Call the Midwife season 13 episode 6 recap: devastation for Trixie and Matthew

Call the Midwife season 13 episode 6 recap: devastation for Trixie and Matthew

Call the Midwife season 13 episode 6 sees Matthew get devastating news, while Rosalind and Joyce face their final exams. 

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There is trouble for Matthew when he finally tells Trixie the truth about his financial woes, while two young boys are abandoned at a church by their desperate mother. But will anyone be able to track her down? 

Here's everything that happened in Call the Midwife season 13 episode 6... 

The sixth episode of season 13 opens with Nancy asking for time off from the rota so that she can attend a Raise The Roof meeting, a campaign for better pay for nurses. Sister Julienne points out it is Phyllis who sorts the rota, and Nancy is worried about asking her because she knows she and Nurse Crane are on different pages when it comes to campaigning for pay rises. 

Meanwhile, Rosalind is worrying about her upcoming final exams and is so nervous she knocks her coffee over at breakfast. 

However, everyone's minds are soon taken off exams and campaigns when two young boys are found abandoned in a church, having seemingly been left there by their mother. Sister Veronica and Shelagh help care for the boys while the police, and Cyril in his new role as welfare officer, are called. 

Dr Turner checks the boys over and although they have nits and scabies, they seem well-fed and otherwise in good health. Soon they are taken to a temporary foster mother while the authorities try and track down their mother. 

Sister Veronica (REBECCA GETHINGS) and Shelagh Turner (LAURA MAIN) find two young boys abandoned in a church in Call the Midwife season 13

Sister Veronica and Shelagh Turner with the two young boys abandoned in a church. (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

Elsewhere, Nurse Crane is helping a Poplar local called Gladys Bell as her elderly father comes to the end of his life. She is very matter-of-fact about his death and soon packs up his belongings and heads out to work as a debt collector. However, it is clear she's not in the best of health herself and is suffering from severe stomach pains. 

Doctor Turner examines her and refers her to a specialist immediately. Gladys is annoyed, telling them she doesn't have time to be ill. 

Meanwhile, Matthew gets an urgent call from his mother, telling him there is an Aylward Estate board meeting later that he must attend. Matthew, who has been secretly hiding crippling money worries from Trixie, knows that the meeting isn't going to go well, however, an oblivious Trixie is more worried about collecting her new car later that day and makes Matthew promise to be there as she wants him to be her first passenger.

Trixie waits for her new car in Call the Midwife season 13

Trixie is excited about picking up her new car.  (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

The meeting is worse than Matthew thought and he is told the company now has a debt of more than £250,000 and is on the brink of ruin. Matthew promises he did all he could with the business after inheriting it from his father, but his mother, who is also on the board, tells him he is not only being struck off the board with immediate effect but his salary from the estate is also being stopped.

Matthew Aylward (OLLY RIX) and the board of Aylward Estates in Call the Midwife season 13

Matthew Aylward and the board of Aylward Estates. (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

After Matthew is a no-show at the car showroom, Trixie heads home and angrily confronts her husband, telling him they had no record of her car being ordered. He is forced to confess that he has lost his job and been struck from the board and also reveals there was no car because when he went to order it there was a problem with the payment. Despite being in shock, Trixie is understanding about what has happened and vows they will get through this together as they're married for 'richer or poorer'.

However, Trixie is heartbroken when Matthew admits they also won't be moving into their fancy new apartment because he doesn't own the flat that they currently live in, he only owns the lease which expires in five years. This is news to Trxie and she is upset. 

Elsewhere, we see a pregnant and desperate mum down at the docks, who is considering taking her own life by jumping into the water, but before she can, she blacks out and collapses. 

Trixie and Rosalind are passing and attend to the woman, whose name is Deirdre, and it soon turns out that she is the mother of the abandoned boys after Rosalind finds some red ribbon in her pocket, the same ribbon that was tied around the boys' wrists. 

Rosalind Clifford (NATALIE QUARRY) and Trixie Aylward (HELEN GEORGE) find Deidre (GRACE BOYLE) collapsed in Call the Midwife season 13

Rosalind and Trixie find Deidre collapsed at the docks.  (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

Deirdre is taken to the maternity hospital where she is told she is overdue and anemic. She admits she loves her boys dearly and only abandoned them because she didn't want them living on the streets after they were all thrown out of their home.

Gladys is told she has a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. While she maintains that she has never worked with the dangerous substance, the specialists work out that her father's old work where he drilled into asbestos is the cause, and that she would have got it secondhand from him when he came home with it still on his work clothes.

While Gladys's cancer is terminal, doctors ask her to take part in a new medical trial which could potentially see her live for a few more months, but she refuses and breaks the news to her children that she is dying.

Gladys Bell (ANNA FRANCOLINI) , Jason (MITCHELL CREAK) in Call the Midwife season 13

Jason is upset when he finds out Gladys  refused the trial.  (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

Trixie thinks she has a breakthrough when an old family friend has a job opening, and she excitedly tells Matthew, but instead of being pleased he shouts at her for broadcasting their money troubles and that he needs time to get used to the idea himself before telling everyone. The pair have a huge fight and it looks like they have well and truly hit their first rough patch in their marriage. 

Deirdre meets with her boys when Cyril brings them to a picnic, and she is thrilled to hold them. However, their reunion is short-lived when she goes into labour. At the maternity hospital, things are progressing slowly, with the midwives thinking she is trying to hold onto the baby for as long as possible, worried that as soon as it is born it'll be taken away from her like the boys. However, she gives birth to a baby girl, and Cyril arrives with the news that she can keep her daughter, and if she proves to be a fit mother, she has a chance of getting her abandoned boys back, too. 

Rosalind helps Deirdre write a letter to her boys before she heads home to do more revision for her exam.

Rosalind Clifford (NATALIE QUARRY) sits her exam in Call the Midwife season 13

Rosalind has worked hard for her exams.  (Image credit: BBC / Neal Street Productions / Olly Courtney)

Meanwhile, Gladys' son, Jason, is upset when he finds out about the trial that his mum has turned down. Sister Monica Joan goes to visit Gladys and talks her around, and eventually, Gladys agrees to have the treatment.

Matthew and Trixie call a truce as they sit and do their household accounts together, but will this truce last?

Also, the pupil midwives all nervously sit their exams, and as the results arrive a few days later, their Nonnatus House colleagues gather around as they open their letters. They all pass and they're offered permanent roles at Nonnatus House, which they eagerly accept - now a fully-fledged part of the team.

Call the Midwife season 13 airs in the UK on Sunday evenings at 8pm on BBC One. You will also be able to catch up on iPlayer after each episode has aired.

In the US, season 13 will start on Sunday, March 17, 2024 on PBS.