After the beginning of the 5th episode, we see the Harlots recovering from the party. Margaret (Samantha Morton) and William (Danny Sapani) celebrate their victory. Meanwhile, Sir George Howard (Hugh Skinner) sleeps, while Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) stands over him. Charlotte brushes by Haxby (Edward Hogg) on her way out. Seconds later, Margaret storms into Lydia’s home. Margaret gives Lydia (Lesley Manville) money to cover Marie-Louise’s debt. They argue briefly, before apparently agreeing to enter into a truce. After she leaves, Emily Lacey tries to escape. She is beaten by Lydia and Charles is also hit once. On the way home, Margaret runs into Lord Fallon (Ben Lambert). Fallon makes it clear he would love to see Lucy (Eloise Smyth) again. At this time, Lucy arrives at Howard’s house with the intention of speaking with Charlotte.
Howard flirts with Lucy, but she shows no interest in sleeping with him again. During this time, Charlotte runs into Sir Christopher. Also, Amelia (Jordon Stevens) is forced to care for her sick mother. Amelia tries to convince Florence (Dorothy Atkinson) to flee Lydia’s home, since it is making her sick. Back at home, Margaret rewards her girls with food and money. Marie-Louise (Poppy Corby-Tuech) is given nothing, since Margaret just paid off her debt. Fanny (Bronwyn James) is asked to show Marie to her room. At this time, Lucy enters and learns about Lord Fallon’s interest in her. After Fanny escorts Marie upstairs, she lets it slip that she is pregnant. Marie agrees to say nothing. Seconds later, Charles (Douggie McMeekin) visits Emily.
They complain about Lydia’s treatment. During their conversation, Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey) manages to convince Charles to nearly overdose on drugs. Lydia visits Florence and finds that she has escaped. After Charles passes out, Emily makes her escape. Harriet (Pippa Bennett-Warner) speaks with Margaret. She asks Margaret to help her purchase her children’s freedom from Benjamin (Timothy Innes). She offers to work for Margaret for the rest of her life, if she does. Margaret agrees to speak with Ben. Sir Christopher flirts with Charlotte. She pulls his strings and tries to convince him to become her keeper. He turns down the offer and admits his wife would chop off his manhood. Emily seeks shelter from Margaret. However, Margaret is forced to make an example of her. She sends her back into the streets. Nancy Birch (Kate Fleetwood) spots her seconds later.
Nancy offers Emily a place to stay, but Emily refuses. She rushes off, while exclaiming she’ll find a better house. Charlotte visits the Reptons. During her visit, she speaks with Daniel (Rory Fleck Byrne) briefly. Margaret speaks with Benjamin. He quickly turns down her offer and demands more money. Lydia speaks with Justice Cunliffe (Richard McCabe). Cunliffe requests another girl, while Lydia admits she needs someone besides Lord Fallon. The girls go to the bar, where Lucy speaks with Lord Fallon. While Lucy speaks with Fallon, Charlotte lets Margaret know that she needs a new keeper. She also requests to come home for a little while. They argue briefly, before Charlotte storms off. Lydia returns home and discovers Charles out cold. She immediately panics and calls for help.
Amelia hits the streets and preaches to the locals on her own. Violet Cross (Rosalind Eleazar) speaks with her. Violet asks why she ran off the night before. Amelia doesn’t answer, but does give Violet money to help her escape her ways. Daniel meets with Charlotte. They speak about their future and a potential escape to America. Charlotte admits they should be their own masters, but she doesn’t seem keen on going to America. With a little luck, Lydia manages to save Charles. Prince Rasselas (Josef Altin) speaks with Amelia. Violet tries to scare him away. However, Amelia thanks him for caring for his mother the previous night. Amelia leaves in a hurry. Seconds later, Emily Lacey enters and is ridiculed by the others. When Amelia returns, she finds her mother crawling on the floor. Florence warns her against hanging out with the harlots.
Unexpectedly, Violet arrives at the door. She gives Amelia a big kiss, before admitting she doesn’t want her money. Instead, she wants Amelia. Charlotte returns to Howard’s place and begins packing her belongings. She simultaneously argues with Haxby. Howard overhears their conversation and learns about them having sex. Howard fires Haxby, before knocking Charlotte to the bed and raping her. After he has finished, Howard demands that Charlotte attend a dinner with him. Most of the girls service their customers, while Lucy chats with Fallon. Fallon awkwardly cuts open a piece of fruit and feeds the seeds to Lucy. He insists the seeds seal her fate. She ends up knocking him to the ground. Seconds later, Charlotte and Howard arrive at the party. Fallon speaks with Margaret and admits Lucy is a goddess.
He also confirms he wants to be her keeper. He agrees to write up a contract right away. Margaret speaks with Lucy and gives her the good news. However, Lucy pleads with her mother not to force her to go with Fallon. She admits he scares her. Charles finally wakes up and startles Lydia. Cunliffe also arrives. He requests another girl. Cunliffe pleads for help. Emily is forced to take shelter with Nancy. At the dinner, Charlotte causes a scene and tells everyone about Howard’s abusive behavior. At the end of the episode, Charlotte leaves on her own.
The 5th episode of Harlots took a different turn and settled down the conflict between Margaret and Lydia. Instead, Florence’s illness took a turn for the worse. Amelia was forced to care for her mother, while simultaneously juggling her feelings for Violet and her religion. Also, Margaret tried to help Harriet secure the freedom of her children from Benjamin. Nevertheless, that fell through. Lucy and Charlotte took different paths in their search for a keeper. Charlotte has seemingly cut her ties with Howard, while Lucy has come to the conclusion that she isn’t cut out for the Harlot’s life.
The episode was good with many intricate paths and storylines to keep the viewer interested. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of Harlots now!