Call the Midwife continues its trend of breaking my heart this week, with an episode that focuses on the closeted husband of a pregnant woman. We open with said husband, the young and handsome Tony, who is a member of the volunteer Citizens Defense Corps. The volunteers are setting up underground shelters in the event of a nuclear attack, when a rat scuttles by. Tony takes Sgt. Noakes’s billy club and kills the rat.
Speaking of rats, Fred has set out poison in Nonnatus House to rid them of their rodent problem, but Sister Monica Joan is appalled. She tries to pick up the poison, but Phyllis stops her. MJ is shocked that Phyllis, a vegetarian of all people, is fine with casual rat murder, but Phyllis reminds MJ that they carry filth and disease.
We jump to a car repair shop, where Tony works with his father-in-law. His very pregnant wife, Marie, stops by to see him. Tony is loving and affectionate with his wife, and excited about their baby.
Over at the clinic, Shelagh (who I keep calling Bernadatte, but apparently that’s her nun name and now that she’s a civilian, she’s Shelagh. This Jew is learning SO much about Catholicism from this show) discovers an outbreak of dysentery and Phyllis says they must be vigilant before an epidemic breaks out. The ladies give a lecture on hygiene and distribute soap to the mums. Mrs. McAvoy, a pregnant mum with two sons, declines taking the soap, and the other women trash her for being Irish.
Patsy checks in on Marie, and they sit in her parlor room, which Tony decorated himself. He also collects art and wants to learn how to play the piano. What do we call foreshadowing for a character’s queerness? Lavender shadowing? That’s what this is.
Tom visits Trixie at the clinic and tells her that, due to an injury, he is now in charge of the Rose Queen parade. He begs Trixie to help him, and she agrees, because flowers trump enemas any day of the week. Phyllis examines Mrs. McAvoy, who is ashamed that her shoes are lined with newspaper and her skirt is a burlap sack. She is also filthy and covered with fleas. Phyllis assures her things will be okay and plans to follow up with her.
Tony and his dad-in-law have some pints at the local pub. Tony expresses his anxiety about being a dad, but the future granddad assures him he’ll get the hang of it. He tells him to stop worrying and let nature take its course.