Reader, I can’t tell you how excited I am that we’re finally about to enjoy season two of Miss Scarlet and The Duke! Season one had exactly the right mix of Victorian weirdness, wild cases, and romantic tension, and I for one can’t wait to see what this season will bring. Need a quick refresher on Season 1? Check out recaps or watch episodes here.

Season two opens in some kind of gentleman’s club. At least that’s my assumption based on the horrified faces these guys make when they notice our heroine, Victoria Mars, has entered the room. She starts by smoothing out her skirts, which frankly seems like kind of a waste once you notice that her whole look for the evening could best be described as “disheveled chic.” No matter: she’s here to see a fella I’m calling Lord Walrus, for facial hair reasons, about a case.

Victoria Mars: I found them!
Lord Walrus, brightening up considerably: You found my babies!?

She sure did, and as you might have guessed, we’re not talking about human children here. No, Lord Walrus’ babies are… pigeons? He’s overjoyed, and annoyingly surprised at her success. His man will take the birds home, and he’ll pay Victoria Mars… Friday?

Victoria Mars: Uh, we have a contract that says you pay when I deliver. Friday’s no good.
Lord Walrus, suddenly WAY less charming: I have daughters and if they talked to me like that I’d punish them. I’ll pay you when I want to! Good night!

Wrong move, especially since Victoria Mars is still in custody of the “babies.” In a surprise to no one but Lord Walrus, she brings the cages inside and frees the birds, causing havoc. Havoc that apparently lands her in jail, where her nap on the shoulder of an elderly man is ended snarkily by none other than our old friend Duke Silver.

Duke Silver: Wakey wakey! You smell horrible!
Victoria Mars: OH MY GOD DUDE. I’ve been here all night, where have you been?
Duke Silver: At home, asleep. Like a normal person. On the plus side, it’s been three whole weeks since your last arrest so… progress! Good thing the cells were all full :) Seriously, what is the smell?

Finally freeing her, the two retire to his office, where she explains that the smell is manure, rubbed into her clothes while she combed through dozens of allotments to find the birds. Curiosity satisfied, Duke Silver tells our pal that she’s going to be fined since the pigeons ruined some curtains when she released them in the club.

Victoria Mars: Ugh, it’s just so unfair. I’m good at my job; why am I still stuck wading through literal crap to find birds? This wouldn’t be so hard if I were a man.
Duke Silver: Being a man has its problems too!
Victoria Mars: Such as?
Duke Silver: Well… I can’t think of anything now, but I’ll have a list before our dinner later. Speaking of which, four dates in a month? People are going to gossip.

AND THEN THEY HOLD HANDS? What is HAPPENING? Folks, when we last left these two they were still very much in the “will they or won’t they” sweet spot, but it seems that in the break between seasons, they’ve very much leaned into the camp of “they will.” Or… maybe not: Victoria Mars kinda yanks her hand back and reiterates that even though they’ve been doing coupley stuff, it’s just two old friends spending time together. I honestly can’t tell if she’s just trying to lay down cover for them to hang out romantic styles, or if she genuinely isn’t interested, but either way:

A man in the background of a crowd spins around and exclaims "Dramaaaaaaaa!" with a flourish

Duke Silver: Well, I better get going: I have to meet the new superintendent. Hopefully we get along better than I did with the last one.
Victoria Mars: Don’t butter him up too much, it doesn’t work with your whole deal.
Duke Silver: And just what does that mean? Are you calling me grumpy?
Victoria Mars: Noooo, just saying you’re… Measured?

Before he can fully call her out on that one, they’re interrupted by a loud female voice demanding to speak to none other than Duke Silver. Several bros try to placate her, but she’s not having it.

Desperate: It’s YOU. You’re the one who ditched my sister!
Victoria Mars:

A girl says "Wait, what was that?" then presses rewind on a remote

Desperate: She’s missing and you just closed the case? Ridiculous!
Duke Silver: Ma’am, if this is about a case you have to talk to the desk sergeant.
Desperate, getting dragged away: You were in charge of her case and you did NOTHING. You’re a disgrace!
Victoria Mars: Do you remember the case?
Duke Silver: I’m a little more worried about that dude right now.
Victoria Mars: Who’s he?
Duke Silver: The new superintendent, duh!

