The Gilded Age (2022) s02e01 Episode Script

You Don't Even Like Opera

Are you sure this isn't
too much for you, Agnes?
We should have ordered the carriage.
All my life, I've walked
to church on Easter morning.
Why should I stop now?
Because we're getting older.
You may be getting older. I am not.
How long will you be in Newport?
Only a few days this time.
Larry says the house is finished,
and I want to make sure that it is.
Well, I hope it will take your mind
off that other business.
I hate to see you upset.
Nothing will take my mind off that
"other business," as you call it.
As long as we have
no box at the Academy,
we are not in the front rank of society,
whatever we may pretend.
That's what Carrie Astor says.
Well, she should know.
Her mother will have been consulted,
and she must have
decided to keep us out.
The Academy must have
a list of applicants
as long as your arm.
And I'm sure Mrs. Astor tried to help.
Are you?
I'm not.
What do you see?
I'd forgotten how
beautiful Philadelphia was.
I hope we're not going to be late.
The church isn't far.
So you know?
When I was in school,
we'd visit for some events.
It was nice of Mr. Spring to invite us.
I suppose none of this is easy for them.
Of course not.
But the Spring family
has asked us to join them
in their grief for Easter,
so that is what we shall do.
Après vous, monsieur.
Or should I say, "You first, mister"?
It does not offend me
that I am a source of humor to you all.
I confess, I would like to
know how long it must go on.
Until it stops making us smile.
Mr. Gordon pretended to
be French to get a job.
Is that a crime?
Not a crime, but quite a good joke.
If the mistress can accept
that her chef is from Kansas,
surely we can.
If she admits it at all,
I bet it's through gritted teeth.
Or should we say, "par
les dents serrées"?
We have a big dinner tonight.
Miss Weber, isn't it?
How do you know my name?
I asked one of your footmen.
I'm Jack Trotter.
I work for Mrs. Van
Rhijn across the street.
Then happy Easter, Mr. Trotter.
I was thinking you might
like to meet up some day,
maybe have a cup of coffee.
We're off to Newport tomorrow.
- For long?
- Only till next Monday.
But we'll go back soon for the season.
When you get home, maybe
we could arrange something
before you're gone again.
I'd like that.
How pretty they've made it.
There's Mrs. Russell.
Oh, happy Easter. To all of you.
Ada, come sit down.
- Agnes.
- Lina
Oh, I meant to tell you,
I've had a letter from
Dashiell Montgomery.
- Oh, how is he?
- Who is he?
- A nephew of my late husband.
- Arnold.
Were you on first name terms?
We weren't, and I was his wife.
What's Dashiell up to?
Well, it seems he tired of Washington
and has moved back to New
York with his daughter.
Oh, poor motherless girl.
Dashiell's wife died very young.
Frances must be about 14 now.
I'll invite them for some tea,
maybe next Thursday.
Not Thursday.
Why not?
No reason, really.
But I'm usually rather
busy on Thursdays.
As we celebrate the
resurrection of our savior,
we know the Lord is close
to the brokenhearted.
And we pray for those
in our congregation,
the sick, the lonely, the bereaved.
And we ask continued
prayer for Samuel Spring
since the death of his wife and son
who was blessed with two mothers,
one of whom is here today.
Our prayers are with you all.
Easter is a time of renewal.
It is through the miracle of Easter
that our savior gives us new life.
Today, we declare our
sublime and unshaken faith
that Christ did truly rise from death
and that God, having raised Him up,
shall also raise us up with Him.
Please rise.
Let us ask, O God, that
our hearts may be light
with heavenly hope.
It may not happen in this world,
but it will happen
in the sweet hereafter
when we shall rise again
and be made like unto Christ
in His eternal and glorious Kingdom.
- Amen.
- Amen.
- Lovely to have you.
- Thank you.
- Happy Easter.
- Happy Easter to you.
I thought he did well. The new rector.
He kept the sermon
short, which is something.
Oh, look. He's over
there. Shall we say hello?
You could leave it for another time.
Excuse me.
I know exactly who you are.
Mrs. Van Rhijn and Miss Brook.
They've told me all about you.
You mustn't believe everything you hear.
And this is our niece, Miss Marian Brook
and Mrs. Van Rhijn's son, Oscar.
That was a lovely sermon.
I hope so.
Half the battle is not to
put the congregation to sleep.
Mr. Russell.
I thought I might see you here.
Happy Easter to you, Mr. Tritton.
I hear you're having some union
difficulties in Pittsburgh.
You could say that.
I ask because we're going through
something similar in Cleveland.
And of course, Jay Gould
is having trouble too.
