This episode was the best in terms of dramatic stakes.
The protest scenes at the beginning of the episode were fantastic–realistic, dramatic enough and well done. The chase between Johnny and Pete ending in dramatic fashion, complete with the soundtrack stopping abruptly was perfect. It was the perfect set-up for the dramatic A-story of the episode.
The eventual reveal of the fight to Shirley and her going into labour as a result was a seamless dramatic transition. It was also perfect timing for the background of Shirley’s character to be revealed. Shirley giving up a baby at 15 in 1956 would mean that she’s 28 now, which proves my theory that she is older than the other girls and subsequently her relationship with the Matron is revealed. Ella Scott Lynch’s performance was spectacular throughout and her birth scene had me on the edge of my seat. I felt the outcome was predictable, however this isn’t a complaint. The fight scene between Johnny and Pete at the end of the episode was incredibly hard to watch, which means it was well done.
Meanwhile, the Martha and Matron subplot was a good, subtle B-story, which complements the A-story perfectly. Matron’s humanity is coming out more and more as the series progresses, this time with helping Martha get a job and giving her, her file, which was the perfect ending to a dramatic episode.
Meanwhile, the reveal of Patricia not really calling Robert for all that time, provides a hint as to their troublesome relationship, but it doesn’t serve the rest of the episode. Clearly this means it is opening the door for his appearance or at least elaboration from Patricia on their relationship, in later episodes.