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S08.E03: Episode 3

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Valerie helps a mother of five come to terms with her latest child's birth defect. The Turners oversee a measles vaccination trial at the clinic, but are concerned by an overly anxious first-time mother. They soon discover she is concealing a devastating loss, which could have serious repercussions. Nurse Crane decides to bring a taste of the seaside to Poplar for the Whitsun bank holiday, and Violet's political career goes from strength to strength as she wins the seat on the council for Poplar North.

Airs January 27, 2019.

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The cleft palate plot left me a bit scratching my head. Could the mother really decide to give up the kid for adoption without her husband's consent? He hadn't even see the kid yet. And Valerie waltzing in and giving the oldest a much needed talking to and sending the younger ones to school was all that was needed? Also: the show made it sound as if the mother took school attendances as something optional, it was mentioned twice that she's not sending the kids to school regularly. And the authorities just let her carry on like that? While I thought the medical side and the emotional side of the plot was handled very well (down to the weird stigma attached to kids suffering from a cleft palate) there were too many details that didn't really work for me.

Interesting fake-out with the measles plot - I had been dreading an (anachronistic) anti-vaccination plot. And I'm very glad they gave Miss Higgins more to do, she's been a pretty one-note character so far and her being the one reaching out to the traumatized mother was a surprise twist; the actress was really great in those scenes. (And I did agree with Miss Higgins about Trixie rifling through patient files without permission - it was for a good cause but still a breach of privacy.)

Violet mocking Nurse's crane idea of a beach was OOC. I get that they want to show how her new power is slowly getting to her head, but that wasn't slow at all. Violet can be pushy but we've never seen her condescending. That was some heavy-handed writing.

And I see that the show is still determined to give Nurse Crane a love-interest. 

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I really don't like the Nurse Crane love interest. She deserves better.

They seem to be focussing their storylines on issues that are prominent at the moment. From the importance of safe, accessible abortion to women's suffrage and feminism and now onto the dangers of measles and the importance of vaccinations. I do think they are being a bit heavy- handed with the messaging. I was a bit surprised they didn't have a child develops serious complications from measles. I guess they can reign it in a bit sometimes.

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On 1/28/2019 at 7:46 AM, MissLucas said:

I had been dreading an (anachronistic) anti-vaccination plot.

This!  I was going to be so, so, so, so upset when Shelagh refused to vaccinate little Teddy.   Because Shelagh would so, so, so be on board.  So I was quite relieved when Teddy got vaccinated without any drama.   Way to be in the vanguard Teddy.   

I suspect they are getting close to Mai's potential adoptive parents turning up since Angela is calling Mai sister and Shelagh is dreaming of long term fostering.   

The resolution with the mom was nice and it was very nice to see Mrs. Higgins get to step out of the office.  However, because I do not have even the palest bit of green in my thumb when I saw those roses on the balcony I kept thinking, I would totally kill those and then I'd be even sadder.

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This was not my fave episode, but serviceable enough.  I liked Tim tickling Mai & Angela and Phyllis' idea of bringing the seaside to Poplar.  Also, I really liked seeing a bit more of Sister Frances.

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You're a hard-hearted lot! I found the two main storylines in this episode very moving, and the final scene with the 'beach' was gorgeous.

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I found the two main storyline’s very touching. They said at the end of the show interview that they were heavily focusing on women’s issues this season. I like that. 

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I hate this show!  I say I'm not going to cry every week, but it's just impossible!  The young mother who lost her son was such a relatable character. 

I like the current topics they're incorporating. It's interesting to see how these have been handled in the past.  

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On 1/28/2019 at 5:46 AM, MissLucas said:

(And I did agree with Miss Higgins about Trixie rifling through patient files without permission - it was for a good cause but still a breach of privacy.)

It didn't seem to me that Miss Higgins was objecting on privacy grounds, but rather that she didn't want to have anyone interfering with her strict filing standards. I am glad they showed her to have a softer, compassionate side, and she did a beautiful job of getting through to that mother and comforting both parents.

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I question how the mom of the baby with the facial issues could give her baby away for adoption without her husband, the babies father, without his consent, and some of the other logistics, but damn it my heart was warmed when his big brother stood up for him to the gossipy neighborhood ladies, and when the mom decided to keep him. This show just gets me, what can I say?

I thought for a second we would get some weird anti-vaccination plot with the mom and her baby daughter, but the actual plot we got was much, much better. That poor family, I can understand why poor Hazel was so paranoid about losing her daughter after that. Its awful enough to lose a child, but to lose them so suddenly without any explanation or closure? No wonder she was such a mess. That was a nice plot for Miss. Higgins, it got her involved in the plot more, got her out of her usual role, and even showed some more sides to her character. 

