The Russells Plan - The Gilded Age
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Recap

One of the maids, Adelheid, helps Gladys sneak out of the Russell home, but just as Gladys heads out the door, her mother catches her and asks her where she’s going. Gladys wants her freedom, asking why she’s being punished. Mrs. Russell chastises her for corresponding with young men and orders her back upstairs.

Mr. Russell asks his wife why she doesn’t want Gladys out. He suggests they invite Archie Baldwin over to dinner, listing his parentage and good standing in society. Mrs. Russell insists she wants more for Gladys, and she’ll know when she finds it.

Miss Turner comes to fetch Mrs. Russell, telling her the seamstress is here. Turner exchanges a look with Mr. Russell before leaving the room. In the kitchen, Peggy asks Miss Armstrong about her upcoming plans. Armstrong is cold and rude. Mrs. Bauer offers Armstrong a slice of pie.

Marian asks Aunt Agnes if she can accompany Aurora Fane to a Red Cross function in Dansville. Aunt Agnes explains that charity has two functions — to help the less fortunate and to allow less-than-worthy people into society. She grants Marian permission to go, as long as Peggy goes with her, as Aunt Agnes no longer trusts Mrs. Fane completely.

Marian seeks out Peggy. Peggy has a copy of the New York Globe, with her story published. Marian congratulates her. Marian apologizes for her assumptions about Peggy’s family, blaming her own curiosity. Marian notes that Mr. Raikes knows more about Peggy’s life than she does. Peggy states that she knows Marian is a good person, and the tension is smoothed over.

Mr. and Mrs. Russell inform Larry and Gladys that they will be inviting Archie Baldwin over for dinner.

Marian takes some letters out to mail and runs into Mrs. Scott, who came to visit Peggy and found she was out. Marian and Mrs. Scott walk together. Mrs. Scott suggests that Peggy might have mentioned how much she dislikes Mr. Scott. Marian said Peggy has said no such thing, only indicated that Mr. Scott forced her into a course of action she regrets.

Mrs. Scott thinks it would be best for Peggy to move back to Brooklyn, where she can meet a man and start a family. Marian assures Mrs. Scott that her daughter loves her. Mrs. Scott thanks her and leaves.

Armstrong visits her bedridden mother, bringing her groceries. Armstrong gets to work cleaning her mother’s apartment.

Marian visits Mrs. Fane and tells her she’ll go to Dansville as long as Peggy accompanies them. Mrs. Fane remarks on how good Agnes has been to Peggy, and Marian comments that Agnes appreciates people who help themselves.

Mrs. Fane informs Marian that she has invited Mrs. Russell over to meet with Mr. McAllister, and she wants Marian there. Mrs. Fane explains that Mrs. Astor uses Mr. McAllister to filter the new arrivals. Marian asks if Mrs. Fane will invite Mr. Raikes. Mrs. Fane agrees.

Armstrong’s mother finishes her meal, saying it was awful. Armstrong gets her mother out of bed and sits her down so she can make the bed.

Agnes, Ada, and Marian go for a carriage ride in Central Park. Marian informs her aunts that Mrs. Fane has invited Mrs. Russell to luncheon. She tells them Mr. McAllister will be there as well. Marian neglects to mention that Mr. Raikes will also be there.

Adelheid tells Turner that Gladys may get a lady’s maid. Adelheid thanks Turner for showing her the way, but Turner thinks Adelheid is foolish to believe she could attain such a position. Mrs. Bruce asks Adelheid if she thinks she could be a lady’s maid.

Mrs. Bruce finds Gladys and asks if she is considering Adelheid for the position of lady’s maid. Gladys says she will be happy with anyone as long as she doesn’t need a governess, saying her mother may use Adelheid’s inexperience against her.

Mrs. Bruce says she’ll see what she can do. Gladys notes that Mrs. Bruce is the first to ask her her opinion on anything concerning herself.

Mr. Russell finds his wife in her room and tells her that the station is well underway. She informs him that Mr. McAllister has confirmed luncheon with Mrs. Fane. Mr. Russell laughs, but he is happy for her, and she says they are getting to where they need to be.

