The second season of HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’ opens the door for a romance for Aunt Ada. Having never found the right man, she was a spinster living with her sister, Agnes. Even though she was being taken care of by Agnes, Ada had no money to her name. Though Agnes made sure that her sister would be looked after in the event of her death, Ada would still be alone. But all of that changed when she married Reverend Luke Forte. While their marriage is tragically brief, being with Luke changes Ada’s life forever in more ways than one. SPOILERS AHEAD
Aunt Ada is Unbelievably Rich, Thanks to Her Husband
When Aunt Ada met Reverend Forte, she was taken by him immediately. He was charming and likable, and Ada liked spending time with him. The more they talked, the more common ground they discovered between each other. The more they saw each other, the more they realized they wanted to see each other in the future. At first, Ada is apprehensive about Agnes’ reaction, but knowing that she is head over heels in love with Luke, she decides to go against Agnes (something she’d never have done before) and marries Luke.
One of the things that makes Agnes worry about Ada and Luke’s relationship is that they don’t really know much about him. He tells them a little about his family, that they are Italian, that his father was Catholic but his mother Episcopalian, and he got into the latter due to his mother. What he doesn’t talk about is his financial situation, but it’s clear that he is not marrying Ada in the hopes of getting some money from Agnes, unlike a previous character who tried that not once but twice. The love between Ada and Luke is purely for each other, and there is no talk of money. Not until his death.
When Luke dies, Ada inherits everything he has. She doesn’t expect it to be much, considering that her husband was a pastor and didn’t seem to have a lot of belongings. But, going through the documents, she discovers Luke’s will, and with it comes a secret he had been keeping from everyone. Apparently, Luke was not as modest as he looked when it came to money. He had tons of money, and all of that now belongs to Ada.
It turns out that when Luke turned towards religion and chose to be a pastor, he decided to leave all material things behind. He didn’t want anything, but he couldn’t do away with the factory that he’d inherited. He had no interest in running it, but he knew that if he closed the place, it would cost a lot of people their jobs. Considering that he wasn’t exactly needed to run the place, and it seemed to be doing well on its own, he saw no reason to shut it down. Instead, he let the business go on, though he never touched a penny that came from it.
While Luke might not have been very focused on the business, it flourished, and it did so well that it raked in a whole lot of money. So much in fact that Luke and his children, if he had any, would be set for life. Now, with his death, all of that is passed on to his next of kin, his only living family, his wife, Ada. When she discovers how much money comes from the business and how successful it actually is, Ada realizes that she is incredibly rich now.
This is quite a turn of events for Ada, who had been practically broke her entire life. She never had any money to her name. Whatever her father had fell to her brother, who squandered it all away, even leaving his only daughter penniless. Ada had to live with Agnes, and had to follow the rules laid down by her elder sister, even if they didn’t feel right to her. Now, however, everything has changed. In fact, to put it bluntly, the tables have turned for Ada and Agnes.
Now, with Ada being the one paying for everything, she is the one in charge of things. She is not the demure little sister Agnes was used to anymore. In fact, she is more confident, not only because she has survived a tragedy but also because she now has the one thing that grants power and position in her society: loads of money, and this has completely rearranged the board in her favor.