“Call The Midwife” recap (4.1): Don’t Drink at Work


Bernadette gives a lecture on formula feeding and bottle sterilization to a group of expectant mothers. One woman, Mrs. Wimbish, keeps asking about Dr. Spock’s baby care methods and whether or not formula is a suitable substitute for breast milk. As an adoptive mother, Bernadette doesn’t have breast milk, so she must rely on formula. She gets milk-shamed by the other mothers, which is lame.

mid7Milk, Milk, lemonade…

mid8 Around the corner, fudge is made?

It turns out that Mrs. Wimbish didn’t mean to offend; she lost her last three babies, so she is desperate to make sure this pregnancy makes it.

Throughout all of this, Sister Monica Joan steals a biscuit from Barbara.

mid9 Our Lady of Perpetual No Fucks To Give

We see Gary living in a derelict hovel, where his mum drops by with vague promises of dinner for him and his sisters. Mum looks pretty rough and not at all concerned that her children are covered with dirt. Bernadette tells her husband, Dr. Turner, about the breast milk debate, and her stepson Timothy chimes in about antibodies. Ugh, kids and their milk-shaming, am I right?

mid10 What a nerd

Barbara finally settles into her room at Nonnatus, when she gets an invite from Trixie and Patsy to come party in their room. The midwives drink, lay music, and have a pajama party. Patsy and Trixie dance together while Barbara drinks too much.

mid11Wanna practice French kissing later?

Trixie talks about Patsy’s sad single state when Barbara rushes to puke. What a lightweight. Patsy goes to look after her, so she can avoid any more boyfriend talk. The next day, poor Barbara is all hungover, and the midwives make up a story about moldy potato chips to cover for her.

mid12I love that Trixie is wearing a cheongsam while Patsy is wearing your dad’s pajamas

Barbara struggles to fit in, but she’s all thumbs. She drops sterilized equipment, she has the wrong bike, she lassos people with umbilical cords. Not that last one, but you get the point. Sister Evangelina wonders if she’ll ever get her shit together, then drinks all the milk of magnesia.

Trixie looks for Gary to give him a milk basket, and learns that his family lives in a boarded up abandoned building. She tries to talk to Gary, but he leaves before she can catch him. Gary rushes home to feed his siblings, but he’s lost his key and he’s locked out of the apartment.

mid13The reason lanyards were invented

Trixie meets with her boyfriend, Reverend Tom, and tells him she’s worried about Gary. Growing up extremely poor, she feels a kinship to him and great concern for his family. Sister Julienne wants Sister Evangelina to see a doctor, as she is obviously sick, but Evangelina won’t do it because she’s stubborn. Gary finally gets some milk, and pours it through the mail slot into his little sister’s cup.

Mrs. Wimbish arrives with contractions, and the nurses put her on bed rest. She is only seven months along and fears for the health of the baby. Her water breaks, and labor begins. It’s touch and go for a minute, but she delivers a healthy, albeit premature, baby girl. Sidebar: childbirth in the olden-timey days was legit gross and terrifying. The doc sucks out the baby’s mucus with a rubber tube WITH HIS MOUTH. Granted, I know nothing about childbirth, but this seems unacceptable.


Gary tries to steal some biscuits from the store, but is chased down by the shopkeeper and brought to the police. Noakes immediately sees that the boy is starving and filthy, and takes a squad to the home to rescue the other children. Noakes tries to comfort Gary, but the boy is so ashamed of his smell he won’t let anyone near him.

mid15 British cops are polite even when they’re breaking down a door

The cops burst into the flat and it is absolutely revolting. They find Gary’s two sisters and the infant, all thankfully still alive. Noakes takes the kids into protective custody.

Gary’s bruises are photographed and the kids are examined. The infant has a terrible infection, but it looks like she will survive. Sister Monica Joan gives the girls dolls and Trixie takes the kids into the cleansing station, where everyone gets bathed. The girls have fleas, but Trixie won’t let Sister Monica shave their heads. She wows the kids with stories of the Vidal Sassoon salon, and then tucks them into clean beds to go to sleep.


Barbara wins Sister Evangelina’s admiration by transporting Mrs. Wimbish’s breast milk from the clinic to the hospital. Sister Monica Joan finally convinces Sister Evangelina to see the doctor, but not before burning the shit out of some crumpets.

mid17 We don’t need no water let the fucking crumpets burn

The sisters have found foster homes for the children, but Trixie is unable to say goodbye to them. She is still devastated by their circumstances and reminded of her own terrible upbringing. Tom comforts her, and we see the hidden depths of this former flirt party girl. Meanwhile, the indigent mum is arrested for child neglect.

Later on, Tom proposes to Trixie and she accepts. He also gives her a meringue dessert, which is of course snatched by Sister Monica Joan.

mid18 More excited about the meringue

So, are you watching Call The Midwife? What are you hoping to see happen in Season 4? Hit me up @Chelseaprocrast and tell me all about it!

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