Black Cake Season 1 Episode 4 Recap – Why didn’t Benny attend her father’s funeral?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: November 13, 2023 (Last updated: March 20, 2024)
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Black Cake Season 1 Episode 4
Black Cake Season 1 Key Art | Image via Hulu


Black Cake settles in the present-day timeline to great effect, showing how Covey’s lifelong deceptions, and the unfurling revelation of them, are beginning to recontextualize Benny and Byron’s own experiences.

Whereas the first three episodes of Black Cake Season 1 were largely about the past, in particular how it informs and defines the present, Episode 4, “Mrs. Bennet”, is about the present. It settles there, allowing us to spend more time with Covey and her grown-up children, including seeing their private lives and how Covey’s journey, almost all of which she has kept from them until this point, has quietly defined how they were raised and who they grew up to be.

There’s also a big last-minute cliffhanger to account for, so without further ado, let’s go over the major plot points, including what drove the family apart, and how much bigger the family might be when all the smoke clears.

Despite the third episode implying it, Covey didn’t commit suicide by walking under a bus. Instead, she reunites with Gibbs, who spots her from across the street, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that they never leave each other’s side after this point. Covey never told him about being raped in Scotland, as she thought the revelation would make him look at her differently, but in every other way that mattered they were frank and open with one another.

Well, there’s one other secret that Covey didn’t share with him, actually, but more on that at the end.

Why did Covey and Gibbs go to America?

The real meat of “Mrs. Bennet” begins after Covey is recognized in London and elopes with Bert to America, where they both live out the rest of their lives and raise Benny and Byron.

Despite having invented themselves anew, Covey and Gibbs, or Eleanor and Bert, allowed their deceptions to nestle in the deepest reaches of their lives – the former especially. It only slipped out in rare instances, like Bert accidentally calling her “Covey” at dinner – though neither of the kids noticed – and the rest of the time was harvested internally, which in her narration Covey suggests has taken a toll on her health.

What causes the rift between Benny and her parents?

Benny gets a lot of focus in this episode since she’s taking the news of her mother’s deception rather hard. This is because her own life has been defined by difficulties and decisions that her parents didn’t support her in, and she can’t understand, given everything her mother went through, how that could be the case.

The most fundamental thing is that Benny is bisexual. We don’t see any evidence that her parents would be resistant to this, but it’s implied and comes through a little later when Benny takes a girlfriend home for Thanksgiving. The mask of politeness quickly slips when Benny reveals that she has dropped out of culinary school to work in a café run by a renowned pastry chef.

Bert is furious about this since he paid for the culinary school and can’t quite wrap his head around working in a café rather than becoming “officially” educated (this is a famously common stance among immigrant families, and I’ve seen so many similar arguments to this that I’ve lost count.) While he’s ranting, he lets slip his confusion about Benny’s sexuality.

For what it’s worth, Joanie is much more understanding about this than Benny is. And nobody mentions that Bert kind of has a point about her choices, though it’s implicit, I think most obviously in how she blames Joanie for the whole thing, causing their relationship to break down.

Why didn’t Benny attend her father’s funeral?

After distancing herself from her family, Benny gets into a relationship with an artist named Steve Dwyer. At first, he seems supportive and loving. However, you can tell by how he manipulates Benny into changing her hairstyle that he’s at least controlling, and when she happens to run into Joanie while with him, his subsequent outburst proves he’s more than that – he’s outright violent and abusive.

Of course, Steve apologizes, and Benny takes him back, but his attempts to isolate her continue. When Benny learns that Bert has passed away, Steve tries to dissuade her from attending the funeral. When she insists on going, he hits her.

In the present day, Benny reveals to Byron that she did attend the funeral – she simply stayed at a distance, embarrassed of the black eye Steve had given her. She, like her mother, had kept her trauma to herself.

How does Black Cake Season 1 Episode 4 end?

“Mrs. Bennett” ends with Covey revealing one final secret through her audio recordings – and it’s a big one. Benny and Byron have a sister.

This hasn’t been addressed in the past sequences yet, though it’s surely coming up now that the cat is out of the bag. Readers of the novel will have details on this already, but it’ll nonetheless be interesting to see how the Hulu adaptation presents it.


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