The Duchess season 1, episode 4 recap — well, adoption failed

By Daniel Hart
Published: September 11, 2020 (Last updated: February 13, 2024)
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Netflix series The Duchess season 1, episode 4


Episode 4 shows Katherine’s life slowly starting to fall apart due to her recent breakup with Evan as she’s struggling to keep everything in control.

This recap of Netflix’s The Duchess season 1, episode 4 contains significant spoilers.

We recapped the entire season — check out the archive of recaps.

The opening

Katherine is now considering adopting so episode 4 opens up with her speaking to a social worker with her daughter Olive. Her daughter believes that the baby can be bought and then talks about her mother’s recent breakup with Evan. The social worker notes that there is a lot of animals in the house and pornographic images. Olive then accuses her mother of being a liar. On the way out, the social worker tells Katherine that she cannot be considered for adoption because her daughter is out of control. Katherine rips the social worker a new one and tells her she doesn’t want her “Crackhead babies”. Well, looks like adoption ain’t happening.

Olive is suspended

At school, Katherine and Millie’s mother are called in due to their daughters’ language at school. Katherine tries to defend her daughter but Olive is suspended. Katherine and Olive argue about it but Olive claims that Millie is her best friend and not everything is about her mother. An angry Katherine threatens to tell Shep about Olive’s behaviour.

Meet Cheryl

They get to the boat and Shep introduces them to his new partner Cheryl. Shep calls it anarchy when Katherine raises that Olive has been suspended and then claims this is all happening due to the breakdown of her personal life. Cheryl then reveals that they are engaged and that she’s wealthy. Shep has moved on this one quickly.

Improve your sex life

Katherine talks to Bev about her personal life and the breakup with Evan. Millie’s mother starts giving them sex life advice and offers to babysit Bev’s kids so she can go out with her man. Olive and Millie come downstairs and they both have a fit when they are told that they can’t have Instagram.

Marry me

Bev goes out on a date with Tom and tries seducing him. She then notices Evan is in the pub she’s in so alerts Katherine. Katherine then turns up with Olive looking dazzling. She asks Olive to pretend to laugh to get Tom’s attention. Katherine speaks to Tom but then Sandra, his colleague, turns up. She gets jealous and asks Tom to marry her. Tom feels insulted that she’s doing this on the whim. Katherine walks away as Tom is seemingly not interested. He clearly is still in love with Katherine though but he’s keeping it together.

The ending

Cheryl and Shep head to Katherine’s house the next day and Cheryl gives her Shep’s s***n in an injection tube. There’s no catch, she can have it. Katherine seems surprised at the generous offer. Looks like she may be able to still have a second child after all. The Duchess Episode 4 shows Katherine’s life slowly starting to fall apart due to her recent breakup with Evan as she’s struggling to keep everything in control.

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