Winifred.
Out there hopes
This hope might not be that out there. I have seen this a few times of people wanting a non-white new midwife. I don’t think it is going to happen in season six because our new midwife slots seem like they are going to be filled with Chummy and Delia. But, if we get actual new midwives later on it would be cool to see a Sylheti or African midwife.
Father’s Day episode
This has just been a weird hope of mine for a while, but I really want to see an episode where all the nurses and maybe the young nuns’ father come to Poplar for some reason. Multiple of the characters have mentioned their fathers many times while barely ever speaking of their mothers. I want to see the dynamics between the main characters and their fathers. And I really want to see Welsh draper shop owner Mr. Busby, international businessman Mr. Mount and Rev. Gilbert interact with each other. I doubt Mr. Franklin would show, if he is even alive, but that would create a really good story line for Trixie.
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.
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.
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 of them. This is my American Recap, which I am using as an excuse to write about the Trixie-Tom-Barbara love triangle episode twice.
Missing Moments from the American Broadcast
As with 5.3 last week, I am going to have to start this with the missing moments. Because what the hell, PBS? You cut all the Patsy and Delia’s scenes?!
Well, time marker 6:50 to 9:15 in this Patsy and Delia complication video for the missing scenes from this week’s episode. Patsy and Delia are only in two scenes in the full length version of this episode and both were cut. And I love the porch steps scene.
The porch steps scene starts with Patsy and Delia sitting on the steps on Nonnatus looking at movie times in the newspaper. Delia is excited about the new Anita Ekberg movie that is coming out, because she finds her attractive and so does Patsy. Delia knows Patsy isn’t working next Friday and asks her to a date.
Trixie then walks out wearing shorts, which was a perfect 1960s touch. She is also excited about the film. Patsy politely invites her, but looks guilty about it after Delia scolds her for inviting a third wheel to their date. Barbara then comes out. Delia invites her too but she fumbled to think of an excuse since everyone knows she has a date with Tom. Trixie is rather mean about it and then storms off, leaving Barbara looking guilty beside an uncomfortable Patsy and Delia.
Everything about that scene was great: the dynamic between all four of the young nurses, Patsy and Delia being a secret couple, Patsy managing spending time with her friends and her girlfriend and the start of Trixie and Barbara’s weird dynamic of dating the same man. Also, the dialogue, the costumes, the facial expressions. This is one of my favorite scenes of the whole season and I am pissed it was cut.
Though I am mad the second scene was cut, I knew it was going to be. It was cute and in a very broad sense is important to Patsy and Delia’s arch this season. It had no baring on the plot this week. Patsy gets home late from a delivery and Delia has waited up for her, so they can be alone and flirty. She also makes her a drink and jokes about how perfect her hair always is. Patsy also makes a lighthearted comment about how no one has ever waited up for her, which is really sad knowing Patsy’s background. But most people probably forgot about it since they cut all the references to it last week.
Two additional things about these cut scenes. 1) Delia has had three scenes in the PBS edited version of season five so far. So, the focus on her next week is going to seem really out of place.
2) Why with the homophobia, PBS? This is two weeks in a row now that all but one of the five scenes featuring the lesbian couple were cut from the episodes. This is really making me start to think this is a homophobia thing and not just a really terrible editing choice.
I have been wanting to comment on the behind the scenes segments for a while and this is the perfect opportunity. PBS has been playing about a minute and a half of behind the scenes segments during each episode. I like them, but I would rather have that minute and a half of the episode. But, this week after cutting all the gay stuff from the episode PBS fucking played this segment:
What?! Who is making these decisions for PBS? Also Emerald Fennell and Kate Lamb got more scene time during the behind the scenes than they did during this episode.
Five Things I Loved
1. Surprise thalidomide
That might be a crass way to word this but first time seeing this I was not expecting a continuation of the thalidomide story line in this episode. Everything with St. Cuthbert’s seemed to be playing up the modernization theme and I was just as shocked and devastated as Sister Julienne was. Call The Midwife has never done this much of a season-long medical issue and it plays well with the fact that we are not expecting it.
2. Jenny Agutter
I get excited any time Sister Julienne gets to help with a delivery or assist with a case. I could watch Jenny Agutter sitting behind a desk and say administrative things for hours, but getting to see her get more involved is always fantastic. So she was fantastic in this episode. Also she had me nearly in tears about three different times.
