The Curse of Carterford: Episode 2 plot summary

[posted 8:00 am, 20 February 2015]

Episode 2:

The African is startled by animal noises and runs away. Sarah appears and unties Gemma, saying that she made the noise of a tiger to scare the man away. They return to Carterford Hall, finding Sir Charles safe but still incredulous that his brother could be involved. Sarah and Gemma borrow guns from Sir Charles and rush off, still in their formal gowns (fans are divided over whether this looks cool and sexy or just a bit silly).

Sarah and Gemma hide in the vicarage garden and see Cornelius leading the African out of the cellar on a chain. As the African disappears into the night, they rush back to the hall in time to see him climbing the wall towards Sir Charles’s bedroom. As they run inside and up the stairs, they hear breaking glass, shots and a blood-curdling scream. Cordelia is on the landing, distraught. Sarah and Gemma storm into the room, pointing their guns, only to find Sir Charles coolly standing over the African’s body, his revolver still smoking (extremely pedantic fans have complained that the ammunition used in the 1890s could not produce this much smoke).

Sarah tells Sir Charles to hide in the attic and Cordelia to write a note telling Cornelius that his brother is dead and that he has inherited the title and estate. The note is sent first thing in the morning, and Cornelius arrives, gloating that he is the master of Carterford at last. When Sir Charles steps into the room, Cornelius becomes enraged and grabs a sword from the wall. Sir Charles dodges him and grabs another sword. A duel ensues. Sir Charles is cut and drops his sword. As Cornelius is about to deliver the coup de grace, a shot rings out and he falls slowly. Cordelia stands over his body, an antique flintlock pistol smoking in her hand (feminist critics are divided over whether it’s good that Cordelia saves the day, or bad that Sarah and Gemma do absolutely nothing throughout the scene). Sarah and Gemma remember the bodies in the chapel and quietly slip away.


SARAH: They look just like us!

GEMMA: They’re dead ringers.


Sir Charles’s revolver has been used in at least three adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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