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nodorothyparker

S03.E04: Season 3, Episode 4

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Airdate 2019.07.31

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The disastrous events of the night before leave the whole town reeling. As more details are uncovered, suspicion of who's to blame for the tragedy starts to spread through Soho. 

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Another pretty terrific episode in dealing with Charlotte's death.  The cast were all doing nice work in conveying their grief even as the show kept everything moving and putting various pieces into play at a good pace.

Maybe not surprisingly, Lydia Quigley owned this episode.  She's always had a bit of a soft spot for Charlotte, even when she was twisting her arm to do terrible things or endangering her, and Leslie Manville struck just the right balance of terrible grief over what had been lost with Charlotte and weary resignation that she was likely to be blamed for something she didn't actually do.  She was also magnificent in her scene of passively watching Mrs. May choke to death. alternating there too between self-pity and festering rage that she is what Mrs. May made her and the terrible person she's become as a result.  Lydia is a monster who has sometimes come off with all the subtlety of Cruella De Vil in a powdered wig, but at the base of it all, she's a survivor and you could really see that in this episode.  What's more, she's a self-aware monster who knows she'll keep being a monster if that's what needs to be done.  Love how she could establish herself as a dead woman's heir on little more than her say-so and no one seemed to care enough to even question the validity of it.

Maybe it's because they've only been out of Bedlam for a couple of days tops at this point and things have been kind of rushed, but it does feel like Kate should have gotten more prepping on how to actually be a harlot before setting her loose on London society.  By her own admission, she's only had the one guy who ended in her getting tossed into Bedlam in the first place, yet they thought she'd really be up to handling a prince, odious as he might be?

It seems rather obvious Emily is going to be the weak link keeping the heat off of the Pinchers and pointed at Lydia.  She can convince herself all she wants that Hal Pincher really loves her and is her future, but the cost of her association with him is mounting.  She lost her rich keeper, the land deal that was supposed to make them all rich is closed to them, and she seems pretty sure that at least one of the brothers had a hand in Charlotte's death.  She also doesn't seem to be as comfortable as she wants people to believe in going against the other women she has a long history with.  She came perilously close to telling Margaret how her own interference with the Pinchers led to Charlotte going over that railing.  Isaac/Not Theon Greyjoy was a loose cannon before this, and he's even more unhinged now raging and weeping in public.  That doesn't bode well for everybody being able to keep it all together.

Justice Knox appears to be this season's replacement for Hunt.  So far he seems generally decent.  Unsurprisingly, Blayne has found a whole new way to be terrible.  Harriet's steady cull doesn't seem to understand how harlots work.  

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I enjoyed Cherry teaching Kate profanity. Also, maybe an unpopular opinion here, but while I don't mind the character of Harriet, the actress that plays her isn't very good. She always comes across so flat and monotone.

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It’s still super weird to think about a show without Charlotte, I kept waiting for her to just get up and wink, like she was faking her death or something. And I still don’t like how they killed her. Yeah the actress was leaving but...shoved off the stairs accidentally? By two characters who we just met, fighting over something she wasn’t really involved in? We’re they aiming for an anticlimactic death for some kind of statement, or did they just want to get it over with? Honestly, I think I’m just getting burned out by all these big characters deaths. It’s getting hard for me to look subjectivity at the story, instead I just feel sad and bitter.

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Everything is moving at top speed. When Charlotte died, I thought that explained the odd pacing of her story: there was no real time to explore her as a bawd or her relationships with Isaac and Isabella, they just needed to get everything in place for her death. Margaret returned after missing only two episodes, which made me wonder why write her off at all, but then I thought that maybe they needed her after Jessica didn't renew her contract for the full season. However, even Margaret's story is copying Charlotte's speed: the Pinchers and Lydia found out about her right away and Jonas Young is saying that he sails in two days. Now I'm wondering whether they only got Samantha Morton for three episodes and she'll escape with Jonas after shooting Hal when his already iffy story is exposed in the next episode! Then Elizabeth's interest in William might actually lead to something. But this season is so wonky compared to 1 and 2 that I feel like I'll have to rewatch it after the finale to understand where they were going with this pacing.

I hope we'll get more of Lucy's grief next episode, maybe with Nancy (one of her best scene partners), but I loved how her Pa is trying to watch over her. This episode was a little too heavy on recent FWB Isaac's mourning.

Manville is so, so good. Even though I want Lydia to pay for her crimes in the end, she's a delight to watch: a complex villain I love to hate. I'm not a fan of Kate's story: at the moment she's just playing harlotry on easy mode, neatly protected from having to confront the abuses that all the other women have had to navigate and live with. I hope she'll learn the truth about Lydia and start making her choices, whatever they are, as an adult rather than a sheltered girl.

