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Worldly Distractions: Call the Midwife 3.7 - Episode Seven





We're at the penultimate episode of the season, and thank God for that. This recap schedule has been fun, but I'm getting a wee bit worn out. Maybe this will be "the episode where everyone just stares at the walls for an hour"? That would be a nice change. My aching fingers...

We get a narration about returns while Jessica Raine comes back from filming something else Jenny finally arrives from the House of Heartbreak. Meanwhile, a guy down at the docks desperately looks at a window, where his wife is in labor inside. Jenny rings the doorbell to a warm welcome. The light man's wife delivers a daughter, born in the caul - and I have to say the prosthetics get better every season. Gross. Pamela, the wife, asks for the caul to keep her husband safe on the water. She has Cynthia hang a light in the window, flashing green for a girl. Down on the water, her husband cheers.

Chummy's Fancy-Schmancy Mater shows up to meet her at a fancy restaurant, armed with only the most cutting of remarks. Back at the nunnery, the girls discuss new arrangements. Jenny has been seconded to the London, again, which will probably give us the most ridiculous of stories. Even Sister Evangelina has some warm words for her.

Jenny goes to the London, inexplicably wearing lilac. She's assigned to the maternity ward, and has the "I got this" look on her face. I assume a comeuppance is looming.

The lunch with Mater awkwardly lurches on. Turns out she's split with Pater and is moving to London permanently. She's pawning all her stuff, but doesn't want to talk about it. And from her delicate statements, I'm pretty sure Pater's gay. Chummy invites her over to meet her grandson, but all she gets is a sniff about the too-common name.

Pamela and her husband talk about the caul, and how lucky they are. Presumably someone will wind up dead by the end of the episode. The next day, Cynthia comes to see them, only to find Pamela paranoid about the baby's health and scared because her milk won't come in. She's slightly nonplussed.

Meanwhile, Chummy prepares her home for the Grand Visit. Methinks it's something of a lost cause. Noakes tries to calm her down, but it doesn't work. He soon realizes that Chummy's embarrassed by their lifestyle, and gets super pissed. She wails about her self-esteem. He joins in on the cleaning, reluctantly.

Shelagh and Dr. Turner are going ahead with the adoption process, but he seems much less invested in it, especially when there's paperwork involved.

Trixie is cleaning piss off the clinic floor when Tom the priest shows up and asks her on another date. They're all cutesy and stuff. There's one problem, though - Trixie wants to go dancing! Tom has some sort of quarrel with this, though I can't think of one that would bother an Anglican. It must just be him.

Jenny is dismayed when, while working at the London, she doesn't get to see her patients post-birth. The nurse rightly points out that though it's a downside, they still get a fucking hospital at no charge rather than a dirty flat. Her own mother, dead in childbirth for lack of a doctor, would have appreciated it. A new patient, who had a previous stillbirth, is brought in, and is very edgy about being treated by Jenny.

Pamela has gone Howard Hughes-y, trying to fix up the room and get rid of all the germs ever. Sister Julienne is horrified and orders her back to bed. She gently suggest that Pamela's mother come down. Pamela proceeds to freak out about absolutely everything. Sister Julienne has her work cut out.

Chummy is fidgety, unsure if she wants her mother to come or wants her to stay away. Furthermore, we learn that Mater has been cut off Bluth family-style, though this will be substantially less hilarious, I assume.

Pamela's husband comes home to find her freaking out, claiming that he has to stop "her" from coming, because "she" is turning the newborn baby against Pamela. This, of course, is in reference to Sister Julienne.

Mater indeed visits, and proceeds to complain about everything in the house, including the baby. Chummy attempts to ask about the financial situation, but is rudely shut down.

It's apparently the Episode of Paranoid Mothers, because Jenny's patient is running her off her feet, constantly asking for checks to make sure the baby's okay. (Though in this case she at least has reason.) The nurse accuses Jenny of "indulging" and acts like a general asshole.

Cynthia answers the door at Nonnatus to find Pamela's husband. She immediately invites him in for a chat. After this, she has the awkward task of telling Sr. Julienne that she's not welcome at their home anymore. The nun takes it graciously, but is very confused.

Mater, Noakes and Chummy have an extraordinarily awkward dinner, full of contemptuous sniffs and long silences. Chummy suggests that her mother stay with them for a while. Noakes is apoplectic.

Trixie gets stood up yet again, as Tom has a parishioner who needs help. The selfish beast is annoyed about having to skip out on the dance, and flounces off. Yeah, never saw her as a vicar's wife, anyway. Patsy and Cynthia share a knowing look. Tom mutters to himself that he's an idiot.

