Last week? TB. This week? The seaside! Yes, you read that right — Vi’s planning an excursion to the beach as her first event as mayor, and everyone is extremely excited. Everyone except Fred, who, as the ‘Mayor’s Consort’ has to help plan the thing instead of relaxing. There are invitations to hand out, sandcastle contest prizes to be picked out, and a bus company to pay.


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Everyone else:

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Meanwhile, at the clinic, Phyllis treats a young mother named Lindy who’s anxiously gnawing at her nails. This might be partly because she’s worried that Phyllis will judge her for being unmarried, when they have her in the books as “Mrs.”

Phyllis: Ok, well, I’ll just tell Miss Higgins to update your record to Miss!
Lindy: I know what you’re thinking; two kids out of wedlock!
Phyllis: Babe, I’ve been a midwife for over 40 years. Babies out of wedlock are not a big deal.
Lindy: We were planning to get married before we had my first, but went through a rough patch. We’re trying to make it work now though!
Phyllis: Well that’s probably good; kids need stability.
Lindy: Totally. We never had any ourselves; both of us grew up in children’s homes.
Phyllis: And now you have the chance to be the parents you didn’t get!
Lindy: Sure, but I’m still having trouble feeling like an adult at all. Most of the time I feel like I’m my older kid’s big sister, not her mom.

That’s a tough one, and honestly not something I’m sure Phyllis, who seems like she’s probably felt like a proper adult since childhood, can help with. Speaking of tough, across town, Trixie just took her driver’s test. She gets out of the car looking awfully serious, but it’s a fake out: she passed!

Four men jump for joy

Like many new drivers, Trixie is quite eager to get some wheels of her own, but Mr. Trixie pumps the breaks on that.

A claymation monkey, dressed as a pirate, plays a 'rimshot' on the drums and sighs.

Might it be a good idea to build up her confidence for a bit first? He doesn’t say it, reader, but I’m guessing there might be a financial reason for this as well, given his stressed out, worried about money, downright grumpy behavior the last few episodes. Before they can really get into it, Vi interrupts to ask Mr. Trixie if he’s heard about the excursion.

Vi: Here’s the thing; we’re low on money. Normally there’s a budget for things like this but we need donations from generous folks like you.
Mr. Trixie: Usually I would —
Trixie: We’re happy to help! Ok, by babe, off to work!
Vi: Mr. Trixie, you’re a saint. Thank you!

Yikes, team, why do I have a terrible sinking feeling re: Mr. Trixie’s financial situation??

Later on, Lindy and her older daughter Danielle join the Nonnatus play group, which is basically exactly what it sounds like. Seeing how nervous Lindy is when Danielle gets a little rowdy, Sister Veronica explains to Cyril that for many of the families they work with, play is a bit of a foreign concept, and it takes the parents a while to feel comfortable with it. After some playtime, Sister Veronica introduces all the families to Cyril, their new Child Welfare Officer, and then gets Cyril to announce the beach trip, to the great excitement of all.

Back at Nonnatus, Sister Julienne draws names to determine which two trainee midwives will get to go on the trip. Gosh, will it be Joyce and Rosalind, who we see every week, or the other two gals who haven’t really spoken since the season started?

Actress Amanda Seyfried, appearing on Sesame Street in a yellow motorcycle jacket, says "It's a Mystery" with an excited look on her face.

My saltiness aside, I’m very happy for Joyce and Rosalind, who really do deserve a beach trip. Also excited about the beach trip? The entire Turner family, including Timothy, who’s home for summer break and has brought beach balls for his siblings back with him.

Downstairs, while sorting supplies, Phyllis asks Sister Veronica about her previous visits to Lindy’s home.

Sister Veronica: It’s… chaotic. Let’s say that.
Phyllis: She’s so vulnerable; it worries me. Without support I fear that her kiddos might also end up in a children’s home.

The next day, the beach excursion has finally arrived! Everyone piles into the coach, and any additional car that can be drummed up. Joyce, smart, flees to the relative quiet of Phyllis’ car, while Rosalind gets to man the bucket they’ll be using in case anyone gets carsick in the coach. Despite the kinda gross job, Rosalind is in a great mood. Apparently she used to have the same assignment when she went on school trips with the school her dad runs. Unfortunately, she’s so engrossed in explaining this backstory to her seatmate Cyril that she doesn’t hear a young scout asking for the bucket behind her. Thankfully, Miss Higgins isn’t shy about shouting, and Rosalind gets there right on time.

