Harlots (2017) s02e03 Episode Script

Series 2, Episode 3

1 This lady has come to pay Mrs.
Quigley's fine.
You're still sucking honey from her fingers! (DRAMATIC MUSIC) (GASPING) Persephone, let me have you.
I won't be your mistress.
Lucy, the bastard that killed her.
I want so much to put my faith in you, Charlotte.
Then do so.
You freed the devil.
Everything we are we owe to Lydia Quigley.
Six months in jail would not have avenged that.
It is not money I require, but introductions.
I'm here to see that this establishment does not continue trading as a bawdy house.
(WHIMSICAL THEME MUSIC) - How dare that insect Hunt and his constables prevent me from doing business in my house! I don't mind a fight, I quite enjoy one, but what galls me is having to retreat.
Where are we going, Mrs.
Quigley? To my old friend, Mrs.
May.
(KNOCKING) Mrs.
Wells.
I have it on good authority that this is a bawdy house.
I'm here to conduct a search.
(CROWD CHATTER) (DOOR SLAMS) That was quite a spectacle you instigated at the flogging.
Nothing compared to yours.
My children.
Their fathers? No business of yours.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) Miss Lambert.
Let down by her so-called love.
And that empty bed over there belonged to Miss Carter.
Remember her? Poor, murdered Miss Carter.
And equip us for the challenges that we shall face Justice Hunt.
My newest tenants.
See? No culls here.
I let out lodgings, as you can see.
For the needy and the sick.
What drives your concern, I wonder.
Pity? Or guilt? We found this in Kitty's hair.
It's from a rich man's garment.
If you find that garment, you'll find her killer.
It is indeed a tragedy.
A young tenant slain and then flung upon the steps of your blameless house.
It must make you doubt your business.
(STUTTERING) Good day.
(FOOTSTEPS RETREATING) He's a cunt.
Didn't even bring me any flowers.
Tried to catch us in the act.
Of what? I haven't had a decent fuck since I've been here.
You were wonderful as always.
(GIGGLES) Thank you so much.
Um, I'll take two of those, please.
You can have one.
Two guineas or you're out.
Then we'll leave.
One guinea for now and we'll see how you go.
Get up! We need to earn.
I'm already up.
Care to take a seat? I'm not giving it away anymore.
Mumma's money's gone.
I'm going to talk to her.
Don't go near her.
Just go and get us some girls, some hoity-toity, tits up there, something different.
(SCOFFS) And while you're at it, tell the world the Duchess of Quim is bestowing her favors again.
You're the bawd, not the whore! No culls for you.
Then do as Mother Lacey says, get me some girls to boss about.
Are you leaving? I want to go home.
Pick my scabs in peace.
Who's Persephone, Nance? She's the stupid slut who ate the fruit of hell.
What happened to her? She got trapped in hell.
Her mother tried to rescue her.
Why? Lord Fallon keeps calling me it.
Fancies himself as Hades, does he? I've had a couple of them.
And a few Lucifers.
He still wants to be my keeper.
Well, humor him or put a stop to it.
Either way, you make sure you're the one in control.
(SOFT MUSIC) There's two more than you told me.
Sturdy girls too.
I'll have to charge you an extra guinea.
We agreed the price.
But the extra coal and the candles.
I want you to be comfortable in your hour of need.
You're so thoughtful.
I only have a few rules, girls.
No orgies, flagellation, or bestiality.
Otherwise, you are at liberty to entertain gentleman callers as you wish.
I'll have to play draughts with 'em then.
You're a brazen thing, aren't you? You remember the dark-haired girl I cared for? Charlotte Wells? Oh, Wells.
Of course! Little Maggie's girl.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) - Nance? - I need a drink.
I'm taking you home.
Come on.
(BIRDSONG) How have I come to this? Who is she? She was a special friend of my father.
I seem unable to escape her.
I didn't think her your friend.
You have taste.
(HAUGHTILY LAUGHING) Oh, Charlotte, what would I have done without you these past days? You must visit Lady Isabella again.
She is the key that will reopen Golden Square, she and her friends.
We must win them to our side.
Hm.
(DARK MUSIC) (CROWD CHATTER) You sure you're gonna be all right? You fret like an old crone.
I'm worried about you on your own.
We're born alone, die alone.
Some of us like it that way in between.
Now, piss off or fetch a glass and join me.
