This season’s Call the Midwife has been the best yet. Let’s just say tonight’s emotional series 3 finale will not disappoint. However, it might just be a two box of tissues evening. To prepare you for what UK viewers have known for a couple of months, here’s a quick episode by episode series 3 recap to quickly bring you up to speed. As you can imagine, many, many SPOILER ALERTS ahead if you haven’t seen series 3….
- Episode 1: It’s 1959 and the nuns and midwives move into a new Nonnatus House. Chummy (Miranda Hart) struggles to adjust to life as a housewife. After delivering a baby in an emergency, however, Chummy is asked to return to Nonnatus House as a part-time midwife.
- Episode 2: Jenny (Jessica Raine) is promoted to the position of nursing sister over a more experienced Trixie (Helen George), which causes resentment between the two. Cynthia attempts to introduce more modern approaches to relaxation and pain relief during childbirth despite a bit of resistance from Sister Evangelina.
- Episode 3: Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) and Trixie are called upon when the regular midwifery team at HM Prison Holloway is stricken with influenza and find some very trying conditions. Shelagh and Dr. Turner long to start a family and are devastated when it is found that, as a result of her earlier tuberculosis, she is unable to have children.
- Episode 4: Jenny’s boyfriend Alec invites her to spend the weekend with him in Brighton. However, he is involved in an accident at work and, although he initially seems to be recovering, he takes a turn for the worse and dies, leaving Jenny devastated. Following her news of not being able to have a family, Shelagh attempts to find a new purpose in life by reviving the Poplar Choral Society and Jenny is persuaded to take compassionate leave and go to stay at the nuns’ mother house for a time.
- Episode 5: With Jenny away and Sister Julienne taken ill, Shelagh takes over the administration of Nonnatus House and engages the services of new midwife Patsy Mount (Emerald Fennell). Sally, a woman with Down’s syndrome, living in a residential home, has become pregnant. Her family are angry and believe that one of the staff must have abused her, but it turns out she has formed a relationship with Jacob, another resident at the home. The staff refuse to accept that the couple’s relationship is genuine and, after the baby is stillborn, Jacob is removed to another home in Scotland.
- Episode 6: Trixie is beside herself when handsome curate Tom Hereward invites her to a cricket match, but is less impressed to find that they are taking a group of Cub Scouts to Clacton-on-Sea in a run-down old bus which breaks down en route. Shelagh and Dr. Turner resolve to look into adopting a child.
- Episode 7: Jenny returns to work, but is seconded to the London Hospital, where she finds her approach to patient care hampered by strict regulations. Chummy is surprised to find that her parents have separated, and invites her mother to stay, despite the haughty Lady Browne’s disdain for her daughter’s lifestyle. Later, Chummy is devastated to learn that her mother is suffering from terminal cancer. Shelagh and Dr. Turner’s plan to adopt a child is threatened when background checks reveal that he spent time in a military mental institution after serving in the Second World War.
- Episode 8: (get out the Kleenex)
Never a series to shy away from difficult subjects, the current season of Call the Midwife has dealt with cystic fibrosis, influenza, Down’s syndrome, puerperal psychosis and death. After all that, tonight’s episode is as much of an emotional roller coaster as you can imagine. On the upside, you can safely watch knowing that Call the Midwife has been commissioned for a fourth series set for early 2015 transmission with a holiday special on the way soon. It doesn’t get any better than this…