So last week’s episode was fairly horrific, no? This week, in our season finale (how??) we’re kicking things off on a much lighter note: there’s about to be a Mother of the Year competition in Poplar, and the first prize is a fancy washing machine and an opportunity to be entered into the London-wide competition. How you can possibly pick one mom in this entire community is beyond me, so luckily I’m not on the hook to make that call.

Almost right away we meet our first expecting mum of the episode: an overworked mother named Beryl who’s currently looking after her sister's brood as well as her own. She doesn’t even have time to go to clinic, so she’s been carrying her urine sample around in her handbag on the off chance that she runs into one of the Nonnatus folks out and about.

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Over at the Buckle house, Vi has returned late from her mayoral duties to find Fred not looking 100%. Thankfully, Reggie is there, and has already been playing mother hen (he’s also made Vi a cup of tea that’s ready right when she gets home, which is… the dream. Literally the dream.)

Vi: Fred, you don’t look so good. I’m sorry, but you have to stay home tonight instead of coming to this fancy function with me later.
Fred, who I’m just now realizing is pulling a Ferris Beuller: Oh no! I was soooo excited to go to that!
Vi: Well don’t worry babe, I can handle it on my own.
Reggie, handing Fred tea and obviously in on it:

A woman winks, extremely unsubtly.

Why are they skiving off Vi’s thing? Because they want to go to the Nonnatus bonfire night festivities instead! Honestly hard to argue: hanging out with your actual friends is way more fun than a staid fireworks moment with fancy people. The only one at the Nonnatus party who’s not having fun is, obviously, Trixie. The good news? Her attempt to quietly escape is thwarted by her brother Geoffrey, who’s been invited to the party by Sister Veronica (excellent taste, sister).

Geoffrey: Please don’t go off on your own all sad!
Trixie: Honestly that is literally all I want to do right now. Did you not see last week’s episode?Geoffrey: You need some brotherly love. I’ll come cook for you!
Trixie: Sounds good. We’ll set it up soon.

And with that, she leaves, and Geoffrey, concerned, makes a beeline for team Nonnatus (hopefully to get more of Trixie’s friends on board to help her). Alas, Geoffrey isn’t the only outside family member who’s been invited to the party: “Cousin” Sylvester also makes his appearance. Apparently Sister Julienne thought he’d be a “fun surprise.” Reader, it probably won’t surprise you to know that Joyce is keeping such a good poker face about this that only one person seems concerned — Rosalind. Mrs. Wallace even gives him cake, which I just hate!

The next day, Nancy looks in on Beryl for an exam, and gets the update on Beryl’s sister: she’ll be in the hospital for at least another six weeks, which is, coincidentally, the number of kids Beryl is stuck managing on her own during said hospital stay.

A woman says "this is the bad place!"

Nancy is concerned that Beryl isn’t taking good care of herself, and insists that she ask for help if she needs it. Hopefully Beryl listens, but given how bloody-minded the women of Poplar tend to be, I doubt it! Meanwhile, at the Turner home, Shelagh gets a call from Adoption Lady. The long and short of it? Their planned meeting for the end of the month has been moved up: things have changed for May’s mum, and she wants to speak with May. The agency has already made the arrangements to book the international call..

Shelagh: Can we talk this over with May first?
Adoption Lady: No, this has to happen ASAP.

Look, preparing May for what may be an emotionally fraught situation is a good thing, and it’s weird to me that the agency doesn’t want to support that. However, it feels important that May be able to speak with her biological mother and maintain that connection if they both want it, so this call seems like it could be a good thing?

Anyway, across town, Phyllis hangs out at Miss Higgins house where they’re working on fixing up old cub scout uniforms so that boys who can’t afford a new uniform have something to wear. But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because there’s about to be a knock at the door. Most unusual for this time of night! The knocker? A young woman looking for Miss Higgins.

Mystery Lady: I tracked down your address, and need to speak to you about a confidential matter. I’m married to Victor Chopra.
Miss Higgins:

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Who’s Victor Chopra? Not sure, but this is important and private enough that Miss Higgins gently tells Phyllis to hit the bricks. Phyllis asks for details, but none are forthcoming, so she leaves. Inside, Mystery Lady tells Miss Higgins that Victor is alive.