Gotta say, that kinda is a duh. Anyway, fair enough to be worried about your new boss, but don’t you realize ignoring that lady is only going to make it all the more likely that Victoria Mars WON’T ignore her, and that that’ll eventually make it your problem again once she solves the mystery? Did you even watch season one?? While we wait for the inevitable, Duke Silver heads into New Superintendent’s office and tries to introduce himself.

New Superintendent: I know who you are.
Duke Silver: Just wanted to apologize for what just happened and tell you that doesn’t happen all the time.
New Superintendent: Ah, no biggie! Sit down, kid. People don’t know how many cases we have to deal with each week; someone’s always going to be unhappy. Anyway, always nice to find myself around another Scottish fella; yes, you heard the accent right. I grew up in the Glasgow tenements. Yourself?
Duke Silver: Uh… workhouse.
New Superintendent: Bummer. Anyway, I hear you and my predecessor didn’t get along?
Duke Silver, trying to be diplomatic: Let’s just say we had… different backgrounds.
New Superintendent: So he was a stuck up jerk, huh? It IS hard to climb the ladder here unless you come from wealth.
Duke Silver: And yet here YOU are!
New Superintendent: Indeed. I got lucky; had some good mentors. I like to do the same, which is why I brought some of my guys here with me. Show them the ropes. Look after them. But first, let’s drink heavily!

Am I automatically mistrustful of anyone in authority? Yes, and that’s why I’m not 100% on board with this guy, even though he seems pretty great on paper. Hopefully all this recapping has just left me too cynical and he turns out to be fine. Time will tell! Meanwhile, across town, a freshly cleaned up Victoria Mars is chased down by a young woman in glasses.

Glasses: Hey, wait up! You walk fast!
Victoria Mars: Sorry, but who are you?
Glasses: It’s me, Super Rooper’s cousin!

Yes, unfortunately our good pal and Victoria Mars’ angel investor Super Rooper isn’t returning this season. On the plus side, Glasses seems like she might be a fun replacement. She quickly explains that she’s staying at Super Rooper’s mom Snooty’s house, and no, our friend isn’t ghosting Victoria Mars (and us), he just sent a letter to her at his mom’s address. Glasses correctly points out that her cousin is delightful, but kind of scatterbrained, and holds the letter, which she hid from the prying eyes of Snooty, out to Victoria Mars.

Victoria Mars: I figured he wouldn’t have a ton of time to write, being a newlywed and all.
Glasses: Hm, indeed, although I think he’s spending a lot less time with Tilly than he is enjoying the Berlin nightlife, if you know what I mean?
Victoria Mars: Sure do. How’s Snooty?
Glasses: Oh, furious. At you!
Victoria Mars: AGAIN? Why? I didn’t send Roops off to Germany! I didn’t have anything to do with the marriage at all!
Glasses: That’s what I said, but you know how she is. “Glasses, you don’t know anything!”
Victoria Mars: Hey, I heard that your father died. I’m so sorry; I know what that’s like.
Glasses: Thanks. It was just the two of us for a long time. But, now that he’s passed, I get to live with my aunt.

A man says "yay!" extremely sarcastically.

Victoria Mars: Well, great chatting with you, but I have to get to work.
Glasses: Right, at your detective agency! I’ve heard all about it; you are SO cool.
Victoria Mars, softening up: Would you like to come to tea?
Glasses: TODAY?
Victoria Mars: Pump the breaks. Let’s say Wednesday afternoon.

And then, having delighted her new acquaintance, she heads inside to find that her office has been broken into! Yikes! Don’t worry, it’s not a mysterious baddie out for blood, it’s just Moses, who’s napping in a chair until Victoria Mars rudely wakes him up.

