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Worldly Distractions: Call the Midwife 4.8 - Episode Eight




Hey, hey, it's time for the season finale! We have recently learned that there will be a series 5, but even so, I think we can all agree that 4 has been a fun ride. Tonight, I'm sure we can expect some drama. But what kind?

Jenny babbles about true selves while the nurses put on makeup. Trixie in particular looks like a shell. Vi and Fred are still together, and are even having dinner with important people. Evangelina and Barbara try to unblock the chimney, to little effect. Sr. MJ blames a bird's nest, Evangelina blames the lovesick Fred. Either way, everyone's covered in ash.

Fred and Vi's dinner turns out to be with the nuns. Trixie flips out at the sight of the engagement cake, which has some accessories from her failed engagement. CHUMMY IS BACK!

emotions random


She and Peter and Freddy sit in a car being the cutest family ever. Apparently, Chummy is going to see her family, minus baby. Noakes drives off with Freddy (unfortunately forgetting his potty seat). Vi and Fred discuss their wedding plans, which will be soon and rather casual. There's some tension with Fred's kids. Chummy returns triumphantly to Nonnatus, and everyone is better off for it. She has brought her mother's ashes with her for some reason. She asks Sr. MJ to discreetly put them away.

We meet our Patients Of the Week, Maureen and Carol, who eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Pill. One mother is in fact so nauseated with her current pregnancy that she pukes in her purse. Meanwhile, Fred's daughter arrives, to the delight of all of Poplar. Maureen is not keen on her new stepmother. The sick young mother has been pulling a Kate Middleton for weeks. The nurses are very sympathetic.

Chummy finds Trixie mixing a hangover remedy, though she claims she's not drunk. Marlene, Fred's daughter, is quibbling about the arrangements with Vi. Trixie and Chummy try a skin cleansing regime. Chummy talks about her dead Mater. She has no idea what to do with her mother's ashes. Trixie is at a loss.

Later, Trixie goes to visit a patient, who is both pregnant and Deaf. She adapts pretty quickly to sign language, but doesn't quite get the "speak in sight of the person" part. Fortunately, her loving husband arrives home at that moment, and he is able to translate. When Trixie recounts this to the nuns, the question comes up of whether the husband should be in the delivery room to help. Most of them are vehemently against it, dismissing it as an "artistic" notion - but Trixie's open to the idea. Sister Julienne reluctantly goes along.

Patsy and Delia go on a date. Delia's getting her own place, and wants her girlfriend to join her. It's their real chance to be a couple together. They decide to go ahead with it. Marlene arrives at Vi's store, where she antagonizes her by smoking in the shop. She also suggests that Vi GTFO of her father's life, and manages to plant the idea that Fred is gold digging. Vi handles it as graciously as any human can. Marlene is a total twit and I would have probably punched her.

Trixie runs a childbirth class, a novel idea in Poplar of 1960. The Deaf mother, Mrs Dillon, arrives with her husband. Of course, some of the mothers are upset that Mr Dillon is there when their husbands aren't. However, they seem to accept Mrs Dillon okay. Fred visits Vi, and it's plain to all that she is having doubts.

Patsy tells Sr. Julienne that she wants to move out, and even reveals her "dark secret" - not the one you imagined, just that she's never lived independently. Sr. Julienne lets her move out, on the condition that she still has lunch with the sisters regularly. The morning sickness mom, Maureen, is still in terrible shape, to the point that she can't take care of her older child. Barbara brainstorms solutions, but none of them work. In the end, she summons the doctor.

Fred and Vi talk it out. He apologizes for Marlene's behaviour, but the damage is done. Vi sees him as impractical and gold-diggy. He tries to convince her that he sincerely wants to marry. She doesn't buy it. The engagement is off in the sloppiest and most rushed way possible. Fred walks home stunned and devastated. Marlene greets him with a smirk. Bitch.

Barbara finds some extra care for Maureen's eldest child, earning even the praise of Evangelina. Chummy mopes over Mater's ashes. Julienne has given her permission to keep them in the chapel temporarily. Sr. MJ tries to comfort her, in her own special way. She urges Chummy to release poor Mater to her new plane of existence.

Barbara finds Maureen collapsed on her floor. She immediately calls for Dr. Turner. Meanwhile, June Dillon has gone into labour. It turns out to be false. June is terribly disappointed. The doctor diagnoses dehydration and hyperemesis gravidarum. Maureen is immediately placed under strict supervision. June reveals that she is terrified of having a Deaf child, but at the same time terrified of a hearing child.

