For Christmas this year, the BBC determined to gift a lot of of the cast of Call the Midwife via a really nice functioning holiday. It’s off to South Africa for everyone other than for Patsy and Cynthia, who are supposedly left behind to tfinish to eexceptionally pregnant womale in Poplar while the others travel waaaay southern for a number of weeks to job-related at a mission hospital.

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Here’s what’s going on: the mission, which is supported by Nonnatus’s mom house, has recently shed its head nun, Sister Felicity, and also is in danger of being shut down. The logical solution to this is to sfinish Julienne, Winifred, Trixie, Barbara, the adult Turners, Crane, Fred, and Tom to remote South Africa to assist out and host a polio vaccine clinic. And Tom’s going to be transferring out an assessment of the area which will certainly eventually recognize whether or not it gets to continue to be open up.

Sister Julienne: I’m not going to tell you to lie, of course, but simply remember that the whole fate of this place, the just centre for clinical care for miles around, rests with you and also this report. No pressure! But seriously, don’t screw this up.

So off they go, Trixie dressing and also acting like Elizabeth Taylor embarking on the Queen Mary, bereason of course she does. Every excursion out of Poplar is exotic for Trixie, unmuch less the proposed destination is Newcastle.

They arrive and uncover the area even more primitive than they assumed. Fred comes to grips with an ancient truck that’s become some type of Frankenstein-mobile it’s obtained so many random components in it. Turner tries really tough not to lock horns with the resident doctor, a challenging but pretty impressive woguy called Fitzsimmons. Crane delivers a baby under a banyan tree (with Fred’s help)! Shelagh is menaced by some goats on the way to the short article office! Winifred’s a redhead, so she starts burning as soon as she also thinks about the sun! Trixie’s mascara runs endlessly and she can’t set her hair! (Honestly, I love Trixie, but occasionally she really does come throughout as a shpermit idiot. I intend, what part of ‘we’re going to a remote mission church run by nuns in South Africa’ made her think, ‘Awesome! Lay in extra bikinis and also establishing solution!’ But it’s ok, because she gets to be exceptional later and also wins us all ago to #TeamTrixie.)

Oh, and Apartheid sucks. It’s not as massively in-your-face as it could be, however it’s absolutely tbelow. A trio of white policemen chop up a pair of times to be jerks and also yell at 2 babsence patients for hanging out after hours through the nurses. One of those patients, Roza, used to occupational as a secretary in the city, before some draconian permit laws made it impossible for her to acquire to the office anymore. Now, the only means she deserve to have anything to carry out or win any type of status is to provide birth. Fortunately, after a decade of marriage, she’s pregnant at last. And she’s so sweet you know something terrible’s going to happen to her. Same via Constance, the other womale scolded by the police. She lost her last 2 babies however stays extremely optimistic and also cheerful.

Early heartbreak pertains to the polio vaccine clinic. Two bit boys display up, via the older one transferring the younger, having actually walked miles to gain tbelow. The elder desperately tells Turner that he has actually some money, and also if it’s not sufficient to obtain them both vaccinated, he just desires his younger brvarious other to obtain the vaccine, so he deserve to be cured of the polio he’s already had. Ooof. Turner gently describes that they don’t need to pay anything (a idea that plainly baffles this bad kid) and also that the vaccine can’t cure anyone of polio, it’s to proccasion them from acquiring it in the first location. He feels devastating he can’t do anypoint for these children.

Everyone’s having trouble adjusting (well, other than for Crane, bereason she takes every little thing as it comes, and that’s really remarkable of her). Barbara, who’s despeprice to aid, as always, goes up against Fitzsimmons, that, in her frustration, starts yelling at a womale that keeps bringing sick grandbabies to the hospital. The children are being fed gruel (in infancy!) and hygiene’s not great at residence, though clearly this woman’s trying to do all she deserve to. But she’s taking care of babies for daughters that need to go out and also occupational miles from residence and obviously can’t come ago so often. It’s not a good situation. But Barbara intervenes, supplies to take treatment of this sick boy, sends out Fitzsimmons ameans to cool down, and comforts the distressed grandmother. Barbara’s wonderful.

But also she has actually borders. When Roza goes right into labour, Barbara and Trixie go to tfinish to her. It’s been 3 days because her pains began, and the girls exreadjust that look you never desire them to exchange, bereason it suggests negative news. Trixie checks out the patient, then quickly excuses herself. Barbara follows her exterior and guesses there’s no heartbeat. Trixie, shakily smoking a cigarette, tells her there’s no baby and also never before was. This is a phantom pregnancy, lugged about because this woguy has nothing else in her life to look forward to. Trixie’s shaken, so Barbara (again!) procedures up and breaks the news to the mom. Roza, understandably, is distraught, yet Barbara manperiods to comfort her very impressively. Later, though, on an excursion to the beach, Barbara has actually a little of a meltdvery own, shaming everyone for having a nice day out once their patients have actually such miserable stays, and also reminding them all that they’ll gain to go residence, to London, however these human being will certainly remajor wbelow and as they are. These individual will leave nopoint behind as they go back to their resides of privilege.

Everyone else: You entirely have a suggest, yet did you have to harsh our day-off buzz?

But Trixie pulls Tom aside and also tells him that Barbara is very amazing and he knows he adores her and really have to acquire his act together and also propose already. And as soon as he does, don’t offer Barbara the exact same ring he offered Trixie (have to go without saying, no?). It’s a household heirimpend, but Barbara’s lived her whole life in hand-me-downs and need to, just once, obtain something that’s all her own.