Victoria Mars: Dude! Stop breaking into the office! There are KEYS!
Moses: I’m keeping you on your toes! It’s good for business :)
Victoria Mars: Yeah, yeah, sure. Did you get it?
Moses: Sure did. He tried to short you because his suit got ruined, but I… reasoned with him.
Victoria Mars: LOL clearly you were persuasive.
Moses: And how was your night in holding?
Victoria Mars: Annoying.
Moses: Hm, so did your boyfriend bail you out?
Victoria Mars: You know he’s not my boyfriend! Thin ice, pal!
Moses: You’ll change your tune when you hear that I might have a case for you. There’s a landlord in Whitechapel who told me one of his boarders is looking for a private detective.

Naturally, Victoria Mars heads right down there to offer up her services. Even more naturally, the aforementioned boarder turns out to be none other than Desperate, who we saw at the station earlier. Obviously, they recognize each other immediately.

Desperate: I’m sorry you saw me like that. I just got SO furious at that horrible man, you know?
Victoria Mars, internally: Lady, you have no idea.
Victoria Mars, out loud: Look, you should know that Duke Silver has a huge case load. He probably didn’t even have that much to do with your sister’s case.
Desperate: He signed the case closed. It’s his fault.
Victoria Mars: Hm. Tell me about your sister.
Desperate: Georgina is the best. Our parents are dead, so we only have each other. I’m SO worried. I’ve BEEN worried; she told me she wanted to come to London to work, and I didn’t think she could handle the big city. She proved me wrong though; got a job in a shop — Wentworths.
Victoria Mars: That’s not just a shop, that’s a big name store!
Desperate: Anyway, three months ago, her letters stopped. I got so worried I came down here from Yorkshire, went to the store, and found out she didn’t work there anymore! She apparently just didn’t show up one day and they assumed she’d gotten another job? I went to the police, filled out a missing person’s form, and then last week I got the letter: case closed. How could they not find anything? Will you help me?

Shockingly, the answer to this question isn’t the immediate yes I anticipated! Later, back at home, Victoria Mars explains why to Ivy: if she says yes, Duke Silver will be a real butthead about it, given that Desperate did yell at him in front of his new boss.

Victoria Mars: What do I DO? And also why is hemming my skirt taking so long??
Ivy: It takes as long as it takes! Look, if you want to date the inspector, you know you’re going to need to start taking his feelings into account with work stuff, right?
Victoria Mars: Exsqueeze me, who said anything about wanting to date him?
Ivy: Your four dates in the last month, that’s who.
Victoria Mars: We’re just friends.
Ivy: Then find someone else to take her case. For your friend.
Victoria Mars: Ugh, fine, you win.
Ivy: Pal, I’m not Duke Silver: I know that face, and I know you’re lying to me.
Victoria Mars: Ok, you’re right: I’m going to do some research to find anything Duke Silver missed. That way he won’t be surprised if someone re-opens the case! It’s what a friend would do!

Marcia Brady sarcastically says "Sure, Jan."

First stop? Wentworths, where Victoria Mars corners a shop girl for a chat. Before they can really get talking, the manager butts in to make sure Victoria Mars is being taken care of.

Shopgirl: She’s not a customer, she’s a detective, asking questions about Georgina.
Manager: This is a store. If you’re not here to buy something, you can leave.
Victoria Mars: I only have a few questions…
Manager: Right, off with you! I’ll escort you out!

And he tries to do just that when he’s interrupted by the very pregnant Mrs. Wentworth (yes, of the Wentworths Wentworths!) who isn’t amused to see him manhandling a lady out of the shop. Despite her initial confusion over Victoria Mars’ job, instead of shooing our friend away, she invites Victoria Mars into her office to talk with her husband, Mr. Wentworth.

Mr. Wentworth: Sorry about Manager, he’s just very… enthusiastic?
Victoria Mars: I didn’t mean to cause trouble, I’m just trying to help Desperate.
Mrs. Wentworth: Poor woman must be losing it with worry for her sister. Georgina was great; customers loved her and she was very hardworking. Her absence is a loss to the store.
Victoria Mars: Any idea where she’d go?
Mr. Wentworth: We just assumed she’d found a different job.
Victoria Mars: That’s what you told the cops?
Mrs. Wentworth: They didn’t come talk to either of us! No one did!

