AppleTV’s The Buccaneers is here to give us some really impressive “Tiktok”-worthy dialogue that is simultaneously gut-punching and laughable because of how real it all seems. In the first three episodes, we were introduced to the five girls of New York just as they got shipped off to London, with one married and four looking for suitable matches. Within the 3 episodes, Jinny elopes with “Lord” Seadown, and Nan is engaged to a Duke. But Lizzy is left in a daze after what Seadown did to her and returns to her homeland to recover, feel safe, and get away from the strangeness of England. Mabel, her sister, has found her match in Seadown and Marable’s sister! Conchita decides to return to England with her very English lord because his family is awful and they don’t seem to want to accept her. The Buccaneers Episode 4 takes us back to New York, to the gaudy parties and the new money that makes those parties possible.
What Happens In The Episode?
It’s the day the girls are returning from England, and New York is filled with the news of Nan St. George marrying a duke. Mrs. St. George has planned a big welcome bash for her two daughters and their respective other halves to parade them in front of the whole city and show people how far they’ve come. Back in England, Guy is staying over at Theo’s to give his mother company (okay?), but she’s aware that he’s got his head in the clouds, deeply in love with somebody because of something in his shoulders that reminds her of his mother (ma’am can read shoulders). Somehow, her words impact him so much that he decides to get drunk on love and write a terribly long letter to Nan, professing his feelings for her (you’re too late, buddy). When he comes to his senses, he tries to get it back, but the expensive affair of sending such a long letter has already been completed.
Back in New York, Nan can’t hide her feelings towards her mother (you know, the fake one), and Jinny tries to make things seem alright when they’re clearly not. Their dad, on the other hand, is overjoyed by the presence of a duke and a lord in the family. Mrs. St. George has everything else on her side, though; the biggest names are coming to her party, thanks to her daughters, and she’s even got doves to join the fun (as if the girls weren’t already caged). In the meantime, Lizzy is all on edge because Lord Seadown is in her safe space, and she doesn’t know what to do with herself. She fights with her mother and her sister because she can’t tell anybody the truth, but she’s not realizing she’s pushing away the only person who truly cares and yet also has a secret just as big as her own.
With a grand party underway, Nan is missing, and her mother knows something is wrong. Finding her in her room with Jinny, she decides to talk to Nan and get over this very important and thus far neglected conversation. Nan is not one to listen as of now, though, and she says her (rather nasty) piece and tells her mother that she’s going to tell Theo that she’s not worthy of his love because she doesn’t even know who she is. Back at the party, James pretends not to know Lizzy (the audacity of this man) and asks for an introduction, making her more flustered than she already is. On the other hand, Mrs. St. George can’t find Nan anywhere, and in a panic, she rushes to find her husband, who is in the mood for some dancing. Without paying attention to her feelings or appearance, he tries to get her on the dance floor, along with having Jinny and James have their first dance. Mrs. St. George is totally panicked, though, and pushes him away in the middle of the party. Realizing what she’s done, she takes him aside and tells him that his daughter knows about his shenanigans. Instead of being worried, he just says she should not tell Theo and lose a “Duke” (idiot man).
As if there isn’t enough chaos, the letter from Guy arrives, and the maid who is meant to deliver it is too distracted by Mabel. She leaves the letter in the ballroom somewhere (where is the responsibility?) and goes to find her. In the meantime, Nan has made herself at home in her father’s office, going through all his papers to find the letters Jinny told her about. It’s her father who shows up instead and “informs” her about how, as a grown-up man, if a young, beautiful woman bats her eyes at him, he will feel attraction. It’s because she’s asking for it! He says everybody is pretending to be all grown up, but as they get older, they just want to chase after the freedom that young people have (oh, boohoo, get a hobby). When Nan asks about her real mom, she’s left with no answers because her father claims he never even got a good look at her (good lord). Obviously, he’s hiding something.
