Call the Midwife 2021 Holiday Special GIF Recap

Posted by Emma Goddard on January 12, 2022
Warning: spoilers ahead.
CTM Chritmas Special 2021 01 032
Reggie builds a snowman with Cyril and Lucille. | Credit: Neal Street Productions

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Nonnatus House. Fred as Santa, decorations strewn about, mince pies, and a Nativity play at the clinic? As if it couldn’t get more festive than that, the women are also busily preparing for a special Christmas wedding for Lucille and Cyril. From the baking of traditional Jamaican cakes to wedding dress alterations, the crew has a long list of to-dos for their friends’ special day as we’re welcomed into this year’s Holiday Special. No pressure. None at all.

A December Baby Boom

Sister Julienne

With wedding planning underway, the midwives find themselves in the midst of pre-Christmas chaos when 20 new patients from St. Cuthbert’s are sent their way. In addition to an already long list of expectant mothers in their care, the midwives are also expecting that their new patients will be delivering the week of Christmas, meaning more work despite the holiday season.

As the clinic fills up, Sister Julienne meets with Anita Page. Though Anita is already well into her pregnancy, this is only her second visit with the midwives. After careful observation, Sister Julienne notes that Anita is underweight and showing signs of anemia. As she does with all of her patients however, she tells Anita that she’ll have to take a blood and urine test during her visit, but the routine procedure causes Anita to flee the building. Following her visit, Sister Julienne takes her concerns to Dr. Turner should Anita return to their care.

Making Good on a Promise

Matthew

Over at the Lisbon Buildings, the December deliveries begin to kick off at Esme Bolton’s flat. Trixie takes the call and is pleased to see that Matthew has stayed true to his word, recognizing the new appliances and a new ceiling (no water damage in sight) in her patient’s home. While she’s there, she even runs into the landlord himself who’s diligently checking in on his property and dealing with a pesky rat problem. #No to rats, #Yes to Matthew doing his job.

Unfortunately, labor can’t just stop for chit chat between old pals, and Trixie leaves him to deliver Esme’s baby. When she’s finished, she’s surprised to find Matthew waiting for her outside where he offers to accompany her home. During their walk and talk he mentions that Sister Julienne invited him to Lucille’s wedding (after all, he is Nonnatus House’s benefactor) but notes his hesitation to attend. Trixie encourages him to join, however, knowing that the day will mark his first Christmas without his wife and that having the distraction might be helpful.

A Well-Kept Secret

Anita

Later, following Anita’s disappearing act at the clinic, Dr. Turner receives a call from her home for an urgent medical matter. He takes Timothy along for the ride, but rather than showing up to find Anita in labor as expected, the two are met with a group of men gathered in the living room. They meet Anita’s husband Charlie, who made the call on behalf of a colleague who was stabbed in a gang-related incident.

Luckily, the scene looks worse than the actual wound is, and it’s a quick fix with a few stitches. Wanting to get as far away from Charlie’s activities as possible, Dr. Turner books it out of there. On their way out however, Timothy expresses his concern for Anita. He tells his father that she appeared to be more scared of Dr. Turner than she did of the violent activities in her own home, and it’s not long before we see why. After the father-son doctor duo leaves, Anita slips away to the building’s laundry room where she uncovers a secret tin containing drug paraphernalia.

Distress in the Family Business

Enough

Though Anita manages to evade her checkups with the midwives, Charlie seeks Dr. Turner’s help yet again. Following his first emergency, he arrives at the doctor’s office this time with a colleague who is unresponsive. When Charlie admits that his friend was using heroin, Dr. Turner is forced to call in an ambulance for an overdose, unable to assist on his own. Despite his own criminal dealings, Charlie expresses his distaste for drugs, and especially for opiates after seeing his own brother die from a heroin overdose the year before.

A Slight Change in Plans

Cyril and Lucille

While Dr. Turner, Phyllis and Miss Higgins do their best to manage the mayhem surrounding Charlie and his gang, Lucille and Cyril take on a different sort of chaos with their wedding planning. After learning that the church member meant to give away Lucille has broken his shoulder, they turn to Fred to do the honors. He happily agrees, and Reggie takes his place as Cyril’s best man. A little wedding party rearranging? A minor hiccup. What else could go wrong?

The Hen Do to Remember

Cheers

Cue Sister Hilda’s hen night and a little too much rum in the punch bowl. Lucille celebrates her last days as a single woman with her friends at Nonnatus House with games, dancing, and a cocktail or two. The party is a huge success, but Sister Hilda’s heavy-handed pours are quick to get to Lucille and by the end of the night the poor bride-to-be takes a bit of a tumble on the stairs. She laughs it off with Phyllis and Trixie, but when she wakes up the next morning she finds that she has a black eye only three days before the wedding.

The women try to comfort her, but even raw mince and ice packs don’t do the trick. The following day her eye is the size of a golf ball and swollen shut and she rushes to Dr. Turner. After examining her, Dr. Turner recommends that Lucille go to the hospital for an xray to rule out an orbital fracture. Naturally, this is not the news she wanted to hear before her wedding day. She’s distraught and later tells Cyril that she doesn’t want to have the wedding if she can’t recover in time. Oof. We get it though - that’s the last thing we’d want documented for eternity.

