01x07 - Irresistible Change

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Gilded Age". Aired: January 24, 2022 to present.
A young scion embarks on a mission to infiltrate the wealthy clan run by ruthless railroad tycoon family.
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01x07 - Irresistible Change

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♪ ♪

I see it as a privilege,

to be called upon to provide a new limb,

a new lung, for this
mighty city of ours.


♪ ♪

Together, gentlemen,
we are taking a step forward

into our shared future,

helped by the new technology

which makes what would have been

quite impossible for our parents

only too possible for
us and for our children.

This is a great day for New York,

one that should, and will,

shed glory on every man in this room.

I thank you for your support.

♪ ♪

Mr. White.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you

Union Central Station.



♪ ♪


- Congratulations.
- Oh, thank you.

- Bravo.
- Amazing.

Well done.

♪ ♪

Thank you, thank you.

I'd like to see that. Should I...

- Thank you.
- I told him...

Gentlemen, thank you for coming...

Are you sure this is the right moment?

I won't get a better one,

after the reception he's had here.

I hope you're right.

Congratulations, Mr. White.

They like your work
quite as much as I do.

Congratulations to both of you.

He's done a wonderful job,
hasn't he, Father?

- Wonderful.
- I find it very inspiring.

Architecture, I mean.

That's why I'd like to be an architect.

I don't understand you. What?

He wants to study architecture.

And, of course,
I'd be only too happy to help him.

Where has this come from?

I've been trying to
tell you for some time.

No, you haven't.

Well, I've wanted to tell you.

But you have a job.

- Here, with me.
- I know. But...

Mr. Russell, I think
that Larry just wants

to learn about the
principles of architecture.

After three or four years,
he could then employ his skills

in the management of
your business interests.

- Is that what you want?
- No.

I want to be an architect.

You see, Mr. White?

My son disdains your
peacemaking compromise.

I believe Larry has talent,

if that might make a difference.

It won't.

And now I'll put your mother
and sister into the carriage.

Please see to our guests.


♪ ♪

But what do I say to
Oscar when he gets here?

What can I say?

That he has disgraced his character?

His name?

And his mother?


What do you mean, "Well"?

Only that all men, or almost all,

have a fling of some
sort when they're young,

and they live to tell the tale.

Oh. This is a tale I'd
rather were not told.

I just think these things happen.

How do you know?

Have you been leading a double life?

No, but I'm not so simple that
I don't know what goes on.

You'll be calling yourself
a woman of the world next.

Well, I'm not Rip Van Winkle, Agnes.

And I understand that young men
have to sow their wild oats.

[SCOFFS] Even if that were true,

they do not have to
sow them with servants.

What would you prefer? An actress?

- Or a prost*tute?
- Ada!

I'm going to have to ring
for my smelling salts

if you do not moderate your tone.

You should not even
know these words exist.

Well, I do.

And I know that well
brought up young ladies

are not the girls lighting the cigars

of their escorts at Delmonico's.

You are forcing me to
reevaluate your character.

I can't help that.

The point is,
he's coming for dinner this evening,

and I don't know what to do.

I should do nothing.

Do nothing and say nothing.

But of course, you won't listen to me.

Mrs. Bauer asks if she
might have a precise time

to serve the first course this evening.


Ada, dear, would you tell Mrs. Bauer

I think it would be nice to
sit down to dinner tonight

at half past eight?

Thank you, Bannister.

Well done.

That was quite a trick
with the lighting.

It was only a battery.

By the time the station is built,

electricity will be part of our lives.

Edison is mounting a demonstration

- on September th.
- What's he got planned?

First, he'll switch on
his plant on Pearl Street.

But later, at : ,

he will illuminate the offices of
"The New York Times"

on Park Row.

How do you know so much about it?

He invited me to attend.

I'm to meet him for a
terribly grand dinner

in time for the evening illuminations.

Well, why didn't you say this before?

I didn't think it would interest you.

Of course it does.

All I want to know is,
how long do we have to wait

before we install it at home?

Oh, one thing.

Clay and I are meeting
lawyers after this,

so I may be home late.

