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Worldly Distractions: Call the Midwife 4.5 - Episode 5


crazyforkate

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blog-midwives.jpgmidwives

 

Welcome back! What on earth can the midwives bring us next? Let's find out.

It's a hot summer in Poplar. Jenny reminisces about it even though she wasn't there - seriously, this one is particularly egregious. Sr. Julienne attends a birth, which is particularly interesting since the parents are Christian Scientists. Dr. Turner has a ton of clients, and he and Shelagh are run off their feet. What's more, Dr. Turner is acting as locum for two others. He's already running into exhaustion, but you know him, he's always ready to help.

Trixie gets rid of her engagement presents. Patsy is still dismayed at the break-up and urges Trixie not to be hasty. Barbara meets a pregnant woman from South Asia by a school playground. She does not speak English, but her young son does. The woman seems to be having trouble, but can't quite get it across.

Sr. Evangelina is ready to return, and so is the newly minted Sr. Mary Cynthia. (Seriously, they let her keep her name? When you take a nun name, it's time to go all out.) Trixie runs into her ex-fiance on the street, and it's awkward as hell. Sr. Julienne goes to visit the Christian Scientist family (the Pendergasts), who are having trouble with an excessively screechy baby. A neighbour dismisses them as "Holy Rollers", but Sr. Julienne suspects more is up. Upon inspection, the infant (Raymond) is discovered to have a swollen chest, probably a broken collarbone.

Sr. Mary Cynthia looks odd in her wimple. Kinda like a duck. She rejoins her group to an enthusiastic welcome. Due to the rigor of her studies, she is placed on the daily rotation, rather than head out at all hours for deliveries. She and Trixie greet each other rather tentatively, as so much has changed. Barbara, meanwhile, is still searching for the Indian woman.

The next day, Sr. Mary Cynthia is assigned to look after a diptheria patient, and there are fears of an epidemic occurring. Lots of discussion of vaccinations and such. You know, I can't imagine that they had enough time to scrape this together since the outbreak, but this really couldn't have been better timing. Barbara manages to track down her missing patient, Amira, who is lonely and isolated in her new country. Oh, and by the way, she's from what was then Ceylon, not India.

Baby Raymond is still suffering, but his parents' faith makes them reluctant to seek help. Which is bogus because Christian Science does allow for setting broken bones. Sr. Julienne tries to convince his mother, Janice, to take him to a doctor, but makes very little headway. Barbara visits Amira, though the examination is a bit slow because the son always needs to translate. Amira is reluctant to visit the British midwives for some reason.

Barbara, Patsy and Trixie are apparently heading out on the town. However, Trixie is still morose and battling with the bottle. She visits Sr. Mary Cynthia, but ultimately pulls away. Amira arrives at the clinic. Since the son must always be present, it makes an internal examination difficult. Amira's son tells the midwives how desperately his mother wanted to follow his father to England. Such devotion of course sets Trixie off about Tom, so she goes to see him. They have a long talk about how they are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together.

Baby Raymond is ill again, this time with a non-responsive leg. Sounds like osteogenesis imperfecta to me. The midwives discuss the Amira situation, noting that her son probably shouldn't be present for the birth. Fred suggests the daughter of an old friend, and braves his bad back to go find her. He flirts outrageously with a local shopkeeper while he's at it.

The baby indeed has another fracture. Osteogenesis imperfecta it is! Naturally, the Pendergasts are immediately suspected of abuse, which confuses and upsets them. Dr. Turner is also perplexed by the injury. He confides his suspicions to Sr. Julienne. They're reluctant to accuse the couple, but don't know what else to do. The Pendergasts are turned in. The inspector, Mr Smith-Mayhew, tries to set them at ease, but they of course flip out, and Janice makes a break for it to find her son. He's been moved, and Dr. Turner explains that the baby is now out of their care. Meanwhile, the friend's daughter translates, and Amira finally gets her internal exam. Out of gratitude, she makes samosas for the midwives, which must be a new experience. They happily tuck in.

Shell shocked, the Pendergasts sit in silence. Finally, Janice asks her husband the unthinkable. He doesn't answer. At home, Dr. Turner watches over Baby Angela with sorrow. Shelagh tries to comfort him by telling him he did the right thing. Two scenes, max, until baby gets another fracture from someone totally different.

Sr. Julienne visits Janice, who is suffering and still has no idea what happened. Meanwhile, baby Raymond is brought to Dr. Turner's surgery with another injury. The doctor checks a few things and immediately gets an idea. He has Shelagh ring for an ambulance, and of course it's OI.

Sr. Mary Cynthia and the other nuns sing while Shelagh anxiously waits for word. Trixie continues to struggle with drink, and ultimately gives in. Dr. Turner drives out to the country for an angry smoke. The Pendergasts are furious, of course. At least they're getting the baby back. At an appointment the next day, Fred mentions his war days, which brings back Dr. Turner's PTSD. Suddenly, he's in a state of nervous collapse. He has no confidence in his abilities and is going into a breakdown. Shelagh takes over the patients and the doctor goes home to bed.

Sr. Julienne arrives at the Pendergasts', while their minister is just leaving. She grimly reminds Janice of the prognosis - but Janice is still praying. You can't really argue with that.

Shelagh and Patsy try to run Dr. Turner's office, which worries some of the patients. Mostly because no one believes that Shelagh's a nurse. Flowers arrive at the Turner residence. Shelagh goes to Nonnatus to borrow a nurse's uniform. She confides in her former nun boss about her fears for Dr. Turner's mental health. She is told to believe that it will get better. Freshly uniformed, Shelagh sets to work. Things go a little more smoothly. Dr. Turner is still pretty much non-responsive, though his kids do cheer him up.

Amira's son shows up at Nonnatus with frightening news - his mother has a cold which has suddenly gotten worse. Dr. Turner awakens to a house full of cards and baked goods from his patients and friends. Amira is bleeding from the mouth and nose, which the nurses guess is diptheria. Timothy happily details all the gifts people have sent, and tells him it's because he's a good doctor and his patients like him. The nurses call for an ambulance, but it is a long time coming, so they run for Dr. Turner. He is immediately spurred to action. By this point, Amira is hardly breathing. It's impromptu tracheotomy time. Barbara, Sr. Cynthia Mary, and the doctor get to work. It's successful, and the woman is saved - for now.

Her husband is finally located, and the family is gathered for a long-overdue vaccine. Once they're taken care of, Shelagh insists that Patrick rest. Janice lovingly cares for Raymond, Trixie starts to come out of her funk, and Cynthia reconciles her new role in Nonnatus House. Amira has her baby, and more South Asian ladies move into the neighbourhood. Also, she seems to be getting friendly with Shelagh and Angela. Life is good in Poplar - until next week, I guess.

Next time - there is some kind of strike, a sick old lady, a surly teenager, and a drunk Trixie. Also, welcome back Trunchbull!

I liked this. It's disappointing that they haven't done much with Sr. Mary Cynthia, but I guess that's coming up soon. Most of all, I felt like the personal stories were mostly on hold, with the exception of poor beleaguered Trixie. However, both patient stories were quite interesting, especially with the weird timing of this measles outbreak. Join me next week for more midwife shenanigans.

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