Marian tells Peggy that Mr. Raikes will be at the luncheon. Peggy asks if Mr. Raikes enjoys playing at society. Marian says he does but notes they are both from Doylestown — both can adapt as circumstances change. Marian tells Peggy that Mrs. Scott visited earlier, hoping Peggy will come home. Peggy is annoyed that her mother involved Marian.

Ada enters, and Peggy gives them privacy. Ada asks who’s really going to Aurora’s luncheon. Marian tells her that Mr. Raikes will be there. Marian doesn’t want Aunt Agnes to turn against him before she knows him. Ada says it’s too late, stressing that Mr. Raikes isn’t what they planned for her.

Armstrong returns to work at the Van Rhijn house. Mrs. Bauer asks her how her day was, and Miss Armstrong says it was nice and the pie was wonderful.

Mrs. Russell is dubious about Adelheid, but Mrs. Bruce says she will keep an eye on her and make sure Mrs. Russell is informed of any of the maid’s shortcomings. Mrs. Russell agrees. Mr. Russell arrives, and Mrs. Russell tells him of her decision to give Gladys a lady’s maid, not a governess. He is pleased to hear it.

Marian arrives for luncheon. Mrs. Russell and Mr. Raikes are already there, but Mr. McAllister is fashionably late. Mr. Raikes pulls Marian aside and asks her how she managed it. Mrs. Russell sidles in and mentions the Red Cross event at Dansville, which she also intends to attend. Mr. Fane remarks that it is quite far, and they would need to stay overnight.

Mr. Raikes offers to arrange the lodgings for them, including Mrs. Russell. Mrs. Russell also pledges financial support. Mr. McAllister arrives. Mrs. Fane introduces Mr. McAllister to Marian, Mrs. Russell, and Mr. Raikes.

In the Russells servants area, Adelheid has been promoted to lady’s maid. They discuss Gladys and Mr. Baldwin. Church orders them to stop.

At luncheon, Mr. McAllister guesses that Mrs. Russell has a fine French chef and beautiful palace but not enough guests for her liking. He offers to introduce her to people. Marian notes to Mr. Fane that McAllister and Mrs. Russell are getting on well.

Oscar runs into Miss Turner on the street and helps her up as she trips. She recognizes him and informs him that she’s Mrs. Russell’s maid, and she knows why he hasn’t been around for dinner lately.

Turner says he shouldn’t have backed off during the business with Mr. Morris, and Mr. Russell seems to think Oscar wants Gladys, which Oscar confirms. Oscar asks Turner to meet him in the park in an hour, as he believes she could be useful to him.

Agnes thanks Peggy for going with Marian to Dansville. Peggy tells her she is excited to hear Miss Barton speak. Agnes remarks how determined both Peggy and Marian are, though Marian can be reckless, too. Peggy notes she has been reckless in the past. Peggy is adamant that she will not spy on Marian for Agnes.

Marian, Mrs. Russell, and Mrs. Fane arrive in Dansville, greeted by Mr. Raikes. Miss Barton will be speaking shortly. Marian notes that Peggy is writing an article about Miss Barton for the Globe and should come as well.

The women arrive as Miss Barton is being introduced. Anne Morris is there, disgusted to see Mrs. Russell. Mrs. Fane urges Mrs. Morris to show some tact, as Mrs. Russell has been very generous. Mrs. Morris accuses Mrs. Fane of being “defiled.” Mrs. Russell hears this and joins the conversation.

Miss Barton takes the stage. She announces that the Red Cross will be opening three new branches, thanks to Mrs. Russell, and Miss Barton calls Mrs. Russell on to the stage. Miss Barton greets Marian, Mrs. Fane, Mrs. Morris, and Mrs. Russell.

Marian introduces Peggy to Miss Barton. Peggy asks to interview Miss Barton, who agrees, much to the chagrin of Mrs. Morris. Peggy asks if the Red Cross will help anyone in need, which Miss Barton confirms. Miss Barton invites Peggy in with them.

Miss Barton shows them around the infirmary area. Mrs. Morris remains furious with Mrs. Russell. Mrs. Fane tries to placate her.

