Call the Midwife: Season 4 Episode 2 – New Love, Old Love

This is a recap. There are major spoilers here.

Sister Julienne is tending flowers in the garden when the skies open up into a downpour, and she is suddenly drenched. She goes inside to change, and finds there is a leak in the roof, letting a great deal of water through.

Sisters Winifred and Evangelina are boarding a bus when they see a woman approaching at a run. She is the bus driver’s wife, there to bring him his lunch. She is also very pregnant. Winifred addresses her as Mrs. Bisette and tells her she shouldn’t be running like that. On the bus, Winifred asks Evangelina about the results of her medical appointment, but Evangelina refuses to talk about it.

Back at Nonnatus house, Trixie, Barbara, and Patsy are talking about their day when there is a phone call. It is for Trixie, about her engagement party.

Evangelina finds Julienne in the garden and tells her she has fibroids and the doctor wants to perform a hysterectomy. She says she won’t do it because she’ll be out of commission too long. Julienne says they’re getting a new midwife to help out and Evangelina says in that case she’ll have the operation.

At the clinic, Trixie is showing off her ring when someone calls it “second-hand.” She protests but seems bothered anyway, and puts the ring in her pocket. Outside in the corridor, Tom is waiting for her. He kisses her when she arrives and they talk about arrangements for the party. Tom is afraid it’s too much. They are interrupted by the arrival of the wolf-pack, coming for their meeting.

At the pack meeting, Fred introduces Patsy, who will be one of the leaders. They get the boys in order, and the meeting gets underway.

Mrs. Bisette, who is Jamaican, is at home waiting for her husband. When he returns she reminds him that she’s not due for another three weeks, and they dance.

Barbara is putting out the milk bottles, when a car arrives and the new midwife steps out. Her name is Phyllis Crane. She admonishes Barbara for saying “hello” instead of “good morning.” Crane is introduced at lunch, where she reveals she’s a vegetarian. She also declines to wear the uniform of Nonnatus house, preferring to wear her own instead.

Later, Sister Evangelina is giving out assignments when Crane tries to take over. The two passive-aggressively argue, and neither seems to win. Evangelina goes to Julienne’s office to complain about Crane. Julienne says Crane is very experienced and perhaps they can learn from her, but Evangelina is having none of it. The phone rings. It’s the Reverend Mother calling, and Evangelina excuses herself.

That night, Barbara returns to her room to find she’ll be sharing it with Crane, who’s had Fred tape off the room down the middle, demarking whose territory is whose. Barbara goes to Trixie and Patsy’s room to complain and have a drink.

The next morning Julienne is talking to Winifred, telling her that they have a benefactor who wants to leave them a legacy. The benefactor wants to meet with the Sisters, and Julienne is arranging this.

Crane once more attempts to take charge as Evangelina is handing out the assignments for the day, but Evangelina simply talks over her.

Julienne and Winifred go to the home of their mysterious benefactor. His name is Mr. Newgarden, and it’s revealed he is a friend from Julienne’s life before she joined the order. In fact, their last interaction was when she stood him up for a movie date. Newgarden sends Winifred to get biscuits so he can talk to Julienne alone. The two reminisce a little, and Sister Julienne is overcome, so when Winifred returns, they leave, without discussing the legacy.

Barbara is examining Abigail Bisette. Bisette says the baby is usually very active, but hasn’t moved for a little while. Barbara finds Bisette’s blood pressure is high, and she can’t find the baby’s heartbeat. She tries to call the doctor, but can’t reach him, so calls for an ambulance instead. She rides with Bisette, leaving her bike behind.

At the hospital, they find the baby’s heartbeat, but since Bisette’s blood pressure is still high, they decide to admit her. Barbara returns to tell the husband, and finds her bike is gone. She runs back to Nonnatus house to find it there. Crane tells her it was returned by Bisette’s husband. Inside, Evangelina castigates Barbara for calling an ambulance, since that’s not protocol. Crane defends her, saying that it is protocol in some of the places she’s worked.

At the hospital, Bisette’s husband visits. She tells him she’s miserable, but he says it’s for the best that she stay there.

Sister Winifred and Julienne return. Crane tells Julienne that she’s seen a rat in the bathroom. She says “the premises are not fit!”

That night in the hospital, Bisette gets up and goes to the hallway. Woman with a botched abortion is brought in, and the personnel argue loudly about what is to be done with her. Bisette freaks, and runs out of the hospital and all the way home.

The next morning, Dr. Turner examines her and she tells him she wants a home delivery because the hospital didn’t seem like a safe place to her.

