As the birth of their baby draws near, a young couple finds their marriage falling apart due to financial stress. Another mother struggles with breast feeding, but is convinced by Sr. Evageline that good mothers do not use formula. Meanwhile, Barbara continues to flirt with Tom while Trixie looks disconsolately on, and Phyllis might have found a beau of her own.
Call the Midwife has finally decided to give Nurse Barbara Gilbert a character–and it’s about time. She has been so nondescript that I often find myself looking up her full name because I cannot even remember it. Unfortunately, I find her interactions with her patients still a little bland. She seems invested in them, but I never feel her interest or her pain like I do with the other nurses. Instead her characterization right now is leaning on her budding relationship with the pastor, Tom.
I admit Barbara and Tom make a lot more sense than Trixie and Tom did, especially since we know that Barbara’s father is a vicar and she understands what is expected of a family in ministry, but it is painful watching Trixie observe her friend falling in love with her ex. And, truthfully, Trixie and her heartache are still far more interesting than Barbara fawning over Tom is. I feel no chemistry between Barbara and Tom. I rather wish the show would give Trixie a new romance instead.
Because the show is handing out romances. Phyllis Crane of all people seems to have found a charming man in this episode! I could not believe my eyes, but I loved every moment of it. The best part, however, was seeing how the girls came together to support Phyllis. They gave her privacy, they helped her put on make up without making fun of her, and they offered her sound advice and a friendly ear throughout it all. Female friendships are so under-served in media, but they are the heart of this show.
In fact, nevermind Barbara and Tom. Let’s just watch the girls hang out together, support each other, and do their jobs like the totally incredible midwives they are. Let’s see more of Cynthia and the sisters. Their camaraderie and chemistry beats anything else the show has to offer.