The Buccaneers (2023) s01e03 Episode Script

The Perfect Duchess

An English duke
A handsome man
Who's gonna be his duchess?
Oh, Duchess Nan, Duchess Nan
"Oh, I could never marry
Oh, wait, he's a duke?"
- Conchie, stop it.
- "Yes, I can"
It doesn't even scan.
You know I didn't know he was a duke.
She didn't know he was a duke.
She thought he was an artist.
- Well, why didn't you just say?
- Stop it. Seriously.
How can I marry him? I've met him twice.
He barely knows me.
He knows nothing about me at all.
Oh, darling. After the wedding
is when the knowing starts.
Marriage is
Don't underestimate it.
If anything, I've overestimated it.
I've been estimating it
every single moment since he's asked.
I can't possibly be a duchess.
Give me one good reason
why you couldn't be a duchess.
What actually is a duchess?
It's just that Theo-- He appeared, and
he just made me feel--
- He made you feel!
- Stop. Stop it.
Like I could escape somehow
and when I'm with him,
I could just--
I can almost just forget who I am.
I'll tell you who you are.
You're a person
whose crazy engagement got us invited
to the Duchess of Tintagel's private ball.
- Can you imagine?
- Wouldn't Lizzy just love this?
Still no letter?
I can't believe she didn't tell anyone
why she was going home.
She looked so pale
when she set off for the ship.
It's just not like Lizzy.
Well, we'll be back home with her
in just a few weeks.
Poor Jinny thinks we're going to New York
for her enormous wedding,
but I intend on spending
the entire trip cuddling Lizzy
and the poodle and pretending
England doesn't exist.
Girls! Girls.
Girls, say goodbye to Conchita.
I'm back in character.
Obedient and demure.
Conchie, are you--
Of course. I'm the perfect wife.
Miss St. George?
The duchess invites you to meet her
in the drawing room this afternoon.
Also, from the duke.
You're here. Come and see inside.
I can't stand to see Conchita--
So you're not painting, then?
I fear I may have ambushed you
at Runnymede.
By being a secret duke?
I am a duke.
So I gathered, eventually.
And I wanted to say
when I asked you to be my wife,
I wanted it to be a pure question,
unburdened by context.
This is who I am.
Though, I'm afraid I come with a price.
We must survive tonight's ball,
the whole performance of the thing.
And after that, if you feel it--
it's not the life for you
then you must call it off.
You mean that?
With no reflection on your reputation.
I'm afraid my context is inescapable.
But I would like to show you,
if I may, the full picture.
So that you can make a real choice.
To be a duchess.
To be with me.
The actual me.
All this way
to drink tea in someone else's house.
Endless unnecessary expense
leading to inevitable disappointment.
Like marriage, then?
Or parenthood.
Only two hours late.
What was it, ribbon shopping
or dancing with the footmen?
A relief, Richard, to have some peace.
You finally got her to behave.
Well done, you.
Are all of your friends coming
this evening?
One of them
scuttled off to New York with the mothers.
The pretty one. Nothing useful to say.
Could be any of them.
Lizzy went back home to New York,
but the rest are all invited.
So, yes. Of course.
Conchita, she's here!
It's Jinny! Jinny's here!
How the duchess tolerates
this barbarian invasion.
How any of us do?
Well, let's hope
Seadown's girl is a little more docile.
We must just grit our teeth
and think of the money she'll bring.
If it gets that far.
He may just be toying with her.
May I present Lady Seadown.
- We eloped. Can you believe it?
- No.
I'm afraid we simply couldn't wait.
But what about New York
and the wedding plans?
Your mother's measured every cathedral
in Manhattan.
I know. But when you've absolutely decided
what you want--
Love isn't about the display and the fuss.
That's what we realized, isn't it?
- Love is about the two of us.
- The romance.
Lord and Lady Seadown.
- Congratulations!
- Oh, my goodness. Congratulations!
- Congratulations.
- So happy for you.
Thanks, Conchita.
They eloped? Pure theater.
She looked happy.
Well, everyone's happy for about
three seconds after their wedding.
Dick and I
were either looking at each other
or touching each other,
or both, for weeks.
But if Jinny wants to--
It's not about what we want, darling.
Trust me.
If we all got what we wanted,
I'd be in New York
with a house full of men
and cream cakes and poodles--
But eloping. If there's one thing
that I'd pick out that Jinny wouldn't--
I've prepared her bottle, Lady Marable.