When are you gonna fix things with Mags? What are you gonna do? That's up to her, isn't it? (CLOCK BELLS CHIMING) To mark the end of your ordeal.
I only wish you had called on me.
You wouldn't have paid a penny, nor would I.
In truth, no.
Debts irritate friendship like fleas in a wig.
And when you have fallen as low as you have, you need friends.
Prison, Lydia.
Charlotte has been like a daughter to me.
But her mother, she still thwarts you? Like a fly I cannot swat.
Oh I saved her as a child and yet she seeks to punish me for corrupting some imagined innocence.
But children aren't innocent.
No! I knew how to please Father when I was still an infant.
It was the making of me.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) I will spare you the discomfort of making demands of me.
Mrs.
Quigley seeks powerful associates.
She is poison, you are nectar, so you have been sent as her agent.
You know her well.
She is relentless.
I will not have her anywhere near my circle.
Only you.
Perhaps if you do this, I can help you be free.
You promise the impossible.
I meant free from Mrs.
Quigley.
Do you court me as an ally? A friend.
How forward.
But true.
Izzy, there you are.
Miss Wells! Becoming a habit.
As are your intrusions.
Now, now, Izzy.
We were always taught to share our toys, weren't we? I am not a toy.
Quite so.
And I'm appalled by my discourtesy.
I prostrate myself in apology.
Accepted.
So long as you're not trying to look up my skirts.
Bravo.
There are not many who dare chastise my self-exalted sibling.
Well, I can see I'm being conspired against.
I shall see you at the Pleasure Gardens, my dear.
Do I get an invite? Pleasure is my business.
It's the last night of the season.
It would be a tragedy if you missed it.
Don't you think so, Izzy? A calamity.
Well, then you must join us.
(BIRDSONG) You've got what you came for.
Half the peerage will be prowling the Pleasure Gardens tonight.
Run and tell Mrs.
Quigley.
(CROWD CHATTER) (WATER SLOSHING) (SIGHS) (UPBEAT DRAMATIC MUSIC) (GRUNTING, PANTING) Oh, oh, Betsey.
My Betsey.
Forgive me.
I can be Betsey.
It's Hannah if you're looking for me again.
Will you remember, Mr.
Oswald? I can't do business without a man on the door.
It's your job, you need to come back and do it.
I won't be your lackey.
It's your duty to provide.
For Jacob and Lucy.
(ANGRILY) How much do you want? Don't fret.
One man is more or less the same as another.
(MURMURED AGREEMENT) You looking for new girls too? I might be.
I pull a peg better than anyone in London.
Culls will be queuing up, even if it is a cursed death house.
- A what? - It's just something I've heard.
Nell.
You'd do well at mine.
Sorry, Mrs.
Wells, maybe if you go a month without a murder.
Lucky for you, I don't scare easy.
Cherry, you're not right for me.
But I'll pay you sixpence for every girl you send 'round.
And a shilling for talking the house up.
I'll do that, till you see sense.
Nancy? That's half the cow.
You need your strength.
You're a good girl, Charlotte.
Glad someone thinks so.
Sit down.
Talk to me.
I don't know what I'm doing.
You're going to bring down Lydia Quigley.
People will talk about it for years to come.
And your mother will thank you.
Even if I have to twist her nipples to make her.
I'm trying to act against Quigley yet I find myself doing her bidding.
Watch her with the men.
Find those she feeds with rape and murder.
Rich men, who think they're untouchable.
Should I just kill her? Kill her in the night and be done? No, you're burning, girl.
Don't let her sniff it.
Don't let her slither into your soul.
You know you have to wait to truly make her suffer.
(HOOVES CLOPPING) Whoa.
Miss Wells, may I tempt you out for a drive? I'll come.
You may, if she does not.
Where to? Wherever you wish.
I'm your servant.
Your ma won't like it.
My ma needn't know.
You exalt my humble cart, dearest Persephone.
Don't call me that.
Ride on.
(LIVELY DRAMATIC MUSIC) Oh, my little cherub.
Oh, how handsome you've become.
Why are you here, Charles? They sent me from Golden Square.
I was worried about you.
Ha.
Your inheritance more like.
No, it grieves me that you two quarrel.
Might I have a word with my mother? Have some seed cake.
Warm, plump, ready to eat.
Just like me.
(LAUGHING) You should have come to stay with me, Mumma.
