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S03.E01: Season 3, Episode 1

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When Greek Street is attacked by new pimps in town, Charlotte Wells fights back with disastrous consequences; she must protect her girls from the men who want to take over her business; Lucy goes into business with two recent arrivals to the scene.

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Original air date: 7/10/19

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Episode is up and watched!!!

Well first of all, I miss Will and Margaret, and I'd love to know what happened to Miss Pettifer, Sukey and Hannah, and most definitely Amelia and Violet, but the cast has gotten so big I'm willing to wait a little while on more news about them.

I feel like Lydia is still exactly where she deserved, but so is Charles. I hope Cherry ends up with Charlotte, she's such a crafty woman who was wasted on Charles.

Lady Fitz is getting better than she deserves from Charlotte after letting the Spartans run loose, but I feel for her with Sophia. I can't imagine how hard it would be to refute your child's romantic ideals by admitting they themselves were a product of rape, much less incestual rape.

I was surprised at how happy I was for Emily finding a place for herself and getting educated. I don't think she's truly malicious, but I also don't know that she's the type to run a business well enough to make it compete. I'm glad she left the pimp guys, anyway.

The pimp guys...I've been keeping back from spoilers, but I'm tentatively interested in seeing a narrative of men trying to break into a female-dominated field instead of the reverse. Not that I hope they win though. I hope Nancy gets her hands on the firestarter and brings Lucy along to help.

Speaking of, I'm glad to see that Lucy's character has followed a through-line from the beginning; that even though she can be taught to be an excellent harlot, she just plain doesn't like the work. I hope she excels in her new business and finds what she's really good at and enjoys doing.

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This show is just so good. I wish everyone would watch it and it would become a huge hit. What do we think Charlotte & her girls are going to do now? Half of Golden Hall for them & half for the Mollys, maybe?

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I've got to say, even though I know that Lydia is horrible, I really felt for her when they were giving her the "treatments" for madness. The whole madhouse system just terrifies me to be honest. And, almost as if they could sense I was feeling bad for her, they make her go in and start grooming a vulnerable girl so that she can pimp her the second she gets out. 

Is Margaret actually gone for good? I suppose it's realistic that someone can't just come back from transportation, but I'm really surprised if they have just written her off.

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@legxleg I can’t even watch the Bedlam scenes. I know Lydia is a snake, but it’s too much because it reminds you how easily any man could get his inconvenient female relative sent there. Oh, and hey, that continued on into the US until the late 1800s at least:

https://www.encyclopedia.com/law/law-magazines/packard-v-packard-1864

Like almost all Harlots episodes, so much going on! I loved how fearlessly Charlotte took down Theon (Isaac), but I knew her final public humiliation of him would be a step too far. Was that genuine regret he was showing at the end? And how the hell do they still have chemistry? Going to give that one to the actors, because the “bad boy with a heart of gold” trope does NOT work for me.

I liked Isabella’s stuff, especially her quiet scene with Nancy, but I really don’t care about her daughter. 

I can’t believe I forgot about Violet and Amelia. I’ve been rewatching season 2 but didn’t make it to the end. 

George doesn’t seem to serve much purpose, but I guess that’s the point. I suppose he becomes so desperate he has to spring Lydia from lockup?

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Great start to the season!  I like the year leap forward and where everyone started out.  I like that they've pretty much wiped out most of the male characters from last season - I thought they were starting to distract from the main characters.  I could do without Lady Fitz and her daughter - they don't add anything for me.

I am guessing that Charlotte and her girls will end up over at Quigley's old place, which would really frost Lydia.  I'm also guessing that they'll take pity on Charles and offer him a position there, hopefully in a very subservient position. 

Bedlam is probably horrifically historically accurate.  It's scary that there wasn't even an effort into figuring out if any of these women were "crazy" or not when they were dumped there.  Sort of the modern day equivalent of "what's the date, what's your name, who is the president?"  type stuff.  I'm not 100% sure Lydia is grooming the new girl, or if she's just really happy to have someone to have a cultured conversation with. 

