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S08.E08: Episode 8


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3 hours ago, willowk said:

Yes, that was my teary moment too. I've wondered -will Val end up becoming a nun? I know they've done that storyline already, but she seems more interested in the religious life than the other midwives, even Lucille. I know Val grew up in Poplar, but are her parents around? siblings? I wonder if she is drawn to the community the nuns have at Nonatus House.

Loved Phyllis playing matchmaker for the Sergeant and Miss Higgins -was so cute with Phyllis looking from one to the other realizing two difficult situations might be solved at once.

I think this was the 1st season Trixie did not have any beaus, I wonder if they are going to try to have her reconnect with Tom next season? I actually think she fit best with the one that was divorced with the little girl.

I’d rather see Val read a big poster advertising jobs in Australia or Canada and decide to emigrate. Then a Christmas special with Val happily living in the Australian outback or Far North Canada.

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On 5/20/2019 at 7:18 AM, JudyObscure said:

Even though I'm Pro-choice and agree with the side that was shown, I thought the issue was one-sided, preachy,  overly political, and very heavy handed.

They showed the reality of what happens when you don't allow for choice.  What is the other side they were supposed to show here?  I mean that seriously.  Whether you think abortion is wrong or right, if you drive it underground, you end up with people like Val's grandmother filling the need, sometimes with tragic consequences for the woman seeking the abortion. 

16 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Yes, I like all three characters and didn't want to see the Sargent hurt.  I expect maybe Phyllis   prefers a gentleman who looks more like he does the Royal Canadian Air Force exercises every day.

I was so glad how they handled that particular storyline.  It kept feeling they were trying to force the Sargent and Phyllis together, and I'm happy they ultimately did not go there.                

Edited by txhorns79
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50 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

They showed the reality of what happens when you don't allow for choice.  What is the other side they were supposed to show here? 

Good question.  I guess maybe the fact that there was government support for unwed mothers?  I wonder if that's still the case in England. It was certainly not in the US and never will be.  Have the kid and, boom, you're on your own and don't you dare ask for assistance.

52 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

It kept feeling they were trying to force the Sargent and Phyllis together, and I'm happy they ultimately did not go there.                

It seemed an abrupt about face but I am so glad for Phyllis' sake.  I like her so much and do wish she could end up with the Spanish class dude.

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1 hour ago, txhorns79 said:

They showed the reality of what happens when you don't allow for choice.  What is the other side they were supposed to show here?  I mean that seriously.  Whether you think abortion is wrong or right, if you drive it underground, you end up with people like Val's grandmother filling the need, sometimes with tragic consequences for the woman seeking the abortion. 

Everything you've said is about the mother and her tragic consequences if she chooses to risk a back street abortion and it goes wrong.   The Pro-life people are more concerned about the fetus and the 100% guarantee of tragic consequences for it.

People in the sixties who believed the life of the fetus was just as viable and equally important as the life of the mother were concerned about that and afraid that by making abortion legal more people would seek it out and more fetus/babies would die.  (I'm not sure if it worked out that way or not, but I know that's what they were afraid would happen.)

 That viewpoint was never shown and it was all about concern for the mother. I would have liked to have seen, for example, someone saying a prayer or grieving in some way for the dead life on the bathroom floor.  Instead it seemed as though they all agreed that that life was not as important as the mother's  acting career.

24 minutes ago, Kohola3 said:

Good question.  I guess maybe the fact that there was government support for unwed mothers?  I wonder if that's still the case in England. It was certainly not in the US and never will be. 

I'm not sure what was available then but they do have government support, free medical care, and subsidized (council) housing for unwed mothers now, just as we in the US have welfare, food stamps, WIC coupons, subsidized housing, and free medical care for poor single mothers.  I don't know what else you think government should be providing for women who choose to have and raise children alone.

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2 minutes ago, JudyObscure said:

That viewpoint was never shown and it was all about concern for the mother. I would have liked to have seen, for example, someone saying a prayer or grieving in some way for the dead life on the bathroom floor.  Instead it seemed as though they all agreed that that life was not as important as the mother's  acting career.

I think the point of the storyline was that regardless of the legal regime in effect in a country, women will still seek out abortions, sometimes with terrible consequences for the woman seeking the abortion.  I don't think that is a pro-choice or pro-life viewpoint.  That's just a fact.   

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18 hours ago, debraran said:

It does say she's an atheist here. I thought I remember her saying it at least once.

https://callthemidwife.fandom.com/wiki/Valerie_Dyer

I hope she stays for a while, I like her character and so many come and go, I hope to have some of the women in a cohesive group for a longer period.

