Here we present a capsule summary of each of the three seasons. (Each is followed by a link to a detailed analysis of each individual episode, including its deepest meaning. It is the heart of this House of Eliott site.)
Out the outset of the story, we meet Bea and Evie, two sisters in early 20th century London. Their father dies after a fit of anger, yet Bea is somewhat gleeful about his death because she is bitter about what he did and how he raised them. The two sisters now enjoy their new freedom and aspire to design dresses. However, their aunt Lydia and her son Arthur try to prevent them from moving forward on their own, hoping they will live more conventional lives for young women of the day. Despite this, Bea and Evie commit to finding work, especially now that they know their inheritance is paltry. Bea believes that they do not have the necessary skills, which she again believes is due to her father's neglect.
Through an episode on the street where Evie shows compassion for a destitute woman, they meet Penelope, the sister of Jack, who is a social worker. Jack offers them a job in his photography business. They both interview and Bea gets the position as his assistant. Jack’s studio would become the future home of House of Eliott.
Arthur and Lydia continue to meddle in their affairs, yet the two sisters persist in their plans. Lydia wants them to marry. Arthur tries to control their inheritance claiming he is their guardian, which he is really not. He further angers Bea by telling lies about her father. Bea however won’t put up with his shenanigans. At one point, Lydia helps Evie secure a position at the Partini couturier, but after working for her for a while, it ends in a contentious argument. The two sisters then regroup to find other work.
Evie and Bea are then forced out of their home allegedly because of their father's past debts, and move in next door to Jack’s studio, though Bea is no longer his assistant. Evie begins to see Sebastian, allegedly her half brother; a child of their father’s when he was involved with another woman. Bea is troubled by the relationship in part due to her ongoing resentment of her father. Though Lydia abuses Evie for leaving Partini, Evie and then Bea find new work at the Duroqu courtier. That association also ends in bitter disagreement after Duroqu gave Evie no credit for her designs, copies them for their line, and when Bea and Evie secure one of his clients. Now on her own, Evie and Bea have even more aspiration to do creative design work, but this time working for themselves. With the business booming, Bea is desperately trying to raise cash. She meets the sophisticated, older gentleman Desmond, who suggests he would get them funding if they had a backer, in particular Arthur. (He is unaware of his unscrupulous nature.) Arthur, however, refuses, which is just as well. Jack however comes through and offers Bea and Evie money to tide their business over.
Sebastian meets Arthur again to ask for money as (alleged) inheritor of his father's estate, even though the father is not really his father, but a stepfather. Arthur refuses, claiming that Sebastian is no blood relative of Evie and Bea's father, and makes scurrilous remarks about his mother. Now Sebastian seeing his unscrupulous nature decides to track Arthur to see if he is doing something wrong or questionable that can be used against him. As Arthur continues his treachery and debauchery, the financial condition of the club comes under scrutiny. Sebastian discovers through Daphne, Arthur’s shady dealing with his partners at the club, including the involvement of drugs. They are arrested by the authorities. Lydia is now disgraced and socially ostracized because of her son's actions.
Orders now come pouring in for House of Eliott, in this newly non-poisoned, positive atmosphere. House of Eliott (i.e. Bea and Evie) now have plenty of money, they set up shop, and prepare for the grand opening. Madge appears as one of a number of new hires. A friend Hugo encourages Evie to be creative: to allow her creative juices to flow. In the meantime, Bea is concerned with Evie going out with Sebastian, believing he is an adventurer. Sebastian and Evie take a flight aboard one of the planes he flies in his work as pilot/courier.
HofE completes work for an actress friend of Jack’s wardrobe, yet she sails for America without paying them. They are initially very upset. Bea goes to Jack to see what they can do. Gathered together, they wonder what to do. Fortunately, a courier arrives out of the blue with the payment from the actress. It was a close call, involving a lot of money.
Now HofE's learn that their outfits will be worn by participants at the royal wedding, as well as by other members of high society. They are undertaking a line of outfits for the coming season.
Bea meets her past lover Captain White, who is the husband of her main aristocratic client, Sarah White. She is shell-shocked because she was very much in love with him, and the relationship broken off allegedly by his father. (Now we discover another reason Bea hates her father, whether true or not.) Captain White was the only man she ever loved. Jack meanwhile is having trouble attracting business as a portrait photographer. Sebastian asks Evie to fly to Paris, but Bea as her guardian does not approve of Evie's relationship, let alone the flight. Meanwhile, Bea discovers that all of the love letter sent by Captain White during their romance were intercepted (allegedly by her father). They then have a reconciliation and go their separate ways. Evie is angry about Bea's rejection of her flight to Paris. In fact, they are angry with one another for several reasons. Desmond suggests that Evie apologize to Bea for whatever she said that caused a row between them. As a result, they slowly begin to reconcile their differences, and they secure a loan from Desmond.