Somehow even more precarious than the bucket situation is the car with Trixie and co. Mr. Trixie is backseat driving AND grumpy to be on the trip.

Trixie: Please don’t shout like that! I couldn't have known about the pothole!
Mr. Trixie: It’s nothing about your driving, I just need to use that telephone box!

Did I think we’d get Mr. Trixie fully transforming into a dad from an 80s movie (uptight businessman who ignores his family and makes calls on vacation)? No, but here we are. We don’t get to see the phone call, but we do see Mr. Trixie’s face after he hangs up, and it’s not good. He puts on his sunglasses and pretends like everything is fine, but we know better, and honestly, I feel like Trixie probably should too, though I get why she’s not eager to ask too many questions. Anyway, on the bus, some of the kids start throwing food, which is hilariously encouraged by Lindy (at least until Miss Higgins calls her out for acting like a kid instead of an adult). Finally, everyone arrives at the beach and sets out to have a lovely day. There’s ice cream, and games, and even some sun to balance out the wind. The good news is that for most of these folks this is good weather, but poor Cyril and Joyce!

After lunch, the Nonnatus adults lounge and discuss how fun this is, and congratulate Vi for a job well done. It’s all very nice, until Shelagh notices that Lindy seems to be in some distress. Team, I don’t know what to tell you: this is the midwifery show, and you’ve got a pregnant gal on the trip, so it only seems right that we have someone going into labor right now. The midwives rush over to grab Lindy, and make a quick plan: Miss Higgins will drive Phyllis’ car, while Phyllis attends Lindy in the back seat. Lindy isn’t so keen to leave, given that this is the first time she’s ever been to the beach, but it can’t be helped. Off they go.

During the commotion, Angela and May Turner play a game to figure out which of them will get to use the lie low (basically a pool floatie), and May wins. Shelagh comes back from checking on Lindy and asks Dr. Turner where the girls are, but he thought they were with her. That’s obviously cause for concern, so they immediately get everyone looking for the girls. Angela’s gathering shells, so they find her pretty fast, but May is out in the ocean. She’s also not a particularly strong swimmer, so when she falls off the lie low, it’s serious. Thankfully, Joyce happens to be walking by at the right time and notices May flailing in the water. She springs into action, swimming out to rescue May. Joyce starts towing May in, and is soon assisted by Cyril, who helps bring May to shore. Dr. Turner clears her airway quickly, but this is obviously a terrifying experience for everyone.

Meanwhile, the delivery squad safely arrives back at the maternity home and gets to work. Lindy requests a radio to help keep her mind off things, and for Miss Higgins to track down the baby’s dad, Melvin, who’s at the pub. While Phyllis supports Lindy through labor, Miss Higgins plays with Danielle in the waiting room. Even for this show, this is a quick delivery, and pretty soon Lidy’s got a second daughter, who she names Michelle (Shell, for short, since she went into labor at the seaside).

Miss Higgins has just handed Danielle a balloon as “a present from her new baby sister” when Melvin bursts through the doors in high spirits (possibly literally; he seems drunk), followed by three boisterous friends from the pub. Miss Higgins has started to read him the riot act when Phyllis arrives and seals the deal. Melvin looks suitably cowed, as well he should; I too would be terrified to get on Miss Higgins and Phyllis’ bad side! Phyllis brings Melvin back to see the rest of his family, and for the first time these two kids seem to actually be acting like parents. It’s sweet! Well, it is until Danielle has an accident and they ask Phyllis to clean it up.

Over at the Turner house, the adults are talking over just how badly this day might have gone when May tells them she isn’t feeling great: her chest hurts. Given that they’re both medical professionals, they quickly take a listen to May’s lungs, but all seems well. Dr. Turner tells her it’s probably a strain from coughing, and prescribes sleep… after an extra cuddle of course. May finally falls asleep on Shelagh’s lap and rather than put her to bed, they let her stay there. It’s extremely cute, as per usual with this family.