Miss Higgins: Is he ok?
Mystery Lady: He’s had some health problems but he’s doing better now.
Miss Higgins: Is he happy?
Mystery Lady: He’s more than happy: he has a knack for joy.
Miss Higgins: I knew his adoptive parents called him Victor… but I always thought of him as John. Still do. Is that ok? Am I allowed to think that?
Mystery Lady: Everything is allowed, Miss Higgins: he’s your son.

A monkey puppet makes a shocked face.

Hey remember that scene from a couple of seasons ago where a young woman was forced by her family to give her baby up for adoption and Miss Higgins tried to help and then gave that girl her baby’s hospital bracelet with the name she’d chosen on it? That’s all making a lot more sense now huh?

A man says "I've connected two dots." His friend responds "You didn't connect shit." The first man insists "I've connected them.

Outside, Phyllis, who’s a lot of things but isn’t one to let her friend be alone and upset if she can help it, has been lurking in her car instead of heading back to Nonnatus. When she sees Mystery Lady, whose actual name is Mariam, leave, Phyllis heads back inside and pours her friend a sherry, even though at this moment she wishes she had something stronger to offer.

Miss Higgins, in full reminiscence mode: The British drank all the time in India. We started drinking on the BOAT on the way there. I was 21, and part of what they called the fishing fleet.
Phyllis: Fishing?
Miss Higgins: For husbands. There were a lot of single men that needed wives, and I’d wanted to go back to India ever since my parents moved us here when I was 10. I loved it there; that was the real reason I left, not a man. My parents sent me to live with a widowed friend, and I got a job in a library. I stopped thinking about “fishing”; interesting how much we assume we don’t need love when we’re young and independent.
Phyllis: Or when we’re old and independent.
Miss Higgins: Hm. Anyway, I met a young tutor.
Phyllis: And did you date for a long time?
Miss Higgins: Oh, babe, we couldn’t date publicly. He was Indian. But you can get away with a lot when you’re both respectable. People don’t think to look. I never even mentioned him when I wrote home to my folks. Anyway, the widow I was staying with sent me to a place she knew of in Lahore. By the time the baby was born, arrangements had been made for him to be adopted by a mixed race couple who couldn’t have kids.
Phyllis: Millicent, if it helps at all: the most cherished babies I’ve seen in all my years in this job are the ones who have parents who’d given up hope of having a kid.
Miss Higgins: John is only in England for two weeks, and he wants to meet.

Across town, the Turner parents talk over the call from Adoption Lady. Shelagh is convinced that the things that have changed for May’s mom are that she’s married, and could take her daughter back.

Dr. Turner: Yeah, and if she’s got good opportunities, they might be good opportunities for May too. We have to see it that way.
Shelagh: I know, but…
Dr. Turner: May isn’t ours officially. We need to remember that.

The next day, Sister Veronica’s been assigned to give Sister Monica Joan a sponge bath. Sister Monica Joan, who is in a MOOD and wants silence, is peeved about the whole thing. In a fit of pique — after Sister Veronica hands her the washcloth for more “delicate” areas, turns around, and starts blathering on about Colette’s entry for Nancy as mother of the year — Sister Monica Joan chucks the washcloth at Sister Veronica. Sister Veronica, who isn’t having the best day herself, throws the cloth right back, hard, and narrowly misses Sister Monica Joan’s head.

Sister Monica Joan: UGH. Good thing it wasn’t a KNIFE!
Sister Veronica:

A small creature cries in the rain with the caption "nobody loves me."

So. Everyone’s really crushing it. Meanwhile, Sister Julienne meets with Rosalind, who’s wondering if it’s ok for her to search for faith at different churches.

Sister Julienne: Well, looking for the right fit at church isn’t really the same thing as looking for God.
Sister Veronica, storming in: I’m sorry, but I need you to come help me before I strangle someone.

In Sister Monica Joan’s room, Sister Julienne, correctly, tells Sister Veronica she’s got to apologize.

Sister Veronica:

A man points at himself in surprise and says "me?"

