Episode 2 of this season of Call the Midwife moves quickly: several characters experience a character arc that one might normally expect to play out over the course of an entire season, or at least two episodes. Trixie begins to morph into a bridezilla, wanting her and Tom to have the perfect engagement and wedding, and one begins to wonder whether she has completely forgotten Tom is a vicar on a budget. No worries, though; she has her priorities straight by the end of the hour. Similarly, new midwife Phyllis Crane opens the episode as superior and unlikable, but ends by symbolically donning the Nonnatus House uniform she had previously refused and professing her intention to belong. While it may be relieving for the audience to know they will have to deal with less of Phyllis’s attitude during the remainder of the season, her transformation does raise the question of why she gets tons of character development in one episode while Barbara gets close to none in two full episodes. Hopefully Barbara’s time to shine is yet to come.
The birth story of this episode is a mix of triumph and tragedy, a usual for the show. It is truly impressive how the show manages to cover and present thoughtfully the stories of so many different types of parents and so many types of births. Here, the Bisettes must learn how to be joyful about the birth of their son, when his twin sister has died. Their situation raises profound and moving questions, but Tom is ready to help answer them. The final scenes of the episode are not easy, but they say a lot about life, death, and dealing with grief. Once again, Call the Midwife incites tears.
What did you think of this episode? Did it move too fast? Did Phyllis grow on you, or do you need to see more of her? Which character stole the show?