After an emotional roller coaster this season so far, All Creatures Great and Small Season 3 Episode 4, “What a Balls Up!” is a welcome reprieve. In many ways, this episode feels like the calm before a storm. We still get to see the characters we love. We know that something big is coming, however.
The show continues to focus on James Herriet’s (Nicholas Ralph) actual legacy. The TB testing is obviously still such a hard sell. This story is, however, a venue for Helen (Rachel Shenton) to step up and support James’ career. She’s the missing piece that’s needed to get the farmers on board. Her support is invaluable, and James would to well to continue to appreciate it.
Relatedly, it’s too bad that now that Helen and James are married, they’re not shown more on-screen together. Both of these characters are at a crossroads. These two have always been so well-matched. It’s so lovely to see that continued now that they’re married. The danger is in the storytelling getting complacent now that these two are finally together.
As the war gets ever closer, James’ existential crisis is deepening. The story on this episode is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that his work as a veterinarian is incredibly valuable. He is responsible for the livelihoods of local farmers. However, it seems authentic that a man in his era would feel a certain responsibility, as more and more people head off to fight a war on not-too-distant shores.
All Creatures Great and Small Season 3 Episode 4, “What a Balls Up!” is a devastating twist for Mrs H. (Anna Madeley) and Gerald (Will Thorp). They’ve had such a sweet relationship so far, bonding over walking their dogs and enjoying nature. Unfortunately, it’s evident that Mrs. H still has a lot to work through before she’s ready for a new love. If she can face her past, and process everything she’s been through, perhaps she will be ready to explore new love. There may be a chance for these two yet.
All Creatures Great and Small is taking an ever-so-slight breather before the story heads into the horrors of World War II. In reality, there was no part of life in England that wasn’t touched by this global catastrophe. It will be interesting to see how the show tackles this, with the majority of the characters presumably staying where they are. There are many more stories to tell as the season approaches its final episodes.
All Creatures Great and Small airs Sundays at 9/8c on PBS.