3. This love triangle is not about one person
Love triangles are a common troupe, but the Trixie-Tom-Barbara one put a different spin on it. It is not about one person and the two people they are in love with or who are in love with them. It is not even about one relationship. The relationship between Barbara and Tom is just as important as the relationship between Trixie and Tom, as is the relationship between Trixie and Barbara. I like that when the show finally decided to tackle its love triangle it was mostly about Trixie and Tom getting over each other than it was about Tom and Barbara’s feelings for each other. It could have turned rather catty between Trixie and Barbara but it was sweet and a little sad and I really liked it.
Everything about Trixie in this episode was great. We got emotional Trixie, silly friend Trixie, awesome at her job Nurse Franklin, maturity gained through her damage Trixie and slightly heartbroken but moving on Trixie. Also, I don’t know if it is the haircut or the 1960s fashion, but damn Helen George looks gorgeous this season.
5. This framing shot
The ceremony for Sister Hildagard was one of the most overtly religious things this show has even done. And the show, despite half its characters being nuns, is usually rather secular. So, while Sister Mary Cynthia is talking about love encompassing everything, Sister Julienne is flaked by Delia and Patsy, who didn’t need to be in focus at all but they are.
There has not been a lot of Delia. With the scenes cut in this episode, Delia has had three scenes so far this season. I have a lot of issues with 5.5, which I will get into next week, but the sudden strong focus on Delia seemed a bit out of place the first time I saw it. And I had seen the full versions of these episodes. Also without the porch steps scene, we haven’t gotten anything about Delia being a bit of a film/television buff, which comes up later. Overall, Delia hasn’t had that many scenes because during season four and the early part of season five she is just Patsy’s girlfriend and doesn’t get much of her own character moments until this episode.
Ah God, Patsy/Damnit Delia
It was cut! Again!
My first choice was cut. But Barbara and her fuzzy felt apostles were pretty funny.
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 a full length post about each of them. This is my American Recap post, which I’m using as an excuse to write about Call The Midwife twice.
Five Things I Loved
1. Recovered Trixie
The Christmas Special only skated over a few topics, one of those was Trixie’s season four story arch being summed up by one line about alcohol being bad for the complexion. This episode threw that out the window and devoted a whole lot of time to Trixie. At first it seems like the heavy focus on her Keep Fit class was avoiding her alcoholism story line but we eventually are told that AA and Keep Fit are what has helped her recover and I love that the show as was able to work in her recovery elements in such a perfect way.
2. The tackling of thalidomide
The show told us in a simple moment in Season 4 Episode 8 that it would be tackling the issue of thalidomide in the future. This episode did a great job of introducing it and I’m excited for now it continues.
3. Odd pairings
This episode had a lot of odd pairings; all four of the nurses, Sister Mary Cynthia and Patsy, Shelagh and Sister Mary Cynthia, the young nurses and Sister Monica Joan, Shelagh and Patsy. They were all great. This show has gradually become more of an ensemble drama over the years and hasn’t paired its multiple characters up in unexpected ways in a long time.
4. Patsy’s amazing dress
I was just going to make this the young nurses’ costumes between their Easter outfits and the few bits of non-uniform time they get, because they all look fantastic this episode. But, I had to give a mention to that amazing and maybe I have been watching too much period drama lately, but rather revealing dress that Patsy wore on her date with Delia. Emerald Fennell looked fantastic this episode.
5. Trixie vs. Sister Julienne
At first the rivalry between Trixie, the unofficial head nurse, and Sister Julienne, the official head nun, made me a bit uncomfortable. Nobody is allowed to question Sister Julienne. But, Trixie does this episode a lot. They eventually reach an understanding after Trixie defends herself and points out the women of Nonnatus need to look out for all the women of Poplar.
Tom. Tom is the problem I have with this episode. I touched on this (a lot) during my longer posts for this season, but Tom really annoys me in this episode. Of all the women in Poplar you have to go for your ex-fiance’s co-worker/friend that she lives with, Tom? More specifically his dialogue with Barbara with the Easter bonnets before Keep Fit all sounds like some sort of weird insult to Trixie, which how dare you Tom? But, also it felt a bit out of character. Or he might just be that oblivious.
Ah God, Patsy
Ah God, Patsy is going to be the shout out to the moment when Patsy was so god damn gay, I can’t do anything but smile and groan to myself, ‘Ah God, Patsy.’ I’ll probably be adding a Damnit, Delia section later in the season.
