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S02.E01: Season 2, Episode 1 2018.07.11

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When an unyielding new Justice makes a surprise arrest, Margaret and Nancy must race to find witnesses to give evidence against Lydia Quigley. Could this finally be their chance to get Lydia to pay for her crimes?

 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo.
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Funny I was just thinking about this last night, trying to remember the whole plot of the first season. Looked it up on Wikipedia and I *still* couldn't follow all the twists and turns! I hope they do a good recap for the new season!

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I watched this late late last night so may need to watch again.  Lucy is so much better this season.  The law with regards to prostitution seems stricter and less likely to take bribes.  I wish we could have seen more of why Margaret threw out Harriet.  Poor Kitty, I guess Lord Fallon really is terrible which will make me feel bad for shipping him/Lucy

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I am very worried for Lucy. She's playing a dangerous game...with a serial killer.

This show is so engrossing and I'm impressed at how it juggles such a large cast but gives enough time to everyone's stories interweaving it into such a fascinating tapestry. Definitely my show of the summer.

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Lucy certainly thinks highly of herself. To act so insulted and to say (in front of Kitty), "You'd foist me off as a substitute for Kitty?" Get off your high horse, girl.

I can't blame Kitty and Fanny for thinking about leaving to strike out on their own. I don't know how successful they'd be if it was just the two of them (especially since only one of them could work at a time since the other would have to watch the kids) but I understand why they would consider leaving.

Poor North and Harriet, the targets of Margaret's jealousy. It's especially sad since she and North seemed to have such a strong relationship for most of S1.

The new judge guy sucks. He sentenced poor Violet to seven years of "servitude" in America for stealing 5 shillings from a known drunk but Lydia is just given a fine for running a brothel? Once again, it's the poor people who get screwed.

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I had to check Wikipedia to remind myself of what all went down last season, but I actually remembered most of it pretty well. Some interesting stuff being set up for the season, including Liv Tyler as a sassy courtier, a hard ass new judge cracking down on prostitution, and the creepy serial killer still lurking around. 

Is Kitty dead, or just badly hurt? She looked pretty dead, poor Kitty. Also, sucks that Margaret is taking out her jealousy on Harriet and North, which seemed super intense and disproportionate. I dont remember them having anything but a friendship last season, making her seem really unreasonable. It was nice to see its not affecting his fatherly relationship with the girls. 

I hope poor Violet doesn't get sent out, or she gets a shorter sentence. Its just so unfair, branded and indentured servitude for stealing a few coins from a drunk, while Lydia just gets a fine. As per usual, there is a different system for poor people than rich people. Although I did enjoy seeing her realizing that no one was bothering to visit her. Not even her own son wants her ass around. 

I wish this show got more attention from critics and audiences. I know that The Handmaids Tale is the show that Hulu has really pushed as their big Emmy Winning Woke AF series, but I think this show deserves some attention too. It says as many interesting things about women's place in society and sex and patriarchy as Handmaids Tale does, but with some lightness to balance things out. 

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 I missed seeing Betsy, the sweet blonde harlot from last season. I hope she turns up again.

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1 hour ago, kieyra said:

 I missed seeing Betsy, the sweet blonde harlot from last season. I hope she turns up again.

I think she might've had bigger fish to fry. The actress is in the new Mamma Mia! film.

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10 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

I wish this show got more attention from critics and audiences. I know that The Handmaids Tale is the show that Hulu has really pushed as their big Emmy Winning Woke AF series, but I think this show deserves some attention too. It says as many interesting things about women's place in society and sex and patriarchy as Handmaids Tale does, but with some lightness to balance things out. 

 

I think despite how bawdy and rollicking the tone of this show is, it can be much subtler and just as grim as THT. I also think some of the actors are better and make much more interesting acting choices (or perhaps are given better direction, I'm not sure). Two particular instances stand out in my mind from the double episode premiere and I think they're from two of the strongest actors & characters on the show -- Lydia Quigley and Lord Fallon. Loved the interesting upward twitch/tic of her right eye when she said 'persuade them' to Lady Fitz who rebuffed her by saying the beau monde would never accept her -- it struck me as both threatening and a bit pleading. I laughed out loud when Lord Fallon drawled 'Persephone' and then followed up with a weird intensely awkward 'where have you been?' complete with creepily moony stare before seeming to snap instantly back into his Supremely Evil and Debauched Lord Fallonness with his indolently insincere 'I've been pining' and nasty smirk. Small moment but for a flash underneath all the wealth and haughtiness and fucked up murdering evil, he just struck me as a sad sack freaky loser with zero game whose best chat up line to Lucy of writing to her mother and offering excellent terms to be her keeper was basically the Georgian-era version of 'I showed you a pic of my dick, plz respond' on Tinder.

