The Buccaneers (2023) s01e01 Episode Script

American Poison

I'll grab that. Thank you.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Mother, why are you sneaking around?
It's starting soon, and he's not here.
Nan, Lord Richard's not here.
It's fine. Go downstairs.
Well, how can it ever be fine?
- Is Conchita dressed?
- Yes, quite dressed. Go downstairs.
I was never supposed to be
the main character.
Always more than glad
- to let Jinny, my sister
- He'll come.
and my friends compete for all of that.
Because I know he'll come.
Girls are taught to believe
that if a story isn't a love story,
it's a tragedy.
- And I had no interest at all
- What if he doesn't?
in being involved
with either one of those.
The whole world knew
that my best friend's was a love story.
A whirlwind romance
with a handsome English lord
can only be followed
by a huge society wedding,
to make entirely certain
anyone not envious of Conchita yet,
soon would be.
But nobody's jealous of a bride
whose groom has failed to show.
- Nothing. And downstairs?
- Well, the guests have barely noticed.
- Conchie, he will come.
- But today was supposed to be
the most beautiful day--
And the whole world is here.
Gosh, I hate him. You have no idea
how much I loathe him.
Of course, I love him.
I know I love him. I love him.
I just-- I should have known.
Last night
he just seemed so much further away.
Richard's never further away
- than just right here.
- Oh, Nan.
I should have told him, shouldn't I?
But I don't want him to marry me
because he has to,
I want him to marry me
because he adores me.
I'm ruined.
Where is he?
- Most of the guests are already on their--
- It'll be fine.
What if we just started
putting on the dress,
- and then he'll get here any second--
- No, Nan. I just don't know.
- What are we gonna do?
- I'm gonna go get it.
No, Nan, you idiot.
What are you doing?
Stop. What are you doing?
- Nan, you're insane.
- I'll get it.
- Oh, my God.
- What is she doing?
That girl!
I'm not escaping or anything.
- No!
- I'm sorry.
Are you sure you ought to--
- I got it! I got it!
- Yes! Yes, Nan!
Nan, you look an absolute fright.
That's always what you wanna hear.
Come inside! The wedding!
- Yeah, my wedding.
- Yes, there's a wedding.
- And nobody likes to talk about it.
- Come in and clean yourself up!
- For the wedding.
- You heard about that.
Apparently you can't be too clean
for a wedding.
- Yeah.
- What a fuss everyone makes.
Do you want to get married?
No-- I'm not-- I didn't-- That wasn't--
That wasn't a proposal.
- Nan. Come on, Nan. I need you. Let's go.
- Annabel, do stop causing a commotion.
Tricky things, mothers.
That's not my mother.
That's my governess, Miss Testvalley.
- And come inside, please.
- Yes.
I really do need to
Oh, Nan, look! He's here.
It's Dick's carriage.
Of course he's here!
- Nan, come on! I need to get dressed!
- He's here!
I'm getting married!
Listen, don't say a word.
I've not slept a wink all night.
I need you to give this to Conchita.
No. And I don't believe
you want her to have it either.
There's not an ounce of bad in Conchita.
No, of course not,
but it's only my parents.
Don't say parents.
They wouldn't want to come, of course.
I'm nothing but trouble
at the best of times.
Well, hasn't this summer been
the best of times?
- With Conchita?
- Yes.
I've never known times like it.
But will she work in England?
Will she fit in?
Conchita's not someone
that goes unnoticed.
She's like the sun.
- And today, it's just s--
- Today's just for show.
Conchita's father is in love
with you being a lord
and for all of New York to see
how much money he's made.
Conchita's in love with you.
Yes. And your parents want you to do what?
I don't know. Go home
and start acting sensibly, I expect.
- Oh, God, Nan. She's a miracle.
- Yes.
- I get drunk on her.
- Yes! It's you and Conchita.
Who wants to act sensibly?
And who wants their life to go unnoticed?
Where are you going?
Inside to marry my beautiful
wonderful wife!
you tell Conchita I love her.
She already knows, you idiot.
Driver, front entrance, please.
I'm getting married.
You are
the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Apart from Jinny.
And Lizzy.
And the poodle.
Well, then you're in my top five.
- Top five?
- No, top six, for sure.
Of course you have no interest at all
in being admired.
Well, I have no interest
in the man doing the admiring.
I can admire myself, can't I?
You're complicated. We're complicated.
- It's fine, I'll pick--
- Conchita, you look so beautiful.
You look amazing.