And dear Emily? We're family.
Who is this slut that's come between you and your mother? (CROWD CHATTER) You have need of a soldier's jacket, lady? Saw three years' service, fighting the French.
Don't want a jacket.
No, I have need of a soldier.
When will you cease your teasing? I can make another proposal and have it sent to your mother today.
You can negotiate with me.
You are open to it? If the terms suit.
I agreed 400 a year before.
Five hundred.
(LAUGHS) You're a gauche girl.
I would be your first keeper.
There's much I can teach you.
Four hundred is my limit.
Can you teach me how to drive the horse? Of course.
It's quite simple, here.
Take the reins in the palm of each hand, thus.
Try to get a feel for the rhythm of the horse.
Like this? Here? Are you scared? Morning, Fallon! Immensely aroused.
(PANTING) Five hundred a year.
Five hundred.
Oh, Fallon! God! Yes.
I'll think about it.
Walk on.
(GRUNTING, PANTING) Stop.
Ten shillings for your services and ten for your silence.
Yeah, but the job isn't finished.
It is for me.
(ANGRILY) I am your rightful heir, not Charlotte Wells! You're my son and I love you and even though you betrayed me and called me a monster, I would change things in your favor in an instant if you leave Emily Lacey.
I love her.
(CHIDING LAUGHTER) You're grotesque.
(DOOR OPENS) (DOOR SLAMS) (OMINOUS MUSIC) They left at first light.
The house has been empty all day.
The whole household left? Mrs.
Quigley and her girls.
(VIOLET SCOFFS) You have something to say, Miss Cross? She'll just trade somewhere else.
You won't shut Mrs.
Quigley down.
I fear we may have done the wrong thing, Mr.
Oswald.
I think you were right to make an example, sir.
These places are steeped in sin.
The girls are wretched, the men are brutes.
Beneath contempt.
(SQUEALS) Miss Cross! You eat with a hypocrite, sir.
I saw him this very day, rutting on the street with one of his "wretched girls.
" Do you deny this, Mr.
Oswald? He fucked my poor friend Betsey to the pox house.
Violet, get out! (CROWD CHATTER) What news, Mr.
Holland? Oh, Miss Lacey.
You were a vision before but now you're a dream in human form.
Such a scribe.
Always using ten words when one would do.
I could use actions to show you how much I've missed you.
Something's already stirring into action.
Do me in.
Oi! Outta my seat.
Let the man alone! I don't see another man here.
More of a man than you.
(LAUGHTER) I fought in France while you were at home scratching your bollocks.
I've missed fighting and I'll take you on.
(COMMOTION) (DRAMATIC MUSIC) - That's it! - Go on! I'll offer evens on the lad of my color.
Two-to-one on the big fella.
Come on, bring it in.
- Come on! - See that? See that? (GROANING) Bad luck, gentlemen.
(CHEERING AND JEERING) Sit a moment.
How does a girl end up in a bawdy house? I want to understand.
It's not obvious? She needs money or food or some bastard's coming for her with a mallet.
How does it work? How are girls chosen? Cherry sent us.
You've got to be half-decent.
Not a bunter.
No.
Sorry, no, love.
Beyond that, each house looks for something different.
(WHIMSICAL, DARK MUSIC) If the bawd likes the look of you, she'll get you in - Out.
- look you over, check your bits are sound Sorry, my love.
No unwanted pets.
and then you'll be fed, clothed, and given a bed.
Then you'll be on your back from morning till midnight paying for it all.
Why did you not seek such an arrangement? 'Cause I like my freedom.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Thank God.
He keeps talking to me.
Miss Scanwell.
I'm here for Violet's reading lesson.
I was surprised to see you this morning.
I would not have thought the Wells (STUTTERING) house a fitting place.
Charity comes from strange places.
It saddens me that you're in need of charity.
May I be of help? You do much already by allowing me to do the Lord's work with Violet.
She feels me, sir, feels my sin.
Then I will leave you in Miss Scanwell's good hands.
(UPBEAT MUSIC) What are you doing? I think it's time I felt your sin.
(PANTING) Come and try me dumplings! Lovely dumplings! Hello, little pixie.
What world did you fall from? Fall on your face for five shillings.
Where'd you learn to fight like that? I was born fighting.
Comes natural to a black boy raised in a white man's house.
Here.
That's half of what I made on you.
You didn't tell me there was a book running.