I’m very sorry. Will you forgive me?
Sister Julienne: Ok, MJ, your turn.
Sister Monica Joan:

A woman dismissively says "no, shan't."

Sister Veronica: They wouldn’t let this happen at the mother house!
Sister Julienne: Correct, and I’m not cool with it here either.
Sister Monica Joan: You sound less like a sister and more like a parent of whining children.
Sister Julienne: Yeah dude, that’s how you’re behaving!
Sister Monica Joan: Then I apologize.

Not gonna lie reader, I would definitely not enjoy Sister Julienne’s job, and I’m impressed she’s been at it this long. Especially since she can’t ever catch a break: even now, when she leaves her squabbling sisters, it's to find Shelagh waiting outside asking for advice. The person who can help her this time is actually Sister Veronica, who worked in the order’s outpost in Hong Kong and was there for May’s birth.

Shelagh: I’m worried about what’s happening now and what it means for May’s future.
Sister Julienne: I’m going to approve something unusual and pricey. Sister Veronica, I want you to telegram our contacts in Hong Kong and ask for dirt. This might be a situation where early info is helpful.

Across town, Victor/John and his wife stop outside a flower stall to debate which ones he should bring to Miss Higgins. Finally settling on some pretty chrysanthemums, they pay for a giant bouquet. Meanwhile, at Miss Higgins’ home, she’s prepared a frankly alarmingly elaborate tea service, and has invited Phyllis to join the party (or, as it currently stands, the tense/anxious wait). Literally right on time, her other guests arrive. Phyllis, seeing that Miss Higgins has entered a sort of stress-induced fugue state, goes to answer the door. The second mother and son clap eyes on each other, they’re both overcome with emotion. Mariam gently takes the flowers away from her husband so he can cross the room and hug Miss Higgins. It’s an incredibly lovely moment, and now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find out who’s cutting onions in here.

Over at the surgery, Tim deals with a phone call from someone asking for antibiotics over the phone (Tim says no, like the smartypants he is). He’s just been hung up on when Beryl and her brood burst into the office. Why? Because she thinks she’s in labor!

Back at Miss Higgins’ house, she and John/Victor are getting on like a house on fire. He’s in the Indian Civil Service, which is a fun coincidence, because so was Miss Higgins’ father. John/Victor did so well in his career that he was even able to send his son to a fancy boarding school in Delhi, and said son is now here in England training as a dentist! This is all big news, but Phyllis, who’s not quite as emotionally invested, notices something important: John/Victor’s ankles are rather alarmingly swollen. And so while Miss Higgins is treated to a bunch of photos of the grandson she didn’t know she had, Phyllis quietly pulls Mariam aside to ask some questions about her husband’s health.

Mariam: You saw his ankles huh? Victor has been sick for a long time — he has Bright’s disease.
Phyllis: I wondered. Should I get him an appointment with our team doctor? He’s very good.
Mariam: No thanks. He’s really enjoying getting a break from doctors on the trip. It’s part of why it’s been so nice for him.

Phyllis goes along with this, but reader, I’m not so sure this is a good idea. Bright’s disease is basically an old name for severe kidney disease, and treatment is important! Anyway, inside, Miss Higgins is effusively delighted to see pictures of her grandson, and to see her son in person.

John/Victor: I was afraid you wouldn’t like me. That I wouldn’t be what you pictured. That I might disappoint you.
Miss Higgins: I was too.
John/Victor: But that didn’t happen, did it?
Miss Higgins: No.

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Less sweet? Over at the maternity home, a laboring mother’s water has just broken directly into Trixie’s face and open mouth. I’m sure this happens sometimes in her line of work, but talk about getting kicked while you’re down. Anyway, labor goes smoothly, and everything is fine, but Trixie isn’t. She unemotionally announces that the baby is a girl, which is so out of character that even this random mom notices and calls her out for it. Out in the ward, Nancy checks in on Beryl, who’s gotten the somewhat unfortunate news that she’s not actually in labor yet. Nancy offers to let her stay there and rest a while, but it’s packed, so Beryl heads home.

