This episode seemed to have a lot it wanted to do but wasn’t quite sure how to get there. The whole episode felt a little slow as it was building up to everything crashing down or being revealed at the end. Even the thing I was most excited for in this episode didn’t happen for about 30 minutes, but that’s okay because Trixie’s back!
We open on Barbara (Charlotte Richtie) cycling through a Chinese neighbor and despite everything around us screaming CHINA (including the score. We get it, CtM. They’re Chinese) Lucy grew up in Liverpool and was raised by her English mother but her mother-in-law is wanting her to do things more traditionally.
Over at the maternity home, Shelagh (Laura Main) and Dr. Turner (Stephan McGann) are being cute as hell and excited about their new baby. Careful you two, you know the relationship between happiness and CtM.
Dr. Turner is about to go to a meeting about a new hospital plan and finds that Sister Ursula (Harriett Walter) has invited herself. He looks annoyed but it professional about it. That goes away slightly though when they are told the maternity home might get closed down and there is an inspector coming. He and Shelagh go tell everyone at Nonnatus. They all clearly want to help as much as they can but Sister Ursula says the maternity home can’t be there priority because they are short staffed.
Sister Ursula list of offenses continues with her telling everyone they need to limit their visits to 20 minutes. Nurse Crane (Linda Bassett) tries to protest but it doesn’t work. She finally goes to speak with Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) about how Sister Ursula is ruining everything. Sister Julienne tells us that Sister Ursula was the matron of the cottage hospital when it was shut down for inefficiency and blames herself. I figured we’d be getting some humanization for her but still not enough.
Barbara stays late with Lucy and her family and misses tea. She then get chewed out in front of everyone by Sister Ursula, who calls her a slacker. Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) is also missing. Apparently she has been taking a lot of walks recently.
Sister Ursula also isn’t allowing anyone to go the maternity home to help out. So Shelagh and Dr. Turner are stressing out while trying to make everything perfect for the inspector. There is a bunch of insane cuteness with the Turners, including all the women in the maternity home realizing Shelagh is also pregnant.
Lucy’s birth goes smoothly but her mother-in-law is keeping the room incredibly warm and insisting that Lucy and the baby stay in the room for 30 days. Barbara goes to check on Lucy and tries to help, but the baby is sleeping and Barbara is running out of her 20 minutes so she leaves without checking the baby, saying she’ll stop by in the morning.
The inspector comes to the maternity home. The inspector is seeming a little disinterested and talks about how easy it would be to have it absorbed into a hospital. Dr. Turner is in the middle of giving him an impassioned speech about why it is needed while over at Lucy’s her baby isn’t moving. She runs for her mother-in-law, who starts running through the street with the baby and Lucy runs after them.
They all come crashing into the maternity home. The Turners and Barbara snap into action while the inspector stands around confused. The three of them are able to piece together that it was carbon monoxide poisoning from all the heating stuff in Lucy’s room. Barbara freaks out a bit because she didn’t check the baby. The Turners call an ambulance and get everyone sent safely to the hospital.
Dr. Turner goes to finish speaking with the inspector. Shelagh tells Barbara it isn’t her fault and she should go home. Shelagh has been having stomach pains for most of the episode. She goes to the restroom and realizes she is bleeding. She quietly call Nonnatus and asks Nurse Crane for a ride to the hospital.
On her way out, Nurse Crane runs into Trixie (Helen George) who just arrived from South Africa. Nurse Crane says she is happy to see her but she has to go and tells Trixie to watch the phone.
Trixie walks through an empty, quiet Nonnatus and peers into Sister Julienne’s rearranged office confused.
Back at the maternity home, Dr. Turner tells Shelagh possibly having a miscarriage is a more than reasonable reason to interrupt his meeting. He takes her to the hospital and Nurse Crane finishes the meeting with the inspector. He says he isn’t going to suggest the maternity home be closed immediately but says he doesn’t think it will still be needed in a few years.
At St. Cuthbert’s, they are told that the bleeding has stopped but even with bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy (which is only four or five months along) there is a high chance of a miscarriage. Dr. Turner tries to be optimistic and supportive.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Lucy and her mother-in-law are watching the baby, which is in a coma. Then we get what this story line was building to. Lucy’s mother-in-law had a daughter while she was fleeing from the Japanese army during WWII but because of the rain and the cold the baby died. She just wanted to do everything she could to protect her grandchild. Lucy finally understands her and hug each other and cry. In the end, the baby wakes up and should be fine.
Back at Nonnatus, Barbara comes home to find Trixie putting her clothes away. Trixie asks “where’s Patsy and what on Earth has Sister Julienne done to her office?” to which Barbara bursts into tears. She gets caught up and has the same complaints everyone else has been having about Sister Ursula.
Though everyone thought it was going to be Trixie, it is actually Nurse Crane who finally calls out Sister Ursula on her shenanigans. She tells her about Lucy’s baby and how 20 minutes isn’t enough time and none of this was Barbara’s felt. Sister Ursula goes to apologize to Barbara, while getting some stern looks from Trixie.
After tracking down Sister Monica Joan and the missing television, Sister Julienne goes to find Sister Ursula praying. She says she failed her last mission and failed god. Sister Julienne tells her that isn’t true. They pray together It seems like Sister Julienne tried to convince her to stay but she agrees to leave and go back to the Mother House. It was nicely done. I did start feeling sorry for her but I’m so glad she’s gone.
Right after Sister Julienne finishes rearranging her office, Trixie goes to speak with her. She asks if she has heard from Sister Mary Cynthia. She hasn’t and Trixie is concerned because she spent the night at the Mother House after her ship landed but she didn’t see Sister Mary Cynthia and nobody would tell her what happened.
This episode was a slow build up and a rapid fire end. Everything is seemingly back to normal at Nonnatus, expect for Pasty and Sister Mary Cynthia being in Hong Kong and missing, apparently. I hope they get the television 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.