We'll get through this, George.

We just have to be strong.

You always hearten me,

with your confidence of victory.

What will you do with that?

You don't have a bank account.

Perhaps I plan to open one, Mrs. Bauer.

And I'm going to find
out who wrote that letter

to Mrs. Van Rhijn if
it's the last thing I do.


It could have been anyone
in the Russells' house.

Someone will know who did it.

Whoa, there!

Cheer up, Mr. Russell.

- It can't be as bad as all that.
- Can't it?

I've quarreled with my father.

Or at least we soon will.

- Is this over architecture?
- How did you know?

Because you told me,
that day outside Mr. White's office.


You must give your father time.

He loves you. He won't want to fall out.

When my father loves, Miss Brook,

there is a price to be paid.

I cannot deviate from his ambitions.

Mother, me, Gladys,
we must all keep to the steps

he has laid down.

You have one life, Mr. Russell.

If you take the wrong path,
you will pay the price

for many years.

Now I must escort Pumpkin home.

Good day.

Mistress is getting up a
party for September th

when Mr. Edison turns
on his electric lights.

Why the fuss about Mr. Edison?

We've known about electricity
for a hundred years.

And there have been electric
storms for centuries.

But Mr. Edison has
tamed it, Miss Turner.

He has mastered it.

He knows how to make it,
how to store it, how to use it

- for our benefit.
- I think it's exciting.

Is it?

When electricity comes,
half our jobs go up in smoke.

Cooking, cleaning,
it'll all be done with electricity

before you know it.

What is the mistress
planning for the night

when the lights are turned on?

Not a large party, and not here.

It's more of a picnic. Eight people.

Four in the landau,
four in another rented carriage.

They'll meet here at :
and drive to Park Row.

They'll dine in the carriages
to make sure of a good place

and watch Edison illuminate the
"Times" building at : .

Who will they get to serve?

Two of the footmen can go as postilions.

They'll manage.

I wonder who she's planning
to hook into her scheme.

The Fanes will be there.

But I think she'll try
for Mr. McAllister again,

if she can persuade him to
be seen with her in public.

I'm sure he'd be very glad to
be seen with her in public.

Even you don't believe that, Mrs. Bruce.

But he may tolerate it for
the sake of a good dinner

and a decent seat for the display.

Please give us a rest from
your nastiness, Miss Turner.

What's that, Mr. Church?

My golly.

I thought we might practice in here.

We could rehearse a new production of
"Aida" in here

and still have plenty of room to spare.

The thing is, I assume
we need some more people.

Six more for a quadrille.

Two more girls and four men,
but don't worry.

Angela Schermerhorn loves dancing,

and she's a cousin of mine.

And Sally Drexel.

And I can easily round
up a few young men.

Maybe we could ask Orme Wilson.

Why is your mother so
d*ad set against him?

Judging by the society pages,
his family goes everywhere.

That's the problem.
She thinks them pushy.

The father was a w*r profiteer,
or so they say,

and the sister has married Ogden Goelet,

one of the richest men in America.

Of course, everyone
thinks he's been caught.

So your mother doesn't
trust Mr. Wilson's motives?

- To put it mildly.
- But you do?

To put it mildly.

In that case, we'll definitely have him

as one of our dancers.

We need to be able to tell anyone we ask

when the ball is happening.

- Then we'd better call it off.
- Why do you say that?

Because you won't set a date.

Every time I ask, you refuse.

That was before the house was ready.

Now it is.

I'll write to Mr. McAllister
to find a date that's free.

We don't want to be in competition.

What's changed, Mother?

Why are you talking as
if I meant you to be

the first debutante in the
city who never made her debut?

We'll get a pianist
in for your practice.

And perhaps you have the
name of a dancing instructor?

Of course.

The men and girls who will
join in your quadrille,

should I ask their parents if they mind?

Oh, no, they'll all love Gladys.

And they're dying to
see inside this house.

Everyone is.

Well, I'll ask them to the ball

so they can watch
their children perform.

They mustn't miss that.

Gentlemen, I suppose
my first question is,

have you seen the paper that
Mr. Dixon says I sent him?

