Call the Midwife Season 10, Episode 4 GIF Recap

Posted by Emma Goddard on October 25, 2021
Warning: spoilers ahead
Call The Midwife S10 04 008
Nurse Crane snaps photos of Nurse Trixie outside of Nonnatus House. | Credit: Neal Street Productions

England is in the quarter finals of the World Cup, preparations for Nonnatus House’s new guests are underway, and the midwives no longer have an eviction looming over them. It’s a party in Poplar, y’all! As we return for Episode 4 this week, the women are taking on a young group of bright-eyed pupil midwives from St. Cuthbert’s Hospital. It’s an exciting time as our Poplar veterans help them with practical hands-on work in the community and their studies as they train to become midwives. 

Looking Toward the Future

Celebration

The good vibes continue to roll, and while the women welcome their trainees, another local student is celebrating with a win of his own. Cyril passes his civil engineering exam and has been rewarded with 25 guineas for his hard work. Things are looking up for the young mechanic, and on top of all that, he’s also been offered a partnership with his boss at a new garage. Though he’d have to buy his way in to become a partner, it’s a tempting path for the future with the money he’s earned from his prize and his savings combined. He wavers knowing he’d still have to borrow money to make it work, but his partner in crime Lucille encourages him, seeing the potential partnership as an opportunity for a better life for both of them.

A Return to the East End

Michael Smiling

While Cyril wrestles with his choices, we meet Rita Leeks at the Buckle’s shop where she’s also in the celebratory mood. Her 17-year-old son, Michael, is returning home to the East End for a quick break away from his job as a bell boy at the Parthenon hotel. Dropping in to pick up treats for his homecoming, Rita is not one to hold back on her praise. She gushes to Fred and Violet over her son’s recent pay raise, and his promising future in the hotel trade. Proud mom is an understatement.

Yet while Rita and her husband Godfrey are in good spirits about reuniting with their boy, Michael is coping with a heavy secret. Not long after arriving home, Michael shows symptoms of back pain, which he initially attempts to blame on his work. But when the slightest touch or movement to the area sends shooting pain through Michael’s back, Rita isn’t convinced that carrying guests’ luggage is the problem and calls Dr. Turner. After all, moms know best. The diagnosis is quick following the doc’s examination, and Michael learns he has an infected pilonidal cyst caused by an ingrown hair at the bottom of his spine. Before you ask, yes it’s as horrifying as you’d imagine (10/10 do NOT recommend looking it up). Unfortunately, it’s not something simple that medication can cure, so Dr. Turner sends Michael to the hospital to have the cyst drained.

The New Recruits

Nancy

While Michael heads into surgery, the midwives meet their first pupil midwife, Nurse Nancy Corrigan. She’s accompanied by two Catholic nuns Sister Ambrose and Sister Philomena, who helped raise her when she was orphaned at seven and attended their convent school. Of all her peers, Nancy is the only pupil midwife living at Nonnatus House, but it’s clear from the beginning that her caretakers feel she needs extra attention to help her focus on her studies.

Bikes

Luckily, she has Trixie to take her under her wing when they set off on their first house call in Poplar together. They meet Beryl Greaney, a nervous patient whose first pregnancy resulted in preeclampsia and seven weeks at St. Cuthbert’s. Though Beryl’s second pregnancy has gone without complication and she shows no signs of high blood pressure during her checkup, their visit doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Despite showing obvious concerns about having her first home delivery, Nancy only reaffirms her fears by claiming that hospital births are generally cleaner and allow new mothers more time to rest.

Trixie

Following their visit, Trixie advises Nancy to listen to their patients’ fears and offer them encouragement. The young nurse is receptive to her feedback, but unfortunately, the damage is done. When they return to Nonnatus House, they hear from Shelagh that Nancy’s comments spooked Beryl so much that she ultimately decided to request a hospital delivery and put the blame for this move directly on Nancy. It’s the very thing they’ve been working against as they lose one of their patients to St. Cuthbert’s and have a rough start to their program. Fortunately, with Trixie as her supervisor, Nancy has a great guide to help her through her training in hopes that she can do better next time.

An Old Friend

Phone

Though Trixie has a lot on her plate to ensure that both the next generation of midwives and Nonnatus House succeed, she’s able to take some time away for a special occasion. Matthew Aylward is back this episode, and she joins the recent widower to celebrate his son Jonathan at his christening. The moment is bittersweet, but it gives Trixie a brief window into the single father’s life following Fiona’s death. With a nanny tending to most of Jonathan’s needs, it’s clear that he’s struggling not only with the loss of his wife but learning how to care for his son and how to be a more nurturing figure in his life.

Michael’s Struggles

Phyllis

Over at St. Cuthbert’s, Michael’s surgery has gone without complication and Phyllis makes a visit to the hospital to ensure he’s recovering well. However, upon examining his antibiotic prescription she notices a surprising detail in his medical notes that she takes to Dr. Turner for a second opinion. They discover that in addition to the cyst they originally observed, Michael was also diagnosed with genital warts that likely resulted from a same-sex relationship.

