Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 4 recap – what happened in the period drama this week?

Suranne Jones in a white shirt and black waistcoat as Anne Lister in a grey wrap as Mariana Lawton in Gentleman Jack
Tension mounts as Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) meets up with her ex Mariana Lawton (Lydia Leonard) in Gentleman Jack (Image credit: BBC)

Gentleman Jack features romantic complications aplenty as the second season of the period drama continues this week.

When Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) goes to stay with her jealous ex, Mariana (Ten Percent star Lydia Leonard), to try to talk to her about her new romance with Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), sparks soon fly!

Here’s what happened in episode 4…

*WARNING - spoilers for Gentleman Jack season 2 episode 4 below*

Suranne Jones in a white shirt and black waistcoat as Anne Lister sits on a four-poster bed and tries to comfort Lydia Leonard in a grey wrap as a crying Mariana Lawton in Gentleman Jack

Anne (Suranne Jones) tries to comfort a distressed Mariana (Lydia Leonard) (Image credit: BBC)

Old flame

After numerous letters from Mariana lamenting over their past love, Anne has headed to Cheshire to stay with her and her husband Charles (Rupert Vansittart) at Lawton Hall to try to appease her.

After making it clear that she is very upset about Anne’s relationship with Ann, Mariana accuses Ann of being insipid and implies that Anne is not really in love with her and is just after her fortune, which Anne furiously denies.

Mariana is in a terrible state and claims she is ill and wretched and that her life isn’t worth living. But when she tries to kiss Anne, her former lover turns her down as she has given her oath to Ann.

Later, when the pair take a walk in the gardens, Mariana tries to make peace by saying she is glad that Anne is settled and happy. But recriminations start once more as they open up old wounds by looking back on when they were a couple. Anne bitterly recalls how Mariana’s father would not let her in their house and, despite Mariana's protests, Anne is still furious as she felt that Mariana didn’t defend her at the time and went off to marry wealthy Charles instead.

Mariana eventually confesses to Anne that there have been rumours that creepy Charles has been making advances to his own niece and that he wants to move her into Lawton Hall. Anne is horrified and tells Mariana that she can come to her for help if she needs to. When Mariana asks Anne if she still loves her, she reveals that she does and they kiss passionately…

Anne leaves Lawton looking very guilty but when she arrives home, she tells Ann that she won’t leave her again and that she loves her. Let’s hope she can keep her illicit tryst with her ex a secret!

Rupert Vansittart in black jacket and yellow waistcoat at a dinner table as Charles Lawton in Gentleman Jack

Mariana's husband Charles (Rupert Vansittart) is the subject of worrying rumours in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Home truths

Meanwhile, back at Shibden Hall, Anne’s sister Marian (Gemma Whelan) is aware of the hostility from Ann Walker’s family towards Ann and Anne’s relationship and she is keen to help build bridges. Consequently she and her father Jeremy (Timothy West) go to visit Ann’s aunt Ann (Stephanie Cole), to little avail.

Tom Morley in jacket and breeches as James Ingham chats to Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker in a red tartan skirt and white blouse in Gentleman Jack

James Ingham (Tom Morley) doesn't get the response he expects when he tries to woo Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) in Gentleman Jack. (Image credit: BBC)

Ann herself receives a visit from old friend James Ingham (Tom Morley), who her family think could be a potential suitor. But when James mentions that people telling him he ought to marry Ann, she kindly but firmly says she is happy where she is.

Gentleman Jack season 2 airs on Sunday evenings at 9 pm on BBC One and iPlayer. In the US the new series started on Monday, April 25 on HBO. The series is 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.