Over at Nonnatus, Sister Veronica stamps pay packets while Sister Julienne goes over the deed for Nonnatus house. It turns out that Mother Mildred also thinks it’s a good idea for them to own the building outright. Even if the council seizes it at some point, it could work out to their advantage. But this whole “do we own the house” thing has gone back and forth so many times over the years that it’s honestly not surprising that Sister Julienne is a little tired of it.

The next day, Miss Higgins and John/Victor take a walk along the Thames. During their walk, the topic turns to religion, and John/Victor asks if his biological father was a practicing Hindu.

Miss Higgins: Yes, very much so. That’s why I was happy you were placed with a Hindu family. Everyone was mostly worried about what you’d look like, but I wanted to make sure you had a close connection to that part of your heritage.
John/Victor: And what did my father want?
Miss Higgins: More than anything he wanted to do what was right for his family. And that meant marrying someone who wasn’t me.
John/Victor: I wish you’d gotten a happy ending.
Miss Higgins, who’s a pretty self-actualized person: We had an ending. It was sad, but we can’t know that we’d have been happier a different way. Or that you would have been happier, for that matter.
John/Victor: Well I’m very happy now here with you.

In a much less nice reunion, across town, Joyce meets up with “Cousin” Sylvester to hand him blackmail money.

“Cousin” Sylvester: Is this everything?
Joyce: No, it’s half.
“Cousin” Sylvester, rifling through the packet: Nice, you’re making good money!
Joyce: I work hard for that! Just like I worked hard to get here!
“Cousin” Sylvester: Yeah, and I could ruin all of that just by telling them your real name. But I don’t.
Joyce: Because you’d rather do this and make easy money. Snake.
“Cousin” Sylvester: Well it took all my savings to come out here and look for you, and you owe me for that! This is just the beginning.

Hi, I hate him! Anyway, back to Millicent and John/Victor. The pair have gotten whelks as a snack and are talking about Julie Andrews — who Miss Higgins says, correctly, has superlative diction — which leads to a discussion of their favorite things (movies: Rear Window and Spartacus, books: Forever Amber and Maltese Falcon, and composers: Chopin and Brahms). It’s a great game, which is abruptly ruined when John/Victor suddenly grabs his chest in pain. Next stop: Dr. Turner.

In an exam room, Dr. T assesses John/Victor, and they talk about his illness. John/Victor explains that he has a very good doctor in Delhi, and that he last checked in right before this trip.

Dr. T: Was he ok with this trip?
John/Victor: I wasn’t ok to miss it. I have important things to do here in England.
Dr. T: Sir, your kidneys are failing. And so is your heart.

WHAT? This is some nonsense, and I won’t stand for it! Neither, it seems, will Miss Higgins, who has sprung into research mode. Phyllis, who’s passing through with a tea tray, suggests that they might need to start by admitting John/Victor to St. Cuthberts. Dr. Turner joins the two women in the waiting room, and asks Phyllis to bring the tea through for John/Victor and his wife. Once she leaves, Miss Higgins hands over her stack of approved kidney doctors.

Dr. Turner, who clearly doesn’t know how Miss Higgins knows his patient: I’ll make sure he’s seen as soon as possible, but it might be too late.
Miss Higgins, grief-panicking: But he’s too young! He has a teenage son!
Dr. Turner: Wait, do you know them well?
Miss Higgins: We have a connection from a long time ago.

Not sure Dr. Turner buys that entirely, but he still signs off on a plan to let John/Victor stay at Miss Higgins’ house instead of admitting him to the hospital. They’re both happy with this arrangement: visiting hours, as we’ve seen in other episodes this season, are very strict, and if they can get dialysis arranged, that will likely happen on the other side of the city, making visits even more complicated.

John/Victor: What are your favorite flowers?
Miss Higgins, tearing up: These ones you brought me.

A woman tries not to cry, but ultimately fails

Even by the standards of this show, this is too sad! What is happening??? The next day, Shelagh leaves May in the car while she heads to the door of Nonnatus house to pick up Sister Veronica. See, Sister V has agreed to join them for the meeting with May’s mom, because May is worried that her mother will try to talk to her in Chinese, which May doesn’t speak.

