Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 3 recap — what happened in the period drama this week?

Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack season 2
Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) tries to safeguard her investments in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Gentleman Jack sees business and relationship dilemmas come to the fore as the second season of the period drama continues this week.

While Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) is perturbed by the coming of the railway, she also faces trouble from her jealous ex, Mariana (Lydia Leonard).

Here’s what happened in episode 3…

*WARNING - spoilers for Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 3 below*

Nicholas Farrell and Suranne Jones in Gentleman Jack

Mr Waterhouse (Nicholas Farrell) gets a grilling from Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Off the rails

When the railway arrives in Yorkshire as the Leeds-Selby line opens, the news receives a mixed reaction at Shibden Hall as Marian (Gemma Whelan) is concerned about the dizzying speeds that the trains can reach and has even heard of a cow exploding when one passed by!

Anne’s concern, however, is purely financial as she is a major shareholder in the local canal network, which could suffer if the railway proves to be a quicker and cheaper way of transporting cargo and passengers.

As well as taking a trip on the railroad herself, Anne goes to visit Mr Waterhouse (Nicholas Farrell), the chair of the local navigation committee, to find out more about the potential threat to the canals and what investment is being made to keep them going. But at a meeting of the committee, there is much debate concerning the canals’ future and whether it’s worth spending to improve them. 

Lydia Leonard in Gentleman Jack

Mariana Lawton (Lydia Leonard) is unsettled by Anne and Ann's relationship. (Image credit: BBC)

Old flame

Meanwhile, as Anne and Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) continue to try to appease Ann’s moody relatives about their relationship, Anne Lister’s ex Mariana Lawton still isn’t taking their romance well either. She tells Anne in a letter that she is ill with the stress of it all and she wants Anne to come and visit her at Lawton Hall to talk things through, but Anne is unsure. 

Anne eventually speaks to Ann Walker and asks if she minds her going away to see Mariana, to make sure that she is OK and Ann agrees. But before she goes, Anne’s aunt (Gemma Jones) warns her to be cautious and not make a fool of Ann Walker.

As Anne arrives in Cheshire to see Mariana, it’s clear that Mariana is still deeply distressed about Ann, who she sees as ‘insipid’ and accuses Anne of not really being in love with her, so expect plenty of fireworks to come...

Joe Armstrong in Gentleman Jack

Samuel Washington (Joe Armstrong) consoles daughter Eliza (Emma Wrightson) in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Family secrets

As if estate manager Mr Washington (Joe Armstrong) didn’t have enough on his plate, he has two upset children to deal with. Daughter Eliza (Emma Wrightson) is upset because her friend Henry (Dexter Hughes) has been banned from hanging out with her and we subsequently find out that it’s because Henry reported back to his mother that he and Eliza spotted Anne Lister and Ann Walker kissing and his mum was concerned there might be repercussions.

Meanwhile Samuel's older daughter, Suzannah (Amy James-Kelly), is still unhappy about living with her in-laws, the Sowdens, as her husband Thomas (Tom Lewis) hasn’t been able to get his creepy uncle Ben (Anthony Flanagan) to move on. But later on, Ben is nowhere to be seen and Thomas appears to be cut and bruised. Has Ben met the same grim fate as his brother Sam and been fed to the pigs?!

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.