Becoming Karl Lagerfeld – Episode 4 Recap & Review

Bad Reputation

In episode 4 of Becoming Karl Lagerfeld, the tussle between Pierre and Karl intensifies as Karl is excluded not only from their social clubs but also as Chloé begins facing Pierre’s wrath with cancellations and no-shows of their upcoming projects. Clearly, Pierre has a lot of influence in the fashion industry, not only in France but abroad as well.

Therefore, Aghion asks Karl to apologize and mend his relationship with Pierre. These events and the black mark on Karl’s reputation, indirectly the consequence of Jacques and Yves’s relationship, strain Jacques and Karl’s relationship, with Jacques ultimately leaving Paris to stay at his family home.

Meanwhile, Anne-Marie Munoz and Karl meet secretly, where she tells him about Yves’s disappearance and deteriorating condition, the drugs he was taking, and how he is in a hospital. When Karl goes back home, his mother tells him about others treating her as a “Nazi.” Karl’s professional reputation had seeped into his family life as well.

So, using the fashion magazine Paris Match, Karl spreads the rumour about Yves’s death. To refute the claims of his death, Yves and Pierre are compelled to do an interview about Yves’s health condition, ruining his prestige forever.

During this time, Karl visits Jacques and finds his letter written for him, telling him that he’s leaving Paris. Karl also finds Yves’s letters written to Jacques and uses them to threaten the House of Saint Laurent into stopping Pierre from interfering with Karl and his business.

Back at his country home, Jacques has a difficult but fairly peaceful life. His father has an immune disease, and he has a difficult relationship with him. It’s revealed through his sister that Jacques left everything to pursue Karl. As time passes, Jacques begins reclaiming his old life, dressing as a normal man for church.

Karl visits him, telling Jacques how he’s dealt with the issue and wants to take him back home. Although Jacques is happy to see him and they share a close bond, Jacques decides to stay with his family and proceeds to mass. In the mass, he finally gains a hint of his father’s approval for following his family.

The Episode Review

Karl appears as a cunning businessman in this episode, leveraging the secrets of his rivals and orchestrating events that favour him, no matter the cost. We also get glimpses of the slurs he and his mother receive for being German. These slurs and constant references to his nationality highlight how he’s othered and bullied by those like Pierre.

It is this disrespect and otherness that fuel Karl’s ambitions, the consequences of which are reflected in his deteriorating relationships and neglect towards Jacques which would spill over to his choices and struggles in the last two episode of this season. 

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