Things got heated on the latest installment of PBS’ Call the Midwife when Nurse Nancy inserted herself in an adoption conflict involving expectant teen mother Jeanette and her mom, Doris.
Initially, Jeanette went along with her mother’s plans because Doris argued that Jeanette had too much collegiate potential to raise a baby at such a young age. But Doris’ methods proved Draconian and she didn’t want Jeanette to see the baby’s teen father, Glen.
Jeanette, who was due to deliver in a matter of days, developed preeclampsia and had to be hospitalized — and in that time away from Doris, she figured out a way to see Glen. Jeanette gave her letter for Glen to Nurse Nancy, who dropped it in the mail, and Glen arrived shortly thereafter. Nurse Nancy warned him that visiting hours hadn’t begun, but because she had a soft spot for Jeanette, the midwife-in-training told Glen that he could stick around for 15 minutes and sneak out the backdoor.
No sooner than she said this, Doris arrived and caught Jeanette and Glen laughing and talking like best buds. Doris had him removed and complained to Nurse Nancy’s supervisors, then Nurse Shelagh reprimanded Nurse Nancy for breaking protocol. Nurse Nancy explained that she cared about Jeanette and didn’t want her to be sad, but that was beside the point. Nurse Shelagh told her that Jeanette’s complicated adoption situation was already stressful enough without inserting unnecessary histrionics. Therefore, the best thing to do was to follow the rules.
Frustrated with everyone thinking they knew better than her, Jeanette attempted to escape the maternity ward. Ms. Higgins spotted Jeanette and followed close behind, at which point Jeanette attempted to outrun her and fell down the stairs. The only thing Jeanette injured was her wrist, but the scare made her realize that she could have hurt the baby. She decided to stay put at the maternity ward, and soon went into labor.
Right before the delivery, Jeanette asked Nurse Shelagh to send Doris away. Doris’ feelings were hurt, but Nurse Shelagh understood why Jeanette didn’t want her mother in the delivery room. Nurse Nancy, meanwhile, was glad that Doris had to watch from afar. She felt that Doris was a bully, but Nurse Shelagh disagreed and argued that Doris simply wanted what was best for her child. Nurse Shelagh appreciated Nurse Nancy’s passion, and told her she would benefit from exercising compassion instead.
Jeanette eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby boy that she and Glen named Oliver (after Jeanette’s favorite fictional character, Oliver Twist). Soon after, Nurse Nancy saw Doris sobbing in the hall. Doris had been the one to call Glen so he could be there to meet his son, but the idea of her baby having a baby overwhelmed her and she finally cracked. It was at this point that Nurse Nancy understood what Nurse Shelagh had been trying to tell her: Doris wasn’t a monster. She was a mom.
Now, in a perfect world, Episode 5 would have ended there. Doris would have proved herself more good than bad, and everyone would have lived happily ever after. But the day after Oliver was born, Doris rolled up in the maternity ward with an adoption agent and scooped up the baby. It all happened so quickly that Ms. Higgins barely had time to cut off his name band. The swiftness of the act not only left Jeanette and Glen a wreck, but Ms. Higgins in tears. Jeanette had been looking forward to spending more time with Oliver before he was adopted and Doris took that time away from her.
Soon after Nurses Shelagh and Nancy bounded Jeanette’s breast so her milk would dry up, Jeanette and Glen reconnected. Although it was unclear where they would live or what they would do, one thing was for certain: Doris would not be involved in their lives.
Elsewhere in the East End…
* Dr. Turner and Sister Julienne diagnosed a little girl named Elaine with Phenylketonuria (or PKU), at which point she received a much-needed treatment and was placed on a specialized diet. And as Elaine slowly got better, parents Vera and George welcomed a baby boy whose name was… never revealed. (Thankfully, he didn’t have PKU.)
* Nurse Trixie and Matthew bonded more when she helped him find a competent and caring nanny for Baby Jonathan. And Nurse Lucille heartwarmingly thanked everyone for making Cyril and her feel at home when they announced their engagement.
What did you think of this week’s Call the Midwife? Drop your thoughts in the comments.