Desmond suggest an alternate to Evie's Paris trip; that she be chaperoned by a connection of his there. (Desmond, a friend of Lydia, is truly looking out for her and her sister's interests.) Hugo, who is another of Evie's suitors, and who has been a helpful friend in the past, learns of the trip. He is a rival suitor, yet still a friend of Evie’s. The day of the flight to Paris arrives. Evie asks Hugo to drive faster to get to the airport on time to meet Sebastian. We see Hugo's car overheat due to driving too fast, and he says they are lost. Sebastian takes off without Evie. Hugo and Evie arrive at the airport, but it is too late. Sebastian is in the sky. Hugo comes to HofE with word that Sebastian has been killed in the flight, and reveals he intentionally prevented them from arriving on time at the airport. He thus inadvertently saved her life.
In response to the tragedy with Evie, she throws herself into her work. Betty and Agnes now appear as new tailors at HofE. In a heart to heart conversation -- the first since the crash -- both Bea and Evie see that they have something else (after the crash and the departure of former lover Captain White) to live for and in common that energizes them. It is their work and business -- House of Eliott.
Out of the discussion, Evie reveals that she is excited about developing a new, dynamic line of clothes, which Bea however is not fully ready for. She thinks it might be excessive. Bea meets Desmond, who wisely suggests that if Bea and Evie have difficulties about the future direction of the business, they should square things for it to succeed. Meanwhile, Penelope is beaten by other homeless poor when trying to help a fallen life whose history she is familiar with. A surprise birthday party is thrown for Evie. It is a sign that her life is turning around after the Sebastian debacle. There Penelope collapses due to her excessive efforts at the mission.
Jack professes his deep admiration for Bea; in particular how well she looks no matter how busy she is. He is starting to fall in love with her. Agnes goes to interview at another company because she is unhappy with Bea at HofE. Bea and Evie indicate that they have two different approaches to the deigns in the company. Evie wants modern, creative ones. Bea wants traditional ones that the clients have demanded in the past. Bea believes that Evie's bold ideas might not sell. There is thus deep division between them in terms of hte direction of the business.
Bea is humiliated through an experience with one of her traditional-oriented, aristocratic clients, and begins to see the benefit of working with other kinds of clientele as Evie suggested. Evie from her side sees the pig-headedness of her ways, and returns to compromise with Bea. There begins a reconciliation between the two. Desmond’s daughter also aids in their reconciliation through a round of diplomacy.
Lydia's social invitations are all turned down. It is social ostracism for Arthur's horrid past deeds. Evie moves out, and Jack moves in with Bea. Bea in part gives in to Jack's semi-proposal because of his remark that they are not getting any younger. She begins to feel the social pressure to get married.
Evie hereafter has an intuition of the new Nocturne line (based on the music of Chopin and a Whistler painting). Bea meanwhile is also opening up to new ideas through her budding romance with Jack. Her vital energies are flowing, including her romantic and artistic ones, leading to creative insight. Bea and Evie are now shifting completely to the opposite of their previous uncompromising positions. Overall, Evie drives the business forward with her creativity. Bea keeps it in balance.
When Bea and Evie try to go higher up through Victor Stride, they open themselves up to a scurrilous journal article that attempts to link them back to Arthur and his scandal. Evie remains positive, and will not be bothered by the harsh journal article. Though Victor, under pressure changes course and writes a positive article about House of Eliott to reverse the precious scurrilous one, it will turn own to be a charade; a way to meet with them and get information about their designs. The collection presentation takes place. It is going extremely well. Suddenly, Yolanda gets up and claims that these are all copies of her designs. It is lie. But how can Bea and Evie prove otherwise? The story of the "copying" of designs appears in the newspaper. Bea perceives that Victor is to blame. Meanwhile, Jack realizes that his studio has been broken into.
Evie confronts Victor about his involvement with Yolanda in the scheme. He admits he did it because he loves her, and he wanted to help her with her flagging collection and career. So they had someone break in (at Jack's place) and reproduce HofE's photos of the collection. Evie forces Victor to admit the truth. And yet she does not implicate him. She is forgiving in the situation because she sympathized with Yolanda's flagging ability to come up with inspired designs and Victor's attempt to help Yolanda in that time of need. It is wrong what they did, but Evie has compassion for Yolanda's plight as a fellow artist who has lost her inspiration.
