The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Tucked Up In Newport

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Anyone who's anyone has been to Newport.

On The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8, there is much fun to be had by the seaside, but events in New York are more serious than ever.

For a few characters, major secrets have at last been revealed.

Aurora Fane - The Gilded Age  Season 1 Episode 8

Mr. Adams came to play.

John Adams's initial hopes for himself and Oscar contrast sharply with the situation of Mr. McAllister. He is strongly hinted at to be gay (by Aurora, Agnes, Marian) but is married to a woman.

Mrs. McAllister lives in Newport while her husband cavorts in New York. Do they have a spoken (or unspoken) arrangement?

No one seems to suspect Oscar and John just yet, but Oscar is right -- older and unmarried, their "friendship" will start to appear more suspicious. Mr. McAllister is married, and people still talk!

What can I say? I like to win.

Oscar Van Rhijn

Mrs. Russell & Oscar - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

After an almost-public declaration of love to Oscar, John realized there's no convincing his paramour. John decides to hit Oscar where it hurts -- right in the debutante heiress.

His motivation is possibly even more callous, as he appears to be doing it to get back at Oscar, but it looks like he's got a decent shot!

Mrs. Russell clearly does not want Oscar as a son-in-law, but Mr. Adams is basically what passes for American royalty, being the descendent of a president. That ought to be good enough for Mrs. Russell. Oscar had better watch out.

Life's quite serious enough, without any help from me.

Mr. John Adams

Mrs. Fish's attitude is grating, but she is based on a real person who was legendarily catty. Mrs. Russell handled herself very well, but you can see Mrs. Fish's words rattled her.

Mrs. Mamie Fish - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

No one has been so openly and brazenly inquisitive about Mr. Russell's legal troubles. The impudence! Does Mrs. Fish want Mrs. Russell to move to Newport or not, and why?

It's hard to tell if Mrs. Fish likes her or not. The woman seems almost like a rite of passage for the new-money crowd. If you're tough enough to withstand her barbs, you make it to the next round.

Luckily, though, Mr. Russell's legal troubles are over and done with, thanks to a few chance encounters between Miss Ainsley and Marian of all people.

The whole Ainsley-Dixon business was confusing at first, but as things became clear, Mr. Russell saw his way out, and he took it.

The Hearing - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

Did Miss Ainsley really think she could get away with the lie? What was in it for her, buying nice things at Bloomingdales?

Did you think it was right before, and now you’re sorry because you got caught?

Mr. George Russell

Well, it's nice to know Mr. Russell will get off, and Mrs. Russell won't be disgraced, but Mr. Russell was certainly harsh on Miss Ainsley. Not to say that she didn't deserve it -- she could have ruined him, and you don't want to be on his bad side.

Now that Marian has done Mr. Russell a good turn (quite by chance), it will be interesting to see how he repays the favor.

Who else is still hoping for a Larry/Marian connection? There were more sparks of it here today, even briefly.

Mr. Raikes & Marian - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

As for Marian -- she and Mr. Raikes have decided to elope.

A very nice anchor around a very willing neck.

Mr. Tom Raikes

Aurora was so vague, but her concern was genuine. It seems like poor judgment on Marian's part to get all these warnings from family members and then decide that the best course of action is to elope with a man she hardly knows.

The show is casting too much doubt on Mr. Raikes to trust his intentions truly. Something tells me their elopement will not go as planned.

Finally, Peggy shared her story with Marian, Agnes, and Ada. It's tragic but not scandalous, and she shouldn't feel ashamed.

Mother & Daughter - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

Right now could you put down your sword and have some coffee?

Mrs. Dorothy Scott

In retrospect, Peggy has been much nicer to her father than he deserves. She may have disappointed Mr. Scott by marrying a man below her station, but it was callous to force her to give up her husband after a traumatic birth and death of her baby.

Marian and Peggy's honest friendship is still heart-warming as ever. Marian is empathetic and acknowledges Peggy's pain.

