Portofino Hotel Recap: Episode 5
Portofino Hotel airs Sundays at 7:00 p.m. WTTW Passport members can now stream the entire show. Recap the previous episode.
Pelham Wingfield hopes to avoid seeing anyone as he sneaks off to a tennis match in another town, but Bella is already awake and asks him to post a letter to her when he gets there. Upstairs, Cyril reads Bella’s letter to a lover, given to him by Danioni.
The Italian causes other problems for Bella: he shows up with a health inspector, who declares that the kitchen is unhygienic. The hotel will be closed in two weeks unless Bella starts paying the Danioni protection money again, he implies.
Jack soon wakes the whole hotel up screaming: Rubens’ painting has disappeared from its frame in his room. Danioni takes matters into his own hands and insists that no one return to their room until the police arrive, even though most of the guests are still undressed.
Bella will send Billy for the police, but Danioni recognizes him as the boy who stole a bike – although Billy insists he wanted to return it – and so Billy tries to get away. Jack catches him, and Cecil insists that Billy be locked in the addiction as the painting’s most likely thief. Cecil’s butler is sent for the police instead.
Billy pretends to have a medical crisis, so Bella summons Anish. Billy tells him that the anti-fascist pamphlets are hidden under Lady Latchmere’s bed and that the spare keys to all the rooms are in Billy’s room. The police will find everything.
Jack suspects Pelham in addition to Billy, given that the tennis star has left the hotel, although he’s supposed to be back – his wife Lizzie is still there. Jack is upset to learn that Claudine met Lizzie before going to bed, as she was supposed to guard the painting. He threatens her and tells her to take her side.
But when Cecil implies that Jack is lying about not letting the painting out of his sight or Claudine’s, he gets Claudine to admit that she left the room to meet Lizzie. This means there was a time when the painting was alone, and also when Lizzie couldn’t provide Pelham with an alibi.
Lizzie is happy with how her evening went, despite the drama: with Claudine’s help, she finally convinced Pelham to take an interest in her in bed.
Before the police arrive, the butler sent to pick them up confirms to Danioni that the police should look under Lady Latchmere’s bed – he overheard Billy telling Constance about the pamphlets.
The police prevent anyone from leaving and search everyone’s rooms. Lucian notices that Anish seems stressed and discovers the brochures. They both tell Bella and Alice, and they all go through the options. Danioni wants the hotel closed, so they can’t tell the truth. They can’t rely on finding the painting, as Lucian suspects Pelham got away with it. Anish wants to martyr himself but Lucian won’t let him, and Alice wants Billy to take the blame.
Bella begins by warning Lady Latchmere, who has a solution: she will say that the pamphlets are hers. She doesn’t like tyrants like Mussolini, since her husband is a tyrant – he coerced his late son to enlist in the war. Bella admits that Cecil did the same to Lucian. Later, observing the lack of love between Lucian and Rose, she tells Lucian not to feel pressured into getting married.
But the police find nothing but the keys in Billy’s room. Billy swears to his mother that he didn’t take the painting. She believes him, but he will still be taken in for questioning. The Ainsworths summon a lawyer for the boy, and the lawyer arrives with his son as a translator.
The son is Anish’s antifascist lover, Gianluca. Anish and Lucian offer to go to town with Billy, as does Albani. The Count learned of Danioni’s attempt to shut down the hotel via a fake breach of Bella’s health and offered to speak to Danioni, understanding that there was another, deeper issue between Bella and Danioni.
He chats with Danioni about the English and asks him about the inspection and why Danioni is trying to have the hotel shut down, especially since Albani recommended the hotel to a prominent Italian politician. Danioni tears up the health inspection notice.
Gianluca apologizes to Lucian and Anish, then sends Lucian to tell Billy that the pamphlets are missing: Lucian and Anish don’t know where they are. Gianluca says goodbye to Anish, as he leaves to fight the fascists in a bigger city. He warns Anish that the fascists will never allow him to live safely.
Albani also warns Bella about Danioni and his party: she is free of Danioni’s interference for now, but until she addresses his hold on her, he will keep coming back.
Albani is a good man, but his interest in the Ainsworths’ affairs is bolstered by his love for Alice, who believes it was her son Roberto who tried to woo her. She offers to teach Roberto English when she hears him complimenting a “beautiful lady”, but as soon as Albani accepts for her son, she realizes that Roberto was talking about Constance, not her.
Constance is also smart: she was the one who moved the pamphlets, secreting them outside the hotel in a laundry basket. She returns them to Anish and Lucian. Perhaps Lucian will soon let their relationship flourish: his lover Paola has refused him and told him not to come back, not without difficulty on his part.
Another relationship ends when Cecil accuses Jack of stealing the painting in order to defraud Cecil of his money by jointly selling the painting. The two men shout to each other that they will involve their lawyers, and Claudine refuses to accompany Jack when he says he is leaving. Go back to your wife, she said, receiving a barrage of invective in return. The rest of the hotel guests, especially the women, defend Claudine and denounce Jack, who is expelled.
That’s not the only insider accusation regarding the painting. Danioni implies that Cecil is behind the theft, and Cecil becomes enraged. He accuses Danioni of being involved in a scheme involving the paint with the police. Bella surprises.
That night, she goes to tell Cecil about her affair and finds him reading her letter from Danioni – he already knows that. He slaps her to the ground.