Call the Midwife Season 4 Episode 3
Call the Midwife Season 4 Episode 3
April 12, 2015
As Poplar is gripped by a mysterious outbreak of dysentery, first-time mother Marie Amos’s life is turned upside down when her husband Tony is arrested for gross indecency with another man. Meanwhile, Nurse Crane meets Dolores McEvoy, a pregnant Irish woman with two young children who, on examination, is found to be covered in flea bites and clearly malnourished.
I’ve been told that I’m more pro-gay rights than a lot of gay people. This show was so hard to watch. I can’t believe people a)believe (I was going to say believed but, sadly, there are still people that believe, so I have to, sadly, stick with present tense) that homosexuality if a disease that needs a cure and b)was a crime. Everyone deserves love. As long as everyone is deserving of love. As long as everyone in the relationship is of legal age and consenting…go for it! People can’t control whom they like any more than they can control what foods they like. I hate tomatoes, honestly, I don’t know that I could eat one if I was starving to death. My husband loves them. I adore dill pickles! My husband hates them. That doesn’t make either of us right or wrong. We like what we like and don’t like what we don’t like. It’s just that plain and simple. [/rant]
The episode begins with Fred (the handyman for Nonnatus House) is meeting with a group of civil defense corps to train them for emergency preparedness. During the meeting Tony Amos (a volunteer) kills a rat with Fred’s club. Tony and his pregnant wife, Marie, are the main storyline to this episode.
In this episode, we have an infestation of rats. Sister Monica Joan is NOT happy about poison being put down to kill the varmints and keeps picking it up. “Poison the rat and, through clouds of time and space, you poison man. We are all, essentially, the rat.”, she tells Nurse Gilbert.
Tony works for/with Marie’s dad as a mechanic. The 3 of them are adorable to watch and seem very close. Patsy arrives at the shop to gather Marie for her checkup.
Nurse Crane comes to visit with Dr. Turner and Shelagh. Dr. Turner informs here that they’re having numerous accounts of dysentery (9 in 2 days). The most recent patient has been quarantined. Dr. Turner encourages Nurse Crane that she, the other midwives, and the clinic need to be careful with the dysentery outbreak and not take any reports of diarrhea lightly because they can’t deal with an epidemic.
What Is Dysentery?
infection of the intestines resulting in severe diarrhea with the presence of blood and mucus in the feces.
What Causes Dysentery?
Poor hygiene is the main cause of bacillary dysentery infection. However, it can also spread because of tainted food. Amoebicdysentery is usually caused by infection with the Entamoeba histolytica amoeba. Amoebic dysentery is more common in the tropics while bacillary dysentery is more common elsewhere.
Marie is now on weekly visits and Patsy brings her the delivery pack which needs to be kept somewhere “spotlessly clean and close at hand”. Marie suggests the parlor, it’s Tony’s “pride and joy”.
Delores McEvoy is our other storyline. She is an expectant mother (already has 2 children) that comes to the clinic to sign up for delivery at the hospital. Before her exam, a group of mothers are being taught how to wash their hands properly to help with cleanliness during the dysentery outbreak. They have some carbolic soap (a mild disinfectant soap that contains carbolic acid, a compound that is extracted from coal tar) to hand out but Delores turns it down saying that they aren’t in need.
Poplar’s Rose Queen Festival is approaching. Tom’s boss has asked him to take over the planning of the event because his wife has broken her ankle. He suggests that he get Trixie to help since she is his fiancee. Trixie is happy to help Trixie is more than happy to help and wants to support him and says it will be a nice break from giving enemas. I do so love Trixie!
Delores says she only came to the clinic to sign up for the hospital. Nurse Crane (a bit pushy, eh?) says they can talk about it after the exam. You can tell that Delores isn’t too excited about this. After being pushed into an exam by Nurse Crane, we see why she didn’t want the exam. She had said that they didn’t need the free soap because they aren’t in need. We see this isn’t the case at all. Delores removes her shoes and we see a hole in a sock and, what appears to be, a rug sewn to act as underwear. Nurse Crane sees flea bites on Delores’ tummy. Delores denies this saying that the boys have adopted a kitten. Nurse Crane, a true softy underneath, simply tells her to try not to scratch.
