The English season 1, episode 1 recap – why is Cornelia in America?

November 11, 2022
M.N. Miller 5
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

A gritty, bleak, and dangerous look at the American West.

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3.5

Summary

A gritty, bleak, and dangerous look at the American West.

We recap the Prime Video series The English season 1, episode 1, which contains spoilers.

The opening episode of The English is a bleak, desolate, and dangerous look at life on the western plains. Emily Blunt plays Cornelia Locke, an English woman trying to make it across the great American west without getting killed. It’s a treacherous and menacing place. She is in for a sobering reality as soon as she arrives at the loneliest hotel you’ve ever seen.

Cornelia comes across a former Pawnee scout who turned traitor from his native tribe. He is on his way up north when he has strung up by the men at the hotel. His name is Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer). He helped a sharpshooter in the Army take down a man named Running Hawk, a leader of the Pawnee tribe.

Why is Cornelia in America? That’s the question that carries the most weight throughout the series.

The English season 1, episode 1 recap – why is Cornelia in America?

Cornelia Locke arrives looking to avenge her son’s death at the “Hotel” and sees Eli. Whipp was tied and strung up because, per the establishment’s owner, Richard Watts (a very cold Ciaran Hinds), he disrespected him. He’s equipped with a thick accent, handsome suit, and hat, along with a vest and a mustache, which makes you think he walked off the set of Tombstone. Cornelia offers to pay for his release when she gets an overhand right from the owner.

The trap is set. What do I mean, you ask? The driver, a man named Sebold Cusk (Toby Jones), who drives Cornelia in his coach, takes Whipp back with him. But why? It’s a good question, one we get an answer to when three white men run up to a small and unkempt little man. Who are they? A gang of three men stops the coach because he wants to kill Whipp.

All because he is Native American, and they don’t seem to care that he is a former scout with the United States Army. The guns go off, and the Jones driver has a hidden shotgun built into the coach’s side. However, he would have never survived the shooting if Whipp wasn’t there, who took out two men and wounded the third.

Except for the fact that he was shot in the stomach. He explains that he and his friends back at the hotel plan to kill the woman. They know she has that trunk full of money, and Whipp was set up. How? Well, it’s simple. They planned on blaming him for killing the wild English rose. The authorities would never suspect four white men lying about such a thing. Whipp now cannot in good conscience escape without going back to save Cornelia. He gives the driver a pistol so he can kill himself and not die a slow and agonizing death.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, the owner makes Cornelia wear her most beautiful red dress and treats her to six fine prairie oysters. Cornelia obviously has an issue with the food and tells him that she will kill him. Maybe not now, but at some point. Watts also reveals what is happening behind her being beaten and taken hostage. A man she wants to kill, a miner, has paid them to pick her off before she gets to Wyoming.

The owner laughs. That’s until he feels a knife thrown directly in the middle of his back; now, his lungs are filling with blood. Whipp emerges, pulls out the blade, and grabs the owner’s hair, tilting his head towards the ceiling and cutting his throat.

The English season 1, episode 1 ending

Whipp tells the hotel accordion player to keep the good times rolling, or he will kill him. This allows him to catch the third accomplice, sleeping in the barn. Whipp ties him upside down, but the rope is over the wooden pole and attached to a horse. The other issue is now a large bucket of water is less than a half foot from his head.

Whipp tells him the horse will decide if he survives. Meaning if the horse moves forward, his head is farther away from drowning. If the horse backs up, he will become a fake Evelyn Mulwray. Then, having adapted to the cruel nature of the American West, Cornelia backs up the horse, and the man dies.

The final scenes have Cornelia begging Whipp to take her with him up north to Wyoming. Whipp is on his way to Nebraska. That is because the man who killed her son lives in a town called Powder River.

What did you think of The English season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

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5 thoughts on “The English season 1, episode 1 recap – why is Cornelia in America?

  • November 11, 2022 at 11:56 am
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    Slow and stupid!

  • November 13, 2022 at 6:01 pm
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    I grew up with Hopalong Cassidy and The Range Rider which definitely “whitewashed” the Old West. “The English” is definitely a refreshing remake of a bygone era.

  • November 14, 2022 at 8:49 am
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    A gripping story.Fine acting.

  • November 16, 2022 at 1:43 am
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    when Whipp leaves the coach he does not unhook the horses from the coach, and what happened to the squeeze box player?

  • November 28, 2022 at 4:34 am
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    What is growing out of the accordion players hat

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