Every season, the GBH Drama staff sit down to watch the latest and greatest in British dramas. And now, just a few short months after the last season, we have the springtime return of PBS favorite, Call The Midwife. Between our scrappy nurses, sassy nuns and gut-wrenching emotional trauma that somehow keeps you wanting more, there’s a lot to be excited about. Need a refresher on what happened last season? Check out our Season 10 and 2021 Holiday Special recaps here. Ready? Take a deep (lamaze) breath, and prepare yourself for Season 11!

Hey so the penultimate episode of this season was pretty intense, huh? Here’s the deal: I’m gonna dive right in, and every so often, when things just get too stressful, we’ll all get to look at a gif of a cute animal. Sound good? Ok, moving on: as you might expect, this week starts pretty much right where we left off. Rescue workers are struggling to reach the train in order to help the injured get away from the wreckage, and our friends at Nonnatus are busy setting up a first aid station when a bloodied Boots runs up to Fred where he’s directing traffic outside.

Fred: Holy smokes, were you actually on the train? Just calm down, it’s going to be ok.
Boots: Is it?? I got separated from Dr. Turner and Sister Julienne, and now I can’t find them.

Yeah, pretty much your typical disaster situation. Also an ongoing disaster is Kiddo’s experience over at St. Cuthberts: she hasn’t delivered the placenta in the hospital-allotted 30 minutes, which is a bureaucratic distinction, not a clinical one: as Sister Frances points out, a natural placenta delivery can take up to an hour. Anyway, the hospital midwife insists on giving Kiddo an injection to speed that along, against her wishes, and then ignores Kiddo’s repeated request to see her baby. It’s Sister Frances who finally explains that the baby was just born too early to survive.

Kiddo: Did I do something wrong?
Sister Frances: No, its lungs weren’t developed. It wouldn’t have been able to breathe on its own.

And as Kiddo starts yelling apologies to her baby, one of the hospital midwives takes it away. This episode will apparently start at heartbreaking and just keep on digging deeper until we all have an actual breakdown, so as promised, here’s a baby cheetah:

A baby cheetah yawns and licks its lips

Across town, Shelagh and Tim are beginning to freak out: they’ve heard reports of the crash on the radio, but can’t get anyone to answer the phone at Nonnatus. Meanwhile, back on the train, we finally get a concrete sign of life from one of our friends. Sister Julienne wakes up, takes stock of her surroundings, and pretty much immediately sees an unmoving Dr. Turner on the floor next to her. Thankfully, when she says his name, he also wakes right up. Sister Julienne is definitely injured enough that moving is challenging, and Dr. Turner lost consciousness for a bit, so they are by no means out of the woods yet, but I for one am enormously relieved that they’re at least awake and not pinned under anything.

Dr. Turner: Well, I’ve got a bump on my head and I’m pretty sure I only passed out for a second there after we crashed. You?
Sister Julienne: I’m missing a shoe. That’s weird.
Dr. Turner: We need to get out of this train.
Sister Julienne: We can’t. There’s something blocking the door.

Before they can start to plot an alternative exit strategy, Trolley Lady wakes back up with a scream and chucks the cart that’s on top of her away. Can’t blame her, except that it looks like it hits Dr. Turner in the process. Poor Trolley Lady has some severe burns on her arm, and probably in other places too, and so while Sister Julienne tries to calm her down, Dr. Turner crawls over to hold her hand. Together, they try to assess their patient, which is extra challenging given the lack of light and medical tools, not to mention their own injuries. They realize pretty quickly that Trolley Lady is absolutely drenched, probably from the hot water in the tea urn, but also with blood, source unknown. And when it comes to blood, mystery blood is the absolute worst kind.

Back at Nonnatus, Cyril’s raiding the supply cupboard for bandages while Sister Monica Joan tells him about her experience dealing with folks who were injured during the Blitz: glass is going to be absolutely everywhere, and they’ll need to be ready to treat burns. In the hallway, A for Effort finds Lucille, who’s escorting the injured Mrs. Wallace to a safe spot inside.

