Sisters - The Gilded Age
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Recap

Agnes receives a letter from Aurora Fane about another charity event. Agnes says Mrs. Fane and Mrs. Morris are laughingstocks even though the bazaar made over $2000.

A letter comes for Agnes from Clara Barton. Barton has started a chapter of the Red Cross in the US and will be giving a talk at Mrs. Fane’s. Ada and Marian decide to go together.

Ada watches out the window and notices Gladys out with her governess, Miss Grant.

Gladys tells Miss Grant she knows she stole some brandy. Miss Grant insists it was medicinal. Gladys and Miss Grant are going to visit a friend of Gladys, Archie Baldwin, a respectable young gentleman.

Miss Grant asks Gladys why she hasn’t introduced Mr. Baldwin to her mother. Gladys insists it’s complicated.

Amongst the Van Rhijn servants, Jack asks Bridget to see a magic lantern show with him. Mrs. Bauer encourages Bridget. Jack asks Bannister if he and Bridget can have the same night off. Bridget says she hasn’t agreed to go, but Jack insists.

Mrs. Russell asks her husband about the new station. Mr. Russell tells her the bills have passed, and the stocks are high. She hands him the newspaper, which reads that there is a rumor the law may be rescinded.

Mr. Russell remarks that Gladys is old enough to be married and doesn’t need a governess. Mrs. Russell insists she knows what she’s doing.

Mr. Russell meets with Mr. Morris. Mr. Russell is furious that the aldermen have betrayed him. Mr. Morris explains that public opinion has moved away from his position. Mr. Russell accuses Mr. Morris and the other alderman of playing the stocks underhandedly.

Mr. Morris says they are merely public servants. Mr. Russell says they are dishonorable, and Mr. Morris leaves.

Clara Barton gives her talk at Mrs. Fane’s. Mrs. Astor asks her how she thinks she’ll be able to get enough support for her cause. An older man, Cornelius Eckhard III, says President Arthur might be more enthusiastic than the previous presidents.

Marian notices Ada and the man exchanging a meaningful glance. Marian asks her aunt about the man’s identity.

Mrs. Fane makes a closing statement, and everyone applauds Mrs. Barton’s talk.

Mr. Eckhard presents himself to Ada, and she introduces him to Marian. Ada remembers him -- they knew each other when they were young, in Pennsylvania. He says he had settled in Connecticut but recently moved to New York.

Mr. Eckhard explains that Mrs. Morris is his niece, and he came to the talk when he heard Ada would be in attendance. Marian says he should call on them. Ada giggles, and he takes his leave.

Mrs. Fane and Mrs. Morris approach the Brooks, asking for their support. Marian is happy to give it but asks why they don’t ask Mrs. Russell if they need money. Mrs. Morris and Fane tell Marian not to mention her name when Mrs. Astor is in the room. Mrs. Morris tells them that Mr. Russell has insulted her husband.

Mr. Russell explains the situation to his wife. He’s worried the aldermen will steal his company. She asks if he can fight it. He explains that he will have to put their capital -- their fortune -- at risk. She encourages him to do it.

As Mr. Russell heads upstairs, Gladys approaches him, asking for a favor. At the Van Rhijn house, Agnes remembers the Eckhards. Marian seems to think Mr. Eckhard was an old beau of Ada’s. Agnes said Mr. Eckhard had no money, so their father refused him.

Marian believes he’s probably lonely, and Agnes jokes about him pining for Ada all this time. Oscar shows up, announcing that he’ll be dining with the Russells.

Dressed for dinner, Mr. Russell comes across Miss Turner. He asks what she wants. Miss Turner says that she and all the servants side with the Russells. He thanks her and leaves. Church overhears their interaction.

At dinner, Mrs. Russell asks Oscar about his job. Gladys asks if they can talk about Archie Baldwin. Oscar remarks that he knows Archie -- Archie’s aunt is his godmother. Oscar suggests that Archie is a bit young for Gladys. Gladys says he’s just a friend and her father wants him to dine.

Mr. Russell clarifies that he only said he had no objection if Mrs. Russell did not mind. Mrs. Russell says she gets to decide who comes to dinner. Gladys mentions that an ancestor of Mr. Baldwin fought at Yorktown. Larry makes a cutting remark about his mother’s peasant heritage.