Next time, Nell.
This young man could make a lot of money.
He's a born fighter.
(GRUNTING, PANTING) Oh, to feel firm fruit! Oh, Emily.
There's no one like you.
In here, my dear.
- Charles.
- Harriet.
Meet Cherry, our new girl.
Isn't she marvelous? - Where's Emily? - I think she's busy.
I wouldn't.
(MOANING) My love, I have the most wonderful surp Get out! - Oh, I can't stop.
- Not you! (GRUNTING, PANTING) (QUICKENED BREATHING) It's just work.
A guinea.
Oh, you're priceless.
And I'm late being paid, so here is five six shillings and a piece of cheese.
I told you I'd get culls.
For a piece of cheese! Oh, where are our girls then? I kept my end of the bargain.
I found a jewel.
(SCOFFS) Cherry Dorrington? I said different, not deflated.
Fuck you, Emily Lacey.
You know I blow a flute better than anyone.
You'll be lucky to have me.
That's some claim.
As Emily knows, I always try the goods.
Makes you feel better, be my guest.
I'll make him feel much better.
Come on, Charlie.
(HARRIET GIGGLES) Don't scratch.
You're a Greek Street temptress now.
Sorry, Mrs.
Wells.
I feel like a princess.
You look like a peach.
All right, come on, Fanny, Lucy.
Go and get your best and brightest dresses on.
What for? Pleasure Gardens.
I want to parade my new girls.
What pleasure's to be had with Kitty's passing? It's work.
So go and get ready.
Ma? Ma! I need to speak to you.
Lord Fallon's made me another offer.
A better one.
It'll help you through this difficult time.
I thought you didn't like Lord Fallon.
You said you weren't ready.
That was before.
Get your dress on.
I'm gonna show you off.
He's sending for me tonight.
You said yes? I don't want to be touted out like one of the girls.
I want a better life for myself.
So why are we even discussing it? You made up your mind.
(KNOCKING) Look at you.
What a fine figure.
I can see why men want their mitts on it.
What do you want? Just a quiet word, dear.
I am so happy that you and Lydia have found each other again.
She doted on you as a child, doted.
Your mother never did.
Not the maternal kind, is she? Ambitious.
Poor Lydia.
Her heart was broken when Little Maggie took you away.
You've known Mrs.
Quigley a long time.
Oh.
I remember her as a girl.
What was she like? Obedient.
How does an obedient girl become a bawd? How do any of us, dear? I admire Lydia.
And you.
I want to be able to achieve your kind of success.
Be able to retire.
How do I do it? But you're not like us are you, dear? (OMINOUS MUSIC) I don't know what you mean.
You hurt Lydia and I'll hurt you.
(BASS-HEAVY UPBEAT MUSIC) (FIREWORKS WHIZZING, POPPING) (CHATTER, EXCLAMATIONS) (BOISTEROUS FIDDLE MUSIC) Oh, Mrs.
Wells.
You've brought us to paradise.
I never knew such places like this existed.
- Heaven.
- Remember, girls, faces front, heads held high, and imagine you're one of the fine ladies.
Like them? Come on, Sukey.
(GIGGLING) (LAUGHTER, CHATTER) Mrs.
May.
Lydia.
Go forth.
Entice the wealthiest culls.
Charlotte, you know what to do.
(DRAMATIC MUSIC) (MELLOW ACCORDION MUSIC) Charlotte has an admirer.
(BASS-HEAVY UPBEAT MUSIC) I've guessed your business with my sister.
So you've been thinking about me? It's not Hazard you've been playing, is it? It's a game for girls only.
A game of flats.
(LAUGHING) What price for a taste of your oyster, Miss Wells? If you want a whore, go and plunge on your mother.
(SIGHS) We should retire somewhere more quiet.
My rooms, perhaps.
At least he asked if I was for sale.
Miss Wells.
Let me offer you the sanctuary of some female company.
I have every faith Charlotte will secure me the friends I need to prevail over Justice Hunt and reopen Golden Square.
You still here? I'm waiting to discuss my terms.
- Go away, Cherry.
- Give her a chance.
This could be a house where men come precisely for something different.
I'll work hard.
Please, Emily.
It's not safe out there.
Five shillings for every turn.
Rest goes to me for your bawd.
I'd expect ten shillings in a house like this.
Half the size, half the money.