A for Effort: Hey, I need your help: I have a guy with a compound fracture over here.
Lucille: Are you sure?
A for Effort: Uh, yeah dude, I can see his bone! Oh, I probably should have mentioned that I have some medical experience, which is why I am surprisingly helpful in dealing with this disastrous situation.
Lucille: Cool, I’ll come help as soon as I get Mrs. Wallace sorted.

At the maternity home, the only two people who don’t know what’s happening, Sister Hilda and Loose Hips, are still working through Loose Hips’ labor. Tragically, they both are certain that Loose Hips’ Husband will be arriving soon, at least until Sister Hilda looks up at the clock and realizes that the train is awfully late.

At the crash site, Fred arrives in his volunteer capacity and is assigned the task of helping set up lights and fetching a blanket for the first confirmed fatality of the crash: the driver, Loose Hips’ Husband. I think we all kind of knew this would be the case, but I was still hoping he would somehow survive against all odds.

Back at Nonnatus, Cyril pauses handing out blankets to the crowd of walking wounded in the hallway to pick up the phone: Shelagh finally got through.

Shelagh: Cyril! We keep hearing about an accident on the radio — is everything ok?
Cyril, not mincing words: No, it’s definitely not.

Understatement of the season! On the train, the good news is that Dr. Turner seems to have located the source of Trolley Lady’s bleeding. The bad news is that it’s coming from the top of her leg; probably the femoral artery. For those not well versed in anatomy, that’s basically one of the WORST places to be losing blood from, especially if, as in this instance, the wound is high up on the leg. When they can’t tourniquet the bleeding, Sister Julienne takes off her wimple and hands it to Dr. Turner to use as a makeshift gauze pad. He almost immediately hands it back and asks her to fold it, because he thinks his wrist might be broken.

Trolley Lady: I need someone to tell my daughter… wait, is that smoke?
Dr. Turner, lying: It’s just dust, don’t worry.
Trolley Lady: There was this part in labor — the hard part — when you all used to stop calling me Mrs. and started using my first name.
Sister Julienne: I can do that now.
Trolley Lady: Please. I liked that. It meant I was getting close to the end.

Oof. How are we holding up, friends? Here, have some small elephants:

Two baby elephants swizzle together their little trunks

Back at the hospital, Kiddo’s delivered her placenta, so the hospital midwife is pretty ready to send her right to the ward. And this is where Sister Frances puts her foot down.

Sister Frances: Nope. This kid needs a sponge bath, some hot tea, and a snack before she goes anywhere.
Hospital Midwife: But we need the room!
Sister Frances: This is about patient care, you jerk. I can take care of that stuff, or you’d prefer, you can, and I’ll tidy up. Moms don’t forget childbirth OR their midwives. Don’t make her remember you as an unfeeling jag, huh?
Hospital Midwife: Yeah, ok, let’s get her a nightgown.

Point Sister Frances! Back at the Turner house, Shelagh is preparing to rush over to Nonnatus to help, leaving Tim to watch the kids.

Tim: Mom. Dad and I had that fight.
Shelagh: Yup. And we can’t do anything about it now.

Damn, England, this stiff upper lip stuff is no joke! Arriving at Nonnatus, Shelagh’s attempting to ask A for Effort for an update when firefighters run through: the train is officially now on fire, and there are people trapped inside. Understandably horrified, Shelagh runs into Nonnatus in a panic.

Back at the maternity home, Loose Hips has reached the really bad part of labor. Between contractions, she tells Sister Hilda, who’s definitely starting to quietly worry about the time, that she’s hoping to have a son, because her husband always wanted one.

On the train, Dr. Turner interrupts Sister Julienne’s prayer for Trolley Lady to tell her that their patient has passed on. And speaking of prayers, back at Nonnatus, Cyril finds Shelagh desperately praying through tears in the chapel. Coming up beside her, he kneels next to her to offer support. Shelagh explains that she’s, understandably, completely freaking out. She doesn’t know what to do other than wait, but waiting is impossible. Cyril convinces her to come help, and be with other people, so she’s not just worrying alone.

