This week’s episode of All Creatures Great and Small is the season 4 finale and Christmas special at the same time. Each of the previous specials showcased someone who felt alienated from the Christmas spirit of the Dales eventually embracing all the season has to offer. This episode continues the pattern with Carmody. Plus, Helen predicted that her due date would be in December and yet James is still away with the RAF. Let’s discuss the festivities and James’ ability to be by Helen’s side.

The episode begins with Helen experiencing cramping. Her initial plan was to meet James at his base, but there’s a snow storm on the way. The chances of her getting stuck and possibly giving birth in a cold car are extremely high, so she decides to stay at Skeldale. We then see James for the first time in his RAF uniform. His commander found out that he’s a vet, and has assigned him to a task that is a stretch of his experience: the unit’s mascot Georgie is a giant bird of prey with an injured wing. James hasn’t worked on large birds, but the morale of his fellow airmen is at stake. He's skeptical about his ability to fix the wing. More importantly, this is one more task in the way of his plan to see Helen before the baby arrives. He was denied leave so now he’s looking for a less official way back to Darrowby. He sneaks inside the back of a truck leaving base, and hopes he can hitchhike or walk home.

While James plans his escape, there are still animals to treat back in the Dales. Siegfried and Carmody attend on a murder-inclined hound. Siegfried tries to distract the dog with treats but it doesn't work and Carmody gets bitten on the butt. Why can’t Carmody have easy patients?!? There is one good thing he can look forward to: he’s playing Santa this year at the annual Skeldale holiday party. Carmody later on admits he’s an atheist and isn’t used to celebrating Christmas. He also receives a new bowtie as a gift.

James ends up hitchhiking with a man whose daughter lost a cat several months ago. He starts to believe this family may be Oscar’s lost owners. Later on, it’s revealed they are not Oscar’s original owners but James and Helen give them Oscar anyway. Even though the man drops James off near Broughton road, which is in the right direction, James’ commander catches up to him exactly a mile from Darrowby. OMG, he was so close!!

Everyone in the village is at the Drovers’ for the annual holiday party. Maggie relates that she hasn’t heard from her fiancee Arthur in a while, as his unit is in France. Richard Alderson makes a cradle for “Princess Herriot” but Mrs. Pumphrey co-ops it as a bed for Tricki Woo: after all, Tricki is a King! The holiday spirit even reaches Siegfried, as he offers Carmody the chance to room in Skeldale, which he happily accepts.

Back at the RAF base, James’ commander tells him he understands why he wanted to see Helen, but duty comes first. He has two little girls he’s barely seen since the war started. James avoids a severe punishment, but he still has to treat Georgie’s wing. Part of the reason the men are looking to the mascot for a mood lifter is that the unit has recently lost members on a mission. James knew one of the men who passed away. After a second examination he realizes one of Georgie’s feathers is not aligned with the rest of the wing. He uses a toothpick to support the injured area. All the men watch as James prompts Georgie to fly and she successfully spreads her wings! The men who claimed James was the best vet in Yorkshire were right!

In between, Helen is missing the festivities because the cramping has increased. She admits to Mrs. Hall that she’s so nervous about motherhood. Helen also tries to keep up with the holiday tradition by carving her own Old Man Winter as James has in previous years. The cramps increase to the point where the midwife has to be called, but unfortunately, they’re stuck in the snowstorm. Siegfried and Carmody try to help Mrs. Hall, but she kicks both of them out. Helen’s labor is progressing at a slower-than-expected pace. Carmody passes the time by heaping praise on Mrs. Hall’s skills.

James’ hard work with helping Georgie take flight is richly rewarded with two days of leave. While he’s rushing back to Skeldale, Helen ends up giving birth in the middle of the night. James is disappointed he didn’t make it on time, but he’s excited to meet his child. Helen tells James that the baby is a boy. He kisses Helen and hugs his son. After all of those name debates, they settle on James like his father and grandfather. The Herriots are officially parents now!

What does the future hold for little James and his parents? As of the time of writing, MASTERPIECE has not confirmed if UK Channel 5 will renew All Creatures Great and Small for a fifth season. In the meantime, we can help the case for renewal by telling friends and family to watch for the first time or catch up.