A woman folds her hands under her chin and says "awwww"

Later that night, at Nonnatus, Phyllis locks herself in the bathroom, which she’s turned into an impromptu dark room, to develop her beach photos. This causes some annoyance from her colleagues, specifically Nancy, who is really not interested in using the outside bathroom.

A woman says "Fair enough."

In less funny news, the next morning at the Turner house, May is definitely sick. She’s lethargic, and not tempted with warm milk. This time, when Timothy listens to her lungs, the situation is not good: there’s a rattle, and she’s having trouble breathing. Shelagh wants to call Dr. Turner, but Timothy thinks they need to head straight to the hospital: in training, he had a patient who had fallen off a fishing boat and breathed in water, and had very similar symptoms. It can take some time for symptoms to develop, but the outcome can be deadly.

At the maternity home, Dr. Turner looks over Lindy’s baby. All is well, but Lindy tells Dr. T that her older daughter Danielle had some issues with her right eye when she was small. She’s been ok since, but Dr. Turner takes baby Michelle into a darker room to examine her eyes. Meeting him to assist, Phyllis explains that eye issues are much less common than they used to be, mostly due to hygiene. Dr. Turner does see something interesting in the baby’s eye, but it’s a tiny spot; too small to see or assess now. They’ll have to monitor it. We don’t have time to hear what he thinks it might be, however, because this is when Miss Higgins bursts in to tell Dr. T that Timothy is on the phone.

Shelagh rushes to the hospital with May, who’s rushed into a back room with the medical staff.

Dr. Turner, running in: Who’s she with? What’s happening?
Shelagh: They haven’t told me anything yet.
Dr. Turner: I’ll go find out.
Shelagh: No — I need you to stay here with me. You aren’t her doctor right now, just like I’m not a nurse. We’re just parents.

Later, they meet the doctor who’s treating May, and get the news: Timothy was right, and May has breathed in water. It’s a kind of partial drowning, and it’s very serious. They’re going to give her oxygen and antibiotics, but some damage has already been done. Naturally, both parents immediately blame themselves for not coming in sooner, and for not constantly supervising their daughter. Reader, I will be real with you: I used to be a lifeguard, and group outings near water are my literal nightmare for this very reason. Water safety is extremely serious! This is rough, and I don’t like seeing our friends in this much pain.

Let’s take our mind off of ANOTHER lung injury, shall we? Back at Nonnatus, Phyllis tells everyone that the paper is going to do a feature on the beach trip, and they want to use one of Phyllis’ photos. So, after lunch, they all head to the parlor to pass around the pictures and help narrow down their favorites. There are a lot of fun pictures, but one in particular catches Colette’s eye (pun very much intended): it’s a picture of Lindy and Danielle, and there’s something funny about Danielle’s iris. Phyllis originally says she must have developed the photo wrong, but then she remembers the exam from earlier that day and looks at the picture again.

Speaking of Danielle, the next morning finds her in the Buckle’s shop with her dad, purchasing breakfast.

Melvin: Her mum’s in the maternity home so I’m on duty!
Vi and Fred: Cute!
Melvin: So I guess we’ll take two candy bars for breakfast.
Vi and Fred: Less cute!

Over at the maternity home, Phyllis asks Miss Higgins for advice. She wants to talk to Dr. Turner about that picture with some urgency, but she isn’t sure if that’s ok given the May situation.

Miss Higgins: There hasn’t been any news either way… I think maybe he’d benefit from a distraction.
Phyllis: Got it. And here he is now… Dr. T, can I ask you about something? Check out this picture of Lindy and Danielle. I didn’t see this at first, but look at Danielle’s eye. It’s reflecting light! That isn’t normal, right?
Dr. Turner: It’s definitely not normal.

Dr. Turner isn’t an eye doctor, but he’s worried that this could be something serious. He wants to run tests as soon as possible… on both girls. Lindy is understandably concerned, and agrees. So the whole family heads over to St. Cuthberts where they meet with a specialist. Unfortunately, since we’ve had a run of good doctors over at St. C’s, it’s time we had a rude one. This guy throws out unending jargon, and refuses to explain anything until he’s got “a clear picture.”