At dinner, Mrs. Morris has left, gone back to New York. Miss Barton asks where Miss Scott is. Marian tells her she’s in her room writing her article. Mrs. Russell retires, explaining that she has an early train in the morning. Miss Barton thanks her for coming and for her generosity.

After Mrs. Russell leaves, Mrs. Fane apologizes to Miss Barton for Mrs. Morris. Miss Barton is aware of Mrs. Russell’s motivations but is still glad Mrs. Russell chose her charity to support. Mr. Raikes agrees. Miss Barton asks if they know Mrs. Chamberlain. Marian says she has met her a few times and will see what she can do about getting her support for the Red Cross.

Marian and Mr. Raikes walk together. He tells her he is going to a ball on Thursday. Marian warns him that this high society life may not last. He shows her to her room and bids her goodnight. He lingers, and she chides him for the implication. Mr. Raikes kisses her. Peggy interrupts them, asking Marian if she has a key. Mr. Raikes hastily departs.

Peggy and Marian go into their room together. Peggy says she saw what was going on and thought Marian might need some help. Marian is still surprised by the kiss. Peggy confesses that once, she was in love with the stockboy at her father’s pharmacy. She says he changed her life, but her parents disapproved. Marian wonders if she should be insulted by Mr. Raikes’ kiss.

Oscar tells John Adams that Turner will be his spy in the Russells’ house.

Miss Turner returns, complaining about the trip. Baudin notices she is in better spirits. Turner says she’s taking his advice and changing things up.

Ada and Agnes are happy to have Marian back. She remarks how Mrs. Russell has made herself the heroine in all of this.

Church checks in the kitchen. Adelheid is excited that they are having Mr. Baldwin over. Church is dubious, suspecting that Mrs. Russell is playing a long game.

Marian reads Peggy’s draft article about Miss Barton. They note how well Miss Barton does at charity work, and Marian makes a self-disparaging remark, saying that she has never known strong and independent women like Peggy and Miss Barton before. Marian asks if Peggy is happy living here.

Marian urges Peggy to make up with her family while they are still alive, or she will regret it. Peggy indicates she is carrying a heavy burden but doesn’t elaborate.

At dinner with the Russells, Archie Baldwin compliments the food and the house. Gladys informs the family that Archie’s parents are building a house in Newport. Mrs. Russels and Gladys leave Archie and Mr. Russell alone. Mrs. Russell insists Larry join her and Gladys.

Mr. Clay gets an urgent cable for Mr. Russell. Mr. Clay leaves the office immediately upon reading it.

Archie Baldwin and Mr. Russell drink port together. Mr. Baldwin asks if Mr. Russell wants to know his intentions. Mr. Baldwin tells him he is 24, the same age his father was when he got married. Archie extols Gladys’s virtues.

Mr. Russell proposes that he can arrange for Mr. Baldwin to become a broker with Mr. Seligman. However, there will be conditions. Mr. Russell tells Mr. Baldwin that he must never communicate with Gladys again, except for a final letter. Mr. Baldwin asks what will happen if he refuses.

Mr. Russell explains that if Mr. Baldwin turns down his offer, he will never work in the financial sector again. Mr. Russell and Mr. Baldwin return to the drawing-room. Mr. Baldwin tells Gladys that he must go.

Mr. Russell and Mrs. Russell check in with each other. Mr. Russell thinks it’s a shame, as Mr. Baldwin seemed like a good man. Larry asks what they have done. Gladys asks if they’ve spoiled it.

As Mr. Baldwin leaves, Mr. Clay arrives. Church calls on Mr. Russell to see him, saying it’s urgent. Mr. Clay informs Mr. Russell that there has been a train accident on their railway. Several are dead and many injured.

Gladys insists that she loves Archie. Mrs. Russell says she wants the world for her daughter, and she’ll get it.

Mrs. Russell meets with her husband and Mr. Clay. She asks about numbers. Mr. Russell tells his wife to get Miss Barton and her Red Cross team to Millburn, Pennsylvania.

Show:
The Gilded Age
Season:
Episode Number:
5
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The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

If you won’t let me go into society, mother, I must find some society for myself.

Miss Gladys Russell

You have a good heart. But I run my own life. Is that clear?

Miss Peggy Scott