That beach they created was adorable. Everyone looked like they were having so much fun, and the nurses all looked great in their summer outfits! I do hope the kitty found a place to go. "There will be do deification here!"

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I don’t know how parents who have had a baby die of SIDS manage to keep going. As in the storyline here, the guilt and paranoia must be overwhelming. The baby playing Dawn was adorbs.

Yeah, loved when big brother told the biddies to shove it! 👏

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6 hours ago, LittleIggy said:

I don’t know how parents who have had a baby die of SIDS manage to keep going. As in the storyline here, the guilt and paranoia must be overwhelming. The baby playing Dawn was adorbs.

Yeah, loved when big brother told the biddies to shove it! 👏

So did I!, Hate bullies of any kind.  I also liked the rose bush and intention and showing Miss Higgins other side.  I also thought that showing the kids a photo was a good idea.

I feel the adoption part was just an overwhelmed mother and Sister Julianne knew that. This wasn't something that would continue forever but very overwhelming now with little help. That she thought it might not be wrong to do it (or even legal?) without the husband there,  a little odd.

Edited by debraran
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I actually met a couple  once who told me  that they had given up their baby for adoption because he had a cleft palate and they "couldn't handle it."  I tried not to think judgmental thoughts, but I was a little shocked.  This show helped me understand.  A young mother without any nice midwife to encourage her could simply lose all confidence in herself and believe she was unfit to care for a baby with special needs.

Not for the first time, I've envied the women of Poplar. When my baby was born I was living in a town where I knew no one and being a youngest child myself, I had never even seen a new born baby much less had any clue as to what to do for it.  My husband and I were nervous wrecks the first few months.  All we had was a Dr. Spock book that I had pored over so much the dog got jealous and ate most of it. 

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But I am a long time retired pediatric nurse. Back then there was a diagnosis of “sib of sids” where the baby was placed on a home monitor to prevent a reoccurrence of sids. This diagnosis was wiped out when they found out the family they based that study on was a murderous mother smothering her babies. Now days the advice is to place the child on their back rather than their stomach as they did in the past, lowering sids rates. But the previous diagnosis made for generations or more of anxious parents.

I cared for children with cleft lip/palate as well. They could be VERY difficult to feed. We taught parents to place a feeding tube, easier than bottle feeding for many parents. That was 20 years ago, I don’t know now. 

The mother overwhelmed with 5 active children, without support would easily be convinced that giving up the baby was best for the baby, especially when neighbors were so negative about the baby. All she needed was the support of the older children and some positive reinforcement, such as the baby’s weight gain. But that could be wiped out by something like the baby aspirating formula. Ups and downs, without the father's support may make her decide to place the baby in a medical foster home.

Edited by Thumper82003 · Reason: Added after reading post.
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7 minutes ago, Thumper82003 said:

The mother overwhelmed with 5 active children, without support would easily be convinced that giving up the baby was best for the baby, especially when neighbors were so negative about the baby.

I can see a mother with one baby wanted to give up!  Those little ones have so many issues and so many episodes of aspiration that they are in and out of the hospital all of the time.  Even with a supportive midwife and kids, I can sympathize with her wanting to go somewhere the child would (supposedly) get better care.

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19 hours ago, Rhetorica said:

I hate this show!  I say I'm not going to cry every week, but it's just impossible!  The young mother who lost her son was such a relatable character. 

I'm with you.  I almost got to the end of this one, thinking that this might be the episode that doesn't bring the waterworks.  But then Miss Higgins brought that rose bush...

 
 
 
17 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I question how the mom of the baby with the facial issues could give her baby away for adoption without her husband, the babies father, without his consent, and some of the other logistics, but damn it my heart was warmed when his big brother stood up for him to the gossipy neighborhood ladies, and when the mom decided to keep him. This show just gets me, what can I say?

Well, it looked like that the adoption wasn't, for lack of a better word, "serious."  By that, I mean Valerie realized that there was a chance that the mother was overwhelmed and not in a state of mind to make such a decision, and Sister Julienne backed that up.  It also didn't seem to go far enough down the road for the father's consent to even be brought up.

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On ‎1‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:39 AM, snowwhyte said:

They seem to be focussing their storylines on issues that are prominent at the moment. From the importance of safe, accessible abortion to women's suffrage and feminism and now onto the dangers of measles and the importance of vaccinations. I do think they are being a bit heavy- handed with the messaging. I was a bit surprised they didn't have a child develops serious complications from measles. I guess they can reign it in a bit sometimes.

