‘Belgravia: The Next Chapter’ Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: Why Are Clara And Frederick Drifting Apart?


The distance between Frederick and Clara is only getting worse with time. In the previous episode of Belgravia: The Next Chapter, Clara started to take a keen interest in art and literature. Stephen Ellerby and Richard Dearden’s lifestyle intrigued her, and in episode 5, she makes certain bold choices. It is fascinating to watch Clara become her own person throughout the last five episodes. From a naive young bride, she has grown into a mature woman who is not afraid of being assertive. She yearns to be more than Frederick Trenchard’s wife, but her choices might result in extreme criticism and bring more difficulties to her marriage.

Spoiler Alert

Is the Reverend in trouble?

James Trenchard has been hiding a secret from the world, and he is afraid of getting caught for it. Life must have never been easy for James as a homosexual man. With a strict father and an unsupportive brother dealing with his own complexities, James had to live with the guilt all on his own. His decision to dedicate himself to Christianity was perhaps also because he was afraid that someday he would be questioned for his unmarried status. Maybe the decision was also his way of trying to compensate for the guilt he lived with. James knew that his secret would not only result in scandal but would also face punishment for it. Even though he tried his best to repress his desire, one night, he gave in to it. He was ashamed of the slip, and he did not know the repercussions he would have to face as a result. The man he had a sexual encounter with tracked James to the church and blackmailed him for money. He was well aware that James would do anything to protect his reputation, and he tried to cash in on the fear. The stranger wrote a letter to James, asking him to meet him at an alley to hand over the cash. James begged him to stop pestering, but the stranger was desperate, and he continued to haunt the Reverend. James is clearly in trouble, and he has no option but to pay the man to keep his secret safe.

What has resulted in the rift between Clara and Frederick?

After a brief romantic phase, Clara and Frederick’s relationship hit rock bottom. Frederick has been unable to forgive Clara for contacting his brother and trying to mend their relationship. After finding out about his tormenting childhood, Clara hoped to bring some joy into Frederick’s life, and she assumed James could help her with it. The decision backfired, and it caused a rift between Clara and Frederick. Clara preferred addressing the elephant in the room, while Frederick chose to overlook it. Every time she tried to have an honest conversation with Frederick, he pushed her away. He regularly returned home late and focused on his business, while she developed an interest in the arts. Frederick loved Clara, but he failed to express himself, and that resulted in more misunderstandings.

In episode 5, it was a relief to watch Frederick and Clara finally come together. Frederick expressed how deeply he missed Clara, and she replied that she had assumed he did not want her at the Rochester’s dinner. The honest conversation brought the couple close, but that was before Frederick mentioned meeting the Rochesters again to make it clear that their marriage was not going through a rough patch. Clara was surprised that Frederick was more concerned about the opinions of others than their relationship. She wondered if all the things he said were only meant to convince her to put up a good public image. To maintain his business and reputation, Frederick prioritized keeping up a certain image, while Clara never cared for it. Frederick’s childhood had affected the way he perceived relationships. He hoped for things between him and Clara to get better without having to have difficult conversations.

What is the Marquise up to?

Belgravia: The Next Chapter Episode 5 confirms that Marquise d’Etagnac is someone to watch out for. She is a shrewd businesswoman whose intentions are not clear. The silver mines in Mexico are possibly an elaborate scam. She has successfully managed to entice legitimate investors with unimaginable profits. Marquise knew how desperate Frederick was to expand his business, and she perhaps predicted from the start that he would be lured by the stories of the silver mines. Marquise was not surprised when Clara mentioned that her husband was excited to work on the new project. She had considered him for investment, but with the foundry, she assumed he might be tight on funds, or at least that is the story she came up with when Frederick discussed business with her. Frederick was not happy when he found out from Clara that she had communicated his interest in the mines to the Marquise. He was afraid of seeming too desperate.

The Marquise offered Frederick to invest in the business, but in return, she hoped he would be easy on Clara. While her intentions from a business perspective are still unknown, she is responsible for further complicating Clara and Frederick’s relationship. On one hand, she advised Frederick to control his wife, and on the other, she encouraged Clara to live her life the way she desired. She planted seeds of doubt in Clara’s head about Frederick’s friendship with the Duchess. The Marquise knew that Clara and Frederick were unlike each other, and she used it to her advantage.

