As the second episode gets underway, Mrs. Wilcox is laid to rest. Henry (Matthew Macfadyen) thanks Margaret (Hayley Atwell) for coming to the funeral. Then, Margaret returns home to her family. During this time, Henry receives a letter from Mrs. Wilcox written while she was in the nursing home. Henry steps into the dinning room and informs Evie (Bessie Barter) and Charles (Joe Bannister) that Mrs. Wilcox wanted Margaret Schlegel to have Howards End. The family begins to argue and find reasons not to honor the request. When Henry leaves, Charles throws the note into the fireplace. Margaret is greeted by Helen (Philippa Coulthard) and Tibby (Alex Lawther). The trio discusses Mr. Wilcox and the family. Margaret tells the others about her gift from Mrs. Wilcox. She admits that she likes Henry Wilcox and plans to see the Wilcox family in the future. Next, Margaret strolls down the street and notices that the Wilcox are moving out. Leonard Bast (Joseph Quinn) is shown working.
He returns home and gets into an argument with Jacky (Rosalind Eleazar). He promises that he will marry her when he turns 21. He also makes it clear that he is concerned that his brother will find out about their relationship. Leonard complains about the shape of his clothing, before disappearing into the night. Jacky scours through Leonard’s book and finds Margaret’s card. Margaret receives a letter reminding her that the lease will end soon. Then, the family receives a visit from Jacky. She mistakenly believes that Leonard is there. They quickly explain the situation to Jacky and she leaves in a hurry. Then, Helen tells Margaret that the Wilcox family is not good in a crisis. Then, the women tell Tibby that he must go to school and get a job. Later, Leonard visits the family. He apologizes for Jacky’s visit.
Leonard tells the women about walking all night long. He tells them how the sunrise was simply gray. He contemplates what is good in living in a room forever. Then, Leonard tries to talk to them about books, but they cannot keep up. Leonard is invited back, before returning home. Next, Henry runs into Margaret and Helen on the streets. Margaret and Helen speak about their poor friend, Leonard. Henry explains that Leonard needs to get away from the Porphyrion Fire Insurance Company as quickly as possible. He believes that it will go under very soon. Margaret asks Henry about Howards End. Henry explains that he has rented the house to an invalid. Helen writes a letter to Leonard. He visits the family once again. Things go badly when Leonard is told that the company is in trouble. Henry and Evie visit during the middle of the chaos.
Leonard tries to leave in a hurry. He gets caught up when the maid is unable to find his hat. Helen speaks with him downstairs. Helen promises that they didn’t invite him there out of charity. Bast explains that he cannot talk music or books with them in their easy way. He suggests that the women think he is a comic character. Tibby eventually gets involved in the conversation. The hat is finally returned. Leonard tries to hide its flaws. He thanks Helen for trying to help, before leaving. Henry tells Margaret that she is too kind. He explains that Leonard probably has his own life and things that he enjoys. He asks Margaret what right she had to conclude that Leonard’s life is unsuccessful. Margaret eventually excuses herself and finds Helen upset. Helen admits she likes Leonard a lot. However, she hates Henry. They admit that they’ve dissected their guests too much. Later, Helen and Margaret go hunting for houses.
Once they’ve finished, Margaret admits she is sick of looking. She receives a note from Evie seconds later. She is invited to lunch with Evie and her fiancé, Mr. Cahill. Margaret sits with Henry, so Evie can sit with Cahill (Miles Jupp). Margaret tells the others about her house hunting. Henry offers advice for finding a place. After the dinner ends, Margaret invites Henry to lunch at Mr. Eustace Miles. She admits the food is healthy, but not very tasty. She also makes a comment about aura. Later, Margaret pleads with Tibby to come along. He reluctantly agrees. During the lunch, Tibby hates the food. Henry pretends to enjoy it. Margaret is asked about her beliefs regarding spirits and aura. She admits she believes some of it, but not all of it.
Later, Margaret and the family receive a letter from Henry. He offers to let the family stay in his Ducie Street house. The family contemplates their decision. Tibby says no, but Helen says yes.
Howards End Review
The second episode of Howards End was just as good as the first. The series is very thoughtful, but slightly slow. I very much enjoy the dialogue between the characters. Again, Hayley Atwell and Matthew Macfadyen work exceptionally well together. I have also enjoyed Leonard Bast. The character seems so bleak and depressing. The series has a little bit of everything. There is plenty of humor, a little romance, and a little bleakness. What is not to like?
This episode was very enjoyable. An 8.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with past recaps of Howards End now!