ETA: And if I'm not mistaken the majority (if not all) of the writers, directors, and the showrunners of this show are women and I think it shows in the quality of the product -- dialogue is smart and snappy, great writing, great directing, great world-building, and for the most part the internal logic of the show and the characters usually holds together.

Edited by pamplemousse.
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I am rather disappointed. This episode was very dark and I had no idea who was talking to who. I noticed there were a lot of doors opened and walked through, that was a bit weird. 

I really don't like tv shows going black. It gives me a headache and don't have a clue what the storylines are and who is involved.

As a result, I would rate this a bad episode. I have a headache now. I'm quite sure I wouldn't watch another episode like this.

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Finally have time to watch this and this show certainly doesn't drag its feet.  It hit the ground running showing the fallout from both George Howard's and Cunliff's deaths last season and setting up where we go from here.  I actually don't mind how dim some of the scenes in this show are as they look pretty spot on for a period piece where not everybody has or can afford a thousand candles and big chandeliers to light up rooms.  It's not dark for the sake of being dark, and yes, Handmaid's Tale I'm looking at you in typing that.  I had to go back and read recaps to remember all the plot points from last season too.  

Five hundred pounds was a not insignificant amount of money for that time, which we saw as Quigley didn't have it laying around and had to start desperately casting about for favors to try to raise it.   It was fairly entertaining watching all the other characters immediately start circling like vultures to capitalize on her imprisonment with almost none of them including her own son the least bit concerned about her beyond worrying that she might worm her way out before they grabbed what they could.  They're doing a nice job reminding us of just how deeply interconnected all these people are.  Lydia Quigley last season at times had all the subtlety of a Disney villain, so there were some nice character beats in seeing her first immediately assume she could schmooze the new justice with her services, then deal with her barely concealed aggravations at being jeered in open court and jailed, and then face the realities that people weren't lining up to come to her rescue and the odious jailer who wasn't impressed with her being THE Lydia Quigley but would take her wig and a hand job.

I initially assumed by the way Quigley talked about her that we were going to find out that Liv Tyler's character was a former working girl who'd married way above herself and would thus be subject to blackmail.  But that's clearly not the case as she mentioned she inherited half of a sizable fortune that her brother controls the purse strings to, so while we still don't what the story is there we get another bit of commentary on how even well heeled women in this world are defined by money and their access to it.   

Margaret is proving again this season that she really is her own worst enemy.  She's so hellbent on taking Quigley down that she's not much noticing or caring that she's alienating all the people who are supposed to be on her side or are supposed to care about her.  Good for Will for pointing out that SHE'S the one driving him away and that she's taken him and his role in her family and success for granted.  The fact that Charlotte and Lucy clearly regard him as a father figure and seemed to side with him bolsters that.  I love her aggravation that they all just won't let her strangling George Howard go.  Lucy seems to have better settled into a persona this season and was less aggravating as a character for it, although I did enjoy how amused the other girls were by her bitching about her mother and suggesting they all strike out on their own from her relatively privileged position as the baud's daughter.

Poor Kitty.

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I enjoyed Charlotte's interaction with Liv Tyler. There seemed a sense of kinship between them and it seemed that if their situations had been different they might have become friends. It was also a reminder that even the wealthy women were still basically just commodities. 

I like the actor playing Liv Tyler's brother and he will almost certainly be causing trouble. He seemed quite sly and manipulative in the little we saw of him.

Has the Irish guy disappeared? I won't miss him if he's gone.

Are they abandoning the Lucy becomes a dominatrix plotline? That seemed a misstep to me so that might be for the best. Lucy still seems immature and unwise. She is a bit more confident in the job but antagonizing Lord Fallon was a massive mistake. She has to know how much power someone like Lord Fallon has. Does she honestly think he would just ignore the insult?

