‘Call The Midwife’ Season 11 Episode 3 Recap: build me up buttercup


Every season, the GBH Drama staff sit down to watch the latest and greatest in British dramas. And now, just a few short months after the last season, we have the springtime return of PBS favorite, Call The Midwife. Between our scrappy nurses, sassy nuns and gut-wrenching emotional trauma that somehow keeps you wanting more, there’s a lot to be excited about. Need a refresher on what happened last season? Check out our Season 10 and 2021 Holiday Special recaps here. Ready? Take a deep (lamaze) breath, and prepare yourself for Season 11!

This week, things are starting off on a not great foot in Poplar… literally. Boots puts on her uniform to discover that all of her stockings have massive runs. As everyone prepares for the day, the group goes in on Boots’ stocking problem.

Trixie: Boots, buddy, you have a massive run.
Boots: Ugh, I know, but these were my best option. I figured if the run was in the back no one would see.
Phyllis, harsh: Well we saw, and it’s not ok! Who has a spare pair for Boots?
Lucille: Me, as always.

Yeah, uniforms are important, but we have much bigger fish to fry! Across town, Fred spots Sister Julienne struggling to get home, leaning on her bicycle, and runs to help her just as she starts to fall. I’m gonna be honest: she looks terrible, and I’m very glad Fred is there, because she’s feeling dizzy and nauseous, and I’m not sure she’d get home on her own steam.

Meanwhile, at the surgery, the “fun” continues: the Turners have arrived to find that the back stairwell to the practice has been used as a lavatory by some local meths drinkers.

No, these folks aren’t drinking methamphetamine: they’re consuming methylated spirits, which is essentially alcohol that’s made for fuel, not drinking (the “meth” is an additive that’s supposed to deter consumption by making the alcohol poisonous, but for folks who can’t access safer alcohol, that deterrent isn’t enough). Anyway, these meths drinkers have left a heck of a mess, but were polite about vacating the stoop when Miss Higgins asked, so she’s prepared to clean everything up in fairly good grace.

Shelagh: I really hope they don’t start using our stoop as a party location. I feel like I’ve been seeing more and more of this lately.
Dr. Turner: It’s because of all the construction; these guys used to stay in the old houses, and now that they’re gone, they’ll need a new place to sleep. Homelessness is the actual problem here.
Shelagh: Yeah, I know, but it’s gross and people are scared of them!

Shelagh! Have some compassion, bud! Across town, Phyllis attempts to call on her patient (who’s off at the laundromat) and instead catches up with the woman’s neighbor, who she previously treated for a varicose ulcer (a gnarly leg wound that took months to heal). Their exchange is interrupted when a flashy man in a car arrives to pick up All Healed Up’s daughter. He’s her manager, you see.

Me:

A man leans into a colleague's space and says "suspicious!"

Phyllis: Wow, she’s grown up since I last saw her!
All Healed Up: She really has! She’s always been a wonderful singer; I told her if she kept practicing it’d lead to opportunities and here we are: Manager spotted her in a talent show, and now she sings in clubs around town and has a contract to record a single! She might even have a chance to sing on tv!
Phyllis: It’s just the two of you, right? You look after each other, ya hear?
All Healed Up: We do, and we will 🙂

I’m just going to say it: I’ve got my eye on you, Manager, so you better not be taking advantage of Songbird Daughter! Is it possible that I’m being paranoid because I watch too much true crime?

A woman imperiously says "Maybe so."

Meanwhile, across town, Sister Frances and Boots make their way to a TB hostel. In the past, TB patients would have been treated in sanitoriums in the country (like Shelagh was), but recently, they’ve been trying a new treatment option in the city where everyone can be monitored more easily.

Back at Nonnatus, Dr. Turner looks in on Sister Julienne. On the surface, she seems fine, with no fever and no swollen glands, so Dr. Turner suspects labyrinthitis, an inflammation of the inner ear which can cause vertigo and hearing loss. The treatment? Rest, and draw the curtains if she’s too dizzy.