Great benefit now comes to HofE, as their reputation is regained as the truth comes out, and they win back many loyal and new clients. Lydia goes off to America to be with Arthur, who has gone there to start a new life. See individual episodes details with extensive analysis (on different page)
The proprietor of Maison Gilles of Paris, Gille Caragnac, a world renowned house of design, comes to visit. He gives his critique of HofE, and says they are disorganized. He offers Bea and Evie an opportunity to work at his company in Paris. He even says that after working for them for five years, they can have their own designer house. They head to Paris to feel it out. There, Gille creates a number of artificial situations to woo the girls; and as we will see later on, it fails to keep them.
Jack gets a small film job. He proposes marriage to Bea and she accepts. Meanwhile, Evie accepts working at Maison Gilles. Bea and Jack return to London. House of Eliott is now not quite a partnership of the two sisters, since one is now in Paris. Moreover, the business is having financial problems. There is a new supervisor, Florence, who is overbearing and negative. She is especially hostile to Tilly, looking to gain advantage in her position. Bea however is firm with Florence. After Bea takes the initiative to hire a replacement for Evie, she unexpectedly returns from Paris.
Shockingly, Desmond dies of an apparent suicide. With Evie and Bea back on board together, House of Eliott goes through an expansion. There is still the ongoing conflict between Florence and Tilly, the head seamstress. Along the way, Florence spreads gossipy lies about Jack’s alleged romance with his old girlfriend. The girlfriend was once engaged to Jack and now appears on the scene for some unknown reason other than to have Jack take updated photos of her. Through this woman’s recommendation, they hire a new designer Alice, in part to take Evie's place when she was in Paris. In their eyes, Alice has proved to be a disaster in that she has not brought over the clients Bea had expected of her when she hired her on, plus her salary was too high for HofE. Meanwhile, Jack then confronts the old girlfriend, and discovers that indeed she was the one that asked Alice to apply for work at HofE, even though she had considerable baggage. The girlfriend then admits pure revenge on her part against Jack for breaking off their engagement in the past. Fortunately, all is now understood and resolved. Evie rather than being bitter, takes to a positive view of the whole Alice affair.
Evie gets involved with the son of one her client, James. However, they get into a car accident at the end. Fortunately, it is not too serious, though it could have been. It reminds of Evie’s earlier involvement with Sebastian, who died in the plane crash. Both Sebastian and James were involved with motor vehicles, and are reckless in their driving/piloting.
Bea visits with Jack at his parent’ house. They are highly idealistic individuals -- e.g. regarding poverty, social justice and welfare, etc., and they provide solid intellectual arguments to back up their beliefs. In addition to being a thinker, the mother is also a fine artist. Bea adores her paintings, and goes through a period of intense inspiration. Jack also goes through moments of inspiration on the grounds of the estate. At one point in the gathering, the mother asks Bea if she has deep concerns for the welfare of her workers. Bea at first takes up a defensive argument, but then she seriously thinks about the issues raised.
After the visit, Bea is once again motivated to take risk, while Evie is now relatively conservative about taking future chances. They have now reversed completely from their earlier stance towards the future. In the mean time, money is in short supply, the workers are having problems, as first Florence faints and then others get sick, and the malevolent Saroyan appears on the scene.
The collection -- based on Jack’s mother’s impressionism, et al designs -- is presented innovatively through dance. It is a daring presentation, ahead of its time, but the audience is non-appreciative. Only a few critics take to it. (In addition, it turns out that a small piece of jewelry that was borrowed for the show is found missing.) Though the show is failure in terms of the audience reaction, positive developments follow Jack decides to lease the estate as a place for his and Bea’s retreat.
James is in a race. There is a serious accident, and a driver dies. Is it James? It runs out not to be. However, because of the trauma she just watched, Evie decides to break off with James. Evie experienced this once before with Sebastian, and is unwilling to have to wait for the new person she loves to die.
In a demonstration of newfound gratitude, Bea thanks Tilly for getting the collection done on time. Bea also shows interest in Tillie’s career, and promotes her. These efforts harkens back to the advice of Jack’s mother about the need for concern for the welfare of the workers by management. Bea has begun to embrace it in many ways. Bea finds out how ill Alice’s husband is, giving Bea a chance again to show concern for the well being of the staff. Soon after, Alice reveals that her husband has just died. Now Bea truly senses the wisdom of Jack’s mother’s advice about compassion and concern for others.
Evie comes round with word of an article that says HofE has provided the only spark of originality for the entire season. The failure of the appreciation of the collection is now dwarfed by this report. As a result, the orders now pour from an encouraged and energized public.