- Mr. Brand?
- I've seen it.

I'm afraid it appears genuine.

We'll have a handwriting
expert examine it, of course.

But we can't expect too much from that.

What does it say, exactly?

"The price is ridiculous.
Find a cheaper option.

I don't care what it
takes or how you do it."

Followed by your signature.

He's lost the envelope,
but that won't help us.

Certainly sounds like me.

Can we confront this Dixon?

There'll be a preliminary hearing.

We'll face him there.

But didn't we pay the full price?

What happened to the money, Mr. Lewis?

Dixon claims the estimate
was submitted for payment

without his knowledge.

- So where's the money now?
- Missing.

But not traceable to him, unfortunately.

Doesn't that strengthen
Mr. Russell's case?

It depends whom the
judge chooses to believe

at the hearing.

If he believes Mr. Russell,

then Dixon will go forward for trial.

And Mr. Russell will only
be called as a witness.

But if he believes Dixon?

Then Mr. Russell may be charged

with manslaughter by negligence.

That is very pessimistic.

Mr. Russell should be
ready for the worst.

Believe me,

Mr. Russell is always
ready for the worst.


Cousin Oscar.


Is everything all right?

Oscar's gone.

He's angry with me,
but he has no right to be.

I'm the one to be angry.

Why? What's happened?

Oscar has disgraced himself.

With Mrs. Russell's maid.

How democratic.

It is no laughing matter.


On top of Bannister's betrayal,
it is too much.

Oscar tried to deny it.

Are you telling this story, or am I?

Although, why either of us
are telling it to Marian,

I do not know.

He said they were friendly
acquaintances and that was all.

Well, I suppose...

As if my son

would number a lady's
maid among his friends.

Even Ada thought that was nonsense,

and she barely knows
how babies are born.

Agnes, your anger is
making you indelicate.

So what happens now?

I want her sacked.

I want her out on her
ear by tomorrow night.

Then you must write to Mrs. Russell.

What would I say?

My mother always told me
never to write anything

I wouldn't want printed
on the letters page

of a popular journal.

- Then what will you do?
- I'll do nothing.

You will go and see Mrs. Russell.

After all, you know her. I do not.

But it isn't my quarrel.

Your family's honor is in danger.

Certainly it is your quarrel.

What right have I to ask a woman

to f*re her own servant?

- It's an impossible task.
- Marian.

I may be didactic,
but I do not often give orders.

This is a direct order.
Will you defy me?

Is that what we have come to?

Did you hear the noise?

I was in the hall when Mistress
started shouting at Mr. Oscar.

Then he marched out
and slammed the door.

Which made one less for dinner,

And we got the rest of
the ice cream to share.

These things happen.

You don't sound very surprised.

With a mother and son,

there's bound to be fireworks sometimes.

You don't know what it's about?

Please, we owe it to Mrs.
Van Rhijn not to pry.

You won't get back into her
good graces that easily.

Oh, silly me.

I've left some things
upstairs that I need to wash

before I sleep.

She knows more than she's saying.

All ladies' maids know
more than they say.


- Church said you were here.
- I told him to.

I hope you don't mind
that I haven't changed.

Not at all.

Did the lawyers keep you this late?

No, but after they'd gone,
I stayed talking to Clay,

poor devil.

I doubt anyone's kept dinner for him.


There'll be a hearing

to determine if a crime's been committed

and whether it should go for trial.

Well, haven't they already
found the man to blame?

That depends.

Some people may think the
man to blame is your husband.

Don't joke about this, George.

- I'm not joking.
- We can't afford a scandal.

Not when I'm so near.

I'm taking a party to
see Mr. Edison's lights,

and I've set a date for Gladys's ball.

I'm glad to hear it.

But it won't happen if you're on trial.

I'd have to cancel.

My dear, I don't make the rules.

I will do everything within
my power to defend myself.

What more can I say?

But I've already settled a
date with Mr. McAllister.

God forbid I should be a disappointment

- for Mr. McAllister.
- If you think this is funny...

I don't think it in the least funny

that I'm facing the
possibility of prison,

and my wife is more concerned
with the date of a ball.