Fred comes in to Sister Julienne’s office and tells her about the progress with the rats and the fact that there’s a hole in the roof, which will need to be repaired. A little later, Sister Julienne calls Newgarden, presumably to arrange to talk about the legacy.

Later, at the Pack Meeting, Patsy introduces the boys to her friend, Delia Bosby, who is a nurse at the hospital and a member of the ambulance corps and who will be teaching them about how to deal with burns.

Back in the kitchen at Nonnatus house, Trixie and Tom are discussing the engagement. She wants to pick out china patterns and plan a big party. He wants to keep things simple. The two argue, and he storms out. While this is happening, Patsy and Delia have come in with their dinner. Wishing to leave Tom and Trixie alone, the two commiserate while eating in the chapel.

The next morning, Evangelina and Crane are once again arguing about the schedule when there is a phone call. Abigail Bisette has gone into labor. Evangelina sends Patsy and Barbara.

Sister Julienne has come to speak with Newgarden, and they are in the middle of a child’s birthday party. Julienne apologizes for leaving last time, and they agree that they wanted to see each other again.

Patsy and Barbara attend while Abigail Bisette gives birth. The baby is stillborn, it’s heart probably stopped a couple of days ago. Bisette protests that they just heard the heartbeat earlier that day. Barbara comforts Bisette while Patsy goes out to tell the husband. She tells him to call Nonnatus house and ask for the doctor and a more senior midwife.

Back at Nonnatus house, Crane packs up her kit and leaves. Evangelina asks Monica Joan where she has gone and is told. Evangelina makes ready to go herself.

At the Bisette’s, Abigail is still in pain. Dr. Turner finds that she had undiagnosed twins, and is about to give birth again. Barbara is sent to get water, and is doing that when she is overwhelmed by tears. Crane comes in about that time, and comforts her.

Bisette’s second baby, a boy, is born healthy. Sister Evangelina arrives to find Crane has things well is hand. She looks at her with a new respect.

Later, Patsy is very upset about the stillbirth. She goes to the Nurse’s home, where she finds Delia Bosby. She cries and Delia comforts her, holding her and kissing her head. In the morning, Patsy wakes up in Delia’s bed, and leaves before anyone finds out she was there.

Sister Evangelina decides everything is well in hand with Crane, and leaves for her surgery, leaving a note for Sister Julienne.

Patsy and Barbara return to check on Bisette, and find that in her grief she is having trouble bonding with her son.

Newgarden calls and invites Julienne to finally go to that movie they missed. He has set up a theater in his house. Julienne goes and seems to reconnect with the part of herself who once loved him.

Tom visits the Bisettes and finds they are having trouble because then never got to say a proper goodbye to their stillborn baby. He arranges an informal funeral service for them, which seems to help, as later they are seen at home dancing with their baby.

After the funeral service, Trixie finds Tom and tells him she doesn’t need all the fancy stuff, she just wants to be with him. They kiss, reconciled.

Julienne finds out Newgarden has died. The money he left them will help make needed repairs.

Barbara finds Crane in their room, putting on the uniform of Nonnatus house. She says she has decided to stay longer, perhaps permanently. Tom and Trixie have a small engagement party at Nonnatus house, Sister Julienne looking on wistfully, thinking about what might have been between herself and Newgarden.

Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.

Chad Grayson
Chad Grayson has been a gas station attendant, sold video games over the phone, and even was the person who cuts the mold off the cheese in the cheese factory, but spent most of his career as a middle school Language Arts and History teacher. He is now a full-time stay at home dad and writer. You can find him on twitter at @chadgrayson and on his blog at cegrayson.wordpress.com.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

5 Responses

  1. Is it my imagination or are there sadder story lines this season? (I’m not complaining, just observing. Last week’s episode about the neglected kids completely tore me up.)

    I love the writing on this show. And I like how we get to learn more about the characters, such as Trixie’s background, which explains a lot about her now.

    Thank you, Chad, for these recaps. So appreciated!

  2. Melanie says:

    I don’t know, seems to me there have always been sad story lines. I remember moms dying in childbirth and babies dying soon after being born. Although, I do think that is what makes it such a good show–they are able to tell real stories with immense heart but sprinkle them with comedy. Such a great show!

  3. Debi says:

    I watched it for the first time last week
    . Although sad, it was very “real” and the story line was portrayed so well. ALl of the characters drew me in. I look forward to watching it more and learning of all the characters. Looks like a great show.

  4. chad Grayson says:

    If you’re just getting into the show and want to catch up all the previous seasons are on Netflix and Amazon Prime. That’s how I watched them.