They say membership
of the Knights of Labor
is in the hundreds of thousands now.
Never mind the Knights of Labor.
We must deal with the steelworkers.
They've elected a new leader,
a man called Henderson.
And I'm afraid he seems
to know what he's doing.
The only thing worse than a union man
is a clever union man.
We ought to get some
of the owners together.
Gould, Morgan.
Billy Vanderbilt, if he'd come.
- Shall we go?
- Of course.
We'll be in touch.
How are you settling into the city?
Well, New York is very
different from Boston.
It's the little things I miss
old haunts, familiar food.
New York cuisine isn't
meeting your standards?
Oh, quite the opposite,
though I am still searching
for an authentic bowl
of New England clam chowder.
Well, I hope you find it.
But you're managing?
I survived the Easter service today.
And my first wedding is this week.
- Ah.
- So I feel I'm getting there.
May we hear who is to be married?
Uh, Miss Bingham and Mr. Raikes.
Do you know them, by any chance?
- No.
- A little.
- Not really.
- Yes.
We should go.
We mustn't keep the
rector all to ourselves.
- Happy Easter.
- Happy Easter.
Agnes, slow down.
We're not in a race.
Speak for yourself.
I couldn't get away fast enough.
Mama, I think I'll say goodbye here.
I need a cab.
But you'll be back for dinner?
I will.
- I hope you'll come.
- I mean to.
Are you going to Mrs. Rutherford's ball?
I'm quite surprised I've been invited.
With three bachelor sons?
Mother says she'll have every heiress
in New York on the dance floor.
I've been meaning to
ask you about your hat.
Isn't it lovely?
How did you enjoy the service?
I thought it was perfect.
Yes, I do too.
It's been six months.
I should have written sooner,
as soon as I heard you
were looking for me,
but by then, they were gone,
and I wasn't thinking straight.
It's good of you to come today.
We wanted to, to learn about him.
"A loved and loving little boy."
And so he was.
I wish I'd known him.
You're coming home with me,
so I can show you his room and his toys.
And maybe you'll feel that
you do know him a little.
I hope so.
Were we right to bring her here?
She deserves the full story
of his short and dear life.
Dorothy, please.
You can't blame me for scarlet fever.
I can blame you that we weren't here
before the fever struck.
If you had contacted Miss Wade sooner,
our boy might be alive today.
Give me another.
We're celebrating!
It's on him.
Did he like the room?
Did he enjoy his life?
He was a happy child,
always laughing, always full of fun.
We wouldn't have stopped you seeing him.
I hope you believe that.
Don't be too nice to me.
I'd have taken him away.
I'd have fought the adoption
and I would have taken
him with me if I could.
I wish you had.
It might have saved
him if you'd gotten him
out of the city before the fever came.
Don't say that.
Or we'll all go mad.
Keep it.
I mean it.
He loved his bear.
His mother should have his favorite toy.
His other mother.
She loved him, you know.
My Carlotta, she loved him.
And she nursed him, and
she caught the fever,
and she died with him.
Shall we go downstairs
for our Easter dinner?
I have a gift for you.
Here's a photograph, if
it wouldn't be too painful.
Don't you want to keep it?
I have one of them
taken later with my wife,
not long before they died,
just as I remember them.
I appreciate your kindness.
So do I. I mean it.
We share a child,
a bond no one could
even try to understand.
That's why we came.
Please come to the table.
Mrs. Scott.
Slowly, girl.
The food's not going anywhere.
Let's join hands, everyone.
Mother, would you like to say grace?
How was your service, Bridget?
Or should I call it mass?
Good. I like St. Patrick's.
The new cathedral is
a credit to the city,
I'll give you that.
- How was yours?
- I enjoyed it, with all the ladies
showing off the latest fashions.
I'm not sure what that has
to do with holy worship.
What were you saying to Miss Weber?
- Um
- When did you see her?
She was at church with
the other Russell servants.
Don't you ever get tired
of that wretched tapestry?
You're like Penelope waiting
for Odysseus to get home.
Aunt Ada likes needlework.
I like ice cream.
That doesn't mean I
eat it 24 hours a day.
- Ah.
- You rang, ma'am?
Yes, we can't wait for
Mr. Oscar any longer.
I don't know what's happened to him.
But if you can tell Mrs. Bauer,
we'll have dinner as
soon as she's ready.
Very good, ma'am.
I expect that's him now.
- My God!
- Oscar, what happened?
- Who has done this?
- I'm sorry.
I I haven't changed. I just
Bannister, help me get Mr.
Oscar up to the Blue Room,
- and find an old nightshirt.
