In the 5th episode of BBC’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) returns to the war, while The Gentleman and Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan) continue their war against Strange. The war doesn’t last long for Strange, but it is brutal and deadly. He is nearly killed by a French soldier, before he enlists the help of magic to save his life. As soon as Strange returns back home, he begins working on his own book, which details The King’s Roads and The Raven King.
Also, a strange incident happens, during the snow. One of Jonathan Strange’s friends witnesses Arabella strolling down the road. The man is unable to catch up with her, but reports the information to Jonathan, who doesn’t connect the dots and suggests it was a mistake. Meanwhile, Mr. Norrell and Lascelles (John Heffernan) catch the news about Strange’s book. They immediately set out to shut it down.
Sir Walter Pole (Samuel West) informs them that a group of citizens has taken up the cause for the Raven King and has been rioting and looting. They believe that the release of Jonathan’s book will be detrimental to their cause and will make the Raven King more powerful.
That night at the mad house, Lady Pole (Alice Englert) awakes in the middle of the night and cries out that something bad is going to happen and Jonathan Strange needs to deny The Gentleman’s (Marc Warren) bargain. She mutters about moss oak, but is ignored by Segundus (Edward Hogg). At the same time, Stephen Black (Ariyon Bakare) is seen arriving at the Strange home and escorting Arabella out. He takes her to Lost-Hope. When Jonathan wakes up in the morning, he scours about the place, as he is unable to find his wife. Also, his magical location spell is ineffective!
During this time, Arabella (Charlotte Riley) is introduced to The Gentleman and dances with him, despite pleas from Lady Pole. After a long search through the snow, Strange and his comrades return home empty handed. A few minutes after they arrive home, a distraught Arabella enters. She seems out of it and can’t remember anything. She is laid in the bed, while a distraught Strange looks on. The next day, Arabella dies and Strange sets about to bring her back to life.
Jonathan tries numerous times to bring his wife back to life, but fails. He attempts to enlist the help of Norrell, who struggles with the decision. Lascelles attempts to persuade Norrell to stay away from Strange, but Childermass (Enzo Cilenti) seems to believe otherwise. Ultimately, Norrell ignores Strange’s letters. After a few more attempts, Jonathan receives a visit from Arabella’s brother, Henry (Robert Hands), who convinces him to to bury Arabella.
Meanwhile, at the mad house, Segundus and Honeyfoot (Brian Pettifer) decide to investigate Lady Pole’s claims. She continues telling them about folk tales. After Arabella’s burial, Strange returns to the city and meets with Walter Pole, who insists it would be a bad idea to publish the book. On the streets, Strange runs into Childermass, who seems to be edging further away from Norrell. Still, he insists he isn’t done with Norrell yet.
After learning about Norrell’s attempts to stop the publication of his book, Strange enters Norrell’s house and causes a scene. Outside, he smashes a window, before being arrested. Meanwhile, Vinculus (Paul Kaye) arrives at the mad house and confronts Stephen Black, by calling him the nameless slave. At the jail, Strange gets a visit from his soldier friend, who insists he can have him released. Jonathan seems to be going a little crazy, as he insists he will become the magician he was meant to be. He uses magic to escape, before the episode ends.
Overall, episode 5 of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was excellent. The opening segment on the battlefield was great, exciting and a little depressing. When Strange finally returned him, the scheme began, with everyone attempting to bring down Jonathan. This definitely setup the next few episodes perfectly. Can’t wait to find out what happens. A 9 is deserved.