Call the Midwife Season 4 Episode 5: Sometimes Even the Doctor Needs Help

It is summer in Poplar and everyone is trying to stay cool. Sister Julienne delivers a boy to the Prendergast family while the father prays in the other room.

At Dr. Turner’s office, the doctor is getting overwhelmed. There are several other doctors who are out sick or on vacation, and he’s had to take on their patients. The waiting room is full, and he has no idea how he is going to take care of them all.

At Nonnatus House, Trixie is wrapping up her engagement gifts to be returned. Patsy is helping her, and observes that Trixie looks miserable.

A few days later, Sister Julienne is checking in with the Prendergasts, where the baby is not sleeping well.

Barbara is walking along the street and sees a pregnant woman who appears to be Indian. She seems to be having trouble walking. She doesn’t speak English, so her young son translates for her. The mother says she doesn’t need any help. Barbara seems about to try to convince the woman to come to the clinic, but the boy is called back to school, so the two women no longer have a way to communicate.

At the Mother House, Evangelina is visiting Cynthia, who is now going by Sister Mary Cynthia and is about to return to Nonnatus House. Cynthia is nervous, so Evangelina walks her to the bus and tells her everything will be all right.

On the street in front of Nonnatus House, Trixie sees Tom, but avoids meeting him and quickly walks away.

Sister Julienne is visiting the Prendergasts once again. The baby has some swelling in the chest and Julienne thinks he might have a broken collarbone, which he probably received at the birth. She says he needs and x-ray, and the mother agrees.

That night, Cynthia arrives at Nonnatus House. Sister Julienne greets her warmly and tells her she’ll start out on the district rotation so she won’t be called away at all hours, which will interrupt her studies. Trixie comes in and sees Cynthia. Though the two are happy to see each other, the reunion is somewhat awkward.

Barbara is looking through the rolodex to see if there’s a record of an Indian patient, but she can’t find her.

The next morning, Nurse Crane is making the assignments. Cynthia will be visiting an old man who has diphtheria. Patsy reminisces on awful cases of diphtheria she knew about during the war.

Barbara has gone to the school to try and find the Indian woman. She finds out her name is Amira Khatun, and the son’s name is Farouk. She also finds out they are not Indian, but Seleti. She gets their address and prepares to make a visit.

Sister Julienne is back with the Prendergasts, where the baby is still crying. He has not been receiving his pain medication because the Prendergasts are Christian Scientists and though their religion allows for bones to be set, it does not allow for medication. Julienne asks is she can administer the medication herself, then they can pray together.

Barbara finds Mrs. Khatun. With Farouk translating, she tells her about the services she can offer her.

At Nonnatus house, Barbara is telling Trixie about Mrs. Khatun, while Trixie is removing a picture of herself and Tom from a frame and putting it away. She finds a picture of herself and Cynthia, and goes to share it with Cynthia, but she finds Cynthia in prayer, so she leaves. Cynthia notices her as she leaves, but doesn’t pursue her.

Mrs. Khatun comes to the clinic and is examined by Barbara and Trixie. Farouk is translating, and this becomes awkward as it comes around to talking about delicate matters. They ask Farouk if there might possibly be a woman who can translate for them. Farouk says no. Most of the women from their village stay in their village while their husbands travel to work, but his mother wanted to follow her husband everywhere. This strikes a chord with Trixie.

Trixie walks to the rectory and finds Tom. They go to the docks to talk, and Trixie tells him that he deserves a wife who would follow him anywhere, and she’s sorry it can’t be her.

The Prendergasts come to the clinic to find Sister Julienne. The baby is crying worse than ever. Doc Turner examines the child and finds it has a fracture in the leg and says the baby needs to be taken to the hospital.

Later, everyone is in the garden trying to keep cool. Crane is going on about how it is completely inappropriate for Farouk to translate for his mother during obstetric examinations. Fred says there was a Seleti shopkeeper he knew and they wonder if his daughter might to able to translate.

Fred and Barbara track down the daughter, who says her Seleti is rusty, but she will try to help.

At the hospital, the Prendergast baby’s leg has been set. They wonder how such a bad break could have happened. Turner shows the x-rays to Sister Julienne and suspects there might have been abuse, since he can’t think of a way for the break to have happened accidentally.

The Prendergasts are brought in to be interviewed by Child Protective Services. The two are very angry, and Mrs. Prendergast runs out to find her baby, but he’s been taken away. She’s told he’s been taken into foster care, and they won’t get him back until they can explain his injuries.

Mrs. Khatun returns to the clinic, and the shopkeeper’s daughter has been able to translate. Later, the Khatuns visit Nonnatus house with a gift of samosas to thank Barbara for everything she has done.

The Prendergasts are at home, and Mrs. Prendergast asks her husband if he got angry and hurt the baby. He doesn’t say anything, just gets angry and walks away. The next morning, Sister Julienne visits. She finds the place messy, and Mrs. Prendergasts says her husband has been going out and getting into fights again.

At Doc Turner’s, Raymond Prendergast’s foster mother brings him in because he has another fracture. Turner calls for an ambulance while he examines him. He diagnoses the child with brittle bone disease, and wonders how he could have missed it.

The next day they are explaining the situation to the Prendergasts. Mr. Prendergast yells at Doc Turner, who says nothing in his own defense.

The next day, Doc Turner is examining Fred, who has come in with a complaint of back pain. Fred notices Turner seems not to be himself, and Turner excuses himself. In his office, he has a panic attack. Shelagh says she’ll have a nurse come in to help her and sends Turner home.

Sister Julienne visits the Prendergasts, where their minister has come to pray with them. Julienne tells them that Raymond will never have a full recovery from this disease and will probably have to be in a wheelchair. Mrs. Prendergast says they’ll keep praying. After all, Jesus did make the cripples walk.

Shelagh is trying to tend to Turner’s patients with Patsy’s help. Everyone wants Patsy instead of Shelagh, because they don’t remember that Shelagh was a nurse. Shelagh solves the problem by going to Nonnatus House and getting a nurse’s uniform. This works. The patients are willing to see her.

The community has heard the doctor Turner is not feeling well, and has responded with gifts, which arrive as he sleeps off the stress.

Farouk comes to Nonnatus House to fetch the nurses, his mother is sick. She’s having trouble breathing. Barbara and Cynthia go with him to find the Mrs. Khatun is sick from Diphtheria. Cynthia goes to call the doctor.

Doc Turner has woken up to see all the gifts, and is touched by them. When the call comes in from Cynthia, he goes to answer it. He finds Mrs. Khatun needs an emergency tracheotomy, so with Cynthia and Barbara’s help, he performs it.

Later, Doc Turner and Shelagh are at home, and he seems to be feeling much better. The nurses go out, while Mrs. Khatun has returned home, and welcomes another Seleti woman to Poplar.

 

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.