The measles vaccine was first available in the US in 1963. It is relevant for an episode set in 1964.

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19 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

  "There will be no defication here!"

That has to be the best line in the entire series. Anyone who has every tried to maintain a backyard sandbox will definitely understand.

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37 minutes ago, eel21788 said:

The measles vaccine was first available in the US in 1963. It is relevant for an episode set in 1964.

I think it was relevant for the timeline but most moms would have been desperately wanting their kids immunized, not being hesitant. 

I'm missing Trixie having a plot line, and Sister Julian. This was a nice stand alone episode but I am not seeing anything interesting building. 

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1 minute ago, Rap541 said:

I think it was relevant for the timeline but most moms would have been desperately wanting their kids immunized, not being hesitant.  

In my neighborhood (Laurelhurst, Portland, Oregon) the vaccination rate was only about 50% until we reached school-age and could, then were required, to be vaccinated by the school system.

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I, too, wish Sister Julienne had more of a story line. Her calming presence is always there though.  She can say so much without  actually saying anything. When Sister Julienne steps outside at the beginning of the beach party her smile and her eyes just say it all. Even though she isn't front and center every episode, she brings it and is my favorite character.

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8 hours ago, whydoiwatch said:

I, too, wish Sister Julienne had more of a story line. Her calming presence is always there though.  She can say so much without  actually saying anything. When Sister Julienne steps outside at the beginning of the beach party her smile and her eyes just say it all. Even though she isn't front and center every episode, she brings it and is my favorite character.

Me too and Monica Joan. Even watching the actress out of costume on a talk show, she had the same presence to me and calming voice.  I love her. Very classy person it seems and I hope in the rotation, she has more air time soon. Trixie hasn't had as much either, I think they try to highlight everyone a little each week.

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14 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

Am I the only one who thinks Trixie's wardrobe and general look seems way too mod for 1964? 

Remember, Trixie lives in London which was at the forefront of mod fashion in the 60's.  I would expect her to be one to follow the trends and so I think her clothes are appropriate for that time and that place.  If she was living on a farm in Iowa, then her clothes would be a couple years ahead of their time.

Edited by doodlebug
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43 minutes ago, doodlebug said:

Remember, Trixie lives in London which was at the forefront of mod fashion in the 60's.  I would expect her to be one to follow the trends and so I think her clothes are appropriate for that time and that place.  If she was living on a farm in Iowa, then her clothes would be a couple years ahead of their time. 

Right, but my understanding is that particular style the Trixie is wearing didn't really sweep London until '66-'67.  I can believe Trixie is fashion forward, but I think she's too far ahead at this point.  That isn't to say I can't be wrong. 

Edited by txhorns79
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On 1/28/2019 at 10:39 AM, snowwhyte said:

I was a bit surprised they didn't have a child develops serious complications from measles. I guess they can reign it in a bit sometimes.

The episode wasn't really about measles (aside from the nice little PSA about the importance of vaccinations), but about the fears parents have, especially if they have lost a child before. 

On 4/14/2019 at 8:51 PM, Bunnyette said:

Ms. Higgins and the rose bush...so touching and reflective of the times.  Brits were expected to suck it up and carry on.  

Brits especially, but I think that is true for most parents who lost children during that attitude. There was pressure not to talk about it and just put it behind them, even though something awful had just happened to them. Ms. Higgens gets to show she can be a wonderful, understanding person.

18 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

Am I the only one who thinks Trixie's wardrobe and general look seems way too mod for 1964? 

She's always been fashion forward and 1964 is the start of mod style. If anyone is going to be wearing the absolute latest style, it's Trixie. 

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On 1/28/2019 at 10:39 AM, snowwhyte said:

I was a bit surprised they didn't have a child develops serious complications from measles. I guess they can rein it in a bit sometimes.

This was filmed some time ago and the measles issues, at least in the US, are pretty current.  I wonder if the choice of measles (as opposed to other childhood diseases that have a rash) was just a coincidence.

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33 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

This was filmed some time ago and the measles issues, at least in the US, are pretty current.  I wonder if the choice of measles (as opposed to other childhood diseases that have a rash) was just a coincidence.

I think it's simply the timeline of the show, as the first clinical trials of the measles vaccine in the UK were in 1964, just as they incorporated storylines about the polio epidemic and vaccine and thalidomide at the points in the series that coincided with those developments. It resonates because vaccination rates have gone down in the US and Europe, with measles outbreaks the result, but I don't think it's the show pandering. 

