Gentleman Jack Recap, Part 8

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Gentleman Jack (2019) is set in 1832 Halifax, West Yorkshire, and based on the diaries of Anne Lister (1791-1840), a landowner and industrialist who wrote extensively of her daily life and her same-sex love affairs. It’s airing on HBO in the U.S. and the BBC in the U.K. Check out our interview with the series costume designer Tom Pye. Read all our series recaps here.

 

Well, here it is, the last episode! My worst fear that we’d get some awful cliffhanger does NOT happen, thankfully, but I have a quibble with the exact way the last scenes played out. But to get there, we saw some spiffy new costumes and a few characters show their better sides. Let’s have at it!

 

Aunt Lister has received a letter from Anne, written while en route to Copenhagen. Anne is accompanying Madame de Hage’s young niece, Miss Sophie Ferrall.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

There’s that thermometer again.

Sophie is rather perceptive — she can tell Anne has a broken heart and asks is it over a he or a she. Anne is noncommittal.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Fancy red dress — Sophie is quite fashionable for a young girl.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Don’t go chasing waterfalls.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

At this random tourist stop, Anne is in that fur-trimmed outfit again, while Sophie is in pale blue.

Back at Lister’s coal pit, a dead horse/mule means they’re going over budget. Mr. Washington wonders if they should contact Miss Lister?

She has arrived in Copenhagen and is met by Lady Harriet De Hagemann (is this Vere’s relation?) and plans to stay through spring and then continue on to Russia.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Lister is characteristically thrilled, while everyone else is miserable.

Anne receives some letters … but not from Miss Walker. It’s been four weeks since she heard from Elizabeth Walker, Ann’s sister.

 

In Scotland, Ann doesn’t look so good.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Her sister asks Capt. Sutherland if there’s been a letter from Miss Lister, but the dude says newp. Is he diverting the mail? He ‘worries that it’s unhealthy,’ Ann’s obsession with Lister. FUCK THIS GUY.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Elizabeth sticks up for Lister, saying she was the first to visit the Walker sisters when their mother died. But Walker’s shitty husband pushes the idea that Ann will happier via marriage and babies with his cousin. Elizabeth makes pointed comment about having babies not being a cure for what ails ya.

 

At a fancy dinner in Copenhagen, Lister is having a gay old time, and everyone says she should be presented at court.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Anne is wearing the same evening gown as last episode, but with different jewelry & a very tall feather decoration in her hair.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

I think the woman in yellow & black is Countess Blücher.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Sophie wears red again.

 

Marian reads a letter to her Aunt from Anne, saying ‘Countess Blücher has adopted Lister.’ Aunty is coughing and under a blanket, she’s not feeling so great … Lister wrote another letter, this one all business, to Mr. Washington, which he reads to Dad. Sounds like Anne is maybe kinda sorta asking for more money to work on the coal pit.

Back in Scotland, Walker is giving up again and burns her drawing of Lister. Girl, please!

 

In Copenhagen, Lister is super excited — she just visited the royal court and curtseyed to the wrong person! So she tells Countess Blücher and a finely dressed friend.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

This woman is briefly seen & mostly from the back, but I love that black-on-white embroidery on her pelerine! Stunning.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Countess Blücher is suitably impressed by Lister’s mis-curtseying.

In the Danish court itself, Anne is lookin’ good and seems all confident, but young Queen Marie of Denmark is disarmingly direct.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Wearing her fanciest black satin outfit & the tall hat she wore at Vere Hobart’s wedding in the first episode.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Not the Queen of Denmark. But some good bling & wacky hair.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Now there’s the queen!

She asks Anne about turmoil and machinery in England’s north, saying “we must embrace the future.” Conservative Anne is flustered, and even more so when the queen asks why Anne wears black. Lister spills the story of a ‘broken engagement’ in 1816 that caused her to wear black (without saying who or a gender).

Gentleman Jack (2019)

The queen again talks of the future and invites Lister to the royal birthday ball where everyone will be in white.

Cut to Lister in a white ballgown, clomping around purposefully and not elegantly. But, damn lady, those feathers!

Gentleman Jack (2019)

I love this long shot following the back of her head & these feathers!

Gentleman Jack (2019)

This is the gown from Tom Pye’s sketch “Anne at the Ball.”

Gentleman Jack (2019)

SO MANY GOOD WHITE BALLGOWNS.

Lister hits on Sophie asking her to dance, and they do an aggressively frisky dance.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

 

Back in Scotland, Walker is moping, surrounded by squalling infants. She asks her sister if Elizabeth likes being a mother, no really. ‘It’s a lot of work. It’s like having your brains sucked out your…’ HAH.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Ann goes wishy-washy again, about marrying a man and doing what everyone else wants and not what she wants. Elizabeth dishes the dirt on that MacKensie dude saying he’s penniless, abusive, and a waste of space. Elizabeth IS a good sister and confesses that Lister did write and that Ann should GTFO because Capt. Sutherland wants to force Ann to marry. Ann should go find Lister because “sometimes good friendships are better than marriage.”