- Yes, ma'am.
Marian, send John for Dr. Lewis.
Ada, do we have any bandages or salves?
Yes, I think they're in the kitchen.
I'll fetch them.
Can you see?
- Yes?
- Fetch Dr. Lewis.
And when you've done that,
go to Mr. Oscar's rooms
and tell his man to give you
what he'll need for tonight.
- Why? What happened?
- Mr. Oscar has been attacked.
I need whatever bandages
and creams we have here.
- I know where they are.
- What do you mean attacked?
What I said.
He's been beaten and I daresay robbed.
Here we are.
How are you feeling?
Much better, thank you.
Then we must send for the police.
No, no. Not the police.
Why not, when you've been
set upon in the street?
I have nothing to tell them.
I didn't see his face.
It all happened so fast.
And I don't want to be
a story in the papers.
Well, I can understand that.
But you really have no evidence?
My mind is a complete blank.
And you did nothing to provoke him?
Why do you say such a thing?
Because I know you.
I've watched you be reckless and rude.
Why were you walking
the streets, anyway?
Why didn't you hail a cab?
That'll be Dr. Lewis.
I'll go down.
She's just upset.
What you need is rest.
When Dr. Lewis is gone, try to sleep.
Ring the bell if you need something
in the night. I'll hear it.
You've missed your vocation.
- How is he?
- Settled.
But you were right
about his needing sleep.
He'll feel better in the morning.
What a business.
But I really came in to
ask how you were feeling.
What do you mean?
When the new rector told us
about Mr. Raikes' marriage.
Oh, that.
It was a little bit of
a shock, but I'm fine.
- Or I will be.
- Good.
Because you have so
much to look forward to.
I'm sure of it.
I did love him.
I'm glad you used the past tense.
It helps to accept that a
thing is finished and done with.
The question is, what's next?
The right man will come along.
But I don't just want
a husband, Aunt Ada.
And anyway, who says he'll come along?
He doesn't always.
That's true.
He never came for me.
But I was very shy when I was your age,
with so much less to offer.
It would have taken someone rare
to look inside my shell.
If he didn't, it was his loss.
- Good night.
- Good night.
Sleep well.
And dream of all the wonderful things
that are waiting to happen.
How did you know my size?
Mr. White was the one who found it.
Are you familiar with the house?
Not really.
It was built about 30 years ago,
and I believe it was
quite social at the start.
But for the past decade,
it was owned by a quiet old lady
from Milwaukee who did not entertain.
So for most people
here, it's going to be
a new house on their rounds?
Indeed it will.
I hope you don't think
I'm rushing things.
I do not.
You conquered New York.
Now it's time to conquer Newport.
But I haven't conquered New York.
What? You go everywhere.
- Oh.
- You dine in the best houses.
You have a pew opposite
the Astors at St. Thomas.
But I haven't got a box at the opera.
The Academy has turned us down again.
They can be very trying.
Mrs. Astor can be very trying.
She must have known.
Did she tell you they
were keeping us out?
Do you think the new
Metropolitan Opera will succeed?
The members of the Academy are
very determined it should not.
And if you jump that way,
you'll never take Mrs. Astor with you.
My advice would be to stick with her.
She'll get you into
the Academy in the end.
I'm not much good at "in the end."
Besides, nothing stays the same forever,
and I can't always be at
Mrs. Astor's beck and call.
Why not? I am.
Aren't you coming in?
You see we've increased
the space in here
and changed the angle of the light.
It's splendid.
My son is a genius.
We can use this room for entertaining.
Come look into the old library next.
It's worked even better than I thought.
You have done well, Larry.
What will you do now?
I expect I'll go to New
York and look for some work.
I may have something to
suggest in that department.
There is a widow here in Newport
who's planning some alterations
and additions to her house,
a Mrs. Richard Blane.
She's here? Out of season? Why?
She decided to live in Newport
after her husband's death.
Has she been alone for many years?
He died about 18 months ago.
Seems rather soon for her to build.
Isn't she still in mourning?
Not exactly.
But then the late Mr.
Blane was a good deal older.
You mean she's glad to be rid of him.
Well, she's glad to spend the money
that he guarded like a hyena.
I'm very grateful, Mr. McAllister.
You haven't met her yet,
but I think it could be managed.
And you'd be in town all summer.
Mr. Russell.
I'm just going up to check the
bedrooms before you see them.
Tell me more about Mrs. Blane.
If you insist.
She was penniless and
in a tricky situation
when she met Mr. Blane.
I do not believe she thought
he'd survive for 20 years.
Well, why didn't she
go back to New York?
