Season 4 of “Call the Midwife” gives us a sweet lesbian romance then dashes our hopes


*This article contains spoilers to Season 4 of “Call the Midwife.”*

We like period television, and we like it even more when they give us a deliciously queer story line. And why? Because there’s something forbidden about it. Now you might say, “That’s not a good thing: We’re aspiring for a future where no one needs to hide their true selves,” but really, we probably like it so much because what we’re witnessing is the act of groundbreaking, of trailblazing. We’re seeing portrayals of things imitating the first blossoms and bravery that brought us to where we are today. Also, all that girl power, amiright? How can we not love the Betty McRaes, Betty DeMillos and Peggy Carters (wishful thinking always and forever!) of the world?

Call The Midwife premiered in the UK in 2012 (it just wrapped its fourth season), and though we’ve discussed it here before, we wanted to tell you a bit more about the show that makes everyone go cray for gay.

The show is based on a memoir by Jennifer Worth, who was a midwife in London during the 1950s and the 1960. With that in mind, we can assume that at least some of what we see has truth behind it.

The rising interest in the show during its current season is due to what appears to be a darker, more mature arcs. A show that follows World War II can’t be all puppies and ice cream to begin with, that’s true, and evident, but still, there were bikes, and there was tea. This season, though, the show, which never shied away from controversial social issues (child abandonment, prostitution, abusive relationships, and PTSD, to name a few), presented us with a lesbian storyline.

Nurse Patsy Mount (Emerald Fennell), the energetic yet guarded character that we met on Season 3 and became a season regular, came face to face with her ex-co-worker and, fortunately, not so ex-girlfriend, Nurse Delia Bubsy (Kate Lamb), who is Welsh and adorable.

Patsy delia Patsy and Delia. A place to rest their heads.

Patsy’s past was already complicated enough, but boy, what do you do when you’re a girl who likes girls in the 1950s and on call rooms aren’t what they are today (or at least aren’t what TV makes us think they are today)? At the end of Season 3, there was a slight suspicion regarding Patsy’s sexuality, when she danced with Trixie’s fiancé and stirred a little drama. She assured Nurse Trixie that she had nothing to worry about, and that she just taught him how to dance, adding that “he has not enough of some things and too much of others.” And so the opening was there, but it wasn’t until this season, when Delia arrived, that it was confirmed without a doubt.

Throughout the season we saw the pair finding ways to be together, comfort each other and be there for one another. They even shared fish and chips, and that’s probably a rite of passage for British Lesbians, no? You tell me. And yet, even though the two seem to accept themselves well enough, which should not be taken lightly considering the era, their relationship was kept a secret still.

call midwife You’re the apple of my eye, the fish to my chips

And then we got to the season finale, and for a second there, the two got to live in their own flat together. Fans breathed easily thinking, “Phew, no gay lady on TV is gonna die today!” and they would’ve been mostly correct. But when Delia went for a ride on Patsy’s borrowed bike (oh, world, you cruel poetic bastard!) she got hit by a car and woke up with a serious case of the amnesias.

Now imagine once more being a lady in the late 1950s. You’re waking up to see another lady, a total stranger, saying that she isn’t your girl friend, but your girlfriend. Yeah, that doesn’t sound too promising for the couple, and we have to stick around with mouth agape, and hearts broken and hope that this won’t end like The Vow (because, let’s face it, that was awfully anti-climatic. We don’t want our ships to be anti-climatic, we want them to—well, you see where this is going).

We already know a fifth season was ordered, so keep your fingers crossed for a miraculous recovery. Here’s what you need to know when you’re ready to catch up: Netflix bought the rights for international distribution and Season 4 will air on PBS in the U.S. starting Sunday, March 29 at 8pm ET. If you are in the UK, you can catch the show on BBC, if not, Seasons 1-3 can be purchased/watched on instant video on Amazon, and I’m sure season 4 will join shortly!

Until then, you can watch the Season 4 trailer and be optimistically passionate, as we tend to be.

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