This week is was the little gay smirk when Patsy told Trixie she was spending her day off “just seeing a friend.”
I’m temped to say any time Sister Monica Joan was on screen. But, everything about her reaction and dialogue after Patsy brings home doughnuts is the funniest moment.
Missing Moments From the American Broadcast
This didn’t go as poorly as I thought it might. Two of the cut moments had no baring on the plot, one had a bit and one had a lot.
The first missing moment was a few lines of dialogue Sister Winifred says to Sister Mary Cynthia as they watch the nurses run upstairs to try on their new uniforms. Sister Winifred jokes about their “uniforms” never changing. I like this little moment because Sister Mary Cynthia seems to look a bit sad about not being with the nurses. It doesn’t effect the plot of this episode too much, but it adds a nice element to Sister Mary Cynthia’s story line later in the season.
The second missing moment was just a montage of Danny, the photographer, taking photos of Trixie and Barbara throughout Poplar. No barring on the plot and the episode was fine without it. The third was Rhoda Mullocks telling Patsy she wished she got one of the old nuns so she didn’t have to be embarrassed about her butt. It made me like Rhoda much more but also no baring on the plot.
Same can’t be said about the fourth missing moment. After Mr. Mullocks refused to let Rhoda and Susan back into his house, Sister Mary Cynthia is sewing baby clothes from the charity box to fit Susan with Sister Winifred. Sister Winifred is a bit of a jerk about children with disabilities, then Sister Mary Cynthia tells us she had a brother with disabilities who died when she was a child. That is a great little bit of character building for Sister Mary Cynthia. She has always been great at handling cases with people with disabilities and now we know why.
Also, Sister Winifred tries to speculate and make connects about what happened to Susan, which is important to the plot throughout the season, and she is a bit of a dick, which is also important to her plot line later in the season.
This was the second time this season I have gone into an episode terrified that a character might die. Though, it was only a speculation and a rumor for Episode 6 it was a certainty for Episode 8. And again the speculation, guesses and that photo, left me thinking it was either going to be Trixie or Sister Evangelina.
I had no outbursts of emotion or jumps of fear this time around. Everything was just a sinking feeling that something was about to go wrong. While Episode 6 was scary and shocking and upsetting, Episode 8 was emotionally draining and sad.
Mature Jenny (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) did scare me with her opening voice over. She is talking about the mark women leave on the world saying the most common view is their children and who they leave to carry on their legacy. She also talks about women not getting to. During this we are watching Trixie (Helen George) cycle down the street.
Over at the surgery, Dr. Turner (Patrick McGann) and Shelagh (Laura Main) are annoyed that birth control didn’t become as readily available as they thought it would. Still only married mothers can get it. We then cut over to the clinic as one mother is commenting on how wrapped up another baby is. It seemed weird and out of place and then I noticed the mother was Rhoda Mullock (Liz White), from Season 5 Episode 1.
I’m pretty sure this is the first time a baby of the week mother has returned for another episode and it makes sense that it is for the thalidomide story line, the largest medical issue the show has ever tackled. Susan has been doing well and is able to hold a rattle and a spoon. Rhoda is still having some problems and Shelagh tells her everything will be all right. Dr. Turner then prescribes her a sleeping medication.
Later on, Fred (Cliff Pairsi) and Violet (Annabelle Apsion) run into Tessa, who is a relative of Violet’s, and her son, Mitchell. He just got back from Australia and his fiance is on her way. Tessa and Mitchell go to see Tom (Jack Asthon) because they need to plan a wedding, quickly because Noelle, Mitchell’s fiance, is pregnant. Tom agrees to help.
Next we see Tom, Barbara (Charlotte Richtie) is over at his place. They are planning a date. He wants to go to a movie, but she wants to talk with him and maybe dance. As soon as they kissed, I was thinking, ‘alright very cute, but can we cut to the cool couple.’ And then we cut to Delia (Kate Lamb) and Patsy (Emerald Fennell) in a coffee bar. I love you, Call The Midwife.
We join them mid-conversation talking about Delia getting a passport. She needs her birth certificate, which her mother is bringing when she comes to visit. Patsy doesn’t look too happy about that fact. Then Delia notices the lady that always comes in and puts gin in her coffee is back. Patsy thinks she looks familiar but doesn’t know where she knows her from.