Well, I missed that entirely. I thought she might be interested as they've shown her joining the nuns in the chapel, at times seemed to be trying to understand their community, and of course, the look on her face when Sister Jullianne said she was coming with them to court. I've never gotten that sense from Trixie or from Lucille -both of whom are religious to some degree (or a lot in Lucille's case). Well we'll have to see, maybe what I've been picking up on is that she is starting to question her atheism, and the story will be discovering God, but not becoming a nun.

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6 hours ago, JudyObscure said:

Everything you've said is about the mother and her tragic consequences if she chooses to risk a back street abortion and it goes wrong.   The Pro-life people are more concerned about the fetus and the 100% guarantee of tragic consequences for it.

Backstreet abortions don't end well for the fetus either.

Sorry, but it matters that abortion being illegal does not end abortion at all.  That's what this storyline was about.

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5 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I think the point of the storyline was that regardless of the legal regime in effect in a country, women will still seek out abortions, sometimes with terrible consequences for the woman seeking the abortion.  I don't think that is a pro-choice or pro-life viewpoint.  That's just a fact.   

Oh that was definitely the point of the story line.  No one could miss that. 

And I agree that it's a fact that some women will always seek out abortions, sometimes with terrible consequences for the mother. That's a fact, but emphasizing that fact is definitely a pro-choice viewpoint.

The pro-life viewpoint emphasizes that abortion, whether legal or not,  always results  in terrible consequences for the fetus.

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Please remember to keep the conversation in this thread on directly related to the episode.  I've moved a few off-topic posts to the Small Talk thread, but future off-topic posts will be removed.

Thanks!

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They sure did cram in lots of heartbreaking and heartwarming moments in for this one, and bless the show for wanting to end the season on a nice note. The dance was full of sweet moments, and everyone looked so nice all dressed up! 

The abortion plot was all really hard to watch but very effectively showed why having safe and legal abortions are a good thing for society at large, and people in general. I really think that Val's Gram did think that she was doing a good thing, and it took hearing from that other women about her being unable to have a child now, and hearing Trixie talk about the poor woman who died earlier this season, that made it really sink in for her that she had done real harm to women, even if it was unintentional. Poor, poor Val, I am very happy that she didnt have to testify at least, but its still such an awful thing for her to have to go through. It needed to be done and her grandma needed to be stopped, and I dont think she would have if she didnt hear all of those testimonies, but I cant imagine the conflicting emotions she would still feel about everything. 

Trixie was fierce on the stand in that courtroom! Never get on that ladies bad side! She looked like she was about to cut somebody. 

Glad that it looks like Miss Higgen and the Sergeant might get together, they seem like they might be a good match. I think Phyllis does like him as a person, but has no romantic interest in him, so she is going to be thrilled to see those two well meaning goofs together and not around her so much!

The story with Julie was really sad but also sweet, especially when her step dad fixed the ball and danced with her. It sounds like he had sort of kept a distance from her after watching his sister die so young, so it was really touching to see them really connect, especially knowing she wont be around much longer. It also let Sister Hilda get a nice plot with her, she handled everything with Julie and her family really well, and I am interested in getting some of her backstory. It sounds like she lived a decent amount of life in the secular world, I wonder what brought her to the sisters? 

I guess next up is Christmas! It seems so long away!

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3 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

I need a clarification-did the women who had complications from the abortions have them because the procedure was botched or because of Gran’s infection? Or both?

I don't think that was made clear although we do know the one woman had an infection.

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30 minutes ago, chitowngirl said:

I need a clarification-did the women who had complications from the abortions have them because the procedure was botched or because of Gran’s infection? Or both?

Jeannie and Kat definitely had complications due to Granny passing on infection.  That's why Jeannie was so poorly post-abortion and why Kat had to have a hysterectomy.  Theresa (the young final client), OTOH, seemed to have something go wrong with the procedure due to Gran's techniques even though "she ain't never had that happen before."

I think Gran had been incredibly lucky over her decades as an abortionist and probably have seriously scarred at least a few of the women she helped.  But that she also had a lot of success.  Apparently.  But that carbuncle really fucked things up for her and the women.

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21 hours ago, chitowngirl said:

I need a clarification-did the women who had complications from the abortions have them because the procedure was botched or because of Gran’s infection? Or both?

Passing along an infection is one form of 'botching' an abortion.   We saw where' Gran's infection was and it was covered by clothing when she was taking care of these women.  Obviously, she must've been touching the area and then not washing her hands properly or not at all.  Even back in the '60's, it was well known that handwashing with lots of soap and water was important to prevent infection.

There are plenty of professional caregivers who, at some time or another, have had an infection; but most of them, myself included, are fanatics about keeping any infected areas clean and covered and washing hands thoroughly before ever touching a patient.

