Episode 5 of Around the World in 80 Days begins with Fogg, Passepartout and Abigail arriving in Hong Kong. However, there’s a problem. Fogg’s finances have been cut off, thanks to Kneedling arriving with a forged letter earlier, stating he’s actually a police inspector. Kneedling intends to “arrest” Fogg when he arrives, pointing out to the bank that he’s a fraudster and they should be vigilant.
With no money and not many prospects, the pair need to bide their time but that’s easier said than done with Kneedling after them. Outside, the trio are greeted by Lady Clemency Rowbotham, the wife of the Governor of Hong Kong. She’s a big fan of Fogg’s expedition and encourages the trio to meet her husband, Henry. In fact, she even encourages Fogg to show up as the guest of honour to their garden party.
Before that, they rely on Passepartout’s contacts in Hong Kong to find a place to stay. Deep in the heart of the city, at a place called Tai Ping Shan to be precise. Abigail squeals with delight as she finds her article in the papers. Only, she begins to doubt whether Fogg will be best pleased with some of the things she’s written. Specifically the tragic romance involving Estella.
Passepartout’s destination in town is an old friend, Jiang Lei. He asks Jiang for a loan, just to pay for their passage through to Yokohama. He promises it’ll be repaid in a few days but there’s a catch. Jiang wants Passepartout to steal a precious artifact that was originally stolen from his family, an heirloom of sorts.
Jiang is well aware of Passepartout’s history, including his lucrative set of skills in stealing. This artifact happens to be at the Governor’s house, and as he has an invitation to their garden party, it’s the perfect front. Passepartout is left conflicted over what to do.
The garden party goes ahead, and Abigail does her best to try and hide what she’s written in the papers about Estella. When all the women approach Fogg, midway through the governor about to sign a loan for him, they encourage Fogg to join as they walk around the garden. There, they show off the White Dragon necklace, which is placed around Lady Clemency’s neck.
Eventually the news breaks about Fogg’s romantic woes and he’s crushed, humiliated by Abigail’s perceived betrayal. While Fogg and Abigail leave, engaged in heated conversation the whole way, Passepartout steals the White Dragon necklace, which is still around Lady Cemency’s neck when she’s asleep.
Passepartout eventually returns to Jiang with the necklace. As he hands it over, he tells Passepartout to leave Hong Kong.
Of course, this move sends ripples across Hong Kong as Fogg is arrested for stealing the necklace. Passepartout is furious and scrambles to try and save Fogg’s life before he’s flogged for his troubles. Just before he’s whipped a second time, Passepartout arrives with a note from the governor pardoning him.
After the events in Hong Kong, Fogg decides to stay alone in his cabin, reading Abigail’s article. They’re finally out of Hong Kong and, presumably, trouble. However, he’s approached by Kneedling, who decides that if you need a job done right then you should do it yourself. Brandishing a gun, Fogg’s life is left hanging in the balance.
The Episode Review
Around the World in 80 Days returns with a much better episode this time around. The humour involving Clemency calling Passepartout “passport” is a nice inclusion, while the whole event involving the White Dragon necklace, and tying that into larger themes involving love is a nice motif that rings right the way through this chapter.
The ending is perhaps a little contrived, rushing through the resolution to the necklace woes, but there’s a decent amount of work done to at least make this feel like an exciting chapter in Fogg’s journey.
Hopefully things will pick up from here though, as the cliffhanger at the end hints that we’ve got lots more drama to come.