Newport allows her more freedom.
Are you hungry?
Dinner won't be long.
Have you been crying again?
Thinking about your father.
We can't keep torturing ourselves.
I was thinking about the
first time I ever met him.
He saved my life.
Did I ever tell you that?
I was walking home from church,
and two men started
following me, taunting me.
- White men?
- Yes.
And I rounded a corner hoping
to find somewhere to hide,
and I practically ran right
into your father's arms.
- Thank heavens.
- Mm-hmm.
When the two men caught up with me,
Arthur stared them down.
He didn't have to say a
word, and they ran off.
Your father later told me that he
he saw what they were doing
and wanted to make sure
that I got home unscathed.
I never knew that.
I always felt so safe with Arthur.
Sleep in a man's arms for years,
and you think you know him, but
There you are.
Dinner must be ready now.
How did you hear about my contretemps?
Aurora Fane told me.
Does your presence here
mean we're friends again?
Oscar, you and I have known each other
far too long and much too
well not to be friends.
If that is the case, I'm delighted.
Now, will you tell me
what really happened?
Nothing much.
I saw you at church
that morning, by the way,
with someone tall and dark and handsome.
Tell me.
I met a guy in a bar, and he said
he had somewhere we could go.
And so he took you into a dark alley,
and he beat you to a pulp,
and he stole your wallet and your watch?
He didn't take my watch.
I don't know why not.
How long will this go on?
You can't keep putting
yourself in danger.
I'm starting to think
you may have a point.
I wonder if it isn't time I began
to live a more grown-up life.
Don't tell me this heralds the arrival
of Oscar van Rhijn, family
man and pillar of society.
His entrance is rather overdue.
You do know you would be asking
a very great deal of yourself.
No more than thousands of other men
have asked before me.
No more than you will
ask of yourself one day.
Not me.
I have no desire to
lock who I am in a box
and throw away the key.
I don't think I could anyway.
And what will your life be?
Friendship, companionship,
perhaps something more
if I can learn to live
with a little discretion.
Still a life of lies.
But I won't be lying to myself.
It's different for you.
You've got brothers.
I am the torchbearer of
the House of Van Rhijn.
Don't hate me.
I will never hate you.
Mrs. Bauer thought you might
both like some coffee, sir.
Oh, please thank her.
We'll manage for ourselves.
Did she see anything?
There wasn't a lot to see.
Would you like anything else?
Just coffee, thank you.
It's good of you to make time for me.
Not at all.
But I assume you've
come here on a mission.
And you're right.
I hope it wasn't indiscreet of him,
but our friend, Mr.
McAllister, seems to think
that you're unhappy that the Academy has
failed to find a box for you.
When one became available.
But there are people on that
list who have waited forever.
Your day will come, my dear.
And the Academy of Music has served
New York society for 30 years.
Have they not earned our loyalty?
Yours maybe, but not mine.
Not when they won't let me in.
Why didn't they see this
coming and build more boxes
when there was still time?
The Academy has been shortsighted.
I'm told there are 120 boxes
in the new Metropolitan Opera House.
They can't want it to be exclusive.
They'll fill them, though,
with so many new people in the city now.
Mrs. Russell, you must
know how very proud I am
of your success in New York.
- That's generous.
- I mean it.
You worked to be accepted.
And I do hope that I was a help.
You wouldn't want to throw that all away
and find yourself back where
you started, out on your ear.
I suppose I'd like to
go where I'm valued,
where people are friendly.
Well, the audience at the new
opera house will be easy to meet.
But you'll find that they
are hard to get rid of.
Why don't I give a dinner
of opera enthusiasts
so we can discuss the whole subject.
Would you come?
May I see a list of the guests?
When I have one.
But give me a date that works first.
I need you there to be my guide.
I shall take it very seriously.
I wouldn't like to see you pay the price
for backing the losing side.
Well, you're right about
one thing, Mrs. Astor.
I certainly intend to find
myself on the winning side.
Hiding his picture away
won't get rid of the pain.
Of course not.
But do you want a daily reminder?
Arthur, we had a grandchild!
His photograph belongs
with the pictures of
of your parents and mine
and all the rest of them.
They're dead, but
they're still our family.
All right. You want me to say it?
I was wrong.
I thought I was right, but I was wrong.
We should have kept the boy.
Are you satisfied?
How can I be satisfied?
My grandson is dead.
Uh, we saved you some dinner.
I'm not hungry.
He looks so much like you at that age.
Shall we keep it in here?
I don't think so.
I'll have it in my room.
She doesn't want it on display, Dorothy.
She doesn't, or you don't?