Sister Julienne: What? No! How am I supposed to run this place?
Sister Hilda: I can help?
Sister Julienne: There’s more to do than usual — I still need to plan our anniversary event! It’s been 100 years since we came to Poplar.
Sister Hilda:

A man storms off, saying "I am a BLAST at holiday theme parties."

Sister Julienne: I KNOW, OK.
Dr. Turner: Look, I’m gonna give you a little lecture: we’ve been here before! You work yourself too hard and then get burnt out. Someday you’re going to push it too far and we won’t be able to get you well again!
Sister Julienne: Fine. I’ll rest for three days.
Dr. Turner: You’ll rest as long as I tell you to! And someone’s going to have to help out around here in the meantime. Deal with it!

Hard to argue with that! Across town, and the TB Hostel, Sister Frances and Boots convene to help turn over a patient, who I’m calling Frail. Frail’s lost a worrying amount of weight and just isn’t looking great, so Sister Frances is already planning to have Dr. Turner come check him out. Frail, who is a sweet fellow, thanks them for their help and is generally just grateful for their presence. By contrast, the woman who’s just barged into Vi’s shop isn’t grateful at all, and with good reason.

Assertive: Look here, councilwoman: the trash chute in my building has been blocked for weeks. And the light is broken in the stairwell. Fix it!
Vi: I have office hours! You can come to those if you want to make a formal complaint.
Assertive: This is formal, look at my outfit. And I’ll stop paying rent if things don’t get looked after!
Vi: Ok? This isn’t the rental office.
Assertive, mean: Well it isn’t a proper dressmaker’s shop either — that hem’s a disaster.

Two men make faces as if to say "oh snap"

Back at the TB Hostel, Sister Frances and Boots head home by way of the phonebox: Sister Frances is pretty sure Dr. Turner better get his butt down there immediately to look in on Frail.

Boots: Shouldn’t he be in a hospital?
Sister Frances: Well, if he’s dying — and I think he might be — it’ll be more comfortable for him to do it at home.
Boots: Home? This place is more like a crummy shelter.
Sister Frances: These guys are all former laborers. They’re too old and sick to work, and they have no one to take care of them. They’ve been in and out of actual crummy shelters their whole lives: this is better.
Boots:

A man sarcastically says "Is it though?"

Back at Nonnatus, Sister Hilda explains to everyone that she’s about to make Sister Julienne rest. I’m sure Sister Julienne is going to just love Sister Hilda’s particular try-hard brand of helping very much, and by the looks on everyone’s faces, they share my concerns.

That afternoon, Boots and Colette are having a catch outside when Boots accidentally throws the ball into the allotment, where an apparently drunk gentleman, Down On His Luck, is hanging out on a bench.

Colette: Hey, can you throw my ball back?
Down On His Luck: You’ll have to come get it; my leg’s injured.
Boots: Uh…..
Down On His Luck: Don’t worry, I’m not going to hurt her.
Assertive, who just happens to be passing: I’m watching him too! He shouldn’t be loitering around here!
Boots: He looks totally harmless.
Assertive: There’s a school right there! These meths drinkers are an infestation, and not one the council is doing anything about. Anyway, bye!
Colette returning with the ball: Why does that guy smell funny?
Boots: Well… he drinks something that’s really bad for him.
Colette: Why?
Boots: I don’t know. He might not know. Anyway, stay away from guys like that ok?

TBH, don’t love the NIMBY response from a lot of our friends here. Addiction isn’t something people choose or can easily manage, especially without a social safety net. Guess we’ll see if anything changes as the episode progresses!

Later on, we get to see the one and only Songbird Daughter performing in a club, and she really is quite good! Unfortunately, something not very good might be up with her health: after she finishes her song, while the audience applauds enthusiastically, she grabs her head and sways on her feet. It’s a subtle thing, but her manager notices, and obviously, so do we. Later that night, when she returns home, she tells All Healed Up that she had an episode on stage. You see, Songbird Daughter is pregnant, which explains the lightheaded feeling.