♪ ♪


♪ ♪

- Mr. Fortune.
- Good day, Miss Scott.

I've left the draft of
my article on your desk.

I'll take a look.

Tell me, what are your
thoughts on electricity?

Are you talking about
Mr. Edison's lights?

Well, Mr. Edison is
not solely responsible.

Who else was involved?

Namely, Lewis Latimer,
a colored inventor.

He created a better carbon filament.

That's the thing in the bulb
that helps keep the lights on,

so to speak.

Well, I'm sure that Mr. Edison

will give Mr. Latimer his due credit

at the ceremony.


I admire your wit, Miss Scott.

Joking aside, I can't imagine
seeing an entire building

lit up all at once.

It's both historic and futuristic

all at the same time.

Well, you're not going
to have to imagine it,

because we're going to see it.

- We?
- Yes.

We're reporting on it for the paper.

I need you to help interview
people in the crowd

and get their impressions
as well as your own.

We'll meet here on the night

and travel to Park Row together.

I can't believe it. Thank you.


I've got to bring you
along to remind Mr. Edison

that a colored man will
make his technology better.

I'm sorry I couldn't
see you this morning.

I had a thousand things going on.

I'm sorry to be such a nuisance.


We'll manage for ourselves,
Francis, thank you.

So how can I help?

I'm only the messenger.

- But my aunt is rather anxious.
- Anxious about what?

[SIGHS] I don't know how to say it.

Now you're frightening me.

She asks you to f*re your maid.

- What?
- I think she's called Turner.

Am I to know why?

She's been seeing a man
well known to my aunt.

You must have something more than that.

What man?

His name is not important,

but Mrs. Van Rhijn strongly believes

that it is an improper liaison.

What proof is there?

They were in the street together,

and she laid her hand on his arm.

Is every woman who
touches a man's sleeve

in the middle of an improper affair?

My aunt believes that
is generally the case

when the couple are of
a very different rank.

I will speak to her,

but I cannot guarantee anything.

Suppose it was her brother,
or even a cousin.

We know the man, and
he is not her brother.

But I told my aunt I would need
more evidence to convince you.

Let us move on.

I'm glad you've come.
I want to ask your advice.

- Or perhaps your permission.
- Yes?

I'm planning a picnic,
and I want to ask Mr. Raikes.

Aurora says she sees him
everywhere these days.

That's if you don't object, of course.

Why should I object?

Because I'm afraid there
won't be room for you.


We're going in two carriages,
so each place is at a premium.

A picnic in carriages?

That's a lovely idea.
What fun you'll have.

I'm jealous. I'd love to be there.

The trouble is, we
have only eight seats.

I've got Larry, Gladys, Mr. McAllister,

the Fanes, and a friend of Aurora's,

which leaves one to fill,
and we need a man to fill it.

Not Mr. Russell?

Mr. Russell is a guest of Mr. Edison.

Then Tom Raikes is the man for you.

It's so maddening of Aurora
to land me with Miss Bingham.

Otherwise it could have been you.

More coffee?

It is quite simple.

You will be postilions
when you leave here.

Then when you get to Park Row,
you will step down from the box

and serve the dinner.

But I don't like horses, Mr. Church.

You're a postilion, not a jockey.

You won't go anywhere near a horse.

Everything you need for the dinner

will be packed in a hamper

and strapped to the luggage rack.

So she got Mr. McAllister after all.

The luncheon she gave
him has worked wonders.

Or do you not care to be
reminded of that, Mr. Church?

I do not care for
insolence, Miss Turner,

from you or anyone else.

Mr. Bannister made such a success of it.

Get back in your cave.

Pay no attention to her, Mr. Church.

I don't intend to.

Now come with me, and I'll show you

where to find the postilion's livery.

Why do you take him on like that?

He's too big for his britches.


♪ ♪

Mr. Raikes?

- What are you doing here?
- Waiting for you, Miss Brook.

But suppose I hadn't come back?

I'd have stayed for an hour or so.

And then I would have walked home.

Wouldn't be the first time.

And why today particularly?