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49 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

This was filmed some time ago and the measles issues, at least in the US, are pretty current.  I wonder if the choice of measles (as opposed to other childhood diseases that have a rash) was just a coincidence.

IMO, measles is the childhood disease that seems “harmless” but has the most potential for severe complications. With diphtheria or pertussis (whopping cough) the potential for fatalities is stronger than measles. So measles is the natural choice for the show: timing of the vaccine coming out, potential complications and recent outbreaks. (Even before this year’s outbreak.)

My answer to anti vaccine parents is to look through an old cemetery for pre 1950-1960s deaths. Look at how many children died. Headstones don’t name cause of death but the number of infant/toddlers who died should help today’s parents to realize how serious these “childhood” diseases can be.

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5 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

Right, but my understanding is that particular style the Trixie is wearing didn't really sweep London until '66-'67.  I can believe Trixie is fashion forward, but I think she's too far ahead at this point.  That isn't to say I can't be wrong. 

I agree, I think it's startling to see Trixie so far ahead of the other young ones who look just right for 1964.  I was  young at the time and slavishly followed all the fashion magazines, which in turn were slavishly following everything that went on in Mod London.  I lived in Columbus and bought the very first mini-dress I saw at Lazarus.  I wore it down High Street and a boy ran his car up on the sidewalk and hit a mailbox.  It was 1967.

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6 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

I lived in Columbus and bought the very first mini-dress I saw at Lazarus

Sigh.  Macy's sucked all the individuality out of the various regional department stores. 

13 hours ago, debraran said:

Me too and Monica Joan. Even watching the actress out of costume on a talk show, she had the same presence to me and calming voice.  I love her. Very classy person it seems and I hope in the rotation, she has more air time soon.

It does seem like Sister Julienne has stayed in the background a lot so far.  I do hope she gets a spotlight episode.  She's my favorite of the nuns.

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I too am an admirer of Sister Julienne. I'd love to see an episode highlighting her 'backstory'.  I know a few seasons ago she went to visit an older man she once had a relationship with (I recall them watching a movie in his livong room), but I think there is more to Sister Julienne than meets the eye.

I'm enjoying this season so far..

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3 hours ago, Kohola3 said:

This was filmed some time ago and the measles issues, at least in the US, are pretty current.  I wonder if the choice of measles (as opposed to other childhood diseases that have a rash) was just a coincidence.

They're at the right year for it to be measles-relevant. Rubella vaccine wasn't available until 1967. Mumps vaccine came out in 1971. Chicken pox vaccine wasn't until the mid-1990s. Other rash-producing childhood illnesses still don't have vaccines (roseola, scarlet fever, Stevens-Johnson's syndrome, coxsackie virus, etc.)

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The story of the baby with a cleft palate was really interesting to me. I knew an older man who had been born out in the country during the Depression who had a cleft palate. His lip was fixed but the cleft palate was not. After seeing this episode I wonder how his parents managed without any hospitals or doctors nearby.

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14 hours ago, marypat57 said:

I too am an admirer of Sister Julienne. I'd love to see an episode highlighting her 'backstory'.  I know a few seasons ago she went to visit an older man she once had a relationship with (I recall them watching a movie in his livong room), but I think there is more to Sister Julienne than meets the eye.

I'm enjoying this season so far..

That episode made me weep! 

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20 hours ago, Constant Viewer said:

The story of the baby with a cleft palate was really interesting to me. I knew an older man who had been born out in the country during the Depression who had a cleft palate. His lip was fixed but the cleft palate was not. After seeing this episode I wonder how his parents managed without any hospitals or doctors nearby.

There is a missionary hospital ship that goes to ports around the world to repair cleft palates/lips. The one I saw featured was off the coast of Africa. There those with clefts are feared as possessed by the devil/cursed etc. The ship is staffed with unpaid volunteers, plastic surgeons, doctors, dentists, nurses etc. They even have to pay their own airfare to work on the ship. People in the community would know when the ship would be in port, people in other sections of the country would walk hundreds of miles to be treated. Everything for the patient is free.

One thing not mentioned is that the timing of when cleft lips/palates are formed in utero is also the time the heart is developing. Therefore you can find heart defects in some babies with clefts. We had a family friend whose son had a severe heart defect as well as cleft lip/palate. He died when he was 21, surpassing life expectations by 20 years. But he lived every minute of it.

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On 4/15/2019 at 4:04 PM, eel21788 said:

 That has to be the best line in the entire series. 

 The original post actually said "deification" - not to be confused with defecation (especially on a show set in a religious community)!

Edited by kirklandia
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