‘Belgravia: The Next Chapter’ Episode 5 Recap Summary: Why Did Clara Have A Breakdown?

Episode four of Belgravia: The Next Chapter ended with Clara skipping lunch with the Rochesters. Frederick was livid and upset at his wife for not showing up, and he had to face the humiliation of having to spend lunch alone with their friends. Clara was having a great time with Dr. Ellerby at the studio he frequented with his friends, who were talented artists. Clara lost herself in the world of people who did not bat an eye before being themselves. Clara was enamored by this world she had entered, which made her forget her prior engagements. 


Spoilers Ahead

Why Was James Afraid?

Reverend James Trenchard felt guilty because of his sexual orientation. His fear of being outed by men who saw him in the sauna was palpable. He received a letter from the person with whom he spent the night, something he fearfully anticipated. James was living in an era when same-sex relations were looked down upon, especially by the church he worked in. He would be shamefully asked to leave the life of the clergy and possibly face ostracization by the community for indulging in acts that they considered sinful. James met with the man, but it was hard for him to admit he probably enjoyed the night he spent. It was the aftermath of his act that worried James, and the guilt was slowly killing him. 


What Was Frederick’s New Business Proposition?

Frederick’s steel foundry was not making enough profit, and he was short of money if he planned to expand to Mexico to work with Marquise D’Étagnac’s silver mine. Frederick wanted to sell his shares in the foundry in the hope of acquiring a fair deal on the silver mine. His business partner, Ross, offered him the option of requesting a loan in the hope of saving the assets. Frederick was proud of the assets he built for himself, some of which he received as inheritance, but he was not keen on taking any loans. His pride did not allow him to consider that as an option, and he wondered what his other choices could be other than requesting Marquise D’Étagnac to consider him for the silver mine project. 

Was Clara Frequenting The Studio?

Clara began to frequent the studio run by Dr. Ellerby and Richard. She was attracted to the space they’d created for themselves and other artists who wanted a space to express their talent. Clara was glad there was a space where she could meet free souls who were not afraid to live life on their own terms away from the pressures and questions of society. The poetry readings she attended were a moving experience. There was an attraction shared between Dr. Ellerby and Clara, but they were yet to realize it. 


Richard, the painter, requested that Clara be his muse for his new painting, which she politely rejected. Clara was keen but did not dare to do so, fearing retribution from her family and society. On meeting Marquise D’Étagnac, she was encouraged to follow her heart and not stop for any man. The elderly lady, who had vast experience in life, only meant Clara should carve a path that suited her. Marquise D’Étagnac sensed Clara and Frederick were not on good terms, and this advice did come to the young woman at the right time. Clara was waiting for a nudge to lead a life without worrying about judgment, because she was getting tired of conversing with Frederick about the state of their relationship. 

Frederick was concerned about the public perception of their marriage but did not care much about working on it. He did not pay any heed to her emotional needs, which gave Clara a reason to follow her heart’s advice and pursue her interests. This allowed Clara to be Richard’s muse for his painting. Clara wanted the painting not to resemble her, Richard promised to adhere to her request. Dr. Ellerby was surprised to be witnessing a new Clara who was not afraid of society anymore. 


What Was Nell’s Secret?

Emily was concerned about Nell’s past, and the latter never shared her life story. Emily and her mother were quite the chatterboxes, and expected Nell to share her life story with them. Nell remained aloof and busy with the work assigned to her at Emily’s home. Emily found a strand of hair in Nell’s locket and made up an entire fake scenario in her head. She considered the young woman to be a crook under the guise of a maid. She finally confronted Nell about the presence of a baby’s hair inside the locket and wanted an explanation of her past. Nell revealed her tragedy, which involved the death of her infant daughter due to extreme cold weather. Nell was in tremendous guilt for giving birth to her daughter and never could provide a proper shelter, which led to her premature death. Nell was extremely emotional while sharing this painful part of her life, and Emily sympathized with her and stopped suspecting the maid once and for all. 

What Was Marquise’s Advice To Frederick?

Frederick was embarrassed when Clara revealed he was considering expanding and owning a part of a silver mine in Mexico with Marquise D’Étagnac. He approached her with the idea of apologizing on behalf of Clara for overstepping the boundaries. Clara was not at fault, but Frederick felt he needed Marquise D’Étagnac on his side because his plans had to be put in motion. 


Marquise was keen on his business proposal, but besides that, she was interested in knowing the status of Frederick’s marriage and hearing his take on the same. Frederick, as usual, did not open up about the matters concerning his marriage, but he was willing to hear Marquise’s take on how to make Clara happy. Marquise asked him to set the rules and make sure Clara adhered to them. She wanted him to be upfront about his expectations and make his wife follow his words instead of letting her be. This was the exact opposite of the advice she offered Clara. 

What Happened At The Marquise D’étagnac’s Ball?

After being the muse for the painting, Clara got herself a bold gown to showcase her rebellious streak. The gown was made for the ball hosted by Marquise D’Étagnac, and it was assumed the entire elite of the town was invited to the gathering. Clara wanted to stand out and make herself the most beautiful woman in town. As Frederick’s wife, she was aware that he would not agree with her choice of clothes. For the first time, Clara was not worried about the public’s perception of her and wanted to cut the clutter. Clara tried to gain his attention, but Frederick was livid. Frederick feels he has moved on from the pain of his childhood and wants to deal with it in his own way. He felt Clara was trying to fuel the disagreement further by gaining unwarranted attention from guests at the ball. Marquise D’Étagnac further created a divide between the couple, suggesting Frederick might be having an affair with the Duchess of Rochester. Marquise comments Clara’s audacious behavior at the ball could be an obstacle in his business expansion plans. 


Why Did Clara Break Down?

Clara and Frederick confronted and threw accusations at each other on the way back from the ball. Clara was upset that her beautiful gown for the ball was not enough to get his attention. She expected him to be emotionally closer and trust her by helping sort out the matters concerning his relationship with his estranged family members. Frederick was not sure if Clara could help him with his trauma. His mother’s suggestion of suppressing the pain and showing the world a brave face was clearly taking a toll on Frederick, and it began to affect his relationship with Clara. 

As a wife, she could not ignore the pain her husband was in. She could not help but try to help him, which he rejected multiple times. Clara and Frederick had reached a deadlock and were unwilling to converse about their failing marriage. The episode ends with Clara heading to the studio, a place where she finds solace and breaks down in the presence of Dr. Ellerby. Clara was worried about the state of her marriage, and she wondered if it was at its end. Clara was worried if this could be the trajectory of her marriage, where Frederick would be unwilling to be open to her and request her help to make things for them. Frederick needed her support for the expansion of his business, but he refused to let her aid him in matters of his personal relationships. Emily, on the other hand, recognized her sister in the painting made by Richard. As a sister, she knew this would cause a scandal, and Frederick would be livid at the move made by his wife.


Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

Latest articles