Every season, the Drama After Dark team gathers ‘round the conference room table to watch the latest and greatest in British dramas. We're thrilled to be bringing you coverage of perennial PBS favorite, Call The Midwife. This show has everything: hard-working nurses, sassy nuns, and gut-wrenching emotional trauma that somehow keeps you wanting more. I’m here to recap the season as it happens just in case you, dear reader, miss an episode and haven’t yet been able to catch up on WGBH Passport.

I missed Fred last week, and apparently so did the writers, because he's back with a vengeance, engaging some local youths in a water gun fight out in the garden. Never change, Fred. One welcome change? The return of Baby Doctor! He presents himself to Miss Higgins, and we find out that his train got in a day early and he thought he might as well show up for Tuesday clinic. Miss Higgins is annoyed that he's here and in the way, and assumes Dr. Turner will be on her side, but he's too busy being OVERJOYED to have a sidekick. Miss Higgins obviously doesn't take that lying down, and snipes at Baby Doctor to move his luggage and get out of the way before he's allowed to go see patients.

Across the clinic, Trixie talks with a patient who's probably going to go into labor soon, and is stoked: she really wants this kid to have the same birthday as her dad (aw). Can she be induced?

Trixie: Uh, only if you’re really overdue, and spoiler alert, you’re not.
Her: I want a second opinion, go get Val.
Trixie: Hey audience, this gal is Val’s mean cousin Maureen, just in case you forgot! Anyway, I can get Val but she’s a pro and isn’t going to disagree with me just because you're related.

After work, the Turner parents get home late and are immediately attacked by the girls. Tim, who's been babysitting, fills his parents in on two important facts: one, when they were late May got worried that they'd gotten lost; and, two, someone from the Hong Kong Adoption Project called for them.

Dr. Turner: Oh yay, it's probably good news!
Me, has watched a lot of TV; trusts no one: Uhhhhh oh no.
Tim: They just said to call back.
Shelagh: Cool, will do tomorrow — it might be a date for May’s adoption hearing!

At Nonnatus, Sister Monica Joan is telling Baby Doctor that they’re thrilled to have him back. Despite what everyone said last time, he’s allowed to stay at the house again, probably because he's not a nightmare like Doctor Sherlock was.

Sister Julienne: LOL sorry we stuck you in the attic, Jane Eyre style. Please don't burn the place down.
Baby Doctor: It’s ok, and thank you for having me so suddenly — turns out the place I booked is getting demolished soon!
Phyllis, no sense of irony: It happens all the time in Poplar!
Sister Julienne, internally: If I stay very still, maybe no one will notice how bad I am at pretending everything is fine.
Sister Hilda, lying: But not here! We’ll probably still be here in the crazy futuristic year of 2000!

A newscaster talks in front of a graphic that reads "Countdown 2000"

Sister Julienne, finally deciding to come clean: No we won’t, and neither will this house. Sometime in the next year they’re tearing this puppy down.
Phyllis: What the heck, how long have you known?
Sister Julienne: Since January. I was waiting until I had a date, but they still haven’t said anything so you might as well know. Thanks for lying for me, Hil.
Sister Hilda: Just, uh, being obedient.
Sister Julienne: Well that's a huge weight off my shoulders! Grace time!
Everyone else:

A man says "What the hell just happened?"

Later, the nurses gather to unpack all that.

Phyllis: I mean the nuns will be fine, they can go to the mother house.
Val: I have fancy snacks I’ve been saving, and we’re eating them immediately.
Lucille: How will we find anywhere we can afford?
Trixie: Maybe we’ll just move again, we did it before.
Phyllis: There are fewer babies… council is pushing the pill, what if they stop supporting the order?
Lucille: They can’t afford to fund us all alone.
Val: We’ll just carry on! After all:

Actors dance to the song "We're all in this together" from High School Musical

Let’s lighten the mood, huh? Fred is, of course, here with the assist: he's big excited about the Poplar horticultural show. Val informs us that her dad used to always enter, assuming he'd win, but he never did. Kind of like Fred!

