Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 2 recap – what happened in the period drama this week?

Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack season 2
Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) takes a trip to Europe in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Gentleman Jack season 2 continued this week and life is growing ever more complicated for Anne Lister.

The formidable entrepreneur (played by Suranne Jones) is taking lover Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) on a romantic trip to Europe, but problems arise both in France and back home in Yorkshire. 

Here’s what happened in episode 2 of Gentleman Jack season 2

*WARNING - spoilers for Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 2 below*

Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 2 — French polish

Suranne Jones, Joanna Scanlan and Sophie Rundle in Gentleman Jack

Anne (Suranne Jones) introduces her ex, Tib ( Joanna Scanlan) to new love Ann (Sophie Rundle) in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

After starting their lives together, Anne Lister and Ann Walker have arrived in Paris and are happily seeing the sights, but the arrival of Anne’s flamboyant ex, Isabella ‘Tib’ Norcliffe (brilliantly played by The Larkins and After Love’s Joanna Scanlan), on the scene casts a shadow over proceedings.

As she turns up while Anne and Ann are dining, by her own admission, Tib has ‘been on the sauce’ and is soon making rather indiscreet comments about Anne Lister’s other former lover Mariana Lawton (Lydia Leonard). But Anne Lister is keen to keep Ann in the dark about the depth of her relationship with Mariana. 

As they head off to climb a snowy Mont Blanc, the couple are relishing each other’s company but Ann asks questions about Mariana and wants to know the truth. While Anne starts to open up, she is also growing concerned about Mariana’s jealous reaction to her romance with Ann Walker.

Family ructions 

Peter Davison and Amelia Bullmore in Gentleman Jack

Mr and Mrs Priestley (Peter Davison and Amelia Bullmore) have plans for Ann Walker in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Back in Halifax, Ann’s relatives, including Mr and Mrs Priestley (Peter Davison and Amelia Bullmore), are causing themselves much stress by fretting over Ann and Anne’s relationship and the potential damage to Ann’s reputation. And suggestions are made that they could try to marry Ann off to an old friend, James Ingham.

When Anne and Ann return and try to build bridges, Ann’s family doesn’t seem thrilled by the souvenirs they bring back or the tales of their travels, leaving Ann upset that they still treat her as an invalid. Anne tries to reassure her that over time they might come round but that she can control her own life now.

But when, at Anne’s encouragement, Ann writes to her sister Elizabeth (Katherine Kelly) so that they can start to divide up their estate, Elizabeth’s sly husband (Derek Riddell) is keen to keep an eye on things…

Deadly secrets

Anthony Flanagan and Tom Lewis in Gentleman Jack

Ben (Anthony Flanagan) and nephew Thomas (Tom Lewis) clash in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Estate manager Mr Washington (Joe Armstrong) is concerned about his daughter Suzannah (Amy James-Kelly), who is married to Anne’s tenant Thomas Sowden (Tom Lewis). While Susannah loves her husband, she hates living with his uncivilised family and particularly with Thomas’ uncle Ben (Anthony Flanagan). 

The problem is, Ben is growing increasingly suspicious about what has happened to his missing brother Sam, Thomas’ abusive father, but he makes it clear that he’s happy to let sleeping dogs lie as long as he can stay on the farm. When Thomas confronts Ben and tells him to leave, however, Ben threatens to spill the beans about Sam's demise...

Gentleman Jack season 2 airs on Sunday evenings at 9 pm on BBC One and iPlayer. The US release date is set for Monday, April 25 on HBO. It's eight parts long and new episodes will premiere each week.

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.