We’ll start with the more boring of our stories tonight.
Pam and her husband, George, are expecting a baby following a miscarriage or stillbirth that, presumably, took place some time ago. That’s great for them! But Pam’s a little stressed because George has taken to eating a lot of bacon rolls from some cafe, and he never liked bacon rolls before, so he must be having an affair, right? With the woman who works at the cafe? Also, he’s putting on weight. I mean, obviously he’s putting on weight if he’s eating bacon rolls all the time, but it’s taken as further proof that something’s off with him.
Pam goes into labour, and George starts experiencing stomach pains as well. I thought this was going to be an indigestion or ulcer situation, what with all the junk food, but no, it’s a sympathetic pregnancy. K. Pam gives birth to a healthy baby and all is well.
In other somewhat minor news, Crane’s car packs it in, so she (reluctantly) accepts Woolf’s offer to drive her around when she has to do her rounds. During the drive, he straight-up asks her out, in such a way that now she actually knows he wants a real date, and that freaks her out. She hustles out of the car without really giving him an answer.
Meanwhile, a very cute mechanic shows up at Nonnatus to work on Crane’s car. He, too, is a recent immigrant and shows quite a bit of interest in Lucille. He asks her on a date, but since Lucille’s easily the most uptight member of this cast (and that includes the nuns!) she turns him down, because apparently one can’t be serious about one’s work and also go out once in a while. Loosen UP, Lucille!
The other girls urge her to do just that, and she finally accepts the offer of the date. Though, when he shows up to collect her in a motorcycle with sidecar, she seems a little miffed about what this may do to her hair. Fair enough.
Now for the interesting story. Poplar is rolling out cervical smear tests, which were quite new in the 1960s. They get a much better turnout for their first round than they did for the talk about the measles vaccine, which is kind of disturbing. I guess the women of Poplar are totally on board with something that may save their lives, but their kids’ lives? Eh, whatever.
A young woman named Lois shows up, taking her mother’s place, and confesses to Trixie that she actually just wanted to be checked out to ensure everything’s all right ‘down there.’ She’s getting married soon, you see, and she’s a bit concerned because she’s never had a period. Yeah, that’s unusual in an otherwise healthy 22-year-old.
Turner checks her out and is totally confused. Seems Lois is totally lacking a cervix. He sends her to the hospital for further evaluation, and she ends up with THE WORST DOCTOR EVER SEEN ON TELEVISION. Seriously, this guy is so utterly lacking in audience awareness and basic empathy I almost wonder if he’s somewhere on the very alarming end of the autism spectrum. His callousness towards this poor girl is so extreme he reduces her to tears and sends her, traumatised, to Trixie and Shelagh, who are mortified to hear what’s happened.
She does get a diagnosis, though: she has testicular feminisation syndrome. Basically, where her ovaries should be, she has a pair of testes. She’s intersex.
The poor girl is devastated. Not only will she never be able to have the children she and her fiance want, but basically her whole identity has been thrown into complete turmoil. She ends up breaking up with her fiance without explanation and shredding her wedding dress before attempting suicide.
Fortunately, she’s rushed to the hospital in time to save her. Her mother, upon finding out what’s been going on here, goes to Nonnatus and starts screaming at poor Sister MJ, who was her midwife and delivered Lois. Lois’s mum thinks MJ should have known something was off, as poor MJ stammers and keeps saying she’s confused and doesn’t know what’s happening here. Julienne intervenes and talks Lois’s mother down.
When Lois is released from hospital and returns home, she finds her ex hanging around. Her mother says he’s been outside the house every day, hoping to talk to her. Lois refuses to speak to him for a while, but then gives in and they have a good heart-to-heart. Once he knows everything, he says he still wants to marry her. Wow, this guy’s awesome! Seriously, Lois, talk about a keeper! There are plenty of men nowadays who’d probably be scared off by something like this, but back in the 60’s? Come on, you two crazy kids, I think you can make it work!
I think they agree. Looks like the wedding’s back on! But Lois’ll probably need a new dress now…