Thank you so much.
- Do you need anything else?
- No, that's all.
You're an angel. Thank you.
You know, I thought at least they'd
approve of me hiring Miss Testvalley,
seeing as they used her themselves,
but of course,
they just hate everything I do.
But do you think that
Jinny is actually ha--
In that family, the best hope is survival.
But I've worked out the secret.
No voice, no opinions.
It's better to be lonely and approved of
than lonely and glowered at.
It is like
the lights have gone out in you.
Yes, but when the lights are out,
and it's quite dark,
there's no need for apologizing.
And besides, I'm not alone.
I have a baby. And now
Jinny's my sister-in-law.
But it's her whole life,
and she barely knows him.
Are we still talking about Jinny?
Let's get you a bottle.
Sorry. Is Jinny here?
We're rather unprepared for visitors.
I-- There's just the tour of the castle,
and I just wanted to see that--
if Jinny wanted to--
She's looking forward to seeing you
at the ball.
Okay. Thank you.
I'll see you tonight!
You know, your parents, they seem so--
My parents have very high standards,
but you'll more than meet them,
Lady Seadown.
What's it like to be so perfect?
I never thought that I was
until you started telling me.
I mean, I do my best, of course.
Your trying is one of the things
I love the most about you.
Your perfect concentration.
Let others concern themselves
with being peacocks.
Such magnificent beauty here.
It's entirely matched by
what's inside here.
And pretty world-class
on the outside, that bit too, of course.
James, can you imagine if we'd never met?
All those years we spent
not knowing each other
and now I've got you.
My Jinny.
Nice view.
I just thought I'd sit for a while.
What are you reading?
A book.
Yeah, I think I heard of that.
So, Jinny and Seadown. Did you hear?
Your mother, is she--
Appalled, naturally, at the speed.
Though, when the bills must be paid
Wow. Your family are desperate
to make my friends feel worthless
when they lower themselves
to marry your brothers.
Let's try and be happy for them, shall we?
Come in.
- Annabel.
- I am glad to be here, Your Grace.
Are you? Or are you terrified?
Might I be half-glad and half-terrified?
Exactly as it should be.
I've never visited America.
Ought I to bother?
- Yes, it's a very fine country--
- I'm going to stop you.
I'm extremely busy, it's a long way away
and it's best to be realistic.
What do you love about my son?
- I--
- Quite right. You barely know him.
Marriage is alarming enough.
If young people understood
how terrified of it they ought to be,
the clergy would go out of business.
My son barely knows you, of course,
but I'm afraid
he's impossibly in love with you.
Did he say that?
He spent the last ten years
being chased around every gathering
and every drawing room
by every half-eligible girl in England.
And in all the years we've held
the end-of-season ball,
he's never once brought a guest.
His face has never once softened the way
it softens when he mentions your name.
What will you wear tonight?
It's perfectly possible
to care about the state of the world
whilst also being frivolous about dresses.
I quite agree.
I'm wearing a blue dress, cornflower blue.
It has this beautiful thing
from here to there.
I wore a dress in the same blue
to the Dorchester Ball when I was 19.
Theodore's father said
I looked like a bluebell.
If I wore it now, of course,
I'd look like a sea creature,
- but you'll get away with it.
- I bet you--
With age and wisdom
come many advantages and adventures
which far outweigh a small waist
and soft complexion. I promise you.
All this, the title
is not easy for everyone.
It's not easy for Theo, of course.
He loathes it, only wants to paint.
I've asked him to paint me
with a glint in my eye, and he won't.
But Annabel,
I believe he'll put a glint in yours.
Now off you go. I have my drink to finish.
Your Grace, if you'll permit me,
I do see a glint in your eye,
entirely of your own making, not man-made.
And I do think that
if you wore that blue dress
you would still look like a bluebell.
You're quite wrong.
Bluebells hang their heads.
They're famous for it.
I may have hung my head
at the Dorchester Ball when I was 19,
but I'm a duchess now,
and my head is always absolutely upright.
As yours must be.
At least in public.
So, the portraits
are of the Tintagel family members
who well--
How many times have you visited?
- Every year.
- Oh, God.
Next, we will see the dining room
where the family--
Dines? Slides down the table?
We do have castles in New York, you know.
They built one in Central Park
a few years ago.
When was this one built?
