Belgravia: The Next Chapter episode 2 failed to match the pace and intrigue of the first. Right from the beginning, the series has not promised anything new. But it has managed to smartly provide depth to the story with the help of its writing and some great performances by the actors. These are the only things keeping our interest in it alive.
How do Clara and Fredrick make up?
Clara and Fred’s fight and her consequent trip on the stairs left quite a mark on their relationship. They both apologized to each other the next day, but it was not the same. Fred has realized that unless he confronts his demons head-on, such incidents would keep repeating in their marriage, and there would come a time when the couple wouldn’t be able to get past them. As for Clara, she knows that there is a distance between her and her husband. She is trying everything in her power to overcome it, but the ball is quite literally in his court.
Fred moves forward with his plans for expansion, and the Marquess is interested in his proposal, though she doesn’t give him a definitive answer. However, she tells him that he should try and trust Clara, who is a lot stronger than he could imagine. It must have been a combination of all these factors that prompted Fred to ask Clara to go to his childhood home with him. Once they are there, Fred is overcome by memories of his childhood and how his father used to physically and verbally abuse him. Clara is surprised to know that Fred has a brother. Fred believes that James was the reason his father was never affectionate towards him, because he stole that from Fred. In Fred’s mind, James is the villain, not Oliver. That night, Fred doesn’t come for dinner because he is consumed by thoughts of his childhood. He asks Clara whether she can love and trust him, and when she says yes, they finally reconcile. This is the second chance for their relationship, and both are finally beginning to be on the same page.
Back at home, Clara also becomes a little more assertive. She was previously hesitant to do things her way or properly express what she wanted. But with time and improvement in her marriage, she is able to make demands of the household as its mistress. That doesn’t change the fact that something is certainly wrong with the staff of the house. Mr. Enright keeps an eye on the couple at all times, and Mrs. Enright has an affair with Mr. Ross. When Clara asks Mr. Enright about James, instead of giving her a straight answer, he says that she shouldn’t meddle with something that is irreparable. Mr. Enright has certainly been with Fred a lot longer than Clara, but he could have said what he did after giving her the answer to the question she asked for. Is it possible that he is an extension of the toxicity that Fred grew up with? Maybe he was hired by Fred’s father and feels more loyal to him than he does to Fred. Otherwise, it could simply be a case of being resistant to change after so many years. He is used to things being a certain way, and since they are changing since Clara came to the house, he is a little antagonistic.
Does Clara find out about Peter?
Emily is growing fond of James, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it turns out she fell in love with him in their first meeting itself. The girl she rescued is named Nell, and she needs a place to stay since James can’t keep her in the parish forever. Emily comes up with the idea to hire Nell as their cook, and she takes her in. That is also the first time the girl speaks, so Emily considers that a Christmas miracle. When she meets her sister for dinner, Clara is certainly surprised that James is in such close proximity to their house. She also senses her sister’s feelings, and all of this just adds to the fact that she doesn’t know enough about her husband. As Clara tells the Marquess, she is still learning to love her marriage and her husband.
Meanwhile, Peter is one tragic figure in the story. His father prefers him to be locked up since he considers him an embarrassment, and his mother, Mary, is helpless. She wonders whether it was something she did when pregnant that caused Peter to be this way. Dr. Ellerby assures her that this is far from the case. However, the most heartbreaking aspect of the whole thing is the indifference of Peter’s father. The only thing he cares about is that Peter stays a secret. Other than that, he doesn’t even bother to greet the doctor, much less try to understand his son’s situation from him.
One early morning, Clara saw Peter running around, and she stepped out to see what was going on. As she suspected, Peter was the son of the Rochestors, and they were keeping him a secret. At the end of episode 2, Clara once again meets Dr. Ellerby. She had previously refused to see him when he had come to follow up on her condition. This time, Dr. Ellerby once again tries to talk to her, and Clara is furious. She tells him that she could sense what he was thinking the other day, and she is angry with him for judging her and her husband this way. She declares that he knows nothing about Fred and their household and asks him to stay away from both of them. Dr. Ellerby steps back, and his doubts are probably cleared, but he was not wrong to suspect that something was amiss. When Clara goes back home, she finds a picture of James, and perhaps she will look for him in the next episode.
It is easy to predict that Fred’s arc will be more emotional going forward, but it is Peter who sparks the most curiosity. How is his subplot going to play out, and how would that affect Clara and Fred’s marriage?