Chaos after chaos ensues in The Buccaneers episode 4, as Mabel is caught kissing the maid in the restroom by her own mother. Jinny takes Nan to their room, making a safe space for her on the bed (in the most adorable way), just as their mother is about to find them. Nan wonders how their mother can stand up to their father after everything he’s put her through. Jinny (not knowing any better) says that’s probably what marriage becomes after a certain point. For Conchita, things are looking absolutely fabulous, as Richard is like a free bird in America. She tells Miss Testvalley (the nanny) that she wants to move back to New York because she can’t have her daughter shielded from the world by his family. Miss Testvalley understands what she’s saying, but she says Richard has too much power, and England and an Englishman would always prioritize power over freedom.
Nan and her mother finally get to talking properly, and her mother admits that she’s made mistakes, as do all mothers, but she’s always loved her from the bottom of her heart. She only lied because she didn’t want Nan to be the girl with the secret; she just wanted Nan to be herself. Nan finally sees that her mother truly loves her. Nan says it might be okay for her mother to have a husband who is unfaithful and to lie to the world, but she doesn’t want to be that way. Mrs. St. George admits then that none of it is okay, but she chooses to keep quiet about it and hold her head high. Nan thanks her for teaching her to be brave, using that bravery to make the decision to tell Theo the truth so she too wouldn’t have to live a life of lies.
But she has no idea what’s waiting for her because Theo has read the letter from Guy (you know, with it just lying around, out in the open). Theo and Nan find each other in the middle of the party, but so does her father, who announces them to all the guests (this guy and his wretched timing). Fortunately, at least one of them knows how to read the room, so Nan’s mother distracts everybody by taking to the floor herself and kissing her husband loudly and clearly in front of the crowd. Theo takes Nan aside, and instead of asking her anything about Guy or bringing up the matter at all, he asks her if she really wants him and if she’s happy with him, saying he loves her. Nan feels all those feelings too, but she still wants to tell him the truth. Ultimately, though Theo is in a rush to get married, he tells Nan that if she’s happy with him, she shouldn’t tell him anything that will ruin that chance for them. Lizzy finally gets Jinny alone for about 5 seconds to ask her if things are alright between her and James, but he interrupts that conversation before it can go out of hand (for him, of course, blech).
Will Nan And Theo Be Okay?
James has finally had enough and tells Jinny that she should respect him more as her husband. He says that her mother’s display of them in the city has been an embarrassment for him, and he wonders if she married him just for his title (I mean, kind of). He tells her plainly that her mother should apologize for all the disrespect. Completely in disbelief, Jinny doesn’t know how to handle this situation, but in the end, she goes up to her mother in front of the whole crowd (what is with this family) and tells her that her husband and she have been disrespected with this act of parading and she should apologize to them. James swoops in right at that moment to ask his wife why she’s being strange when her mother has made them feel so wholly welcome (what kind of sadistic psychological games?). Nan and Theo also show up at this point, and Nan tells Jinny that it might be all the traveling that’s made her feel a certain way, but their mother has done the best she can to welcome them back home. Nan takes their mother’s side, giving her a hug and telling her to hold her head high, just as she always tells them. Mrs. St. George admits that it’s a gaudy affair she’s set up, but she will keep her apologies for other things. She says she’s most proud of her two daughters, and that’s all that matters to her. She walks away with her friend in a rather comical way.
Richard tells Conchita that there’s no way he can move to New York. She admits that she can’t live with his family anymore, and she has the choice to keep her daughter by herself in New York, where she can thrive and be free! On the other hand, Lizzy tells her mother that she will go back to London with her friends, so Mabel can go too and they can find suitable husbands, making everyone happy and proud. In truth, she wants to be there for her friend Jinny, who is somehow blinded to the serpentine nature of her husband. Mabel tries to talk to her mother, but she’s pretending like the situation from earlier never happened, leaving Mabel in tears. At the end of the episode, Richard is with his baby, until he walks into the bath, where it’s not Conchita but Miss Testvalley waiting for him (what in the world of 50 shades?!). Mrs. St. George finally tells her husband that it’s over between them, and he spews some nonsense about how she’ll be invisible without him by her side. They’re still hiding who the real mother is (psst. We think it might be Testvalley herself!).