Episode 6 Recap
The Nazis have taken over Paris—and Webster and Albert’s world, while the Gestapo has tightened its grip on Berlin—and the Rosslers. Catch up on all the action of World on Fire Episode 6, where Lois get a tender offer of love and Harry gets a top-secret offer that’s likely to get him killed!
Douglas is terrified to learn that Tom is missing, but he still holds out hope. He tells Lois that that if she won’t ask Harry for money for the baby, he will. But Lois has her own plans. She visits Harry, who has arrived home with another surprise for Robina: Demba, on his way to Scotland to train with the Free French. Lois accompanies Harry to the train station to say goodbye to Demba and afterwards, the two talk. It’s going well until Harry tries to take Lois’ hand, to which she angrily recoils, reminding him that he’s married. She tells him she wants him to stay away from her and the baby, who she plans to tell that its father died in the war. Harry feels gut punched.
As swastika flags unfurl from Paris’ buildings, German soldiers arrive at Albert’s club during his set. One Nazi in the audience, Sieber, is especially responsive, and seeks out Albert to give him a pamphlet explaining the Nazi policy on jazz music. He says with seeming sincerity and concern that he hopes it will convince Albert to leave Paris. Later, Albert tells Webster that Africans are already being picked up by the Germans, and he begs Webster to find him a way out of France.
At Lois and Connie’s military hospital performance, Harry’s shell-shocked rescue, Geoff, is in the audience. Because of her experience living with Douglas, Lois immediately recognizes his shell-shock and comforts him. Vernon, also in the audience, is impressed by her capacity to help.
Later, Vernon confesses to Lois that he’s “absolutely besotted with” her, and before walking away without an answer, tells her that wants to look after her and the baby. Lois is stunned, and for once, without a snappy retort.
Tom survived Dunkirk and was brought to recover at the American hospital in Paris. Webster has a plan to get Tom out: he’ll be registered as an Injured Prisoner of War, and then (supposedly) die. They will smuggle him out across the Pyrenees into Spain, from Spain to Gibralter, and from there home. But first they have to get him out of the hospital, and before Tom is successfully smuggled out on a stretcher as a corpse, Sieber, the Nazi inspecting the hospital, almost discovers their corpse swap. When he emerges from the hospital, his contact, Giulia, escorts him all the way to the Spanish border, where she hands him over to the next contacts. She’s not sorry to be rid of him!
The Gestapo question Mr. Rossler about the missing Frau Pessler at his laundry. They also track down Mrs. Rossler and Hilda at the lake house, so the two return home to Berlin, much to Mr. Rossler’s panic—he hasn’t told her about the letter from the clinic. He tells his wife that they must leave and keep going, but before that’s possible, the Gestapo return. Then they arrest him, taking Mrs. Rossler as well, interrogating and humiliating her. They reveal that they know about Hilda’s epilepsy, and she sees there is no way out. When they release her, she races home and tells Hilda to pack—they’re going away. But when Mr. Rossler is released, he returns home to find utter horror: his wife has poisoned Hilda and then herself. Both are dead.
Webster returns home from the hospital to find that Nazis have taken over his apartment, and Albert is missing. He learns that Albert was arrested, and appeals to Sieber, who understands Webster and Albert’s relationship, to find out where Webster is being held. Visiting him at the Paris internment camp, he learns from Albert that he was arrested “for jazz, for being black, for being French…” When Webster says he’ll see if Sieber can get him out, Albert tells him not to do anything—if he’s transferred from there, it will probably be to someplace worse.
Harry goes to the Hotel Victoria in London, where a covert special branch of the War Office has summoned him to recruit him for a mission: to go undercover in France and Poland. Major Taylor tells Harry to improvise if he fails to meet his contact in Poland; the drop will probably kill him anyway.
Discover more about World on Fire:
Listen to Brian J. Smith, World on Fire‘s dreamy doctor Webster O’Connor, in a revealing interview with the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast.
Like the music of World on Fire? You’ll love MASTERPIECE’s playlist that rounds up Cole Porter, Billie Holiday and iconic artists whose songs appear in the show!