My one nitpick is that the whole damn neighborhood would have been out en masse putting that fire out.  In those neighborhoods, one place catches on fire, they all go down, so everyone had an interest in saving the Wells' home. 

15 hours ago, legxleg said:

Is Margaret actually gone for good? I suppose it's realistic that someone can't just come back from transportation, but I'm really surprised if they have just written her off.

Spoiler

In the main teaser for Season 3 they show Margaret.  If I remember correctly, she was back with the main characters.

Edited by chaifan
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And we're off.  You know a show is good when we've watched Lydia Quigley be the most horrible of horrible for two full seasons and it can still have me somehow wanting to root for her to escape.  Those Bedlam scenes were unspeakable.  Yes, we know she's grooming that girl, but considering that her hapless idiot son managed to lose everything she built up over a lifetime in the course of a year and it was his word that got her locked up in the first place not because that was where she belonged but because he could as her male relative and it was an easy out, I want to see her claw her way back out of this.  That moment when she wasn't sure if Idiot Charles was really lurking or if she was finally going mad was rough,

Ye gods, Charlotte and Isaac/Not Theon Greyjoy have some chemistry.   I don't know where they go from here now that she's publicly humiliated him repeatedly and he's set fire to her house, but their word play and the actors' timing in delivering it is fantastic.   I couldn't quite decide whether he was feeling a bit guilty in the end or he was wanting to make sure she didn't miss getting to see what he'd done. 

It's mildly interesting how Isabella is coming around to the idea that her hoity-toity society friends are more trouble than they're worth as she's continually drawn further into our working girls' orbits.  Her quiet little pep talk with Nancy was terrific in realizing hey lady, you've got pretty much everything we're over here struggling for, why do you even care so deeply what these judgmental assholes think of you?  Good luck with explaining to blandly pretty little Sophia that her uncle is also her dad if you eventually decide to go that route though.

Reserving judgment on Lucy throwing in with a complete stranger who thinks she's an easy mark until we see how it plays out, although in all fairness I'm not sure they're reading her wrong.  It's pretty typical of Lucy to be told that opening a molly house is a good way to end up on the end of a rope and for her to shrug it off as hey, it'll be an adventure.  After two full seasons of watching her struggle with it, at least Lucy can finally admit she doesn't much care for sex work and is trying to find a way out.  In that same vein, good for Emily Lacy for taking the initiative to learn to read and write after it cost her so dearly last season and for doing what she needs to do to learn business and move up in the world.  

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4 minutes ago, nodorothyparker said:

I couldn't quite decide whether he was feeling a bit guilty in the end or he was wanting to make sure she didn't miss getting to see what he'd done. 

I said much the same upthread. And his last words, to the effect of “no really, fly away home”, sounded genuinely sad. Zero smugness (that I could read). So is he trying to get her there faster, before the place is burned to the ground? Good acting in any event.

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So glad the series is back. Husbands were still colluding to get troublesome wives thrown into asylums in the 1950s - it happened to a family friend. He went to court and got her committed.

I forced myself to watch the Bedlam scenes because Leslie Manville is a national treasure.

We really need Samantha Morton back.

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So Isaac is Theon! The thought crossed my mind but I'm really bad at recognizing people so I thought I was mistaken. That's an interesting choice of a next role for him - I'd assumed that he would want to go for something set in the modern day. Charlotte seems to just have the *worst* picker.

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Charlotte mentioned that Isaac was the first guy she'd been with since she became a bawd, so a year in showtime.  I got the sense that she was bored and something about him or his way with words appealed to her.  