All Healed Up: You’re going to have to tell your manager soon. You haven’t even told your boyfriend, and he’s the dad!
Songbird Daughter: Our relationship has been so crappy since he joined the army; it’s like we’re penpals. I don’t want to tell him!
All Healed Up: Look, I was trying to be supportive, but you have to come to grips with this: you’re pregnant!
Songbird Daughter: Please, can we just keep it a secret a little longer?
All Healed Up, worried: You’ve got a temperature… I’m sorry, but I don’t think we can.

Meanwhile, the quiet of the Buckle house is shattered by Vi’s late return. The council meeting went long, and for a fun reason: they’ve been invited to send a deputation to the House of Commons. Look, is Vi sometimes kind of stuffy and old fashioned? Yes! But do I still think it’s neat that she’s getting to realize her political ambitions?

A woman says "Yeah! Mmm hmm."

The next day, Dr. Turner calls Sister Frances to fill her in on Frail’s situation. She was right: he’s really deteriorated overnight, and probably only has another day or so. Sister Frances, of course, volunteers to come sit with him in his final hours. And across town, Manager rolls up outside of Songbird Daughter’s house to see how she’s doing.

All Healed Up, uncomfortable: She’s ok! We’re going to the doctor; she’s got a bit of a sore throat.
Manager: Well, good thing you’re getting that looked at, because I got you an audition for a TV show tomorrow! Here, why don’t I give you both a lift to the doctor’s office 🙂

Maybe I was wrong to be so hard on this guy: he does seem to be doing his job admirably so far. At the surgery, he even hangs out in the waiting room bothering Miss Higgins by trying to light a cigar while Songbird Daughter is with the doctor. And speaking of Dr. T, in the exam room, he does his best to reassure his nervous patient.

Dr. Turner: Don’t worry; we have plenty of time to get things sorted!
All Healed Up: Oh, good: she’s got a big audition tomorrow night.
Dr. Turner: Uh, no she doesn’t: I’m fairly certain she’s got a pretty severe UTI.

Oh no, this poor kid! I guess at least that’s a good enough non pregnancy excuse to share with Manager, but still, ouch! Over at Vi’s shop, Boots’ magazine purchase is interrupted by Down On His Luck, who asks Fred if they sell booze.

Fred: Nope, no license. But we have tobacco?
Down On His Luck, counting his change and realizing it’s not enough: Nah, that’s alright. Thanks all the same.

After he leaves, Vi guesses that he’ll just go by methylated spirits somewhere, prompting her and Boots to make cracks about his smell. But Fred isn’t having it.

Fred: Look, he might have been a respectable guy at one point. It’s not ok to laugh at him just because he’s fallen on hard times.

And with that, he heads out of the shop with some cigarettes and a cold soda for Down On His Luck, who accepts them and heads on his way. Once again, as always, Team Fred! Meanwhile, back at the surgery, All Healed Up breaks the news to Manager, who somewhat absurdly insists that his client can’t possibly be pregnant, because he’s designed her whole brand around mini skirts.

All Healed Up: Look, I don’t care about her clothes, but she needs bed rest and medication!
Manager: I never noticed a thing, and you know what, neither will those TV people. I think she can still do the audition!
All Healed Up: What did I just say? Her health has to come first.
Manager: But what about her future? I can’t market an unmarried singer. If she just got hitched that’d solve our issues. Where’s the dad?
All Healed Up: He’s serving overseas.

So, not a classically great situation. Over at Nonnatus House, Shelagh visits Sister Julienne, who’s still pretty miserable. She feels like garbage, and she’s worried about the big anniversary: yes, it’s important to mark special occasions, but they can’t look too self-congratulatory, and she’s not sure she trusts Sister Hilda to get that balance right.

A woman says "Fair enough."

