'Miss Scarlet and the Duke' Recap: Season 2 Episode 3

Daniel Hautzinger
William and Moses in season 2 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke
William and Moses reluctantly work together when Eliza comes under suspicion of a series of break-ins at the city mortuaries. Photo: Element 8 Entertainment and MASTERPIECE

Miss Scarlet and the Duke airs Sundays at 7:00 pm and is available to stream. Recap the previous and following episodes.
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Eliza may be an excellent detective, but she’s not the most organized person. She has once again lost her mother’s wedding ring. Luckily, it has been found. Unluckily, it was in the city mortuary—which has just experienced a break-in and theft of files. Eliza is arrested.

Ivy sets off to find William. It’s his day off, and he’s lounging in the bed of a wealthy woman. Ivy tells the woman that Eliza is William’s wife, in order to spur him into action—and obviously, the woman kicks him out of bed and her house.

Eliza admits to William that she “visited” the mortuary the previous day in order to look at files for a case. Mr. Potts, the clerk there, has a long history of enmity with her and refuses to let her consult files. She must have dropped her mother’s ring while there. But she didn’t need to break in: she has keys. And she didn’t take any files.

William is under pressure to charge Eliza, as the chief coroner Thackery wants the case solved as soon as possible, given that three mortuaries were broken into. The new superintendent, Munro, wants to take William off the case, given his friendship with Eliza, but he allows William one day to look into it.

Unfortunately for William, Eliza has disappeared, whisked off to a safe place by Moses. Ivy tells William she doesn’t know where Eliza is, but she’s actually in league with Moses. Ivy pretends to be Thackery’s wife and visits Potts, the clerk, offering praise and the honor of a dinner at Thackery’s house in order to get him to share the contents of the stolen files. They contain lists of unidentified people who died 25 years ago.

William is also looking into these lists with the help of Fitzroy, whom he has sworn to secrecy: he’s not supposed to be trying to prove Eliza’s innocence. He visits the cemeteries where the bodies are buried and finds grave robbers at one and a screaming woman. The men flee, and the woman explains that she is the vicar’s wife, and spotted the men digging up a corpse. It’s a lucrative trade, selling bodies for medical training and dissection.

Moses secretly observes William chasing the graverobbers away. William himself has been searching for Moses, and finally finds him outside a bar frequented by graverobbers. William accepts Moses’ offer of help only after immediately being addressed as a policeman when he enters the bar. Moses “hires” the graverobbers William saw; William and several policemen arrest them during the job, in a plan hatched by Moses that earns him payment from William.

The graverobbers says they were hired by a woman to dig up every grave on the lists stolen from the mortuaries. William already knows her: it’s the woman who claimed to be the vicar’s wife. She’s known as “Bloody Mary,” and just got out of prison after a 25-year sentence. Under increasing pressure from Thackery, Munro takes William off the case for having the culprit in hand and letting her go.

Eliza has been conducting her own inquiry and learned that she is no longer the primary suspect in the mortuary break-ins. She’s staying at a brothel, and learns that her host has a sister who works near the mortuary. After some back-and-forth and exchange of money, she learns from the prostitute that the person who broke into the mortuary was a woman older than herself, and that the police are no longer investigating her—the prostitute chatted up a drunk detective at a bar.

William returns to the grave he saw being robbed and is surprised to see flowers there, given that it’s an anonymous grave. He learns from a florist that the grave receives flowers every month—from Thackery. Eliza and Moses have also discovered this, but William forces Eliza to wait outside with Fitzroy when they both arrive at Thackery’s home to question him.

Thackery explains that he was born in a workhouse and worked his way up to his position, so he sends flowers to anonymous graves as a form of gratitude for his good fortune. He tries to get William to leave quickly, and William soon realizes why when he hears a noise: Bloody Mary is in another room, pointing a gun at Thackery’s wife. She insists that William put down his gun and kick it to her; he does.

Luckily, Eliza has disobeyed orders and convinced Fitzroy to discuss the investigation with her. She learned that the florist told William a woman had just asked who sent the flowers to the grave—but Eliza didn’t visit the florist; Moses did. Deducing that Bloody Mary was also on Thackery’s trail, she enters the house and points a gun at Bloody Mary from behind, thus saving everyone in the house.

Thackery explains that Mary was his fiancée, long ago. They pulled off a diamond heist together, then he took their haul and fled. She tracked him down and gave him a scar when she learned that he had swallowed the diamonds, but he escaped when she was arrested. He faked his own death using an anonymous corpse, and has sent flowers to that grave ever since. He reinvented himself and started a new life with the fortune from the diamonds.

Mary read about his “death” in the papers in prison. When she got out, she stole the lists of anonymous bodies so that she could search each grave for Thackery’s body, hoping to find the diamonds inside it. Thackery realized this—that’s why he wanted Eliza charged as soon as possible for the break-ins. He figured he could bargain with Mary if she ever found him.

Even though William was correct about Eliza’s innocence, Munro no longer values him as a loyal worker, since he disobeyed orders and continued investigating the case after being taken off it.

Potts the clerk has discovered Ivy’s subterfuge, having run into her at the market and heard a vendor address her by her real name. He was quite taken with Ivy, and tells her that she managed to deceive him. She apologizes, and takes pity on him: he was so excited that he was a person of high enough status to dine at the chief coroner’s home. To Eliza’s great surprise, Ivy invites Potts to her home to enjoy a dinner. It’s not the chief coroner’s table—it’s probably better.