The English – Episode 6 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Cherished

Does David Melmont destroy Thomas Trafford’s hay?

At Powder River, a rider approaches Trafford’s winter haystack. He shoots a flaming arrow at it, then kills those standing guard so that the hay burns to the ground.

Earlier, a man had warned Thin Kelly that Melmont has something on his side. A “thing” that does everything Melmont wants.

Even with this newest misfortune, Trafford doesn’t want to give up. He wants to move his herd to Alberta, although Thin knows Melmont won’t let him make it.

What does Sheriff Marshall discover about Billy Myers?

At Martha’s, the sheriff asks the widow about the picture of McClintock, Myers, and Flynn at Fort Fetterman. He notices an artifact from Chalk River, 1875, which piques his curiosity. When he learns Myers was given a dishonorable discharge from the army, he asks Red Morgan to find out why.

Red discovers that Myers and Flynn were officially discharged due to having illicit sex–but the discharge was also tied to the unauthorized massacre and scalping of Cheyenne Indians. Red is directed to a former prostitute called The Black Widow to find out more.

Later, when the sheriff hears that Trafford brands his cattle on the left rear hip, he thinks of something. Inspecting the pictures of Myers’ and Flynn’s bodies, he realizes the “B” branded on them isn’t actually a “B,” but a “TT” (along with the curve of the branding iron)–standing for “Thomas Trafford.”

Why is Thomas Trafford’s arm branded?

Sheriff Marshall confronts Trafford about the brandings, and he admits that he branded the men when they came into town. He hated their part in the massacre at Chalk River and the audacity they showed in settling down on his land. But he didn’t kill them. 

Trafford also didn’t brand Melmont. He and McClintock had already made their way to Alamosa to strike gold.

He then pulls up his sleeve to show the very same brand. But this one is meant to be read as “DD.” Trafford received it for being dishonorably discharged from the army. “The shame is on us all,” he tells the sheriff.

He then reveals something about Hoxem: The Cheyenne call the area The Stench. Melmont built the city on their burial ground following the massacre.

What disease does Cornelia have?

Eli takes Cornelia and White Moon to find help from a doctor. In a private appointment, he reveals what she already knows. She has syphilis. The sexually-transmitted disease has different stages. It becomes latent and sometimes doesn’t come back. But hers did.

She knows what the syphilis will do to her, what it already has started to do to her. It will erode her tissue and bone, especially in her face. She lists off more symptoms: blindness, deafness, insanity, death.

The doctor gives her something to help her complete her mission–but he can’t save her from her fate.

How did Melmont kill Cornelia’s son?

When Red sees The Black Widow, he finds the woman’s face eaten away by syphilis. She was the prostitute Melmont slept with before going to London and raping Cornelia.

Cornelia explains to the doctor that her son was born with syphilis (because Melmont’s syphilis was active when he raped her). It was the syphilis that caused the boy to die at the age of 14.

She shows him a picture of her son, his face badly scarred. The doctor doesn’t flinch, but is moved by a mother’s love. This causes Cornelia to trust him. She decides to leave him money to invest in his business venture to create Flathead Jack’s Wild West Show. The condition is that he has to take care of White Moon and send her a picture of him when he is 18.

Did Eli know about Cornelia’s syphilis?

Additionally, Cornelia wants a photograph from the doctor of herself and Eli while her face is still unscarred. They pose for the picture, and Cornelia says she has to tell Eli something.

Eli stops her. He already knows. This causes her to turn her face to him just as the doctor takes the picture. In the finished photograph, Cornelia’s face is blurred.

Does Martha Myers have syphilis?

Red returns from his investigation to find Trafford gone. Eli and Cornelia then arrive to ask after Melmont and Billy Myers. They receive the news that Melmont isn’t present, and Myers is dead, so they pay a visit to Martha.

The sheriff is still with Martha. He asks her why she married Billy. She says Melmont got her pregnant in Alamosa. She didn’t exactly have any choices when she met Billy.

They then notice Thin Kelly making his way towards them, but he drops to the ground from a gunshot wound. Eli, Cornelia, and Red arrive; and they try to save Thin inside.

Eli notices the picture on the wall of McClintock, Myers, and Flynn–and hidden under the frame, Melmont–at Chalk River. Red reveals to everyone that they all had syphilis from a lady’s house they went to. That’s why Flynn killed his wife. She didn’t have cowpox on her hands, but the syphilis he gave her.

Martha tells her son Jed to go outside, not wanting him to know that they might have the disease. He takes a sword and angrily smashes the picture before leaving, then goes outside to break the sword on a post.

Cornelia assures Martha that there is a latent stage of syphilis. Melmont’s was likely latent when he slept with Martha, so she and Jed probably never had syphilis.

What happens to McClintock and Trafford?

Suddenly, a rider starts shooting at Martha’s house. They get on the roof and shoot down at them. Eli runs out to confront McClintock, whose face is badly deformed by syphilis.

McClintock is the one who has been helping Melmont by sabotaging Trafford. Eli shoots at him, but the man escapes.

Later, they discover McClintock’s dead body and also learn that Trafford died in a flash flood.

Who kills David Melmont?

Before tracking down Melmont, Eli tells Cornelia it isn’t her nature to kill, but she insists she can’t let go of her revenge yet.

When they find Melmont, he has Jed tied up. The boy had tried to come after him with a broken sword.

Cornelia then shows Melmont the sores on her chest. She claims he killed her. Why isn’t the disease taking him? Melmont says his own syphilis came and went away.

He wonders if Cornelia killed her own child because of the disease, which angers her. “I cherished him,” she says of her son. “Why?” he asks. Because she was his mother.

