‘Call the Midwife’, Series 2, Episode 4 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

This ‘Call the Midwife’ episode once again features two subplots coinciding with each other. I’m not sure if the balance between the two subplots is even as one is cheerier whilst the other is downbeat.

In the first subplot, Jessica Raine as Jenny returns from her stint at London Hospital to help Pam Ferris as Sister Evangelina to deliver the son of Ruby and Douglas Roberts. Sadly, there is a problem.

Whilst the delivery was successful, the baby boy has spina bifida. This means there’s a problem with his back as there’s a spine deficiency. Jenny is shocked as she and Evangelina attend to the baby boy.

Jamie Thomas King guest stars as Douglas Roberts whilst Leanne Rowe guest stars as his wife Ruby. It was intriguing to see the two reactions of these parents when they see the state of their baby boy.

Doug, whilst not happy with the situation, is willing to be open about looking after his new son. Ruby meanwhile struggles to accept and understand the life-limiting condition her new son has in the tale.

Both parents had high hopes their new baby boy. To see that he won’t be like other ordinary children is too much for both Doug and Ruby. Ruby takes it rather badly compared to Doug however.

Jenny also finds is tough since she never had to deliver a disabled baby before. She does all she can with supporting the Roberts parents, but she too struggles to accept the implications over the baby.

I like how Jenny tries to take on childcare duties for the baby boy whilst Ruby is sinking into depression. Sister Evangelina doesn’t approve since it’s the parents’ responsibility to look after him.

Jenny also tells Ruby she can’t keep looking after the child whilst she’s depressed. Ruby doesn’t seem to catch on until it’s considered that the baby boy may be put into an institution for the disabled.

Doug witnesses for himself what a home for physically disabled children looks like. Being a gambler, he gambles with an approach to persuade Ruby to change her mind and to face up to responsibility.

Thankfully this works and Ruby decides to take care of the baby child instead rather than put him in a home. Doug is happy with this. Very soon the two parents take on childcare duties for their baby. 🙂

I like how this subplot concludes with Doug and Ruby facing up to their responsibilities in looking after a disabled child. I do believe Jenny’s influence and presence helps in that regard in the episode.

The other subplot featured in this episode has Nonnatus House playing host to an acquaintance of Chummy’s. This happens to be Jason Watkins as the eccentric cleric – Reverend Applebee-Thornton.

I’ve seen Jason Watkins in a few things including the ‘Nativity’ film series, the short-lived ‘Dirk Gently’ series and the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘Nightmare In Silver’. I found him very good in this tale.

At first, it does seem like Applebee-Thorton might be too cheery, annoying and arrogant. This seems evident when Helen George as Trixie and Bryony Hannah as Cynthia don’t want to be around him. 😀

But later on, he turns out to be charming especially when he befriends Dorothy Atkinson as Jane. This episode also showcases Jane’s character and explores why she seems rather quiet and reserved.

Applebee-Thornton stays at Nonnatus House whilst his house is being prepared in Poplar. He charms nursing assistant Jane and even asks her out on a dance date. She says ‘yes’, but later stands him up.

Jane does come across as shy and quite a coward when she stands Applebee-Thorton up on their date. But Jane comes round to apologising to the vicar and explain why she was nervous at the time.

Apparently Jane had an unhappy past and it connects to the institution of the physical disabled where Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne met her. Jane does start to come out of her shell in the story.

There’s another connection made between Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner and Laura Main as Sister Bernadette, especially when she attends to his son Timothy. I wonder whether all this will go further.

Series 2, Episode 4 is another good episode in ‘Call the Midwife’. There were times when the balance of subplots was uneven due to their tones, but it’s nice how both subplots worked out eventually. 🙂

‘Series 2, Episode 4’ rating – 8/10

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