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Claire Crick

The New Look episode 9 recap: tragedy tears Coco Chanel's world apart

Juliette Binoche and Emily Mortimer in The New Look episode 9.

The New Look on Apple TV Plus is a remarkable story following the lives of renowned fashion designers Christian Dior (Ben Mendelsohn) and Coco Chanel (Juliette Binoche) against the devastating backdrop of World War II. 

The ninth episode of The New Look sees Christian Dior and Coco Chanel both separately trying to make their mark in the post-war world of fashion. The penultimate episode opens with a flashback to 1905 where we see a young Coco and Elsa meeting as friends and promising to stay together, whatever life throws at them.

Back in the present day, we then see Coco collecting Elsa from jail after she was arrested for threatening a man in a pharmacy in the previous episode as she hunted for drugs. As always, Elsa makes light of the situation, but Coco fails to see the funny side. 

Coco is adamant that Elsa needs help to clean up her act and tells her she should go and stay with her half-sister, Lottie, in London. Coco has packed all of Elsa's things to help her on her way, but soon Andre arrives, pleased to see Elsa out of jail, and tells Elsa and his aunt that he has planned a dinner with Spatz for the following evening. Coco is clearly uncomfortable with this idea, convinced that Spatz's cover will be blown and Andre will work out who he really is.

Coco collects Elsa from jail. (Image credit: Apple TV plus )

Meanwhile, Christian is preparing for his father's funeral, but before he leaves Paris he has a meeting with Cardin and offers him the job of Head Tailor at his fashion house. Cardin is thrilled and accepts immediately, but the good mood doesn't last long when Marcel Boussac and his team worry that Dior is behind schedule, understaffed and won't meet his deadline for his first collection. 

Soon Jacques comes to collect him for the funeral and when they arrive at Christian's father's house his brother Bernard is there who is on release from the psychiatric hospital he is currently in. Catherine tells Christian that their eldest brother, Raymond, has arrived. As the siblings say goodbye to their father at the funeral, Christian makes a heartfelt eulogy, but Raymond says he was too nice about their father in the speech. 

Later Tania's father comes to see the family and offers them a rose for their father's garden. He asks Catherine once again what happened to his daughter in the Ravensbrück concentration camp but she can't bring herself to tell him and hurries off. 

The family has a meal that evening, and Raymond is rude about Christian's new business, saying it will fail like their father's business did. He is also mean about Christian's relationship with Jacques and grills him on whether he still believes in tarot cards. 

Catherine says a final farewell to her father.  (Image credit: Apple TV plus )

Over in Switzerland Coco, Andre and Elsa are having dinner with Spatz, who is still going by his code name Peter Lang and maintains he was a silk merchant during the war. It is clear that Andre doesn't believe a thing he is saying and grills him about his relationship with Coco, which leaves her rattled. The pair leave the table and argue, with Spatz demanding his money from her, which she says he will get once she has come to an agreement with the Wertheimers.

Elsa finds Coco sitting alone outside that evening and they reminisce about the old days, but when Elsa tells Coco she thinks she should tell Andre the truth about her Nazi collaborations, Coco gets cross and they fall out, with Coco telling her friend that she never wants to see her again. 

The following day Coco goes for a meeting with her lawyer, where they discuss how much she can get from the Wertheimers, but while she is there Elsa calls her sister, Lottie, who tells her she isn't welcome in London and Elsa hangs up, feeling more alone than ever. But just while she is at her lowest point, Spatz comes to the hotel room and is vile to Elsa, giving her the drugs she is desperately trying to get clean from.

Spatz and Coco have a frank conversation.  (Image credit: Apple TV plus )

In France, Catherine tells Christian that she wants to stay at her father's house a bit longer and won't be coming back to Paris with him. But before he leaves he asks her about what happened to Tania, and when Tania's father arrives with more roses, she finally tells him what happened to his daughter. She recounts the fact Tania was her friend in the concentration camp and that she was dying from starvation, so Catherine stole a bit of bread for her. However, when the Nazis saw she had the bread they beat her until her teeth fell out and threw her in the ovens while she was still alive. 

Tania's father is devastated that not only is his daughter dead but that she suffered such a horrific fate, however, he is grateful to Catherine for telling him the truth and hugs her while Christian stands behind them realizing that he will never be able to imagine the horrors his sister has endured. 

Dior gets ruthless to save his new business.  (Image credit: Apple TV plus )

Meanwhile, a storm has broken out while Coco is driving home from her meeting and she is forced to stop and wait for the rain to ease in a local church. There she meets a man who tells her she should be grateful for her family and friends and encourages her to go home and make amends, which she does. But as Coco gets home, she finds Elsa dead on the sofa after taking too much of the drug that Spatz gave her. Coco is devastated that her best friend is gone and that they parted on bad terms.

Dior is back in Paris and knows he needs more seamstresses and models. Raymonde Zehnacker finds him in his office late at night, and with his brother Raymond's words ringing in his ears, he finally agrees that to be successful he is going to have to poach from other designers. He gives Raymonde the green light to employ his rivals' models and seamstresses for House of Dior to survive.

The New Look is available to stream worldwide on Apple TV Plus.

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