Sister Evangelina attempts to comfort Sister Julienne, who feels guilty about the Pamela debacle. Even Sister Monica Joan is full of praise. Over at Pamela's, the young mother is still going on about germs and won't touch her husband. He has finally clued in that something's wrong. This doesn't make him do anything, though.

Chummy moves her mother into the master bedroom, and a very pissed-off Noakes carries the luggage. There's a lot of snark from Mater. She wants to know if she can get the Times. In London.

Pamela continues to spiral into crazy. I foresee an Andrea Yates situation here. She's just about to wipe the baby down with boiling water when Sr. Julienne and Cynthia show up. The nun immediately runs for Dr. Turner.

Tom talks to Fred about his faux pas, and admits that there was no parishioner - he just can't dance. He's worried Trixie will turn him down if she finds out. Um, I think she'll turn you down faster if you keep lying, bud. Fred promises a solution.

Jenny brings a midwife-in-training as part of the rotation, but her patient is not pleased. Jenny sends the trainee away and tries to assure the mother. She's worried because no one will check, despite her repeated requests.

Pamela is having some kind of delusion about a conspiracy between Sr. Julienne and her mother. She talks about taking the baby to the river. Just then, Dr. Turner arrives and sends Cynthia out. He tries to reassure Pamela, but she flips out. He gives her a sedative, and diagnoses puerperal psychosis. They want to bring in a psych, but the husband is in serious denial. They advise him to call for help the second she declines. He clearly has no intention of following it.

While Dr. Turner sorts out the case, Shelagh tells him they've got an appointment with the adoption agency. He's still not too interested. Over at the parish hall, Patsy and Fred have banded together to teach Tom how to dance. Man, they must be really desperate to get rid of Trixie. He proceeds to mess it up a lot, but it's cute.

Pamela did not take the sedative, and is clinging to Baby Rose and muttering about bad things. He decides to go get her some fish and chips, because apparently he's a total dumbass.

Meanwhile, Trixie bikes by the Hall and sees Tom chatting with Patsy...

Jenny's patient has had a false alarm, but is being kept in, and wants Jenny to stay with her. When Jenny says she'll do her best, the head nurse bitches her out. Talk about depersonalization.

Patsy comes home rockin' a pair of jeans, only to be attacked by an angry Trixie. Pressed, Patsy tells the truth about the dancing. Then she goes on to say that Tom is "not her type", because he lacks some things and has too much of others. Oh my god, is this finally the fabled Coming Out of Patsy which has been predicted from her first frame onscreen?

Pamela's husband comes home to find wife and baby gone, but the blanket still there. Oh, my god, how did he not see this coming??? Over at the ward, Jenny goes to her patient, who is in more advanced labor. She tries to help but gets told off. Meanwhile, the nuns and husband put their heads together to find Pamela and Rose. Jenny discovers a prolapsed cord, which means Instant C-Section. The mom's terrified, of course, but Jenny stays with her until the OR team arrive. Jenny tries to stay, but is rebuffed.

They find Pamela standing on the railing with Rose, about to jump. She rants about germs and Sr. Julienne's wimple, which she claims scares the baby. The sister takes it off, hoping to calm her down. She pleads with Pamela to bring the baby somewhere warm, saying they're all there to help. After a while, they manage to coax her down. Cynthia takes the baby, but the minute they turn around Pamela tries to jump. Fortunately, Sister Julienne manages to grab her. The ambulance arrives, and Pamela is taken to a mental hospital. Cynthia teaches Pamela's husband how to handle the baby, while we get a montage. Pamela is checked in to the dismal hospital, while her husband fumbles around looking after Rose.

Fred talks about his dancing past, with his long-deceased wife. He tells Trixie just how in love Tom is, and suggests that she go for it.

As Jenny's patient (Faye) is waking up from her C-section, convinced that she lost the baby, Jenny appears at her side and tells her that it's a healthy boy. She's not allowed to see the baby just yet, and Jenny can't flout the rules. Everything is unfair, guys.

At the nunnery, everyone discusses Pamela's fate. While she goes through early 1960's electroshock (shudder), the baby has proven too difficult for her husband to handle, and has been sent to an aunt. Patsy has worked psych before, and her prognosis is grim.

The Turners have their interview, where the doctor stares into space and Shelagh lays it on thick. However, there's a discrepancy in Dr. Turner's history, and he won't divulge what happened. After some prodding, it's revealed that he developed PTSD during the war and was in a psych ward. This instantly disqualifies them, even though he's had no illness since and it was from extraordinary circumstances. Shelagh is rightly pissed, since she had no idea about the PTSD until now, and they have an enormous fight.

Sr. Julienne wants Pamela's husband to visit her, though he is terrified by the mere mention of the "nuthouse", viewing it as something shameful. Over at the London, Jenny has snuck into the nursery. When confronted by the on-duty nurse, she asks for a big favor. They bring the baby to his delighted mother.

