Welcome to this week’s “The Crimson Field” Question from the Front! Before reading and participating in the poll, do note that there are many spoilers ahead.
One of war’s most detrimental effects is its ability to tear families apart and place major speed bumps in the path of young couples hoping to someday build a life together. In France, Sister Joan Livesey (Suranne Jones) is beginning to emotionally struggle and her reason for doing so has become abundantly clear.
Outside of a field tent, a Belgian man whose daughter has been badly burned due to a household incident seeks out Sister Joan. Somehow, despite how bad her wound looks, the child, Matilda, remains oddly quiet.
As Sister Joan begins to treat Matilda, her personable, yet concerned father Jaco accidentally has a book fall out of his possession. Sister Joan picks it up, only to realize that it’s a book of German poetry. Immediately, Jaco defends his ownership of it, explaining that he is not a spy. Although she didn’t have to, Sister Joan chooses to believe him and cautions him about the importance of keeping that book private. Jaco, of course, is positively relieved by Sister Joan’s kindness and open mindedness.
Wanting to ensure that Matilda’s health is moving in the right direction, Sister Joan hops on her motorcycle and makes a house call. Jaco is surprised, but once Sister Joan enters his home, he is eager to show his appreciation.
Jaco: “Sister, I don’t understand how you have the time to be here.”
Sister Joan: “Children are important. I can see that Matilda has suffered.”
Jaco: “That is so, but your kindness is overwhelming.”
Sister Joan: “I’m just doing my job.”
Jaco: “It was more than that. You’ve shown trust.”
Sister Joan: “I don’t think reading German poetry makes you a spy.”
Jaco: “But, some people would’ve reported it. That would have been very difficult.”
Sister Joan: “I’m not those people.”
As the two continue to speak, Jaco explains that Matilda remains silent as a way not to speak about the German mother she’s been separated from. Jaco made this request of his daughter, but now she doesn’t make a single sound.
Soon, Jaco notices that Sister Joan doesn’t appear well. After fishing for details, it’s revealed that Sister Joan hasn’t heard from her man and doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead. As it turns out, this fellow is German and thus being able to get letters to him is challenging, seeing as Sister Joan is stationed with the British military. Perhaps as a way to repay Sister Joan for her graciousness, Jaco hands her pen and paper, along with the offer to mail letters on her behalf. Sister Joan is overcome with emotion and proceeds to write.
Considering the nature of the war and how it has separated many individuals from their loved ones, do you think Sister Joan will ever see her partner again?
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