A woman says "Ooh, Burn!"

At the surgery, Miss Higgins prepares to haze Baby Doctor. Dr. Turner, who is once again too distracted by the presence of another male character to notice what's going on around him, gives Baby Doctor a pat on the back and then wanders off. Miss Higgins hands out charts and shoves Baby Doctor into the breach. Nice family? You go to Dr. Turner. Grumpy older gent who will definitely be trouble? You go to Baby Doctor.

Val's cousin Maureen is out and about with her kids when they run into her husband at his job. He's off to work on the church next, and asks if he should he put in a good word for a speedy start to labor with the big guy upstairs.

Maureen: Sure, but I think my plan will work better: check out this honkin’ big bottle of castor oil!

Her husband seems to think this is cute and cheeky, because clearly he doesn't know what castor oil does.

At the Turner house, Shelagh gets a call from the adoption folks. They don't want to worry her, but need to let her know that a lady called the office and seems to have a credible claim to being May’s mom. Shelagh is, of course, freaking out, because as far as we all know, May's parents are dead. Well, Bearer of Bad News Lady says, that might not be true, and it seems like she's also over the drug addiction that we thought killed her. She’s working as a nanny for a British Forces family who are currently in country. Bearer of Bad News Lady tells Shelagh that she doesn't think May's Bio Mom wants to disrupt the adoption, but she does want to meet the Turners and see May. Dr. Turner thankfully gets home soon after this to find Shelagh panic-smoking in the garden. She fills him in on the details and says what we're all thinking.

Shelagh: They say this won't mess up the adoption, but how can't it? Also what the heck, these kids were all supposed to be orphans, this situation is BAD.
Dr. Turner: I can’t bear to lose her!
Shelagh: Me neither.

The hits keep on coming: the horticultural show is canceled! Fred, of course, isn't about to take that lying down, and goes to complain to his powerful politician wife. They used to have so much gardening in Poplar, and this was going to be a good thing!

Vi: Sure, but if you’re gonna have an exhibition you need something to exhibit, you know?
Reggie: What about exhibition gardens?
Fred: Those are very cool, but I don't know if we could pull that off.
Vi: Love ya bud, but I can’t help, this is up to you.

Over at Maureen’s house, she’s swigging castor oil, which looks extremely unpleasant. To wash it down, we get some background on why she’s so invested in this timeline: her dad never met the kids, and having her baby on his birthday feels like a special connection. I just hope she and her husband are ready for a literal sh*tshow (for the uninitiated, castor oil is a powerful laxative).

A woman yells "Look away!"

The next morning, there’s good news: Maureen is indeed in labor! Val is excited, and Trixie has a sneaking suspicion that Maureen might have dosed herself (smart lady, our Trixie). Since everything is going fine so far, everyone has a chuckle about the crappy consequences Maureen might be enjoying. Val shows up at Maureen’s, and yes, she is about two seconds away from just moving into the bathroom. Per Val, this is to be expected, and not dangerous; babies will come when they're good and ready. Val also tells Maureen that her dad would be proud no matter what, which is really nice.

Meanwhile, the Turners have a chat with Sister Julienne, who is very apologetic about the whole May situation on behalf of the order. Honestly, this is reasonable: they don’t know where the mistake happened, but the Turners wouldn’t be involved if not for the nuns. They don’t regret it because they’re big-hearted sweeties, but I think we all know this is gonna get rough. Of course, no one has talked to May about this yet; they want to know more about her bio mom and her intentions before they say anything. Maybe she just wants a reassurance that May is ok!

At the surgery, Sister Frances is pounding some aspirin. Baby Doctor finds her to start their rounds, and of course notices that she's not looking so good. She says she's fine, but let's be real: anything can lead to tragedy on this show, so fingers crossed. Meanwhile, Miss Higgins is on a rampage. She found sputum in the blood samples, and it’s Baby Doctor's fault! Frances tells him not to worry, because Miss Higgins is secretly very nice.