Suddenly, the missing earring required for the presentation shows up. It turns out that the stupid employee Agnes took it. Evie, in another magnanimous gesture, is willing to forgive instead of pressing charges against Agnes. In another positive development, through Saroyan they discover that Desmond had before his death set aside a considerable loan for them. This enables them to move beyond their current financial predicament.
Bea’s life with Jack is a mirror of the ballet she is now designing clothing for. The play contains three acts -- of initial love, of differences between the lovers, and endless degradation and despair. Bea and Jack have gone through at least the first two.
Suspicious of Saroyan, Joseph the bookkeeper stands up to him when he desires to look at the books without the permission of Bea. He takes this tact because in part he has been wronged by Saroyan in the past. As a result of his research, Joseph reveals unscrupulous financial dealings of Saroyan. In turns out that Saroyan took advantage of the small print to charge HofE with exorbitant interest on their loans.
Tilly and Madge plan “revenge” against Florence; to try to move her out, and themselves climb up at Hof E. One day, Florence quits in a fit of anger after Tilly and Madge refuse to obey an order. There is a big row. Florence runs out and is hit by a car, and dies. Madge and Tilly got what they wanted -- the removal of Florence -- but it came at the tragic cost of her death. At the funeral, Florence‘s husband blames Tilly, Madge, and Bea for his wife’s death. Taking responsibility, Bea mentions that she should have been aware of the hostile situation. It is another harkening back on her part to the advice of Jack’s mother.
Bea and Evie need someone of power to confront the financial dominance of Saroyan. Through their and Jack’s contacts, they begin to come in touch with individuals in high places in government who have great power. Bea troubled by the business with Saroyan, comments that “something odd is going on.” The death of Desmond lurks in the background; i.e. in her subconscious. Saroyan then suggests that since HofE has cash flow problems/high expenses, they should pay their bills in Net 30 to delay the expense. Bea however going counter to his thinking wants to pay right away.
Florence’s husband appears and apologizes for being angry at the funeral now that he realizes the wanting nature of Florence’s character, who in her own way contributed to her own downfall. The foolish employee Agnes spreads gossip regarding one of HofE’s famous clients, unwittingly revealing it to an eager gossip detective. She is duped into it, revealing once again her extreme stupidity.
Elizabeth and Alex (the Mumford’s) visit HofE for her fitting. He is a high-level member of the government. A relationship develops between the older Alex and Evie. Jack knows that Evie and Alex have a relationship. He also knows that through Alex there may be a way to find out more about Saroyan. On a second front, Jack has Joseph break into the bank to obtain evidence against Saroyan.
Agnes’ gossip has implicated HofE in the Bridgewater affair (incoming their famous client). The reporters descend on HofE. The Duchess confronts HofE about the leakage of this information; that someone there has obviously gossiped. Agnes confesses to Bea and Evie that she is the one. Agnes is later beaten.
Jack presents Alex with evidence of financial impropriety that Joseph has gathered. Beatrice and Jack visit Alex, who has made serious discoveries of the financial shenanigans of Saroyan. In addition, he says that Saroyan has been trying to take over other companies. Alex however is reluctant to pursue Saroyan's deeds against House of Eliott and other companies. He says he is hesitant to confront someone as powerful as Saroyan. If Alex reveals the underhanded doings of Saroyan, Saroyan could reveal Alex's elicit romance with Evie. In the meantime, Jack continues his own work in the investigation. He further encourages Joseph to look into things, though that can be dangerous. Alex moves forward and has the police barge into Saroyan's office and impound papers. As might be expected, word gets out that Evie and Alex are having an affair. Saroyan escapes arrest. It is also discovered that he profited enormously from the war with the Germans. Alex has sacrificed a great deal to implicate Saroyan, though it will be revealed that what he did was in fact not enough; that he did what he did after long delay , according to his superiors. This damages his career.
Jack now asks Bea to separate. After this, Evie comments: Every time we have a crisis, we create a new collection. It is revealed that Saroyan embezzled HofE’s money, and left them in a difficult financial position. In response to money problems at HofE, Beas asks the workers to take a cut in pay. Bea also reiterates the need to get things moving again. HofE has to temporarily lay off several of their workers. including Betty and Agnes, the two who were gossiping to the detriment of the business. HofE's financial situation is rapidly deteriorating.