Shelagh, however, she trusts, and so Sister Julienne asks her friend straight out: will she plan the party? Shelagh, also terminally unable to say no to new commitments, of course agrees. Poor Sister Hilda!

Back at the maternity home, they’ve let Manager in to see Songbird Daughter, and he’s busy promising her he’ll move the audition back a week so she has time to get back on her feet.

Phyllis: Uh, not sure Dr. Turner is going to be on board with this plan.
Songbird Daughter: Please, I just want to sing! Like Helen Shapiro and Shirley Bassey!
Phyllis: Look, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get on in life. But you can’t do a huge stage show when you’re 36 weeks pregnant!
Manager: It’s for TV! They can do things with camera angles — for instance, haven’t either of you noticed that Trixie keeps randomly carrying boxes around for no reason lately?

Sidebar: anyone who made mean comments about Helen George’s body this season can go eat glass. The audacity!

Phyllis, being kind of old fashioned TBH: Sure, camera angles are one thing, but you also have to take care of that baby’s health, and I’m just not sure you can do that from the stage.

Phyllis, I love you, but pregnant people can do amazing things while creating life. It’s true now, and it was true then. Cut this kid some slack! Over at the Nonnatus allotment, Boots, who clearly thought about what Fred said earlier, checks on Down On His Luck. She’s brought him a cane and a raincoat, since the weather is getting warmer. They get to talking about Ireland (where Boots is from, and where Down On His Luck’s mum was from) and she tries to get him to agree to come into the surgery so they can look at his foot. He insists it’s no big deal, and Boots, starting to get uncomfortable with his level of intoxication, leaves when he starts trying to look for buttercups in the garden. I hope she doesn’t back down on the whole foot situation, because I have a bad feeling it’s worse than he’s letting on.

Back at Nonnatus, Sister Hilda has heard the news about the centennial, and is, as I expected, pretty upset: Shelagh is great, but she’s not even a nun anymore! What the heck? Honestly, I guess I get why Sister Julienne would think Shelagh is a better option, but given their respective party planning plotlines to date, I would rather go to a Sister Hilda shindig any day of the week (sorry Shelagh!). Across town, All Healed Up looks into making an international call (presumably to Songbird Daughter’s boyfriend), and Sisters Frances and Monica Joan sit with Frail. Boots arrives with lunch just as Frail passes away, and waits with the nuns while they say a prayer for him. It’s an oddly sweet and peaceful moment, which probably means things are about to get more complicated here in Poplar.

A woman says "I don't like to swear guys, but I think the S is about to hit the F."

Later that night, Vi presides over a community meeting attended by several of our friends, including A for Effort and Assertive.

A for Effort, fully #TeamNonnatus: How do you intend to make sure Nonnatus continues to be a fixture of this community?
Vi: We set aside a bunch of cash for healthcare related expenses. We won’t change the existing fund.
Trixie: It’s been 100 years: does the government understand how much we rely on donations and money from the religious order?
Vi: I’ll make sure they know.
Assertive: Look, I love the nuns. I’ve had 5 kids with them, and they’re the best of the East End. What are you going to do about the worst?
Vi: Well, can you explain what you mean?
Assertive: Yeah, sure can: people living in their cars, people keeping backyard goats, and meths drinkers sleeping in our doorways.
Miss Higgins, interjecting with a prepared speech: It’s gotten quite bad, and it’s clearly related to the construction from the housing program.
Vi: Yes, housing is a huge issue: we’re very worried about it.
Assertive: Well *I* am very worried about people pissing on my stairwell.
Vi: Noted. I’ll make sure to pass it along.

Across town, Phyllis is sitting down with Songbird Daughter to give her an overview of what to expect in the coming weeks, when they’re interrupted by Manager.

