At the beginning of the 4th episode, Florence (Dorothy Atkinson) and her daughter, Amelia (Jordon Stevens), take to the streets to preach against Margaret. Inside, Lucy (Eloise Smyth) services a man. After he is finished, the man heads downstairs and speaks with Margaret (Samantha Morton). He admits Lucy was great, but somewhat standoffish. He confirms he has no interest in taking her as his wife. Margaret heads upstairs and tells Lucy that the man will not be her keeper, since he couldn’t afford her fee. Margaret comforts her daughter by insisting they’ll find someone better. Meanwhile, Sir Howard (Hugh Skinner) wakes up with Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay). Howard admits he would like Charlotte to have his heir. He insists they could have it then send it off with Caroline to pretend it is hers.
Emily Lacey (Holli Dempsey) complains to the other girls about her time with Osborne. Marie-Louise (Poppy Corby-Tuech) speaks with Emily in private and confirms she was Osborne’s girl, until Emily came along. Florence and her daughter sing outside, while Benjamin Lennox (Timothy Innes) arrives. Benjamin tells Margaret he needs repayment for his father’s investment, since the brother is failing. Margaret convinces him to sleep with one of her girls instead. Seconds later, Margaret tells Will that they only have 3 days to pay their rent. Lucy overhears the conversation and interrupts. She informs her mother she is going to see Charlotte. Meanwhile, Lydia (Lesley Manville) speaks with her spy, Prince Rasselas (Josef Altin). Lydia makes it clear she believes Margaret will flounder soon enough.
Then, Lydia speaks with the Justice. He admits the men would like another sacrifice. Lydia deciphers his words and learns that he wants to spoil another virgin. Betsey Fletcher (Alexa Davies) gets a visit from her regular. The Justice catches the man, Robert Oswald (Steven Robertson) having sex with Betsey in an alleyway. He says nothing. Meanwhile, Charlotte tries to give Lucy some pointers for impressing the men. Harriet (Pippe Bennett-Warner) visits the Lennox estate and watches her children scrub the stairs. She approaches, but Benjamin arrives and ushers the kids inside immediately. Later, Margaret speaks with Charlotte, who insists she could easily snag Lord Fallon (Ben Lambert). Charlotte says that the preacher has done Margaret a favor by making her notorious. They agree to hold a masquerade to earn quick money.
Justice Cunliffe (Richard McCabe) gives orders to Robert Oswald. He also warns him against sleeping with the harlot again. Oswald visits the girl and gives her a little money. He also confirms he cannot see her anymore. Harriet speaks with the other girls. She learns that one harlot uses her money to raise her kids. Charles Quigley (Douggie McMeekin) pays a visit to Emily. He tries to give her food, but she lashes out at him and complains about her treatment at the hands of Osborne. Charles quickly takes action and tells his mother that Osborne will no longer see Emily. Lydia agrees, but insists Charles must explain it to Osborne himself. Charlotte and Lucy head to the club. Charlotte points out Fallon and confirms he is their top prize. Mr. Osborne (Morgan Watkins) visits the Quigley estate. Charles refuses to let him see Emily. He rushes off in a fit of anger. Seconds later, Lydia ridicules Charles for losing business.
Meanwhile, Charlotte and Lucy try to butter up Fallon and his friends. Charlotte invites Fallon to join them at Hades. Initially, he refuses. However, Lucy manages to convince him to join them later. Charles speaks with Emily and confirms that Osborne will not see her again. Charlotte sneaks away from Howard and speaks with Daniel (Rory Fleck Byrne). Howard sneaks up on them and sends Charlotte home. Outside, Daniel agrees to make sure Lucy makes it home fine. In the morning, Charlotte calls for Thomas Haxby (Edward Hogg). Haxby admits Howard is still out. Lydia pays a visit to Florence, who has become sick. Florence tries to stop working for Lydia. However, Lydia threatens to expose Florence’s history as a harlot if she does. At the market, Amelia catches Violet Cross (Rosalind Eleazar) pickpocketing a stranger. Amelia says nothing. Emily Lacey tries to escape the Quigley house. Charles prevents her from doing so.
Violet speaks with Amelia in private. They agree to share a drink together. Lydia strolls through the market and finds a young girl selling flowers. She quickly picks her up for Justice Cunliffe. While Violent and Amelia share a meal, they get to know one another a little better. Violet suggests Amelia might be the one that needs saving. Seconds later, their conversation is interrupted and Violet is forced to return to Margaret. Before she leaves, she invites Amelia to the upcoming ball. At the brothel, everyone dresses up and prepares. Howard continues trying to buy Charlotte’s love. She tells him he has her love, but he doesn’t believe it. He demands that Charlotte stop lying to him. Seconds later, the guests begin to arrive. Benjamin Lennox and his boys arrive first. Florence and Amelia quickly take to the streets with their normal rhetoric.
At the Quigley estate, Charles plans to take some of the girls to the party and steal some of Margaret’s women. Emily pleads with Marie-Louise to tell Margaret that she is ready to return. Marie refuses and insists Lydia would kill her. Violet pays the Prince to get rid of Florence. He takes her place, while Amelia goes with Violet and prepares for the party. Lord Fallon arrives at the party. Lord Repton (Tim McInnerny) and his wife also arrive. Harriet marches down the stairs and makes a grand entrance. She reveals she is ready to begin making real money. Lord Repton takes her up on the offer immediately. Daniel tries to speak with Charlotte, but Howard keeps a close eye on their interactions. Amelia and Violent join the party, while Charlotte lashes out at Howard. Lucy tries to steal the spotlight by singing a song for the group.
After the song, Lord Fallon invites Lucy into his underworld. He is forced to leave seconds later. As Fallon exits, Charles and his girls enter. Violet and Amelia drink and chat. Violet gives Amelia a kiss and this sends her rushing out. Harriet gives Repton a good time and is paid handsomely for her efforts. Marie-Louise asks to join Margaret’s girls. Margaret quickly agrees and insists she’ll hide her upstairs, if necessary. Daniel finds Charlotte alone. He flirts with her, but the couple is interrupted by Lady Repton. Lucy is forced to sleep with Howard. Charlotte catches them in the act. Charles returns home and tells his mother about Marie. Lydia furiously ridicules her son’s stupidity. When Charlotte returns home, she has angry sex with Haxby.
The 4th episode of Harlots was great by all accounts. The episode pushed Lucy closer into becoming a full-fledged harlot. Nevertheless, she is unlike the other girls in many ways. She seems more meticulously and thinks things through far more effectively than her counterparts. Harriet was also forced to make a decision. Unlike Lucy, Harriet threw herself into harloting with full force. We also learned that Florence was once a prostitute herself. Since Lydia is the sole owner of that knowledge, she owns Florence and her preaching will never stop. As for Amelia, she delved into the dark side with Violet.
What will become of their relationship? Benjamin is very much like his father. He now has pull over Margaret and Harriet. Will the women be able to push him out of their lives? The episode scores a 7.5 out of 10. Catch up with previous recaps of Harlots now.