The miners’ problem/strike is a sign of the coming conflict between business and government. It is an indicator of the greed and speculation that would lead to the Great Crash and Depression. Jack struggles to come up with a new script for Abraham the film producer. Abraham likes Jack's script. Jack wants to film real life events as part of the film. It is a creative idea. As the strikers and police confront one another, Jack is filming real live events as part of the film.
Bea meets with Elizabeth, Alex’s wife. Elizabeth tries to convince Bea that Evie should stop the relationship with her husband. The scandal of relationship between Evie and Alex, in the wake of the Saroyan episode who has revealed it, has scared off many of the clients from HofE. However, Evie's relationship with Alex is now fully known to the public.
Maison Gille, another couturier, now wants to buy HofE designs. Evie is fanatically against it, but Bea is more agreeable, especially in light of their current financial situation. Government officials try to block all communication between Alex and Evie, as the relationship is not portrayed them in a positive light. Jack still tries to help Alex and Evie see one another, as Jack is both Evie's and Alex's friend, and knows how they feel about one another. Alex however resigns from his post, due to pressure from above. Jack then meets with Evie, and then offers money to HofE in their time of need. (We have seen this before!)
Work suddenly picks up. Alice reveals that there are a number of new clients coming to HofE from the entertainment world. The proprietor for Maison Gille has a new proposition for HofE. They want to buy HofE outright. Meanwhile, Evie wants to move to a wider audience -- the professional working woman. Bea agrees to go along with Evie's idea, sensing this is an opportunity. Though he offers it to her (and HofE), Evie does not accept Alex's money. Bea and Evie then go on to develop the new collection.
Jack’s film receives wonderful reviews. He is offered the opportunity to meet with one of the US's most famous producers. The producer suggests that Jack make the film less deep and provocative, with more action and passion, and shorter and to the point. He makes Jack an offer to work with Hollywood.
Alex is now offered a job as ambassador to Rome and accepts. The relationship with Evie is over. Alex and Elizabeth go to Italy. Elizabeth engineered the entire move. She reveals that Alex was not dismissed because of Evie, but because he didn't handle the problem with Saroyan properly (including swiftly enough) earlier. (Alex then misspoke to Evie that he resigned because of her. The truth was that he took on the new job to regain the respectability he has lost. And gaining that respectability was ultimately more important than his love for Evie.) The end of the relationship is another blow for Evie.
The Hollywood producer offers Bea and Evie the opportunity to design clothing for his next film. Jack refuses to take on the proposal of the American film, but there is then a big acceptance of his existing film recently completed in Germany.
Sears is interested in HofE styles, and Evie and Bea are offered a contract. The woman asks them to come to America to help in the marketing.
Bea brings Jack together with an old war buddy. But he learns a dark secret, which changes his view of things. However, Bea and Jack are starting to come together, as the truth of Jack’s war incident creates an emotional bond again between them. He also feels grateful for bringing this individual to his attention. Bea and Evie go to America to work on Sears account; Jack to Germany to reap the rewards of his film.
The House of Eliott collection for Sears is very popular in the US. A farewell dance is held for all the principles before embarking on their trip to the US. Bea is now open to new possibilities with Sears, despite the need of HofE to develop their high end line. Bea and Evie (and Madge) do their tour and return to England. Alice leaves HofE for MS because she didn't like the lower-brow lines (as in Sears) they were developing.
A young, ambitious, energized young woman Grace appears on the scene. Bea and Evie find out that HofE is far behind; and that Maison Gilles is way ahead of them for developing their lines for the season. Grace discovers from one of her clients that her design are also being used by HofE), and the customer therefore wants to return one of her gowns. Grace storms into HofE and complains that Evie had told the woman that she was carrying a duplicate. She tells Bea and Evie that they are hypocrites; that they destroyed the one order she had. She argues that she is a struggling artist trying to make it in the world, and therefore sold the duplicate designs to her customers. Though clearly a breach in morals, Bea is sympathetic to Grace's plight, and therefore goes the next remarkable step and would like to make use of her talents. Evie is clearly not fond of Grace, her tactics, and the competition she offers. In fact, she is temperamental like Grace, and therefore clashes with her, and her methods and experiences. Meanwhile, Donald meets with Bea, and describes the emerging power of people like Grace; coming from the lower class, yet struggling to make good. She understands.
A manufacturer Cotter meets with Evie, and indicates that he sees a middle road between couturiers and the masses; i.e. the middle class is looking for high fashion at reasonable prices. He tells her that he wants to work with Evie. He suggests a business partnership, though Evie mistrusts him somewhat. Bea is intrigued by the proposals of Cotter. (After all, she is looking to expand the business and make money. She is trying to be in tune with the wider middle class that is emerging. Evie, on the other hand, is more focused on quality.) Cotter is ambitious like Grace, looking to move ahead. He is in fact selling Paris fashions at 1/10th the price; though the quality is not as good. Still, for the masses, it is a great improvement in fashion sense.
