'Call the Midwife' Welcomes Rosie Jones in Heartwarming Season 13 Premiere

Helen George as Trixie Franklin delivers a baby in the Call The Midwife Season 13 premiere

Helen George as Trixie Franklin in Call The Midwife Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

It's finally time to return to return to Nonnatus House, almost three months after we last saw them all in the December 2023 Christmas special, and spring is in the air. Poplar welcomed warmer weather and a new batch of midwifery students in the Call the Midwife Season 13 premiere. While the new season ushered in new hopes and new beginnings as 1969 rolled in, it also brought along a lot of new drama to welcome us back into the fold.

The episode began with the arrival of the new students: Norelle Morris (Shamia Phills), Kathy Downes (Rachel Nicholson), Rosalind Clifford (Natalie Quarry), and Joyce Highland (Renee Bailey). The latter two became the latest additions to Nonnatus House as they began their midwife rotations, and were quickly introduced to how integral the sisters and Trixie (Helen George) have become to the community.

Of course, the biggest question on everyone's mind was whether Trixie would decide to stay at Nonnatus House or take a new, more stable nursing position. (It says a lot that Matthew is allowing her to work at all, and not simply insisting she quit wholesale.) However, before Trixie could officially make up her mind, all hell broke loose with a new patient.

Let's break it down: 

Three Cheers for Rosie Jones!

Jennifer Hennessy, Rosie Jones, and Georgia Alexandra as sisters Ada, Doreen and Anne Challis greet Megan Cusack as Nancy Corrigan in 'Call The Midwife' Season 13

Jennifer Hennessy, Rosie Jones, and Georgia Alexandra as sisters Ada, Doreen, and Anne Challis and Megan Cusack as Nancy Corrigan in 'Call The Midwife' Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

It's not a Call the Midwife premiere without some tears, but I am glad to report they were happy tears. Comedian Rosie Jones made her Midwife debut in the Season 13 premiere as Doreen Challis, a young woman with cerebral palsy who discovers she is eight months pregnant. Questions immediately arose about whether Doreen was fit to take care of the baby, but Doreen was out to prove everyone wrong. She fell in genuine love with a piano tuner named Graham (Jake Lampert). He proposed, and they decided to raise the family together. 

Doreen not only stood up to her mother but showed the sisters as well that she was not to be counted out. Doreen's birth was a big moment for Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter), who discovered her calling to be a midwife when Doreen was born. At first, she couldn't remember delivering the baby and blamed herself for potentially causing Doreen's condition. However, a conversation over tea with Doreen's mother, Ada (Jennifer Hennessy), helped refresh Sister Julienne's memories. They had joked in the delivery room, despite the desperate circumstances. (Doreen was born during WWII during the London Blitz. Even though it was a tough birth where Doreen's shoulder was stuck in the womb, Ada was moved to tears with gratitude for Sister Julienne bringing her beloved daughter into the world.) 

In the end, Doreen delivered a healthy baby boy with only minor difficulty coordinating her pushes. Jones gave a stellar emotional performance, and the episode feels like another perfect clapback for all of the trolls who mocked the comedian for her appearance on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz in December. It's this heartwarming advocacy for differently abled people that makes Call the Midwife so beloved with its fan base and makes it such an important example of how representation matters. 

While Doreen's story fulfilled the heartwarming quota for the episode, Trixie and Rosalind were having an even more dramatic case across town. 

A Violent Case for Trixie

Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica confronted by police in 'Call The Midwife' Season 13

Rebecca Gethings as Sister Veronica in 'Call The Midwife' Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

Trixie was at a crossroads coming into the Season 13 premiere as she contemplated leaving midwifery to become an apartment nurse. Before the final decision could be made, she was assigned to help Iris Melia (Sophia La Porta) with the birth of a new baby. This isn't Iris' first pregnancy, but it's aggravated by the fact her husband, Les (Andy Burse), has gotten involved in some shady business. 

When it comes time for Trixie and Rosalind to help deliver the baby, we're informed that Iris' husband has gotten involved with the mobster Kray twins (famously played by Tom Hardy in the movie Legend, for reference) who historically terrorized the East End during the 1960s. Iris' birth was already going off the rails when Trixie couldn't get the pain-relieving gas to work, but it took on a new level of the dark when Iris' husband attempted to shoot off the locks of the apartment door so he could get inside to answer the Krays' phone calls. 

The gunshots led to a stand-off between Les and the police after he barricaded himself in the apartment, blocking Sister Veronica (Rebecca Gethings) from getting Trixie a new tank of gas for Iris. The stress of Les' antics exacerbated Iris' labor, and she gave birth to a baby girl with no pain relief, but there were complications and excessive bleeding, putting both the baby and Iris' life in danger. It took both Sister Veronica taking over the loudspeaker and Trixie standing up to Les for them to get Iris and the baby safely to the hospital while Les was taken away in handcuffs. 

Olly Rix as Lord Matthew Aylward getting out of the car in 'Call the Midwife' Season 13

Olly Rix as Lord Matthew Aylward in 'Call the Midwife' Season 13

BBC Studios / Neal Street Productions

It was an extremely stressful day, but it only cemented that Trixie loves her current job. At the end of the episode, she informed Matthew (Olly Rix) that she wouldn't be quitting, and a sigh of relief could be heard around the world. Trixie has become a central figure of the show, and it doesn't feel like fans are ready to say goodbye to her yet, especially with a fresh crop of midwife students who could use her guidance having just arrived. 

We are always prepared for the worst when it comes to Call the Midwife's ability to play with our emotions, so we are thankful that the Season 13 premiere gave us a feel-good start to the season, like a beautiful spring day after a hard winter. 

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.

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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. 

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