The biggest lessons of this episode of The Gilded Age are that Larry might be the sweetest person ever, Oscar may not be a total ingrate, and George may have started seeing some sense, though the last bit would need some more proof. The show is continuing with its air of old English comedy and feel-good nature, and this is the recap of The Gilded Age Episode 5.
Why is Oscar investing in Maud Beaton’s pursuits?
Maud confides in Aurora about whether she should trust Oscar and give their courtship a chance. She has certainly grown to like him, though Aurora advises her to be cautious with her approach. Maud has noticed that Oscar was previously interested in Gladys Russell, and the girl was very rich. Additionally, Maud herself has had to fend off many suitors who were just there for the money. But here is where we think that she is not as simple as she seems. A smart woman who suspects that the man may be a gold digger won’t tell him everything about her finances, but Maud Beaton has. She takes Oscar to her attorney, and even the latter is surprised at how much Oscar knows. Oscar offers to invest some money himself, even though the attorney warns him against it.
Our suspicion is that Maud is the gold digger in this scenario. Maybe she knows Oscar’s truth, and she plans on using that against him if he discovers her lies. Or it could be that she doesn’t know it yet, and this is just part of a larger scam that she runs, and the men whom she called gold diggers were actually just her victims. It is a little hard to believe that Maud is that gullible. If she is, then perhaps she and Oscar would end up getting married, and then the blackmail and troubles would begin. Perhaps we will get to see how such couples led their lives in old times, when divorce and financial freedom for women were not options. But that would be a subplot for season 3, since it is too soon for the two to get married at this stage in the story.
Is Bertha’s dinner a success?
We have always believed that magic happens when someone loves their job. Bertha is someone who needs to be on her feet, planning and organizing things while consistently achieving goals. That is what makes her one of the most successful new-rich people—that she enjoys working on the nitty-gritty of society. This, in a way, means that she knows how to be fair and respectful, which is why her staff loves her. While Mr. Watson is still waiting to hear from his daughter as to whether he should leave for Chicago or not, he proves to be invaluable to the household in the meantime.
Bertha Russell is preparing to host dinner for the Duke at Newport, and Mrs. Winterton is all set to sabotage the whole thing. The chef that Bertha has chosen is secretly working for Mrs. Winterton and is prepared to sabotage the dinner along with Peter Barnes, another employee of Bertha.
Bertha is nitpicking every detail with the staff, even regarding Gladys’ clothes, but she doesn’t know that it is all ready to go down the drain. Luckily, at the last moment, Watson notices that Schneider is acting suspiciously, and they understand that he has spoiled the soup. Watson even notices that Peter Barnes may be a part of this sabotage, which is when Bertha’s butler takes over his duties. This means that Bertha’s dinner goes very well and is a huge success. However, her intention behind the whole thing was to introduce Gladys and the Duke, probably hoping for a future alliance. With this dinner, any remaining animosity between Bertha and George is also washed off, and they are the happy and ideal couple once again.
Do Peggy and Mr. Fortune escape safely?
Peggy’s subplots are what we like to call the real problems of The Gilded Age. She is having a wonderful time with her work and finding out the kind of work that is happening for the advancement of black people, but it may all be overshadowed by the trouble they run into with white people. While Peggy and Mr. Fortune are having dinner at a restaurant, two white men try to rough up the restaurant owner, and Mr. Fortune steps in. Of course, this causes a scene, and the white mob is preparing to kill Mr. Fortune and Peggy. They have to immediately leave the town, and they take shelter in a barn to hide from their to-be killers. This is where Peggy and Mr. Fortune end up having a moment, and that is likely going to change everything between them. From what we know about Mr. Fortune, he is a married man, but his relationship with his wife went cold many years ago after they lost their child. An affair would be a morally gray area until we knew better.
Does Agnes come to Ada’s wedding?
It’s interesting to look at and understand the troubles of women and how they may not have really changed over time. While the designer of the bridge is unable to take her due credit because she is a woman, Agnes doesn’t want her sister to get married because she doesn’t want to be lonely. Ada has been Agnes’ companion throughout her entire life, through Agnes’ bad marriage and every possible turn of fate. Agnes is full of pride, and she doesn’t mind putting Ada down once in a while by trying to say that the latter was only taken care of all her life. Agnes also likes to remind Ada that she has no money of her own. But her not wanting to let Ada go is proof that even Agnes has taken Ada’s emotional labor over the years for granted. Ada must have been more than a liability over the years if Agnes is so attached to her, and it is finally time for her to acknowledge it, though she is fighting hard against it.
When Ada announces her intention to get married, Agnes is strictly against it. She even tries to dissuade the pastor, who assures her that he plans on staying in New York, so Ada will always be a short drive away. Marian also encourages Ada to go ahead with her plans. If Agnes really is the strong grownup she likes to show herself as, she will come around.
At the end of The Gilded Age season 2, episode 5, it looks like Agnes won’t show up for Ada’s wedding. Everybody else is there, and Oscar is walking Ada down the aisle. But just as the couple are about to take their vows, Agnes walks into the church to join in her sister’s happiness. She is finally setting herself free in her heart.
What worries us most about the upcoming episodes is the fate of David and the restaurant owner and whether the white mob will target them since they couldn’t find Peggy and Mr. Fortune. As long as they are safe, everything will be good.