1342. Originally.
After that, we'll see the staterooms
for when the dignitaries visit.
The rest of the castle exists, of course.
But out here,
I can at least pretend it doesn't.
It's a sanctuary, I suppose.
A place to consider.
Or to feel
nothing at all.
Which is sometimes equally appealing.
I don't paint people, generally.
It's almost like it moves.
They're only colors on a canvas.
If I tried to put colors on a canvas
it would be
Be my guest.
I don't know what it is, but it could be
a snake.
Or a worm. I don't know.
I thought you didn't paint people.
You're not people.
The landscapes here are really beautiful.
You know, when I stayed nearby,
I went and walked, and I walked and I--
But I barely began to
I guess the best way to see it all
would be on a horse.
Is there much riding in New York City?
But there is in Saratoga.
It's okay.
It's okay.
Wha-- Why are you--
Whoa. Hey.
Right, if you could just grab the bridle--
I know how to catch a horse.
I saw you were in trouble, so I--
- I'm not one of those girls
- Nan?
who gets in trouble
and needs helping down from horses.
- Are you hurt?
- I'm fine.
I'm-- I am completely fine.
I thought you were going to be late.
And miss a chance to be shouted at?
Nan, this is Guy Thwarte,
my oldest friend.
How are you?
You're all Mother's talked about.
Well, you and Nan.
I imagine she wants to hear all about Nan.
You know, Jinny's in for a rude awakening.
That family doesn't like anyone.
They don't even like each other.
Nan, do you think Dick will like my hair
like this?
I can still be beautiful yet dutiful, right?
For Miss St. George? From the duchess.
This thing must be
five million years old. Wow.
Let's see.
So, little Nan,
how's the calling-it-off going?
This might be the first time
you're more dressed up than me.
Did you imagine this day would ever come?
It's gonna be so--
My parents are asking if we'd join them
for a drink on the terrace.
They asked for me?
Of course, Lady Marable.
Oh, my gosh. It's working.
I'm no longer their worst daughter-in-law.
Good luck.
Nan? Where's my emerald bracelet?
Oh, my God. There you are.
Here, come on in.
- Finally. Jinny.
- I asked you to return it--
Are you happy? Truly?
What? Of course, darling. I'm married.
- Oh, Jinny, I just wanted to--
- Mother will be furious, of course,
but at least you won't have to wear
the coral bridesmaid dress.
It was orange,
and I would have looked like an onion
for certain,
but I would have gladly worn it because
I knew that's something you wanted.
Oh, darling.
I know you've got this sweet thing
going with the duke,
but when you really, truly love someone--
I love you.
I love you, I do.
But this is what I want.
And you? Are you and Theo
How can I even think about marrying him
when I'm
I don't even know who my mother is?
Yes, well, nobody knows,
so how would he ever find out?
I will talk to you tomorrow, okay?
I promise. Or later.
I promise, okay? We'll talk later.
They've given you the yellow room then.
Quite right, of course.
You're far more important than me now.
Though, much less dressed.
God, sorry, I'll just-- I'll--
So will you tell him?
Will you tell Theo about my mother?
He's a duke, you may have noticed.
And he resents it, of course, every day.
But Nan, he absolutely lives by it.
And for a duke to marry--
Someone like me.
He couldn't possibly.
He'd be a laughingstock.
He'd lose any shred of credibility
or authority.
- You haven't told him yourself?
- No.
No, it just makes people run away.
I've never lied to him our whole lives.
And tonight?
Mr. Thwarte was just
And if there's anything else you need
to know about the yellow room,
feel free to ask.
Just down the hall.
Good decision to get her a dress.
Yeah. Good decision.
Shoulders back, old girl. Shoulders back.
Back to the summer of 1879, ideally.
When we still held hope
of finding you a husband.
Which version of American
will this one be, one wonders?
Stormy seas enough to make one
almost fearful.
Or wind subsided, waters entirely shallow?
Sisters now, yes? Good luck.
It's customary, I understand,
when one's son elopes,
to feel disappointment.
Were you looking forward
to a big bash, Mother?
A large public celebration of love?
- Weddings exhaust me, as you know.
- Lengthy, expensive, loud.
The disappointment, in this case,
is that we believed Virginia
might be different from her friends.
Our only goal, Lady Brightlingsea,
was to save you the fuss
of a garish wedding.
I assure you an elopement drama
is entirely unlike me.
