Franklin – Season 1 Episode 5 “The Natural State of Man” Recap & Review

The Natural State of Man

Episode 5 of Franklin kicks off with Adams and Franklin sharing breakfast, where Adams queries Franklin about his whereabouts the previous night. Franklin casually mentions meeting with a renowned pharmacologist. Curiosity piqued, Franklin probes Adams about his true intentions in France, but Adams remains tight-lipped, citing confidentiality.

Adams isn’t impressed with Franklin’s methods, but Franklin defends them, stating that his strategies have successfully secured French support for America in the war. On a different note, Franklin is orchestrating a marriage for Temple with Cunegonde Brillon, which could secure Temple’s future in France like a second home.

It’s more of a business deal than a romantic affair. Franklin is confident that Anne Brillion will readily agree to the match, but Anne’s expression hints at possible reluctance. Temple, too, is unsure about marrying Cunegonde, but he realizes he can’t go against his grandfather’s wishes.

Franklin notices Anne looking gloomy at the party and approaches her. He learns that Anne is worried about something or someone coming between their friendship. Franklin tries to reassure her, but Anne remains doubtful. Adams and Franklin meet Vergennes and present him with a list of things they need from France.

The conversation takes a negative turn when Adams suggests that France is only helping America to keep them afloat, not to prevent them from drowning. However, Franklin coaxes Vergennes to loan them another three million livres.

On the flip side, Bancroft meets William Wentworth and demands that Wentworth pay him what he is owed as soon as possible. Wentworth asks Bancroft to have some patience and discusses their next move, which is to throw a wrench in Franklin’s plan by convincing him that Vergennes is acting in bad faith. Bancroft isn’t sure how to do it, but Wentworth suggests using Adams.

Gilbert is back in France and he’s got a plan that could crush the British at sea. Adams is worried about where the cash for this battle will come from. Temple suggests asking the towns for tribute, but Adams thinks this plan is a bit too wild. Franklin, though, thinks it’s just crazy enough to work.

Temple is also itching to sail with Gilbert, but Franklin wants him to stay put and marry Cunegonde. Unfortunately, that plan hits a snag when Anne puts her foot down. Thus, Temple decides to ditch his grandfather and joins Gilbert in attacking England.

The Episode Review

Franklin’s plan to ensure a secure and prosperous future for his grandson Temple hits a roadblock because of Anne.

The marriage between Temple and Cunegonde would bring them closer, but Anne is afraid it will drive a wedge between her and Franklin, which she wants to avoid. In case you haven’t caught on yet, Anne has developed feelings for Franklin, especially when she discovers her husband’s infidelity.

Now that Anne has refused, there’s a possibility that this decision will strain Franklin and Anne’s relationship.

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You can expect a full season review for Franklin when this series concludes!

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