And you, Harriet, you know you're on a good deal, so you'll do my books.
No questions asked.
Very well.
My girls.
(AMELIA PLAYING HARPSICHORD) Oh, I'm sorry.
I probably shouldn't touch your No one else plays it.
What are your ma's hopes for you, then? I never thought.
Uh she'd want me to rest in God's favor.
And what do you want? I don't know.
You? Money.
I felt I must speak to you after this morning.
We are upstanding people, Amelia and I.
I hope you will not judge us by our current sanctuary.
Mrs.
Wells does not strike me as a (STUTTERING) Godly woman.
She is not as bad as you think.
There are worse, like the bawd Quigley.
What dealings have you had with her? Enough to know that she is evil.
A kidnapper of young girls.
Who is the real monster, Mrs.
Scanwell? The kidnapper or the one who seeks to devour her prey? Both are inexcusable.
You must pursue them with equal vigor.
Miss Cross, will you accompany Mrs.
Scanwell home? (CLOCK BELLS CHIMING) (DARK MUSIC) (CHURCH BELLS TOLLING) You need come no further.
I'm used to finding my way in the dark.
Mr.
Hunt asked me to.
I have no desire for your company.
I don't know what hold you have over Amelia, but I do not like it.
Or you.
(MAN RETCHING) (BASS-HEAVY UPBEAT MUSIC) (LAUGHTER, CHATTER) (PANTING, MOANING) I've done you a favor this evening.
What will you do for me? What would you have me do? It's quite simple, really.
I want to destroy Lydia Quigley.
(DARK, OMINOUS MUSIC) So do I.
So how do you propose to do it? Why do you think I'm living with her? I'm waiting for my moment.
Then we'll be allies.
On one condition.
Name it.
That you have nothing to do with my brother.
Got the pox, does he? As you wish.
(COMMOTION) (LAUGHTER) They're having fun.
And you? It's an empty place.
It's a trick of the lights.
To part shallow people from their money.
You all right, Mrs.
Wells? Lucy's leaving.
Isn't that what you wanted? (CROWD CHATTER, COMMOTION) Sort 'em out, Fanny.
(LAUGHTER, COMMOTION) (DRAMATIC MUSIC) Little Maggie Wells.
Now there's a face I thought would be rotting in hell by now.
How you've grown such lovely bosoms.
Little Maggie.
Never knew when to keep quiet, did you? Blabbing to Hunt, slandering me for the murder of your whore.
She was quiet as a mouse when she had a cock in her mouth.
Do you still lick 'em like lollipops? (HAUGHTY LAUGHTER) No, she gets her daughters to do it now.
(CROWD GASPS, MURMURS) (ANGRILY) Say one more word and I'll rip your fucking head off.
Ma, what are you doing? For God's sake, Ma, you'll ruin everything.
Eviscerate her.
Do you hear? For all of us.
(FIREWORKS EXPLODING) Are you all right? I'm so sorry.
Gather the girls.
This never happened.
We must be seen to be having fun.
(EXPLOSIONS) There's a carriage outside.
(SOFT DRAMATIC MUSIC) Didn't want to go without saying goodbye.
You remember you're a Wells woman.
Don't be cowed by him.
You'll be London's finest.
Thank you, Ma.
If he hurts you, in any way, I'll come for him.
(SOBBING) (SOBBING) (LAUGHTER, CHATTER) Charlotte! Anne will take care of your friend.
You have another visitor.
I don't like my sister having all the fun.
(QUIGLEY HAUGHTILY LAUGHS) Your Lordship.
You know I choose my own culls.
I would consider it a great favor.
His patronage will re-establish Golden Square.
He offers 50 guineas.
I'm afraid I was undersold, sir.
A night here with me cannot be bought for less than 100 guineas.
Hm.
The greater the cost, the greater the anticipation.
Would you be so kind as to open an account for me? I'd consider it an honor.
Good girl.
(CHATTER) (EXCLAIMS SOFTLY) (BABY YAWNS, WHIMPERS) (SOFT OMINOUS MUSIC) It seems like only yesterday Amelia was this small.
And mine.
How do you protect them when you can't hold them anymore? We cannot.
We can only trust them, and pray for their souls to tread a righteous path, of course.
I punched Lydia Quigley tonight.
(GASPS) I hope you punched her hard.
I knocked her down.
There will be hell to pay.
I will pray for you, Mrs.
Wells.