Back at Nonnatus, the nuns are going through storage boxes that were sent over from the Mother House. One of them contained the wedding dresses each of them wore when they took their vows. That practice has since changed, which is why we didn’t see Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) in one. Sister Evangelina is grumbling about hers and how she looked like a sideshow freak in it.
Barbara is about to get called out to deliver a baby for a family that live in a cramped flat with fleas that doesn’t have running water. She asks Sister Evangelina, who told her earlier she isn’t doing anything with newborns because of her arm, to come with her. She says she will go but she is only doing the grunt work. Sister Evangelina goes to get water in the hall tap when the baby is born. She looks sad thinking about what she can’t do anymore. When she gets back upstairs, Barbara asks her to give the baby a bath because she is worried the water will get too cold before she is done with the mother. Sister Evangelina doesn’t agree until the power goes out, further proving Barbara’s point. She agrees and is able to do more than she thought she could.
Sister Evangelina is all happy when they get home. She tells Barbara to find the cake she hid in one of the cabinets. It is missing and Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) wanders in with a plate blaming the mice. Sister Evangelina gets a little annoyed with her but goes and sits on the chair by the fire. Barbara goes and puts a blanket on her. Sister Evangelina thanks her.
With all the build up and small character moments and Sister Evangelina being rather nostalgic, it was not hard to guess that she was going to die in her sleep on that chair. The next morning, we see Fred coming in from the garden, talking to himself and making jokes while kind of upbeat music plays. It was a touch that made this episode so sad, but it a completely different way than Episode 6. The levity stops when she doesn’t wake up after he knocks over the fireplace tools.
When then cut to the Turners. Shelagh answers the phone and walks back into the living room and cries as she tells Dr. Turner he has to go to Nonnatus. I’ll just let the show speak for itself for a moment:
Dr. Turner tells Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) and Sister Monica Joan that it was probably an aneurysm cause by another stroke in her sleep. He says since it was a sudden death, a postmortem will have to be done. Sister Monica Joan then launches into a tearful monologue about how she will not be able to be resurrected like the Lord and have her eyes in the afterlife if her body is cut up. Sister Julienne nearly losses it and tells her they will discuss that side later because they have a lot to do. She ends up not needing one.
Dr. Turner gets home and finds Shelagh crying at the kitchen table. He assumes it is because of Sister Evangelina but that is only part of it. The surgery received a notice to stop prescribing the sleeping medication that he has given to Rhoda Mullock and multiple others. There was also a letter to the editor in The Lancet, the medical journal they are always reading, linking thalidomide, which is in the sleeping medication, to birth defects.
They both freak out for a moment. Dr. Turner says he has given the medication to numerous women and Rhoda wasn’t on it when she gave birth. Also, the letter said there have not been any cases in England, but a few in other parts of Europe.
They call Sister Julienne, who brings Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) with her. The Turners say they need to see if there is any truth to their theory and see if it is what caused the problems. Nurse Crane tells Sister Julienne to go home because she has too much to do and send Patsy to help. So, Nurse Crane, Patsy and the Turners search through all the records and try to find out how Rhoda, Ruby Cottingham from Episode 4 and the mother of the boy born without thumbs could have gotten the medication.
Them researching is cut with the sisters preparing Sister Evangelina for burial and Trixie, Delia and Barbara sewing a wedding dress. Noelle couldn’t find a real one, because she is nine months pregnant. Sister Mary Cynthia said she heard Sister Evangelina offer up her wedding dress for Noelle.
Sister Julienne agreed because of how determined Sister Evangelina was to keeping the vow of poverty, it was why she also refused free flowers and decided to have her layout in a smaller room in Nonnatus instead of a larger room that was offered for free by one of the funeral homes. There is a line past the archway outside of people waiting to see her.
Nurse Crane and Patsy go around collecting the sleeping medication from everyone. Sister Julienne goes to the coffee bar Patsy and Delia were at earlier and sits with the lady who always puts gin in her coffee because it is Ruby Cottingham. She says she couldn’t take being with her other children anymore and can’t get the thought of her daughter out of her head. Sister Julienne asks her if she ever took the medication. She did and hands her bottle over to Sister Julienne after taking one more and washing it down with gin.
Back at Nonnatus, Trixie runs into Nurse Crane in the kitchen. Patsy, Delia, Barbara and Tom went out to a pub, so Trixie stayed home. Nurse Crane tells her she looks lonely and asks if she is OK. Trixie starts to cry and then explains that she is and she isn’t even upset that she doesn’t have a man, that seeing Barbara and Tom together doesn’t even make her think about what she could have had. It just makes her realize that they found a place were they belong.