Meanwhile, at the hospital, while Sister Frances gives Kiddo a bath, they talk about what will happen with her baby. Sister Frances explains that the hospital has a procedure in place for this type of thing.

Kiddo: Is it a funeral?
Sister Frances: No.
Kiddo: Do they just throw her away? I feel like I did that to her, by pretending she didn’t exist. Like my mother did to me. She deserves better: the only thing she’ll do in the world is leave it. She can’t just disappear or it’ll be like she wasn’t here.

And so Sister Frances heads into the hall to search for Kiddo’s baby, which she unfortunately finds pretty much discarded in a supply closet. When the hospital midwife finds Sister Frances, she’s mostly annoyed at our nun friend’s meddling.

Hospital Midwife: It’s not like she can SEE this baby!
Sister Frances: Are you serious? This is not how we do things! When a baby can’t have a funeral, there’s a Poplar tradition of putting the baby in a coffin with an adult that’s died. That way they can be buried in consecrated ground, and they have someone to protect them.
Hospital Midwife, not actually a bad person, just bound by regulation and too many patients: So does the midwife arrange that, or?
Sister Frances: Or the priest or undertaker. Sometimes a relative or a neighbor.
Hospital Midwife: I’ll get you a blanket so you can take the baby. And I found Kiddo a bed on the medical floor so she won’t have to hear any crying babies.

At Nonnatus, Miss. Higgins gives Cyril the task of recording everyone’s name and address who comes in for treatment, along with a telephone number. It seems minor, but record keeping is a HUGE part of a successful mass casualty response; Miss Higgins is once again an actual icon. With that sorted, she volunteers to head to the maternity home to get extra supplies when Lucille explains that they’re running low on pretty much everything.

Back on the train, Sister Julienne covers Trolley Lady’s face with a jacket and then starts coughing.

Dr. Turner: I think you might have some broken ribs. Can you say up?
Sister Julienne: Sit up?
Dr. Turner: Yeah, what you said. Sorry, it’s the head trauma.
Sister Julienne: Someone will come soon.

Yeah, they flippin’ better, or both of our friends are in serious danger. Meanwhile, at the maternity home, Loose Hips is starting to get very fatigued. Sister Hilda explains that they’re nearly there, and runs out to get some hard candy to give her patient some energy. While she’s searching for sweets, she runs into Miss Higgins and finally finds out what’s happening, including the news that her patient’s husband has been killed. Understandably, this leaves Sister Hilda pretty rattled, but she pretty quickly gets it together: labor is hard work, and she’s not about to make this an insurmountable task for Loose Hips.

Miss Higgins: How can I help?
Sister Hilda: I need absolute confirmation that this baby’s father has died before I tell her the news. And if you aren’t needed at Nonnatus, come back here.

Fair enough. Back on the train, Sister Julienne and Dr. Turner have a disaster real talk.

Sister Julienne: So much of my life has been about waiting. For phone calls, for babies to arrive, for God.
Dr. Turner: People wait for us usually.

During this exchange, our doctor friend starts having an increasingly hard time staying awake and finding the words he’s looking for, and I start to have an increasingly hard time keeping it together! This is bad! Check out these little kangaroos:

Two baby kangaroos lean out of fabric pouches and touch noses

At Nonnatus, while Reggie and Vi tag team the tea delivery situation, Lucille and Shelagh treat passengers from the train, who are coming in with some serious injuries, including badly broken bones. Lucille explains to A for Effort that a few of their patients really do need to get to the hospital ASAP, but there’s a problem: the ambulances are all prioritizing getting patients from the wreck, including the people who are still trapped.

Upstairs, Sister Monica Joan brings Boots some tea and some advice.

Sister Monica Joan: Drink this and get ready to come back downstairs to help: you feel ill because you're worried, and doing something will help.
Boots: This is what it meant when that bird flew into Nonnatus, isn’t it?
Sister Monica Joan: I won’t indulge you on this.
Boots: Well THAT is hypocritical. You literally went to a clairvoyant earlier in the season!
Sister Monica Joan: Yeah, I did that because we weren’t in the middle of a disaster. We are now. When stuff is this bad we can’t think about the supernatural. Set aside everything, even God, while we deal with the urgent issues in front of us.