Ann writes to the Priestlys for help, and they’re kind interested in doing what’s right, but they kinda want to put shit off and they’re still worried about Lister FFS.

Aunt Lister has another letter from Anne saying she’s off to more travels. Marian listens, along with the doctor, DUN DUN DUNNNNN.  Doc says Aunt’s health is going downhill fast and writes to Lister for Marian.

Sowden pig farm. CrazyDad’s bro just shows up for no good reason — ‘cept to blow holes in their cover story, ‘natch.

 

Gentleman Jack (2019)

The Priestlys arrive in Scotland — Mr. Priestly and Ann argue about who’ll deal with Capt. Sutherland, lol. “It’s my decision!” Ann declares. You go, girl, finally!

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Mrs. Priestly is wearing the outfit Tom Pye sketched as her “Rescue Dress.”

Ann also demands to see Dr. Belcome in York. The Priestlys tell her that Lister plans to travel more abroad, and they’re glad this business with her is over. HAH.

Lister is on a ship home. REUNION HAPPENING IN 3… 2…

Side note: I’m amused that the Priestlys are playing the alphabet game in the carriage home, y’know, like on any road trip.

Llister arrives home at Shibden, and Eugenie barfs at the door — NOT pregnant this time, actually sea and travel-sick. Aunty is so glad to see Anne she gets out of bed. The doctor is shocked, Marian is surprised, but whatever, this was a narrative means to an end (that said, her aunt dies in 1836, and it’s been a year or so elapsed time? hard to tell exactly).

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Dad asks where are the deeds to Shibden. He tells her about the problems with the coal pit works so far, and they’ll need more money.

Walker arrives home, she’s pleased about that at least. She thinks things over for about a minute and head out again.

Carriage arrives at Shibden. It’s Miss Walker and only the kitchen maid is available. Walker talks to Marian and Dad and discovers that Lister has come home.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Off at the coal pit, Mr. Washington explains the problems and how money will fix ’em. It’s always money. Anne and her thwarted ambitions in every arena of life come to a head right here — she screams in frustration.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Then Miss Walker shows up at the coal pit! Ann finally understands her sister’s marriage — Sutherland married her for money, and she’s miserable. Ann Walker doesn’t want that.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Walker: “If you asked me to marry you again, I wouldn’t say no.”

Lister: “But would you say yes?”

Walker: “Yes.

Lister: “Would you say yes and stick to it and mean it?”

Walker: “Yes.”

Gentleman Jack (2019)

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

Cut to some wedding cart — oh it’s the Washington family and the Sowden family, I DON’T CARE YOU’RE NOT MY LESBIANS FUCK OFF GO BACK TO LISTER AND WALKER.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

If season 2 is all about these losers, I am DONE.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Meh.

Lister and Walker go to York to exchange rings and take the sacrament together. But I don’t fucking need the mirrored wedding scenes between the hets and the queers to make it look ‘right and proper’ or some such bullshit. Just give me Lister and Walker, FFS.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

In the carriage, they exchange rings.

Gentleman Jack (2019)
Gentleman Jack (2019)

Notice that Lister is wearing a blue frock coat & blue waistcoat, not black — a sign that she’s hopeful? Walker’s gown is the one appropriately titled “Wedding” in Tom Pye’s sketches.

Yes, back at the Sowden wedding, the uncle mentions to Mr. Washington that he didn’t know shit about his bro going to America. Saw that coming a billion miles away, DON’T CARE.

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Walker is wearing the gondola pin Lister gave her.

Gentleman Jack (2019)
Gentleman Jack (2019)

They sneakily touch hands on their way back to the pew after taking the sacrament.

In York, Lister and Walker discuss moving in to Shibden and telling everyone. And cutely bickering, “Are you still talking?” Lister says to her (the title of this episode and the last words for the series!).

Gentleman Jack (2019)

Dawwww! I love a happy ending! <3 <3 <3

 

 

Season 2 starts filming in 2020 — check our Upcoming Movies page for an air date when we know more.

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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

Twitter Website

A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

21 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    I was grinning from ear to ear with the pit scene and very very romantic and passionate kiss. I, too, wanted more Anne/Ann and I’m straight. Poor Susannah Sowden nee Washington married to a patricide.

    Back to Anne/Ann loved how they cutely bickered about her beauty at end. I feel Ann Walkeris a better match for Anne than conventional mousy Marianne. Ann Walker has daring, courage and backbone – something Marianne didn’t.

    Cannot wait to see season 2 and how Mrs Gossipy Priestley reacts to the Walker Lister alliance.

    Reply
      • Susan Pola Staples

        Yes. But I think her sister helped her to do it and her seeing what a marriage shouldn’t be helped immensely.
        And I would not trust Captain Sutherland to do anything.

