Part 1 of a three-part drama about the friendship between two young women---lower-class Sue Trinder (Sally Hawkins) and heiress Maud Lilly (Elaine Cassidy)---in 1860s London. But as Part 1 opens, Sue and Maud aren't yet friends. In fact, Sue has been enlisted by con man Richard Rivers (Rupert Evans) to worm her way into Maud's good graces as part of a scheme to defraud her of her inheritance. Mrs. Sucksby: Imelda Staunton. Uncle Lilly: Charles Dance.
Conclusion. Maud and Rivers (Elaine Cassidy and Rupert Evans) are married, and it is Sue (Sally Hawkins)---not Maud---who finds herself in an asylum, a turnabout engineered by Mrs. Sucksby (Imelda Staunton). The guilt-ridden Maud has feelings for Sue, but she has very good reasons for wanting to get away from her cruel Uncle Lilly (Charles Dance). Then Maud learns about how she came into the world, and how Sue did as well. “Fingersmith” is Victorian-era slang for pickpocket.