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Charlotte Rawcliffe

Villainous jewel thief Charlotte Rawcliffe

Charlotte Rawcliffe (Arden Alfonso) is a hidden (remorseful) villainess from "Lines of Betrayal", episode 1.06 of The Pinkertons (airdate November 22, 2014). She was initially introduced as a witness to the murder of Mack Price, who was later revealed to be an undercover Pinkerton detective going under the alias Rutherford Smith. Afterwards, Charlotte was found by detective Kate Warne, with Charlotte disappearing when Kate went to chase the killer.

Charlotte reappeared in the episode by coming forward with her testimony, along with her brother Harry. When speaking with Kate and William Pinkerton, Charlotte claimed that "Rutherford" was her lover and was taking her home from a dinner engagement when he was shot in the back by an unknown man. As Charlotte was kept under police protection as Mack's death was investigated, she developed a quick friendship with Kate.

But after Charlotte identified drifter Swifty Pewter as Mack's killer in a line-up, Charlotte was revealed as a wanted jewel thief in fives states and was an inadvertent conspirator in Mack's murder, with her reveal coming when William learned that Swifty had an alibi for the time of Mack's death. Mack had been working undercover on the case of Missouri Copper, a copper company that was using blackmail to destroy their rival businesses to get ahead. When the company's manager, Nathaniel Cowan, found out that Mack was investigating his company, he ordered Charlotte to become close to him in a plot to silence him, blackmailing Charlotte with the fact that he'd caught her stealing from him. On the night of Mack's murder, Charlotte was instructed by Cowan to take Mack for a walk down by the train tracks, where Mack was killed by his former partner Theo Crompton, who had begun working for Cowan without the Pinkertons' knowledge. Later on, Charlotte was also ordered to finger Swifty as the killer to throw the investigation off of Cowan's track.

Shortly before she was revealed as a villainess, Charlotte fled Kate's home where she was resting after the line-up, doing so after making off with Charlotte's jewelry and providing it to a merchant she was supplying. Charlotte was later tracked down by Kate, leading her to apologize for robbing Kate and revealing that she was desperate to raise enough money to leave Kansas City, as she couldn't bear the thought of testifying against an innocent man. She later confessed to the Pinkertons her forced collusion with Nathaniel Cowan, as well as how she had no idea Cowan was planning to have Mack killed and wouldn't have gone along with Cowan's demand if she had. Wanting to capture Cowan, Kate sent out a telegram that Charlotte was in custody and was preparing to identify Mack's killer, doing so to lure Cowan into sending his hired gunman after her.

For the plot, Kate disguised herself as Charlotte, with Charlotte expressing worry that Kate could get killed if the plan went wrong. It was then, however, that Theo arrived and Charlotte's panicked expression revealed him as Cowan's hired gun. Daniel soon after came in and forced Leo to disarm himself, only for Cowan to come in moments later holding Charlotte at gunpoint. Before Cowan could leave with Charlotte as a hostage, however, Charlotte fought back against Cowan and disarmed him, allowing the Pinkertons to apprehend him while Theo was shot dead by Allan Pinkerton. It was later revealed that Kate decided to let Charlotte leave Kansas City, having grown fond of her and decided that she deserved a second chance.

Trivia

  • Despite having a Freudian Excuse, Charlotte Rawcliffe is The Pinkertons' first villainess.

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