Well, that’s not great news for Duke Silver and the boys! Speaking of whom, at the station, the man in question has all of New Superintendent’s guys lined up for a wee lecture on an upcoming gang raid. Well, he’s trying to, but a baby detective named Oliver keeps interrupting him. As you can imagine, this doesn’t go over great with Duke Silver, or with the other, older detectives, who tell him to shut it. Lecture delivered (sort of) Duke Silver dismisses everyone except Baby Detective, who he threatens with latrine duty if said young’un doesn’t stop interrupting.

A man says "oh" with surprised amusement and schadenfreude =

Back at the department store, Shopgirl pulls Victoria Mars aside as the detective prepares to leave. Why? She has some information about Georgina, but she doesn’t want to talk about it here.

A man says "I'm intrigued."

Where will she spill her info? A bar, and a seedy one at that. Pounding her drink, Shopgirl explains that Georgina ran away.

Shopgirl: I know why, too: same reason she left her village. To get away from her sister. She was terrified of her.
Victoria Mars, checking her notes: I thought she came here to find a job in London?
Shopgirl: Yeah, well, her sister WOULD say that, right? She was suffocating Georgina; treating her like a kid. Sewed her name into her clothes like a baby, and would hit her if Georgina put a toe out of line.
Victoria Mars: But why would Georgina leave London if her sister was in the country?
Shopgirl: Desperate said she was going to move to London to be nearer. She’ll deny it, but it's the truth: she wanted to control the poor kid. I don’t know where she went; I told her not to tell anyone, even me. She needed a new start.

Well that’s a revelation! While we hear another side to Desperate, Duke Silver and the boys head to their raid. Most of the guys are delighted to get in the action, but Baby Detective is too busy lurking around the periphery. Duke Silver sends him upstairs, which Baby Detective declares all clear. You know where this is going, reader: as the gangsters are led off to be arrested, Duke Silver heads upstairs to the area he thinks has been secured, and starts looking for the gang’s loot. He finds it, but he also finds himself in a fight with a remaining gangster who Baby Detective missed, and who isn’t about to go down without fisticuffs. Duke Silver is getting his ass kicked when Baby Detective finally arrives back on the scene. Unfortunately, backup he ain’t: the kid forgets he has a weapon, and when he does pull it out after a reminder from Duke Silver, he’s so obviously nervous that the gangster just goes on punching Duke Silver. Lucky for us, our friend is pretty good in a fight, so he finally takes his adversary down, using the time between punches to lecture Baby Detective for his screwups.

Across town, Victoria Mars visits Desperate, and is about to drop the “everyone says YOU are the bad guy, actually” news on her client when the woman in question pulls out a letter that she’s had forwarded from her home in Yorkshire.

The letter: Dear Mother. I’m doing great! Love you, Georgina
Victoria Mars: Uh, but you told me your parents were dead?
Desperate: The letter is a lie! She didn’t send this. I have to tell you something; something I’ve never told anyone other than Georgina. She’s my daughter. I was young, and had her out of wedlock. To keep everyone’s reputation, she was brought up as my sister. She NEVER calls me mother, only my first name.
Victoria Mars: So whoever sent this knew your secret. It’d have to be someone close to her that she felt she could trust.

The plot just keeps on thickening, and it’s about to get even thicker. Victoria Mars obviously knows one person who might be close enough to Georgina to know her secret, so she heads across town to knock on Shopgirl’s door. Nobody answers, and instead, someone inside shoots a gun through the door AT Victoria Mars, and then runs past her where she’s hit the deck, cloak a-billow. Brushing herself off, Victoria Mars opens the door, finding Shopgirl dead on the floor in front of her fireplace. Next step? Call up Duke Silver, who asks if Victoria Mars is ok.