        Reply
          • Anneke Oosterink

            I’m still a bit worried for Ann’s sister. Captain asshole was not at all courteous when he told her to go inside.

            Reply
  2. Roxana

    Ann Walker rescued herself, Yay! I honestly didn’t think she had it in her.
    About those children, shouldn’t they have a nursemaid or two?

    Reply
    • Trystan L. Bass

      Realistically, yeah, the Sutherland household could have afforded some servants, but I think they weren’t showing them to reinforce the idea of Elizabeth’s unhappy marriage. So many kids in such a short time, controlling husband, etc.

      Reply
      • Anneke Oosterink

        Given his remarks that children make a woman better and healthy and whatever, he might also be convinced that a mother should be with her children always. Elizabeth looked positively afraid when she snuck away from her kids to tell Ann about Anne’s letter.

        Reply
  3. Linda Merrill

    My favorite part, which you screen captured, was when Lister looks into the camera before they go into the church with the huge, thrilled grin. I thought Ann seemed to gain her backbone and self-confidence a little abruptly, but their banter as they left the church at the end was very charming.

    Reply
  4. Saraquill

    I did a double take with one of the screencaps of Lister at the ball. Between her white glove, a man’s white breeches and the angle of her hand, it looked like she lost a forearm. That would be quite the plot twist :P

    Reply
  5. billib

    I didn’t want it to end. Such wonderful production and acting. Wish they had another season already in the can.

    Reply
  6. KG

    I giggled at the scene with the queen… of course Anne Lister has chemistry with the Queen of Denmark. The scene where Anne and Ann reunited was just sublimely shot, written, and acted. I couldn’t stop smiling for the last 20 minutes of the episode. Loved your recaps!

    Reply
  7. Anneke Oosterink

    Oh man, I skipped through the Sowden scenes. Yawn. Gimme fancy cute lesbians in love any day. Did they make them boring on purpose? What’s her name, bride, Washington’s daughter, has had what, two whole lines this season? I’d be surprised if I care at all how their story plays out.

    I loved how the idea of Anne being interested in Ann’s health made her realise she wanted Anne to be interested in her. All the introspection in Scotland must have done her some good at least, and I felt that final revelation pushed her that final step. I love the Priestlys for them to go to Scotland just for the purpose of picking Ann up. It’s not all that close and it would have cost them quite some time, and at least a fair bit of money.

    I also liked how they’ve shown that since that little mishap in the bank, Marianne (sister, not lover Marianna) and Anne’s relationship has been much better. They show love and not just annoyance. that little affectionate pat on the head, and Marianne’s goofy smile… I just love it. Also, are they hinting that Marianne and useless doctor are a future item?

    I was watching the last part with little hearts in my eyes. Can they please just live happily ever after now? No more nonsense, prying relatives or murderous farmers/bankers? That’d be awesome. Just an entire season of Ann & Anne being blissfully happy.

    Reply
  8. phlegmfatale

    Yanno, I feel sad for the Sowden lad. I feel like eliminating the source of all familial misery was all he could do. Look at writers a century later (Joyce, et al) who wrote about their poor mothers trapped in abusive marriages with drunken louts- what could really, legally be done about men who terrorized their hapless families? I dread the poor end for Sowden that I suspect is inevitable. Also, that story line could be another way people could mess with Anne.

    I loved the continuity of the pit scene with the sun on Ann’s face and Anne’s face appropriately shaded. Beautifully done. I loved Elizabeth’s rally of support, and so much else. This is one of my all-time favorite series. Anne is such a vibrant, energetic character that it is quite easy to feel inspired by her.

    Reply
  9. M

    Again, I know the show is likely to only get two seasons, but I enjoy it so much I wish it was a full series. I thought Anne’s chemistry and banter with the young lady who was playing Sophie to be electric, that’s why next season I definitely want to see some of Anne’s earlier dalliances and European adventures. I can’t say Ann Walker/the actress playing her are my favorites, although I absolutely loved their reunion at the coal pit where Anne said “Don’t hurt me”. The wedding scene where Anne was grinning at the camera and she and Ann had that witty banter as they were leaving the church was so adorable. Ann Walker is much more tolerable and fun when she has a backbone. Next season, I want to see more love and romance scenes involving Anne and less about the coal.

    Reply
  10. M

    I do have to say that I do care about the Sowdens and the maids. I think showing how the entire family was put in jeopardy by a drunkard and how the son ended up banning alcohol in his house and endeavored to be a better, more disciplined man than his household is interesting. And I think it’s important to have some perspective when it comes to the class issues – Anne could have put that family on the street. She had that power. It shows how the Temperance movement and banning alcohol even came about. And loved, loved, loved the Washington daughter’s beautiful wedding dress. The fabric they used for it was gorgeous. You

    Reply

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