Sr. MJ is sick. Chummy takes over her care, playing along perfectly with the nun's senility. Shelagh checks on Maureen. She reveals that the older child is going to social services, which of course upsets Maureen very much. Shelagh assures her that children are resilient, but Maureen has her doubts. Delia and Patsy happily apartment-hunt, Fred avoids Vi while Chummy sympathizes, Maureen pines for her son. The couple run into some problems as they start to cohabitate. We learn that Delia is no good on a bike. Trixie falls further into despair. Chummy checks on a grumpy Fred. He is despairing and philosophical about the women in his life. Marlene is a bigger and bigger bitch the more Fred describes her. This sets off a lightbulb for Chummy.

Shelagh is concerned with Maureen's illness, and wonders if something can be done. Dr. Turner remembers an anti-emetic that he recently heard about. It's 1960, you guys, so that means -


Delia and Patsy officially move in together and talk about their dreams for the future, which means they'll break up in approximately eight minutes. Shelagh enthusiastically feeds Maureen a bucket of thalidomide. Delia heads off to work and gets squished by a car. Damn, do any of the love interests on this show have a life expectancy of longer than five minutes?

Sr. Winifred recognizes Patsy's scarf, which Delia had borrowed, and gets word to her. Patsy frantically calls the hospital, and of course can't get word because she's not family. Phyllis offers to drive her over to The London, but Patsy tersely tells them it won't matter. Chummy brings Marlene over to Fred's, encouraging them to be open with each other. They go over their sad past, involving Fred's wife's death in the Blitz, and talk about how unstable life is. Patsy finally gets to see her girlfriend. Delia's mother has no idea of the true nature of her relationship. She tells Patsy that Delia is having seizures and is quite confused.

Marlene apologizes to Violet for being a beast. She also asks her to go back to Fred. Chummy prepares Fred for their meeting. Fred says he'll live anywhere with her, and they make up.

Unfortunately, all is not right in the world of love, as Delia is so messed up that she can't remember who Patsy is. In fact, she doesn't know her own mother. Both women are utterly heartbroken. There is no way of knowing if she'll ever recover. Delia's mother tells her that she's bringing her back to Wales, in order to better facilitate her care. Patsy is not encouraged to visit, though the mother suggests that she write. At home, Trixie mopes.

June Dillon has gone into labour for real, with her husband by her side. Delia goes back to her empty apartment and cries over the life they should have had. Trixie delivers a boy to the Dillons, who are overjoyed, and have the sweetest relationship I've seen on this show. The family greets each other with no cares as to who can hear what. Love is enough.

Trixie runs into Tom the Curate on the way home. They muse on the nature of their demanding professions, all while carefully sidestepping their past. She returns home and gets wasted once more. Eventually, she calls a helpline. Sr. Mary Cynthia sees this and calmly takes over. She assures her that she's not alone, and that help is available if she needs it. Patsy grieves in her empty apartment. She puts the keys back in the mailbox, giving up forever.

Marlene, Vi and Chummy prepare for the big wedding. She gives Marlene a gift - a hair ribbon like the ones Marlene and her sister used to wear as girls. Maureen does well on thalidomide, considering it a miracle cure, and is reunited with her son. The doctors chalk up another triumph, because they can't see six months into the future. Yikes.

Trixie goes to her first AA meeting, where she tells her tragic past with her sick father and eternal loneliness. She concludes by admitting that she is an alcoholic. Old Jenny narrates about beginnings and ends. Chummy scatters her mother's ashes in the Thames (is that legal?). Vi and Fred are joyously married, with Maureen in attendance. The reception is held at Nonnatus. The curate is in attendance, and he and Trixie carefully avoid each other. The Noakeses are reunited, too. And hey, where is Patsy? Dammit, don't tell me we've lost another one.

Well, that was depressing all around. Okay, the Dillons were a hope spot, but geez, this was practically Dickensian. I'm a little bit annoyed that the show wimped out of exploring the true complications of a same-sex relationship, though they did allude to it in Delia's out-of-the-blue injury. And it did allow for some excellent pathos concerning Patsy. Trixie's story was predictable, but still an interesting turn for a character who frequently gets short shrift. I'm also intrigued by Sr. Mary Cynthia. Overall, I daresay that this series is more interesting when it doesn't have to pay attention to Jenny. This season has been thoroughly enjoyable, as always - and I am thrilled that there will be more.

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