Call the Midwife Season 4 Episode 4: Somebody Has a Drinking Problem; Sometimes A Girl is Just Right

At the clinic, the nuns and nurses are getting ready for the day, but nobody knows where Trixie is. Nurse Crane proclaims about the need to move the mothers along faster than they usually do, and Shelagh complains about this to Doc Turner. As they open the clinic, Trixie has still not arrived.

Outside, Trixie and Tom are walking together. The Bishop is impressed with Tom’s work at the church and wants to talk to him. Trixie decides that she wants to see her as well, and invites herself along.

At the clinic, Mrs. Coulter, the mother-in-law of one of the expectant mothers, is telling everybody childbirth horror stories. Patsy asks her to stop.

Trixie finally arrives and Crane yells at her for being late.

Sister Winifred examines a young woman named Bridget Cole, who’s pregnancy is very advanced for this to be her first visit. She tells Winifred that she’s been working, and it becomes clear that the young woman is a prostitute. She asks if she is a wicked woman, and Winifred tells her that they’ll leave all talk of wickedness at the door.

At a ropemaker’s factory, a very pregnant Mrs. Robbins visits her husband, Frank. Patsy finds her there and as she takes her away for an examination, Frank calls out that the baby better be a boy.

Back at Nonnatus House, Barbara, whose father was a curate, is advising Trixie on the proper ways to address a Bishop.

Sister Winifred finds Bridget Cole at the brothel where she works. Bridget says she’s stopped working for a while. As they talk, they are interrupted by an old woman who’s playing with a cup and is cut by the glass. The woman is disoriented, but Bridget talks her down. Winifred says that she’ll bring Doc Turner around to examine the woman, whom she believes to be in the advanced stages of syphilis.

At the clinic, Trixie is giving a talk on the proper ways to bathe an infant. Mrs. Robbins is there, and starts crying because the doll she’s been given to practice with is a girl. Barbara is summoned to care for her. Robbins tells Barbara that she hasn’t been sleeping because she’s so afraid her baby will be a girl, and that her husband will leave her for not giving him a son.

Back at the brothel, Turner and Winifred have returned with test results. Bridget has syphilis. They want her to come to the maternity home for treatment, and she agrees.

Barbara is walking along the street when she sees Mr. Robbins, who has come to lay a wreath of rope at the war memorial. His father and all his brothers died in the war, and he has promised them he’ll have a son to carry on the family name. When Barbara offers that the baby might be a girl, he responds, “I need a son.”

Bridget is taken to the maternity home and welcomed by Shelagh. Shelagh is optimistic that the treatment will work. Shelagh and Winifred discuss the syphilis problem and the fact that the johns need to be made to wear condoms to prevent the spread of the disease.

Later, Sister Winifred finds Peter Noakes and asks him how many prostitutes there are in Poplar. He says about 600 or 700. She asks if Noakes can introduce her to them because she wants to educate them on disease prevention. When she goes downtown to do it, no one will talk to her.

Trixie and Barbra gossip about the Bishop. Barbara tells her that he’s known as a teetotaler, so Trixie probably shouldn’t let him know how much she enjoys a good drink. Trixie blanches at that.

At the maternity home, Bridget is examined by Patsy. She tells Patsy that prostitution is the only life she knows. Patsy tells her that there’s a mother and baby home where she can go live, but Bridget is reluctant. Afterwards, Bridget has a visitor, another one of the prostitutes, who tells her that Dora is in an awful state and Bridget is needed to come talk her down.

Tom and Trixie have their meeting with the Bishop. The Bishop is very impressed with Tom’s work, and wants to offer him a new parish in the rough part of Newcastle. Trixie is aghast. She doesn’t want to raise her children there.

Later, Tom tells Trixie that it wasn’t her place to argue with the Bishop. He’ll go wherever the church assigns him to go and Trixie has to be ok with that. He walks away sadly, leaving Trixie to consider.

Winifred and Barbara are told that the younger Mrs. Coulter is in labor. They go to tend to her, hoping her mother-in-law won’t be too much of a problem.

At the brothel, Bridget returns to find Dora dancing. She quickly gets her out of there. As they are finding a safe place, Bridget’s water breaks.

Trixie is alone in her room, lost in thought and drinking heavily.

Crane and Winifred have been summoned to the brothel to tend to Bridget Cole, who is in labor. They examine her to find the baby has a steady heartbeat, but the syphilis will make the delivery complicated.

Barbara has gone to deliver Mrs. Coulter’s baby, her first job is to get the mother-in-law calmed down and occupied. Mrs. Coulter delivers a healthy baby girl.

Monica Joan is looking at old pictures when there is a knock on Nonnatus House’s door. A woman is there. She is in labor, and when her water broke, it was green. Monica Joan calls for help, but the only midwife in the house is Trixie, who is passed out drunk. Monica Joan takes the woman and walks her through the rain to Doc Turner’s.

Bridget Cole gives birth to a baby girl.

As Barbara returns to Nonnatus house, the call comes in that Mrs. Robbins is in labor. Barbara goes to get Trixie, because she’s next on the rotation, but finds Trixie in no condition to help. Barbara leaves surreptitiously, so no one will know she’s covering for Trixie.

Monica Joan and the woman arrive at Doc Turner’s. Shelagh is the only one there, but she delivers the baby. It’s a girl, and the woman names it Monica.

Doc Turner, Winifred, and Nurse Crane are examining Bridget’s baby, which seemed to be fine but now is not doing well and is having difficulty breathing.

Barbara tends to Susan Robbins, who gives birth to a girl. Robbins is very upset. They are waiting for the placenta to be delivered and Barbara decides it’s taking too long and the need a doctor. When Barbara goes to tell the husband, Mrs. Robbins begs her not to tell him it’s a girl.

When Doc Turner comes in he says she needs to be taken to the hospital. As she is taken away, Barbara tells Mr. Robbins it was a girl and he seems taken aback by that. As the mother and baby are taken away, he turns his back on them.

Later at Nonnatus House, Sister Julienne finds a passed-out Trixie. Barbara tries to explain what happened, but Julienne says no one else needs to know about this.

The next morning, Nurse Crane is writing up the statistics for the day before. All but Trixie delivered at least two, and Barbara delivered three. And credit is given to Monica Joan for the woman she helped.

Trixie is in Julienne’s office, feeling contrite. She says she feels like things are slipping out of her control. Julienne offers whatever help she can to Trixie. Trixie goes on to say that perhaps she is not cut out to be a curate’s wife. She is aghast that she seems to be turning into her father, who was a drunk. Julienne says she shouldn’t start out her marriage by keeping secrets.

Trixie goes to Tom and tells him she can’t marry him, because she can’t just do whatever the church says. Tom is sad, but accepts the ring back.

Winifred talks with Bridget, whose baby is doing better. Bridget agrees to help Winifred spread the word about disease prevention, and the two are later seen at the brothel, leading a class.

Frank Robbins wakes up to see his baby daughter. He walks with her to his ropemaker’s factory and shows her around. Doc Turner finds him there and tells him that times are changing and a daughter can be every bit the heir a son would be. Robbins seems to accept this, and kisses her.

That day, Barbara takes a picture with the three babies she delivered, while Trixie sits in the chapel, her face sad, considering her alcohol problem and her broken romance.

 

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.
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