Because I need to see your face

at regular intervals

to keep me on the straight and narrow.

Any minute now, Aunt Agnes

will look out the drawing room window,

and I'll never hear the end of it.

Don't you think it's
time we stopped worrying

about Aunt Agnes?

I need to see you. To talk to you.

If you mean it,

Mrs. Chamberlain has offered to
entertain us both at her house.

We could talk there.

- Now I'm encouraged.
- Why?

Because if you're prepared
to call on Mrs. Chamberlain,

it means you're not
afraid to take risks.

I must go.

I'll send a message.

I'm going up to change.
Turner will be waiting.

By the way,

Miss Brook called this afternoon

to ask me to dismiss her.


You're to dismiss Turner?

Wasn't it strange?

Mrs. Van Rhijn thinks she's
been having an affair.

How does she know?

I think the culprit must be her son.

I'm not completely sure,
but that's what I suspect.

Oscar van Rhijn?

- I had a letter from him today.
- What did he want?

Just to lend me a bit of support.

- Mm.
- So will you?

- f*re Turner?
- Why? Do you think I should?

It's not for me to say.

There must be something here.

How can anyone believe
you'd make direct contact

with some minor little cog like Dixon?

It's absurd.

I do write notes to people
in every department.

They can prove that.

And remember, I'm a rich man,

which means I'm a villain.

Certainly in a jury's eyes,
if it ever gets that far.

Well, I intend to pay it no notice.

And I've confirmed the excursion

to watch Mr. Edison turn on his lights.

Really? You won't cancel?

I was going to tell him I can't come.

You'll do no such thing.

We'll face this together, George.

We'll tell them how it's going to be.

If it helps you to believe
we're in control of things.

- Oscar.
- Marian.

I hope this means things are better

- between you and your mother.
- A little.

She won't be persuaded of the truth,

so I've had to agree to the lie.

Was it you who told her?

No. I didn't know.

But I wouldn't have, even if I did.


Well, what will be, will be.

I'm sorry about all the upset.

I know it's the last thing
your mother would want.

Oh, yes,
my mother wants me to have everything.

Except a life.


I don't believe I will take any lessons

from Mr. Church, thank you.

I should teach him a
lesson, if I were you.

- A sharp one.

You haven't worn this one for a while.

Turner, I've been thinking,

and I wonder if it isn't time

for us to take a rest from each other.


We don't get on as we used to.

Like all employers, you set the tone.

See what I mean?

Is this Mr. Russell's idea? Because...

No, but he's asked me to
give you a good reference,

and despite some misgivings, I will.

There's no need to imply
your work's not excellent.


What were you going to say?

Nothing, Madam.

Nothing at all.



Ask him when it was delivered.

When was it delivered, Bannister?

Just now, ma'am.

Just now.

Before he goes, tell him to ask John

for some tips on serving luncheon.

Everything went so smoothly
when John was at the helm.

- What?
- Thank you, Bannister.

That will be all.

When are you going to forgive him?

When he has earned my forgiveness.

Did you have a nice time, dear?

I think so.

I'm always overwhelmed
by Bloomingdale's.

There are more items in that one store

than there were in the
whole of Doylestown.

Mrs. Russell has fired her maid.

- I'm amazed.

She didn't give a hint of
it when I was with her.

You must have been more
eloquent than you realized.

Will you write to her?

Of course I won't write to her.

She might write back.

You must acknowledge the letter.

She's done what you asked.

Is there anything you'd like me to do

before you get changed?

Please thank Mrs. Russell for this note,

but without a trace of warmth.

And have John take it over.


♪ ♪

What are you doing here?

Did you have me sacked?


And I got you a good reference.

So I should be grateful?

That's up to you.

How's the train crash inquiry?

What do you care?

I care very much that you
should emerge unscathed.

You see...

you missed something in me.

I was offering you a woman
who would devote her life

to your success, your health,
and your happiness.

Could Mrs. Russell say the same?

I'd have loved you

to the exclusion of everything else.


I'll say good night.

♪ ♪

Perhaps we'll meet again.

I doubt it.


