This week’s episode, which also happens to be the season finale, features closure, hope, tragedy and an imperiled happy ending. Plus the return of our beloved Chummy (Miranda Hart) back from her temporary assignment as head of the mothers’ and babies’ home! Just your typical Call the Midwife, right?
Welcome back to this our next to last Call the Midwife recap and quite a heartbreaker it was. The power of love in its many forms is the main premise of this show; be it the love of parents for children, between romantic partners, or among untraditional families as well. All these varieties were on display in this week’s installment so let’s get right to it and let the lovefest begin.
Before we get into this week’s storylines, can we just say, “Welcome Home, Sister Evangelina!” We’ve missed your plain-spoken opinions and your compassionate dedication to your patients. It’s apparent scuffles will persist as the Sister reclaims her previous role from Nurse Crane, but in time, I believe they’ll return to that unspoken truce they’d achieved when Evangelina left for her hysterectomy. Now we just need Chummy and all will be right with the world (or at least, Poplar).
Speaking of Chummy, her scouts are holding a fundraiser! Patsy is organizing a square dance to raise money to get the cubs to the annual jamboree. But with events like this come serious wardrobe dilemmas – checked shirt or ironic poodle skirt?
And then there’s the issue of who to ask to the dance.
This has been quite the series for infestations and contagious disease outbreaks. First, London experienced a rat invasion. Next came an epidemic of dysentery. Oh and don’t forget the syphilis-ridden brothel. Now our medical professionals must contend with a very nasty disease indeed, diphtheria.
More on the pestilence later because I know we all want to celebrate the long-awaited return of Nurse Cynthia Miller, now known as Sister Mary Cynthia (Bryony Hannah). She’s left the mother house in Chichester with some encouraging words from Sister Evangelina and a bit of anxiety about coming back to her former home in an entirely new capacity.
As they say in England, this week’s episode is chockablock with everything we’ve come to expect from Call the Midwife. In fact, it features a virtual Poplar baby boom with ten children being delivered by our midwives in one day! Some of the characters who have been in the background for a few weeks (or more) were given the spotlight. And while one Nonnatus resident has her worth validated another sees her “perfect” life crumble before her eyes.
There is a definite focus on the worth of women in this installment. We encounter women who sell their bodies cheaply, a father who values a son over a daughter and women who lose purpose and are expected to fade into the background after a war, marriage or even when they’ve advanced in age.
As tonight’s episode begins, we are reminded that the sixties have well and truly arrived in Poplar. The threat of a nuclear attack is a very real fear and handyman Fred (Cliff Parisi) is leading up the local civil defense corps. His job is to train the other volunteers about emergency preparedness. He’s such a community-minded fellow, our Fred.
Other things that have arrived in the neighborhood recently are a rat infestation and an outbreak of dysentery, the latter being a more immediate concern to Dr. Turner and the midwives. Shelagh Turner even puts her exceptional powers of detection to work in an attempt to locate the source of the infection.
All right, this episode did get my tears flowing. I mean how could I not grab for the tissues? Barbara and Patsy were crying; new Poplar parents, the Bissettes, were crying; for heaven’s sake, Sister Julienne was crying. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to well up a bit. I believe one of the main reasons there was so much blubbering was because this episode had a theme of doubt and the melancholy of what might have been.
Welcome back to another series of Call the Midwife! The time has come to return to Poplar to share in the joys and sorrows of this working class community and cheer on their most dedicated altruists, the nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House.
It’s 1960 and just as we’ve come to expect, change is a constant at the convent, especially when it comes to the staffing situation. To refresh your memory, Nurse Miller (Bryony Hannah) has left Poplar for Chichester where she will undergo her postulate training to become a nun. Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) has reassured Sister Monica Joan (Judy Parfitt) – and the viewers – that Cynthia will return.
Previously, on Call the Midwife: You can catch up everything that happened during last week’s episode this way.
Okay, did everyone have their hankies ready for the finale of Call the Midwife Series 3? As the saying goes, I have good news, bad news and for lack of a better term, bittersweet news that in fact is a new beginning for one of our major characters. So I’ve decided to begin with the good news…
By virtue of what midwives do, every installment of Call the Midwife features some element of motherhood. However seeing as today is Mother’s Day in the US, the timing of this week’s episode is quite apropos considering it is almost exclusively about mothers and the burdens and struggles that they bear.
But before we get into the abundance of maternal storylines, let’s take care of other business.
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