Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Twenty-six - Call the Midwife: Season 1, Episode 4, "A familiar face and the tragedy of soulmates."

It's been a while since I last watched Call the Midwife, but that's the beauty of BBC and PBS shows... they often have very short episode counts to their seasons so it's not all that hard to catch up.

This particular episode had quite a few threads running through it that were interesting and pulled at the heart-strings.

For the good, we see more and more of Chummy's (Miranda Hart) courtship with PC Noakes, as well as a small bit of intimacy with Sister Bernadette (Laura Main).

For the ill, however, there are two tales... that of a young mother doomed to a tragic end by eclampsia and an infant who is kidnapped from her stroller with the shadow of suspicion falling on her postpartum suffering mother.

As ever, I absolutely adore Chummy's blossoming. It seems as though I have happily fallen into the same trap as the rest of the fans of the show, as she is absolutely my favorite character and to see her grow into her womanhood is a delight. Much kudos, as usual, to Miranda Hart for her portrayal. Of particular note this episode is the dance sequence where she and PC Noakes flail about ridiculously, enjoying themselves all the way. That's joy... and that's love.

I was also a huge fan of those brief moments with Sister Bernadette. You can obviously see her mild strain and envy towards the midwives as they giggle their way through the mildly bohemian experience of being young, independent, and frisky. It was a surprisingly heartfelt scene when she took off her wimple and let her hair down, however briefly. That longing look at herself in the mirror, reminding herself (or, perhaps, just coming to the realization) that she's still a woman was darn effective... and very reminiscent of a similar scene that I've viewed in Kaoru Mori's Victorian Romance: Emma.

When it comes to the episode's conflicts, the kidnapping was a bit of a stretch, with the acting from the husband and wife coming a bit awkward and somewhat hard to believe, but that might have been for effect, to keep the suspicion on them believable (at least from their fellow characters as the viewer knows that the kidnapping is real). It was good to see Mary (Amy McAllister) again, though, even if she has become a rather convenient villain. It would have been so much easier to make the kidnapper a faceless, anonymous waif, but tying her back to a tragedy from a previous episode reminds us that great pain can force us to insanity.

The second tragedy of the episode evoked quite a bit more emotion from me, probably because it was just pointless, random loss... a cruel twist of fate. Yes, it was nice to see Cynthia (Bryony Hannah) get a bigger part in an episode as she's often relegated to background and supporting roles, but hard to watch her suffer through the loss as she helps a dying patient's husband come to terms with the inevitable.

All in all, Call the Midwife remains a well-crafted period drama that is both entertaining and poignant. Still worth the watch, most assuredly.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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