Howards End Recap: Episode 2


Howards End is a four-part miniseries that originally aired in Britain in 2017 and the second episode aired on Starz last night.

The second episode of Howards End opens with the funeral of Mrs. Wilcox in Hilton. This means we won’t get to see the lovely Julia Ormond on any future episodes, which is a total bummer. Margaret attends her friend’s funeral and gives her condolences to Mr. Wilcox briefly before she heads back to London.

We then see the Wilcox family, with the addition of Charles’ wife, Dolly, but sans Paul, going on with life as usual. Mr. Wilcox hasn’t eaten and seems to be in a quiet state of agony without his wife.

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After Evie brings him the mail, a letter arrives from the nursing home when Mrs. Wilcox spent the last few weeks of her life. This tells us some time has passed between the first and second episodes.

Inside the letter, was an unsigned note from Mrs. Wilcox, written in pencil, saying she would be changing her will and giving Howards End to Margaret Schlegel. Naturally, Charles and Paul are outraged, accusing Margaret of foul play. Mr. Wilcox defends Margaret, although still upset at the news. Charles throws the note into the fire in protest.

Even though Mrs. Wilcox didn’t seem deathly sick in the first episode, looking back, I understand the subtleties of her actions: befriending Margaret Schlegel so easily; inviting her to Howards End so spur of the moment; her interest in Margaret impending move from Wickham Place.

Back in London, Helen returns from Germany, and they discuss Mrs. Wilcox’s death. It seems Charles wrote to Margaret asking if his mother ever offered to gift her anything. Obviously, he’s fishing for information about Howards End, but of course, Margaret has no idea.

Then, Mr. Wilcox wrote Margaret thanking her for being so kind to his late wife and gave Margaret his wife’s silver vinaigrette box. Margaret mentions a few times that she likes Mr. Wilcox. Could a love connection be in the works?

The return of Mr. Bast

As the Schlegels find out they are to be displaced come the following May, they receive a distraught visitor, Jackey Bast, looking for her husband Leonard who went missing. She came across Margaret’s card from the umbrella incident, and she thought he might be there.

Leonard appears at Wickham place to explain why Jackey showed up at their home and why he needed time to breathe and think. He carries a lot of stress for a young man: he has little money, he’s in a relationship he doesn’t want to be in, and hates his job. The Schlegels take pity on him.

I do think there’s an attraction between Leonard and Helen though; perhaps we’ll see another love connection?

Margaret and Helen run into Mr. Wilcox at the Chelsea Embankment. Margaret tells him they will be leaving Wickham Place soon and that the family isn’t living in Hilton at Howards End at the moment but does have a tenant. He also tells the girls to advise their friend Leonard to leave Porphyrion Company since it will be going under. As they leave each other, Henry (can we call him Henry now?) takes one last look at Margaret. Sparks will fly, I’m sure of it.

When Henry and Evie show up to the Schlegels with puppies (!!) as they host Leonard for tea, Leonard immediately grows uncomfortable and tries to leave. Helen chases after him, and they fight about the real reason the Schlegel girls have taken him on. He doesn’t want their charity; he wants to discuss art and culture. Helen is shaken by the conversation.

Meanwhile, Henry and Margaret’s disagreement of their treatment of Leonard shows just how much their ideals don’t necessarily match. So, if they do end up together, it could be a rocky road.

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The (official) start of a romance

Needing a break from house hunting, Evie invites Margaret to lunch at a fancy restaurant called Simpson’s with her and her fiancé. It turns out Henry had arranged the lunch, vie Evie. Margaret informs them of her housing woes, and she asks Henry to rent Howards End, which he kindly replies it’s not possible given their tenant has a three-year lease.

Margaret invites Henry to lunch at a not-so-fancy place, but because she’s a single woman of 28, Tibby must come along as a chaperone. It’s evident they are into each other. They playfully argue, and their chemistry jumps off the screen.

Henry then writes to Margaret saying that he is giving up his home on Ducey Street and asked if Margaret would like to rent it from him. He asks her to come look at it with him. Helen and Tibby, who have sensed the budding romance for months, tease Margaret about Henry being in love with her.

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Will she accept Henry’s invitation to live on Ducey Street? Are Henry and Margaret in love? We’ll find out next week!

Howards End airs on Starz every Sunday at 8 p.m. EST.