That is a better way of wording what I was trying to say about Trixie last week. It is not just that her three closest friends have been spending more time with their significant others: Delia, Tom and the church. It is that Patsy belongs with Delia, Barbara belongs with Tom and Sister Mary Cynthia belongs with the church. But, Trixie doesn’t know where she belongs. Nurse Crane tells her she will find it.
We then go to Patsy and Delia getting lunch with Mrs. Busby, in the same restaurant as last time. She is complaining about the cost of rent Delia is having to pay at Nonnatus. Delia says it is fine because if she wants to enroll in a midwifery program, she will have to be in hospital approved housing anyway. Mrs. Busby says she doesn’t understand how she could want to do such messy, personal work. Patsy sounds pretty annoyed when she points out it is what she does.
Mrs. Busby sounds about the same when she tells her she knows. In about the exact same way as in Episode 1, Patsy scoffs at her and then looks to Delia only to realizes she has given in. But, Patsy doesn’t back down this time. Patsy says Delia needs her birth certificate so she can get a passport because she isn’t going home to Wales for her holiday this year, she is going to Paris with Patsy. Mrs. Busby calls them “thick as thieves” with a mean bent but gives it to Delia saying she is a grown woman. She then tells her not to do anything to make her father cry.
Well, that didn’t go as crazily as I thought it would, but it seems someone has officially figured out Patsy and Delia. Mrs. Busby was barely on my list of first people to figure it out.
Back at Nonnatus, Shelagh and Tim are going to visit Sister Evangelina and run into Rhoda and Susan Mullock in line. They had gone away for a few days and don’t know about the connection between the sleeping medication and birth defects. Shelagh takes her back to speak with Dr. Turner and they explain everything to her. She wasn’t prescribed the medication but her sister was and she gave her a few.
Rhoda has a bit of a freak out realizing she did this to her daughter and her family. Dr. Turner tells her that isn’t true. I’m not sure she believed him and I’m not sure Dr. Turner doesn’t think it isn’t his fault.
Mitchell and Noelle have their wedding at the community center. Noelle goes into labor, still wearing Sister Evangelina’s dress, afterward. Sister Mary Cynthia and Trixie deliver the baby successfully. Noelle says the dress is ruined, but Sister Mary Cynthia tells her it just had the best day of its life.
The episode ends with Sister Evangelina’s funeral procession.
Sgt. Noakes (Ben Chaplan) says people have lined up on every street from Nonnatus to the cemetery and he has blocked off as much traffic as he can. Sister Julienne says the coffin looks sad and plain without any flower. Sister Monica Joan walks out of Nonnatus with Sister Evangelina’s shoes and says they have more of her spirit than a thousand flowers could.
Last episode, I said this one could not be as emotionally destroying as Season 4 Episode 8 was and it wasn’t. This was an incredibly sad episode, don’t get me wrong. But, it did have a bittersweet feel and ending. Yes, we lost Sister Evangelina but she died happy after spending an evening doing what she loved most. Her legacy will live on in Poplar and everyone will remember what she did for the community. And that is a much better season ending.
Season five will start airing on PBS in the United States on April 3. I’ll be posting different stuff about each of the episodes then because I don’t want to wait until December to write about this show again.
Most of the time I start writing my post right after watching the episode. But I wasn’t able to do that this week. If I had it would have gone like this:
Ah Patsy and Delia slept together again! Delia is advocating for pre-martial sex! The Gateway Club was mentioned! Are we actually getting that scene?!
They didn’t kiss?
If all that Tom and Barbara making out wasn’t to contrast them with Patsy and Delia who had to go to a special club to do so why was there so much of it?
So, we get to see this girl:
Making out with her boyfriend. But we don’t get to see this girl:
Even kiss her girlfriend even when she has finally found a place where she can? Oh no! Is the BBC homophobic? Was I being too optimistic?
But, I’ve worked out my frustration at the gym and I have thought about this episode for a few hours and I am now ready to actually talk about. So, let’s get into it, shall we?
