Howards End Recap: Episode 4


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

When we left our new couple in episode three, Henry released Margaret from their engagement because a dark secret from Henry’s past came to light.

To refresh your memory, Henry had an affair with Jackey, Leonard’s wife. Everything came out at Evie’s wedding, prompting Helen to take the Basts to a hotel and Henry releasing Margaret from their engagement.

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But, of course, Margaret refuses to let Henry off the hook so easily. She forgives him for his past digressions. It’s like getting mad at your boyfriend for his past relationships. She’s so ahead of her time.

But Henry is ashamed and embarrassed because it’s the turn of the century and a scandal like this could ruin a person. (By the way, I’m foreshadowing like crazy right now.)

When Helen arrives home from Evie’s wedding, she is an emotional wreck, blaming herself for destroying Leonard’s life. She asks Tibby to transfer 5,000 pounds into Leonard’s account once she leaves for Germany. (This girl loves going to Germany.) But Leonard returns the money almost immediately.

Meanwhile, Margaret and Henry marry, with only Tibby, Aunt Juley, Charles, and Evie in attendance. Helen is a no-show.

The couple still doesn’t know where to live. They are supposed to move into Shropshire house, but Henry leases it without telling Margaret. Oh, Henry makes a significant decision without telling his wife? Surprise, surprise! Tibby settled into the Ducie Street apartment, and their time at Wickham Place is about to run out.

So, Henry offers Howards End as a spot to keep all of the Schlegel family possessions, including furniture, books, and heirlooms.

While this is going on, Helen has stopped answering Margaret’s letters and is avoiding her family all together. When Aunt Juley falls ill, they finally talk Helen into coming back to England. But when it looks like good ol’ Aunt Juley is going to pull through Helen balks.

This is the point in my viewing I predicted that Helen is pregnant with Leonard’s baby, and that’s why she’s avoiding the family. Remember when he helps her close the curtains back at the hotel after Evie’s wedding? Yup, they had to have done it then.

But Margaret, not knowing what we know, thinks Helen must be unwell, so she asks Henry to step in to help. He suggests tricking Helen into visiting Howards End, which has been completely unpacked of all their things. Henry goes as far as to employing a psychiatric doctor to evaluate Helen when they see her.

When the Wilcox’s arrive, Margaret, runs ahead towards Helen, and when she turns around she sees her swollen belly… she’s pregnant! I WAS RIGHT!

Henry wants to either make her seducer marry her or beat him within an inch of his life, all to protect her honor of course. But Margaret wants to stay at Howards End for the night to take care of Helen in her delicate condition.

Henry refuses to let the women stay there, which enrages Margaret. She, after all, forgave Henry when he brought dishonor on his family through his affair, but he can’t show kindness for his wife’s sister, for her. He’s basically a hypocrite. One of the best lines of the series, Margaret tells him, “You are muddled. You are criminally muddled.” Burn!

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Meanwhile, Charles decides to take matters into his own hands. Remember, he thinks that Schlegel are trash, and he resents Margaret for possibly taking his father’s attention and money. He prods Tibby for information, finding out Leonard’s name and assumes he’s the father of Helen’s baby. Henry sends Charles over to Howards End the following morning to kick his wife and sister-in-law out of the house.

Coincidently, Leonard travels to Howards End to look for Helen. He arrives to hear Charles screaming at the Schlegels to leave the house. When he sees Helen’s belly, he’s shocked! Charles begins to beat Leonard with the family sword (which is almost comical), but he knows Leonard into the bookcase, which falls on him, killing him.

Charles ends up in jail for murder and Margaret, and Henry eventually reconciles.

In the future, Helen and her child, Margaret, and Henry live in Howards End. Margaret finds out that the OG Mrs. Wilcox actually left the estate to Margaret and she forgives Henry for keeping that from her all these years – a little too easily if you ask me.

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It’s nice that they live happily ever after, but it’s also nice to see that two people who are polar opposites can meet somewhere in the middle. But I’m not sure I saw the contrast of class between the Wilcox and Schlegel families. Compared to the Basts, they were both rich, high-class to me.

Read the recaps for Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3.