What was Nell hiding?

Emily was curious to find out Nell’s true story. After watching her skillfully play the piano, she doubted that Nell was hiding her actual identity. Emily had noticed the heart-shaped pendant Nell wore, and she wondered what secret was hiding in it. One morning, when Nell was busy, Emily sneaked into her room and opened the locket. To her surprise, she found a lock of baby hair tied with a purple string. Emily deduced that Nell was a fallen woman who gave birth out of wedlock, and as a result, her family disowned her.

Emily met Reverend James to discuss how Nell had been deceiving them. She stated that Nell was not a working-class girl, as they were led to believe; she thought that Nell was a well-educated, high-born girl. She suspected Nell was either married or a fallen woman with a child. James was disappointed in Emily for judging Nell’s character based on a lock of hair she found. He was ready to support Nell in any way possible and expected Emily to do the same. Emily did not expect James to react the way he did. She was ashamed of her behavior, and she decided to follow James’ order.

Emily wanted to maintain transparency, and so she confronted Nell about the locket. Nell was uncomfortable upon the mention of it, and she was ready to leave the house in case her presence brought discomfort to Emily. Emily clearly stated that she wanted to assist her in any way she could, and Nell confessed the truth to her. We find out in Belgravia: The Next Chapter episode 5 that Nell lost her baby girl, Lily. Nell blamed herself for the death of her child because she believed she failed as a mother to protect her. Emily comforted her and reassured her that she was welcome to stay as long as she desired.

What risks does Clara take?

Clara found a friend in Stephen Ellerby. She enjoyed the poetry reading sessions conducted at his apartment, and she liked being surrounded by people driven by emotion and passion just like her. It is evident that Stephen has taken a liking for Clara, and perhaps she can sense it, too. However, given the situation, Clara has chosen to ignore the romantic possibility and solely focus on their friendship. The fact that she burned down the note attached to the collection of Shelley poems Stephen had sent suggests that she does not want her husband to suspect any of it.

Miss Davison has closely watched Clara and Stephen’s friendship blossom, and she did not approve of it. She was particularly hesitant when Clara made up her mind to model for Richard Dearden. Dressed in a flowing white dress and a garland around her neck, Clara posed as the goddess of love and lust, Aphrodite. That evening, Miss Davison boldly expressed her opinion to Clara. She believed Clara was risking herself by attempting to break conventions, and she was concerned about her friendship with Ellerby. Clara was dismissive of her opinion, and she made it quite clear that she was not interested in discussing her choices with Davison.

Clara is an unconventional woman, and her eagerness to teach her young housekeeper, Mawd, to read and write was no surprise. Along with developing her own opinion of the world, Clara wanted to dress as a more mature woman. For the Marquise’s ball, Clara opted for a teal fabric over a pink one. She decided to go for a more risky design than the usual cut. She wanted to be noticed and taken seriously. Frederick was uncomfortable with the attention Clara received at the ball. Clara was not surprised by his jealous remark; she had seen him behave the same way before. But Clara had evolved, and she was no longer apologetic for attracting attention. Both Clara and Frederick were left to wonder if they got married before getting to know each other better. At the end of episode 5, Clara rings the doorbell to Ellerby’s apartment, and for the first time, she is unaccompanied. As soon as she entered the building, she burst into tears and embraced Stephen. She was worried about losing her husband, and she sought help from Stephen. This will perhaps deepen the friendship Clara shares with Stephen, though the proximity might make it all the more difficult for Stephen to keep his emotions in check. Will Stephen assist Clara in better understanding Frederick, or will he use the conflict to his advantage?

Belgravia: The Next Chapter Episode 5 ends on a scandalous note, with Emily coming across Clara’s painting at a store. It did not take her a second to recognize Clara from the painting, and it is obvious that anyone who knows Clara will notice the stark similarity. The painting will bring more speculation into the lives of Clara and Frederick. Surely Frederick will be outraged upon finding out where Clara has been spending all her time, or will Clara manage to somehow get the painting off the market before it reaches her husband? The conflicts introduced in Belgravia- The Next Chapter are quite familiar and expected, but even in the obvious, the creators have so far managed to build intrigue.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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