The revelation that Agnes also lost children wasn't all that surprising (being that she only has one son), but we rarely see her showing vulnerability.

Her sympathy for Peggy, for all the good it did, enhanced both characters. Even Ada recognized and respected this detail of her sister's life.

So much of women's pain goes unacknowledged, particularly around the oft-unspoken subject of birth loss. These four ladies shared some tender openness that was lovely to see.

A Conversation with Agnes - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

Armstrong was too cruel -- knowing her "home" life with a demanding, invalid mother gives her more nuance, but she's still too outwardly bigoted to be a sympathetic character.

Agnes disappointed everyone by keeping her maid, and it seems like she realized this as she let Peggy go. Their goodbye was poignant and respectful, but Agnes made the wrong choice here.

Armstrong has proven time again to be unpleasant and untrustworthy -- no one likes here. With the amount of money Agnes has, how much trouble could it be to find a new lady's maid if it meant keeping your secretary?

Speaking of maids, Bridget seems very interested in a boy that she has repeatedly turned down! It was fun how Mrs. Bauer just called her on it, too, but then was curious enough to allow Bridget to follow him.

Aunt and Niece - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

It turns out Jack has a tragic backstory, too -- he's an orphan whose mother died in the Peshtigo Fire of 1871. His heart's not so fickle after all.

I suspect that Bridget has feelings for Jack, but she is dealing with her own demons and doesn't know how to deal with the situation.

Following him and listening is her roundabout way of reaching out to him and offering an emotional connection without romance. It's a sweet friendship that may lead to something more, but it doesn't need to in order to be satisfying.

In other news of servants -- we still got very little time with Mr. Watson and Mrs. McNeil, but at least he finally made it across the street.

Gladys In Newport - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

What was all that about? She doesn't know him, but he thinks she should. Why was he being so sneaky then? We can assume she's married. He gave her a different name -- Collier -- which appeared to rattle her.

This plotline has been given very little focus but enough to still be intriguing -- hopefully, there will be some payoff in the final episode of the season.

Who was Baudin fighting within the street for all to see? His wife? Ex-wife? He doesn't want anyone to know about it, and it was rather rude of everyone to pry.

Why does everyone seem to think it's their business? No one's entitled to anyone else's private matters, especially your colleagues (even if he was fighting out in the open).

Bannister also definitely knows Church wrote the letter to Mrs. Van Rhijn. Is he just toying with Church now? Will we ever see Turner again?

Mr. McAllister - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

With a name like Mr. Hefty, Mrs. Astor's Newport butler verged on Dickensian parody, but that's just the kind of fun we can expect from The Gilded Age.

The entire final sequence was a predictable one -- she's not coming until tomorrow, but then she arrives early.

It would have almost felt like a set-up on the part of Mr. McAllister if he didn't stand to lose face for letting Mrs. Russell into Beechwood in the first place.

How will Mrs. Russelll respond to this indignity? With grace and good humor? Or could she potentially use it as leverage against Mr. McAllister?

Carefree in Newport - The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8

Will Mrs. Astor attend the ball? It seems that not even her daughter can convince her.

It's amazing the difference between the old-money folks and what they are willing to accept. Everyone has specific lines they will or will not cross.

Agnes is no big fan of Mrs. Astor, but she respects people like Peggy who have made something of themselves against the odds. Mrs. Astor, though, disdains Mrs. Russell because she comes from nothing. It's very telling.

Gladys's debutante ball will cap off this first season of The Gilded Age! Who will attend? Who will be disgraced? Who will win Gladys's heart? Will Marian and Mr. Raikes see their plans through? We'll just have to wait and see.

What did you think of these turns of events? What are you hoping to see on the finale? Share your thoughts in the comments!  

Tucked Up In Newport Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Mary Littlejohn Mary Littlejohn was a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic.

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The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 8 Quotes

Life's quite serious enough, without any help from me.

Mr. John Adams

Right now could you put down your sword and have some coffee?

Mrs. Dorothy Scott