I think this might have been my favorite episode of Call The Midwife! Mystery, romance, fish aversion, pig husbandry, and the revelation that Chummy and Constable Noakes call each other Camilla and Peter. Of course, the main story concerns the housekeeper at Nonnatus House, Peggy, and her brother Frank.
We first meet Peggy and Frank as she takes him his forgotten lunch at work. They do the spousal "you'd forget your head" banter, and I thought he was her brother. While at Nonnatus House, she and Nurse Lee are talking and it becomes obvious that Frank is actually her brother. Odd.
Jimmy bought a car! Nurse Lee laughs at the car at first, but when Jimmy
starts driving Nurse Lee around, she begins to appreciate the clunker.
Frank has been feeling unwell, and has "been on the salts" for longer period of time than usually recommended. Nurse Lee offers to bring in the doctor, but Peggy explains that Frank "isn't much for sawbones" and does not want to see one. I think we all knew at this point how Frank's story would develop!
Frank comes to get his sister (who is apparently in the middle of a flashback to her time in the workhouses), and they take the afternoon off, sitting in their garden and sharing wine. They sure SEEM like husband and wife. Frank collapses, and Peggy calls Nonnatus House and begs them to come at once. Sister Julienne tells Frank he must go to a hospital to be checked; he refuses, but Peggy settles the matter with a look and a stern voice.
Meanwhile, in a less perplexing romance, Noakes tells Chummy that his mother wants to meet her. She is flattered and giggles while Trixie and Cynthia pull off their roles as squealing girlfriends perfectly. I am so enjoying Chummy's romance; I hope we see a wedding for those two!
Nonnatus House handyman Fred's weekly income augmentation scheme is to sell bacon, so the obvious course of action is to buy a huge pig. Fred should have taken one of the midwives with him, because his pig's portliness is due to pregnancy, not bacon. Whoops!
Frank's diagnosis comes back as pancreatic cancer and Dr. turner recommends that Frank receive treatment at The London Hospital. He doesn't want to go, but Peggy pretty much orders him to. After several weeks of treatment (with no improvement), Frank and Peggy return to the home they share (weird) and she refuses to tell him that he's dying, for fear that he'll give up sooner. Nurse Lee and Sister Julienne help him to settle in at home, and that's when Nurse Lee sees it. One bed, two night stands. Oh, dear. They share a bed - no wonder they act like they're married! When Nurse Lee talks to Sister Julienne, the Sister makes it clear that she has known and does not judge them. Frank and Peggy went into the workhouses as young children, were separated, and found each other later. They were the only family they had, and no longer saw each other as siblings.
Jimmy shows up with his car (named "Lady Chatterley", with a sign on the back reading "Don't laugh, Madame, your daughter may be inside!" - that Jimmy is all class) stocked for an outing to the country. The nurses all pile in, joining people already in the back, then they all ride out to the country. They trespass at a beautiful home, strip down to their underwear, and leap into the pool. There are drinks, music, and everyone is enjoying the moment. Even Jimmy, who decides to take advantage of the moment to try to kiss Jenny (Nurse Lee), but she pulls away at the last moment and has an asthma attack. Did we know she had asthma? Poor Jimmy doesn't know that Jenny's mystery man called her at Nonnatus House just to hear her voice and it has thrown Jenny for a major loop. Her mystery man is named Gerald and Jenny responded to his call by hanging up on him. Theirs was a forbidden love, and Jenny has come to London to try to forget and build a new life. I feel sure that if Gerald hadn't called, Jimmy would have been successful in that kiss attempt. Jenny finally tells Jimmy that she cares for him, but does not love him the way she's loved another.
Frank and Peggy both deal with his imminent death separately. They both know he's going to die, but neither wants the other to know. Frank dies at home with his Peggy by his side. He's in bed and looks as if he's just fallen asleep. Peggy asks Nurse Lee to wait until morning to call the undertakers. I don't want to think what that means. Later we hear Peggy reading, and realize she's in bed with Frank. No no no no no no! She kisses him, turns the light out, and snuggles against the corpse. No no no no no no! The next morning, Nurse Lee and Sister Julienne arrive with undertakers to find them both dead in bed. Peggy had taken the rest of Frank's morphine. A heartbreaking end to their heartbreaking story.
Remember that Peter told Camille (aka Chummy) that his mother wanted to meet her? Chummy has been stressing over this meeting for an entire episode. She finally makes a lovely dress, and is dressed and ready to go on the appointed day (or as Chummy referred to it "date of execution"), but is sidetracked by the pregnant pig giving birth. What?!?! She stands up Peter for a pig? He brought flowers, Chummy! And he thinks you look beautiful with pig muck on you! Peter helps Chummy with the pig, and tells her he can't stop talking to his mother about her. They hold hands, but you know I'm rooting for a kiss.
One more episode!