Phyllis: Get out of here, dude, I’m trying to do my job!
Manager: I’m actually here to ask you about a work related thing! Any ideas about residential nurseries?
Songbird Daughter: What’s that?
Manager: Oh, it’s just a place babies can live all year round while you’re out being famous.
Phyllis: Get the heck out of here! She can make decisions for herself!
Manager: Uh, yeah, I know she can! I’ve been working with her for a long time! Songbird Daughter, here’s the deal: if we don’t figure this out, you can kiss your dreams of a singing career goodbye. This shot at fame won’t happen again.

Yikes, dude: way harsh! And this encounter is only going to get more intense, because guess who just arrived on their doorstep? That’s right, it’s Songbird Daughter’s Soldier Boyfriend, who got his butt back home the second he heard the news.

A man in the background of a crowd spins around and exclaims "Dramaaaaaaaa!" with a flourish

Over at Vi’s shop, Cyril has arrived with Lucille’s hairspray, at Fred’s insistence. Apparently, despite having her own, Vi wants an extra layer to make absolutely sure she’s camera ready.

Fred: I’ll go fix your gloves. Cyril, spray her down: imagine she’s a car.
Cyril, bless him, ever the best: Vi, you look fantastic, but remember it’s not about that, it’s about your ideas, and we all know those are great!
Vi: I am freaking out, Cyril!
Cyril: Just tell the truth and ask the questions that matter for the people you love. Nothing that matters is ever easy, but you’ve got this: just speak from the heart!

Also speaking from the heart? Songbird Daughter’s Soldier Boyfriend, who whips out a ring box to propose.

Songbird Daughter:

A man, horrified, asks "Oh god, um, what's that?"

Soldier Boyfriend: I got you this ring with garnets because that’s your birthstone — I thought something else might be unlucky? And I applied for a special license, which only takes a few days. Please say yes? It’ll at least make me going AWOL worth it.
Songbird Daughter: OH MY GOD YOU’RE AWOL?
Soldier Boyfriend: I panicked! Look, I don’t want our kid to be mistreated like we were just for being illegitimate. Let me be a good dad?

Hard to argue with that, but I’m still not 100% sure she’ll say yes. While we sweat that out, Vi goes to her big meeting, and Shelagh comes to Nonnatus to meet with Sister Julienne, much to Sister Hilda’s chagrin. But once they’re in the meeting, even Sister Hilda can’t stay angry: it’s apparently a good plan, and there will be balloons!

Later that evening, at the Buckle home, Fred returns to find Vi already there, and in a not so great mood. Unfortunately, most of her meeting time was spent on relatively inconsequential problems. When they got to the meths drinkers situation, one of the other councilors persuaded the minister that the best solution was to increase police powers, instead of the housing-based solutions Vi and the rest of our squad think will actually work.

Fred: That just makes those poor guys someone else’s problem!
Vi, upset: Well I guess that’s politics!!

Ugh, what a let down! The next day, Down On His Luck finally takes Boots’ advice and drops in at the surgery to try and see her. Another patient is incredibly rude to him, and suggests that it’s unsanitary for him to be in the waiting room. Miss Higgins, an actual professional, politely asks for the man’s information and offers to have Dr. Turner take a look if he’ll wait outside, but unfortunately he won’t stay. Thankfully, our friends won’t let that stop them from helping someone in need: later on, Dr. Turner, Boots, and Fred head out to try and find Down On His Luck.

Dr. Turner: Fred, thanks for coming. I didn’t feel safe protecting Boots on my own in this part of town, but I think she’s the only one he’ll trust.
Fred: Question, what is it about the meths that makes these guys have that smell?
Dr. Turner: Well, it’s poison. It rots the body from the inside out, so there’s stomach issues, incontinence, and leg ulcers. And the confusion and incoherence is because there are neurological side effects.
Fred: Why aren’t there places they can get treatment?
Dr. Turner: There is no treatment. And they wouldn’t go, usually: they need the support of their existing community, such as it is.