As a wife, my chief aim will always be
to avoid a show
and to meet your expectations,
as well as those of my husband.
So I believe that I am different,
quite different.
Less of a peacock.
Calmer seas, ahoy.
They're saying we're already late.
Better crack on, then.
- I did. I told you.
- I said in England.
In all of England,
no girl would ever be of interest.
Absolutely not. I said, one day,
someone was gonna change your mind.
We didn't specify continent.
Well, in that case,
thank you for knowing I was an idiot.
A given.
And also for sampling so very many
of the available options on my behalf.
Though, how you manage such success
when you still can't tie your own tie.
That weekend at Runnymede,
Nan and I talked a little.
And isn't she extraordinary?
She moves in such an unexpected way.
- Have you noticed?
- I mean
- I don't mean gracefully.
- yes.
Because actually,
- she isn't always graceful.
- God, no. She's--
I mean, she's all over the place.
- Yeah.
- But did you see her on a horse?
She's wherever I turn, somehow,
laughing, thinking, surprising me.
Making me catch my breath.
I mean, she's entirely remarkable.
Well, you've met her.
Though, I heard you proposed
after about three minutes.
And it could easily have been two.
I just
Just be sure you know
all there is to know.
- My dress is so tight.
- You look absolutely beautiful.
- So do you.
- I know. But nobody's looking at me.
- What am I doing?
- What?
I am pretending to everyone.
Who cares about everyone?
Nan, do you like him?
I think so.
- Nan.
- Where's Jinny?
Nan, listen. Nan.
Tonight's not about Jinny or Conchita.
It's about you.
And you know what?
It's absolutely fine
to decide you completely love it.
You're allowed to feel special.
Maybe you were born for this.
Miss Annabel St. George.
- American.
- Yes.
But just lovely despite that.
The perfect duchess.
And my goodness, we've waited long enough.
You're beautiful. Do you loathe it?
Being beautiful?
But I expect that feels old hat.
No. Do you loathe all this?
I don't know yet. Do you?
Not tonight. Which is a novelty.
Everything, it seems,
is immeasurably improved by you.
Thank heavens, someone I don't despise.
- Not dancing?
- I was waiting for you.
So like your mother.
- She would've danced tonight.
- Wouldn't she?
Well, what's the verdict?
I believe Nan will surprise us all.
Everything's changing, isn't it?
Yes. It is.
For God's sake, let's have a drink.
Strangest night of your life?
Easily. And only partly
because you're being so well-behaved.
I'm the most tedious person here.
It's a stiff competition.
I mean, I said to the girl, "Tea?"
I'm not interested in
these newfangled intermediate meals.
Why can't people eat enough at luncheon
to last them until dinner?
It's ridiculous.
God, everything is so easy for Jinny.
For both of you.
Nan, is it actually gonna turn out
you get the dream?
'Cause that would be just like you.
Is your mother laughing?
She's actually laughing.
Next minute they're gonna be
braiding each other's hair.
Don't torture yourself.
- Jinny's different, that's all.
- Yes. Different from a peacock, sure.
Is there a bird
that's called a backstabber?
If there is, they don't live in England.
How very fortunate for them.
Well, I just mean she's different fro--
- from--
- Me?
You worked it out, haven't you?
Anyone can see that.
Of course,
Jinny's just the same as all of you.
But-- No, I didn't mean
There you have the breakfast.
And dinner, then there's no elevenses,
no, no.
- And then at dinner
- Excuse me.
about seven-seven--
Will I ever be good enough?
I've tried being me,
and I've tried being someone else.
Is there any point in me trying at all?
- Conchita, don't raise your voice. Please.
- My voice isn't raised.
That's a first.
What is it about Jinny?
What, with her blonde hair
and pale skin you've accepted so quickly?
All of you.
That would be very easy, I'm sure.
No, thank you.
We're not accepting those accusations.
- Perhaps you might think in those terms
- Every day.
I'm afraid we simply don't.
We're oblivious.
Lucky you.
Conchita, if you're asking who to be here,
your role is clear.
Mother to a child who's healthy,
daughter to a man who's wealthy.
Stormy seas are back, then?
Ought we to--
When we reward bad behavior in children,
we remove any incentive
for them to grow up.
Looks awful, doesn't it?
You've been on the fringes all night.
- I want you to have fun.
- No.
Come on.
Why did you leave?
At Runnymede.
