☕ Get the tea on your favorite PBS dramas with our recap newsletter, Here for the Drama. Subscribe for free. 💌
Well, we haven’t had a respite from twists and turns since the beginning of the first episode. This week: a mess dinner, lots of flirting and — snails?
Arthur and Georgiana’s friendship continues to be a high point of this season, and I’m currently scheming as to how I can convince my friends to move to a seaside town and drink tea with me all summer. How much are tickets to England?
In other plot lines, Charlotte is impatient. She waits at Colbourne’s front door for all of three seconds before she decides to snoop around the house and go in through the back door, where she is promptly declared late. (I don’t remember Colbourne setting a start time in his offer so honestly maybe he needs a better new employee orientation.)
The housekeeper at Colbourne’s house tells Charlotte that few governesses have lasted a month and, in fact, she’s bet on how long Charlotte will last with the rest of the household. But, as we know, Charlotte is stubborn and decides that she’ll bond with Leo over snails — they’re malacologists, and yes, I did have to Google it — and with Augusta over family. Leo loves snails. Augusta gives Charlotte a needlework that says SPINSTER. One for two.
On the Lennox front, a mess dinner is being planned and anyone who’s anyone will be invited. A mess dinner is… nicer than it sounds. At the party, Lennox talks with Charlotte about forming “a battle strategy” for her young charges, which is sweet. But when he learns who Charlotte’s charges are, he hesitates and gives what I would call A Big Stare. He knows Colbourne, but “only by reputation.” Anyone else getting a Wickham/Darcy vibe?
Quick pivot to Alison. She and Carter are having a moment, but I think that’s all it’ll be: a moment. He seems charming so far, but when Alison asks Carter about poetry, he clearly cannot answer her questions. Instead, he enlists his pal Frasier, who does know and like poetry, to teach him what to say. This will never work. My prediction: she’ll eventually figure out Carter — or he’ll do something terrible — and she’ll fall in love with Frasier. Austen would love this.
Meanwhile, Georgiana is determined to see no more suitors. But! She is clearly intrigued by Charles Lockhart, the bohemian artist. At the mess dinner, Lockhart follows Lennox’s toast with his own toast to Bonaparte — remember that England is literally at war with France — which is both a note on his personal ideology and an attempt to impress Georgiana. He is immediately escorted out, but his dismissal isn’t so bad when Georgiana follows him. Let’s hope she tells him she’s heard enough lamb/Lambe puns to last her a lifetime.
Back at Colbourne’s the next day, Augusta tricks Charlotte into playing Colbourne’s late wife’s piano. It was painful to watch. Charlotte! So much wiser and yet so naïve. But she takes the fall for Augusta, which makes Augusta warm up to her. And Colbourne doesn’t fire her, so really a win all around.
Finally, two stories from the Denham family: Esther is spending time in the church, but is uninterested in the Reverend and his sister, until the sister chases Esther down under the pretense of a church gathering. Really, the sister heard about Esther’s miscarriage and wanted to share the name of a midwife who could help. Hope for Esther yet! It’s all we ever want. Back at Lady Denham’s house, Esther and her aunt receive a most unwelcome guest — you guessed it, Clara. They dismiss her, but… she’s pregnant. And the baby is Edward’s. <End episode>
That’s a lot to unpack from Episode 2! In sum: Charlotte is doing alright as a governess and excellently as a potential love interest to Lennox and/or Colbourne. Georgiana is finished searching for a husband; Alison is fully committed to finding a husband. And Esther may have some hope on the Sanditon horizon.
P.S. Have you noticed the new opening credits this season? I’m loving the cut-out elements and detailed references to characters and locations. If you haven’t watched the opening credits yet (making that last minute cup of tea?), keep an eye out next week!
Here for the Drama