Dammit, Call the Midwife, stop making it rain all over my face! This week brings another heartbreaker of an episode, and another recapper crying in front of her laptop.
We open at the Poplar clinic, which is full of expectant mothers. Shelagh wonders if the need more help, but Evangelina assures her that if they could deliver babies during the German air raids, they can do anything.
We meet a pair of expectant mothers: Shirley Dent, a happy-go-lucky brunette, and Marion Smith, a reserved blonde. The women were old school chums, but while Shirley is delighted to see her friend, Marion reacts icily. Both women give birth on the same day to baby girls.
Tim is interested in photography, and he shows his father the pictures he’s been taking with his pinhole camera. Dr. Turner encourages his son’s passion by gifting him with his old camera. Meanwhile, Nurse Crane urges Barbara to sell local families on the council’s free laundry service.
Suddenly, there is an explosion, and a fire breaks out in the laundry room of the clinic. The nurses evacuate all the mothers and babies, and the fire is put out with minimal damage. In the confusion, Evangelina mixes up the two newborn girls. Uh oh.
Barbara visits Gertie and Tommy Mills, an elderly couple who are still very much in love. Tommy is bedridden, and Gertie works herself ragged to care for him. She has help from Sister Mary Cynthia, who tends to the man’s bed sores with egg whites, which does not seem hygienic. Barbara tries to sell her on the free laundry service, but Mrs. Mills doesn’t want any help. MC says that sometimes people need to accept help on their own terms.
The Dents and the Smiths head home with each other’s babies, unaware of the accidental switch. Shirley tries to reach out to be friendly, but Marion brushes off her attempts to renew the friendship. What a bitch.
Patsy dresses up for a night out with Delia, and tries to cajole Trixie into coming. Trixie says she’d rather stay in and read the new Vogue, which is code for drinking alone. Patsy and Delia have a date at a coffee shop, and Delia says that she feels like a ghost. They have a relationship, but it’s all ephemeral whispers and dancing in their heads. Delia suggests that they just suck it up and marry men like everyone expects, but Patsy says she couldn’t bear it. A guy tries to buy them some cake, but Delia says, “We don’t like cake!” and storms out of the coffee shop.
Patsy follows her out, and asks if Delia really wants to get married. Delia says she does…but she wants to marry Patsy. Unfortunately, it’s impossible. Delia walks away and poor Patsy looks heartbroken.
Sister Monica Joan and Wini are preparing for the annual Halloween turnip lantern parade, which sounds like a joke but is apparently happening. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about 1960’s England, it’s that children LOVE being in parades. This show runs on parades, you guys. MJ is telling the kids that some people believe the dead come back on Halloween, which inspires a little girl named Glenda to wish to see her dead mother. Best of luck with that one, MJ.