Victoria Mars: Just a little shocked. You don’t tend to find new acquaintances dead, you know?
Duke Silver: What are you doing here?
Victoria Mars: Working on a case… the Georgina case. That lady who came into the office and yelled a lot.
Duke Silver: So let me get this straight: you reopened one of my cases, seeking out someone who actively dislikes me and getting her to hire you?
Victoria Mars: I didn’t look for her, Moses brought me the case!
Duke Silver: GREAT. EVEN BETTER. Look, take responsibility for your actions: if you respected me at all, you wouldn’t have done this.
Victoria Mars: Well I’m glad I did, because you missed a LOT. I know you’re busy, but this is bad, dude!

Before he can comment more on THAT, Baby Detective hauls in a drunk man who apparently heard the shooting take place. Duke Silver yells at the kid for bringing someone to a crime scene, and sends him back to the office for questioning, before turning his ire back on Victoria Mars, telling her to stop calling him by his first name in front of the boys, before storming off. It seems that he did take Victoria Mars’ words to heart, however: later, he summons Desperate to the station for a talk, briefly apologizing for not giving the case enough attention before trying to let himself off the hook again: they have thousands of missing persons cases every year; there’s only so much they can do, but they do their best.

Duke Silver: Look, let’s just move forward, ok? Shopgirl: what do you know about her?
Desperate: I know she worked with my sister. And I know she’s a liar. She said Georgina was scared of me; she told Victoria Mars.
Duke Silver: Can we PLEASE talk about something other than her?

His wish is about to be granted, but only because someone is firing off a gun in the station. Even worse, it’s coming from inside a cell. How did the arrested man get the gun, you might ask? It’s exactly what you might think: Baby Detective, the absolute goober, had it taken off him when he put the man in the cell.

Duke Silver: It is just WILD to me that someone like you somehow became a detective.
Baby Detective: Can I tell you how?
Duke Silver: It was a RHETORICAL question. But here’s a real one: why do you want to do this job? You look more like a poet than a cop.
Baby Detective: Compliment! I want to be like Lord Byron!
Duke SIlver: My guy, you are a full blown disaster and a danger to yourself and everyone else. You’re fired. Leave.

Yeah, sounds about right. But also, I have a sneaking suspicion Duke Silver should have let the kid explain why he’s somehow a detective despite being terrible at the job; that doesn’t just happen on accident! Anyway, across town, Victoria Mars is rooting around in her bag for the office key when someone sneaks up behind her. Obviously, she’s ready for that, and whirls around with a knife at the ready to find… Moses! Again!

Moses, hilarious as ever: You told me you don’t want me to wait inside, sooooo…
Victoria Mars: I could have killed you!
Moses: LOL, that knife couldn’t open a letter.
Victoria Mars: Ugh, whatever: what did you find out?

Quite a lot, as it happens: Shopgirl was making a LOT more money than she should have been, according to her bank account. This obviously brings up a lot of questions, including: how does Moses get this info anyway? At least it does explain how Shopgirl could afford such a fancy apartment. Moses also tells Victoria Mars that Shopgirl had been making regular payouts to another account, belonging to… Manager?

A monkey puppet makes a shocked face.

Speaking of whom, Manager is in the midst giving a customer the hard sell when he’s interrupted by a fabulously dressed woman named Clementine who insinuates that she kept our boring mustachioed middle manager company the night before… adult company, if you catch my drift. That’s all it takes for Manager to pull her aside, which gives Clementine the opportunity to deliver a message, pulled, naturally, from DEEP in her cleavage. You guessed it: the note came from Victoria Mars, and it was more like a summons to meet our detective friend at the pub.

Manager, arriving at Victoria Mars’ table: Ugh, that was embarrassing!
Victoria Mars: Well, you obviously weren’t going to talk to me at your office, so I sent in a colleague.
Manager: If she’s a colleague, then I know what kind of business you get up to.
Victoria Mars: Interesting. But less interesting than YOUR business, bud. I know Shopgirl was paying you off, and since you’re talking to me now, I know you don’t want that info to get out.
Manager, caving like a wet paper bag: I arrange… liaisons… between the girls and rich customers. For cash.
Victoria Mars: So THAT’S how she had all that extra money. Would any of these clients have wanted Shopgirl dead? Someone married, maybe?
Manager: I couldn’t say; she was SUPER popular. I’ll miss her… and the money she made me.
Victoria Mars, asking the obvious next question: What about Georgina? Who’d she see regularly?
Manager: Georgina? No, she didn’t have any; he wouldn’t share her. Oh, oops.