Evie changes course and begins to be a positive mentor of Grace. Grace is designing precisely what the middle class needs. One day, Grace invites Bea to a party at her place, where there are many artists and artistic, creative individuals. Evie sees many works of art in different media at the party, which could lead to various concepts and designs for HofE. Evie takes an interest in the work of the students.
HofE are now doing both the “Ready to Wear” and state of the art couturier designs -- including those from the illustrations of Miles, a young man who is a student. Cotter and HofE sign a contract for the Ready to Wear collection (called "The Aurora Collection"). Grace is developing the designs for Ready to Wear in particular, while Miles' designs become the inspiration for their collection overall. Evie meets Daniel, a very promising artist, who is a friend of Miles and Grace. Upon meeting him, Evie wants to be Daniel's mentor. She also has romantic feelings towards him.
Madge's brother Albert, a former miner, who has been an activist, gets a job where he talks to others about working conditions on the job. As a result, he is intentionally harassed by his supervisors. Jack, who got him the job, feels responsible.
Grace has now been put in charge of Ready to Wear, but feels slighted and excluded from the couturier, high-end line. Earlier were Grace was temporarily put in charge of the couturier line, she altered a dress that infuriated Evie. Now however Grace is furious. They are at odds when it comes to deigning at the high-end. Evie would like her to stay at the lower end. Evie is in essence jealous.
Cotter's factory has been set up. (Originally, he found a poor location, trying to save money, but Bea insisted on something better, putting the idea in her mind again that he might be a little shady.) Bea and Evie constantly have to push Cotter to get the best out of him; otherwise, he tries to cut corners. They are suspicious, and thus are very careful dealing with him. (They have ample reason to be cautious given their experiences with Arthur and Saroyan.)
Jack and Bea have moved back in with one another, after their long separation. Bea is pregnant. Evie goes to meet Daniel again. She reports that one of his paintings has been sold. He shows her more of his paintings. She takes several to try to sell them. One of their clients, Ann, a champion of young artists, appears on the scene as Evie arrives with several of Daniel's paintings, already being an admirer of Miles' work. Ann at a dinner of all parties suggests an exhibit, which is just what Evie and Bea had hoped for.
Cotter and Bea argue over the quality of his work. She requests that the quality of his manufactured output improve. Bea and Evie are told that the middle classes don't require perfect stitching. (This is an excuse for shoddy workmanship to lower costs/and earn more profits.)
There is 10% unemployment in England. Jack attends a meeting where X speaks on unemployment and low wages. Jack suggests that certain employers have a higher consciousness towards work that would be helpful for other companies to know about. The speaker however knocks down such ideas.
The exhibition of Daniel's paintings (organized by Ann) takes place. Daniel's former patron sees Daniel and is mad at him for not returning her favors. Evie wonders if Daniel is doing the same with her. (Evie is becoming less naive.) Daniel then defensively questions Evie's motives for helping him (suggesting she is doing it to win his affections, his love), and he storms out.
Bea worries that she cannot raise her child all by herself. Meanwhile, Tilly's baby dies. Bea feels responsible that her negative feelings about her own coming baby led to the death of Tilly's baby. Bea feels that it was lack of effort to support Tilly that was the cause of its demise. Bea now struggles physically at work due to her pregnancy.
Evie and Daniel are not seeing one another now. There is still a lack of trust amongst other problems. Meanwhile, Cotter and Grace think about collaborating outside of HofE on not so highbrow styles, including the manufacturing of these items.
Jack has turned to writing articles, as it is the only outlet where he can express his progressive beliefs and be part of that domain. Jack is struck by the allegedly unjust executions of Sacco and Vanzetti (a famous case). Jack then finds himself caught in a riot between the two sides of the S-V case, and is slightly hurt in the melee. Bea warns Jack about cavorting with a known criminal, the friend of whom invited him to the march, and was hurt there.
Miles invites Evie to meet Daniel, even though he romantically cares for Evie. It is in part an act of self-givingness for bringing him into HofE. They meet as arranged. Daniel is grateful to Evie for his recent successes, as she mentored him. Evie admits that as Daniel earlier suggested, she was play-acting. (It is a step in overcoming their conflicts.)
Shockingly, the Ready to Wear manufacturing facility is set on fire. Much has been destroyed, though some may be salvageable. The police suspect arson. The till has been broken into. HofE were uninsured. Madge feels that they can make up for it though 8 weeks of work. They are able to use the salvageable fabric.