Thankfully, they soon find Down On His Luck, who while startled, finally does agree to let Boots and Dr. Turner take a look at his foot. As I suspected, it’s in very very bad shape. Like, horror movie bad: when Boots takes the shoe off, his foot comes with it. Poor Down On His Luck has a severe case of gangrene; he doesn’t feel Boots accidentally pulling off his foot, and frankly isn’t even that bothered by it. Our friends, however, are all horrified.

A man says "me, also."

They bundle him into an ambulance to take him to the hospital, where doctors will have to amputate much more of his leg. Unfortunately, even if they’re successful at getting rid of the remaining gangrene, Down On His Luck’s alcohol addiction is very severe, and he won’t be eligible for a prosthetic. Back home, while Fred scrubs his hands, a very upset Vi lets herself get mad.

Vi: I keep thinking about why it is that I do so much for some people, and not for others. And it’s all just about appearances.
Fred: Look, I don’t want to ship all of those men away either.
Vi: But it isn’t just about me; I represent my constituents. No matter how wrong they are.
Fred: Well what about Down On His Luck? He’s one of your constituents too.

The next day, Dr. Turner looks in on Down On His Luck at the hospital, and the poor guy hasn’t got a clue who our doctor friend is.

Dr. Turner: We met last night. Anyway, I brought a lady who wants to speak with you.
Down On His Luck: Is it Boots?
Vi: Nope, it’s me: your elected representative. I brought you a box of stuff from the pensioners association.
Down On His Luck: But I don’t get a pension; I lost my card. Hey, weird question: why don’t I want a drink? And they took my leg, didn’t they?
Dr. Turner: They’re giving you medication to keep your cravings handled. And yes, they had to take a lot of it, but you still have the knee joint, so that’s something.
Down On His Luck, heartbreaking: I always wanted to disappear. Looks like I’m just doing it bit by bit.

Hey, remember the plotline of this episode we thought was going to be the most dramatic? It’s back with a vengeance. Over at the surgery, Phyllis arrives accompanied by Songbird Daughter and Soldier Boyfriend, who have had to leave their wedding because Songbird Daughter is in labor.

Miss Higgins, ever the pro: So, am I admitting you as Miss, or Mrs?
Manager, also here: Mrs!
Phyllis: We had the officiant keep it snappy.
Me: This plotline is forgiven for being a hot mess, because otherwise, Phyllis:

A man says "Oh, well then I never would have heard your hilarious efficient officiant quip."

Before we can get more into labor, back at the hospital, Boots sits with Down On His Luck, who’s developed a serious case of pneumonia and is starting to cough. The two talk about their similarly challenging life stories, and he explains that he struggled his whole life with depression, and started drinking to try and dull the pain. Boots tries to stay positive, but I have a bad feeling that Down On His Luck won’t make it out of the hospital. Back at Nonnatus that evening, Boots asks Sister Frances how she copes with all the hardest parts of their job. Her answer: give them love.

Over at the maternity home, Lucille is providing just that for Songbird Daughter, who is really struggling with labor. She’s panicking about the health of her baby, in a lot of pain, and just in general freaking out. Phyllis isn’t surprised: how could Songbird Daughter have time to prepare for this when everyone is pulling her in a million directions? But that changes now: both Phyllis and Lucille are here to support our gal, and pretty soon she gives birth to her daughter.

At the Turner’s house, the couple talk about the psychological challenges that can lead to addiction. Dr. Turner, as we may recall from earlier seasons, has dealt with his fair share of mental health issues, but he was lucky enough to be encouraged to talk about what he went through when he got back from the war — certainly not a universal experience.

Dr. Turner: I probably should have done more talking myself. Or talked about the idea more? Anyway, I got better, and it sucks that people like Down On His Luck never get that opportunity.
Shelagh: I mean, we’re all a collection of our experiences, man.
Dr. Turner: We’ve really been lucky, huh?
Me: Yeah dude, Call The Midwife has an outrageously high body count! You’re living the dream!