♪ ♪

Mr. Raikes.


This is very kind of you.

I'm delighted to help.

How do you do? I'm Mrs. Chamberlain.

I know. The famous Mrs. Chamberlain.

And I see that your
pictures are quite as fine

as I've been told.

After luncheon, I'll
show you the gallery.

But now I have business to attend to.

If you'll excuse me.

I suppose her business
is to leave us alone.

What would your Aunt Agnes make of that?

What would she make of my
being in this house at all?

Well, I confess, it feels very daring.

I gather you're going to
watch Mr. Edison's electrics

on the th?

Will you be in Mrs. Russell's party?


You're to travel and
dine in two carriages,

- and there's no room.
- Really?

Then why don't I cancel?
You can go in my place.

Thank you, but no.

It would spoil the numbers,
and it's settled now.

- The Fanes are coming.
- Mm-hmm.

And a friend of
Aurora's, Cissie Bingham.

She must have taken your seat.

I don't remember her.

She's supposed to be a
niece of Henry Flagler,

the fellow who set up

the Standard Oil Trust with Rockefeller.

What do you mean,
she's "supposed" to be his niece?

Well, no one can work
out how she could be,

but he gives her a huge allowance,

so there must be a link.

Her mother is most
respectable, at any rate,

whatever the truth of it,
and they both go everywhere.

It's odd how some people

are forgiven their past misdemeanors,

while others, like Mrs. Chamberlain,

must pay for them forever.

The trick is to find your
way into the first group.

you've found your way around New York.

I envy you.

Never mind that now.

What should I mind?

That I love you.

That my love for you is
the best part of me by far.


♪ ♪

You're a good man, Tom.

Think of your kindness to
me when I was a stranger

in desperate straits.

Isn't it time we took
control of our own lives?

We're young, Marian.

We love each other.

What more do we need to know?

- Otherwise...
- Otherwise what?

There are so many
distractions in New York.

So many sideshows.

It must be easy for people
to drift down the wrong path,

even when they know the right one.

Why do you say that?

I just want us to be strong enough,

to take hold of our future now,
when we have the chance.


Excuse me, but shall
we have some luncheon?

- She gave you no warning?
- Nothing.

Out of the blue.

I was helping her to change
for dinner when she said it.

"I think it's time for us to part."

Had my hands on her neck at the time.

I wanted to tighten my grip

and squeeze the life out of her.

I wish you had.

It would have made things
simpler for us both.

- So you're leaving right away?
- I am.

But I may see to Mr. Church before I go.

He wanted me out as much as she did.

Well, I shall miss your instruction

when I get back in that house.

Things will be easier for you soon.

Mrs. Russell is bringing
her daughter out, at last,

so you'll be able to
meet her all over town.

That's good news.

Go gently, but get in there fast.

Miss Gladys can be stubborn,
but that can work in your favor

if you can make her think she loves you.

They got rid of Archie Baldwin.

She'll be stronger next time.

Why does it matter so much to you?

Because the she-wolf is
planning something big

for Miss Gladys, and
it would warm my heart

to see her high hopes shattered.


Not much of a compliment for me.


♪ ♪

- This was left for you.
- By whom?

That lady's maid from across the street.

- Miss Turner, is it?
- Oh.

Hmm. It seems she's leaving.

Has she written to say goodbye?

In a way.

And to tell me who wrote the letter

which came while you
were serving luncheon

and I was across the road
in Mrs. Russell's house.

- I'm sorry about that.
- Well, you weren't to know.

What will you do about it?

I'm not sure.

I'll have to think about that.

They say revenge is a
dish best served cold.

♪ ♪

This is marvelous.

I'm so pleased. It's by Monsieur Degas.

He's one of the group they
call the Impressionists.

We were in Paris in

when they mounted
their first exhibition.

It was known as Le Salon des Refusés.

They'd been turned down

by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, you see.

It's a favorite of mine.

You have a wonderful eye.

Before I go, may I offer a little

of what I've gleaned
from my own experience?

Of course.

When you're young, it
feels a small thing

to turn your back on society,

but as the years go on,

it can be a lonely place out there.