Cornelia pulls her gun on Melmont, but he’s not scared. He walks forward to kiss the barrel of the gun. He tells her she can’t kill him. As long as he lives, so does a piece of her son.

But Martha doesn’t care. She shoots Melmont. And Eli finishes him off with the broken sword as Martha frees Jed.

Do Eli and Cornelia stay together?

After Melmont dies, Sheriff Marshall moves into action. He knows someone has to be held accountable, or Melmont’s workers will riot. 

He’s going to say McClintock and Melmont died in a fight with each other. But he says that story will only work if Eli leaves town for good.

Eli and Cornelia stall, however. He tells her it’s time for her to go home. “Home is here with you,” she tells him. But he has to go back to his home. He at least has to see it before he can let it go.

Eli tells Cornelia she need only to look at the constellations to be reminded that the wolf is right beside Scorpio. That won’t ever change.

They hug, and he kisses her on the forehead. As Cornelia rides away, Eli chants. “I cherish you,” he says in Pawnee.

How does ‘The English’ end?

The English skips forward 13 years, to London in 1903. Cornelia is back home, and she kept many mementos of her journey.

She’s now covered in a black veil so no one can see her scars. Flathead Jackson’s True Tales of the Wild West has come to Windsor, so she stops by to pay a visit to White Moon, who is a young man now.

White Moon tells her he plays Eli in the show. Before they part, he lifts her veil to kiss her face, without flinching.


The Episode Review

For such a sweeping and emotional drama, The English falls flat in its attempt to deliver a satisfying and heartfelt ending. 

It’s almost as if writers knew they wanted the series to have a complicated, imperfect ending–but couldn’t come up with any reasons for what they settled on. Trafford’s death was resolved quickly off screen, which writers tried to lend significance to by drawing a connection between his character and Cornelia, as if their love had already been well-established. (It hadn’t.)

The end of Cornelia and Eli’s relationship has even less rhyme or reason to it. After it’s so emphasized how they are home to each other, not enough reason is given for their parting. And the message forced from the first episode, about what one wants vs. what one needs, doesn’t resolve itself at all, because it isn’t made clear how either Cornelia’s or Eli’s fate is what they need.

The suspense of the finale will at least have you holding your breath, but its saving grace is in Blunt and Spencer’s chemistry. There’s such tenderness in their parting, subverting the rough, lone ranger stereotype in western romances. It’s Cornelia and Eli, along with the series’ stunning visuals, that make The English worth watching.

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13 thoughts on “The English – Episode 6 Recap, Review & Ending Explained”

  1. I loved it and the chemistry between Blunt and Spencer was so amazing, I was in love with Eli by the end, but Rafe Spall copying the accent of Tom Hardy’s Alfie character in Peaky Blinders got on my nerves despite Melmonts character being fantastically bad ass! This overview of the episodes explained the things I didn’t quite get. My heart was broken that she couldn’t be with Eli at the end. Well worth the watch even with all the confusion!!!

  2. I agree with most of the commentary. This was an uneven series that had some great performances and chemistry with the leads, but the pacing was uneven, it was hard to follow at times. Trafford’s connection to Cornelia was really underplayed which was a miss that could have tied the story together. Lastly, Rafe Spall was fantastic as Malmont even though he was hard to understand, but a scary and loathsome character and great bad guy.

  3. Worst mini series ever. Made zero sense, was boring both me and my spouse disliked it.

  4. Great review and it helped me fill in a lot of the gaps that were hard to decipher from the episode. I quite enjoyed the first episode which had elements of a Sergio Leone, gritty Western. However,I found myself fast forwarding through the last two episodes due to it’s fragmented plot and glacial pace. I still don’t understand the Travis character and his motivation. He came across as a feckless aristocrat but was described as opening up Wyoming. The random assortment of unusual characters like Mog and the Kills on Water were interesting but they did little to advance the story. I’m glad some people got something from it but That Dirty Black Bag was a lot better.

  5. If the writers had stretched this out a few more episodes it would have had a better end. Blunts and Spensers acting were phenomenal. I did however had a very difficult time understanding Melmonts speech through his dialect

  6. Chinook winds common in Eastern Washington winters … melt the snow in Pullman within a day! Grab some rays.

  7. “Chinook up my ass”…. Common in Alberta winters, fast warm wind. The one Leo thought was global warming when it happened, as it has been for a few thousands of years, when filming Revenant I believe

  8. The English kept me interested throughout its 6 episodes. I found the plot, setting and cast addictive, the casts chemistry was incredibly moving, with depths beyond measure. The action and struggles between immigrants and natives was a true reflection of those times.. For me the pinnacle of the drama was blunt and spencers devotion to their characters.. Their on screen presence and relationship was sheer magnetism, I couldnt take my eyes away from the screen Unfortunately not enough episodes.. Lets hope their is a season 2!

  9. Watched episodes back to back Blunt and Spencer’s film presence gave immediate credibility to the story their acting along with their chemistry on film was awsum and made it so watchable!

  10. In as much as I agree with the official write up above, I have to say I felt like I was watching a western version of Casablanca at the ending. the only difference was they where on horse back and Eli’s doesn’t hand her over to another man. I thought the action was good throughout but the story line was choppy and the sets included the same rock formations throughout. which made all of the travelling seem silly because they obviously weren’t getting anywhere but were supposedly travelling great distances. I thought blunt and spencer did an excellent job with what they had to work with and I can only blame preproduction and the writers and director for the issues stated. still an enjoyable piece of work but thin on story line and very complicated without offering much depth to many characters due to time restraints.

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