We open on this:
As Mature Jenny (voiced by Vanessa Redgrave) is talking about the changing times and finding a sense of place, we watch Patsy (Emerald Fennell) wake up beside Delia (Kate Lamb) and then sneak down the hall and back into her room. She and Barbara (Charlotte Richtie) nearly miss each other as Barbara goes out to the window to watch Tom (Jack Ashton) leave for the morning.
Now that was a fantastic contrast between these two couples. Patsy and Delia, who have been together for probably a few years, are sleeping together and Barbara and Tom, who have been together for a few months, are waving at each other from windows.
Our baby of the week couples are introduced right off the bat. Daisy, who has a barge with a husband and children, collapses while trying to do her morning work. Barbara visits Gina, who is getting restless and painting her flat as her disinterested husband Leslie reads the paper.
Back at Nonnatus, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) is commending Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) for her strength since her attack. She seems uncomfortable since she hasn’t done anything but continued on. They have a brief conversation about how Sister Evangelina’s (Pam Ferris) six months at the silent order is up but they haven’t heard anything from her. Sister Julienne then goes to a meeting with the Turners about a contraceptive pill about to become readily available.
Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) is super excited. He comments on how much easier it will be to get because it will not require a referral to a family planning clinic, something only married women can get. Sister Julienne is concerned about it promoting pre-marital sex. Dr. Turner says 1 in 10 children in Poplar are born out of wedlock and Shelagh adds that it will help decrease that and the stigma for those children and their mothers. Sister Julienne gets a little mad at former Sister Bernadette saying she thought she would be more moral and her biscuits are too fancy.
Nonnatus got word of the pregnant barge lady collapsing and Patsy and Sister Winifred (Victoria Yeates) are sent down. Daisy and her family aren’t as mean as some of the other fringe of society families they have tried to help. Daisy takes information about Nonnatus and the clinic from them. She ends up attending and is surprised by what she able to get a clinic. Dr. Turner thinks her having bed rest in the maternity home would be best. After some convincing from Patsy, Shelagh and Sister Winifred she agrees to stay and enroll her four other children in the school.
While they and everyone else is out, Barbara invites over Tom, who has a bunch of hair grease in because he was just at a funeral. They put on one of Trixie’s (Helen George) records and slow dance in the living room. Then they start kissing. Then they start making out, like a lot. His hair grease levels a spot on the wallpaper. They try to wipe it off but can’t and then Sister Julienne gets home and assumes Tom has come to join them for compline.
It was cute and funny. And it being these innocent little dorks I was a bit shocked. The stain is spotted during dinner and Barbara fumbles through pretending she doesn’t know anything. Sister Julienne says they are having a seminar with the Turners and Rev. Herawood to discuss birth control and its moral consequences.
The seminar is on a Tuesday, so Trixie doesn’t attend so she can go to AA. She gives another heartfelt monologue about how much she misses drinking sometimes and how she didn’t know who her real friends were when she wasn’t sober. It made me a little concerned because with Patsy spending more time with Delia, Barbara being with Tom and Sister Mary Cynthia still being a nun her friends aren’t spending that much time with her. Can Trixie meet a hot guy in her AA class or a footballer she can bond over fitness with?
The seminar goes rather awkwardly. Dr. Turner and Shelagh explain how the pill was introduced in the U.S. a few years ago for menstrual problems and will soon be readily available. Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) says it will be helpful because it will be the woman’s choice, instead of men who refuse to wear condoms. Sister Julienne said they have to think about the religious angle.
She asks Tom’s opinion. He is sitting beside Barbara and gives a bible quote about a man and woman only sleeping with the woman and man they are married to. Patsy calls it irrelevant because contraceptives didn’t exist then. Delia, who is sitting beside Patsy, gives a hypothetical about two 19-year-olds loving each other and giving into the urges they can’t control and saying it shouldn’t ruin their lives and reputations.
Sister Julienne is still unsure. Later on, Barbara is going off to deliver Gina’s baby. Tom follows her out and asks her if she is really for pre-marital sex. She says of course not but it happens and people should have options. She also calls him out for trying to be the moral voice of sex and contraceptives when he knows nothing about the medical side and is uncomfortable talking about it. But, she let’s him kiss her again.
Gina’s delivery talks most of the night. She tells Barbara and Nurse Crane, who came to help, that she doesn’t think Leslie wanted any of this. They were only together three months before they had to get married because she was pregnant. Nurse Crane tells Barbara about her mother being unmarried and that she has used contraceptives herself when she was dating an airman during the war.