Well, I can understand why, but I
but how could you?
After I told you something
that was so important to me.
Something that was so essential.
I thought that you were a person
I could talk to.
In fact, I was a scared person.
Well, if it was so shocking,
and you couldn't endure my shame
save Theo.
You must, of course.
Tell him.
Why wouldn't you?
Where's Richard? It's Conchita.
This is just what she wants.
Conchita doesn't get lost.
- Conchita!
- Was she heading for the cliffs?
- She's just doing it for attention.
- But, Nan, I'm her husband.
So it's my job to give it to her.
Just let him be.
She's always fine.
This is just what she does.
I could have just gone to bed. I--
I almost did, in fact.
But I expect if I had, I--
I probably would have just
got back up again.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry.
Why would you possibly be sorry?
I'm sorry.
You're right.
About my family.
About the way they treat you.
I love you.
I heard you at Runnymede.
You said that there are women,
and then there are wives.
I want you to be both.
But I want you to be you.
Let's go to New York.
- We work there, don't we?
- Yes.
Let's escape for a while.
- Just the three of us.
- Okay.
And let's remember who we are.
Well, now I'm actually getting worried.
How long has it been?
Maybe we should have--
We should have definitely gone--
Conchita, are you all right?
She lives.
- She's fine.
- Oh, darling, aren't I always?
I'll tell the others she's safe.
Thank you, sir.
I'll have them draw you a nice hot bath.
More water? I shall drown.
Oh, darling. I hope you weren't
too worried about me.
Are you asking about me?
Dick came running after me and found me.
Of course, we're still talking about you.
How are you not exhausted by the fact
that everyone's constantly looking for you
- or looking at you?
- Gosh. Can I help it if they look?
You can try not running out
into the middle of the night,
making everyone think
you've fallen off a cliff.
One night was supposed to be about me.
If you even break a nail,
I immediately jump to the rescue.
But if I have any problems,
- big or small--
- What problems do you have?
What, with your duke
and his necklace-giving mother?
How would you possibly know?
There's no space,
- there's no time to talk about me
- I cannot--
- when every sentence is about you.
- I can't keep up with
what you want and don't want.
You don't want to be a duchess,
and then you get mad if I get in the way?
At least I know who I am.
congratulations you've worked that out.
Although, how awful it is
for you to have done all of that work
to only realize
that you are an attention-seeking mess!
I miss home.
I'm sorry.
I'm going home, actually.
For a wedding that's already happened.
I have to see my mother.
Yet, not get to say a single thing
that I wanna say,
because I have to tell her
that I'm not marrying a duke
just because I couldn't keep a secret.
You'll make a wonderful duchess.
So you won't say anything?
No. Why would I?
Because he's your oldest friend.
And you're my newest.
I mean, it's hardly even late.
We could just grab a bottle or something.
You still left at Runnymede.
You still left.
I haven't even had a chance
to say goodbye to anyone.
- Nan will think that I've--
- You will write to them.
- There you are.
- Hi.
Even my mother's gone to bed.
Well, I'm not sleepy.
Yes, please.
I would very much like to marry you.
Are you certain?
When we first met, I didn't know
the whole truth about your context.
But I always felt
that I knew the truth about you.
And actually, you don't know
the full truth about my context,
but love shouldn't be about all of that.
It shouldn't be about the extra stuff.
It should just
It should just be about us.
And we'll have all of this, won't we?
And the paintings.
Well, maybe not mine,
but maybe I'll improve, right?
But the most important thing is that
I'll have you.
Yes, you will.
But before any of the marrying,
or any of that,
I need to go back to New York,
because my mother and I will need to talk.
- But when I come back, then we can--
- May I come?
Well, I'd like to see the skyscrapers
and walk in Central Park.
But also, I should like to meet
your mother and your father.
I shan't intrude.
I'd like to just be nearby.
To know who you really are.
you know, we didn't all dance together,
but I shall still dance.
On my own, if I must.
I wish our whole lives
could be like Runnymede.
I don't.
I spent the whole night on the rooftop
with Guy Thwarte.
Scared him till he ran away.
You didn't scare him too much.
He came back the next morning on a horse.
Guy did?
You and Jinny were too busy
being proposed to
and running around
not understanding about dukes,
but yes, Guy Thwarte was absolutely there.
I wish every night
could be like Runnymede for always.
Good night, Duchess Nan.
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