Tony and his father-in-law are having a beer at the pub. Marie’s dad tells Tony that he’ll be a great dad. Tony says that sometimes he doesn’t know what comes natural and he sometimes feels like an alien.
Trixie hits up the sisters and her fellow midwives to help her with the Rose Queen Festival. Marie was the Rose Queen last year and is to crown this year’s new queen.
Delores and the 2 children go to a church to see her husband, Dan, who is waiting for them. He hands Delores a little money. She tells him that she can’t hang on and she wants them all under 1 roof. She says that where she and the children are staying treat them like animals and she’s starting to feel like one. Dan tells her that it won’t be much longer. They make an offering to the church and light a candle.
Tony is locking up the garage and sees Marie in through their home window. He walks by her and heads to a public washroom, the one where the meeting was held at the start of the episode. He washes his hands and another man enters. Tony watches him in the mirror and sees the man looking at him. Tony reaches for the man’s hand, he grabs the man and kisses him. We hear his belt jingle and his trousers unzip. The man backs off and pulls out his police whistle. OH SNAP! The police enter. Tony pleads with Peter not to arrest and says that he is married and his wife is pregnant. They cuff him and take him away.
Trixie is measuring Marie for her Rose Queen dress when the police knock on the door and tell Marie that Tony has been arrested for being found in a “compromising situation”. When pressed Peter tells her that he was found “committing an indent act”. Marie doesn’t understand and Peter, uncomfortably explains that her husband was caught with another man. Marie is shocked, “he isn’t that way”.
At the clinic, Trixie tells Peter than she thinks his timing was awful (with Marie being so close to her due date). Patsy gives her a piece of her mind too…and, after last week’s episode, we can only assume as to why she might be upset. We don’t know anything yet but suspect that she may be gay. Patsy asks Trixie if she would be able to forgive Tony. Trixie says no, not because he’s gay but because he cheated. Trixie says she has known a gay doctor before and would walk on his arm so that he wouldn’t lose his position. They girls say that they were taught, in their profession, “No dark secrets”. Patsy makes a face…our suspicions grow.
Tony comes home, with his father-in-law to find Marie sitting in the kitchen. Her dad no longer wants Tony working at his garage and leaves. Tony is going to go to trial. They’ll allow Tony to have someone in court to speak on behalf of his character.
Shelagh has a map out and is plotting the geography of the dysentery. She wants to find how the cases are related.
Nurse Crane shows up at the address that Delores provided only to find out that she gave a fake address. She’s promptly informed that no “McEvoy” would live on that street…no Irish…it’s a “decent” street. HEY! I’m part Irish! LOL
Patsy shows up for Marie’s exam. Patsy tells Marie that caring is part of her job and that if anything worries Marie, it worries the baby and that worries her. She then tells her that if she wants to talk, she’s there for her. Marie denies Tony being gay.
Dr. Turner sits with Tony and says that he’ll be a character witness for him.
At dinner, we find the sisters and midwives at separate ends of whether Tony has committed a sin or not.
Nurse Crane answers a call for Bullthorpse Women’s Hostel (I THINK that’s what she says…I can’t find anything stating that this was ever a real place) that a woman is in labor. She and Trixie head off, confused, because they don’t have any of their patients registered there and, not only that, they thought the place had closed.
Tony’s court date! Tony pleads guilty.
Nurse Crane and Trixie arrive at the hostel to find Delores in labor. The place is a dump! The woman that “greets” them tells them “she’s an Irish” and that she’s sick. Trixie says the place should have been “closed with the slums”. “We’re a boarding house, women only, giving shelter to them without.” “Hardly giving, you’re charging three and six!” Not only is Delores in labor but she also has dysentery. Nurse Crane (remember, softy underneath) gives Delores’ 2 children a piece of candy each and asks them to wait downstairs.