Sister Veronica: I’ll be honest, my Cantonese is not amazing. But also: I got a telegram from a friend in Hong Kong.
Shelagh: About May’s mom?
Sister Veronica: Yes. Unfortunately earlier this year she lost her job, and she ended up back on the streets. They’ve taken her in at the mother house, and she’s just given birth to a baby boy.

This poor lady has been through so much already, and now this? Not fair! Later, at the meeting, Sister Veronica’s Cantonese comes through. She gets on the phone with May’s mum, who says that she’s also nervous, and that she’s happy to speak via Sister Veronica if that will make May more comfortable.

Shelagh: May, do you want that?
May: Yes please.

Sister Veronica asks May if she likes living in England (yes), if she’s getting good grades (also yes), and what she wants to be when she grows up (a nurse or a hairdresser).

May’s mom: Be a nurse!
Everyone else:

The muppets Statler and Waldorf laugh on a balcony.

Next, May’s mom asks if May loves her English siblings (yes), if she loves her English mom and dad (yes), and if her English mom and dad love her (she knows they do because they say it all the time). Then, Sister Veronica asks a question which makes all the Turners very happy: would May like to live with them forever? May says yes, and everyone smiles through tears. It’s a sweet moment, but I can’t help but think how heartbreaking this must be for May’s mom.

Over at the surgery, Sister Julienne asks Trixie, who’s just taken some medicine in the break room, to test a patient’s urine… the old fashioned way, with a flame. This sounds unpleasant, but Trixie of course agrees. However, she does it with exactly zero pep in her step. Honestly, she looks terrible, and I’m shocked that nobody seems to have noticed what’s going on with her. Pay attention, people! Trixie begins to prepare for the test, spilling a little bit of the fuel alcohol in the process. Midway through, Sister Julienne walks in with dip sticks, startling Trixie, who knocks the burner over, leading to her uniform catching fire. Sister Julienne thankfully thinks very quickly and throws Trixie onto a cot, which smothers the fire, but her legs are still burned. While Sister Julienne assesses the damage, Trixie breaks down. She admits that the meds she was taking earlier were caffeine tabs, which she’s been on all day. She can’t sleep, and she can’t think.

Sister Julienne: Trixie, these burns are all very minor, but if you were my patient instead of my colleague who I care about, this is when I’d be asking who I can call to come get you.
Trixie, through tears: You can call my brother.

Obviously, Sister Julienne understands the implications of that emergency contact change, if not the details, so hopefully this means Trixie’s work family will be paying more attention to what the heck is happening with her. Also good news? Geoffrey isn’t playing around: later, while Trixie hobbles to the couch, having been covered in ointment, he confronts her about some medicine he found in her house. It’s a sedative (probably the sleeping pill Dr. Turner prescribed earlier in the season) but given Trixie’s history of addiction, it’s probably not a good idea for her to have these, so Geoffrey pours them down the sink. Trixie is furious, especially when Geoffrey points out that Trixie’s not in the best headspace.

Geoffrey: When did you last go to AA?
Trixie: Too long ago.
Geoffrey: Ok, so if you were at a meeting, what would you say?
Trixie: Well. Every day at work I see everything that love can do. All the joy, and all the pain. But at work, I’m in control of everything.
Geoffrey: And the mess is only temporary.
Trixie: Oh yeah. Washing machine cleans it right up.
Geoffrey: We both run from love, huh?
Trixie: Yeah, but it makes sense based on our family history.
Geoffrey: Look, if you’re going to run and be stressed, go run to your husband! You love him! Be the girl you were on your wedding day.
Trixie: I was a real class-A jerk on my wedding day.
Geoffrey: Sure, but you knew what you wanted and you weren’t scared of love. You were fabulous.

I get where Geoffrey is coming from. I do. But in the modern context I’m not sure I’d be giving that same advice! Mr. Trixie really messed things up, and uprooting his family to fix his mistakes doesn’t feel fair.

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Later that night at Nonnatus house, Mariam talks to Phyllis about her husband. She wonders if they should have taken this trip, but John/Victor had been sick for so long. Meeting his mom can’t fix his body, but it’s important emotionally.