There was a theme throughout this episode of safety.  Charlotte and the new woman wanting to open the molly house, Elizabeth Harvey, both framed what they do as providing safety for the people who work for them.  Lydia was talking about it too in trying to groom the new girl in the next bed.  That makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that Charlotte sicced the constables on Isaac for public lewdness in the tavern, not threatening her or trying to extort money from her house.  That wouldn't have gotten her anywhere anyway as we've already seen that the local authorities can decide to enforce the laws against operating brothels whenever they feel like it and probably aren't going to be much interested in what they consider one criminal muscling money from another.

Probably belongs in the Harlot Economics thread, but Emily settled with her new keeper for 25 pounds a week, plus whatever business acumen he teaches her.  If she sticks with it for awhile, that's considerably more than Lucy was getting in her short-lived courtesan career.  

Nancy gave us the detail that she was 12 when Lydia put her to work.  Combine that with the beginning premise that Margaret started when she was 10, and it's starting to paint an ugly picture that a much younger Lydia was dealing in child prostitutes.  We know from last season that Lydia did something years ago involving younger Margaret and Nancy that was bad enough to earn her a flogging.   Child prostitution was definitely a thing then and a fairly lucrative one, but that's probably as close to addressing the subject as a modern TV show in going to get.

The only way that ending of watching the house burn makes sense is if none of the neighbors has noticed the fire yet because it's late and they're all asleep.  Because otherwise, yes, they should all be struggling to contain it before the whole block goes up.  Looking again in the background of the scene, it does look there are several men carrying what appear to be buckets into the house.

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This show continues to be reliable. I hope more people start watching. The season premiere was great and it sucked me right back in to the world the showrunners have created.

I can't believe that I feel sorry for Lydia. She's so horrible but that place...it would be hard for me not to root for almost prisoner to escape. I admit too that I felt a pang when I thought about how she'll feel when she learns that Charles lost Golden Square.

I'm completely unspoiled for this season. I don't think I've even seen the trailer so I was shocked that Lesley Manville was in this season. I figured her story was a wrap. I worried about the show working without her because she's been such a terrific villain but I guess that won't be an issue this season. If Lydia does manage to escape (I have to think that she eventually will) imagine how scary she's going to be? It'll be like bringing back Voldemort. 

I can't wait.

Not Theon is a very welcome addition to the show. I agree with those who think that Isaac and Charlotte have chemistry. 

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There was a lot going on in this episode, maybe a little too much for my tastes, and I did miss the missing characters, but still, I'm glad it's back!

Isaac seems like he had the potential to be an interesting morally gray character. Charlotte and him facing off will be fun to watch.

I have to say, I'm really impressed by Emily Lacy. She seems to have really wished up and by educating herself, is playing a longer game then most of the other characters. She might even be able to parley those skills outside of the world of harlots and bawds.

I wonder where they are going to go with Isabella's character, since her story seems pretty wrapped up from last season. Her daughter is naive moron, and someone needs to knock some sense into her.

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glad to see the show back.  It's one of the very few things besides British mysteries that I actually watch.

Something I didn't quite get if it was the whole Lucy thing.  I got the part that she didn't like sex work for herself but I don't understand why she didn't team up with Charlotte on something.  Wouldn't Golden Square (the house and the setting) be a step up for Charlotte's business?  Which of course Lucy could have some role in.

I was surprised to see the policeman that arrested the new guy was Fanny's former steady customer.

The scenes at the madhouse were hard to watch.

It does seem like too many new people have been introduced.  Obviously will have to see how it goes but it seems to me that maybe the molly house line with the Lady and her son could have been cut.  At this point I also don't see the whole Lady Isabella stuff going on.

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I forgot how tense this show makes me. I'm always waiting for something terrible to happen to characters i like. Nancy's my favourite so I'm glad she survived the fire.

I couldn't watch the bedlam scenes. It probably would have been kinder to just kill Lydia rather than put her in that place.

I still have some residual sympathy for Lucy because of what she has been through and her age but she was testing my patience in this episode. Her mother turned herself into the law to save her from the noose and now she's jumping into a venture that could put her back into trouble because it's an adventure.

