In the early moments of the season 6 premiere of “Call the Midwife” on BBC, many of the women returned to Nonnatus House after spending some time in South Africa saving the Hope Clinic. They may be heroes, but at the same exact time there is no real time for a heroes’ welcome in in Poplar. There are cases that must be handled, and tears that must pour out of everyone’s eyes. Tear-jerking moments ultimately go hand in hand with the series, so that is just something that you have to expect at this point.
One of the big changes that was clear right away with this season was the appointment of a new boss at Nonnatus: Sister Ursula. There was some entertainment that came out of watching everyone pretend to be happy for her being in charge, knowing at the same time that there was a certain element of disappointment in their hearts. It’s not like they want a house to call on Ursula like in “The Wizard of Oz,” but she’s rather difficult to deal with and forces many of the midwives to change their behavior.
The first case back – This one, in no surprise to anyone, was heart-wrenching. Tonight, we met Trudy, a pregnant mother of little means that was doing her best. However, at the same time we found her trapped due to a terrible relationship who her husband Lester, who was just released from prison and showed himself rather quickly to be violent and abusive. Basically, this was a man who should’ve through right back in the slammer as soon as possible. He was a danger to her, and a danger to both her son and her unborn baby.
What made this story all the more emotional was the fact that on the surface, no one was quite aware of just how vicious this man could be — even as a former prisoner, he was skilled in putting on a front. Also, he thought it was a good idea to teach his six-year old kid with only one functional eye how to box against someone who looked to be twice his size. After she confronted him about it and called him a coward, he proceeded to burn her with a cigarette and lock her in a room. Effectively, this guy was the WORST.
When Trudy eventually arrived with her son begging for help, she was able to find it as the sisters assisted her in giving birth. For Sister Mary Cynthia in particular, she took the job of helping them personally. Just remember for a moment that she was violently attacked at the end of last season, and it only made some sense that her trauma as a result of that would cause her to act out. Things took a turn for the worse yet again when Trudy tried to get away from her husband yet again, and still found him trying to break into the home after she changed the locks.
Eventually, both Trudy and Mary Cynthia tried to find their own ways to escape their situation. Using physical evidence and testimony from others, Trudy determined that there could be a way for her and her children to be free of Lester once and for all. Unfortunately, she wanted to do much of it on her own, and it took until the last minute for her to come around and realize that she needed the help of the midwives to get her out of her horrific marriage.
Meanwhile, Mary Cynthia started to receive treatment for some of what she was going through.
Barbara and Tom settle in – Isn’t she a kind fiancee? She was devoted to Tom and looking forward to being a wife after their recent engagement, and did not want to pressure him in the slightest regarding a ring. After all, it is not like a vicar makes an enormous salary. She actually bought a ring for herself at the end of the episode — he was fine with it just because of the way she approached the subject with him, and made him realize that it was not an affront to his masculinity.
Barbara had another distraction from wedding plannings and celebration: Pottery class! Only “Call the Midwife” can make a story about this interesting, or not make us immediately think of “Ghost,” otherwise known as the only thing that we tend to think of whenever we see pottery in entertainment.
Shelagh’s surprise – She’s pregnant! This may not have been a story that you were expecting from her, but this is precisely what made it such a welcome part of the story. She never thought she could have children, and she is now in a situation where she can welcome a new addition to her family naturally.
Patsy’s touch decision – At the end of tonight’s tonight, she got word that her father in Hong Kong has developed a condition that has caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. With that, she is now facing a critical decision as to whether or not she can stay in Poplar, and go and visit him.
Overall – Thematically, this is the same show you love — it’s emotionally, superbly-acted, and jam-packed when it comes to content. a worthy start to the season. Grade: B+.
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