Home » THE GILDED AGE S2Ep7: “Wonder Never Cease” | Review

THE GILDED AGE S2Ep7: “Wonder Never Cease” | Review

by Travlis Hallingquest
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The penultimate episode of the second season of THE GILDED AGE is the series’ most uneven. Not uneven in its storytelling, direction, and acting, all of those attributes remain stellar. “Wonders Never Cease” is appropriately uneven in its tone. Triumphs, sorrows, joy, and angst are present throughout the hour block of programming. Emotionally, we are on a rollercoaster ride. 

We start with the aftermath of the union strike; an event that narrowly avoided bloodshed. George Russel’s advisor and fellow business magnates are vexed about his caving in to the demands of the steelworkers union. However, Russel is planning to split up the workers by causing internal conflict within the labor union. Russel’s plan is not enough to appease his money-bag peers, and he has lost support amongst elite businessmen in the North Eastern United States. Although Russel is plotting against the union, his avoidance of violence and mentioning the continued safety of his workers is indicative of someone who has a heart. At the Russel home, Bertha informs her husband that Mrs. Astor has offered her a box at the Music Academy. George remains adamant that Bertha should continue her endeavor to establish the Opera House. Larry Russel has not let his break-up hinder his ambitions and good nature. At the reception for the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge, Larry reveals that Mrs. Roebling filled in as chief engineer for her incapacitated husband. The reveal of the engineering marvel showcases some of the series’ best cinematographic moments; the fireworks over late 19th century New York City are captivating.

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Peggy’s journalism remains stagnant as the race to keep black schools open continues. The administrators partner with Irish teachers to attract poor white students. Even Fortune thinks this is a good move, but warns that the Irish are also seen as second-class citizens. The attraction between Peggy and the very much married Fortune is noticeable to Mrs. Scott but recognizes that Peggy makes sound decisions.

TheGildedAge_S2Ep7-Pic3On the Rhijn front, there is much bad news to report. The good reverend passes away, leaving Ada a widow. Before Luke died, Agnes thanked her brother-in-law for making Ada happy. Marian mourns the loss of her uncle Luke while having second thoughts about her upcoming wedding. Agnes is genuinely upset over the loss of Luke, but her mourning morphs into anger when she hears the vast majority of her fortune was lost due to her son being swindled. Who is the swindler you might ask? That would be one Ms. Beaton, the lady who introduced Oscar to the investment opportunity and the very person he intended to ask to marry. The investment opportunity was nonexistent, and a frantic search only yielded empty offices and false addresses. Oscar tells Agnes he has lost nearly all the van Rhijn money. For once, I am wholeheartedly on Agnes’ side. Oscar is a man of impulsive decision-making, and decades (maybe a century) of old money have been lost within days of horrible business choices.

The season finale of THE GILDED AGE airs on December 17, 2023, at 9:00 pm ET on HBO. The description for that reads as follows – While the staff questions their future in the van Rhijn household, Jack receives welcome news about his patent. After scoring a victory for the local schools, Peggy considers her future at the NY Globe. Later, Marian confesses her true feelings to Dashiell and Bertha and Mrs. Astor make their final moves in the opera war.

If this series is not renewed for a third season ( no official word as of yet), I will be as disappointed as I was for the season three ending of DEADWOOD. Although the DEADWOOD MOVIE was superb, an immediate third season would have given a more suitable catharsis. here is hoping THE GILDED AGE is renewed! 

 

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