Dr. Turner testifies for Tony stating, “He serves our community tirelessly through his work with the Civil Defense Corps.”. This doesn’t matter to the judge. Tony’s private character is all he cares about. Dr. Turner suggests Tony wants to change and that there is a treatment available to help. The judge isn’t pleased and dismisses Dr. Turner.
Nurse Crane and Trixie want to move Delores to the hospital and leaves to notify surgery.
The judge sentences Tony to probation if he consents to treatment until he is “cured”, he’s find 15 pounds and court fees.
The once crotchety woman that runs the hostel shows up with her own bed sheet, boiled and hands it to Trixie. Nurse Crane asks Delores where her husband is. He’s living at a seaman’s hostel. Nurse Crane tells the crotchety woman to find him. After saying men aren’t allowed, Crane convinces her to go. A baby girl is delivered. They can’t allow her to hold her baby due to her dysentery. She’s very happy but tells her baby girl not to look and promises that this is not her home.
Your heart really goes out to Tony as Dr. Turner tells him about the treatment:
Dr. Turner: You will be prescribed Stilbestrol by the hospital. You will be allowed to take this, largely in the privacy of your own home, but you will be monitored to make sure you’re taking it. There are other treatments. ECT, aversion therapy, but I’d say this is less brutal and more private.
Marie: That’s all right. You’re not funny about tablets, are you?
Dr. Turner: They contain a form of estrogen, the female hormone. It will stop your body from producing testosterone, which in turn will suppress your urges.
Marie: But he’ll be all right, otherwise?
Dr. Turner: Impotence occurs, as the testosterone reduces.
Marie: We’ll already have our child. Is that it?
Dr. Turner: There may also be gynecomastia, development of breast tissue, there is often a loss of muscle and body hair.
Tony: Dear God.
Marie: Well, it’s not prison. And that’s all that matters.
Marie gets up and leaves, Tony with tears in his eyes.
Marie’s dad is outside of the garage and sees the couple coming home. He turns his back on them, and closes the garage door behind him.
Daniel shows up at Delores bedside. He holds his baby girl. He apologizes for where she’s having to live. He tells our midwives that they must think they’re crazy to have come to America. We find out that the job he was promised, it apparently didn’t work out. He states that he’s having a hard time finding work because he’s Irish. He tells Delores that he will work every hour that he can to make them “decent again”.
Marie tells Tony that he has to take the tablets. Tony doesn’t want to take women’s hormones, he won’t be the same. She doesn’t care, she doesn’t want him the same and says this is a new start. He holds her.
Marie shows up for the Rose Queen ceremony. Patsy helps her with her dress and says, “Didn’t imagine you’d be here.” Why ever not? Everything’s just as it was, Nurse Mount.” “I’m relieved for you. For both of you.” For some reason, Marie is offended and walks away to have someone else help her with her dress.
As the women start rehearsal for the ceremony, a woman comes in shaking a newspaper and announces “he’s a flaming queer”. Tony’s story is in the newspaper. The woman gets on Trixie for allowing Marie to participate. Marie leaves. Patsy: “Marie has every right to be here!” Woman: “Married to a man like that?! That type’s got no place at a church festival!”. Patsy: “Small-mindedness has no place here.”
Tony shows up at the Civil Defense Corp meeting. Fred tells him that he can’t be there and can’t be apart of it any more. Fred said that if it was up to him, Tony could stay, but it’s against the rules.
Tony goes home and Marie throws something at him. Tony didn’t know it had hit the paper until Marie informs him. She also says that when she brought Tony home her mother had told her that >men can be too clean”. She tells Tony that he has ruined him and why did he go after a man that she wouldn’t have looked at twice. “BECAUSE I WANTED HIM”, he shouts and then apologizes. He offers to leave so she can go on with her life. She’ll have none of this. She tells him that they’re having a baby and he needs to stay and take his punishment.
Tony gets ready to leave “for the cure”.
Dr. Turner is going to petition Andrew Lancing about the conditions of Bulthorpe.
Dr. Turner takes Nurse Crane with him to see Mr. Lancing. Lancing says he can’t help them. Then, Nurse Crane, we now have to love her:
Crane: Ah, Mr Lancing, I feel great sympathy for you.
