Trixie and Matthew's woes in Call the Midwife could spell disaster for Nonnatus House
Nonnatus House's future is uncertain once more.
Unlike Trixie, Call the Midwife viewers have long known that Matthew's business, which he inherited from his late father, has been having some cash flow problems, placing considerable strain on Olly Rix's character.
But the full extent of his financial woes had yet to be revealed.
In tonight's episode (Sunday 11th February), however, the grim details were laid out during a board meeting.
The debt Matthew has accumulated in the company's name totals a figure well in excess of £250,000.
"You have brought Aylward Estates to the brink of ruin, and only the emergency reserve and a sizeable donation from your mother has kept the company afloat," said a board member.
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When asked what he had to say, Matthew did note that the company "wasn't in the best shape" when he took it on, and that he did everything he could to "reverse its decline".
But while Lady Aylward praised her son's good character, she was quick to highlight his "unwise investments" and the "premature sale of the warehouses".
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In dramatic fashion, Matthew was then struck from the board, and his salary was also stopped, effective immediately, leaving him no choice but to confess everything to Trixie, now the breadwinner, who was waiting patiently for him at the car showroom.
She remained there for two hours before heading back to the flat empty-handed, where Matthew informed her that there would be no car because he had made a "complete and utter mess of the business".
"My father had his own way of doing things, but I'm not him," he said, before revealing that he had lost "everything he worked for".
"I'm out of a job, and I'm broke," he admitted.
But rather than descend into hysteria, which many might have expected, Trixie's love for her husband was on full display.
"No, we're broke," she corrected him. "We're married, for better for worse, for richer for poorer. Do you remember that?"
All of their plans for the future are now on hold, including their move to the new apartment in the Barbican.
"But you own this flat outright, don't you?" asked Trixie, confused about their inability to get a mortgage.
"I only own the lease, and it expires in five years," he admitted.
But it's not just their own living situation which is in jeopardy.
"So, we really do have nothing other than my wages," she said as they sat down together and went through a mound of paperwork.
"But at least Nonnatus House is safe," Trixie added. "Thank goodness you signed the deeds over to the order's name."
Many will remember that its future was threatened until Matthew swooped in like a guardian angel in season 12 and bought the property from the council.
But his face dropped in response to Trixie's question.
"You did do that, didn't you?" she asked, searching for reassurance.
Unable to find the words, he simply shook his head.
Although the teaser for next week's episode – the penultimate in season 13 – does tease a possible solution to Matthew's business woes, which could see a return on his investment in five years, there's no denying that this problem now extends far beyond Trixie and Matthew – and could have disastrous consequences.
Season 13 of Call the Midwife airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One. Seasons 1-13 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.