Dealing with the issue at hand may have just gotten a bit easier: while they were talking, Sister Frances has returned to Nonnatus from St. Cuthberts. Since she stopped at the undertaker on the way to ask about arrangements for Kiddo’s baby, she already knows what’s happening, and heads right inside, passing Miss Higgins on the way. Also arriving at the scene? Tim Turner, who’s left his siblings with the neighbor and come to help.

Tim: Look, as soon as he gets here, my dad is going to need his bag and his coat. He always wears it in times like these so people know he’s a doctor.
Miss Higgins, ripping off the bad news bandaid: Your father is still on the train, Timothy. We don’t know if he’s trapped, or anything else. Go inside and wait with your mom, ok?

YIKES. Inside, A for Effort uses his fancy man skills to call up the hospital to convince an ambulance to come to Nonnatus. Behind him, Sister Frances jumps in to help Boots. And outside, a stricken Tim is spotted by one of the firefighters who, seeing the bag and coat, assumes Tim is a qualified doctor there to assist. Given how stressful and hopeless this whole thing is, it’s hard to fault Tim for following the man’s lead. At the site, he’s directed to the un-assessed carriages and, pulling on his dad’s white coat, he heads into the night, keeping his head on a swivel and looking out for Dr. Turner on the way.

Back at the maternity home, Loose Hips’ baby (the longed for son) is finally born. Heartbreakingly, when Sister Hilda hands her the boy, Loose Hips says “I have everything” which is just so much worse knowing that soon after, Sister Hilda will have to tell this poor woman that her husband is dead. Completely understandably, Loose Hips can’t believe this could possibly be happening, but Miss Higgins confirms it. After bringing her her baby for comfort, Miss Higgins asks Loose Hips if she should go get her daughter, Eldest.

Loose Hips: No way. She’s safe with some nice ladies from our church; let her have another night of sleep before she has to start a new version of our life. This isn’t how this was supposed to go!

Really hard to argue with her; this is just incredibly tragic. On the train, Sister Julienne fights to keep her companion awake, and then hears Tim calling for his dad outside. Despite the broken ribs, she yells back, and Tim rounds up some firefighters to smash into the carriage to get our friends out. As soon as they break a hole in the wall, Tim jumps into the carriage and heads straight for Dr. Turner and Sister Julienne, clearing debris out of the way as he goes.

Sister Julienne: Your father has a head injury, and the woman next to me is deceased.
Dr. Turner: Tim! You shouldn’t be wearing that coat yet. Hey, I think I’ve got internal bleeding, what’s your diagnosis?
Tim, grounded by the familiar quizzing: Well, we’ll need to rule out a skull fracture.

But before they can go any further, Sister Julienne cries out in pain: her chest and arm are hurting. Dr. Turner tells Tim to take her pulse, which is rapid and thready, and seconds Tim’s guess that Sister Julienne seems to be having a heart attack. Dr. Turner tells Tim to give her one aspirin, and get her into recovery position. At this point, I’m literally yelling at the show regarding the lack of dudes with stretchers to get our friends out of the train and into an ambulance, but apparently fictional characters can't hear me, somehow. Instead, I’ll just look at this baby hippo, I guess.

A baby hippo does a tiny hippo roar

Apparently my impotent rage (or the hippo gif) worked: Fred sees Tim leading stretcher bearers carrying Dr. Turner and Sister Julienne from across the wreckage, and starts running towards the younger man.

Tim: Fred! They need help right away.
Dr. Turner: She needs a cardiac specialist; she’s had a heart attack.
Fred: Doc, you can relax: we’ve got this. Tim, go get your mom from Nonnatus right now.

And as Tim runs off to do just that, Fred leads the stretchers towards the ambulances, straight past a photographer who’s covering the crash. Later that night, in Nonnatus, after everyone has been seen to, all of our uninjured friends sit around the table, exhausted both emotionally and physically. Fred tells the crew how bad Sister Julienne and Dr. Turner looked. In short: real bad. Without their fearless leaders, everyone is a bit bereft: usually they’re following directions, not thrust into being in charge.