Speaking of the hospital, we finally get some good news about May: her most recent scans show major improvements. She’s doing so much better that she’ll be able to go home that day — the perks of having medical parents! Everyone is overjoyed, but there’s one snag: later, at home, they’re visited by a rep from the adoption agency. She’s there because she heard about May’s hospitalization, and needs to do a check in. Look, this makes a lot of sense, but I get why Shelagh isn’t happy about it. Nevertheless, she brings the lady out to the garden to chat with May. Shelagh offers tea and scones, but it isn’t that kind of visit. Those scones? They’re not getting touched now. After a while, their visitor comes back inside.

Shelagh: Can I ask, what happens now?
Adoption Lady: Look, May’s a happy kid, and she loves it here, but I still have to file a report. It’s standard procedure with foster kids.
Shelagh: Will you please explain in the report that this was an accident? She was right in front of me, and then —
Adoption Lady: I’ll write the facts so they can be discussed. We’ll be in touch.

Again, this makes sense! May’s safety is important! Yikes, what a stressful situation all around. Speaking of stressful, Lindy, Melvin, and their kids are STILL waiting at the hospital to talk to the specialist when Sister Veronica shows up.

Lindy: What are YOU doing here?
Sister Veronica: I thought you might need my support.

Right on schedule, the specialist calls them into his office and asks what they understand about their day so far. Answer? Not a lot.

Specialist: Well, here comes the bad news. Both girls have retinoblastoma in their right eye. The good news is that it hasn’t spread.
Sister Veronica: My man, these two do not know what retinoblastoma is.

After some false starts, he actually explains: retinoblastoma is a cancer of the retina that usually is found in children. It’s genetic, which is why both kids have it. Lindy is understandably in complete denial: both of her babies can’t have cancer!

Speaking of denial, over at Trixie’s house, she’s just swanned in and told Mr. Trixie that she couldn’t help herself: she’s been wandering around the car showroom and found one she loves.

Trixie: I know you’ll think it’s frivolous that I picked a car based on the name but the salesperson said it’s actually a great choice for a beginner like me! And it’s kind of expensive, but…
Mr. Trixie: So it’s not something we should rush into.
Trixie: Please??? I don’t want to wait!

Mr. Trixie, I am begging you: if you’re having money trouble, just tell your wife! Dang! Anyway, back at the hospital, the doctor has just explained that the baby can get radiation, but Danielle will need to have her eye removed. Annoyingly, he says this in technical jargon, so Lindy and Melvin don’t realize what he’s saying at first. Once they do, they’re understandably horrified at how significant this surgery will be. Melvin freaks and runs out of the room, but Lindy asks the important question: will this surgery cure her baby?

Specialist: We hope so, yes.
Lindy: Ok. What now?
Specialist: This is going to move quickly. Do you have support? Grandparents?
Lindy: Nope.
Sister Veronica: The girls will need a lot of care.
Lindy: Then they’ll get it. From me.

Well that’s one way to get someone to step up and feel like an adult. Poor Lindy! Since both kids are sick and Lindy is still recovering herself, they all end up at the maternity home, where Phyllis brings Cyril in to do his welfare office thing.

Lindy: I know what this is. You want to take my kids.
Cyril: I super do not. But we can offer help from other people while the kids get treatment.
Lindy: You’re talking about foster care! All I need is for my babies to be healthy. I’m going home.
Phyllis: You can stay here as long as you want; there’s no rush. You need to recover too.
Lindy: I’m fine. Melvin, let’s go.

So, that didn’t go great. Cyrill shares that the hospital has put up a red flag about their ability to handle the situation, but Phyllis thinks people are underestimating the young parents. Time will tell! Back at their home, Lindy tells Melvin that they need to start keeping their house very tidy.

Melvin: This is our fault. We made them sick, us together.
Lindy: You can’t think like that.
Melvin: I can’t help it!
Lindy: You need to though. We need to grow up and take care of them. We didn’t have a lot of choice about our lives, but we can choose what kind of parents we’ll be.

She’s right, but Melvin isn’t ready to hear that yet, or maybe ever. He leaves.

Across town, at the Turner home, Shelagh brings May a basket of buns from the mayor herself! Dr. Turner snags one, and has just taken a large bite when the phone rings. It’s Adoption Lady, and she’s summoned them to an interview in her office. Naturally, this leaves both Turner parents pretty freaked out.