Alternative Medicine

Nancy

Leave it to Sister Monica Joan to save the day, though! After hearing about Lucille’s dilemma, Sister Monica Joan speaks with Dr. Turner and recommends an alternative medical treatment that might bring down the swelling of her eye in time for the wedding: leeches. (We’re cringing too.) Though it’s a somewhat outdated method, they hope that leeches will feed on the blood pooled up behind Lucille’s eyelid (again, cringe) and will help speed up her recovery. It’s gross, yes, but with no other option other than to call off her wedding day, Lucille is desperate. And as it turns out, our good ol’ Sister Monica Joan was right. After 45 minutes of having a leech stuck to her eyelid, Lucille is finally able to open her eye. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Anita’s Addiction

Dr Turner

All is well at Nonnatus House again, but over at the Pages’ Anita joins the first wave of December deliveries. Following another secret visit to the laundry room, she makes her way back to her flat only to have her water break. When she finds Charlie at home setting up a romantic dinner for them, she doesn’t tell him in hopes that she can push off a visit with the doctor. The next day, however, her contractions prove to be too painful and (luckily) she runs into Phyllis and Miss Higgins on her evening walk.

They take her directly to the maternity hospital where Trixie helps deliver her little girl. It’s a quick birth, but Trixie immediately takes note of how small Anita’s baby is. Later, she also notices the newborn’s unusually high-pitched cry and sees that Anita has become quite sickly. Sister Julienne arrives to help and informs Anita that she might have contracted an infection. When Dr. Turner arrives to examine her, Anita admits to her heroin use and that she’s also hidden it from Charlie. Because of her addiction Dr. Turner prescribes a legal medication similar to the heroin Anita was using to ease her withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, after Dr. Turner’s diagnosis of Anita’s daughter, he sees that she is just as addicted to the drug as her mother is and realizes he will have to give her opiates as well.

Let the Deliveries Commence

Timothy

When Christmas day finally arrives, the midwives are busier than ever. Though everyone has gathered to celebrate at Nonnatus House, it’s not long before the patient calls come rolling in. Sister Frances takes on her first breech birth with Susan Chu, Dr. Turner performs a forceps delivery on Evelyn Howells’ fifth baby, and Sister Hilda and Sister Julienne assist with Maria Kaufopolous’ complicated labor next door.

Later, Mother Mildred visits the maternity home to deliver everyone’s Christmas dinners and she meets Anita’s newborn. She reveals to the Turners that their daughter May also displayed similar symptoms when she was first brought to the orphanage and that Mother Mildred was the nurse tasked to administer the drugs to her during her withdrawal period. The couple is shocked by this news, but after hearing this, Shelagh volunteers to administer the drugs to Anita’s baby and care for her until she’s able to be seen at St. Cuthbert’s.

Charlie

Before the transfer, Shelagh speaks with Anita to let her know that they have to alert the Welfare Office to help decide the fate of her daughter. It’s a huge hit to the new mom who reveals that she lived under a Welfare Office as a child when her mother was an alcoholic, but that she stayed by her mother’s side until her death. After having vowed not to be like her mother, she admits to Shelagh that she wished she’d done better for her own child and recognizes that she has to be better now. She finally tells Charlie about the substance abuse and her fears that he would love her less because of it. Though he’s disheartened to hear about her addiction, he promises to support her and asks that she do her best to get back on track for their daughter.

A Pre-Wedding Celebration

Lucille Waving

Despite the hectic events of Christmas day, everyone makes it back to Nonnatus House for the evening to unwind… right before everything picks back up again! The next day, the house is alive and buzzing as the women get ready for Lucille’s wedding. It’s the midwife’s last day in the house and the last day with her roommate. When Lucille runs into Phyllis, she presents her with a parting gift. Phyllis opens it to find the pearls that she had purchased and worn to Barbara and Tom’s wedding as Barbara’s bridesmaid. Lucille encourages Phyllis to wear them to her wedding in memory of Barbara and as a way to honor their friendship. It’s an emotional moment for the two women as they bond during their last day together but sets the tone for a beautiful wedding.

Cyril and Lucille’s Marriage

Lucille Dress

And as it turns out, Lucille wasn’t the only one with something up her sleeve. When she arrives at the church, she finds a surprise from Phyllis waiting for her. Knowing that Lucille’s sisters couldn’t attend the wedding to be her bridesmaids, Phyllis arranged for an alternative - and miniature - bridal party. Before walking into the ceremony, Lucille meets several of the children she delivered when she first arrived in Poplar all waiting to walk with her down the aisle. (Yes, the tears are flowing.) Though it’s not the end of her time with the midwives, it’s a sweet gesture to mark the end of her days at Nonnatus House.

Saying I Do

Wedding

While it wasn’t exactly the wedding they had planned, Cyril and Lucille finally get married in a gorgeous ceremony surrounded by their Poplar friends. (Also, can we get some applause for that dress??? Serving 1960s lewks!) They have their reception at the clinic, which is very on brand, and are even able to incorporate some of their hometown traditions. From first meeting outside Nonnatus House when Cyril was fixing Phyllis’ car to now, we can’t believe they’re finally here after two seasons! We have been waiting for this moment. The newlyweds move in together to start this new chapter of their life and with that, set us up for an exciting next season.

Forgot how we got here? Catch up on “Call the Midwife” with the Season 10, Episode 7 GIF Recap.

About the Author

Emma Goddard is a Multiplatform Producer and self-appointed maker of baked goods at PBS. When she’s not busy writing about “Call the Midwife” and making GIFs (pronounced with a hard G, for anyone wondering) she builds websites for PBS shows and geeks out over British dramas.