Sister Frances: We’ve tried so hard to be what people needed us to be. But without Sister Julienne we’re unmoored.
Sister Monica Joan: What will happen to us if she doesn’t come back?
Sister Frances, weirdly grim: I’ll tell you. We’re all done for.

As Vi reaches out to comfort Sister Frances, A for Effort hears an ambulance arriving, and heads off to handle that, while Reggie hops up to get everyone more tea. Yes, this is exceptionally bad. But thank goodness our friends at least have each other to lean on! Miss Higgins isn’t about to go quietly into that dark night either: she pops into the hallway and gets on the phone to call up mystery reinforcements.

Meanwhile, over at the hospital, Dr. Turner seems to be doing a LOT better. He’s awake, stringing together full sentences with proper words, and excitedly explaining to Shelagh and Tim that he’s got a “classic Colles fracture.” Tim pretends to scold him, but I suspect he’s with me in feeling that the return of Teaching Mode Dr. Turner is a good sign.

Tim: Dad, I’m sorry, I said terrible things to you.
Dr. Turner, has JOKES: I can’t remember. I have a concussion.
Shelagh: PATRICK.
Dr. Turner: No skull fracture though! Now go get yourself a chocolate bar.

While Tim’s out getting sugar, Shelagh and Dr. Turner talk about his fracture, which is on the left arm. Normally, that’d be the better outcome, but since he’s a lefty, this will take him out of commission for weeks. Unusually, for him, Dr. Turner seems to think this might be a good thing.

Shelagh: Uh, are you sure your brain’s ok?
Dr. Turner: LOL, I can’t blame you for asking. But look, during the accident I felt SO far away from home, and it was all I could think about.
Shelagh: We’ll get you home as soon as we can.
Dr. Turner: I’m home now. I can see your face!

Adorable! Meanwhile, in the cardiac unit, the doctor who’s examining Sister Julienne asks her to sit up and lean forward, which obviously she can’t do: she’s very badly hurt! Even getting assistance from a nurse, the movement causes a lot of pain for our friend.

Back at Nonnatus, everyone tries to get some rest. Lucille and Cyril, who after all had their home BLOWN UP, take an unoccupied room, and Cyril tenderly helps Lucille remove her blood-splattered church shoes. Nearby, Sister Frances sets A for Effort up with an empty room.

A for Effort: Hey, thanks for letting me stay.
Sister Frances, who’s just HAD IT with today: Yeah, well, desperate times. I’ll share with Boots.

The next day, the front door swings open wide to reveal Miss Higgins’ pinch hitter: Phyllis! Good timing — we’re going to need her — but it’s clear that she really wasn’t expecting the degree of catastrophe she was returning to.

A man happily runs into an apartment to find it on fire.

Surveying the crap all over the floor, she tidies up a little bit before heading upstairs to her room, just as poor Cyril is getting out of bed in his underwear. Reader, this is a very intense episode, so I think we need to enjoy the little things, like this very handsome man making a truly adorable “eek” sound as he jumps back under the covers to hide from his wife’s steamroller of a coworker.

Phyllis: Wake up! Rise and Shine!
Lucille: You’re back?
Phyllis: Hell yes I am.

Hilariously, just a few minutes later, it’s Phyllis who lets out an adorable “eek” sound, when she runs into A for Effort coming out of the bathroom. Genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, make this weird roommate situation permanent, it is charming and delightful. Not content to end her trail of destruction there, Phyllis proceeds into Boots’ room, waking up the two youngest midwives.

Phyllis: Alright, campers, get up! Once you’re dressed, head downstairs.
Boots: Dude, did you not hear that there was a train crash?
Phyllis: Yeah buddy, that’s why I’m here: Miss Higgins called me. And our house and clinical rooms are a disaster. We need to clean up, check through our stock, and get ready for work.
Sister Frances: We had no idea you’d be back this soon.
Phyllis: Yeah, I can tell, because my rolodex is a disaster.