Meanwhile, at Trixie’s house, she’s just suggested that they enroll Jonty in preschool. There’s a particularly good place a few minutes walk from the flat they’re planning to move into: it’s perfect!

Trixie: Babe, are you even listening to me? If you’re still mad about my schedule just say something instead of sulking
Mr. Trixie: Sorry, just distracted.
Trixie: So, preschool? Thoughts?
Mr. Trixie: I think it’s an unnecessary expense.
Trixie: Yeah, but it’d give us more solo time.
Mr. Trixie: Is that really a good enough reason to send my kid away?
Trixie: I’m sorry, YOUR kid?
Mr. Trixie: I’m sorry. That wasn’t fair.
Trixie: I was thinking of him, for the record. He’s a sociable kiddo, and he’d enjoy spending time with other children his own age.
Mr. Trixie: Leave it with me.

And on that unpleasant note, Trixie departs for work. Mr. Trixie is clearly about to say something to her, but changes his mind at the last minute. Come on dude, just spit it out! Trixie can’t support you if you won’t tell her what’s going on!

Speaking of bad communication, across town, Phyllis starts a chat with Melvin outside his factory job. He’s on a sneaky break, so Phyllis tells him he better get back to work: he can’t afford to lose this job.

Melvin: I don’t need a lecture!
Phyllis: It’s not a lecture, it’s advice from someone older than you. I know you’re having a rough time, but you need to dig in and take care of those girls, no matter how scared you are.
Melvin: What if I can’t handle it?
Phyllis: Do you love them? Then you can handle it. Break’s over, get in there.

Hope that did the trick! Meanwhile, at Adoption Lady’s office, the nervous Turners get an update. After Adoption Lady’s visit to their home, she got a call from May’s mom, who checks in occasionally for updates. They told her about the incident, and, naturally, she has questions. The Turners are outraged, and want to know what May’s mom asked.

Adoption Lady: She asked why May was alone when this happened.
Shelagh: She wasn’t alone! We never neglect our kids!
Adoption Lady: No one said that you did. But we need to understand how this happened. May’s mom also asked about the playground incident, when May needed stitches.
Dr. Turner: That was a few seasons ago, and totally normal childhood stuff. I did the stitches myself!
Adoption Lady: Yeah, she knows you’re medical professionals. She said she thought May would be safer with you, but now she isn’t so sure.
Shelagh: Does this mean we could lose May?
Adoption Lady: No, but we might need to put her in a safer environment.
Dr. Turner: What could we do to reassure her? Can we write to her? Send her a report?
Adoption Lady: You can do that, but she’s asked for a formal review, and for May to be removed pending what we find. We’ll make the decision in episode 8.

Across town, Melvin and Lindy have a conversation about their future. They both agree to be the best parents they can be, and Melvin promises to do more, before dropping on a knee and proposing. Lindy accepts, and the next day, they take Danielle in for surgery together.

At Nonnatus, Shelagh sits with Sister Julienne and has a good cry. She hasn’t wanted May to see her upset, but she’s freaking out! What if they take May away!

At Trixie’s house, Mr. Trixie is being weird and distant again, and hiding his financial papers from his wife. Dodgy, and finally noticed by Trixie, so hopefully we’ll get some actual information soon.

And at Lindy’s home, Phyllis and Sister Veronica drop by for a visit. Lindy fills them in on the kids’ medical condition: Danielle’s cancer hasn’t spread, and therapy starts soon for Michelle. Melvin is at work, pulling an extra shift, and Lindy tells the Nonnatus visitors that while they just got engaged, they’re going to save up money for the kids’ medical care before they buy her a ring. Overall a complete 180 into responsible adult-ville! Both midwives tell her she should be proud of herself, and she is.

A man celebrates with the caption "Success!"

At the Turners, Shelagh prepares a letter to mail to May’s mum, including a photo of May in the dress her mom sent for Christmas in last year’s special.

Dr. Turner: You’re sending that photo? You did so much work to make that dress fit to take care of May. What if she notices the dress looks different?
Shelagh: If she does, she’ll know we worked hard to make sure her present was received and enjoyed. I need her to see how much we do for May. And I needed to see that too.
Dr. Turner: Well our best is all we can do. This decision is out of our hands.

Stressful! What new scary thing will we get next? We’ll just have to wait for the next episode to find out!