Baby Doctor: Ugh, it's like she doesn't know that I'm an adult!

A man says "Is he though?"

While everyone else was dealing with their stressful problems, Fred was out canvassing in Poplar, trying to get people to sign up for the flower show. It was about as fun as canvassing ever is, i.e. an unpleasant disaster. He pops back to Nonnatus, where our nurse friends are sympathetic.

Sister Monica Joan: Don’t worry, someone will assist.
Trixie: I can help with flowers, it's about time for my crafty skills to be on display this season!
Lucille: If you teach us, we’ll all help!
Hilda: What we really need is a big thing to get people hooked.
Reggie: YEAH like I SAID, let's do exhibition gardens! At the Chelsea Flower Show they do that, I saw it in a magazine. Different gardens for different themes.
Fred: Well, maybe we can do something like that with the cubs.
Phyllis: Yeah sure, the kids will do literally anything if you feed them.
Val: We’ll rope in the dance school, too. They can do country dancing and I’ll make them outfits.
Sister Monica Joan: Yeah and I have an even BETTER idea: we’ll make a garden for St. Raymond Nonnatus! His feast day is the same time as the competition, and it will get us heaped with blessings for the whole dang event.
Sister Julienne: Great idea!
Sister Monica Joan: Yeah and I’ll make it myself!
Everyone else, out loud: Great!
Everyone else, internally:

A man says "I've made a huge mistake."

Later that night, Maureen calls back. It’s time for a midwife! Val and Lucille scamper off to attend. Everything goes great; despite Maureen's worrying (or maybe because of it) the baby arrives on dear ol' Dad's birthday, just under the wire. It’s a boy! Maureen's husband runs in to celebrate with a clock in his hand like a weirdo, and Val tells him off for interrupting before finally giving up and telling him to come meet his kid. I won't lie, their family dynamic is pretty fun; they're growing on me.

At the adoption agency, the Turners are here to meet May’s mom, Miss Tang, who's going by Esther. She explains that she did almost die, because she had a very dangerous lifestyle, and almost immediate asks how May is doing, because obviously, it's completely reasonable for Esther to care about May and want her kid back. The Turners tell her that May’s great; she likes school, and is super happy. They of course pull out a bunch of photos. Esther tries to return the photos, but the Turners insist she keep them; they brought them for her.

Esther: These photos are nice but I'd really like to see my kid in person now.
Adoption Agency Lady: We need to talk about that, and what’s in May’s best interest.
Esther: Uh, obviously she’ll want to see me — she must miss her mom! Shelagh, surely you get it. I'm only in England for the next couple of weeks, this might be the last chance I ever have!

The Turners talk over what just happened and agree on two things: Esther seems nice, and they hope that they did the right thing by agreeing to allow her to see May. At the office, Adoption Agency Lady gives Esther the paperwork she’d need to sign to agree to the adoption. Esther can’t read these papers, and while Adoption Agency Lady offers to read them for her, Esther panic-runs out of there to return to work.

At Nonnatus House, Baby Doctor hears moans of pain in the night, and rushes to investigate. It’s Sister Frances, who is clearly even worse off than she was earlier. She clutches her robe and doesn’t say anything: she’s not supposed to, because it's the Great Silence.

Baby Doctor: Look, I know you're not supposed to talk to me right now because of nun stuff, but let me help you!
Sister Frances: I can’t tell you what it is, you’re a dude.
Baby Doctor: I’m a doctor specializing in lady stuff, bro. Is it period pain?
Sister Frances: It’s embarrassing, other women aren’t this affected.
Baby Doctor: You know just as well as I do that everyone is different, and that's normal.
Sister Frances: Ugh I guess, but I'm in so much pain that I’m worried I’m going to make a mistake that hurts a patient.
Baby Doctor: You took aspirin, have you tried anything else?
Sister Frances: Paracetamol (that's Tylenol, Americans).

Baby Doctor rummages in his bag and offers her Pethidine. You might recognize this drug from a previous episode, but just in case, I Googled it. Petidine is a narcotic used in child birth because its side-effects wear off faster than other drugs. Google also tells me it’s super addictive, so… yikes.

