At the beginning of episode 2, Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan) becomes a recognized hero, as he drives away the French with some magical ship illusions. With his new reputation, he attempts to persuade the government to banish street magicians. And they agree. In the meantime, Segundus (Edward Hogg) discovers Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel) and his newfound magical ability. Thus, Mr Norrell and Jonathan Strange finally come together, as master and student.
The Gentleman (Marc Warren) continues wrecking havoc on Lady Pole (Alice Englert) and also finds a new comrade in the butler Stephen Black (Ariyon Bakare). The pair are unable to ignore The Gentleman’s bells and wind up being whisked off to a strange land with him. The Gentleman’s land is full of strange dancers and it feels a little like Alice in The Wonderland.
After Strange impressed Norrell, he begins studying under him. Norrell casts a magical spell, which protects the shore and prevents boats from approaching. Although they initially question his abilities, it proves effective. A friendly cargo ship is nearly capsized and Sir Walter Pole (Samuel West) must seek the assistance of a magician. Of course, Norrell seems withdrawn and doesn’t show.
Strange arrives at the shore and is ridiculed for his lack of intelligence, before he creates some sand horses, which upright the boat and save everyone on board. With that, Sir Pole becomes intent on sending Strange to the battlefield, but Norrell is against it.
Despite some conflict and disagreements between Norrell and Arabella (Charlotte Riley), Strange takes his books and heads off. Meanwhile, The Gentleman has a new interest in Arabella and begins seemingly stalking her. He follows her to a book auction and witnesses Norrell greatly outbid Arabella for a bundle of books, which Norrell needs to replace those taken by Strange.
Overall, another good episode with some excellent moments. The show is definitely cheerful, strange and little bit bleak all in one. There are two magicians, two personalities and two moods to the show. It does an excellent job juggling both. A 9 out of 10 is deserved!