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I understand what JudyObscure is trying to say. Even if we can all agree about the reality of what happens when abortion is made illegal, that doesn't mean there aren't people who still want it to be completely illegal for what they feel are strong moral reasons. Those people exist in real life now, and they existed in the 60s presumably.  Judy's point is that the show didn't portray anyone (even the nuns) taking that hardline stance against abortion, even though it's likely that at least one person in that group would've held such opinions if this were real life.  

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:25 PM, howiveaddict said:

Why was the actor playing Tim missing this episode? Didn't notice until you mentioned it.

I noticed only that Tim had his face turned away from the camera and was kind of covering it up with his hand, which seemed super weird, but I figured he was growing up and more interested in his friend.  But now it's kind of obvious that it was someone else playing him.  Lame.  Just don't show him--he might have been out on the dance floor at that moment.

But the image of Sister Julienne with Charlotte in her lap melted even my stone cold heart.  It seemed every bit as real as the Tim thing seemed fake.

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(edited)
On 5/30/2019 at 2:01 PM, iggysaurus said:

I understand what JudyObscure is trying to say. Even if we can all agree about the reality of what happens when abortion is made illegal, that doesn't mean there aren't people who still want it to be completely illegal for what they feel are strong moral reasons. Those people exist in real life now, and they existed in the 60s presumably.  Judy's point is that the show didn't portray anyone (even the nuns) taking that hardline stance against abortion, even though it's likely that at least one person in that group would've held such opinions if this were real life.  

Abortion is illegal, so who or what would they be taking the stance against?  The abortionist?  She was on trial and went to jail, and there was much discussion and condemnation for what she was doing.  The young women?  What more hardline could the show take than to have them die, become infertile, get hysterectomies, suffer through excruciating pain...?   The nuns see the women as patients, not as people in need of punishment or shaming. 

I guess I could see them talking about praying for the fetuses, or maybe one of them could have been distressed and spoken out or sought guidance from Sister Julienne.

Edited by izabella
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By the end of the episode, it was clear this was not where they were going, but did anyone else feel that there was a "connection" between Nurse Crane and Miss Higgins. Miss H was bringing flowers, and cards and Nurse C seemed to really like her. When this thought came to me, it then also re-framed a lot of the interactions between her and Patsy, and her being (surprisingly) nonplussed that Patsy and Delia were romantically involved (am I remembering all that correctly?). This also would have explained why Nurse C was not into Sgt Woolf (though, yes, there was the Spanish class guy). Also, since she's not into him, what is the point of the Sgt?

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(edited)
16 minutes ago, lovett1979 said:

...but did anyone else feel that there was a "connection" between Nurse Crane and Miss Higgins.

No, sorry, didn't get that at all.  I think Phyllis looks at Miss Higgins as a fussy old spinster type.  Bringing her the card was nice but Phyllis pretty much rolled her eyes at the poem inside.

Edited by Kohola3
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1 minute ago, Kohola3 said:

No, sorry, didn't get that at all.  I think Phyllis things Miss Higgins is a fussy old spinster type.  Bringing her the card was nice but Phyllis pretty much rolled her eyes at the poem inside.

Agreed.  We've seen her attraction to men before with the man at her Spanish classes.  Plus, the story she told Barbara about her weekend/night away with a (male) sergeant during WWII.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/6/2019 at 10:55 AM, OnceSane said:

Agreed.  We've seen her attraction to men before with the man at her Spanish classes.  Plus, the story she told Barbara about her weekend/night away with a (male) sergeant during WWII.

Yeah, besides, they seemed to imply that Miss Higgins and the Sgt were getting together as a couple. 

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On 5/20/2019 at 7:18 AM, JudyObscure said:

  They managed to cover the abortion story over this whole season without one single word from the sisters about their side of the issue.  The writer's message,  "Women will always seek abortions, so it should be made legal," was demonstrated and repeated throughout, while the other side, "Abortion is the murder of an innocent baby, so should never be legal," wasn't so much as whispered by any of the nuns.  

I know they aren't Catholic, but it was, and still is, the position of many religious people, that abortion is murder and even if some people will always commit murder and sometimes get themselves killed in the process, we still don't make murder legal. 

Even though I'm Pro-choice and agree with the side that was shown, I thought the issue was one-sided, preachy,  overly political, and very heavy handed.

I love British television and all their shows that  PBS buys and brings to us, but its patronizing tendency to try to  teach us things is their biggest fault, left over from the days when the BBC was an arm of the government.

I came away thinking it leaned to heavy on the pro-life side, so mileage clearly varies. The nuns literally recruited people to testify against the abortionist, their positions were pretty clear, and it seems obvious this storyline will continue, they'll likely say more. The spent the majority of the episode having the characters deemed moral direct vitriol at the abortionist, and only had the abortionist (redeemed only by her own submission to a punishment even her accusers deemed harsh) talking about the bigger structures driving women to obtain abortions. I don't see that as preaching a "pro-choice" message. 

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