I lie awake at night
thinking about how I should
have done things differently.
I'm sorry.
That's all I can say.
Well, you just have to keep saying it
until Peggy can find it in
her heart to forgive you.
Or I do.
But don't you see?
Even if you are sorry
and I do believe that you are
it doesn't change anything.
So you'll hate me all your life?
I don't hate you.
Look, we need a rest from each other.
We have been trapped in this
trio of regret for too long.
Now I'm going to bed.
How I wish you would stay.
It feels much too soon.
I do worry so.
You won't go back to the bank today.
I said I'll be there next week.
Marian, look after him.
I will.
How are you, really?
I'm making progress, as they say.
It could have been so much worse.
I could have been killed,
and then what would have been
the point of my having lived at all?
Oh, don't say that.
Oh, look, a luncheon party.
No doubt to which I am not invited.
Don't tell me you're still
pining for Gladys Russell.
I suppose she's now the
cynosure of all eyes.
Of course. She's pretty. She's rich.
She's out in society.
And this is New York.
But are you still a contender?
Haven't you given up?
I should, really.
She never answers my letters.
And if we do meet, it's very stilted.
I'm sure Mrs. Russell has
told her not to speak to me.
Well, if you're really in love with her,
you must give it another try.
But this time, make a proper plan.
You fill me with resolve.
So have you told your
aunts your secret yet?
No, but I will.
When I can't keep it secret any longer.
But what about you?
I just don't know how much longer
I can stay with my parents.
What's the remedy?
Is there any chance I could
come back to 61st Street?
If Mrs. Van Rhijn hasn't
found a replacement.
I assure you, she has not.
Then can you ask her
if she'd meet with me?
Aunt Agnes would welcome
you back with open arms,
and so would I.
Not everyone in that
house is so hospitable.
I think Aunt Agnes
regrets keeping Armstrong
when she let you go.
If you think you can handle
her, please come back.
I'd like to, Miss
Armstrong notwithstanding.
I'll speak to Aunt
Agnes and write to you.
Thank you.
But why do you need my help?
You know Gladys Russell.
Why can't you arrange
to meet her yourself?
Because her mother doesn't
want me as a suitor.
Mrs. Russell doesn't like
any man she hasn't chosen.
But I don't see what I can do about it.
Now, would you like some more coffee,
or can I fetch you a sandwich?
I'll do it.
I'm glad to see you're better.
Was it very terrible?
It certainly made me think.
What was I doing,
wandering around New York
when I should have been at
home, dining with my family?
You mean you'd like to settle down?
I suppose I do.
Which brings us back to Miss Russell.
Please help me.
I've helped you before,
and nothing came of it.
This time I know what to do.
I just need a few
minutes alone with her.
Ask us both to luncheon.
That would be too obvious.
But I've been meaning to mark
Cousin Dashiell's return to New York.
You can come to that.
What reason can you have
for asking Gladys but not her mother?
Leave it with me.
I have an idea.
Mrs. Fane is throwing
a party for her cousin.
- What's wrong with that?
- It's on the day of my dinner.
How could she do such a thing?
Perhaps Mr. Montgomery
couldn't manage another date.
It starts at half past 3:00.
We'll be home before 6:00 with
plenty of time to get ready.
I can't come.
I won't be able to
leave the house that day.
Then Gladys can go with Miss Brook.
She'll have been invited.
But will Miss Brook protect her
from men I don't approve of?
Honestly, Mother, you
say I'm not to speak
to men you don't approve of,
but you don't approve of anyone.
She must be allowed to go out.
You can't keep her in a bandbox.
Oh, very well.
I give in.
Thank you.
Do I have to be at the dinner?
Only I have some troublesome
business in Pittsburgh
I'm dealing with.
I need you there.
I wish I could understand
the whole thing.
You don't even like opera.
Not so I've ever noticed.
George, the opera is where
society puts itself on display.
Not just in New York,
but all over Europe.
And the leaders take boxes
where they meet each other
and their children court each other,
and that is how the
wheels of society turn.
The Academy tried to stop the
Metropolitan from being built.
And they thought they could,
but it'll be open by the end of October.
If you decide to back the Met,
you know you'll be taking on Mrs. Astor.
Of course I love that
you're not afraid of her.
I'm glad to be her friend,
George, but not her lackey.
Aurora has written.
She's giving a tea for Cousin Dashiell.
Weren't we going to manage that?
Aurora can do it. She's his cousin.
We'll all go, and Marian can meet
some more suitable young people.
Although I'm never sure that
your definition of suitable
is quite the same as mine.
If it isn't, it should be.
I hope you're not still pining
after that tedious Mr. Raikes.