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"Just ignore him. He's a filthy little turd!" 

Oh dear God, I missed Nancy Birch so much. 

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On 7/12/2018 at 8:05 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Lucy certainly thinks highly of herself. To act so insulted and to say (in front of Kitty), "You'd foist me off as a substitute for Kitty?" Get off your high horse, girl.

I can't blame Kitty and Fanny for thinking about leaving to strike out on their own. I don't know how successful they'd be if it was just the two of them (especially since only one of them could work at a time since the other would have to watch the kids) but I understand why they would consider leaving.

Poor North and Harriet, the targets of Margaret's jealousy. It's especially sad since she and North seemed to have such a strong relationship for most of S1.

The new judge guy sucks. He sentenced poor Violet to seven years of "servitude" in America for stealing 5 shillings from a known drunk but Lydia is just given a fine for running a brothel? Once again, it's the poor people who get screwed.

But is it unwarranted? Harriet seemed to be coming on to Will in the pub. Margaret may be sharper than we think!

Edited by ferjy.
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Harriet was definitely making a move on North.  She seems to have a real case of hero worship where he's concerned, probably because he helped her get her kids back from her former master/faux husband's shitty son.  Will's a pretty capable stand up guy, who in addition to being a father figure to Charlotte and Lucy seems to have handled all the typical man of the establishment stuff for Margaret for years.  So he's an attractive prospect to a woman on her own for the first time with two kids to support.  North, though, so far hasn't shown the slightest inkling in her direction no matter how disenchanted he's been with Margaret at times.

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8 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

North, though, so far hasn't shown the slightest inkling in her direction no matter how disenchanted he's been with Margaret at times.

I'm with Margaret here. He went of to rescue Harriet's children while the client of Margaret's children lay dying. He went to save Harriet's children, when those who call him "Pa" were in danger of being hanged. I think that is pretty indicative of where his loyalty lies.

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I read it as being aware of the time element in either case and the need to be useful without further bloodying his hands.  The shitty son as legal owner of Harriet's kids was sailing back to the Colonies later that day.  Once he took those kids aboard ship, the cost of getting them would go up exponentially in paying for passage to go get them and bring them back while the likelihood of success would drop as it's not like she'd even have any legal rights in America to sue to force him to sell if he continued to be petulant about it.  IIRC, Charlotte and Lucy were certainly in a bad place but they weren't in any immediate danger of going to the gallows, and let's be honest that there may not have been much he could have done even if they were.  Throw in that North was clearly pissed off about Margaret killing Howard in the first place and expecting him to dispose of the body, and you can see why he chose to go do something he would have considered a net positive.

We don't really know anything about North's backstory and the show hasn't spent much time on the subject outside of Harriet's storyline, but it seems unlikely that the slavery element wouldn't also have been factoring heavily into North's decision as a free black man.  I don't think he was thinking about Harriet in those terms before, but he might be now though thanks to Margaret putting the accusation out there and pushing him away as she did.  

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I saw Harriet's coming on to North as a self-preservation move, not because she was attracted to him per se, or to steal him from Margaret.  She's been kicked out, she has nowhere to live, he's there at the pub and she knows Margaret has kicked him out.  She needs a place to stay, so why not come on to him and get him to take her and the kids in.  It was just bad timing with Margaret walking in at that same moment.

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16 hours ago, nodorothyparker said:

Harriet was definitely making a move on North.  She seems to have a real case of hero worship where he's concerned, probably because he helped her get her kids back from her former master/faux husband's shitty son.  Will's a pretty capable stand up guy, who in addition to being a father figure to Charlotte and Lucy seems to have handled all the typical man of the establishment stuff for Margaret for years.  So he's an attractive prospect to a woman on her own for the first time with two kids to support.  North, though, so far hasn't shown the slightest inkling in her direction no matter how disenchanted he's been with Margaret at times.

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This is how I saw it as well.  I remember it being hinted at in season 1, so I was almost expecting it.  I'll be honest, I would prefer that this element not be in the story, but I'm willing to see how it goes.

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When did Lucy become so comfortable with the Culls?  Last season she was having major issues - which is why lord pansy died.  She was crying and couldn't even fake it - now she can finish a job while a fight goes on and it doesn't even faze her.

