'Call the Midwife': We Need to Talk About Matthew

Helen George as Trixie Aylward on the phone in Call the Midwife Season 13, Episode 4

Helen George as Trixie Aylward in 'Call the Midwife' Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

Call the Midwife was all about lung health in Episode 4. The hospital provided tuberculosis vaccine tests to the local schoolchildren, leading Nurse Nancy (Megan Cusack) to the Chidozie family when two children tested positive. When Nancy visits the house with Dr. Turner (Stephen McGann), they discover that the family patriarch, Felix (Dimeji Ewuoso), is so sick with tuberculosis that he's already coughing up blood. 

They take Felix to the hospital to get tested and discover that he's far sicker than they realize. When Dr. Turner and his son return to the Chidozie house to encourage Felix to stay in an isolation bed, Felix collapses and dies before an ambulance can make it to the house. The scary and heartbreaking case with Felix pushes Nancy to ask questions about her own childhood. Miss Higgins (Georgie Glen) helps Nancy track down one of the old nuns who took her in as a small girl, and the old nun reveals that Nancy's entire family died of tuberculosis. She only survived because of a natural immunity. 

Everything to do with the Chidozies was tragic and bittersweet, but the other case of the week was downright stressful. Trixie (Helen George) and pupil nurse Joyce Highland (Renee Bailey) were charged with taking care of a heavy-smoker patient. When Prue Stanton (Lucy Thackeray) goes into labor, Trixie gets a call from Matthew (Olly Rix) and rushes out because she thinks it's an emergency. Turns out, Matthew is just frustrated with the crying baby and would like Trixie to come home and deal with their child. Trixie brushes him off but is so distracted by the call that she signs off on Prue's placenta without properly checking it. 

There was still a missing piece of the placenta inside Prue when Trixie signed off. The next day, Prue is rushed to the hospital and almost dies because of Trixie's divided attention. The good news is that Trixie took full accountability for the mistake and didn't leave Nurse Highland to take the blame. However, the incident was a wake-up call for Trixie and put a spotlight on the growing issues in her marriage to Matthew, which we need to discuss. 

Is Divorce on the Table?

Helen George as Trixie Aylward harried heading home in Call the Midwife Season 13

Helen George as Trixie Aylward in Call the Midwife Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

The wonderful thing about Matthew, besides his objectively good looks, is that he's been so supportive of Trixie's career and ambitions…until this season. My complaints with Matthew were registered during the driving lesson fiasco when the way he spoke to Trixie rubbed me entirely the wrong way. I was willing to accept it was a one-time thing considering how supportive he was of Trixie staying a mid-wife during their courtship and in the Season 13 premiere. 

He made the call that pulled Trixie out of that tricky pregnancy because he had a headache and didn't know how to stop his own son from crying. He condescendingly informed Trixie that she had duties at home and work that she couldn't forsake. He had so little sympathy for Prue when Trixie revealed how that phone call led to the poor woman going to the hospital. Trixie rebutted that it was unacceptable for Matthew to call her out of work the way he did and made plans to stay at Nonnatus House for three days a week and the rest of the time with Matthew so she could separate her work and home life. 

The final scenes saw Trixie pack up her things and head to Nonnatus House, and her future with Matthew in question. He has realized he's supportive of Trixie's work as long as it doesn't inconvenience him, and expecting him to take care of his own baby is just too much. If that was the woman he wanted, then he shouldn't have pursued Trixie, who has always been open about how much her work means to her. 

Stream Now

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife is a moving and intimate insight into the colorful world of midwifery.
Call the Midwife: show-poster2x3

Trixie is so beloved by the fan base of this show. Everyone was terrified that she would quit in the season premiere to make more time for being married to Matthew. It is so heartening to see her stand up for herself and not allow a man to tell her to make her career mean less than his. However, it is also heartbreaking to see the man who wooed Trixie turn into this and put her between her job and marital bliss time and again. There is still time for the couple to figure things out and get back on track, but Matthew's behavior this season has set a worrying precedent, and it's becoming harder to see how he'll get to a place where he truly allows Trixie to be the woman and mid-wife she's destined to be. 

Call the Midwife Season 13 continues on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on PBS, with new episodes available streaming on the PBS App and the PBS Prime Video Channel.

Megan Vick gives Telly Visions a thumbs up

Megan Vick has been writing about pop culture on the internet professionally since she was 18 years old, but she's not going to tell you how long ago that was. 

She grew up on British TV thanks to her very British mother, but she also loves mom shows of all kinds and YA romances. Her byline has appeared in TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and more. 

More to Love from Telly Visions