A man says "Brave faces, everyone."

Over at Maureen’s, Lucille is back for a house call, and possibly just in time. Maureen is very concerned about baby Warren, who still isn’t feeding well and seems floppy. We finally get a good look at him, and it's immediately clear that he is cyanotic (blue). Lucille does a quick exam and immediately calls Dr. Turner over, only to have him confirm that Warren is indeed pretty floppy. Maureen can see just as well as the rest of us that this isn't a good situation, and Lucille does her best to reassure her.

Dr. Turner: Lucille, we need an ambulance with an incubator. Maureen, don't freak out, but we need to take your baby to the hospital to do some tests.
Maureen: Why, what the heck is going on?
Dr. Turner: I think Warren might have vision issues. Also, see how his face and fingers are a little blue? There might be a problem with his heart.

Maureen, obviously, starts to panic. Dr. Turner reassures her that Warren will be in very good hands, but it's not super comforting given what he just said. Thankfully, once they get to the hospital, Maureen’s husband Charlie isn't far behind, and they support each other while they wait to be allowed in to see their baby. Back at Nonnatus, Trixie and Lucille check over Maureen’s notes to see if there’s any explanation for what's happening in the history when Val walks in. Lucille doesn’t mince words: Warren is in the hospital, and he probably has a heart defect and maybe other complications. Val is, understandably, confused: they checked his heart yesterday and everything sounded normal. Lucille is equally confused.

Trixie: There’s nothing in her notes. Maureen hasn't even been to the doctor this year!
Val: No, that’s actually not true, the kids were there a while ago, I saw them. We were worried that they had Diptheria, but it turned out to be German Measles.

Mystery solved: it's Rubella, a disease which is now fortunately pretty uncommon thanks to vaccines. Most adults who get Rubella are fine, but it can cause serious issues when women are infected during pregnancy.

Later, Team Nonnatus takes a history break to talk about the huge crowds going to see The Beatles at Shea.

Lucille: How is anyone supposed to hear the music with that many people?
Baby Doctor: You're not wrong. Also yikes, imagine having that many women screaming at you!
Phyllis: Probably like a bad Tuesday clinic!

Before Baby Doctor can get himself into hot water by responding to that, Dr Turner pops in, and he has bad news. Maureen's baby has BAD heart defects, but the nurses wouldn't have heard them during their visits. Here’s why: babies naturally have a little hole in their hearts (ductus arteriosus) which stops blood from circulating to the lungs for oxygen; they get that from mom through the umbilical cord. After birth, the hole closes as the baby starts breathing. In Warren’s case, that hole allowed his heart to keep working through the defect, but once it closed, his heart failure started. He is also blind and might have brain damage. Unfortunately, that's not the worst part: Warren will only live for a couple of weeks at most. Dr. Turner asks Lucille if she can come help him deliver this terrible news, and she, of course, agrees.

After hearing this bombshell, Maureen has an excellent point: if they can’t make Warren better at the hospital, he should come home. She asks if being at home will make a difference. Dr Turner is blunt. As long as they are all careful about contagion, Warren can go home. His quality of life will be better, and Team Nonnatus will help support the family. But it’s not going to change the prognosis: Warren will die. Maureen feels horrible — she didn't even know she was sick. She even thought at first that it was her fault because of the castor oil. Lucille firmly reminds Maureen that it isn't her fault, and Charlie, who is a gem, calls Maureen the best mother in the world. They bundle baby Warren up to take him home, and honestly, they're doing a really great job supporting each other to make the most of the time they'll have with him.

Need a break? ME TOO. We’re off to the Nonnatus garden, where Fred and Reggie are casually spying on Monica Joan.

Fred: You know she sometimes replants weeds after I’ve pulled them. I don’t want an exhibition garden full of weeds!

TBH, if Fred thinks he'll be able to successfully trick Sister Monica Joan into accepting his advice or help when she already turned down everyone else, he's lost it. She's got St. Ray on her side, after all!

