Gilbert Massen is a lord and a high-ranking government official.
On the Monday of August 3, 1896, Massen watched as the Galanthi flew over London and emitted a bright-colored exhaust. It affected many people, including his daughter Lillie Massen, who fell as soon as the spot of light touched her. Massen ran to her and held her in his arms.
In 1899, Lord Massen attends a council meeting, where they discuss Maladie and her recent victims. Massen moves the discussion to the Touched and their placement in society. He decides that the Prime Minister will not be taking a position on the Touched, nor will he allow any official debate on the subject until they understand the nature of the attack. He recalls three years ago when reports on the Touched first emerged; all in London, mostly female, and not a single man of stature was afflicted, leading him to suspect that the Touched were afflicted with these abilities to be used against the empire.
That evening, Massen heads to the opera house. There, he discusses ancient prejudices and the specificity of modern language with Lavinia Bidlow and Amalia True. Halfway through the show, Maladie and Bonfire Annie make a surprise appearance, killing one of the actors before targeting the crowd. Massen then witnesses Mary Brighton singing a song that only the Touched can hear.
Two days later, Lord Massen, Lord Broughton, and Douglas Broome discuss the Touched and how Maladie has turned sentiment against them in the eyes of society. The house will nominate a special committee on the Touched, which will consist of the three of them. As for the opera house attack, Massen intends to keep the statement on the attack vague and wrothful, with no mention of Amalia True, who they begin to wonder is at the root of their "feminine plague."
Massen then approaches Hugo Swann about a rumor regarding the Ferryman's Club, which Hugo intends to turn into an actual business, and among his entertainers are few of the Touched. Massen refuses to allow Hugo to operate such an establishment in a public arena, due to the public fear and outcast of the Touched. However, Hugo notes that requests for membership into the Ferryman's Club have doubled since the attack on the opera house. When Hugo makes an off-hand remark about his father and his deteriorating mind, Massen grabs him by his jacket and reminds Hugo that Alastair Swann had one of the brightest minds in all of England. Hugo warns him that he had his lessons in fighting, then tells Lord Massen that the Ferryman's opens tonight. Massen remarks that he used to think that Hugo's father's mind worsened because Hugo's brother Caleb drowned, but it's more likely because Hugo didn't.
Massen leaves home to tend to matters of the union. The Massen Estate is in the process of installing a telephone, but he can't help but notice all the strange men working through his property. Mrs. Beechum then reveals that the under-butler heard Massen talking about a widow he met, a friend of Miss Bidlow's. Massen instructs Mrs. Beechum to fire the under-butler and commands her to give up her romantic yen for a mistress.
One of the men working to install phone lines at the Massen Estate heads down into the basement, where he listens to a distant chattering sound to a steel door. Inside, something is trying to escape. Mrs. Beechum appears behind him, claiming that rabid dogs reside behind the door and that it would be in his best interest to steer clear.
At the docks, Massen deals with the dockworkers demanding higher wages after they learned there are explosives among the cargo. Massen declares that the explosives are stable, then threatens to fire them should they continue seeking grievances.
Massen meets Amalia in his estate, who is investigating Mary's death. Massen, however, assures her that he had no involvement with Mary's killing. Whoever did kill Mary was making a public statement, Massen surmises. He suspects that Mary was killed not because she had enemies or was disliked, but because she was a pure and blameless woman who was a symbol of hope for the Orphanage.
Amalia reports back to the others that Massen admitted to killing Mary without explicitly saying that he gave the order. While they cannot simply kill Massen, Lucy Best suggests torching his warehouse full of munitions. Inside it, Amalia exposes the crates filled with rocks rather than the explosives Lucy claimed. Amalia accuses Lucy of being a mole working for Massen. Amalia decides to spare her life and send her off on a boat, but not before Lucy tells her everything she knows about Massen, starting with the munitions' location. Later, Massen gets word that the Paul Street storage building blew up.
The council discusses Maladie's public execution and the precautions being taken to ensure that there would be no interference. Afterward, Lord Massen approaches the Beggar King seeking to his men to cause a bit of chaos, in order to instill a bit of fear into the people of London after the execution.
Lord Massen attends Maladie's execution and tells General Pecking that he warned the Beggar King which neighborhoods to steer clear of. Just as the execution is about to commence, a group of Touched appeared to rescue her. However, rather than escaping, Maladie takes her own life. After her death, her henchman, the Colonel, begins her plan that kills many of those attending the execution. Massen quickly escapes, but he soon returns and holds Hugo at gunpoint. Massen then helps him over the railing, still holding his gun to prevent that another man uses their balcony to escape.
- Staunch, unflappable and merciless in his defense of the British Empire, this former General, now Peer, may be the only man who sees clearly what havoc these few strange people can wreak upon the established order. Which he will protect, one way or another.
Behind the scenes
- He is portrayed by Pip Torrens.
|The Nevers: Season 1|
- The Nevers — "Touched". HBO, April 11, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Ignition". HBO, April 25, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Exposure". HBO, April 18, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Hanged". HBO, May 9, 2021.
- The Nevers — "Undertaking". HBO, May 2, 2021.
- James Hibberd, "Joss Whedon's HBO sci-fi drama The Nevers casts 12 actors". EW.com, July 30, 2019.