‘Call the Midwife’ season 5 finale review: Sister Evangelina’s peace; how Nonnatus moves forward

Call the Midwife -

We knew going into this weekend’s new episode of “Call the Midwife” that there was going to be despair in the form of a character death. With that being said, sometimes even a predictable passing can still lead to devastation and tears. (We’ll be updating our review for this episode live.)

The show really did not try to pull off something completely out of left field here. We knew that Sister Evangelina has been struggling, and her body was found tonight, not too long after her return to Nonnatus. She was so close to many of the other Sisters that her death immediately sent shockwaves throughout the community, especially when it came to the right way to treat her body and prepare her for the afterlife. In the end she had a small, peaceful service narrated beautifully by Vanessa Redgrave in the closing moments.

Evangelina’s work will never be truly over. After all, her legacy does live on.

Also in the finale, there was devastation of a different side as the Thalidomide story really started to rear its head, and Dr. Turner began to realize the true effects that this drug had on many babies. He’s had his core shocked in many different ways over the course of the season, but this had to be without a doubt the most shocking of all. Coming to terms with past mistakes is never easy, but it is so much harder when lives hang in the balance.

Despite all of the sadness, there were some moments in this episode that made us think that we could see progression socially in Poplar, such as Patsy and Delia starting to see some more acceptance. Also, Barbara and Tom may still a future, and Trixie could be getting closer to finding some happiness of her own. For the young women of Nonnatus, we’d say that the finale was a victory for them as they hope to find their way in the world. There were elements of the episode that were over-the-top (really with the wedding dress?), but we’d say that this did a good job of tying together the season’s stories in a way that was meaningful, tender, and also subtle. This is not a show that really likes to beat you over the head with anything. Grade: B+.

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