'Gentleman Jack' episode 3 reveals why the ladies love Anne Lister, and no, it's not because she's a lesbian
So far, Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) was a landowner, an incredibly well-read and smart woman and a revolutionary rebel of sorts, but from this episode, it becomes clear that she's actually a human being desperate for love and affection as well as a sex expert of sorts. Episode 3 of HBO's lesbian period drama 'Gentleman Jack' gives us a sweet and intimate look at the otherwise intimidating character of protagonist Anne Lister and one begins to realize why the ladies like her so much.
It's quite simple, really. Even though "people" stress on the fact that she can't be trusted around women, as cousin Katherine kept putting it in the last episode, there's one main reason why women find themselves blushing and smiling in the company of Lister — she treats them as her equals. Unlike other men in the series, Lister makes it a point to never underestimate the fairer sex in front of her — she greets them and talks to them in the same way as she does with anyone else.
She's honest about who she is and from the very first time that her partner Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle) meets her, she knows it. It may be her intelligence that attracted her to Lister, but it was her honesty and the way she treated Walker, that made her fall in love.
In this episode, Lister confides her hopes for a future with Walker to her aunt whose illness is slowly consuming her. Her aunt, also known as Anne (this story has a lot of Annes and Anns) worries about her heart being broken and the aftermath of them living together like a married couple. "This is Halifax," she tells Lister, worried, "and they don't mince their words." Convinced that she would be able to conquer all, Lister replies reassuringly, "nothing can touch me."
Meanwhile, Lister continues courting Walker and in one of those rare moments on television where lesbian love isn't just a sexual hunger, Walker and Lister almost make love. The two look like a couple of teenagers in love and we have the writer and co-creator Sally Wainwright to thank for giving us such an incredibly well-written love scene. There's no stereotypical makeout where the story forces one or the other to wear the pants — it's just a lot of innocence, as is with any first big love. But, it doesn't last long. Mrs. Priestley, Ann's guardian, gets an inkling about the two women's relationship and walks in on them.
The episode focuses a lot on how Anne may have been all of those intelligent, adventurous, strong women but at the crux of it wanted the one thing that everyone else could so easily have — love and companionship and she's so close to having them all, she can almost taste it.
Catch 'Gentleman Jack' episode 4 on May 13, 2019, on HBO at 10 pm ET.
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