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S08E06 is the sixth episode of the eight series and 67th episode overall of Call the Midwife. It originally aired on 17 February 2019 in the UK.

Overview[]

After Phyllis injures her back and is hospitalized, Mother Mildred returns to Nonnatus House to fill in for her. She witnesses two generations of a dock-working family affected by serious medical issues linked to their employment, and becomes involved in the fight for better working conditions. The workers are kept away from work after one of them is found to have contracted anthrax by unloading foreign bonemeal. An unmarried teenager refuses to be forced to give up her newborn baby as had happened before, and Lucille helps her to face an uncertain future and get assistance. The Turners are upset as May's adoption draws near.

Plot[]

Phyllis is admitted to hospital after hurting her back. Sister Julienne is later informed that she has a trapped sciatic nerve and won't be back to work for at least six weeks. The next day, Mother Mildred arrives at Nonnatus House to fill in for Phyllis while she's in hospital. She has Fred drive her to and from her patients with Trixie keeping up from the rear on her bike. Their first stop is the Brittalls, a dock-working family. Joe Brittall is dying from pneumoconiosis and has just been released from hospital to spend his last days at home with his family. When his son Barney shows Mother Mildred a boil on his neck, the nun manages to offend his wife Gilda with a poor choice of words "I've seen a lot of that sort of thing in the Kowloon slums". Barney is diagnosed with anthrax and is admitted to hospital. When Trixie breaks the news to his wife and two sons, John and Ed, Gilda tells her that she doesn't want Mother Mildred coming round again.

Sister Hilda informs Valerie that her grandmother rang, asking her to bring her nurses bag when she comes round. When Valerie goes to visit her Gran, Elsie tells her she can't sit down because of a boil on her bum. Valerie tends to the boil, and makes Elsie promise she'll go to the doctor if the boil doesn't heal. After Trixie tells her what Gilda had said, Mother Mildred goes to the Brittalls and apologizes to Gilda for what she said, and Gilda accepts her apology, although somewhat begrudgingly. Mother Mildred is shocked and appalled to learn that the men working on the docks aren't provided with any protective clothing of any sort, and so she joins the fight for better working conditions.

Meanwhile, Lucille has a new patient, Elaine Pilkington, a pregnant unmarried teenager. After Elaine gives birth to a daughter, she learns she had a baby boy previously who was taken from her by her parents who had the child put up for adoption. When the parents learn about the new baby, they try to persuade Elaine to give it up, but she refuses to be forced into giving up another baby, and they leave. Mr. Pilkington however does drop of Elaine's typewriter with a new ribbon after he hears she plans to pursue a career in typing.

Ed Brittall tells Mother Mildred he's thinking of running for shop steward for when the old one retires, but doesn't think anyone will vote for him because he's only twenty-one, but Mother Mildred urges him to go for it, even saying she'd vote for him herself if life had gone different for her. Realizing Joe only has hours left to live, Mother Mildred manages to convince the hospital to let Barney come home to be with his dad at the end. Joe passes away soon after with his family by his side.

Characters[]

Midwives[]

Beatrix Franklin
Lucille Anderson
Valerie Dyer

Nuns[]

Sister Julienne
Sister Monica Joan
Sister Frances
Sister Hilda
Mother Mildred

Patients[]

Phyllis Crane
Joe Brittall
Barney Brittall
Elaine Pilkington

Sarah Pilkington


Other[]

Elsie Dyer
Frederick Buckle
Violet Buckle
Miss Higgins
Cyril Robinson
Aubrey Woolf
Gilda Brittall
John Brittall
Ed Brittall

Songs featured[]

I'm Into Something Good by Herman's Hermits

Quotes[]

In 1964, every East End family had it's connection to the wharfs. People belonged to the river, and the river belonged to them. And the Thames flowed on, like time itself, bringing growth and change and challenge.

- Mature Jenny's opening narration.

Mother Mildred: Good morning, Mr. Buckle!

Fred: Mother Mildred? Good morning. We wasn't expecting you".

Mother Mildred: The Almighty likes to keep us guessing. It is why my devotion to him never stales.

- Mother Mildred arrives at Nonnatus House to fill in for an injured Phyllis.

Trixie: Mother Mildred, I am a fully qualified Keep Fit Instructor, but even I am struggling to keep up with an internal combustion engine.

- A breathless Trixie complaining to Mother Mildred who is riding in Fred's van while she's had to keep up on her bike.

So, where in the end do we belong? In the eyes of another, where we see ourselves reflected? Or arm in arm, with those whose faces echo ours, whose blood we share? Or is it in the heart of the family we create, where we are safest and best known and never lonely? Perhaps we belong where love can bloom, because we give it room to put down roots and space in which to thrive. Seeds fly in upon the wind and settle where they will. We all belong somewhere. If we're not nurtured as we should be, we must find a choice to make, a place to go, a harbour where the storm is held at bay. Sometimes simply belonging to each other is enough, and what matters is not to struggle but where we find our peace.

- Mature Jenny's closing narration.

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