Does Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife and is she leaving ahead of what promises to be a seriously emotional season 12 finale?
If you’re afraid that you’ll see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife you’re probably not the only one after season 12’s latest episode…
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The prospect of seeing Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife is one that is enough to strike fear into the hearts of long-time fans of the BBC drama and the final episode is set to be seriously emotional.
Whether it’s the moment we saw Lucille leave Call the Midwife in season 12 to the horrific scenes of destruction that left us agonizing for a week over who died in Call the Midwife season 11, recent seasons of the BBC drama in particular haven’t shied away from heartbreak. Now there’s just one episode left of the latest series of Call the Midwife and episode 7 left fans in turmoil once again. Sister Monica Joan fell gravely ill and even her friends and colleagues who’ve seen so much in their careers began to fear for her.
But does Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife and is Judy Parfitt leaving her fan-favorite role after season 12? We reveal what we know so far…
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Does Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife?
The prospect of losing any of the nursing sisters at Nonnatus House would be nothing short of heart-breaking at this point and episode 7 left fans fearing that we might see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife season 12. Played by the brilliant Judy Parfitt since season 1, Sister Monica Joan is a Call the Midwife institution and the latest episode of season 12 saw her receive a shocking diagnosis.
More used to caring for others than being cared for, Sister Monica Joan was told she had contracted hepatitis and though she didn't die in this episode, it’s not looking good for her.
In Call the Midwife’s 2023 series, hepatitis was spreading quickly throughout Poplar and the medical orderly and retired midwife didn’t escape it. As fatigue set in, the conversations had by her fellow nursing sisters left us concerned that we’ll see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife before the season is over.
Gathering at her bedside whilst she was resting, Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) and Nurse Phyllis Crane (Linda Bassett) remarked upon how unwell Sister Monica Joan appeared to be.
“I should’ve realized something wasn’t quite right when she refused to eat yesterday evening,” Sister Julienne said regretfully.
It was here, noticing that her eyes had a yellow tinge to them, that they decided to call in Dr Turner who revealed his diagnosis of hepatitis.
“We just have to hope she can fight the infection off,” he told Sister Julienne and Nurse Crane, after expressing his belief that Sister Monica Joan shouldn't be moved from Nonnatus House.
Now this doesn’t sound particularly optimistic - nor does Dr Turner’s pronouncement that even he can’t pretend that her age “isn’t a concern”. For those wondering - does Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife? - the final scenes of episode 7 aren't that reassuring either.
After seeing a distressed Sister Monica Joan protesting that she can’t be held “captive” and demanding not to be kept in bed, Nurse Crane privately told Sister Veronica, “I think we’d try anything at this point [to help her recover].”
Asked if she fears the worst, Nurse Crane responded simply, “Hepatitis in someone of her age? I think we both know the odds.”
Sister Monica Joan’s final moment in Call the Midwife’s latest episode saw her once again with Sister Julienne and Nurse Crane. Although they attempted to show her a photo, it soon slipped out of Sister Monica Joan’s hands as she told them, “I am weary. Perhaps you could let me in?”
Her two friends exchanged anxious looks as the narrator in Call the Midwife asks what matters most - memory or the love that “feeds and frames it”. Ultimately, whilst we haven’t seen Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife season 12, everything that’s been said by her friends is hinting that it’s at least a possibility that she'll pass away in the 2023 series finale.
Is Sister Monica Joan leaving Call the Midwife and is Judy Parfitt still in the show?
Whether it’s Douglas Henshall’s Shetland exit or the rumors of Kevin Costner leaving Yellowstone, the departure of a main actor from a beloved show always fills fans’ hearts with dread. When it comes to whether Sister Monica Joan is leaving Call the Midwife it’s perhaps all-too-easy to fear this will come to pass after episode 7’s storyline.
If we see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife then she and her actor Judy Parfitt will be leaving the show as there would no longer be a role for her but to the relief of all, as of episode 7, she’s still in it.
Opening up to Express.co.uk (opens in new tab) in December last year ahead of Call the Midwife season 12’s premiere, Judy said, “Oh anything can happen to Sister Monica. She goes through various things, it is really difficult to explain because she has come and gone health-wise.”
The star continued, “I think I have said before when she is tired, or stressed, or upset or ill that she begins to lose the plot, but I do have quite a few varied things to do in this series. It is lovely and very fulfilling”.
Given that playing Sister Monica Joan is so “fulfilling” for her, Judy’s words could perhaps indicate that she might not be looking to leave Call the Midwife. It could be that if the acting legend isn’t deciding to leave, then fans won’t have to bid a devastating farewell to Sister Monica Joan after all.
Though with her fate set to be determined in the Call the Midwife season 12 finale, the showrunners could still have written in Sister Monica Joan’s death as a key plot-point. All we currently know is that no announcement has been officially made regarding Judy Parfitt’s future on the BBC drama and whether Sister Monica Joan is leaving Call the Midwife.
She could make an appropriately miraculous recovery in episode 8 but until the delayed finale airs fans will just have to wait and hope they won’t see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife. After all, with two further series of Call the Midwife now confirmed, there’s so much more that Sister Monica Joan could do as the drama continues if she recovers.
When is the Call the Midwife season 12 finale?
For those anxiously awaiting news of Sister Monica Joan's fate in Call the Midwife sadly you'll have to wait a little longer than usual. Due to the BAFTAs 2023 the Call the Midwife season 12 finale is set to air on Sunday February 26 at 8pm on BBC One. This will bring the current series of the hit BBC drama to a close and reveal whether or not we'll see Sister Monica Joan die in Call the Midwife. Fans can also enjoy watching seasons 1-11 and all 7 episodes of season 12 that have aired so far via BBC iPlayer as they await the finale.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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