A man says "I shouldn't have said that. I should NOT have said that."

Victoria Mars: Look, I’m going to threaten you now: if you don’t tell me more I’ll spill this secret to anyone who’ll listen. Including my pal Duke Silver. And then you’re done for.
Manager, surprising Victoria Mars but unfortunately not me: It was Mr. Wentworth.

YUCK. Obviously, Victoria Mars follows this up by asking for Wentworth’s schedule, so she can use his daily leering time to break into his office. They put the plan in place shortly thereafter, with Manager standing guard. After some snooping, Victoria Mars ultimately gets to pull out her lockpicking skills to break into a cabinet, and finds what she’s looking for inside: Georgina’s clothes, which she quickly brings to Duke Silver’s office to dump on his desk, vindicated.

Duke Silver: And how do you know these are hers?
Victoria Mars: They have her name sewn into them. So. If Wentworth murdered her, it was almost certainly to keep her from talking about their affair, right? Maybe she threatened to tell the wife! Maybe Shopgirl found out and bribed Wentworth about it! That would explain her extra cash, and it’d give him a motive to kill her too!
Duke Silver: My dude, you keep jumping to conclusions like you’re American Track and Field phenom Carl Lewis.
Victoria Mars: He won’t be born for almost a hundred years, but go off, I guess? Someone has to care about this and you’re too busy moping around to do it. I told you I was sorry for opening the case!
Duke Silver: Don’t do that! You pretend like you’ve never done anything wrong and then convince me to believe the lie; it’s mean!
Victoria Mars, reluctantly: UGH you’re right, I didn’t apologize. I do now. I’m sorry, I should have talked to you first.
Duke Silver: If you had, and I asked you not to take it, would that have made any difference at all?
Victoria Mars:

A man looks uncomfortable over a caption that says [awkward silence]

Duke Silver: Great. Noted. Huh, that telegram was sent from Buckinghamshire. And Wentworth has a country home there.

Well well well. That sure makes him seem even guiltier, doesn’t it? Both detectives head for a carriage to go out talk to him, but conveniently (for Wentworth, not so much for his wife) Mrs. Wentworth has gone into labor, and both Wentworths have left for the aforementioned country home. Arriving on the very fancy estate’s doorstep, the detectives introduce themselves to the timid maid, and then, hearing a baby cry, bowl right past her and head upstairs to investigate. Following the crying, they find a lot more than they bargained for: Mrs. Wentworth didn’t just have a baby. But Georgina did.

A group of children gasp

In the next room, the detectives sit down with the Wentworths and finally get the whole story: Mrs. Wentworth wasn’t able to have children, and then super conveniently found Georgina crying over her affair with Mr. Wentworth, and the resulting pregnancy in the store one night. Given Georgina’s family history, she was even more upset about having a baby out of wedlock, so naturally Mrs. Wentworth offered to take the baby and pass it off as her own.

Mr. Wentworth: Georgina got really sick during the pregnancy. She thought she might die, so she wrote to Shopgirl and asked her friend to explain what had happened to Desperate.
Mrs. Wentworth: But Shopgirl used that information to blackmail us.
Mr. Wentworth: We’d have been humiliated! A laughingstock!
Mrs. Wentworth: Maybe you should have thought of that before you got someone else pregnant, dude.
Duke Silver: … so, Shopgirl started asking for too much, and you dealt with her?
Mrs. Wentworth, a dark horse: It was me. I took the gun, just to scare her, but when I got there she called me an unnatural, defective woman because I couldn’t have a baby. She was so cruel, and I didn’t mean to do it, but I killed her.

Oof. Just a bummer all around, but, silver lining: at least Desperate and her daughter (and new grandbaby) are reunited! While the Wentworths are led away in handcuffs, Victoria Mars broaches all the awkwardness with Duke Silver: they have a lot to talk about, huh?