Oh, Agnes.
There's no need to bring that up.
Not really, Aunt Agnes.
They were bound to marry at some stage.
All I hope is that next
time, you will listen to us
and not assume we know nothing.
I shall be more sensible,
if there is a next time.
That's all we ask, isn't it, Ada?
Some respect for our advice.
All I want is for Marian to be happy.
I need you to confirm this is
the final list for ordering.
Give it to me.
How's it coming on?
Will we be ready in time?
I think so, but planning is the key.
I do have a favor to ask.
As you know, Mrs. Russell
hopes to put on quite a show,
so we're borrowing some footmen
from various households
And you want me to swell their number.
Not exactly.
I don't mind. It's part of my job.
No, I need you more as an underbutler
to take care of the wines.
We'll go through them
together, of course,
but if you could see to their opening,
decanting, icing, and serving
throughout the evening
I'm flattered.
But do you really think that she'll side
with the new Metropolitan?
It's beginning to look like it.
Won't Mrs. Astor kick up a stink?
Mrs. Russell doesn't lack courage.
Come with us!
- Papa?
- Go on.
Dashiell, how very good to see you.
Except you should have called on us
the moment you got to New York.
Indeed I should have done, Aunt Agnes.
I hope you can forgive me.
Oh, of course we can.
Mwah. You know Oscar.
Oscar, good heavens.
We're both rather older
than when we last met.
Don't remind me.
And this is our niece, Marian Brook,
who lives with us now.
Does that make us cousins?
Almost, but not quite.
Where is Frances? Is she here?
She is, but she found a group of young,
and so she escaped me.
Cousin Dashiell, welcome.
Come. Shall we have our tea?
Dashiell, good to see you.
Oscar, why don't you show Miss Russell
Charles' new library?
Ah, my pride and joy.
Shall we?
If you wish.
I'm so pleased you're well again.
I'm not quite dancing
yet, but when I do,
I hope you'll be my partner.
Is your mother here?
No. Or I wouldn't dare talk to you.
Then I'm glad she's not.
Well, at least I know now why
you never answered my letters.
Mother wouldn't see
that keeping them from me
was wrong.
I suppose she thinks I
don't have enough to offer.
Which is why I asked
Aurora to give this party,
so I could make the offer myself.
I know there are men out there
who are younger and richer than I am,
but we would live well.
You could choose your own friends,
run your own house,
manage your own life.
- Isn't that what you want?
- Very much so.
And I'm not a bully.
I'd never force you to echo my opinions
and parrot all my views.
Of course not.
Most men would.
That's true, I suppose.
I am happy to be henpecked,
as long as you're doing the pecking.
We'd have fun, Gladys.
I know we would. I want us to be happy.
Very happy. And I believe we could be.
- I
- Don't answer now.
Just just know that
I love and admire you
more than I can say,
more than I've ever
felt for any other woman.
But you don't know me, not really.
I know you to be intelligent and fine
and independent when you're
allowed to be and witty.
You have every quality
that I admire, truly.
Shouldn't you be saying
these things to my father?
I'll write to him.
- Oscar, Gladys.
- Oh.
You mustn't miss the tea.
Of course not.
Gould, how are things going
with the Knights of Labor?
Better for me than for them.
I should expect nothing less.
Their demands are outlandish.
Their leader Powderly says he wants
all workers to be in
partnership with their employers.
He can want what he likes, Mr. Gould,
but he won't get it.
Have you sustained any damage?
Have you?
This isn't a competition, gentlemen.
Mr. Gould is not
cornering the gold market.
Mr. Russell is not
bankrupting a railroad.
For once, we're on the same side.
He's right.
Let us enjoy the sensation.
They tried to target my freight
traffic and shut some down.
- But you didn't give in.
- We can't give in!
The list of what they want
will grow with every concession.
Houses, medical care,
less work, more pay.
They want an eight-hour
workday, for God's sake.
And safety measures that make
a child's nursery look dangerous.
The point is, we can't back down,
or we'll lose control of everything
we've spent our lives building.
For once, we must stand together
and introduce change
when we decide, not them.
They're a rabble, so
treat them like a rabble.
If it comes to it, I'll
hire half the working class
to kill the other half!
- Thank you.
- Goodbye, Aurora.
And thank you both.
This has been lovely.
Everything was so charming.
Oh, our pleasure. We're
so glad you could come.
Aunt Agnes, could I hold
you back for one more minute?
I have found Frances, and
she wants to say hello.
How nice to see you, my dear.
Aunt Agnes, Aunt Ada, how are you?
You've a good memory. That's clear.