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The scene of Justice Knox interrupting Cherry teaching Kate profanity in the tavern is fairly telling.  He clearly knows enough of how this world works that after having seen her paraded about as a potential courtesan that he's trying to warn her against it.  But having not actually had to do any of the unpleasant or potentially dangerous parts of harloting yet except be put on display to try to create the necessary sensation, Kate is fairly insistent that this is what she wants, that she's making her own choices and fate.  Even as gross and unappealing as the prince was, she still sees that as aspirational.  As the reality of her choices sets in, though, it will be interesting to see if she, like Lucy, quickly loses the taste for it and starts looking for an exit or, like Harriet, stiff upper lips her way into making the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

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On 8/3/2019 at 7:32 AM, kieyra said:

What kind of accent is Knox supposed to have? I couldn’t place it.

I think it’s French. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 7:32 AM, kieyra said:

What kind of accent is Knox supposed to have? I couldn’t place it.

22 hours ago, ferjy said:

I think it’s French. 

He's Scottish. 

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14 minutes ago, Proclone said:

He's Scottish. 

Well yes, now that they've told us in this episode. 😛  I was just coming on to correct myself. Worst Scottish accent I've ever heard though! You can hear a bit of a Scottish accent this episode, but I couldn't hear it in previous episodes.

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I’ve noted just how dangerous owning a Molly house was. I’ve also noticed the disinterest in female sexual relationships- so long as a woman did her duty and obeyed her husband/produced heirs, her sexual dalliances with other women were ignored. A single rich woman like Lady Isabella faced no social reproach for a sexual relationship with another woman. 

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I'm sad to say I'm losing interest in the show. It's all over the place. The scenes are often only a minute long. Too many characters to do them justice.

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On 8/12/2019 at 11:04 AM, pasdetrois said:

I'm sad to say I'm losing interest in the show. It's all over the place. The scenes are often only a minute long. Too many characters to do them justice.

The weird editing of scene is very jarring. There will be a relatively serious scene of important exposition, followed by a 30-second shot of someone having sex to a jaunty soundtrack, and then suddenly we're back at the main plotline. It does get confusing.

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Hal is absolutely not a good guy. He doesn't actually love or even respect Emily. He might not be as open of a misogynist as Isaac but it's still there. He never takes her side or truly defends her. He thinks poorly of sex workers even though they make part of his money and he's in a relationship with one. He acts nice and puts on those puppy dog eyes but he's yet another terrible man on this show. All the endearments in the world don't make up for how he actually treats her.

How did Isaac get in the house? Why does every Wells establishment have zero security? They need to put some money aside to pay for some people to protect them if anyone continues to be a bawd after this.

What location did they rent for Blayne's house? It's huge. It looks like a museum.

Isaac was still awful to Fanny. I count that as intimidation/threatening. He's still a dick. Just because he's wallowing in his man pain and smelling Charlotte's clothes like a creeper, it doesn't make him less of a dick.

I love Nancy immediately not buying that it was Quigley and not the Pinchers.

New magistrate is boring compared to the one who loved Amelia. It's not just that he's serious and unexpressive. He's like a lesser version of the old character... the one magistrate who cares about justice/punishment. Also, his accent is wobbly.

Are magistrates supposed to go around making house calls like detectives? I thought they were more like judges.

Calling Charlotte's lover "Lady Quimfingers" shows how Isaac really feels. UGH. It's so annoying that terrible men get to claim they "love" women when they so clearly do not. Isaac could just have easily have killed Charlotte, especially if she had ever turned down sex with him. Everything in his characterization points to it. He's violent, impetuous, and self-centered.

Isaac making the other prostitute put on Charlotte's dress is unbelievably creepy. 

How could Lydia have thought everyone in that house would be okay with her going to Charlotte's viewing?

LOL. Okay, watching Lydia calming sit there while that horrible old woman choked on a fish bone was pretty funny.

Isaac blaming everyone else for Charlotte's death? I can't. Like it was such a great idea for her to get mixed up with the likes of you? I swear, if he'd pushed her over the railing himself, he would still be blaming everyone else. Lord, I hate him.

Cherry was fantastic this episode.

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Harriet's steady cull doesn't seem to understand how harlots work.  

LOL. Does he think she's his mistress. It would be strange for him to not set up a house and other necessities for her if she was his mistress. But then she does have to run the house for her girls. Still, it does seem more like he thinks he should have exclusive rights even if he's not paying for them. 5 guineas each time is different from an agreed-upon price upfront and jewels and baubles every so often.

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Manville is so, so good. Even though I want Lydia to pay for her crimes in the end, she's a delight to watch: a complex villain I love to hate. I'm not a fan of Kate's story: at the moment she's just playing harlotry on easy mode, neatly protected from having to confront the abuses that all the other women have had to navigate and live with. I hope she'll learn the truth about Lydia and start making her choices, whatever they are, as an adult rather than a sheltered girl.

It's similar (though not identical) to Lucy in season 1. I don't know where they're going with it. Will Lydia eventually sell her out? Is she going to end up married to the magistrate in some nonsense happy ending? I have no idea. 

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Even as gross and unappealing as the prince was, she still sees that as aspirational.  As the reality of her choices sets in, though, it will be interesting to see if she, like Lucy, quickly loses the taste for it and starts looking for an exit or, like Harriet, stiff upper lips her way into making the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

There's also the Charlotte option of being amazing at it but becoming dead inside (until she met that idiot she wanted to run away with).

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