Girls, here is to a new world.
Marriages, men, parties.
Not particularly in that order.
Which comes first?
Darlings, we always come first.
- Always.
- Always.
Shall we swear on it
in blood or champagne?
- Champagne!
- Of course!
Good luck.
You won't forget me
when you go to England, right?
Who are you again?
- Be the party.
- We are the party.
I need to take
these garters off. It's so scratchy.
Meet me.
- Sorry.
- Sorry.
I keep bumping into people on staircases.
Yes. Well, it is a hazard
when you dance on them.
Yeah. Well, I'm generally
a strictly walk-down-stairs man.
Perhaps a little skip,
if there's something at the bottom
I'm particularly pleased to see.
It's the worst timing of my life,
but I've really got to go.
- Where you going?
- Home. My mother's going to die.
Sorry, I can't believe
I'm saying that out loud.
And not that doctors always, you know
They hardly ever know anything.
I couldn't get a boat before tonight,
no matter who I begged.
But I've really gotta
You'll get home, and your mother
will be delighted to see you.
If only you could come with me.
I did. From there to here.
Our first trip.
By the way, I'm Nan. Nan St. George.
Bye then, Nan St. George.
We're here. We're right in it.
- And it only took five years.
- Yep. Only five short years.
My dear, when we were neighbors
back in little old Saratoga,
who could have thought--
That when we moved here,
you'd be right behind us.
That unbred laugh.
Sweetheart, you are here now.
Well, I guess over here
is the best view of the party.
Look. It's Mrs. Paramore.
She's here. Look at her dress.
Oh, Mrs. Paramore.
We were hoping to catch you in regards
to invitations to the Assembly Ball.
I'm Mrs. St. George, Mrs. Paramore.
And this is my Jinny.
One of the bridesmaids.
- And my Lizzy.
- Oh, yes. St. George.
- The family from Saratoga.
- We live in the city now.
- My husband did awful well at the stock--
- Good for him. Good for all of you.
Mrs. Closson,
- your canapés are fit for a lord.
- Why thank you.
I'm sorry, Mother, was I supposed--
- No. You did just as you should.
- Mrs. St. George,
I'm afraid you can't attend
a New York ball of any kind this season.
- Well, I see no reason, now th--
- My mother--
Lady Brightlingsea.
Why, yes, of course.
Yes. My mother, she insists
that I invite you and your daughters,
Conchita's bridesmaids, to London.
London, London? England?
- All of Conchita's bridesmaids?
- There was talk, Mrs. Paramore,
that for certain girls of refinement,
New York has become too limited.
- Very limited, I quite agree.
- Yes, I quite agree too.
And there's an urgency
The start of the season.
in order that Jinny
and the other debutantes
may be presented at the Debutante's Ball.
To the Queen.
The Queen.
Well, that is very kind
of Lady Brightlingsea.
And Mrs. Paramore,
next season when Jinny returns,
if she returns,
she may be persuaded to drop in
on your little Assembly Ball.
Miss Testvalley, do you know Lord Richard?
Well, Annabel, as you'll soon see,
England is a very small place.
Lady Hopeleigh wrote yesterday
and asked me to remind--
Lady Hopeleigh has no business
reminding me of anything.
Jean Hopeleigh makes her debut this week
at the Queen's Ball.
And you know her future is in your hands.
Mother, Jean Hopeleigh should know
I'll never marry anyone
who hunts me for the sake of my title.
She has clear skin, Theodore,
open eyes, level shoulders.
And she's not vacuous, as some are.
You know those occasions fill me--
I know you'd have yourself replaced
by a mechanical Duke of Tintagel,
if it were up to you.
The staring I can cope with.
But it's the noise and the nonsen--
Just to look, Theodore. For me.
And a young lady of refinement, please.
Do come back in. Nan.
Look, an English tree.
An English hedge!
An English sheep in an English field.
How do you do, sheep?
Nan, please.
Jinny, your hair will be impossible.
How do you think
Jinny will wear her hair tonight?
On her head.
Yes, perhaps. Though, Lizzy, I'm sure
a lord will spot yours is glossier.
I'm just saying your complexion dazzles
compared to Lizzy's.
Lizzy's my best friend, Mother.
We'll be sure of a grand welcome
from Lord and Lady "Brightlingsey."
It's "Brittlesey," Mother.
I've told you a hundred times.
"Brittlesey." That's how you pronounce it.
That's me. I can't get it in my head.
