‘Call the Midwife’, Series 1, Episode 5 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The fifth episode of Series 1 of ‘Call the Midwife’ is quite heartbreaking. This is especially the case for two brother and sister characters. There’s also light shed for Jessica Raine as Jenny regarding her past.

The previous episode introduced the cleaner at Nonnatus House – Elizabeth Rider as Peggy. I didn’t mention her in my previous episode’s review since she didn’t say much and not much was to be said.

The episode has Peggy living with her brother, Sean Baker as Frank. I was confused about that as I thought they were husband and wife. Jenny became shocked since they were sharing the same bed.

There’s also the introduction of prefab home in the episode. These were temporary houses built after the Second World War ended. It was interesting to see that as my parents told me about them.

Anyway, sadness dawns upon the brother and sister – Frank and Peggy. Frank gets diagnosed with cancer. Jenny and the sisters are called upon by Peggy to provide Frank with the care that he needs.

Throughout the episode, Jenny gets to know what Frank and Peggy are like as brother and sister, having lifted together since their upbringing in a workhouse. This was intriguing to hear in the story.

Jenny is surprised about the Dickensian-like upbringing Frank and Peggy would’ve had as children before getting their own in a prefab after the Second World War. The two have been really devoted.

As the episode implies, Frank and Peggy have become more than brother and sister. More than husband and wife even. I presume that it can be the case for many devoted couples in real-life here.

It becomes saddening when Frank is on the verge of death and Peggy has to look after him. Frank doesn’t want to let Peggy know he is dying whilst Peggy doesn’t to let on that she knows he is dying.

Jenny is present when Frank does die and Peggy is at her deathbed. Soon, once Jenny’s gone, Peggy takes an overdose of morphine and dies in her sleep with Frank at her side during the night at home.

The next day, Jenny finds Peggy and Frank dead at home with Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne accompanying her. Jenny is so upset by the loss of Peggy and Frank but Sister Julienne comprehends.

Sister Julienne knows that Peggy couldn’t live without Frank as the world would be too much for her. It’s very sad how that happens as it reflects real-life with people who can’t cope without loved ones.

Meanwhile, George Rainsford as Jimmy continues to have feelings for Jenny. He hopes that a trip to a country house where swimming pool is there will help him in winning her heart during the episode.

Helen George as Trixie and Bryony Hannah as Cynthia are also invited along to join in for a swim at the pool. But Jimmy’s advances to Jenny don’t work as she still carries a torch for another man here.

In fact, Jenny receives a phone call from that man called Gerald who wanted to hear her voice. Jenny refuses to answer him. It is very interesting that hints of Jenny’s past are touched upon in the series.

Jimmy makes another attempt to share his feelings to Jenny at the end of the episode. This is of course at the worst time he could’ve done it as Jenny is upset after Peggy and Frank’s death in the story.

Jenny doesn’t want to start a relationship with Jimmy as she prefers him to be his friend. I wonder when we’ll meet this man Jenny used to fall in love with and whether he will come back into her life.

There’s a subplot where Cliff Parisi as Fred has his new money-making venture – a pig called Evie. The residents of Nonnatus House help Fred with his new pig – especially when she gets pregnant. 😀

Miranda Hart as Chummy has her own matters in life to deal with here. This includes coping with hecklers at a contraceptive demonstration and preparing to meet Ben Caplan as PC Noakes’ mum. 🙂

It was also intriguing to see Trixie coping with a pregnant woman at a fish place. Trixie doesn’t like the smell of fish. She is horrified when she finds helping to deliver a baby with dead fish around her.

The fifth episode of Series 1 has been pretty good in terms of character drama. It’s sad about Frank and Peggy dying at the end, but it’s good how the ‘Call the Midwife’ series reflects real-life scenarios.

‘Series 1, Episode 5’ rating – 8/10

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