Later on, Patsy and Delia are spending their night off in the garden behind Nonnatus. Patsy is worried about Daisy’s children, who were getting picked on at school for smelling and having weird clothes. They agree that maybe as a barge family they will never fit in a certain place. Delia then tells Patsy that on their next night off she wants to go to The Gateway Club, which was a really life lesbian club in London in the 1960s.
Patsy says they have talked about it and she doesn’t want to be with other women like them, she just wants to be with Delia. But, Delia wants to and do stuff like hold hands and dance.
In the next scene Patsy is not at a lesbian club with her girlfriend, she is helping Daisy’s children with Sister Winifred, of all people. They have given all the children baths and new clothes so they will not be picked on at school. After school, the kids and Daisy’s husband visit her at the maternity home. She is incredibly mad about how they smell and are dressed. She screams at Patsy for trying to take away who they are. Patsy explains that she was only trying to help, but Daisy just yells at her some more.
Then a freak storm hits Poplar on the night of a full moon, which is the busiest night for midwives, according to Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt). The power starts going out and Trixie is called to the Turners’ surgery to help because two women have gone into labor at the same time. Trixie runs into a third trying to get there. Nurse Crane is called to Gina and Leslie’s because she is feeling sick and can’t see. Lou, Daisy’s daughter, defies her mother’s wishes and runs to Nonnatus to get Patsy because her mother has gone into labor and isn’t feeling well. Trixie is juggling two deliveries while Tim is out in the hallway keeping the lights on with a hand crank.
Gina and Leslie quickly bond over their situation and he refuses to leave her side to wave down the ambulance. Nurse Crane struggles to get them and their baby down the eight flights of stairs, because the power is out and the elevator isn’t working. Patsy arrives at Daisy’s barge. There are a bunch of other women there, who have already taken her husband and three youngest children to their barges. Patsy tells Daisy she doesn’t have to be there if Daisy thinks she can handle it with her friends. Daisy tells her they aren’t her friends they are just other barge women and they look after each other. But they leave, taking a terrified looking Lou with them.
Daisy delivers her baby mostly on her own. She tells Patsy though being an outsider in Poplar and getting her help was nice for a while, being who she is is important especially because she knows she is part of something bigger. Hint, hint, Patsy.
The next morning after all the babies were delivered safely, Sister Julienne and Sister Mary Cynthia try to make their way to their rounds but are met with storm damage that Fred (Cliff Parisi) and the CDC are trying to clean up. They also get the surprise return of Sister Evangelina.
I’m going to forgive this surprise being in the teaser because their faces and Sister Monica Joan’s later was so great. Sister Evangelina tried to call but the phone line was knocked out, so she quickly strong arms a shop keeper into letting them use his phone. Back at Nonnatus, she tells Sister Julienne she would like to just do the district rounds to start then ease back into midwifery.
Sister Julienne corners her in the garden later and asks her what her real reason is because she has noticed it looks like she can’t move her left arm. She tells her she had a stroke two-months into her stay with the silent order. She regained almost everything but the use of her arm. She sees it as a sign from god that she wasn’t supposed to leave midwifery or Nonnatus because there is where she belongs.
Mature Jenny wraps up all the story lines with her voice over. Mature Jenny seems to be getting really specific, have I just never noticed that or is that new? Anyway, Leslie and Gina are actually in love like they are supposed to be and Daisy and her family leave but Sister Winifred is sending school work to the children.
Mature Jenny continues on about finding your place and being were you need to be. We cut between Sister Evangelina hanging out with Sister Monica Joan and Patsy and Delia going to the Gateway Club. They nervously take each other’s hands inside, go to the dance floor, spin around and nearly kiss.
I’m not as mad about them not kissing as I was initially. It was still a parallel with Barbara and Tom, who we also saw dance this episode but they could at Nonnatus. Also, Delia said in S4Ep6 that she wanted to dance with Patsy without half of Poplar watching and there had to be somewhere. Patsy told her in S4Ep7 she would find a way for them to be together. So, I liked it. I liked it a lot. Am I annoyed that I have seen Tom grab Barbara’s butt but I haven’t seen Delia kiss Patsy? Yes, yes I am.
But hey, we might get a kiss next week. It looks like Delia and Patsy might be having a story line together. Apparently, Mrs. Busby is going to be in the next episode too. I am nervous about that but excited for the final episode. Whatever happens it can’t be as emotionally destroying as Season 4 Episode 8 was.