A woman says "I got your back today, girl."

At Nonnatus, Phyllis has noticed some missing supplies. But don't worry, there’s nothing sinister afoot: Sister Monica Joan took them. And she’s not sorry! Phyllis tries to find out why Monica Joan could possibly need a bunch of baby blankets, but Monica Joan is being coy. Phyllis, sensing a losing battle, relents, and asks Monica Joan to return everything in one piece.

Across town, the Turners bring May to see her bio mom. Esther tries to talk to May in Chinese, but May gets scared and hides in Shelagh’s skirt. This only makes Esther desperate, which makes May more frightened, until Dr. Turner scoops her up and makes their excuses. Esther accuses the Adoption Agency Lady of turning her kid against her. After this disaster of a meeting, the Turners get stuck in traffic. May is asleep in Shelagh’s lap, and Dr. Turner says he doesn’t want them to do that again. Honestly, probably a good call. He’s sorry for Esther and her past, but they have to prioritize May. This whole thing is ROUGH STUFF.

And speaking of rough, Lucille heads over to Maureen’s house to check in. Warren isn’t really eating, and Maureen wants to help him. Lucille tells her to have him comfort suck on her finger. He won't get nutrients, but it definitely makes him feel better. Meanwhile, Maureen's other kids are having a hard time with the whole thing. Maureen tells them that she gets it, but they need to try and be happy when Warren is happy so he'll know how much fun it is to be a Bryant.

A small child says "I'm fine" and then immediately starts crying

After what has got to have been a super tiring shift, Lucille runs into Phyllis, who’s walking. What happened to her car? Well, "the car is making a weird noise," which I suspect means that Phyllis, a closet romantic, needed an excuse to get Cyril to visit Lucille. Cyril can’t seem to find the problem with the car (somehow, I am not surprised).

Phyllis: Oh well, thanks for your help, want some tea? I'll get it!
Lucille: Soooo, no weird sound right?
Cyril: No, but it gave me a chance to see you.
Lucille: You can see me whenever you want.
Cyril: Except we’re both always working.
Lucille: So you’re only here to work?
Cyril: All I do is work, study, and try and make a life for myself, all while waiting for the things I want!
Lucille: Like what?
Cyril: YOU, DUMMY.
Lucille: Well, no point in waiting if I'm not waiting for you, too!!!

And she storms off, just as Phyllis brings out tea for the lovebirds.

Lucille: Well, you shouldn’t have bothered, Phyllis. Cyril is busy.
Phyllis: Crap, I guess this matchmaking thing is gonna be harder than I thought.

At the Turner's house, Adoption Agency Lady drops in and asks to speak with them privately. Once the kids are shoo'd off, Adoption Agency Lady rips off the bad news band aid: Esther won’t sign the papers. She wants to take May back to Hong Kong. The Turners aren't going to take that lying down, so they go ask Sister Julienne for advice.

Sister Julienne: How will she support May?
Dr. Turner: No clue. She won’t meet with us or talk it over.
Shelagh: We know she’s May’s mom. If I thought she could really care for May, it’d be horrible, but of course we’d accept it. But that’s not the case and thinking about what May might have to live with makes me sick. Can’t you help? She trusted the order before, maybe she’ll talk to you?

Across town, the Bryant family has a huge party for Warren, since they did that for the other kids. It's bittersweet, of course, but everyone seems to be appreciating the occasion. Lucille, who is in attendance, takes some lovely family pictures. Mr Bryant tries to pay her for the film, but obviously she says no. I won't lie, I feel pretty bad for misjudging Maureen at the start of this recap.

Sister Julienne is a woman of her word, so she sets out to meet with Esther.