Lancing: Well, I don’t wish to elicit pity, but, yes, it is difficult.
Crane: It’s so easy for Dr Turner, not constrained by politics. His only agenda is care for those most in need. Whereas you must ignore and turn away from women and children in conditions we would find hard to imagine. You poor devil. How do you manage your conscience?
Lancing: I’ll arrange an inspection. Quarantine all those with dysentery, have the place fogged, but Bulthorpe will exist as long as poverty does.
Marie walks towards her house and women scurry. When she gets to her door, “Queer” has been painted on it. She storms in.
Tony is walking down the street holding the bottle of pills.
Marie is in the house carrying a bucket of water and goes into labor. Patsy arrives and enters the house.
Tony unlocks the lock on the garage door.
Marie is progressing in labor.
Tony is hooked a hose up the car’s exhaust and climbs in the car.
Marie’s dad, from outside the door, hears her in labor and hear’s her saying she wants Tony from the hospital.
Tony starts the car.
The baby girl is born as her dad listens from the hall. He leaves and hears a car running in the garage. He storms in and gets Tony out of the car and informs him that he now has a daughter. He tells Tony that he doesn’t understand what’s he’s done, he’s made a mistake but that he can come back from it. Tony says that Marie deserves better. “She doesn’t want better, she wants you”, dad replies. He then tells Tony that Marie can’t live with Tony and he, dad, can’t live without Marie…he then embraces Tony.
Bulthorpe is being fumigated with Lindane which, we’re told, kills everything,
Lancing: “Rats, cockroaches. Nothing hazardous will be left in there after we’ve finished fogging. Mind you, what can you get for three and six these days?”
Turner: “Dignity, Mr Lancing.”
Crane: Dr. Turner mentioned you’ve a newborn.
Lancing: Yes, Keith. Happy little chap.
Crane: Would you be happy bringing Keith back to this even without the dysentery and the cockroaches?
Lancing: I’m not responsible for housing. It’s hard enough getting this finished so the women can come back this evening.
Turner: We’re not naive, Mr Lancing, we know we can’t save them all. But you can support an application to the Housing Department that, fogged or not, this place is not suitable for a new mother and baby.
Lancing: You’re asking me to use my position to influence another department’s decision?
Crane: Best advice I ever received…when in the path of an unstoppable force, it’s always best to surrender.
Shelagh has discovered the cause of the dysentery. It comes from a mobile kitchen.
Tony comes in to find Marie holding their new daughter, Patsy is in the background. Marie is assuring their daughter that daddy will always be there to look after them. Marie loves him and wants him as her husband. He holds his wife and daughter.
Dr. Turner runs down the street and catches Nurse Crane in the street. He has great news! Mr. Lancing is rehousing the McEvoy family…no more Bulthorpe for them!
Tony enters where the Rose Queen ceremony is to take place. The women are brutal! He just wants to check the time that Marie should be ready. He says that he’s going to stay home to look after the baby but Marie deserves to be there. A woman says, “You’re all sinners now.” Trixie, oh I love Trixie says, “Marie’s the outgoing Queen, she should be here. And if anybody doesn’t like it, they can go home and stew in their own mean-spiritedness. Didn’t Jesus teach us to love everyone even the sinners? Tom?”. Tom replies, “Especially the sinners.”
Delores and her new daughter come to their new home, Dan and the boys are there. Her expression is like she’s walking into a castle.”
Elderly Jenny’s voiceover tells us:
A world is not just made of bricks and mortar, but of minds. We can rebuild cities, paint beautiful facades, invent new ways of living. We can protect all that we have. But that place which we call home must be the place in which we are ourselves with no facade, no foundations weak below us. Only then can we face outwards with our heads held high, playing the roles assigned to us with open, honest hearts.
Tony and his new daughter get brave and head over to the ceremony. When the new queen is crowned the crowd applauds. When Marie, the previous year’s queen is announced…silence. Until Tony, sitting in the back row, stands and applauds. He is joined by Patsy and then, one by one, her dad, Peter and others.