Oscar asks Mr. Russell about the railroad. Mrs. Russell asks Oscar’s opinion of Mr. Post’s new Brooklyn historical society building. He says he doesn’t care for the Romanesque style. He asks for Gladys’s opinion, and she agrees with him.

Marian receives a letter from Mr. Raikes, telling her he got the job and has moved to New York. Agnes urges her not to continue her friendship with him -- be civil, nothing more.

Marian says she doesn’t intend to marry him, but she wants to be his friend. Agnes notes how much Marian is like her father and tells her that Mr. Raikes is an “adventurer.”

Mr. Russell and Mrs. Russell get ready for bed. He thanks her for saving him from Oscar’s questions at dinner. She says she doesn’t want Mr. Baldwin to be friends with Gladys, and she suspects Oscar is interested in Gladys, too. Mr. Russell agrees, suggesting that it might be for the wrong reasons.

Mrs. Russell asks her husband what he plans to do about the aldermen. He tells her he has a plan -- it may cost him a lot, but it will be worth it. He spends the night in her bedroom.

Oscar and John Adams lay in bed together. Oscar tells John he thinks he has met the girl he will marry -- she is rich, innocent, and nice. John asks what will happen to their relationship. Oscar says it should be easy to maintain.

It’s official -- there will be no new railroad station. Mr. Russell tells Mr. Clay says they will buy every piece of company stock, but they must be hidden. Mr. Russell is confident he can win this battle.

Marian and Peggy visit Mr. Raikes. Marian goes into his office. He asks her to lunch. She refuses. He asks her to coffee, and again she refuses. Mr. Raikes suggests they “run into each other” by Liberty’s Hand. She agrees to meet him next Monday at five o’clock. Peggy goes into Mr. Raikes’s office, and Marian leaves.

Mr. Morris meets with Mr. Fane, discussing how the stocks have gone up, not down as they had hoped. Mr. Fane assures him that even if Mr. Russell is behind it, he could only hold the crash for a day or two and consume his fortune in the process.

Oscar runs into Mr. Morris, and they discuss the rumor that George Russell is ruined.

At lunch with the servants. Peggy announces that she has received a letter from the publisher of the Christian Advocate -- he wants to discuss publishing some of her short stories. Mrs. Bauer and Bridget congratulate her.

Bannister and Jack join them, and Bridget tells them Peggy's good news. Bannister congratulates her as well. Peggy gets up without eating her lunch. Jack mentions that he and Bridget are going to the magic lantern show. Bannister tells them curfew is at ten o’clock. Bridget assures him that they will definitely be back by then.

At luncheon, Marian, Mr. Eckhard, Mrs. Fane, Mrs. Morris, Ada, and Mrs. Astor discuss what’s next for the Red Cross. Mrs. Astor says that they may need to take on the politicians. Marian makes a joke about Aunt Agnes that doesn’t go over well.

Mr. Eckhard and Ada chat. Mrs. Astor mentions that some new money people are building another opera house. Marian is confused about the issue -- a better opera house would be a win for everyone. Ada cuts her off before she can continue.

Bannister tells Peggy that a man has come to call on her. She asks what sort of man. He tells her that the man said he would meet her in the park.

Peggy meets her father in the park. He insists that she comes to stay with them for her mother’s birthday. He says that he can forgive her, and she is insulted that he thinks she should apologize. She says she will come home for her mother’s birthday. 

Mr. Scott asks his daughter about her secretary position. She says that she has time to write. He tells her that Black women writers cannot make a living these days. She tells him about her publishing opportunities. He says that if it doesn’t work out, she can work for him. Upset, she takes her leave.

Watson reads the paper while Miss Turner sews and Mrs. Bruce does paperwork. Watson gets up to leave. Mrs. Bruce asks where he goes on his walks, to which he replies the park, but mostly he just enjoys walking.

After he leaves, Mrs. Bruce notes that Watson might have taken a shine to Miss Turner. Turner dismisses him as a broken-down old valet, which Mrs. Bruce finds cruel.

Walking home, Marian asks about Mrs. Chamberlain. Ada explains that the Chamberlains slept together before they got married and that their “adopted” son is older than he should be.

