Hoo boy. Things are not looking good for anyone. Not at all.
Anne (with an “e”) stumbles home and cooks up a story for the family about falling off of a wall. I guess that’s the 1840s version of “ran into a door” then? The household are all, ‘what the hell were you doing on a wall anyway?’ and really, that is kind of a dumb fake explanation.
Marian, who’s either less gullible or more willing to call Anne out on her BS than the others, straight up says she knows Anne didn’t fall off of any wall, and oh, by the way, her boyfriend’s bringing his mother by soon, so could Anne at least have the grace to put in an appearance?
Anne does not, because she has loads of other things to attend to just now, and Marian’s suitor ends up ghosting her. Which seems odd, considering he brought his mother around (no small thing, in those days) and Jeremiah Rawson pointed out that this suitor was looking to marry an old name, to balance out his new money. Guess Marian didn’t pass muster with Mum?
(Also talking marriage: Thomas Sowden and Mr Washington’s daughter. Which is nice for them, I guess.)
Jeremiah once again approaches Anne, who agrees to a lower price on the coal land lease if the Rawsons will agree to a series of (reasonable) demands. The Rawsons definitely will not, because one of those demands is that Anne be able to access the mines whenever she wants to, during which time she’ll most likely realise she’s being swindled by the Rawsons. And I’m pretty sure Anne knows the Rawsons will never agree. She’s messing with them, at this point.
Her father’s confused and asks if they aren’t planning to sink their own coal pit? That option, as we know, has been taken off the table by Ann and Anne’s breakup, but Anne’s not down and out yet. She tells her father she has no intention of doing any business with the Rawsons, for many reasons, including their thieving ways and the fact that Christopher cost a kid his leg and never even apologised for it.
Unfortunately, the Rawsons are rich and powerful and may have her over a barrel. They start tearing up an access road to the mine that runs across Anne’s land. She puts a stop to it, but her lawyer warns her that this is just the beginning. Also, the Rawsons found out who the other party bidding for the coal lease was, and now they’re putting the screws to him, so Anne doesn’t even have another bidder for leverage. That sucks. But no way is Anne going to let these assholes win. Right?
She’s desperate for a distraction and starts making plans to travel to Europe. She writes to her friend Mariana, asking for a recommendation for a new groom. Mariana happily provides one.
Meanwhile, Ann (without an “e”) is not doing well at all. She’s now having nightmares about being hanged and is actively hearing voices. It’s alarming enough that her friend Catherine (who’s come to stay now that the last, Anne-hating friend has been sent home) immediately sends for Anne.
Anne duly comes running and is happily and very tearfully greeted by her ex-girlfriend. She spends the night and sees Ann melt down over the clock striking the hour. Realising this is a bit more than either she or Catherine is equipped to handle, Anne makes plans to take Ann back to the doctor in York. But this time, she thinks it’ll be a good idea to write to Ann’s sister, Mrs Sutherland, and let her know what’s going on.
The letter goes to Mrs Sutherland’s husband, who decides to grab his mother and travel south to retrieve his sister-in-law and bring her up to Edinburgh for treatment.
So, the Ann(e)s are to be separated. They have one last night together and Anne gets super vulnerable and cries and says that she knows what people think and say about her, and she tries not to mind, but it’s hard, and she’s been lonely and here, with Ann, she came so close to having another person to share her life with. And now it looks like that chance is being taken away. It’s sweet and touching and very, very sad.
The Sutherlands mother and son take Ann away the next morning. Mama Sutherland mentions a relative she might spring Ann on, since he could use a fortune, and Anne, alarmed, says she hopes they’ll protect this vulnerable young woman from any and all fortune hunters. Doubtful.
She watches Ann go, and contemplates just what the hell to do next.