Tom’s got his hands full, though. The water instance at the hospital is dire, and also acquiring worse. Their resource is disastrous and also complete of clay, producing extremely little murky water. There’s one more, better source not far away, however in order to accessibility it, they have to go via land also belonging to a Mr Starke. Not this man, sadly:

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yet quite some bitter male that spends his days rearvarying his photo albums. Fitzsimmons tried when to gain access to the land also yet was rudely turned ameans. When Tom reflects up to offer it another go, he finds a black servant out front watering the lawn (so we’re really primed to hate this guy) and gets no better than Fitzsimmons did. At this suggest, you figure this man’s either a finish monster or he lost a loved one/s at that hospital and also has actually been holding a grudge ever before given that. Which still renders him a monster, bereason punishing innocent womales and children bereason you have a beef through their physician is horrifically shitty. Still: white asshole: 1, Black mothers and babies: 0.

But even if the hospital gets water, they’ve obtained a large problem: Fitzsimmons has actually liver cancer, and also it’s not looking as well excellent. But Turner, as constantly, is figured out to figure something out, so he consults some texts and starts to think that maybe she doesn’t have liver cancer after all. He thinks she has an abscess that requirements draining, which transforms out to be true, and also she has actually him drainpipe it without offering her any kind of anaesthetic at all, because they don’t have actually a lot and also she desires to save it for the mothers that need c-sections. This woman’s a hero. The point gets drained, however she takes a turn for the worse and Turner packs her into the truck to take her to Port Elizabeth to view if he can convince the hospital there to give her some experimental drugs.

While he’s gone, Julienne sees all the guys desperately trying to dig for even more water and decides to technique Starke herself, having gained the man’s complete story from Fitzsimmons. As intended, he had a wife whom he loved incredibly a lot, and she got in work early, so they dubbed for Fitzsimmons. But the baby didn’t live long, and also the wife quickly gave in to puerperal fever. He blamed Fitzsimmons and also her filthy patients for bringing disease right into his residence. I’m really sorry that happened to you, Starke, yet aacquire, denying women and babies water is pretty evil. Julienne manages not to say as much, but she does tell him she feels really sorry for him and also will be praying. Also: babies and mothers need that damn water.

She gets back to the hospital and also is met by grim-faced Barbara and also Trixie, who really aren’t recording any type of breaks on this expedition. Constance is in work currently, and also it’s not going well. Trixie asks for a third opinion, and Julienne examines the mom and also agrees that this is going to finish disastrously for everyone. The mommy requirements a c-area, or her uterus is going to rupture.

Trixie: Ok, then let’s perform a c-section!

That is seriously her reaction. Julienne reminds her that there is no doctor roughly, that none of them are trained in that procedure (which, let’s be clear, is significant abdominal surgery) and this is a desperately bad principle. Trixie states that she’s viewed the procedure done dozens of times, has actually assisted and also even done post-op. She’s sure she have the right to obtain this done. I genuinely applaud her confidence, however that’s a small like someone saying, ‘Yeah, don’t worry, I deserve to entirely defusage that bomb through a shoelace, I used to watch MacGuyver all the moment. And I check out a couple of Wikipedia write-ups. It’ll be fine!’

Julienne hesitates, however Trixie points out that, if they carry out nopoint, they’ll be burying two people in the morning. At leastern this provides them a (slim, let’s admit) opportunity of a great outcome. Julienne can’t argue through that, so the operation’s on.

Oh, and they have the right to just usage gas and air and neighborhood anaesthetic bereason they’re not equipped for general anaesthesia. Fun times!

The procedure goes forward, with Trixie in the driver’s seat. When she goes to retrieve the baby, but, she finds it’s a bit stuck, because it’s currently in the birth canal. She has actually Barbara reach up the birth canal and press the baby earlier right into the womb so Trixie can acquire it out. And get it out she does. Baby and mother are conserved. Trixie is AWESOME.

Later on, Starke swings by and finds Julienne cuddling the newborn. He asks why she’s not providing it a bath and she coolly tells him it’s because they have no goddamn water for frivolous points favor baths for newly born babies. They badepend have actually sufficient to drink! And just prefer that his last defenses crumble and also now he loves the hospital and also all therein! Eh, I don’t buy that. This guy’s been holding a wicked grudge for at least a decade now, and also simply favor that he’s ok? No. But, this is a Christmas unique, so we can’t go obtaining too complex.

Time to wrap points up. Fitzsimmons is going to be ok! She gets ago to the hospital, prepared to continue her work. Starke allows the access to his land, so the hospital gets its water! Barbara goes to deliver some celebratory cake to Tom as they gain ready to access the new resource, and he impulsively (and also adorably) plucks a long blade of grass, fashions a ring out of it, and proposes. Tom and also Barbara 4EVA!

Roza is hired to be the hospital’s administrator, giving her purpose when more! Constance and her baby are fine and also healthy!

And Shelagh, in a delighttotally unsupposed callback to Christmas specials past, has actually Timothy’s old leg braces shipped down from London. They’re fitted on that bit boy from earlier, so he deserve to walk again. So sweet! And now the Nonnatuns have the right to rerevolve from their South Afrihave the right to sojurn, having truly felt favor they made a distinction.

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Damn you, Christmas specials.

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I’ll admit, this was really just ok. Heartwarming in the right places, yes, however the bit through Starke felt required, and also the police popping up twice were kind of random. We didn’t require them to remind us that apartheid sucked, we were already getting that message through the characters that mattered to the story. I wiburned they’d either been ditched altogether or actually made a part of the plot. But, whatever before, I’ll take that bereason we likewise got Trixie’s minute of amazing (and also wouldn’t it be interesting if this made her begin reasoning that surgery is an choice for a career? I realise the medical neighborhood wasn’t terribly welcoming to womales in the 1960s, however still–that girl’s remarkable if she can do that after having actually just watched it be done before) and Tom and Barbara, and that sweet little boy walking. Awww!