Phyllis: I hope it helps my friend too. But I’m worried that she won’t get all of her questions answered; they have so little time together.
Mariam: His whole life is documented in these slides we brough. It’s everything she couldn’t see.

The next day, Nancy arrives at Beryl’s house with a box full of home birth essentials. She notices that her patient isn’t looking great, and offers to do a quick exam, but Beryl declines: it’s her day to visit her sister at the hospital, and they’re running late!

Meanwhile, in less stressful news, John/Victor’s son Harry has just arrived on Miss Higgins’ doorstep, to their mutual delight. Miss Higgins brings Harry directly to his dad.

John/Victor: I wanted to come to Liverpool to see where you were living.
Harry: It’s fine! All men, but that’s ok.
John/Victor: Yeah man, we sent you here to look at teeth, not girls. When I get there I want to see you in your uniform.
Harry: Dad, you’re not going to make it to Liverpool, are you?
John/Victor: Don’t tell your mom.

At the shop, Reggie asks Vi if she minds that he calls her mum.

Vi: Of course not!
Reggie: But do you think my other mum would mind?
Vi: I don’t think so. I’m basically just doing the job because she can’t. People are mothers in different ways, and people need mothers in different ways.

Before they can break that down further, a bus driver runs pell-mell into the street in front of them shouting for help: he’s got a very sick lady on his bus. Vi tells him to call an ambulance, and gets onto the bus to support said lady, who, no surprise here, is Beryl.

Vi: Help is coming!
Beryl: I don't need help, I just need someone to watch all these kids.

Two people make a sarcastic "Yeah, ok" gesture

Nancy arrives on the scene shortly after, assesses the situation, and suggests everyone stay calm until the ambulance arrives.

Beryl: I can feel the head.
Nancy: Ah. Ok. In that case, Vi, give those kids the jam sandwiches Beryl’s packed, and I’ll get to work!

It’s a somewhat complicated delivery, as the cord is wrapped around baby’s neck, but all’s well that ends well. Nancy wraps the baby in her cardigan, and all the other passengers, who are waiting outside the bus, cheer.

Much less charming? “Cousin” Sylvester is back, and he’s attending service at Cyril’s church. Cyril asks if anyone wants to come up and share something good that God did for them this week, and “Cousin” Sylvester volunteers. The long and short of it? He came to the city with nothing, but he found the church, and friends. Unnoticed by him, Rosalind, who as we know is church-curious, has just joined the service.

“Cousin” Sylvester: Here’s my first pay packet. It won’t last long, but I’m so proud! I’ll keep this envelope forever because it’s stamped with the date God changed my life!

Rosalind, who obviously recognizes a Nonnatus pay packet when she sees one, pulls back further into the shadows. When “Cousin” Sylvester cozies up to Cyril after service, Rosalind keeps lurking and eavesdrops on their conversation. Unfortunately, the lurking doesn’t last long, because this broad’s plan is to confront “Cousin” Sylvester!

Rosalind: I saw that packet. Why did you lie?
“Cousin” Sylvester: Maybe that’s between me and my cousin, and you should talk to her.
Rosalind: That’s prying. This is a question for you.
“Cousin” Sylvester: You should ask your friend Joyce that question. See if she’ll tell you the truth. And tell her to say hi to Claudine for me.

Across town, Mariam, Harry, and Miss Higgins try to comfort each other while they wait for an update from Dr. Turner. Unfortunately, the update is not good. Dr. Turner wants to get John/Victor on oxygen urgently, and is going to try one last time to get him access to dialysis. While they wait for morning, the whole family sits down to watch the slides that John/Victor brought with him: pictures of his whole life so far. Later that night, after Mariam and Harry have fallen asleep, Phyllis, who’s been monitoring John/Victor, tells Miss Higgins to come hold his hand. Knowing this show, this definitely means that Phyllis is gravely concerned about her patient (and her friend).

Back at Nonnatus, Nancy and Rosalind are full of questions for Joyce, who’s packing her bags and ignoring them.

