The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Who sewed the gold into Anna’s dress?

The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1 - Courtesy of Starz/Kirsty Griffin
The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 1 - Courtesy of Starz/Kirsty Griffin /

In The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2, “The Place You Return,” Emery sets sail to the goldfields in search of Anna, and Lydia and Francis continue scheming. In 1866 Crosbie’s autopsy is revealed.

Caution: The following article contains spoilers for The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2.

Nine months into the future, Crosbie’s autopsy results return. His belly was full of laudanum, and Shepherd still thinks Anna is the primary suspect. However, it appears his reasoning has more to do with his distaste of prostitutes than because of any hard evidence.

Anna finds an ally in the reverend, who finds her at the house where the crime occurred. Inside, he accidentally disrupts a clay pot holding several gold bars with the word Aurora inscribed on each one. Anna sees a memory of Emery and Francis discussing their prospecting venture, “Aurora!”

She also suddenly realizes that she can read despite never learning the skill. The reverend obviously doesn’t understand Anna’s rambling, and he thinks she’s still in a daze after witnessing — or being involved in — Crosbie’s murder.

Later, Anna stumbles upon Te Rau Tauwhare digging the grave for Crosbie’s body. She remembers him, recalling vivid memories that Te Rau shared with Emery during their time in the goldfields. She thanks him for preventing her from drowning. Te Rau is spooked, and then he recognizes her. He suddenly accuses her of killing Emery and that his restless spirit is whispering all of these things into her ear. Anna is adamant that Emery is still alive, but Te Rau doesn’t believe her and scares her away.

The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Crosbie & Anna have an affair

Throughout “The Place You Return,” Crosbie and Anna begin to bond, united by the many lies Lydia has told them both. Anna even tells Crosbie the truth about finding her change purse in Lydia’s coat and later about seeing Lydia and Francis sneaking off together. Crosbie claims he has always known what sort of woman Lydia is, but now that he has struck gold, the nature of their marriage has been fundamentally altered.

When Lydia leaves to run errands, Crosbie takes Anna to the beach and teaches her how to shoot a gun. They start chatting about Lydia, and that’s what leads to Anna’s confession. Not long after, Crosbie kisses her, and they sleep together. Are there genuine feelings between them? Or was Crosbie trying to seek revenge against his wife?

The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Emery travels to the goldfields looking for Anna

Lydia and Francis both continue scheming to keep Emery and Anna from crossing paths. Even when Anna finds out that she went to the wrong hotel, Lydia puts on a fake mask of sympathy and claims that Emery gave Anna the wrong address — not that she deliberately misled Anna.

Lydia also intercepts Emery’s missed connections ad in the paper and burns it before Crosbie can read it and show it to Anna. Speaking of the newspaper, Lydia and Francis concoct a fake response to Emery from Anna, claiming she has departed for the goldfields already. Believing Anna has left, Emery agrees to partner with Francis on a new prospecting contract named Aurora.

On the voyage to the fields, Emery meets Te Rau, and they become fast friends. Te Rau even rescues Emery from drowning, explaining why Te Rau is so scared when Anna mentions the incident nine months later.

As for Emery’s search for Anna, he hits yet another dead end. She’s not listed on any manifest. The assumption is that she might have succumbed to the “West Coast virus” (drowning) on one of the ships coming to the island, it wouldn’t be the first time, and even Emery struggled to swim. We know Anna is alive and well, but Emery is left with his doubts.

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The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Lydia poisons Anna & Crosbie

No, this doesn’t relate to Anna and Crosbie’s affair. As far as we know, Lydia doesn’t know that her apprentice and husband slept together. Her intentions appear to be more financially motivated as she slips laudanum into their drinks to put them to sleep. In the final moments of The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2, we watch as Lydia begins sewing gold into the voluminous pink dress Anna will eventually wear when she’s found at the murder scene and subsequently arrested.

Crosbie assumed he was one step ahead of his wife, securing his gold in a safe with the key on a string around his neck. I’m guessing Lydia knocked him out so she could take the key and get the gold. This latest trick is just one of several plates Lydia has spinning across the coast.

We’ve already mentioned her and Francis’s plans, but Lydia also has something else in the works with politician Alistair Lauderback. The pair has quite the history. Lydia lures him to New Zealand by reactivating one of his old expense accounts and drawing him out to investigate why someone has been using his name to make purchases via his ship, the Godspeed.

Lydia requests for Alistair to join her in the Godspeed’s cabin the following evening for a “surprise.” But we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out what that surprise is!

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What did you think about The Luminaries Season 1, Episode 2? What questions do you have about the series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

New episodes of The Luminaries Season 1 air Sunday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET on Starz.