I'm sure Lord Richard's parents
will be quite charming.
You worked for them, Miss Testvalley.
Are they?
Yes. Yes
in their own way.
There's a whole
ghastly, spitting crew of them.
Only Virginia and Elizabeth,
the two eldest, are debutantes.
Yet they insist on coming mob-handed.
James, you do know as the second son,
you must either make a fortune
or marry one.
They're all new money, yes.
And I'm quite sure they'll be frightful,
but if New York's rejects must be
our mended roofs,
then we may have to suffer invasion.
But at least we shall be dry.
So I am to be sold to the highest bidder?
And do I have a choice?
Yes, of course you do.
There are two of them.
Will he be lost without me, Nan?
Father? Of course.
And I hope
you might be taller without him.
I hope you girls will always be tall.
Us? We're giants.
Look at Jinny, she's a skyscraper.
- Mabel!
- I can see you!
And we could all be skyscrapers together.
I wonder
if Conchita's burst yet with happiness.
Girls, hi!
- Nan!
- Look at you.
You're just perfect.
Girls, girls, girls.
They're never still. Not one of them.
They toss about so.
Well, watch out
as they're tossing in our direction.
Before we know it, there won't be
a family left in England
without American poison in its veins.
But without them,
how shall we afford poison
or veins?
A casual bystander.
You say they're all as rich as Conchita,
One of the fathers is
in the American army.
American army? There isn't any.
They call him "Colonel."
In the United States
they call dentists "Colonel."
Girls, you can't imagine what a toll
pregnancy takes on your dancing.
Let's go inside.
Let me show you the house.
Has our dancing suffered,
do you suppose, since pregnancy?
I'm sure I've had no complaints.
What a blessing, Mrs. Elmsworth,
that Conchita is so heavily with child.
Blooming, indeed.
And so very few months since her wedding.
Of course, they pretend the Queen bit
is the start of the season,
but that's just the afternoon appetizer.
The evening's where the fun begins.
The ball.
So I hope you brought your finery
for tomorrow.
Every girl in London is just breathless
for the Debutante's Ball.
They've waited their entire lives
to see a real-life duke,
then parade down stairs for a husband.
They're so proud of how old things are,
they forget that in the modern world
we now have radiators
and electric lights.
Conchie, are you all right?
This place is a pit full of snakes.
Watch you don't get bitten.
Does everybody feel the butterflies,
do you suppose?
My dear, our husbands only made
their money in trade,
so our butterflies are inferior.
How dare we even exist?
Five years of doors in our faces.
I'm surprised our noses
aren't entirely flat with it.
Get used to an ocean of silence,
and swim about in it as well as you can.
I haven't drowned yet.
Isn't the soup heaven?
It's so red. And warm.
- Isn't it warm, Mrs. Elmsworth?
- It's warm soup, all right.
Well, if I've learned anything
about the English,
they sure know how to heat soup.
But not too warm. That's the relief
of it, Lady "Brightlingsea."
- Brightlingsea.
-"Brittlesey". Lady Brightlingsea.
We've missed you in New York,
Lord Richard.
He's been far too busy to miss you.
England's just bursting with activity
and possibility for men.
And what's wonderful for us girls
is that we get to sit home
and wait for them to come back.
What is it tomorrow, Richard?
Riding, shooting, cards?
Not all at once, I hope.
That wouldn't be--
On a horse.
On a horse.
I like your pictures, Lord Seadown.
Do you like all of them?
Oh, well, I--
I like a lot of them.
Worth a flat-out fortune, I bet.
How lucky they haven't had to be sold.
Richard has a knack for picking up things
that are worth money.
Is that Lady Jane Grey?
- La-- Where?
- Yet there are so few portraits of her.
I thought that could be a George Gower.
But if that's Lady Jane Grey,
then that's--
That would be too early for Gower,
wouldn't it?
You know, I always thought
that being a queen for nine days
was a very short time, but that was
before I crossed the Atlantic.
That's very good.
What do you think of the portrait,
Miss St. George?
I like her arms.
Is it really only half past 10:00?
It's not the clocks
that are slow, it's this place.
Girls, I've been
so starved of beauty and chatter.
Seadown wasn't starved tonight.
Perhaps at the ball tomorrow,
you could try not to attract attention.
Oh, yes. Yes, of course.
I can make some space
for your expert art observations.
"I like her arms."
I will make sure.
Do you even clean your nails?
Look at that.
Wait. Tomorrow, I must show you
the dress that I'm wearing.