There was a lot going on this episode so maybe I missed it but was there a mention of where Will was? Shouldn't he have been there protecting the house?

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20 hours ago, abbyzenn said:

I don't understand why she didn't team up with Charlotte on something.  

Charlotte had mentioned to Charles that she sunk all her money into the house where she’s a bawd. So she’d have nothing to give Lucy and Lucy didn’t have enough money alone for Golden Square. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 7:02 PM, legxleg said:

I've got to say, even though I know that Lydia is horrible, I really felt for her when they were giving her the "treatments" for madness. The whole madhouse system just terrifies me to be honest.

On 7/12/2019 at 5:30 PM, snowwhyte said:

I couldn't watch the bedlam scenes. It pobably would have been kinder to just kill Lydia rather than put her in that place.

It’s especially scary when a strong woman like Lydia can so easily be put into a place like that. She deserved some comeuppance but that was brutal. Women had so little power back then.

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20 minutes ago, ferjy said:

It’s especially scary when a strong woman like Lydia can so easily be put into a place like that. She deserved some comeuppance but that was brutal. Women had so little power back then.

That was hard to watch. If time travel came to be, I’d never go very far in the past. With my luck, I’d end up being thrown in a place like that!

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8 minutes ago, steph369 said:

That was hard to watch. If time travel came to be, I’d never go very far in the past. With my luck, I’d end up being thrown in a place like that!

lol  Or end up in the witch trials.

Edited by ferjy
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On 7/12/2019 at 5:30 PM, snowwhyte said:

I still have some residual sympathy for Lucy because of what she has been through and her age but she was testing my patience in this episode. Her mother turned herself into the law to save her from the noose and now she's jumping into a venture that could put her back into trouble because it's an adventure.

Kids!

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On 7/12/2019 at 5:30 PM, snowwhyte said:

There was a lot going on this episode so maybe I missed it but was there a mention of where Will was? Shouldn't he have been there protecting the house?

Not a word. I had to think back to last season to try remember whether he had gone off somewhere in the last episode but I can’t remember anything along those lines.

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1 minute ago, ferjy said:

Not a word. I had to think back to last season to try remember whether he had gone off somewhere in the last episode but I can’t remember anything along those lines.

Maybe off to rescue Margaret. Will is resourceful but I don’t know what even he could manage. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 5:30 PM, snowwhyte said:

I still have some residual sympathy for Lucy because of what she has been through and her age but she was testing my patience in this episode. Her mother turned herself into the law to save her from the noose and now she's jumping into a venture that could put her back into trouble because it's an adventure.

It's definitely reckless. All the more reason for Will to be there to keep an eye on Lucy. I'm sure he'd have a few choice words to say to her. Can't imagine Margaret's reaction if she does come back.

Edited by ferjy
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At first I did think maybe Will had followed Margaret to America but then I remembered all the reasons a black man should avoid that at all costs. Plus while Margaret could theoretically return to England and live quietly somewhere else she is still a notorious person in London who is supposed to be dead.

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On 7/12/2019 at 2:30 PM, snowwhyte said:

There was a lot going on this episode so maybe I missed it but was there a mention of where Will was? Shouldn't he have been there protecting the house?

I might be wrong, but I think towards the beginning of the episode there was a throwaway line about Will having gone elsewhere to compete in boxing/street fighting matches. I guess he took his and Margaret's son with him as well, maybe to teach him how to fight.

Edited by HeySandyStrange
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As soon as Isaac Pincher leaves, Nancy starts castigating herself, saying that Will would kill her for this. Charlotte responds by saying that Will is in New York or Scarborough, "plying his fists". I'm guessing he took Jacob with him.

As for Lucy -- she doesn't have much of a choice here. She sunk all her money into that house and she can't get it back. She's reached her breaking point as a harlot and can't go back to doing it herself. The Greek Street House didn't need two bawds, and with her refusing to do sex work she would have been a superfluity there anyway.