Mrs. Fane asks her husband why he didn’t foresee this eventuality. Mr. Fane insists that it had always worked before. He says that if Mr. Russell continues on this path, they will lose everything. Mr. Fane accuses his wife of humiliating Mrs. Russell. Mrs. Fane blames Mrs. Morris. She asks Mr. Fane to appeal to Mr. Russell.

At the theatre, Jack and Bridget watch the magic lantern show. He puts his arm around her, and she tells him she’s not “like that.”

Mr. Morris confronts his wife, insisting that she grovel for forgiveness from Mrs. Russell; otherwise, they will lose everything.

After the show, Jack asks Bridget out for coffee or ice cream. Bridget tells him they must get back to the house for their ten o’clock curfew. He asks if he can hold her hand, and she tells him no.

Oscar tells John that the plan has fallen apart, and he’s going to have to start again. Oscar tells John that his prospect was Gladys Russell, and word on the street is that Mr. Russell is finished. Oscar says he can’t marry without money. John assures him he’ll find another one.

At the Christian Advocate, they are clearly surprised to learn that Peggy is Black. She asks if there is a rule against publishing work by people like her. She cites their recent editorial about equal rights. She is told she can wait, but Mr. Carlton may not have time to see her.

Mr. Russell returns home, and Church tells him Mrs. Russell is with Mrs. Morris. Mrs. Morris explains the situation to Mrs. Russell. Mrs. Russell asks Mrs. Morris what she expects her to do. Mrs. Morris asks her to get Mr. Russell to show some pity.

Mrs. Russell suggests that this is a strange request, considering how she has been treated by Mrs. Morris. Mrs. Russell sees Mrs. Morris out.

Peggy waits, alone, until finally, Mr. Carlton calls her into his office. He apologizes for making her wait. He asks if she actually wrote the stories because they are very good. Peggy insists that she did write them.

Mr. Carlton wants to publish some of them, but only if they change the characters from Black to white and keep her identity as a Black woman a secret. She doesn’t want to change the story. He says it would cost them their readership in the South, and this is the best he can offer.

Peggy walks with Marian, wondering if it was a mistake to refuse to change her story. Marian supports her decision, believing it to be the right one. Peggy worries that her father will gloat.

Marian and Peggy arrive at Liberty’s Hand, marveling at the size, and there they meet Mr. Raikes. He invites Miss Scott to walk with them, but she politely declines.

Mr. Raikes tells Marian how much he has enjoyed his time in New York so far and asks if he is allowed to call on her. He extols his prospects, declares his devotion, and proposes to her. Marian is overcome but does not give him an answer. He kisses her hand and bids her goodbye. Marian tells Peggy what has just transpired.

Mr. Eckhard visits Agnes and Ada, remarking on the beauty of their house. Agnes tells Ada to let Mrs. Bauer know that they will be three for tea -- she wants to gossip with Mr. Eckhard. Bannister closes the doors.

Agnes suggests that Mr. Eckhard wants to marry Ada in order to mend fences. She assures him that Ada has little money of her own, and if she got married, she’d have to move out and take care of herself.

Mr. Eckhard says Agnes has misread his intentions. Agnes apologizes but tells him that his father turned him down initially because Mr. Eckhard had been overheard bragging about marrying a meal ticket. Ada returns, and Mr. Eckhard leaves, noting the time. Ada is confused at his rudeness and sits down to tea with her sister.

The aldermen confront Mr. Russell, asking him to do the decent thing to help them out. Mr. Morris kneels and begs, saying they are facing ruin because of his actions. Mr. Russell says it’s not just how they have treated him, but how his wife has been humiliated, and they cannot go unpunished. Mr. Clay shows them out.

Mr. Morris returns home. He asks Mrs. Morris about the children and tells her how proud he is of her and the whole family for being good people.

Mr. Russell tells his wife that the law will pass and the station will be built. Mrs. Russell asks if the whole sordid business is finished. He says almost, but not quite, and admits he has made them suffer enough.

Mr. Morris looks at photos of his family and shoots himself in the head.

Show:
The Gilded Age
Season:
Episode Number:
3
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The Gilded Age Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

You are too reasonable to live.

Mrs. Aurora Fane

If everyone who claimed to be on the Mayflower really was it would have to be the size of a White Star liner.

Miss Grant