When Dr. Turner confronts him, he tries to assure Michael that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and further states that he believes the laws need to change to accept same-sex relationships. It’s apparent, however, that Michael is struggling with his sexual orientation. Separately, he reveals that beyond his attraction to men, he has also been paid for sexual activity and that his job at the Parthenon hotel has secretly fostered an environment for and allows this business. When Dr. Turner divulges this information to Phyllis, she tries to protect Michael by encouraging him to leave his job and voicing her concerns about the danger he might be in. Michael argues that it’s his only option to get out of the East End and make his parents proud.

Lucille and Cyril’s Differing Views

I See

Meanwhile, talks about the future are underway at Cyril’s. Following his exciting career news, Lucille visits his home where she finds him waiting with a surprise for her: a new radiogram. When she inquires how he managed to afford it, she’s shocked to learn that he spent his prize money on it. Rather than going into debt to become a partner with his boss, Cyril explains that he’s chosen to continue working for Mr. Andrews as a mechanic and to stick to his original plans to become a civil engineer. However, Lucille is quick to express her frustration with him, having had no say in the matter and how his decision could impact their life together.

A Difficult Conversation

Michael Crying

While Cyril determines how to make it up to Lucille, Michael sits down with his parents for a challenging discussion following his conversations with Dr. Turner and Phyllis. He breaks the news that he plans on leaving the Parthenon and when they ask why he would leave such a promising job, he explains that there are things about the hotel that he needs to get away from. When his parents believe he’s implying that he’s gotten a girl pregnant at work, Michael immediately dismisses this and hints that would never be a concern for him in the future. Unfortunately, when they realize he is coming out to them, their reaction is far from positive or understanding.

Dr Turner

Rita and Godrey’s denial of his sexuality is so emotional and traumatizing that Michael runs away from home distraught. He leaves a note behind to apologize for not being the son he thought they wanted and it’s when he goes missing that his parents call on Phyllis to help in their search for him. They show her a card they found in Michael’s leftover possessions for a “Queer Doctor,” Dr. Leadmead, at Lakewood Grange.

Alarmed by this news, Phyllis works with Miss Higgins and the Turners to look into the private psychiatric clinic and are repulsed when they learn about Dr. Leadmead’s methods. Worrying that Michael has been put in harm's way with aversion therapy, Phyllis and Dr. Turner travel to the clinic to retrieve him. They find him in a terrible state and see that he’s both been physically and mentally tortured through Dr. Leadmead’s inhumane treatment.

My Son

Though he’s eager to leave Lakewood Grange as soon as possible following the brutal aversion therapy, he’s still wary about returning to his parents. However, when he’s finally home, he and his parents sit down for another conversation - this one quite different from the last. Godfrey and Rita immediately express remorse for how they reacted and let him know that they still see him as their perfect son and accept him for who he is. His parents tell him how proud they are, not only for Michael having the courage to leave a terrible situation, but for facing his truth and embracing who he is.

Nancy’s Redemption

Beryl

As the Leeks family reconcile across town, over at the Greaney’s flat, the World Cup final is on and Beryl is in labor. Not a great combination of events. Too consumed with the game, Beryl’s husband Al ignores her warning about her frequent contractions and she takes matters into her own hands, attempting to flag down a cab to take her to the hospital. When her water breaks before she can find transportation, she realizes how urgent her situation is and she walks (yes, walks!) to Nonnatus House for help where Nancy answers the door. Everyone is preoccupied with the match, and not wanting to take them away from the game, Nancy decides to take on Beryl’s labor herself despite her initial protestation. Luckily, she’s not alone.

Nancy brings Beryl to Sister Monica Joans’ room where the elder midwife observes her enthusiastically. A complication arises when Nancy observes that Beryl’s baby has its hand by its face, causing it to get stuck. Yet with Sister Monica Joan’s guidance, the young nurse is able to push back baby’s hand until the head can advance and she can safely deliver Beryl’s child. Despite the stressful situation, Beryl is relieved and thankful for Nancy’s help, and the two women finally make amends.

Sister Monica Joan Finds Her Faith

New Life

Following Nancy’s first delivery during her time at Nonnatus, Sister Frances finds Sister Monica Joan in the clinical room later that evening. After the day’s excitement, the veteran midwife is analyzing Beryl’s placenta and she marvels over its beauty. She notes that being able to examine the least visible of all the body’s organs was only one of numerous things that made midwifery such a privilege. Within it, she exclaims that she is able to see the miracle of God, his handiwork and his love, and after a long window of darkness where she doubted her faith, she’s finally found it again. As if that isn’t celebration enough (she really had us worried about her), England also wins the World Cup against Germany. It’s a good day for all, and especially good for one midwife in particular...

Merging Paths

Ring

When we conclude this episode, Lucille receives the surprise of a lifetime. Visiting Cyril at his flat, she notices that the radiogram he purchased is gone, and he admits that he felt bad that he didn’t discuss his plans with her. Though she tries to brush off the (very minor) argument, he presses forward and acknowledges that when considering his future, he also needs to consider Lucille’s part in it as well. So he gets down on one knee and reveals a ring (and the reason for the missing radiogram), and proposes to Lucille. It feels like we’ve been waiting an eternity for this, Midwife fam, but we’re glad to end this episode on a high note with wedding bells in the not too distant future!

Forgot how we got here? Catch up on “Call the Midwife” with the Season 10, Episode 3 GIF Recap.

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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.