Call the Midwife Wiki

Molly Brignall was an expectant mother who was trapped with her two children in an abusive marriage. She only appeared in Series Two, Episode One.


Because Molly missed an appointment at the clinic for the fourth time, Jennifer Lee is instructed to stop by her flat for a home visit to make sure she is healthy and that her home is suitable for delivery. As Jenny rises up to the dark, shut-away little flat on her bike, she can hear Molly's husband, Ritchie Brignall, shouting at his wife on the inside. Interrupting them, Jenny is invited inside when she informs them that if she doesn't see Molly, a more senior nurse will come back the next day. Mr Brignall turns on his charm and lets Nurse Lee in.

Mr. Brignall leaves the women to it, and Molly is noticeably frail and ill looking, quiet and sullen as the nurse examines her. When Jenny finds a bruise on her arm, Molly says she banged it on a handle, though Jenny suspects the truth. Molly's elder child, Lorraine, appears from her hiding spot behind the couch, and Molly softly tells her that no one is going to harm her and not to be frightened of the nurse.

Back at Nonnatus House, Jenny complains that the house is not at all suitable to home delivery and is instructed to speak with Molly's estranged mother about helping her daughter. Meeting with Mrs. Gray, Molly's mother, Jenny learns that Molly began to act out at about 14, resenting her mother for sending her and her brother away to the country during the war. Mrs. Gray now lives a lonely life, her husband long dead, and her two children estranged from her. Jenny explains that if Molly can't show her house is safe and clean, she is worried that Social Services will get involved.

Mrs Gray sneaks over to Molly's flat when Ritchie leaves. She cleans, does the laundry and gives her daughter some respite from her trapped life. Molly is grateful for the help, and when Nurse Lee returns she remarks how the day has not only done wonders for the flat, but also done wonders for her and her unborn baby's health. However, it is to be short lived, as Ritchie arrives home.

Jenny leaves for a short time, but returns when she hears cries. Inside, she finds Ritchie holding his wife by the hair, threatening to burn her with a cigarette if Mrs Gray doesn't leave the flat. Jenny rushes forward and pushes him away, but he grabs her by the arm and raises his hand to slap her. He doesn't, but Jenny speaks with Sister Julienne and Constable Noakes about pressing charges against him. Sister Julienne advises against it as it could incense Ritchie enough to not let Molly receive any medical care.

Jenny returns to Molly's flat for routine visits, but Molly doesn't open the door. Instead they speak through the letter slot, and Molly reveals her fears of what will happen when the baby comes. Jenny advises her to call Nonnatus House when the time comes. Molly tearfully agrees, but shuts Jenny out again when she mentions getting her mother to help her.

Ritchie leaves Molly alone the night she goes into labour, and she flees to her mother's house with her daughter. Leaving the girl with Mrs Gray, Molly gives birth to a baby boy in the maternity home, assisted by Jenny Lee. Hours after giving birth, Molly leaves the maternity home with her newborn against medical advice, returning to the flat and back to Ritchie.

The next morning, Jenny and Mrs Gray return little Lorraine to her parents, not seeing Molly and having Ritchie slam the door in their faces.

In voice-over, Jenny says she returned back to Molly's apartment everyday but the door was never opened. She says "it seemed that she locked herself away, in what she thought was love."

It is revealed that Ritchie is prostituting his wife, which is why he was shouting at her earlier in the episode - because she couldn't do it anymore with her due date so close. Because there is no-one else to care for her children, Molly and Ritchie left their children alone, dosed with milk and alcohol so that they wouldn't cry.

The neglect came to a head a short time later, when the flat caught fire and neither parent was home to take their children to safety. The two children were saved from the fire, and given to their grandmother, Mrs Gray, whilst Ritchie and Molly were imprisoned for child neglect. "Thus ended Molly's journey as a parent".

The last scene of the episode shows the children at home, happy with their grandmother, as Jenny narrates that "they were her second chance at love. And she was theirs".