So she's chosen to feel positive about the Molly House. She'll make money and she won't have to do any sex work. Her presence will help to obscure the house's true nature (as her new partner hinted), because what's wrong with a fashionable young courtesan investing in a clothing business? If anything she'll make it seem like it's a front for coming to see her, not coming for men.

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1 hour ago, PinkRibbons said:

As soon as Isaac Pincher leaves, Nancy starts castigating herself, saying that Will would kill her for this. Charlotte responds by saying that Will is in New York or Scarborough, "plying his fists". I'm guessing he took Jacob with him.

Thanks. I missed that. A shame, I like the actor and the character. I hope he comes back eventually. 

1 hour ago, PinkRibbons said:

As for Lucy -- she doesn't have much of a choice here. She sunk all her money into that house and she can't get it back. She's reached her breaking point as a harlot and can't go back to doing it herself. The Greek Street House didn't need two bawds, and with her refusing to do sex work she would have been a superfluity there anyway.

 So she's chosen to feel positive about the Molly House. She'll make money and she won't have to do any sex work. Her presence will help to obscure the house's true nature (as her new partner hinted), because what's wrong with a fashionable young courtesan investing in a clothing business? If anything she'll make it seem like it's a front for coming to see her, not coming for men.

True. And she didn’t know it would be a molly house when she went in on the deal. But it was her flippant attitude that concerned me. And that she went for the deal so quickly. Lucy needs to learn to think things through first. Charlotte is much shrewder. I’m not sure Lucy will ever get to that stage. 

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Between Lucy's recklessness, Bedlam girls antics and Isabella's daughter running off with the footman they did a good job of showing the naive idiocy so common in a lot of teenage girls.

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Happy that this show is back, I missed it a lot over the break! It kind of sucks that this show came out around the same time as The Handmaids Tale which really stole its "women struggling in an oppressive system" show thunder, and hasn't really had the viewership and critical love that it deserves. 

Its good seeing Lucy trying to get out of being a harlot as, despite her learning how to be good at it, she still hates sex work, and helping to manage a mollyhouse is probably her best bet. She can use what she knows about the sex trade, but without actually having to have sex with people. I am also interested in seeing a mollyhouse, which seems like an inevitable location in a show about sex work in this era. How is it different and similar to the all women houses? 

Lydia is the worst, but seeing the atrocities in the asylum is really hard to watch, no one deserves that. Those places really were truly terrible, especially because, like we saw here, people used them as a form of sick entertainment as well as being places to shove inconvenient people and torture them under the guise of "medical help." That being said, of course Lydia is already trying to groom some poor girl to be her next featured girl when she gets out, because as much as what is happening to her is terrible, Lydia is still the worst. 

Alfie Allen is a great addition to the cast, and Issac and his brother seems like a interesting characters to throw into the mix. Word on the crazy hot chemistry he has with Charlotte, like hot damn. 

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On 7/16/2019 at 10:51 PM, tennisgurl said:

Alfie Allen is a great addition to the cast, and Issac and his brother seems like a interesting characters to throw into the mix. Word on the crazy hot chemistry he has with Charlotte, like hot damn. 

What I like about his character is it marks a change in the show.  There has always been a male/female conflict with this show, but it was always mixed up with a class element.  This new character strips away the class and gives Charlotte an adversary with whom she only has to fight on one front.

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On 7/12/2019 at 7:44 AM, nodorothyparker said:

Nancy gave us the detail that she was 12 when Lydia put her to work.  Combine that with the beginning premise that Margaret started when she was 10, and it's starting to paint an ugly picture that a much younger Lydia was dealing in child prostitutes.  We know from last season that Lydia did something years ago involving younger Margaret and Nancy that was bad enough to earn her a flogging.   Child prostitution was definitely a thing then and a fairly lucrative one, but that's probably as close to addressing the subject as a modern TV show in going to get.

Well, that and when Lydia asked Margaret if she still licked it like a lollipop. 🤢🤮

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