Trixie knocks on Tom's door and asks him to a dance that night. He's reluctant, but she persists. Trixie advises him to "Stop thinking...start doing". They dance in the alley. Ooh la la.

Pamela goes through electroshock while her husband cries at home. Over at the nunnery, Jenny rants to Sr. MJ about the hospital's impersonal ways. MJ goes on and on about machines. That's a girl.

Noakes tries to talk to his mother-in-law, who is a relentless bitch. They talk about Freddy's future, and when Noakes says they'll likely send him to grammar school, she throws down the newspaper and basically tells him he's doomed her daughter and grandchild to a stunted life. Chummy's finally had enough and gives a rant about "Cold and distant people", which is clearly targeted at you-know-who. In tears, she kicks her mother out.

Jenny tells the head nurse that she doesn't fit into the hospital system, and wants to go back to district nursing.


Mater is unceremoniously brought to the curb - though she does manage a nice moment with Freddy before she leaves. Touched, Noakes asks her to stay a moment. Then Mater turns over and spits blood into her handkerchief. Chummy gets an urgent phone call at work.

Old Jenny narrates about renewal again. Pamela is in the mental hospital getting treatment. Jenny returns to Nonnatus and the nurses celebrate. Lady Brown is hospitalized, and is revealed to have terminal cancer. Chummy is devastated.

Sr. Julienne goes to visit Pamela in the hospital, where she is obsessively knitting baby clothes in an attempt to connect with her daughter. Just then, Rose herself shows up in her daddy's arms. The family is reunited, and we subsequently see them walking around Poplar.

Next time: Another crisis with Sr. MJ, the Turners get a letter from the Children's Society, and it looks like Mater has kicked the bucket. There appears to be a pair of kissin' cousins as patients, and Jenny has some news...

FJ Discussion Thread




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  • Posts

    • FunDieDumDum


      I celebrate that day every year…but not because of Smuggar, it’s my birthday! 😂

      I doubt that even the sisters who are glad he’s behind bars celebrate it. Even if conviction was the outcome they felt he deserved, this was a difficult (traumatic, even) time for them, probably not something they’d want to recall with joy every year.

    • marmalade


      1 hour ago, ifosterkittens said:

      I think it is a statement that their daughters who were raised in the QF lifestyle and chose not to live it themselves. They know the cost- financial, time, emotional etc. Same with the Bates daughters, only Tori seems to be following in her mom's footsteps. Joe and Kendra Duggar may go the QF route, or that might hold true for the first several or so kids, and then may change. I'll be interested to follow the Rodrigues children, especially the daughters. 

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      • Upvote 3
      • I Agree 1
    • ifosterkittens


      7 hours ago, Giraffe said:

      What a statement against JB & Michelle QF life that all of their "girls" refuse to follow in their footsteps. 

      I think it is a statement that their daughters who were raised in the QF lifestyle and chose not to live it themselves. They know the cost- financial, time, emotional etc. Same with the Bates daughters, only Tori seems to be following in her mom's footsteps. Joe and Kendra Duggar may go the QF route, or that might hold true for the first several or so kids, and then may change. I'll be interested to follow the Rodrigues children, especially the daughters. 

      • Upvote 3
      • I Agree 1
    • Mama Mia


      7 hours ago, Giraffe said:

      What a statement against JB & Michelle QF life that all of their "girls" refuse to follow in their footsteps. 

      It will be interesting to see what happens with the younger girls. Hopefully they go off and live whatever version of life suits them - but if they follow the basic path of most of their big sisters, marry young and are more or less SAHM / work-from-home — will they also limit their family size, or have a ton of kids and take however many babies their bodies can produce? 

      Their experiences are SO different than what the oldest girls went through. All the older girls seem to very much love their mom and think she is patient and kind and hard-working (regardless of what we think) Will the youngest girls take that model of motherhood and try to replicate it with a zillion kids? Will having had $$$ and less overt abuse and tons of space make them think a mega family is doable and desirable?  Or will they look at their sister-moms and think that it’s ok to plan the number and timing of their  babies? Will having mostly lost their sister moms at a young age make them not want to have a dozen + kids who have to care for each other. Or having grown up with relatively more personal space  and attention will they want a big but not giant family? 

      • Upvote 3
    • noseybutt


      On 12/7/2023 at 3:41 AM, libgirl2 said:

      Yea, wouldn't work for me and doesn't look comfortable. And of course, not everyone can wear the same type of style, whether due to body shape or lifestyle. I remember though on several episodes they had people who were in careers that did require you to look a certain way, so in one sense, it did help. 

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