Make sure you are very much in love,
as I was,

or there may come a day
when the road you've taken

does not seem worth it.

And now I must leave you.

Please don't go without
coming to find me.

Ever the diplomat.

But our love will be enough.

I know it.

You sound as if you're
trying to convince yourself.

I am convinced.

The fact remains,

I don't want a quarrel,
and I don't want a scandal.

Not if we can avoid it.

I know you mean your aunts,

but why can't we just stand up to them?

It isn't Aunt Ada.
She'll help us if she can.

It's Aunt Agnes.


Do you love me, Marian?

As much as I love you?

That's what I need to know.

What do you think?

Marry me.

Marry me now.

♪ ♪

I'll go and find Mrs. Chamberlain

and say goodbye.

She's a clever and interesting woman.

I better not let Mrs. Astor hear me.


I'd like it a little fuller here.

If madam wishes, of course.

But I should point out that
bustles are getting smaller

- for most people.
- I am not most people.

- Agnes.

If Marian and Mr. Raikes did
come to an arrangement...

What have you heard?


I just meant that if they did marry,

you wouldn't really cut them, would you?

Don't you want me to?


Not at all.

I'd like them to think I would.

It wouldn't make much
difference to Marian.

She doesn't care whether
Mrs. Astor receives her.

Maybe not, but he does.

She may think he can give
it all up without a pang,

but I know better.

Isn't it just possible you
may have misjudged him?

It is just possible

an earthquake may destroy New York,

but it is not likely.

This isn't right.


What can I do for you?

I knew you were still here,
and I wanted to see you.



This sounds serious.

I want to talk some more about my
having a career in architecture.

Not this again.

You've asked once, and I've said no.

So it didn't make any difference

that Stanford White,

potentially one of our
greatest architects,

thought I might have talent?

Great Stanford White turned your head

when he built our house.

I don't entirely blame him.

I blame myself.

I should have been watching.

What would you prefer me to do?

What you're doing now, of course.

You must study my business
and take it over in time.


What is it?

Father, you're a genius.

You made a fortune that
will go down in legend.

I doubt there are a dozen men

as successful as you in this country.

I doubt there are a
hundred in the world.

You are very kind.

What chance do you think I have

of equaling that if I
follow in your footsteps?


I must always be the
disappointing son of a great man.

The poor second act. The failure.

But if I take another path entirely,
like architecture,

I have the chance to
make a mark of my own.

And my companies?

You'll find and train
men to take them over,

who'll protect my future and Gladys's

and make sure the
business outlives us all.

You're persuasive.

I'll give you that.

And I promise to think about it.

But right now I have some
pressing matters of my own

which stop me concentrating
much on anything else.

The train business, I know.

Well, I'll see you at the house.

And, Father,

I wish you luck, really.

And I wish you luck.

I wish you would.


♪ ♪

So she's gone,

and you've lost your spy
in the Russell house.


But things will be easier in the future.

Gladys's mother is bringing her out,

and after that,
she'll be at plenty of parties

all over town.

- Besides...
- Besides what?

It won't help with Gladys,
if she hears of it,

but it may play well when people learn

Turner was sent away because
she and I were lovers.

A smokescreen to hide your true nature?

Don't talk like that.
I hate to be defined.

And it doesn't matter that
she was a lady's maid?

Don't be such a snob.

The ladies might take exception,

but their husbands won't.

Did you plan this

when you first took up with Miss Turner?


But I'm a great believer

in turning every chance encounter

to my own advantage.



You saw Mr. Raikes in the street?

You know what she means, Agnes.

Mr. Raikes is an old friend of Marian's,

and they met by chance.

But was it by chance?

The point is, I was pleased to hear

how far he's come since he arrived,

and I thought you would be too.

Mm, has he come so very far?

Well, he's friendly with the Rikers now,

and the Rockwells,

and last week, he dined
with Mrs. Randolph.

Do all his friends have
names beginning with R?

I know you think he only
mixes with the new people...

Like Mrs. Russell. Another R.

Exactly, but it isn't true.

You know the Rikers,
and you know Mrs. Randolph.

