It turns out, when you kill a baronet and dump his body in a lake, people notice. Quickly.
And really: a lake? Come on, guys. I know you were stressed and all, but everyone knows that dumping bodies is what the river is for.
George is pulled out of the pond in St James’s Park first thing in the morning and is almost immediately identified by Sir Christopher, who’s out for his morning ride. George is taken home, where Haxby summons the constables and tells them that Charlotte and Marney are to blame for this. Christopher doubts Charlotte has it in her to murder, so Haxby sweetens the story by claiming she and Marney were covered in blood and mud when they came by the house the night before. Christopher admits that Charlotte and George had quarreled recently, so now there’s motive.
William and Jacob have failed to come home, so Margaret goes to Nancy’s to see what she knows. Nancy knows she’s seriously pissed off at Margaret for giving up Emily to Mrs Quigley. She gives Margaret a piece of her mind and sends her packing.
Margaret returns home and tells the girls what their collective story will be: George stopped by the night before, dipped his biscuit, got drunk, and left in a hackney carriage. Everyone’s face is like, ‘Yeah, they’ll really believe that’ but what choice do they have? Both Fanny and Harriet ask to speak with Margaret, because their needs are urgent, but also they have no sense of timing. Margaret brushes them both off as Charlotte arrives.
After some tense words between mother and eldest daughter, in which Margaret tells Charlotte it was really stupid of her to go back to George’s the night before and Charlotte’s like, ‘Are you seriously blaming me for this mess?’ the constables arrive and take Charlotte to prison.
Charlotte’s arrest is witnessed by Amelia Scanwell, who tells her mother about it. Florence takes the news to Quigley, who then actually goes to Cunliffe on Charlotte’s behalf. Cunliffe, however, refuses to simply release Charlotte. Margaret, too, pleads with him to free her daughter, and when that doesn’t work she even goes to Haxby, but nothing doing there.
Lucy takes a different tactic and tells Fanny’s frequent customer, the constable, where he can find Marney. Marney, you see, has just stopped by the house to find out where Charlotte is, only to get a bunch of attitude from Margaret. He then threatened to tell someone that it was Margaret who did the murder. Lucy may be doing this just as much to protect her mother as her sister. At any rate, Marney is thrown in prison with Charlotte, who can’t believe her family’s actually doing this.
Quigley’s got Emily Lacy tied up somewhere, though she lies to Charles and claims she’s been unable to find the girl. Nancy’s on the hunt for her, and goes to Quigley’s to see if she can find anything out. Mrs Quigley’s out, so Nancy just tells Charles what his mother’s done.
Bobby, the young clerk who works for Cunliffe, was with Betsy, one of Nancy’s girls, when Emily was taken and knows Quigley’s behind it. He tries to tell Cunliffe, who brushes him off, so he reports what he knows to Nancy. Nancy starts tailing Cunliffe, who eventually leads her to the place where Emily’s being held. Charles has beaten her there and is trying to free Emily. He gets a whalloping from both ladies, who then tell him to pull his head out of his mother’s chest and start acting like an adult with an actual spine, already.
Cunliffe pulls Charlotte out of her cell and pressures her to turn over on Marney, in exchange for her freedom. She refuses. He also pressures Marney to just take the heat for all this, but Marney’s not playing either.
As Amelia’s coming home, she spots Violet and tells her they need to stop seeing each other, because Quigley knows about them. Violet’s hurt, but Amelia can’t really go into it, because Rasselas comes along and begs her to help him.
He takes her to the hovel he’s living in, where his boyfriend is in bed, seriously ill. Poor Rasselas is beside himself. Amelia checks him out but says she doesn’t know what to do, that this man needs a doctor. Rasselas can’t afford one, and doubts that one would even come. Amelia promises to make one come, if Rasselas can get the money. She hesitates, then asks if Rasselas worries about his lover dying because they’re both sinners. Rasselas essentially says, ‘there are no sinners here, just two people in love.’
Meanwhile, Florence, desperate, goes to Margaret and suggests they join forces to bring Quigley down. Florence is starting to fear for her daughter and knows Quigley has an eye on Amelia. Margaret gives her a hard time for a bit, but then seems to be considering it. But I think she’s honestly too wrung out at this point to take on anything Quigley-related.
It’s an extra-complicated day. Fanny’s in labour, and Harriet keeps begging for money for her kids. Margaret finally just gives her everything she has, but when Fanny goes to Benjamin’s, she finds him and the children gone. And Jacob and William are still missing. Lucy offers to give herself up, but Margaret tells her that everyone in the house will hang if she does. She then shouts at Lucy to get out and leave her alone. Someone is no longer mum’s favourite.
And over at the gambling place, Cunliffe sits down with Fallon and tells him that, if he’s going to keep procuring virgins, he wants a seat at the table, as promised. Fallon tries to fob him off, but Cunliffe tells him that, unless he gets something concrete, he’s not going to keep playing this game.
Rasselas gets desperate. There’s only one way he’s getting the money he needs, and that’s Quigley. He reluctantly goes to her place and, in exchange for quite a bit more money than usual, tells her that George was dead when he was carried out of Margaret’s house. Quigley practically squeals with delight.