Jack has the same problem he had with his films now with his articles. They are too controversial for the publishers. Suddenly another party comes forth offering him a weekly column. The work does not pay a lot, but he is still thrilled by the opportunity to express his views
Grace wants to do more high-end design. Evie again puts her off again, stifling her aspiration. A minute later, Grace reveals that all of Daniel's paintings have been sold, and he is going to New York, thus away from her.
Jack goes to research worker conditions in Glasgow. One hurt worker gets virtually nothing in workman's compensation. Jack is researching this particular subject. Bea has her baby. Bea's physical condition is problematic however. Jack is informed and returns from Glasgow. Tilly meanwhile continues to go to the cemetery to visit her dead baby. She lights candles and prays in church. She has been crushed by the baby’s death and has fallen into a swoon, becoming irrational.
Evie and Daniel continue their relationship. Evie wants to live with him, but Daniel is reluctant. Bea suggests that Grace could be more involved in the work. Evie however is defensive and continues to insist that Grace is inexperienced. Evie is upset when Bea wonders if Daniel is truly committed to her.
The Aurora Collection (of Ready to Wear) is presented. It goes very well. They find out that they have lost the Sears account however. Daniel accepts a commission to paint Lady Romford, which infuriates Evie, who perceives that so many women are taken in by him. She perceives semi-consciously that it would be difficult to hold onto him, echoing Bea's earlier statements.
Jack's work has expanded to the point where the government is contemplating implementing them, though there are forces that oppose. Surprisingly, the government moves in Jack's direction. Jack perceives that the smaller issues facing the working class is nothing compared to the limitations of work and prosperity facing that class. Thus, he joins the Independent Labor Party.
Daniel's painting of Lady Romford is found to be insulting by her (Celia). She is very angry with Bea for having set it up in the first place. Daniel confesses his love for Evie, and wishes to live with her. Evie and Bea have a row over this affair.
Someone comes again at night to the HofE property on the prowl. Evie and Bea receive bad news from Joseph that The Aurora Collection (that is still to be presented) may have been copied by the Stone & Wilkerson (sp?) chain of stores. They then wonder how this happened. It turns out that the store is doing a knock-off of their designs. Then a big buyer arrives at HofE to discuss the Aurora collection. Bea and Evie immediately take action to look into the knock off issue. It is Grace and Cotter who made the modified designs, and sold it to the chain. The big buyer who was purchasing from the Aurora collection says he is upset that high quality HofE designs (i.e. from the Aurora) are sold in lower level chains with somewhat poorer workmanship.
Jack meanwhile pushes for a minimum wage in England, and the restricting of hours an individual can work. Jack argues persuasively to the Labor party. It is suggested that Jack be in parliament; that the Labor Party could use an individual like him who thinks for himself.
Evie visits the place where Miles and Grace live, and accuses Miles in part in the knock off scheme. Upset with the accusation, he threatens to quit HofE. Agnes realizes that Betty may be involved in the scheme, but Betty scolds the weak Agnes. Betty however is afraid to express what she knows to Tilly.
Evie wonders how Grace could have done what she did. David (a friend of Grace) says that Grace didn't see things that way in that she designed most of the items in the Aurora collection in the first place, but didn't get the credit from Evie. (Evie can only argue that she paid her well.) Evie feels betrayed. As a result of all these events, word gets into the newspaper about the conflict, and HofE loses customers, and they have excess inventory. Bea and Evie offer the same designs at lower prices to move the already manufactured garments to avoid a complete loss. The first storeowner however refuses to purchase from them. Evie apologizes to Miles for her earlier accusation against him.
Jack finds out that HofE has been accused of running a sweatshop. Who is spreading these rumors? The newspaperman says that they have as much right to produce such news as Jack has to make innuendos about poor working conditions. It is a vendetta. The fire as well is a vendetta. Was the man who "broke in" at the end of the last episode involved in the vendetta? Who was that person? The lies about HofE printed by the newspaper were spread by Betty. The newspaper story is not really true and accurate. HofE employees have worked extra hours, but it was not in fact for the collection for HofE, but for the extra work they did by working for the Cotter copycats!
Cotter offered Betty overtime. She in fact thought she was working for the Aurora collection, not the knock off scheme. She then says she was treated badly by Cotter. She wants her job back at HofE. But Bea throws Betty off the premises for her scurrilous remarks in the newspaper about (non-existent) sweatshop conditions at HofE.