Back at the maternity home, Manager takes an adorable family photo of Songbird Daughter, Soldier Husband, and All Healed Up with the new baby. But a little later, Phyllis gets concerned about Baby Bird, who has a bit of a temperature. Poor Songbird Daughter is, of course, very worried, but Phyllis, after consulting with Dr. Turner, convinces her that it’ll be best to send Baby Bird to the hospital just to be safe. Left behind at the maternity home, Songbird Daughter gets more and more distraught.

Phyllis: Kiddo, you need to relax or we’ll have to get you a sedative. It’ll be ok; she’ll be back with you before you know it.
Songbird Daughter: Great, just so I can leave her again to go perform?
All Healed Up: You have a contract with the record company! And commitments!
Songbird Daughter: I have to be committed to my kid first.
Miss Higgins, popping her head into the room: Sorry to interrupt, but these two guys are here for Soldier Husband.

Hey, remember how Soldier Husband is AWOL? Time to pay the piper: the guys are from the army, and they escort him away in handcuffs. This only seems to solidify Songbird Daughter’s feelings about her singing career: smiling, she rips up her contract. Afterwards, she and her mum visit Baby Bird at the hospital.

Songbird Daughter: I’m going to sing to her so much.
All Healed Up: I wanted more for you.
Songbird Daughter: You gave me everything I needed. I’ll do the same for her.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, Boots comes to visit Down On His Luck again. She wears a bright yellow dress, and brings buttercups, the flowers that remind him of his mother. She sits with him and holds his hand until he passes away, and then, distraught, heads into the hall where Sister Frances is waiting to support her. This has got to be one of the hardest parts of this job, but I hope eventually Boots will be able to take strength from the knowledge that she supported Down On His Luck when he needed it most.

Later, Vi meets with Dr. Turner and Boots to talk over the funeral arrangements for Down On His Luck: did the hospital need any assistance?

Dr. Turner: No, they have a good system for folks who die without family.
Boots: And I gave them my surname for his paperwork; he felt like he didn’t have anyone, but now it’s like he’s part of my family.
Vi: He was from Poplar; we should have taken better care of him.
Dr. Turner: We did try, but we can do more.
Vi: And we will. Look, we have those TB hostels — we need facilities for people who have alcohol addiction too.
Boots: Like a treatment facility?
Dr. Turner: Where they’d be given respect and autonomy? That’d be amazing — would the council fund that?
Vi: It’ll take time, but I’m going to do my best. We look after our own here.

Across town, everyone gathers to celebrate the Nonnatus Centenary, including Sister Julienne, who’s back on her feet and capably navigating the stairs, all smiles. Unfortunately, they’re contending with a pretty aggressive rain situation. Shelagh, normally very steady, is starting to feel the pressure, and Trixie is losing her crap because the flower arrangements they so carefully created are now quite damp.

Trixie: UGH what a mess!
A for Effort: I mean, is it really that big of a deal?
Trixie: Dude, I have a flower arrangement certification! Yes!
A for Effort: Oh man, I wish I’d know that when I sent you that potted plant last season. But it wasn’t right for me to send you actual flowers then… and it wasn’t right for a while.
Trixie, catching his meaning: Of course, and I didn’t want that either.
A for Effort: Well would you want that now? Or would you allow it? Because if you let me, I’m gonna send you an absurd amount of flowers. Like… a LOT of them. Romantic styles. Like this.

Holy crap, reader: I was NOT expecting this, but he just hauls off and kisses her! Right there in the rain in front of Nonnatus House! Like it’s no big thing!

A man gasps excitedly

But enough about the romantic situation we’ve all been vaguely expecting for two seasons now: it’s time to party! Despite the rain, the crowd gathers to celebrate 100 years of Nonnatus, all smiles: the perfect way to get our spirits up after a pretty intense episode. What bonkers thing will happen in episode 4? Only one way to find out: see you all next week!

Episode 1 recap: keeping up appearances
Episode 2 recap: oh my god… they were roommates!