Miss Scarlet and the Duke tunes Sunday at 7:00 p.m. and is available for streaming. Recap it previous episode.
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Despite his recently rocky relationship with Superintendent Munro, William is up for a promotion to Chief Inspector. The only problem: it’s in Glasgow.
Eliza assumes it will be like the other times William has been offered a promotion with a move: he will be distressed by the decision but will decide to stay in London. She offends William by calling him “comfortable” and “settled”.
Her argument with William provides a welcome distraction from the work she is currently engaged in: searching for reasons to reject the men Mrs. Parker has selected as possible husbands for Hattie, who wants to marry for love. Moses is tired of poring over the backgrounds of respectable men, and Eliza is running out of reasons to disqualify them.
Eliza encourages Hattie to fight back and Hattie decides to ask her accountant about starting her own household. But when she and Eliza arrive, they find the accountant, Norris, dead. The clock has stopped at 11:45 p.m., he is holding a bloodstained lily and he has a knife in his neck.
Eliza recognizes the scene as taken directly from Shift at midnight, a popular novel by crime writer Samuel Bedborough. She convinces William, who hasn’t read the book, to hire her to work on the case – she has read all of Samuel’s books. Norris was Samuel’s accountant, but Samuel says they weren’t close. The night Norris died, Samuel had dinner with his sister, then worked through the night on a new novel at a fancy hotel he was staying at while his house was being painted.
Shift at midnight features an author character who kills his two best friends when he’s convinced they’re going to lock him up in an asylum, but then kills himself because he can’t live with the guilt. He arranges the bodies of friends with a lily, as were the corpses of his parents when they died of scarlet fever.
William buys all of Samuel’s works from the bookstore where he and Eliza found Samuel reading. The owner told him that Samuel seemed upset that day, which was unusual. Eliza and William dig through the books and remember all the themes from rags-to-riches as Samuel grew up in a workhouse.
Eliza also realizes that Norris would be the second murder, according to the book. The first person was killed by his own knife, which was then left to the second person, and indeed Norris’ knife has a crest to match that of Samuel’s editor, Bellamy. They visit him and find him dead in his office.
Samuel had dinner with him a few days ago. Samuel has a newly injured hand, which he believes is due to a slip in the bathroom. But the hotel doorman says that Samuel left the hotel the night before. William puts Samuel under police protection, lest he die like the author in Shift at midnight.
Eliza visits actress Francesca Bellesini, who was arrested with Samuel three months ago for disturbing the peace; the charges were dropped. Francesca explains that Samuel was a lover, but he tried to end things. She was drunk and insulted by the way he did it: send Norris with a diamond necklace, which he did to several other women.
Hattie also thinks Norris and Samuel were closer than Samuel let on. Norris always talked about doing favors for Samuel, including helping him buy a new house down the street from his aunt. But last week a repossession notice was sent to the house.
Moses discovers that Samuel is very indebted: he has a taste for the expensive. His hand injury stems from a clandestine visit to the bailiff’s warehouse. Samuel tried to reclaim an office from his repossessed house; the usher refused and Samuel attempted to break in but was caught and roughed up.
Eliza and Moses go to visit the warehouse themselves and discover a hidden compartment in the office containing the manuscripts of the Books of Samuel.
William’s eventual promotion leads to reassessments among his colleagues. Phelps asks him to put in a good word to get William’s job if William goes to Glasgow, and points out that at some point the promotions will stop coming if William keeps turning them down. William also advises Fitzroy to try to fit in more; William may not always be there to protect him. But when Fitzroy tries to stand up to a smirking Phelps at the pub, he gets beaten up. William lets him sleep in his spare bedroom, so Fitzroy doesn’t have to go home in defiance of his father.
The manuscripts of Samuel reveal something: Samuel is not the author of his books; she is his sister. Editor’s notes on manuscripts are addressed to him.
She is about to stab herself when Eliza and William burst in. She just finished a new novel, and wanted to finally have the glory in her death by killing herself over it.
She explains that Samuel always wanted to write, but he was not very good at it. When she tried to help by rewriting, however, the manuscript was accepted. He didn’t want to be humiliated to have his name on the book, and he told her she could get credit for the next one. But then he, Norris and Bellamy convinced her to keep her work a secret, because there would be a smaller audience for a novelist. He was promised a comfortable life in return. But when Samuel’s debts piled up and he lost the house, she finally had enough.
After solving the case, William and Eliza reconcile, and Eliza tells William that she envies and respects his contented, “comfortable” and “settled” life.
William turns down the promotion, much to Munro’s regret. The commissioner – Fitzroy’s father – wants William out, as he believes Fitzroy has gotten worse under his command. There is no more work for William in London. Glasgow was his exit door.