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2 hours ago, Ripley68 said:

When did Lucy become so comfortable with the Culls?  Last season she was having major issues - which is why lord pansy died.  She was crying and couldn't even fake it - now she can finish a job while a fight goes on and it doesn't even faze her.

It does seem like an abrupt change. She was getting lessons from Nancy at the end of last season which seemed to help her regain some power but it doesn't seem that realistic. She started out fairly shy and socially awkward. She was hunted down and had a terrible first sexual experience. Her sister's keeper raped her so she stabbed him but now a few months later she is seemingly ok. I am glad she is more confident and less of a victim but I am expecting that something will happen to trigger her and she'll snap again.

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Costuming ho here. Just rewatched the first season to set myself up for this one, and, plot aside, I'm loving the deeper colors as the pastels and powder of High Rococo go out of fashion. The white wigs are gone, except on the older Mrs. Quigley, and natural hair is coming into fashion. Interesting to note that the high-end ladies still cling in part to the old style while the whores are swathed in deep brocades and layers of jewel tones. Trendiness seeping down to the mall rats of the culture, in any period, while the old guard clings to the classics. The interiors, of course, are still whites and pastels, as they are more expensive to redo every time a new fad rolls in. It's very smart. If the series continues, and I hope to god it does, we'll edge into the Neoclassical period. Should be good fun!

I'm writing a Regency-era erotic romance and I find the contrast between the buttoned-up Austen period and the sex workers' style interesting and challenging to draw out. It is, after all, the oldest profession, and even while Elizabeth Bennett and Emma and their upright sisters plotted to make decent marriages, there were whores lounging in brothels in nothing but stockings and pearls.

Edited by Silly Angel. Reason: Stuff I forgot to say while playing Candy Crush
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6 hours ago, Silly Angel said:

Costuming ho here. 

Question for our resident costuming ho! Can you talk a little about the tricorn? I guess I thought it was a soldier’s costume but it seems like the equivalent of, say, the derby. Like, random men are wearing it, Lucy wore it on the ‘hunt,’ am I wrong in thinking it’s a military thing? 

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5 hours ago, Pachengala said:

Question for our resident costuming ho! Can you talk a little about the tricorn? I guess I thought it was a soldier’s costume but it seems like the equivalent of, say, the derby. Like, random men are wearing it, Lucy wore it on the ‘hunt,’ am I wrong in thinking it’s a military thing? 

Hi, Pachengala! You are right. Just like epaulettes and brass buttons and camo print filtering down into the mainstream, the tricorn was originally a functional military item that became popular among the masses, particularly the upper class.

The Spanish three-cornered hat was military headgear whose upturned sides kept rain off the officers' faces in battle, and to allow them to manipulate bayonets and long muskets without whacking their hats, but it spread across Europe and to England--wars are great ways to introduce fashions and customs to other cultures--and became popular among civilians, even women, who could highlight their femininity with the sassy military note. As wigs became more elaborate and low necklines and fancy neckgear became fashionable, a topper with an upturned brim showed off those areas with less interference than a broad or droopy brim. Again, if the show continues and the fashion evolves, we'll see the tricorn drop fairly rapidly out of style an the bicorn replace it--that's the fortune-cookie-looking hat with two folded sides either pointing, first by naval officers side to side (think of Napoleon), then later front to back. This is all from my aged memory and reading a lot of fashion histories so anyone is free to correct my mistakes.

Fun fact: there is a defunct Spanish-themed ballet called The Three-Cornered Hat, the title, I believe, indicating to audiences that the setting was exotic.

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Thank you @Silly Angel, that is such good stuff! I’d read an entire book written about this kind of fashion evolution. I’m looking forward to seeing if Harlots’ costume designers are as on top of it as you!

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OH. MY. GOODNESS! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! I DIDN'T KNOW THIS WAS BACK!!!! 

Time to fire up the old Hulu and get my binge on. 

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On 7/24/2018 at 3:42 PM, Silly Angel said:

The interiors, of course, are still whites and pastels, as they are more expensive to redo every time a new fad rolls in.

On a shallow note, I love that the interiors are still white and pastel because it contrasts so beautifully with the new dark jewel tones that they're wearing!

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