‘The Halcyon’ recap: The show must go on in Episode 5

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September 1940 finds the Halcyon catering to its well-healed guests as if the war wasn’t happening.

As German bombers approach London, the kitchen staff is in full swing, preparing a wedding dinner and lamenting the lack of geese to use in the main course. Little do they know that the entre will soon be the least of their concerns

Richard Garland has taken a rare day off to help Peggy with repairs at her flat. He’s left the hotel and the wedding party in Emma’s capable hands.

The bride and groom have barely arrived from the church when air raid sirens announce uninvited guests: German bombers. The wedding party has had too many false alarms and Emma grants their wish to remain above stairs. She changes her mind when Feldman reports that the skies are full of planes.

As they are moving to the shelter, the mother of the bride snipes, “I told his Lordship we should have gone to the Savoy.” The staff dutifully carts the silver and linen to the basement and, as Sonny Sullivan advises, “The show must go on.”

Richard and Peggy have left her small daughter in the care of her neighbor and are walking to the tube station when the sirens go off. They take refuge in a public shelter where Richard comes face to face with an unwelcome acquaintance from his service in WWI. We finally learn Mr. G’s dark secret. The man’s attempts to solicit aid from RG are interrupted when bombs begin to fall and Peggy decides she must leave the shelter and return to Dora. We’re sure that the man will resurface to make mischief for Mr. G.

Richard and Peggy traverse the damage and destruction to find that Peggy’s flat has been hit. Her neighbor lies dead in the rubble but, mercifully, little Dora obeyed her mother’s instructions to take shelter under the kitchen table and has survived.

Freddie returns to the Halcyon in time to deliver the wedding toast and receives an unsettling visit from Stanislov Radimsky’s widow. Freddie has miraculously survived a hit on his own plane and he tells Toby that he can’t bear to have Emma subjected to the sorrow that Radimsky’s widow is suffering. He decides to end it with her–now. Why, in war time stories, does the hero always think he’s doing his sweetheart a favor by breaking up with her?

Emma is devastated when Freddie tells her that it isn’t going to work for them: she is staff and he is aristocracy. She nonetheless carries on with the stiffest of upper lips.

Betsy finds the pawn ticket for the trumpet in Sonny’s jacket pocket. She confronts him with it and he confesses that he gave the money to her mother. She asks him why he did that for her and we hold our breath, waiting for his declaration of love. Instead, he tells her he did it because he is the band leader and “I would do that for my band. You’d do it for me.” We think she’s smart enough to see through that—and to go get his trumpet back for him.

Chef forces Max Klein to face his guilt over being a survivor and encourages him to hope that his wife and daughter made it to England. Chef suggests that Feldman is the man to find out if they are interred at the coast.

The all-clear sounds and the wedding party heads to the bar to cut the cake but the celebration is interrupted by the return of the German planes. When the sirens sound this time, Lady Ashworth moves swiftly to the shelter.

Toby has a dalliance with Adil and Lady H does the same with D’Abberville.

Richard sees Freddie off the next morning and warns about Emma, “One more thing. If you come near her again, I will ignore my position and your status and I will make you pay.”

Aired at 9pm on Monday 30 January 2017 on ITV.

Visit Barbara Hinske’s official website here.

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