Episode 6 begins with a piece of very key information: the time has come for the annual Tremontaine Swan Ball. A ball, you say, oh episode authors Patty Bryant and Racheline Maltese? Color us excited!
One person slightly less excited is Duchamp, the Tremontaine steward. Particularly as he is well aware of the household’s falling fortunes and just what creativity he will have to implement to ensure this year’s ball lives up to standard. Best of luck, Duchamp!
Over in Riverside, Vincent is schooling Kaab in swordplay. In the burnt out shell of a dilapidated building he’s proving himself to be an adept – if strict – teacher while Kaab struggles to keep the frustration of a tired and grumpy pupil in check. She mostly manages, and during a break fills him in on her knowledge of Ben’s murder and the assumed connection to the swordsman Vincent followed to the gates of Tremontaine last episode. Vincent listens with interest, but then it’s back to business. En Garde, Kaab – and watch your flank.
Back at House Tremontaine, a different and far more subtly battle practice is taking place as Rafe, in his role as secretary to William, is forced to lend Diane a helping hand in her preparations for the ball. Knowing him as we do, it’s a rather impressive feat that he manages to hold his tongue while writing invitations at the Duchess’ direction – all while weathering her particular brand of shade. In the end, her perfectly calm demeanor has him almost convinced that she is naïve to his relationship with Will…but he still knows better than to trust (or like) her.
A quick jump to Micah sees her finally giving up the goat and writing to her family telling them she intends to stay in the City until her math work is complete. The poor girl’s been wracked with guilt for weeks so it’s nice to see her come to a decision, particularly one that (for once) puts herself first. You go, Micah. Do that math! (Her letter home also included directions to name a baby cow Trigonometry which is just 8 kinds of adorable.)
We return to Kaab as she tiredly makes her way back to the Balam compound. She’s been absent more often than not these days, what with her slipping off to Riverside, so is surprised to walk in on an unusually quiet house. All her relatives are gathered, she learns, around a recent message from none other than Duchess Tremontaine – it seems they have been invited to the ball! Feeling guilty for being so absent, Kaab offers to investigate this unprecedented invitation, claiming an in with the Duchess’ secretary.
She begins her enquiry forthwith at the Ink Pot. Micah is there working on numbers and eventually the two are joined by Rafe and two of his friends. An amusing – if frustrating – conversation ensues in which Kaab tries to pick Rafe’s brain, Micah learns what a ball is and becomes very concerned with the menu for such an endeavor, and Rafe bemoans his lot at being forced to be involved with such a trifling thing.
Kaab returns home disheartened at her failure to learn anything of note but, it turns out, she learned more than enough! Saabim, her aunt, astutely questions Kaab’s recollections from the Ink Pot and discerns from the proposed menu Rafe grumbled about that House Tremontaine is clearly not as wealthy as they pretend. This gives credence to Saabim’s working theory that the Duchess is experiencing financial difficulty—and looking to the Kinwiniik for a solution to her woes. But, Saabim reveals, Diane has thus far failed to deliver on her promise to lower the chocolate tariffs so perhaps the situation is even worse than they can perceive.
The next day Micah drags Kaab and Rafe to the Market as she’s gotten it into her head that her cousin Reuben simply must provide House Tremontaine with turnips for their ball. Reuben good-naturedly shifts her off the idea (Tremontaine has their own produce production, after all) and accidentally sets her upon a new one: attending the ball herself. Rafe attempts to distract her but she’s having none of it – and with Kaab’s encouragement they harangue the reluctant secretary into procuring an invite for her.
The next stop for Rafe is to track down Will at a suit fitting for a quickie—er—we mean quick visit. The two remain blissfully unaware that Diane knows of their affair.
The next stop for Kaab and Micah is Tess’, to discuss wardrobe and forgeries. The star charts Kaab asked Tess to copy (with edits) are finished, as is Tess’s drawing of the mysterious locket that seems to be at the heart of Ben’s mysterious death. From there it’s off to the costumer’s where the question of what the Balams should wear is answered when Tess suggests they wear their traditional cloth in the local style.
Up next? Why, the ball of course! See you on the dance floor…