Nancy: Dude, if he’s been forcing you to give him money, HE is the one who needs to leave. Or get punched!
Joyce: You think violence is a good solution? He’s got heavy hands, and an anger problem that can’t be stopped. I know because I tried.
Rosalind: Look, tell us to shut up if you want, but are you telling us the whole story?
Joyce: No. I’m not. And if he’s a liar, I’m worse. I’M Claudine. I’ve been living under a false name, and he’s my husband. I left him and came here for a better life.
Nancy: So now you’re just gonna run away from us too?
Joyce: I’m running before I get forced out!
Rosalind: We won’t let that happen!
Nancy: But we ARE going to talk to Sister Julienne.

The next morning, Dr. Turner arrives at Miss Higgins’ house in time to pronounce her son dead. While Mariam and Harry cry and hug, Miss Higgins remarks that she was there for his first breath, and last, and not many mothers can say that. Dr. Turner comforts her, but this is just a wretched situation.

Over at Nonnatus, things are looking up. Joyce tells Sister Julienne that she didn’t want to lie, but she felt like she had to for her safety.

Sister Julienne: Joyce, do you really think you’re the first woman I’ve met who’s had to hide from a violent husband? Bright, amazing women, dealing with garbage. I’m going to look at the paperwork and figure out how to set the record straight.
Joyce: Will you get the police involved?
Sister Julienne: Yeah, dude! Not because of you, but because we need to report Sylvester for blackmail and threatening you!
Joyce: Why are you doing this for me?
Sister Julienne: Because leaving him was you doing more for yourself than so many people are able to do. You’re enormously brave and strong, and it’s an honor to support you in this.

Meryl Streep yells "yes!" and points

Speaking of support: Trixie’s on the phone with Mr. Trixie, who explains that in a few months he’ll be able to come home and manage the company from afar.

Mr. Trixie: I wish you were here!
Trixie: I was once!
Mr. Trixie: I feel like I can see you everywhere I go.
Trixie: Well we have a chance to build something from the ground up here. Like real newlyweds. We have a chance to earn our happiness.
Mr. Trixie: I really miss you.
Trixie: Good because I’ll be there soon. I’m coming to join you.
Mr. Trixie: Thank you!! It’s not forever!

A man incredulously stares directly into the camera and blinks

It better not be, Mr. Trixie!

Back at Nonnatus, Joyce answers the door to find “Cousin” Sylvester on the front step. She didn’t come meet him, so he’s here to intimidate her. Unluckily for him, Joyce is much harder to intimidate now that she’s got the rest of the team backing her up. She tells him off and shuts the door in his face to a rousing applause from her assembled coworkers (and me, let’s be honest).

Across town, Miss Higgins walks with her grandson.

Harry: My mother wondered if you’d want to scatter dad’s ashes on the river?
Miss Higgins: No — people only use the Thames when they can’t get to the Ganges or go home. He can do that. The flowers are enough.
Harry: Can I put them in for you? I don’t want you to wet your shoes or slip.

This is incredibly sweet and touching, and if you weren’t already crying, get ready, because our next stop is the mother of the year competition. Reggie shows off a miniature garden that celebrates his two moms (soil from Poplar, Ivy for his biological mother, and Violets for Vi). Reggie gets choked up before he can finish, so Fred steps in and explains the rest of the symbolism, and everyone cheers. Up next? Sister Monica Joan.

Sister Monica Joan: I’m not interested in being the center of attention.
Trixie and Geoffrey, in the audience:

A man asks "you sure about that?"

Sister Monica Joan: But today I’m here to talk about a person who’s been present for thousands of births and deaths, who’s taken care of the sick, and healed our community.
Sister Veronica: She’s done a mother’s work for decades, and like a mom she gets no thank you. But in every house in this town there are people who love her. This one’s for you, Sister Julienne.

Sister Julienne is incredibly touched, and, adorably, she wins. In more ways than one: this group project has also squashed the beef between Sisters Veronica and Monica Joan. The whole crew celebrates Sister Julienne’s victory together, and this nice moment is the end of the season. Am I over all the sad bits we saw? Absolutely not, but that’s Call The Midwife for you! And fear not: when we next visit our friends in Poplar, at this year’s Christmas special, I’ll be back recapping again. Until then, reader!