The Call the Midwife season 7 finale on BBC One Sunday night began with what was a very emotional goodbye. After all, the series was forced to say farewell to a beloved character in the opening minutes in Barbara, which left almost everyone at Nonnatus House scrambling both to pick themselves up and also to figure out how to move forward.
What was fairly interesting from a meta point of view Sunday was seeing how the show struggled with moving forward. Is it okay for anyone to feel happy so soon after such a terrible tragedy? The series really struggled with that and understandably so. Yet, there were still Poplar celebrations and, to go along with that, more cases and struggles at the heart of this story.
For Tom, he considered giving away Barbara’s clothes as a means to help him heal. There is nothing more that his wife loved more than giving back and he saw this as the perfect way to try and connect with her.
For everyone else, the best way to move forward was simply to continue to doing more of what they love the most: Helping others to deliver their babies. Expecting mothers may not know Barbara; they don’t understand their grief. Therefore, they had their do their best. (Still, when Nurse Crane’s difficult mother determined that she wanted to name her child “Barbara” we just bought lost it. The same goes when Reggie and Tom brought a carousel to her newly-dug grave.
As if losing Barbara was not sad enough, this episode also featured another note of sadness: The death of President Kennedy. This was another difficult thing for the midwives to bear, but at the same time they determined that it was best to not mourn for too long and try to just move forward instead.
A birthday party
This brings us back to what we said earlier in the episode — how do you celebrate in such times of pain? Sister Monica Joan had a chance to celebrate her birthday within this episode, but there were also some fears that you could not really give gifts to someone ultimately barred from having them.
The episode concluded with a celebration, one that was reflective but also still significant as to where the characters are now. Sister Monica Joan could remember her life, while at the same time everyone could remember Barbara. This is the way in which the series wants to remember that character, and when Call the Midwife returns we’re sure that the overall picture will be a little bit different.
We’ll admit that in the wake of missing Barbara almost everything else felt somewhat like an afterthought; nonetheless, it was nice for the show to remind us that life goes on. You just don’t forget about the past in the process.
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