Esther: I won’t change my mind. They made my kid scared of me.
Sister Julienne: No they didn’t. May’s scared because she’s confused and keeps getting taken away from what she knows without her control.
Esther: A kid should be with her mom.
Sister Julienne: Yeah, agree, if mom can take care of her and keep her safe.
Esther: I have a job watching English kids, who love me. I know how to keep a kid safe.
Sister Julienne: Sure, but what happens to your job when your bosses find out about your kid?
Esther: I’ll be fired. But do you really think May is better off here forgetting about her mom and her culture? Other people won't forget; they’ll still be racist to her.
Sister Julienne: There’s no good solution here, but the worst case scenario is that May ends back up in an orphanage. Can you guarantee that won’t happen?
Esther: If I sign the paper how will she know I love her? How can I sign a paper to give my child away?

At the Bryant’s, the whole family is worn out from the party, and the kids have passed out in their parent's bed. They briefly consider sending them to their rooms, but Maureen says it's nice to have them all together. The next morning, Maureen wakes up, and little Warren has died in the night. Dr. Turner is summoned to fill out the death certificate, and obviously everyone is wrecked, including Lucille. On the way home, the usually pretty restrained Dr. Turner stops the car for a good cry.

At the adoption agency, Esther says that she wants what’s best for May. She knows she can’t take her, and trusts the Turners, but doesn’t want to sign the papers.

Adoption Agency Lady: You know they can still pursue adoption even if you don’t sign, and the court will probably rule in their favor?
Esther: I know, and I’m asking you not to.
Dr. Turner: She needs security! She also needs a legal next of kin here. If something bad happens, we wouldn't be able to see her or make medical decisions for her.
Adoption Agency Lady: That's true; we can’t be her guardian long-term.
Esther: Then be her guardian, not her parents.

Back at home, Shelagh tries to look on the bright side and enjoy their enormous garden full of sunflowers. Dr. Turner is right there with her, saying that they're all there together and everyone is healthy. It might not last forever, but they'll just have to make the most of it.

A girl says "Aw, it could be worse... probably not though."

Let's talk about something fun, shall we? At Nonnatus, everyone’s prepping for the showcase. Val tries to suggest that they set Phyllis' cubs to annoy Cyril, but Lucille, who is better behaved than that, doesn’t want to talk about it. Upstairs, Baby Doctor thoughtfully stares out the window, and then checks on Sister Frances, who seems to be doing better but is acting a little weird. Mood, Sister Frances: big mood.

At the showcase, the flowers look great, and so do our friends! Lucille even made a trifle. Mr. Bryant has stopped by, and wants Lucille to have one of the pictures of baby Warren. She’s very moved. Which is good timing, because Cyril is here too, and he wants to make amends. He apologizes; she says she overreacted. He says he should have noticed she was having a hard time and supported her instead of working. She says she’s proud of him for supporting the community. I'll say it again: if these two adorable cuties don't have a happy ending, I will riot! And from the looks of this scene, so will the rest of the nurses and the nuns, who pretend not to watch as Cyril gives Lucille a flower and escorts her to the show. They're not fooling anyone, but who cares — the entire plot line is supremely cute. The kids dance, various plants get judged, Reggie dominates at ring toss, and Fred revels in his success in pulling the whole thing off. Finally, it's the moment we've all been waiting for: Sister Monica Joan shows off her garden. Hilariously, it literally has only a tiny statue of St. Ray. The rest of the crew's reactions range from kinda peeved to very horrified, but then Monica Joan plays her trump card: the flowers are babies! Ok, MJ, you win: this is VERY CUTE. Fred’s zucchini comes in second. The Turner kids get prizes for their sunflowers. Esther heads back abroad with her employers. Lucille puts the picture of baby Warren in MJ's garden. Val wears a cute-ass country dancing outfit. What could possibly top this fun and festive outdoor fete? We'll have to find out next week!

Everything That’s Happened (So Far) On PBS’ “Call The Midwife”
Season 9 Episode 1 Recap: A Foundling, An Outbreak, and Tights (Oh My!)
Season 9 Episode 2 Recap: My Third Favorite Beatle
Season 9 Episode 3 Recap: Project Runway Poplar
Season 9 Episode 4 Recap: Fly Away Home
Season 9 Episode 5 Recap: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Monica Joan?