‘Call the Midwife’, Series 5, Episode 4 (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

I know I keep on about how depressing some of the ‘Call the Midwife’ episodes can be and I’m trying to be very fair in what I see is good and bad about them. I just recall the latest episodes being better.

Maybe as the years go on, things become better in terms of medicine and child labour. It’s just some of the plots for certain episodes I’ve seen so far often end with unhappy endings for certain families.

In Series 5, Episode 4 of ‘Call the Midwife’, Jenny Agutter as Sister Julienne is asked to be seconded at a busy local hospital. Julienne agrees to the secondment, eager to see how advanced medicine is.

At first, she’s impressed by the advances to save the lives of mothers and babies. She even helps an Indian mother with delivering her baby, even if her standards of midwifery are different to hospitals.

However, a traumatic birth ensues when Sister Julienne’s patient, Becci Gemmell as Ruby Cottingham experiences a difficult pregnancy. She has to be admitted to hospital than be at home. 😦

Once the birth takes place, it’s far from a happy event. Apparently, Ruby has been taking thalidomide as a pain-killer. Ruby struggles to deliver the baby before she goes under intensive care.

It turns out the baby is deformed, which is something that happened in Series 5, Episode 1 with a baby being deformed upon delivery. The mother in that, Rhoda, had taken a big dose of thalidomide.

I also wish to refer to Series 4, Episode 8 where thalidomide was used as wonder drug to cure someone of bad morning sickness. It seems thalidomide isn’t exactly the wonder drug as was hoped.

It’s sad for Sister Julienne to witness this, especially when she has a close connection to the mother Ruby Cottingham. Julienne is shocked to find the deformed baby to be disposed off in the hospital. 😦

I liked it when Sister Julienne said a prayer whilst she cradled the deformed baby in her arms, quoting from the biblical book of Isaiah. From the book of Isaiah, Chapter 43, verses 1 to 2, I believe.

Sister Julienne has to break the sad news to Ruby in her hospital bed that her child has perished. She even has to fib to her out of kindness, saying the baby was a girl when there’s no telling what it was.

At this point, I don’t believe the thalidomide subplot is quite over. This is especially when Stephen McGann as Dr. Turner puzzles about the issue and whether more deformed babies are being born. 😐

Elsewhere, Helen George as Trixie attends to Hayley Carmichael as burns victim Sadie Bulmer. She has a teenage son, Ted Reilly as Ian Bulmer. He has just gained a university place in English, I believe.

Ian wishes to escape Poplar, hoping to use his place at university to better life for himself and childhood sweetheart Chloe Harris as Linda Lanyard. His mum isn’t keen on his university placement.

But Ian’s plans are about to be in ruins once Linda falls pregnant. Both Ian and Linda aren’t married either. The father…I think that is what he is…I’m not sure, Ian Burfield as Maurice isn’t happy either.

Ian is forced to do the honourable thing by staying in Poplar and marry Linda whilst she’s pregnant. It of course means having to give up his university dreams and end up being a workman in Poplar. 😐

It’s a struggle for Ian and he doesn’t even show up on his first day at work. Linda also has an unexpected miscarriage since she’s bleeding internally. How the miscarriage happened, I’m not sure.

Trixie and Jack Ashton as Tom Hereward also help out when Ian locks himself in a room with the gas off. They help Ian to recover who ends up vomiting on their shoes, which has them amused about it.

The Ian/Linda subplot does end on a happy note, especially when Linda decides not to marry Ian and allow him to take his place at university. They will marry each other when the time is right of course.

Trixie also tells Charlotte Ritchie as Barbara that she has no hard feeling about her dating Tom. I liked how that subplot was handled and it does mean Barbara and Tom can have a blossoming romance. 🙂

So, Series 5, Episode 4 does have some depressing moments in places. But I like how the Tom/Barbara/Trixie love triangle is resolved and hopefully the thalidomide issue will get resolved. 🙂

‘Series 5, Episode 4’ rating – 7/10

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