The Gilded Age ended its nine-episode first season, leaving a ton of unanswered questions for its already-announced sophomore effort.
The Gilded Age ended its debut season with a much-teased and lavish ball that brought together almost every major player in the show. The event lived up to the audience’s expectations, but the same can’t be said of the season itself, which, at times, felt like the equivalent of watching very fancy paint dry.
Fans might be slightly disappointed with the first batch of episodes, but Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is a guarantee. The Gilded Age also left enough loose ends and unanswered questions to lure audiences back for its already-announced sophomore season, ready to receive some long-awaited answers.
Who Is The Woman Collyer Pursues?
The Gilded Age includes a cast of very likable downstairs characters, even if their storylines aren’t as prominent as their upstairs counterparts. Collyer is George Russell’s valet, a quiet man who sneaks out in the afternoons to follow and admire a young woman from a distance. When he finally approaches her, she seems to recognize him and runs away.
The show provided no answers about who she is or what is her connection to Collyer. Season two will have to address this storyline quickly because it’s not compelling enough to warrant a season-long arc nor meaningless enough for the show to outright ignore it.
How Will Agnes Deal With So Many Changes?
Television icon Christine Baranski is arguably the biggest name in a cast of big names. However, her role in The Gilded Age’s first season was limited, with her character confined to her home and having hardly any interaction with anyone other than her immediate family.
Agnes is stern but likable, and fans want to know more about her. So why is the show keeping her on the sidelines? Season two has the perfect storyline for her, now that Mrs. Astor is open to the idea of Mrs. Russell entering the Four Hundred. How will the ultra-conservative and unflinching Agnes Van Rhijn react to so much change? Will she embrace or resist it? Better yet, will she try to challenge Bertha Russell?
What’s The Deal With John Adams?
Oscar Van Rhijn is arguably the least likable of The Gilded Age’s upstairs characters. He’s selfish, rude and manipulative, and not in an entertaining way like the Russells. He’s also a closeted gay man in a relationship with John Adams, another high society member.
John’s affections seem stronger than Oscar’s, but his actions are erratic. After Oscar broke up with him, he flirted with Gladys Russell, the girl Oscar wants for himself. However, the last episode showed John back together with Oscar, so what is the deal? Did John only want to make Oscar jealous by flirting with Gladys, or did he really want to woo her?
Will Oscar Marry Gladys?
And speaking of Oscar and Gladys, the cunning man had his eyes set on the young Ms. Russell for much of the season. However, he couldn’t make a direct move because she wasn’t out yet. The season finale finally showed Gladys’ coming-out ball, meaning Oscar can properly court her in season two.
Gladys showed no interest in Oscar, often treating him politely but indifferently. Indeed, she seemed to show more enthusiasm towards John Adams during their brief flirtation. But if Oscar is insistent enough, will she fall for his charms? Or will a new romantic rival arrive to challenge Oscar for Gladys’ affection?
Was That The End Of Tom Raikes?
Tom Raikes is one of The Gilded Age’s characters who would do great in modern-day New York; he’s clever, charming, manipulative, witty, and handsome. Tom quickly made a name for himself in The Gilded Age’s New York, becoming a popular guest in multiple parties.
His relationship with Marian was a lie, and he clearly wanted her only for her money despite his assurance that he did love her. Now that Marian knows the truth and Raikes is pursuing another rich girl, will he be absent from season two? There’s no point in keeping him around, especially because he has no ties to other main characters.
Will The Church/Bannister Rivalry Amount To Anything?
Episode six of The Gilded Age featured the funniest storyline of the season, when Agnes’ butler, Bannister, agrees to help Mrs. Russell with an important dinner. Someone writes a letter to Agnes letting her know of the betrayal, and she crosses the street to confront the butler.
Later, someone writes to Bannister to let him know who wrote Agnes the letter. He doesn’t reveal who the guilty party is but says he’ll eventually take his revenge. However, Bannister doesn’t do anything, and the season ends with him even sharing a cordial nod with the Russells’ butler, Church. Will Bannister actually do something against Church, who the show strongly hints is the one responsible for writing to Agnes?
Will Larry & Marian Get Together?
At first sight, Larry Russell and Marian Brook are as bland as flavorless oatmeal. They are two of the most fashionable characters in The Gilded Age, but they might also be the epitome of style over substance. They’re pretty and likable enough, but that’s not enough to make them stand out above the more interesting characters in the show.
The Gilded Age hinted at a potential relationship between them since their first encounter, but the charming Mr. Raikes derailed Marian’s attention. Now that he’s out of the picture, Marian and Larry can finally get together. The question is, how long will it take? Marian’s engagement to Raikes happened absurdly quickly, so she’ll probably want to take her time before entering another commitment.
How Long Will It Take Peggy & Dorothy To Find Peggy’s Child?
Peggy is arguably the show’s most likable character, a strong and ambitious woman who quickly won the audience’s sympathy. She has a traumatic past that came to light in the season’s last episodes with the reveal that she married and had a child who she thought died. However, the child lived, but Peggy’s father placed him in adoption and lied to her about his fate.
Now that she knows her child lives, Peggy will stop at nothing until she finds him. Accompanied by her mother, Dorothy, the two head to Philadelphia to look for the child. It’s unclear how long they’ll be gone or if they’ll even find the child, but the journey will surely be a compelling story, especially because Denée Benton and Audra McDonald are two of the show’s strongest actors.
Will Bertha Be The New Mrs. Astor?
Bertha Russell is the most intelligent character in The Gilded Age. Her storyline is also the most interesting, with her ruthless efforts to climb her way up the New York ladder providing much of the season’s most entertaining parts. Indeed, along with her husband, the equally infallible George Russell, Bertha is the best part of The Gilded Age.
Season one saw her finally presenting her daughter Gladys into society with a lavish ball that wowed everyone in New York. She also formed a feeble bond with Mrs. Astor, the prominent leader of the Four Hundred, hinting that she’s on her way to achieving her ambitions. But how long will it take her, and how far she’ll go? She has everything to supplant Mrs. Astor as the new matriarch of New York high society, but will she succeed? Only time will tell, but if season one made one thing clear enough is that it’s never wise to bet against Bertha Russell.