I'm gonna-- Stop.
I'm going.
It's gonna be worth it.
Chin up, darling.
You are still the pretty one.
And one day, I'll be
the used-to-be-pretty one.
What on Earth are you all doing in there?
Being human.
- This isn't New York, Conchita.
- I'm aware.
Whatever happened to "being the party"?
Well, now you're Lady Marable,
so it's time to be the wife.
It's not how anybody here behaves.
I did ask you to behave.
- Perhaps you should get a dog.
- You chose to come here.
I chose you. I love you.
And I love you.
But the glaring and the jibes,
everyone on both sides.
It's a battlefield.
I'll be back next week.
You're leaving?
With your wife in this state?
Well, you have weeks yet.
And what about the ball?
I'm sorry.
I need to not be here for a while.
Well, without you, they won't let me go.
- Conchita, I'm sorry.
- So I won't go. Perfect.
- Conchie, are you all right?
- No, I'm not all right.
I'm not gonna go to the ball.
If I want to be ignored
and disapproved of, I can just stay home.
I said it, didn't I?
She might not fit in in England.
- But you also said you get drunk on her.
- Yes, and being drunk is great fun.
Of course it is, but not every day.
Not morning till night.
Not with my parents watching.
One expects it all gets easier
after the funeral.
It doesn't, of course.
So, tomorrow, the Debutante's Ball?
What else is to be done?
Your mother was the most beautiful woman
I ever saw.
Utterly unpaintable.
"As low as possible,"
Miss Testvalley said.
And then the Queen extends her hand--
And you lick it.
Do you think the Queen will notice
if a curl comes out?
Mother will notice.
Yes, she will. And remember,
chin up, eyes down.
Speak to every man there,
but only use short words
because we don't want to confuse anyone.
Don't ask. The bird came off worse.
Oh, Jinny. Wait till London sees you.
Girls, you must promise
to dance till you're dizzy.
Dance? Have you seen my shoes?
- I can't walk.
- I can do it.
Dance till you're dizzy. Do you hear me?
Come on, Nan! Come on!
Jinny, come on.
Come on, girls. This isn't playtime.
Please. Carriages are on their way.
Jinny, this is your moment.
You'll only get one,
so let's take it seriously.
- Come, come, come.
- Conchie
are you all right?
I didn't love him
because he was a lord, darling, did I?
And now, it's like he's not even a man.
We boarded that ship equals,
and it's like every inch
he got closer to home,
he just got further away from me.
Oh, God, I'm so happy that you're here.
Listen, Nan
when this baby comes, will you
I will be here.
- Yeah.
- I will be here. Of course, I will.
- Good.
- Yeah.
- 'Cause it's an actual baby.
- Yes.
How do you even
And it's gonna look like me.
You know, lucky baby.
That's virtually
the whole point of babies,
but it's not gonna look like them.
What if they look at my baby
the same way they look at me?
Well, I will be here. I promise you that.
- Really?
- Yes, of course.
Oh, Nan.
So the girls just have to walk
down the stairs,
and then the men all get to pick one?
I wish Conchita was here.
That cake.
I'd go and look at it,
but I can barely walk.
My shoes are really bothering me.
Why's everyone--
- Who is he?
- The guest of honor,
the Duke of Tintagel.
- Duke?
- No.
The greatest match in England.
Oh, Nan.
That's it, girls.
Look at where you're going.
Though I hear the duke's mother
has made her choice for him already.
There, look. Jean Hopeleigh.
And the duke is the perfect son.
There they are.
Head up, Jinny. Shoulders back.
Fourteen on form.
Americans, they say.
Outspoken, then, and vulgar.
Imagine the bucketloads of cash.
Imagine them on their backs
with their legs spread.
Or imagine them as human beings
with no interest at all in your opinion
and not caring if you're a king
or a mister.
Nan St. George.
Window, earring, staircase.
Sorry, I'm just blurting out words.
So, have you had enough?
They're like cattle.
That's rather harsh.
I think they're all lovely.
Yes, they are lovely as anything,
but they're also human beings
who are funny and smart.
How is your mother?
I'm so sorry.
Shall we?
Shall we?
I can't decide if I wanna eat it
or if I wanna hide in it.
Well, it's a long night.
I'm sure we can make time for both.
Do you miss her?
It's almost more than that.
Mothers are irreplaceable.
I miss the world that had her in it.
Well, actually, I also miss my father,
even when I'm in a room with him.
What on earth? What was that?
Just keep dancing.
