'Harlots' season 3 episode 4 review: Death is in the air as Lydia's redemption starts to fade away
Even when Lydia Quigley murdered Mrs.May we feel ready to forgive her, root for her and hope that she is doing it to end a cycle of abuse, for a better future for herself and her adopted daughter.
Spoilers for 'Harlots' season 3 episode 4 ahead
All of Greek Street is mourning the death of Charlotte Wells (Jessica Brown Findlay), a woman whose wit and beauty was unparalleled. As much of a loss as it is for the Wells family and the women who considered her their friend, her death has set a few other things in motion on Hulu’s ‘Harlots.’
Margaret (Samantha Morton), whose impulsive decision to attend the boxing event hosted by Lady Fitz (Liv Tyler) unwittingly resulted in her daughter’s murder, will find it even harder to stand in a corner and let bygones be bygones. We have already seen how difficult it has been for her well-wishers to hold her down when all she wants to do is mourn Charlotte’s death by getting revenge.
Even if she were to forgo her instincts, her former bawd and current nemesis Lady Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) has seen that she is alive, and will use this in her favor. As we saw in season 3 episode 4 of ‘Harlots,’ Quigley, despite hitting her rock bottom was crawling back to the top one step at a time but decided to rig the game in her favor by killing the woman who she claims made her the monster that she is today.
The events that followed Quigley’s stay in Bedlum had made us believe that she is on a path to redemption. She was remorseful of her actions, and unlike the other women she pimped out, Quigley reserved a fair amount of love and feelings for Kate (Daisy Head). She seemed to understand why the people who hate her hate her, and also seemed to shed real tears for Charlotte.
Even when she murdered Mrs. May (Anna Calder-Marshall) we feel ready to forgive her, root for her, hope that she is doing it to end a cycle of abuse, for a better future for herself and her adopted daughter. However, our hopes are dashed when we see her at her old house on Greek Street, which is now a Molly House being run by Lucy (Eloise Smyth) and her partners, where everyone is still mourning the untimely death in their family.
She informs them that as the next of kin of Mrs. May, she is now a part-owner of the establishment and as she walks away claiming that she would be back the next day, and would not dream of disturbing them, a song calls to her. She watches through the window that the owner of the sad, beautiful voice is none other than Margaret, who she thought was dead.
It is the expression that graces her face in response to this that reiterates that she is in no way planning to change who she is. Expect more villainy from her come Wednesday next week when ‘Harlots’ returns with episode 5 on Hulu.