And with that, she leaves our pals to try and sort themselves out. While the cleanup begins in the neighborhood, and Fred brings out a sandwich board with the latest casualty count (five dead), Phyllis rallies the troops: yes, it’s the weekend, but there’s been a disaster. The building where they normally hold the clinic is closed due to possible structural damage, so they need to set up at the surgery instead.

Boots: Any news about Sister Julienne?
Phyllis: Sister Monica Joan is getting some stuff for her, and Sister Frances, you can take it over and hopefully get an update. I can’t get through on the telephone. Boots: three postnatal visits. Lucille: maternity home — Sister Hilda is going to be wiped and Loose Hips is going to need extra support.
Lucille: I’ll do my best.
Phyllis: I know. We all will.

Later, at the maternity home, Lucille has a chat with Loose Hips’ daughter Eldest, who is, of course, asking for her parents.

Lucille: I know this is incredibly hard. And it’s worse when people tell you to be brave, so I’m not going to do that. I’m telling you that it’s alright to be sad.
Eldest: What’s an inquest? My auntie says there’s going to be one.

Now look: obviously there would be an inquest, but this poor family. How do you explain that to this newly bereaved child? Thankfully, Lucille doesn’t have to, because at that moment Loose Hips arrives with the new baby so the siblings can meet for the first time. While Eldest holds the new baby, Loose Hips asks her for help choosing a name.

Daughter: Jeremy?
Loose Hips: Nice!
Lucille: Yeah, classy. I like it.
Loose Hips: And if Jeremy is his middle name, maybe his first name could start with an R, like yours. Or B, because we call you Bobby?
Daughter: B for Barry?
Loose Hips: Uhhhhhh.
Lucille, saving the day: What about Benedict?
Loose Hips: Perfect!

Look, I will take all the crumbs of happiness and levity we can get, and Barry Jeremy would just be a really silly name. Across town, Vi asks Fred what the crash site was like.

Fred: I think they’re starting to sort out the debris. It’s weird to sell papers all morning when all the stories are about what happened. I’m just glad the pictures are only in black and white.

Yikes. At the hospital, Sister Frances visits Kiddo, who’s started asking when they’ll bring baby Dean in.

Sister Frances: You need rest for a bit.
Kiddo: I’ve been thinking about my other baby too. Do you know who she’ll be buried with? I want her to go in with someone kind.
Sister Frances: I’m sure she will.
Kiddo: What does it feel to be sure of things?
Sister Frances: It’s a relief. Usually I’m completely uncertain.
Kiddo: I feel like I don’t know anything. The doctors told me to mind my own business when I was asking questions!
Sister Frances: What do you want to know?
Kiddo: What’s wrong with me. Why I stopped itching since the baby was born. And why did he say I’ve got liver disease? That kills people!

Let me tell you: Sister Frances is just as annoyed by this opaque, crummy doctor as I am, so she heads right down to his office and asks him to explain.

Doctor Stuffy: I don’t discuss patients with people who aren’t their next of kin.
Sister Frances: Well, Kiddo’s next of kin is an eight month old baby. Also I’m her midwife, and I need to know how to help her.
Doctor Stuffy: It doesn’t seem like you can help her. She may have been suffering from intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.

What’s that? Basically, it’s a condition that stops the release of bile from the liver. Without an outlet, the bile builds up, and causes problems. After delivery, the condition reverses. Why? Well, there seems to be a genetic component, and pregnancy hormones play a role, but it’s a pretty complex disorder that’s not totally understood today. The main takeaway is that while Kiddo is on the mend now, this condition could return if she gets pregnant again.

Across the hospital, Shelagh visits Sister Julienne, who’s a little confused about why they’re doing so many tests.

Sister Julienne: If I had a heart attack, there’s nothing they can do.
Shelagh: Well, rest. Take painkillers.
Sister Julienne: Yeah, wait for another one to come finish me off. My life is going to be shorter, and I’m going to be sick. I’m trying to look for the upside.
Shelagh: There isn’t one.
Sister Julienne: No, there is, check out this passage from Julian of Norwich.

