Previously on Call the Midwife: Jenny started dating Jimmy and Chummy started dating Noakes. Only one of those relationships looks like it has real promise, though. Babies were born, tragedies dealt with, and the nurses occasionally found themselves handling non-pregnancy-related cases.
Previously on Call the Midwife: Jenny started to settle in a bit and Chummy got a date with Constable Noakes.
A frantic young man bursts out of his house, races around the corner to the phone box, and rings Nonnatus House where…
…Sister Evangelina wakes Jenny and tells her that a mother’s gone into labor and she’s going to be coming along for the delivery, because it’s best not to take risks “under the circumstances.”
Previously on Call the Midwife: Jenny befriended a young prostitute with a really depressing story; new midwife Chummy showed up and did a bang-up job with her first (complicated) delivery.
Jenny bikes through the neighborhood and VOs how sheltered she used to be and how much bolder she is now. She arrives home and hands over a gift from a grateful new father: quite a lot of beef (she just delivered a butcher’s baby). Bernadette tells her Fred’s got a new moneymaking scheme, but he’s not telling them what it is. Sister MJ starts quoting Virgil out of nowhere, like she does, and Evangelina moans that it’s too early for Virgil. “Only if you’re ignorant,” Sister MJ replies sunnily. Heh. Jenny barely has time to sit down with her cup of tea before Julianne comes in and tells her she’s needed. The others head out too, leaving Fred to unwittingly chat to himself.
London, 1957. Jenny Lee, our main character, makes her way through the East End with a big suitcase, looking around and ignoring catcalls. In voiceover, Vanessa Redgrave tells us that she could have been a model, or a pianist, or something else equally glamorous, but instead she chose to become a midwife and head to the poorest area of the city, for some as yet undefined reason. As she approaches her destination, she comes across two women catfighting. It seems that the woman who has the upper hand has been stepping out with the other one’s husband. The neighbors gather to cheer, and finally a few bobbies appear and try to break it up. They continue fighting until a fierce-looking nun busts in and loudly asks which one is her patient. Wronged wife stands up and we can see she’s pretty preggo. Nun shakes her head, unsurprised either that this woman, Pearl Winston, is fighting or knocked up. Nun marches Pearl inside as Vanessa tells us that midwifery is the very stuff of life and midwives see it all. Thanks for giving us the reason for this show at the start—makes my job easier!