Episode 1.3: Stop Press
We open in the Governor’s study, just a few hours after the death of Corporal Naylor. A heated argument takes place over whether the body should be burned, buried or dissected. Governor Mowbray decides the body should be buried without desecration, as befitting the will of God, and puts Hargraves in charge of it. However, when they reach the body the argument breaks out anew, and when a barnacle starts spurting, even Carnegie weighs in against Hargraves, and Arabelle cuts a sample off, much to the horror of the watching priest.
Then Hargraves returns to…no, wait. Somebody tells Mowbray they took a sample, and then Mowbray chews out Hargraves for it? Then Hargraves passes the blame to Arabelle, I think? Then Mowbray apologises for arresting Hargraves and Hargraves presses him on the dangers of Ms Chiswick, demanding to know what her relationship is to the Governor. The Governor gets angry and dismisses him. Meanwhile, Augustus drops off his laudanum delivery to the laboratory and presses Mrs Dewhurst on how strange it was that he sent Corporal Naylor to the lab and then he turned up all barnacley. She tells him to push off and he lets it lie – for now.
A few days later, there’s a to-do at the docks as the Manticore comes into dock. The Captain, Hawthorne, asks the Governor permission to bring in men for shore leave, and gets it. This causes most of the guests to disperse with the news, while the navy men and the Dewhursts head back to the mansion for tea. Hawthorne tells the Governor he intends to take a few hundred men in a press, the Governor strongly objects. Carnegie backs him, and they try to appeal to the Admiral but he backs Hawthorne, much to Mowbray’s chagrin. In the corner, Ms Chiswick probes Mrs Dewhurst, wondering if she can accommodate little old her in her husband’s big lab. I think the outcome was Mrs Dewhurst going “okay maybe”.
Elsewhere, at the Screaming Pig, Hargraves and the Baroness talk about the press. She tells him to make sure it doesn’t happen, even if it involves killing Hawthorne. He says he’ll see what he can do, so the Baroness isn’t very keen to do him the favour of investigating the Dewhursts, based on the knife Hargraves found last episode. Hargraves however convinces her by saying there’s bad juju going on re the barnacles. Confessing to her about how the dying man whispered to him, he leans in towards the lady, only to be surprised when Augustus walks in. Misconceptions fly, but the two challenge their suspicions of each other to work together for a common goal – NONE of them want the press. Augustus has the perfect solution: if Hargraves can steal the Governor’s letterhead and wax-seal, his forging skills can knock up fake orders to tell the Manticore to depart at once on a wild goose chase.
After Hargraves leaves, Augustus also shares some suspicions about the role of the Dewhursts’ in the death of Naylor. The Baroness says she doesn’t like the way the Dewhursts keep demanding weird stuff – science is not to be trusted! And now she has the blade, she wonders if she can use it as leverage to find out more about the Dewhursts.
Back at the mansion, Mowbray also presses Ms Dewhurst on his supspicions, and says he wants more transparency in her work, and is sending her Ms Chiswick to observe – and Hargraves to observe Ms Chiswick. Mr Carnegie listens in, but is interupted by Ms Chiswick who says she can help him woo Mrs Dewhurst, since it’s clear that’s what he wants. He turns her down – for now.
When Hargraves returns, he is over the moon about the Governor’s idea for the laboratory and he apologizes for pressing him on the issue of the lady, it was not his place. They buddy up, the bromance grows, and Mr Hargraves tells the Governor to go and prove he is in charge by demanding the Admiral stop the press. Hargraves uses the Governor’s swift departure to permit his theft and races back to the Screaming Pig for the forgery completion.
Mowbray and Carnegie arrive at the Admiral’s rooms together. The Govenor spurs the son to stand against his father and the younger Carnegie makes the kind of argument the Admiral can understand – if the Leviathan 2 is undermanned, then the war could be lost and top brass will cause heads to roll. The Admiral agrees and goes to talk to Hawthorne – who is picking up young boys at the ‘Pig. Hawthorne blusters and shouts and says that the Sea Lord will hear of it, but then Hargraves shows up with a letter that arrived a week ago but got lost, giving Hawthorne nothing to do but gather his men and set sail – low on men or not.
Back in his study, Governor Mowbray congratulates himself on a job well done, and ruminates on realizing the Admiral may not be the ally he thought he was. At the Pig, the Baronness, Hargraves and Augustus toast the success of the enterprise. At the laboratory, Mrs Dewhurst sighs, wondering how long she can keep up the facade in such a tiny island. She sits down by her husband in the parlour. He lowers his paper and she says “Darling – we need to talk…”