‘Call the Midwife’, Series 3, Episode 8 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

It’s time for the season finale to Series 3 of ‘Call the Midwife’. This is an episode I have mixed feelings about. Whilst it has amazing performances from the cast, some plot threads are depressing.

This episode also happens to be the last for Jessica Raine as Jenny Lee. I’m saddened that Jenny leaves the series by this point, since she’d been a central focus for the majority of ‘Call the Midwife’.

My mixed feelings also come into play in terms of how Jenny leaves the series. It’s reflected in how she changes her career choice and how she meets up with the man who becomes her husband later.

The episode has Miranda Hart as Chummy preparing to nurse her dying mother at home. She does become upset about her mother suffering with cancer that she actually breaks into tears when at work.

She gets consoled by Judy Parfitt as Sister Monica Joan, who in turns gets reminded of her rift with her own mother from decades ago and she gets distressed. It leads to another mental breakdown. 😦

Chummy and Ben Caplan as Peter decide to look after the terminally ill Cheryl Campbell as Lady Brown when she’s at home. They receive as much support from the nuns and midwifes at Nonnatus.

I like how Chummy receives support from her Nonnatus House friends and how Lady Browne appreciates their efforts. Chummy’s scenes with her mother at home become sweet in this episode.

Lady Browne is less hardened and more loving to Chummy. Sister Monica Joan comes out of her breakdown and she benefits from her part in helping out as well as Jenny who helps Chummy in this.

Jenny does seem to be drawn to help nurse Chummy more than perform her midwife duties. This causes a career change in Jenny’s life when she becomes dedicated to death than in delivering life. 😐

Now, I appreciate the series being based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and maybe Jenny’s choice to attend the dead comes out of the loss she had with losing Alec. It is fairly reasonable here.

But I’ve always believed that Jenny would be dedicated to midwifery rather than on combating death. Again, it’s what happened to the real Jennifer Worth, but it was unexpected with watching it.

Sadly, Chummy’s mother dies in the episode which was rather sad to watch. I know not everything in ‘Call the Midwife’ is meant to be a happy ending, but it’s so sad to see watching this season finale. 😦

The episode also has Jenny meeting Stephen Ashfield as Philip Worth, who is a cousin of a pregnant patient, Michelle Duncan as Jeanette Heckford. Philip Worth is very important person for Jenny Lee.

In real life, Jenny Lee eventually marries Philip Worth and she leaves the Poplar area to work at a hospice. Now, I’m not very sure whether this was faithful in the original memoirs by Jennifer Worth.

But I would’ve preferred it if we had a whole season of Jenny getting to know Philip and soon falling in love with him at the end. As is, it did feel like Jenny’s departure with Philip was at the last minute.

And maybe it was. Maybe Jessica Raine’s decision to leave the series came through halfway making Series 3. I’m not sure, but it’s the impression I get when she’s only met Philip Worth in her last story.

It’s also amazing that Jenny can’t deliver Jeanette Heckford’s baby when she’s distracted by wanting to attend to Chummy’s mother. I’m sure Jenny could have done well with delivering Jeanette’s baby.

Meanwhile, Laura Main as Shelagh and Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner have good news. They’re finally accepted as adoptive parents and they have a new baby girl to bring up. This is so nice to see.

Shelagh also pulls out the stops when she enters her choir into a competition. In the end, Shelagh’s choir wins the competition. I also liked how the tension between Shelagh and Dr. Turner is resolved.

In the end, Jenny says farewell to her ‘family’ at Nonnatus House and hopes to keep in touch with them, promising never to forget them. I wonder how ‘Call the Midwife’ will continue without Jenny.

Overall, this episode is a decent finale to Series 3. I’m saddened that Jenny’s gone and it was depressing when Chummy’s mum died. But at this point, I’m looking forward to what happens next.

‘Series 3, Episode 8’ rating – 7/10

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