Now before we get into the quote, here’s a fun fact: Julian of Norwich’s book “Revelations of Divine Love” one of the earliest surviving English language works written by a woman. She lived through the Black Plague, and wrote about her experiences of what she presumed to be terminal illness. Despite this, she had an optimistic and joyful take on the world around her. So it makes a LOT of sense that Sister Julienne would turn to this mystic in times of strife (and also that she’s being referenced in this episode, written during a pandemic). Anyway, back to this conversation:

Shelagh, reading: We need to fall, and we need to be aware of it. For if we did not fall we would not be aware of how wretched we are?
Sister Julienne, finishing the passage: Nor should we know our maker’s marvelous love so fully.
Shelagh: Respectfully, that can’t be God’s love! For you to be in pain, and to die before your time?
Sister Julienne: Friendo, do you think I’m exempt from life’s challenges? Everyone dies, including me. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but that’s normal.

This right here is where I feel like the rubber meets the road for a lot of people when it comes to both religion AND confronting one’s own mortality. Not an easy concept, or conversation, and certainly not one you see on a lot of TV shows! While we try to unpack… that… a man bops into Vi’s shop and asks to speak to her. On council business.

Vi: Yes, I’m city councilor Violet Buckle. What’s up?
Brusque: I’m with the paper and I’m trying to find a different angle on this railway situation.
Vi: It’s not a story, it’s a tragedy. Five people are dead! There are heroes walking around everywhere!
Brusque: Yeah, ok. Bye.
Vi: Not so fast. You can interview one of them. Like this guy right here.

And she points him right to Reggie, who was indeed instrumental to the crisis response! Meanwhile, at Nonnatus, a woman knocks on the door and asks to speak to the nuns. As they escort her inside, she reveals that she’s one of Trolley Lady’s children. Sitting in the office, she tells the sisters that when she heard there was a nun on the train, she immediately wondered if her mom had seen Sister Julienne, because she knew her mom would have liked that.

Trolley Daughter, handing over a package with Sister Julienne’s wimple: And then when I got her things back, I found these. They were mixed in with her clothes. I tried to get the blood out; even tried to use my mom’s washboard.
Sister Hilda: I’m so sorry, you shouldn’t have had to see this.
Trolley Daughter: No, it made it easier. I knew she must have been with one of you. She loved you all so much, almost as much as she loved babies.
Sister Hilda: I’m glad Sister Julienne was with her, and I can try to find out more about what happened?
Trolley Daughter: I know enough. I just wish there was a way to thank you.
Sister Frances: There is one thing we could ask?
Sister Hilda: Uh… want to run that by us before asking this bereaved woman for something?

Look, fair enough, but also this is Sister Frances we’re talking about! She won’t ask for anything outrageous! In fact, we find out right away when Sister Frances visits Kiddo, and tells her she’s found the perfect person to take care of Kiddo’s baby: a woman who had nine children of her own, eighteen grandchildren, and adored babies. Truly a prefect and very touching solution, well done Sister Frances!

Across town, Sister Hilda is trying her best to dissuade Loose Hips from returning home. Even in a typical birth, they’d try to keep her at the maternity home longer, and her situation is about as far from typical as you can get. But Loose Hips can’t be dissuaded: her daughter needs to be able to come home, because she’s starting to get bullied at school. In the waiting room, while the rest of the Nonnatus squad prepares for clinic, Sister Hilda pulls Miss Higgins aside for a chat. She’s understandably worried about Loose Hips, who’s naturally thinking a lot about her husband’s role in the crash.

Miss Higgins: I mean, there’s been speculation, but he’s also a victim!
Sister Hilda: She knows there will be an autopsy and an inquest, but it’s going to take a long time, you know?
Miss Higgins: Got it. Leave this with me.

Later that day, Loose Hips returns home, relieved to be in her own space, but gutted by her loss, which she can’t help but be reminded of at every turn. Even looking up the stairs by the front door, she sees the nursery, with the half-complete wall paper her husband will never be able to finish.

Meanwhile, at the Nonnatus Kitchen, Vi is directing a photoshoot with Reggie and the reporter, who definitely did get a good story.

Brusque: What did you think when you saw all those injured people come in?
Reggie: Well, I was scared. But that doesn’t help anyone.
Vi: Reggie, turn that way: I want him to get your good side.

