The Gilded Age S01E05 is the fifth episode of a historical drama television series created by Julian Fellowes for HBO that is set in the United States during the Gilded Age, the boom years of 1880s New York City. Fellowes is, of course, best known for creating critically acclaimed and popular period dramas like the Gosford Park film and Downtown Abbey TV series.
Entitled “Charity Has Two Functions”, The Gilded Age S01E05 is less about delivering sensational events and more about continuing to set-up potential conflicts and sinister plans for revenge. More characters are involved in several sub-plots that will no doubt take time to gestate before being thrust onto the main stage of the series narrative.
Chief of which involves a conspiracy between the scheming homosexual Oscar Van Rhijn and the seductress lady maid Turner – the former seeking to ingratiate himself into a marriage with the young Gladys Russell and the latter hoping to bring down the fortunes of Glady’s father who had spurned Turner’s sexual advances. Certainly, it appears that the Russell family have a target on their collective backs.
Add to this, the schemes of the widowed Anne Morris who blames the Russells for the suicide of her husband, and it is not difficult to see the potential for drama and conflict evident in these plot setups. There are other promising threads as well being woven in the series viz. Marion Brook’s budding romance with Tom Raikes, against the wishes of her Aunt Agnes.
However, there is little doubt that the next episode will be occupied by the bad news received by the Russells at the end of The Gilded Age S01E05. From the perspective of suspension of disbelief, it does seem that the Russells are handling deep crisis every couple of episodes, which isn’t too realistic.
Now streaming on HBO Max.
… still there’s more …