Lucy’s (Eloise Smyth) naiveté lingers in episode 4. Despite a customer leaving her bed agitated and dissatisfied, she still asks Margaret (Samantha Morton) if he is to be her keeper. Shockingly, she believes that to be in the realm of possibility.
Later when she plays cards, Lucy yet again demonstrates her fledgling social skills. Not unlike her time at the Reptons (Tim McInnerny), she attempts to participate in banter and ends up missing the mark. Unfortunately though, to Lord Fallon (Ben Lambert) she sounds enticing. This is, of course, most dangerous given his particular, possibly murderous, sexual preferences.
She becomes increasingly more aware of her weaknesses as a harlot, rather keenly so when she overhears Margaret express concern at the lack of takers. To her credit, Lucy takes some initiative and seeks out Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay) for advice. From their conversation though, it’s clear Charlotte didn’t struggle early on to satisfy customers as Lucy has.
It’s hard to tell if Lucy’s bumpy entry into sex work is par for the course or if it veers from the norm. The only other new Harlot whose experiences might provide comparison and insight is Harriet (Pippa Bennett-Warner). Her expert handling of Repton does indeed put Lucy’s amateur fumbling in rather harsh perspective, but we might remember that Harriet is not new to this game. As she says, this is just the first time she’s getting money for it.
Continue reading Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 4
In episode one, the second bidder for Lucy’s (Eloise Smyth) virginity was, of course, Lord Repton (Tim McInnerny). In episode three, he’s here to collect his winnings. Summoning Lucy to a country estate, the Lord and Lady (Fenella Woolgar) tellingly distance themselves from civilization.
The Reptons’ style of foreplay includes asking Lucy to hunt a doe while the kinky couple peppers bullets in Lucy’s direction for their own amusement. Her disorientation and breathy panic– mixed with the cracking of bark under siege of gunfire and the Reptons’ giddy shrieks of delight– savors of a most dangerous game. A game for which she is woefully unprepared.
Though paralyzed by the anxiety of being prey, Lucy’s prospects of survival are made worse still. She fails to appreciate her own unpreparedness. A shortcoming for which Margaret (Fenella Woolgar) may be partially responsible.
Believing Lucy to be special, Margaret has puffed her daughter up over and over. Internalizing Margaret’s words, Lucy tells Kitty (Lottie Tolhurst) and Fanny (Bronwyn James) that they, unlike her, are common whores. She informs Repton’s footman that he’s too lowly and too poor to share her company. She introduces herself as a “famed courtesan” to the stableboy, Jem Curran (Alex Jordan). And the list goes on.
Continue reading Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 3
Last week we glimpsed the freedom of harlotry, where this week we faced its perils (the foulest of which being death).
Margaret Wells (Samatha Morton) is in desperate need of seed money, so she invites a friend to consider her business as a potential investment. This friend, Nathaniel Lennox (Con O’Neil), makes it clear however that his greatest interest is in Margaret herself.
Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) faces a far more heinous proposition from her own patron across town. Justice Cunliffe (Richard McCabe), who is both a judge and a customer in Golden Square, visits Quigley and requests that she kidnap a virgin.
Continue reading Tea & Review: Harlots – Episode 2