The Buckles: all very good eggs, even if Vi did pull one of these:

A woman says "you're doing amazing, sweetie."

While that’s happening, Sister Frances visits Kiddo and brings her a flower from Trolley Daughter.

Sister Frances: It’s from the wreath at the top of the coffin.
Kiddo: They sound wonderful. I wish I knew them.
Sister Frances: You don't have to. But you should know that there is a lot of kindness in the world; it’s not your fault you haven’t been able to experience that, but it’s out there.
Kiddo: These people didn’t have to do anything for me, but they did. I should send THEM flowers.

And speaking of kindness: at Loose Hips’ house, Sister Hilda and Miss Higgins arrive and are escorted inside by a worried Eldest, who explains that her mom is crying and attempting to wallpaper the nursery, which is a crappy stressful job at the best of times, let alone at the worst. Sitting her down in an armchair, Sister Hilda tells Loose Hips that it’s ok if her house isn’t perfect: her baby doesn’t need that.

Sister Hilda: Please don’t cry.
Loose Hips: I’m crying because I’m mad at him! I’m angry that he left this unfinished, I’m angry that he left us, and I’m angry that he crashed that train.
Miss Higgins: Well, about that. I was able to speak to a connection at the coroner's office, informally. I have some information that will help you prepare for the inquest, and possibly for an inquiry later. Your husband suffered trauma to the chest during the accident, but they found that he also had a brain tumor.
Loose Hips: But he wasn’t sick though.
Miss Higgins: Unfortunately, he was. But he didn't know that. Headaches are easily explained.
Sister Hilda: He would have suffered from seizures, but they could have been so brief he wouldn’t have even noticed them. If he had one while driving, he wouldn’t have been able to control it.
Loose Hips: He wasn’t careless?
Sister Hilda: No. He isn’t at fault.

Does this make everything better? Obviously not. But what a weight off of poor Loose Hips’ shoulders to know that her husband couldn’t have prevented what happened!

At the hospital, Tim wheels Sister Julienne in to visit Dr. Turner. And guess what: she’s got good news. Yes, she’s got four broken ribs, and a grazed elbow, but the doctors have given her a clean bill of health.

Dr. Turner, asking the questions for me: But… heart attack?
Sister Julienne: I was in shock and had a chest injury. That’s all it was. I’ll recover — I’m going home to Nonnatus.

Holy crap, did we really get all of our regulars out of this relatively unscathed? Later, Sister Frances meets up with Kiddo and baby Dean by the flower stall.

Kiddo: Hey, I’m not going to go on the coil. Or the pill.
Sister Frances: That’s your decision to make.
Kiddo: Yes, and I need to make a lot of decisions to be a proper mom to Dean. I can’t go chasing after love with boys I don’t actually know.
Sister Frances: That’s true, love can wait.

And with that, Sister Frances leads Kiddo into a playground where Trolley Daughter is waiting.

Trolley Daughter: So nice to meet you; I’m sorry for your loss.
Kiddo: I’m sorry for yours. These are for you, and your mom.
Trolley Daughter: Would you like a cup of tea? My mom used to make tea for everyone out on the playground, I figured I’d carry on the tradition. Your baby is so cute; come meet my daughter, her son’s the same age!

And as Sister Frances grabs a biscuit and heads back out on rounds, Kiddo settles in with a community that can show her some real kindness. Later, at Nonnatus, our friends decorate the dining room for a welcome home dinner for Sister Julienne, and greet her outside with a cheer. Somehow, shockingly, all of our Nonnatus family made it through the season alive; I have never been more happy to have my dire predictions be proven wrong! As they smile for a group picture, I can’t help but wonder: what will next season have in store for us? We’ll just have to wait and see, but it does seem that the future is bright.

Episode 1 recap: keeping up appearances
Episode 2 recap: oh my god... they were roommates!
Episode 3 recap: build me up buttercup
Episode 4 recap: here comes the sun
Episode 5 recap: a change is gonna come
Episode 6 recap: golden living dreams of visions?
Episode 7 recap: courage and hope, both