'Miss Scarlet and the Duke' Recap: Episode 4

Daniel Hautzinger
Eliza Scarlet in 'Miss Scarlet and the Duke.' Photo: Masterpiece
Eliza is drawn into a sensational case involving a medium and death photographer. Photo: Masterpiece

Miss Scarlet and the Duke airs Sundays at 7:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes.

Eliza eagerly awaits Rupert, who is to visit with the newspaper—her detective practice could be getting some much-needed publicity. Except that the article about a suffragette’s bomb threat on Parliament doesn’t even mention her. It gives all the credit to William.

William’s boss, the superintendent, is pleased. A reporter wants to write a story on William, and if he praises the superintendent, William is promised a promotion. Eliza, of course, is furious about her omission from the first story, but William tells her he can’t have their special relationship plastered all over the newspapers. He doesn’t tell her about the upcoming article.

Luckily, Eliza gets a case even without the publicity. Her neighbor, Herr Hildegard, has a friend, John Henderson, who has been receiving disturbing letters. Henderson is a “death photographer,” offering people a last photograph with their loved one (now a corpse). He has been receiving some of his old photographs, manipulated to include the ghostly presence of his late wife, Catherine. He burned the negatives, and yet the photos keep coming.

Eliza notices a spot of blood on the corners of the some of the photos. Henderson’s assistant, Amelia, visits to reveal that she knows the culprit: it’s Henderson’s late wife, Catherine, who committed suicide. She had warned Amelia not to go near her husband, but Amelia and Henderson have since become engaged. Now Catherine is punishing them from beyond the grave.

For proof, Amelia brings the skeptical Eliza to her mother Edith, a medium. Edith says she has spoken to Catherine and confirms Amelia’s fears. She then reveals surprising details about Eliza’s father.

The reporter assigned to write about William has high praise for William, who dutifully praises the superintendent in turn, but the reporter wants a sensational case to write about, in order to sell papers. He’s not impressed by William’s current cases, which lack mystery, even when William brings him to the morgue.

While there, the mortician asks William to go speak with Eliza, who is once again trying to gain access. William, afraid she will find out about the reporter, quickly gets rid of her by sending his deputy with her to search through fraud cases for evidence against the medium Edith. There aren’t any, and the rude deputy won’t help Eliza any further.

Henderson asks Eliza to stay with Amelia overnight, as he will be away on business and Amelia has been having night terrors about Catherine. Since Amelia is the only other person who had access to Henderson’s negatives, Eliza suspects she is trying to get out of the marriage by sending the photos. But Amelia insists that she wants to marry—she and Henderson were together while Catherine was still alive. That’s why Catherine vowed revenge.

Amelia wakes, screaming, in the middle of the night. Another photograph has been left on her bed, despite the front door being locked and no hand- or footprints visible around the open window.

The only other person with a key is the maid, so Eliza follows her and observes her sending a telegram. She tries without success to convince the clerk to let her read the maid’s message.

She notices William standing in the street outside. Having heard from his deputy about Eliza’s unusual—even sensational—case, he has decided to work it with her. She has him intimidate the clerk into letting them see the maid’s message.

It was to Edith, the medium. Turns out Edith keeps files on recently deceased persons, compiled from tips from funeral homes, death photographers, and the like—including on Henry Scarlet. The maid overheard Herr Hildegard sharing stories about Henry while dining with Henderson, and sent them to Edith.

Edith admits that she doesn’t approve of Amelia’s engagement to Henderson, but insists she didn’t send the photos; she merely reinforced Amelia’s belief that they came from Catherine. William arrests Edith. While Eliza is still around, Frank shares a message from the reporter to William, making it clear that this case will be in the article. Eliza is once again furious.

Even though Edith is in custody, the Hendersons receive another photograph. Amelia is ready to leave Henderson, who thinks she is trying to get out of marrying him. But Eliza notices Henderson’s daughter playing with dolls, pricking her finger for some blood to give them “rouge.” Connecting it to the blood on the photographs, Eliza realizes that Catherine assigned her daughter to leave the photographs after her death. The girl has no idea of their significance.

As Eliza debriefs Rupert later, he is distracted. His mother still wants him to marry, so he proposes an arrangement with Eliza—they both lead unconventional lives. But she laughs; they’d hate living with each other. Rupert soon finds another woman, however: Herr Hildegard’s “dull” (in Rupert’s words) niece, whom he begins to court.

William tells the superintendent that the reporter’s story will soon go to press, and that, as promised, he put in a good word about him. And yet: the superintendent gave the promotion to someone less experienced, because he was in the military and his father fought with the superintendent.

Eliza enters her office to find William there; Henry had given him a spare key. William has left a note of apology and a gift of sorts for Eliza: a newspaper with a story about the Henderson case, giving Eliza credit. William reached the reporter just before the article went to press. And he made sure to include the address of Eliza’s office for would-be clients. Eliza lets him keep the spare key.

After William leaves, Eliza straightens a photo of her and Henry. It falls off the wall, exposing a hole. Inside is a journal.