Duke Silver: Well, we still have our dinner reservation. We can talk then? Apparently New Superintendent wants to speak with me first.

Victoria Mars agrees, but folks, I have a bad feeling that this dinner date is going to end in disaster, if it even happens, because she is clearly not about to give up this profession for any man.

A woman emphatically says "good for her."

Back at the station, Duke Silver walks into what I’m sure he thinks is going to be another fun meeting with the new boss, and is surprised to see Baby Detective already sitting across from New Superintendent. Look, we all guessed that Baby Detective is somehow special, and that explains the incompetence, right? Duke Silver, alas, did not surmise as much, and doubles down on his earlier condemnation of the kid: he’s not ready to be a constable, nevermind a detective. New Superintendent sends Baby Detective out, and only once the kid’s gone does he reveal that Baby Detective? He’s the Commissioner’s son.

Duke Silver: Well, he’s clearly getting promoted beyond what he can handle. We have to stop it!
New Superintendent: LOL, guess again, pal. I’ve been stuck with him for years, and now he’s your problem.
Duke Silver: Are you saying I can’t fire one of my own employees?
New Superintendent: I’m saying you can handle him. These things have to happen sometimes to keep things running smoothly. You get it, right?
Duke Silver, realizing that he overestimated how cool his his cool new boss is:

A man says "I've made a huge mistake."

Across town, Ivy puts the finishing touches on Victoria Mars’ new dress.

Ivy: Stay out of manure, please: I can’t keep making you new dresses. Ugh, you look beautiful. Just like your mom, and she’d be so happy to see you dating. I am too, for that matter: I don’t want you to be alone.
Victoria Mars: I’m not alone — I have you!

Awwwww! This cute moment is interrupted by a knock at the door: it’s Wednesday, and as you may recall, that means that Super Rooper’s cousin Glasses is here for tea. Victoria Mars halfheartedly heads over to invite her in, and then offers up some cake, which Glasses pretends to decline out of politeness before grabbing an absolutely gigantic slice, to which I again say:

A woman emphatically says "good for her."

Glasses: My aunt is trying to be nice; asking me here to be her companion is good for me.
Victoria Mars: Yeah, but it’s also good for her.
Glasses: I can’t blame you for disliking her; my cousin explained the backstory. So that’s why I came up with this genius plan! See, Snooty is on the board for the Ladies’ Cultural Society, and they need speakers. I thought you’d be a great choice!
Victoria Mars: Why would I want to do that? Sounds awful.
Glasses: I was hoping we could become friends. I don’t have any. And that would be easier if Snooty approved of you.
Victoria Mars, can’t resist a bumbling goober sidekick, but also isn’t going to be nice to Snooty: Glasses, look: I don’t need or want Snooty’s approval.
Glasses: You’re so lucky. You have such freedom. Sure, you’re a woman, and that comes with a lot of nonsense, but you know who you are and what you want. You don’t care if people don’t approve of you. THAT is freedom.

She’s right, and Victoria Mars knows it. That might be why she’s pouring a truly MASSIVE whiskey when Duke Silver arrives to take her to dinner, and why she makes him sit down before they go: it’s real talk time.

Victoria Mars: You asked me if I’d have listened if you said not to take that case? Well, denying me anything just makes me want it more. My freedom to make my own decisions and take on the cases I care about is everything to me. You mean a lot to me, but I will never let anyone tell me what to do. If we’re going to have a future together, you need to know that. Before we go to dinner.
Duke Silver: I canceled our reservation. If we were anything more than friends my position would be untenable. I’m already undermined all the time at work; I can’t take added humiliation. It’s better for us both if we just leave things as they are. For now.

My dude, I agree, but if you want that to happen you might not want to stand so close to each other in this firelit room! It’s just too romantic! Sensing danger, Duke Silver leaves. They both think about chasing the other down to take back what they said. But ultimately, they both decide this is probably the right call. For now. What kind of shenanigans will they get up to next time? Will Baby Detective ever learn? Will Glasses and Victoria Mars become friends? We’ll just have to wait for Episode 2 to find out!