Home » The Gilded Age recap: season 2, episode 6

The Gilded Age recap: season 2, episode 6

by Manilla Greg
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The begin of Sunday’s episode of The Gilded Age appears to be like completely different than normal. Firstly, there’s the ripe testosterone—a pack of roaring males is a far cry from the impeccably dressed dandies which have populated our TV screens. But it’s additionally the drabbest that the HBO interval drama has seemed all season, so grayscale that it appears extra just like the MCU than the Baranski Cinematic Universe. There’s not a bustle or corset or vaguely vaginal hat to be discovered on this crowd of indignant gents, the unionized employees placing in opposition to George Russell’s huge sizzling beard and his huge sizzling mill.

Those fellas find yourself bookending our episode, however we graciously segue rapidly to our commonly scheduled programming: fantastically festooned ladies bitching about rich-people issues. We’re at Chateau Russell, the place Bertha (Carrie Coon), Mr. Gilbert (Jeremy Shamos), and Mrs. Winterton née Turner (Kelley Curran) are discussing—what else?—the opera wars. The Wintertons have agreed to affix the Metropolitan opera home and convey their deep-pocketed friends with them however there’s a catch: They need the central field within the first tier, a.ok.a. Bertha’s field.

Bertha is seething on the very thought, however she needn’t seethe lengthy: In between besmirching employees’ rights, her hot-bearded husband (Morgan Spector) strong-arms Mr. Gilbert into securing that coveted opera field for Mrs. Russell and Mrs. Russell alone. If he doesn’t, Gilbert should pay again that hefty verify George signed over just a few episodes again to renew development on the opera home—and in full. Take that, Turner.

And although we’re disappointingly brief on Bertha content material this week, it’s no less than principally excellent news for our nouveau-riche queen. The Duke of Buckingham writes to say that not solely will he be visiting New York City for the grand unveiling of the Met however he may also be becoming a member of Bertha in her field on opening night time. When phrase will get to Agnes van Rhijn (Christine Baranski), Mr. McCallister (Nathan Lane), and Mrs. Astor (Donna Murphy), nonetheless, it’s clear we’ve received a contemporary battle within the battle between the brand new cash and the outdated guard.

While one feud is heating up upstairs, one other is reducing to a simmer down under. After catching a really drunk Church (Jack Gilpin) stumbling into the Russell residence one morning, Bannister (Simon Jones) goals to precise revenge on his rival butler by sending a letter to Mr. Russell alerting him of the matter. However, when the remainder of the Van Rhijn staffers inform him that Church was merely mourning the thirtieth anniversary of his spouse’s dying, Bannister’s conscience kicks in and he scrambles to retrieve the letter earlier than it could get to George. After some strategic fibbing to Church, he’s in a position to rescue the damning put up, and the 2 formally put their butler beef behind them.

Speaking of snail mail, the newly minted Mrs. Forte (Cynthia Nixon) is sending her sister missives from her honeymoon together with her dashing reverend (Robert Sean Leonard). However, Agnes isn’t too eager to listen to Ada “bleeding on about her untold happiness.” She is happier, nonetheless, to obtain information that Dashiell (David Furr) is throwing a celebration in assist of the Botanical Gardens and has invited her and, extra excitingly, Marion (Louisa Jacobson).

Alas, Marion holds quick that her instructing schedule conflicts with the celebration date, a dedication to the trigger that pleases her newfound Uncle Luke and Aunt Ada, who’ve returned to New York to discover a cordial however curt Agnes. However, when it’s revealed that the reverend is affected by a nasty again, made worse by carrying his new bride throughout the edge (“By night time I hope. It’s probably not a picture for public consumption,” Agnes snarks), Agnes provides up her physician to help her new brother-in-law. Small steps!

Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson

Denée Benton, Louisa Jacobson
Photo: Barbra Nitke/HBO

The complete Van Rhijn lot attends Dashiell’s backyard celebration—together with Marion, whose boss principally tells her to slack off work to go get that D—the place the bubbles are flowing, the flowers are blooming, and Oscar is getting his smooch on with Maud Beaton beneath a pergola. (But extra on that in a minute.) “This is sort of a to-do for the disclosing of a plaque,” Agnes jests, however, in fact, this shindig ain’t a couple of signal. It’s about proposing to Marion, which Dashiell does in entrance of everybody, a lot to her unease and her aunt’s glee. (Seriously, Agnes is applauding earlier than the poor man may even get to the “me” portion of “will you marry me?”) It doesn’t appear to be Marion goes to just accept till she catches sight of younger Francis’s unhappy dead-mom face and so she provides up the decidedly unromantic response of, “If you actually need me to.” Girl. That’s what I say to my OBGYN when she asks if I wish to schedule a pap smear.

Things are decidedly extra amorous over on the rectory, with the newlyweds sweetly waltzing to “The Blue Danube” in the midst of the day and uttering toothache-inducing strains like “You make me really feel as if I had been 16 once more!” into one another’s faces. That is, till Reverend Forte receives phrase from the doc that it’s greater than a nasty again—it’s most cancers. I swear to Andrew Scott, if the TV gods kill off Ada’s sizzling priest the second she’s lastly experiencing actual happiness, I’ll riot. Though she’s sturdy to her husband’s face, the minute Ada sees that her older sister has come to look after her in her time of grief, she breaks down proper in her arms.

And George has his personal griefs over in Pittsburg: the strikers. The railroad magnate visits Mr. Henderson (Darren Goldstein) at his residence, hoping to speak the unions down from violence, however as a result of he gained’t budge on pay, the labor chief gained’t budge on the employees’ calls for. The union strikes ahead with the strike, which culminates in a tense standoff between the employees and the mill’s gun-toting safety. When pictures threaten to be fired, nonetheless, Hot Beard calls all of it off…as a result of he simply now remembered that the employees have households? Sure, Jan. Take us again to bitchy opera enterprise, stat!

Stray observations

  • Six episodes in, it lastly occurred: The countless alarm-clock tinkering has some extent! Yes, that complete tedious plotline was allegedly meant to sign that younger Jack Trotter (Ben Ahlers) is an inventor wunderkind who, after devising a brand new escape wheel to repair the damaged timepiece, is urged by the downstairs crew to patent his discovering. Alas, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office refuses to certify his invention as a result of he formally doesn’t belong to a horological institute or society. Trotter is affected by some Barry-Keoghan-in-Banshees-style crushed desires, however it’s heartwarming to see the entire Van Rhijn workers, and even Agnes herself, pool their {dollars} collectively to assist him pay the applying charges. (“Thanks to all-a-youse!” he cried.)
  • Speaking of, there have been a number of seasons-best line readings on this episode that made me spit water out throughout my laptop computer. Nathan Lane’s “Hhh-what? Hhhh-ow?” in that exaggerated Colonel Sanders twang. Mrs. Bauer’s German-accented “What is hor-or-or-ilogical?” And I’ll be chuckling on the approach Christine Baranski bit straight by means of the phrase “hobbledehoys” till subsequent Sunday.
  • Peggy (Denée Benton) and her hunky married editor are engaged on a brand new piece collectively for the paper—on the unjust closing of Black faculties within the metropolis—however the truth that she’s in love with him is certainly complicating issues. “I don’t need you to be harm,” Marion tells her upon her return to Manhattan, however Peggy is resigned to the heartbreak: “The solely factor we each know for sure is that I’m going to get harm.” Oof.
  • Oh proper, that enterprise between Oscar and Maud Beaton (Nicole Brydon Bloom). Yes, issues are transferring rapidly with the couple, with Oscar forking over a great chunk of change as an funding in Maud’s railroad pursuits. “She’s harmless…she doesn’t deserve for use,” her enterprise supervisor worries about Oscar’s intentions. But what if it’s Oscar that’s getting used? Is the supposedly rich Maud simply out for his cash? This is beginning to stink of a rip-off!

Stream The Gilded Age now on Hulu.

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