'The Woman In White' Episode 4 Recap: Wife Swap


The Woman In White finally catches up with itself, as Laura is declared dead, despite being slightly alive.

Fosco: She has the foresight and resolution of a man. You have driven that decent woman to extremities. 

After three weeks of what amounts to flashbacks of how Laura married Sir Percival Glyde with the knowledge that soon enough she will be dead, this week The Woman in White catches up with itself, as it were, and Laura finally dies. But of course, that's not where the hour starts out. Instead, it begins with Marian walking around the house at night so she can be lucky enough to overhear Glyde and Fosco plotting to remove Laura from their path to money. Oddly enough, Glyde seems to be the one pushing to allow Laura to live finally, and Fosco is the one pressing the alarm bells, which is a total 180 from how it's been so far.

Marian could linger in the dark and warm, and safe hallway listening, but for reasons that mainly seem to be plot-driven, she decides instead to climb the roof? In completely impractical shoes? (Blessed god, at least she wears pants.) She misses half the convo details concerning how much Glyde's debts really are. She misses the crucial discussion of how Anne and Laura just so happen to look remarkably like. And she finds herself out in the elements, in the rain, without practical clothing for it. The upshot is that she loses all the most critical plot points and comes down with a fever the next day, effectively sidelining herself in ways Glyde and Fosco could only dream of doing themselves. All Fosco has to do is insult the doctor into leaving and never coming back. Good job, Marian.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Woman in White Productions Ltd. / Steffan Hill / Origin Pictures)

With Marian now useless, Lady Fosco is free to start drugging Laura's tea along with everyone else's, and Fosco and Glyde put their plan into place. Laura is removed from Marian's side and locked away for a bit. While Laura is down for the count, Fosco meets up with Anne's caregiver, Mrs. Clements, claiming to be a Doctor sent to look after Anne, and takes her away to London, never to return. All the servants have been sent away, and when Laura wakes, she's informed Marian's gone home to Limmerage to recuperate, by way of Fosco's place. Blackwood is being closed down for a little while. Glyde is clearly drunk and bizarrely upset by Laura's insistence she must follow Marian back to Limmerage house, even as he allows her to leave, as long as she does it over two days and in the company of Fosco.

Glyde: I am the best judge of what is appropriate in the circumstances!

Marian has gone nowhere. She's locked away in an attic in the closed down wing of Blackwater. Laura is starting to put two and two together, and decides rather than follow her original plan, she'll head to London, where she'll be safe from Glyde and Fosco. Laura gets on the train, seen off by Mrs. Michaelson. But before she's gone more than a couple stops, Fosco is already there to greet her and take her back to his house, where he too insists Marian is staying, despite her being in Blackwood. Laura, who apparently learned nothing from the tea incident, allows Fosco to feed her a drink. 

With Laura now removed from the narrative, the action follows Mrs. Michaelson, who not only discovers Marian locked away in the empty wing, but is horrified enough by what has happened to demand an answer or two from her employer. (She gets none.) Glyde, for what it's worth is torn to shreds over what he's agreed to, drunkenly crying, going for rides in the middle of the night, and never looking anyone in the eye. 

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Woman in White Productions Ltd. / Steffan Hill / Origin Pictures)

The next thing you know, there's a funeral with Laura having gone into the ground. There are no tears from anyone, save Marian, who flips when she finds out. She tries to visit Gilmore, only to discover he's had a stroke, and she has to start all over again with his business partner, Mr. Kyrle (Chris McCurry). He, at least, puts her in touch with Walter again. But Kyrle is too out of the loop to understand why neither of them will accept any answer of how Laura died, other than "Fosco and Glyde did it." When Kyrle is useless to them, Walter's mother directs them to our Mr. Nash, who has been taking these statements to whole time on their orders.

Meanwhile, somewhere in an asylum, Laura wakes up and discovers her life might have been better had she been the one in that coffin. She's now been recommitted as Anne. (Anne, we can assume, is the one six feet under in that coffin.) Laura, who was never the fastest on the uptake, doesn't put two and two together at first. 

Marian: We need to tell the world who these men really are, for Laura's sake.

Once Nash has all the information, he decides the answer is Anne. Marian and Walter need to track the girl down and find out what she knows. (Remember, only Laura knew Anne was actually dying.) Marian bribes her way into figuring out which asylum Anne is in. Once inside it, she starts snooping around trying to find Anne. Marian's not very good at snooping though. The moment she sees Anne, she realizes it's really Laura in the asylum under Anne's name and starts yelling Laura's name across the room like she's not going to be thrown out in half a minute for it. But despite making everyone in the building aware of her presence, she has enough money to break Laura out of the asylum and take her home.

Why exactly she thinks this is a good idea is anyone's guess. It is not in Fairlie's interest to believe his niece is alive, so naturally, he refuses. So they go to Limmerage, leaving a further trail for Glyde and Fosco to follow, for no reason other than Marian doesn't think to just put Laura somewhere safe. Let's hope perhaps Walter comes in with some common sense, because when Glyde finds out, he's going to go off the deep end, and fast.

Next week: The conclusion of The Woman In White.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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