Miss Brook, what are you doing here?
How do you know Miss Brook?
Well, she's my teacher at St. Mary's.
I teach watercolors at St. Mary's.
On Thursdays.
The day is immaterial.
Did you know you were
teaching Dashiell's daughter?
How could she? We've only just met.
We should go.
But it's good to see you all.
Come and call on us.
So you and Mrs. Bauer would
have been on opposite sides
of the war of 1866?
Yes, I'm from Hanover,
which fought with Austria.
And Miss Weber is from
Berlin, the capital of Prussia.
Why can't Europe be like America?
Because Europe is nothing like America.
I hope you don't mind my saying so,
but you seem very young to be
a lady's maid to Mrs. Russell.
I'm standing in until
she finds a new one.
I'm Miss Gladys' maid.
Now she's out and enjoying the season,
you must be dressing her
in glamorous ball gowns
every night.
Mrs. Russell keeps her
daughter on a tight rein.
I suppose she's afraid
of fortune hunters.
Of which there are plenty in New York.
Naming no names.
They're back.
I better go.
Thank you for my coffee, Mrs. Bauer.
I hope we meet again.
I'd like that.
St. Mary's is an old school
and very well respected.
I don't care if it's where
George Washington learned to read.
I teach nice young ladies to paint.
What could be more respectable?
If you thought so, then why
did you keep it a secret?
Because I knew you'd be angry.
Ada, why didn't you stop her?
Me? What could I have done?
When did you find out about it?
This afternoon, like you.
So your contempt for us
both was at least consistent.
I don't have contempt for anyone.
And it doesn't seem to
bother Cousin Dashiell
that I teach at his
daughter's school, or Aurora.
They feel sorry for you. That's all.
You're wrong.
Not everyone is as cruel
and mean-spirited as you.
- Oh?
- Marian!
Is it cruel to mind it
when you stamp on our name
and drag it in the mud?
Now, get out of my way!
I suppose you have to drop it now.
No, I won't.
I've given my word to the headmistress,
and I'm not going to break it.
Then things may be uncomfortable.
So what?
I won't be put in a cage!
Is everything all right, Miss Ada?
Yes, Bannister.
Only I heard shouting, which
is unusual in this house.
It it was unusual, yes.
But every now and then,
I wonder if it isn't good
to shout a little and let off steam.
You sent for me, ma'am?
I should be changing, but I need you
to tell me that
everything's taken care of.
Everything is taken care of, ma'am.
We did a dry run the night that
you dined with Mrs. Cushing.
And the deliveries? The extra
footmen? They've all arrived?
Madam, please go up and change
and leave this to me.
I am such a fool to have
agreed to a soufflé.
We'll have to keep making new batches
at ten-minute intervals,
then only serve them
as they're wanted and
throw the rest away.
Mr. Watson, are you ready?
I think so.
I may have decanted
too much of the claret,
but better too much than too little.
Mr. Church, I'm doing a final check.
How nice you look.
I'd say that I fear it may harm
you to be seen in that company,
but I know you will only think me cruel
and mean-spirited.
Marian didn't mean what she said.
I spoke too harshly.
I admit that.
Agnes is sorry too. Aren't you?
Bannister will escort
you across the street.
Miss Marian Brook.
Isn't she lovely?
Aurora, hello.
- Mr. Montgomery.
- Miss Brook.
You never said you were coming to this.
He didn't know.
But Charles was summoned to Washington
for a last-minute meeting tomorrow.
I asked Dashiell to take his place.
I must say, the Van Rhijn connection
makes you all into quite a club.
Of which you are a member.
By marriage, not by blood.
Well, there's nothing wrong with that.
- Good evening, Miss Brook.
- Mrs. Russell.
Gladys enjoyed her tea with you.
I'm sorry you couldn't come,
but of course I quite understand.
Well, I've met your cousin now anyway.
Thank you for letting me bring him.
He saved me from finding another man
at the last moment.
Charles was wretched.
He says you have the best
French chef in New York.
Oh, that's funnier than you know.
Is this dinner in aid
of the new opera house?
Why do you say that?
I thought it was for
opera lovers in general,
but I see Mr. Gilbert's here.
And isn't he in charge of
preaching the gospel of the Met?
I suppose that's true.
You do know I won't
go against Mrs. Astor.
I know you think you
won't, but don't worry.
We shan't fall out.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert McNeil.
Mr. Russell, good evening.
Mr. McNeil. Mrs. McNeil.
How good of you to come.
My daughter, Gladys.
- How do you do?
- How do you do?
- Gladys.
- Oh, please excuse me.