Evie suggests they use Miles for the designs of the (high-end) couturier collection. Bea, Evie, Miles, and Daniel then conceive of the new couturier line.
Madge and Charles try to help Tilly with her psychological problems related to the death of her baby. They go to meet her husband to talk about how serious the situation with Tilly is getting at work; that her work is deteriorating and she could soon be fired. They ask her husband Norman to keep trying to help her. Norman speaks to a priest to ask him if he can speak with Tilly. The priest tries to tell Tilly that she should not hide in the church to try to create a relationship with her dead baby. Shedding his hesitation, Norman then speaks frankly to Tilly; that she in fact has been the one who has been dead since the baby died. He further argues persuasively that she is only concerned with her own feelings. Tilly finally relents. She throws away the crib.
Evie and Bea go to see Betty to see if she can help in getting to Cotter and Grace. They also agree to give her job back. She tells them where Cotter and Grace are. Bea and Evie meet with the owners of one of the companies the knock offs were sold to, insisting that someone was bribed in the company. Bea and Evie work with Wilkinson to trick Grace and Cotter into being discovered. Grace defends herself and says that Evie never gave any credit for the designs she created (which was true). Grace and Cotter were engaged in a scheme to get the low wages for their line. They had bribed the store buyers to get a cut – i.e. a kickback -- so they would buy into the line.
Jack explains these new revelations and is vindicated by the Labor Party. Jack then tells Bea that he would like to run for parliament, and asks for Bea's support. Though Bea wonders how public attention will affect her life, she embraces his initiative.
Evie and Bea meet with wealthy attendees at a dinner, and Daniel drunkenly speaks out against the upper classes. The elder woman condemns him for his lack of social graces, as well as for the alleged indulgences of Evie. Bea then steps in and rebukes them as engaging in malicious rumormongering. Bea is very sensitive to how such salacious remarks can be spread as a result of her past experiences and attempts to nip them in the bud. Daniel loathes the upper class, but still apologizes. He says he cannot change; that he may be wrong for Evie; that he will never fit in for her. Evie suggest that he marry her. He agrees.
Bea is reluctant to visit Lady Crowborough's elder mother Lady Westlake for a fitting, but then gives in. Bea visits Lady Crowborough's home and her mother, and finds Lady Westlake a very difficult, elderly, ill individual.
Daniel doesn’t want his parents at the wedding, but Evie insists. We meet Daniel's parents. His father and he are very distant. Daniel's sister also appears, and the father and David argue over her future. This expands into a squabble between the father and Evie. After the difficult meeting, Evie still has asked Daniel's parents to attend their wedding. Daniel is upset. Evie asks Daniel to be more fully part of his life, including interacting with his parents. Daniel tells Evie that his father was an excellent craftsman and artist, and didn't want his son to do the same. The problem between them reached its low point when his father ripped up the papers inviting Daniel to pursue his art career.
Jack has been offered the opportunity to run for office. He is aware of the formidable rivals he could be running against. At the party gathering, Jack expresses his views why he would be the right Labor candidate. Jack argues that he can win because he has a wider view of things. Jack moves to a runoff against a progressive woman at the party convention. Jack then wins and becomes the party’s nominee.
It is Evie and Daniel’s wedding day. They are married. Just after they are married, Daniel is offered a year in Paris to work on his art.
The location for the showing of the HofE line is suddenly unavailable, threatening the entire presentation. Jack once again comes through and finds a place for HofE to present the collection. In addition, Daniel is lured into to being involved in designing the layout of the room. Evie suggests to Daniel that she could come to Paris with him, which would in essence split her form HofE. Evie tells Bea that she wants to go with Daniel to Paris. Daniel’s set is wonderful. The presentation takes place. (The music in the scene is beautiful.) Miles' designs are presented. This is a big success for Miles.
Lady Westlake's son in law speaks against Jack's view before a large gathering, resorting to scurrilous accusations against him, HofE, and Bea. What can Jack do? Jack's answers his opponent John Crowborough’s malicious statements before the press. He does so admirably. Jack, being an excellent reporter and researcher, turns around and finds damning information about Crowborough! Jack threatens him with it if he continues to presents the scurrilous statements about Jack and his friend and associates. Jack asks Crowborough to step down in the election, but he refuses. The paper goes ahead and reports Jack's evidence against Crowborough. The parliamentary election takes place the next day for the London borough. Jack narrowly wins.
Miles' father proposes huge funding for HofE as long as Miles becomes a full partner. He sees that HofE will shift out of the couturier business and take to Ready to Wear. Evie is infuriated, though everyone else is in favor. (The series ends here.)