Aurora Fane loves him.

Aurora has developed

a certain social promiscuity recently.

- But you're fond of Aurora.
- I'm fond of you.

It doesn't mean you are without fault.

You are not being fair, Aunt Agnes.

If you are saying I am
not blinded by his looks

and so-called charm,
then you would be right.


♪ ♪

Oh, you're going out?

I was of two minds about telling you.

Mr. Fortune has asked
me to accompany him

to the turning on of the lights.

We're both going to write
about it for the Globe.

- I'm so jealous.
- I knew you would be.

I think it's a shame you're not going

with Mr. Raikes to Mrs. Russell's party.

There's no more room in the carriage.

She should get a bigger carriage.


♪ ♪

Your troops are waiting for you

in the drawing room, my dear.

And I'm leaving too.

I wish you were coming with us.

I like your spirit.

We won't be defeated, George.

♪ ♪

Taming electricity is probably

the most important
innovation of our lifetime.

And is that something to celebrate?

I think so. I wish I was there.

To see Park Row illuminated?

But with what sort of people?

Ruffians, thieves, and worse.

Mrs. Russell's taking a party.

I rest my case.

Miss Scott's going too.

To cover it for her newspaper.

And I will read about it,

like civilized people do.

I'm sure Miss Scott
will be able to tell us

all we need to know.

Oh, don't worry. I wasn't planning to go

without your permission.

You're very obedient all of a sudden.

What are you planning to spring on me?

Now go.

Ring for that reprobate Bannister

and ask about dinner.

If possible, I'd like an early night.



♪ ♪


Some more champagne, ma'am?

Let me.

- Miss Bingham?
- I shouldn't, but I will.

That ought to be my motto. [CHUCKLES]

You must have a very understanding wife,

Mr. McAllister.

Mrs. Fane watches me like a hawk.

I do not.

But it seems a shame that
your wife isn't with us.

Mrs. McAllister is as happy as a clam

tucked up in Newport listening
to the sounds of the sea.

I've never been to Newport,

but one hears it spoken of so highly.

My dear Mrs. Russell.

Of course you must come to Newport.

- I insist.

The town is just waiting for you

to tear down its
defenses and conquer it.

Must everything in life
present a challenge?

Everything worth having.

But surely the point of going
there is to be by the sea.

To feel the wind in your
hair and listen to the waves.

And that's all free.

Charming as you make it sound,

I don't think you have quite captured

- the spirit of Newport.
- Hardly.

You need four outfits
a day, at the minimum,

decent jewels, and a full dance card.

I see.

Do you know Newport, Mr. Raikes?

Not yet.

My mother has a place there,

and we use it a lot in the season.

And a very nice place it is too.

You must let me know

when you're planning
to visit, Mr. Raikes.

I will, Miss Bingham. Thank you.

I should make a plan at once.

You won't regret it.

Then I shall have to take
you up on your offer.

How is it that we've
never met, Mr. Raikes?

In a year's time, or less,
most of the cottages...


♪ ♪


Thank you. You can keep the change.

Thank you.

How do you feel about the light?

- Are you excited about it?
- Oh, yes, I certainly am.

- Can I quote you on that?
- Mm-hmm.

- Thank you so much.
- You're welcome.

- Excuse me. I got us snacks.
- Oh?

- For you.
- Thank you.


- They're assembling now.
- Oh.

Let's get a little closer.

Some folks I spoke to
wonder how long it will take

for colored people to have
electricity in their homes.

Mostly they're just here to
enjoy the lights, though.


Well, it will be a marvel to behold,

that much is true.


♪ ♪

This is quite an achievement.

This is the age of
achievement, Mr. Russell.

An age when anything is possible.

I like that, and I will remember it.


♪ ♪


Ladies and gentlemen,

may I introduce Mr. Thomas Edison!




♪ ♪


ALL: Nine.











♪ ♪


♪ ♪



♪ ♪

So beautiful. Just...

This is a turning point in history,
Mrs. Russell.

But are we headed in
the right direction?

We don't have a choice in the matter,
Mr. McAllister.

We must go where history takes us.
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