I gather Mr. Gilbert's presence means
the dinner is to
support the Metropolitan?
If so, count us in.
Has he written to your father yet?
It was only this afternoon.
What will you say when he does?
That depends.
I want to get away from
my mother, of course.
But do you really want to
be Mrs. Oscar van Rhijn?
You do know that Mrs. Astor
would like the Metropolitan
blown up from its foundations?
Don't worry. I have a plan.
And this evening, I simply
want her to understand
the competition the Academy will face.
Here she is.
Mrs. Astor, thank you for coming.
I'm delighted to see you.
You have guests I wasn't expecting.
You never said you'd
invited the McNeils.
I'm afraid that they have spent
a long time on our waiting list,
much longer than you.
Several guests here have
spent time on your list.
Have you combed the city
for the disenchanted rich
who couldn't get a box at the Academy?
Oh, Mrs. Astor.
The Academy Board may
think they can keep out
the new people with impunity,
but you're clever enough
to know they're wrong.
While the Metropolitan
would welcome the old guard
if they want to come.
Why not take a box in both houses
and see how it plays out?
Perhaps you do not value loyalty.
I am different.
I should scold you, Mrs. Fish,
but I know that you're
just playing with matches,
as you like to do.
Ah, may I present Mr. Gilbert?
Or do you know him?
I know of him.
He is in charge of grubbing
up the cash for the new house.
Not flattering, but true.
I was hoping your
presence here was a sign
you were open to argument.
I am open to fetching my coat.
- Where's Carrie?
- Oh.
Please don't.
We can't have a falling
out and be a story
in the morning papers.
If I stay, it will be under duress
and only to avoid a scandal.
I shall be very grateful.
Oh, look. We're going in.
Mrs. Astor.
I must not delay our no
doubt excellent dinner.
But as a parting treat, let me announce
the singers we can
look forward to hearing
in our first season.
Sofia Scalchi, Marcella Sembrich,
Giuseppe Del Puente, Andrea Romano,
Italo Campanini, Roberto Stagno,
and of course, the great
Christina Nilsson
Who will perform on the opening night.
If any of you can sleep
after hearing those names,
then I hope you dream of music.
But Nilsson always
performs at the Academy.
The Academy is her home in New York.
- She can't be singing.
- Well, she is.
And surely even if they
sell every seat in the house,
they won't have enough
money for that cast.
They won't expect to run at a profit
for the first few years.
I don't understand.
What does that mean?
I'd guess it means they have
plenty of money at their disposal.
But they can't plan to run at a loss.
That isn't fair.
Well, the audience will have the chance
to hear every major singer in the world.
Isn't that fair?
What are you doing?
Just thinking.
About Miss Weber?
What are you talking about?
You like her.
Are you making plans?
But I won't be a footman all my life.
And what would you like to do?
I'm interested in a lot of things,
but I'm not sure how to turn
any of them into a living.
Perhaps Miss Weber could help.
I'm going inside. It's cold.
So you feel the Academy is finished?
It seems to me the Academy
wants it every which way.
They refuse to build more boxes,
and they won't spend the money
to secure the best singers.
But they don't want anyone
else to do so either.
Mrs. McNeil, are you all right?
Flora? What is it?
That is, I must have bitten
my tongue or something.
Or something?
I bit my tongue.
Mrs. Brown, what do you think
of our choice of cast for the season?
Yes, Mrs. McNeil is also an admirer,
aren't you, my dear?
Aren't I what?
An admirer of Roberto Stagno.
The tenor? You admire him.
I suppose I do, yes.
I hope it is not a disappointment
that we won't leave the
gentlemen to their port.
Instead, would you like
to join me in the hall?
- Who was that?
- Why were you looking at him?
That man is my father.
Did you know he was a servant?
My mother said he had
come down in the world,
but I wasn't sure her
account was honest.
How did you recognize
him after all this time?
He used to come to
the house and watch me
from across the street.
When at last I asked why, he told me.
What can we do?
Except hope it doesn't
get out, I suppose.
Oh, I think we can do more than that.
Oh, my
- How?
- It's extraordinary!
When was this all done?
During dinner. When do you think?
But that's impossible.
It's beautiful.
You know now that the new opera house
will open in October with a
production of Gounod's "Faust."
And as you heard, we're lucky enough
that Miss Christina Nilsson will sing
the part of Marguerite.
But we are perhaps even
luckier than that this evening,
because Miss Nilsson
has traveled to New York
to give you a taste of things to come.
I bid you welcome to
Marguerite's garden.
I begin to grasp your plan.
And you seem to have
won the first battle.
I intend to win the war. Now shh.
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