This is really bad, isn't it?
This is as bad as it gets.
You should absolutely
never be allowed up high.
- Earrings, shoes
- The earring wasn't my fault.
In future,
if you so much as stand on a chair--
What? What will you do?
Stop you, I suppose,
in some way.
I told you. She's not even
supposed to be interested.
You were the same at dinner last night.
How am I supposed to get people
to notice me with her?
You're doing a good job
of people noticing you now.
But I am trying so hard and I'm so tired,
and this dress is so tight.
And actually, Nan doesn't even
like any of this,
the lords and the titles and so on.
She thinks it's all silly.
True. It's stupid.
Who wants to be a part of this--
I do. I like it. I wanted to meet someone.
And we've come all this way,
and you're causing a commotion,
as always, and everything's ruined.
I'm sure your sister is trying
as hard as you.
She dropped a shoe in a cake.
Why do you always take her side
and stick up for her?
Do you even know why?
Where is your pride?
My pride, Virginia?
Why, it's here.
Right here.
It's in Nan, and it's in you. My girls.
I'm sorry.
- You don't get it, Nan. You don't get it.
- What?
It's no different from New York. Here,
they just hate us for a different reason.
- And it's my job to be noticed.
- But you were noticed.
- Everyone in there was saying--
- I made the tiniest bit of progress.
Meanwhile, you're being fascinating
all over the place,
thinking of something funny
or smart to say,
or having men lick cake from your fingers.
- It wasn't men, it was one man.
- This isn't a joke, Nan.
This is my whole life. It matters.
Mother is forever standing up for you
and putting you ahead of me.
When I say that I'm doing a good job,
she says, "Well, so is Nan."
And, you know, it shouldn't be about you.
It shouldn't ever be about you,
'cause you're not her daughter, Nan.
I shouldn't have said that.
Said what? What did you just say?
- No, Nan.
- What did you just say?
It's not my fault they kept it a secret.
I was only a little girl.
- You know what Daddy's like. It was--
- Kept what secret?
One of Daddy's dalliances had
Mother wanted to avoid a scandal.
Nobody knew, and nobody knows.
Nan, I really shouldn't have
told you that. I'm sorry.
Please don't tell Mother that I told you.
- Please, Nan.
- There you both are.
Now, Annabel, we have come all this way,
and it does seem
that you are something of a distraction.
So Miss Testvalley has kindly offered
that, tomorrow at first light,
- just for a week or two--
- Some early nights, Nan.
The castles we've talked of.
The fresh sea air in Cornwall.
Lady Hopeleigh says
Jean waited for you at the ball.
She's free to wait.
And what are you free to do, Theo?
To be left alone, Mother,
till I meet a girl who doesn't know
what a duke is.
I can't think where one
would find such a being.
I'm sick of being tracked
like a wild animal.
I think I'll stretch my legs.
Did you talk to the bank?
It's worse than I thought.
How did it go with the American girl?
Yes, I saw her
and I believe it's all going to plan.
Then you'll be needing this.
Your mother's.
Oh, for heaven's sake,
English women have been
getting on with the job for generations
with no need for any silly fuss.
- Baby's coming.
- Okay.
Big push. Good girl.
I didn't know anyone was
I startled you, I--
If I'd known there was somebody else, I
I'm sorry.
That's okay.
Not mine, I see.
No. They would be--
- They would be rather
- Restrictive?
- Yes.
- Yes.
You're an artist?
- I paint.
- Really?
I was just
I was just looking at the light.
Isn't it just
I can't think of a better place to paint,
though I've barely held a brush
in my life.
Well, the beach makes artists of us all.
Oh, yeah. Well, not just the beach.
I mean, the cliffs.
And the castle.
Have you seen the castle up close?
It's extraordinary.
So I believe.
- Anyway, I--
- Anyway--
- I should
- Yes.
I'm Nan.
- Theo?
- Theo.
May I?
Oh, God. It's just a mistake.
It's a--
- Well, I--
- It's a bird.
- Well, it--
- It's beautiful.
Well, it looks like a
- frog or something.
- No.
It's hopeless, so I've started again
kind of.
Well, imagine what it might become.
I'm sorry. It's rare, I believe,
to be able to talk so freely
with a person you know so little.
Do you think so?
I think it's easier somehow.
Perhaps we might--
I'm often down here to paint or swim.
No, I'm afraid we're going home
to New York.
Well, that's a great shame.
Good luck with your frog-birds?
Thank you.
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