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WOW. I’ll confess right off the bat that I rewatched this episode again immediately. Did I think the ending would change — that Charlotte wouldn’t be engaged to Ralph? Oh reader. We’re getting ahead of ourselves.
I have four pages of notes for this episode, but most of them are just some combination of “????” and “!!!!!” and “AHHH!” Now, I have a degree in linguistics, but language seemed to escape me for the entirety of this hour.
Let’s talk Alison and Fraser. So sweet, so endearing, so real! But first, we have to watch Fraser get too nervous to admit his feelings to Alison and leave only having given Alison a wrapped gift — making her promise not to open it until she’s back in Willingdon. But Mary, ever insightful, gives Alison A LOOK and so she opens the book of poetry, with a flower tucked into… a poem he wrote for her? *SWOON*
After a series of near-misses, Alison and Fraser finally find each other, where he reveals 1) he resigned his position in the army, 2) he’s a farmer (called it!) and 3) he’s in love with her. He proposes by asking if he can be her “loving husband” and no, I’m fine, someone’s just cutting onions in here.
At the Parkers’, Tom and Arthur are opening Sidney’s trunks, which have finally been returned from Antigua. Tom reads Sidney’s final letter, which reveals the name we’ve been waiting for… and it’s Charles Lockhart. Readers, like everyone in Sanditon, I did not see this one coming. Tom, Arthur and Mary find Georgiana just in time — as she’s packing to leave with Lockhart for Europe. She’s shocked and devastated — and determined. She fearlessly finds Lockhart, quotes his own words back to him and tells him to leave immediately. Maybe he did love her despite his intentions? But it doesn’t matter; we know what his intentions were.
Arthur apologizes to Georgiana, but Georgiana graciously says that they were all swindled by Lockhart. Then Arthur tells Georgiana that she’s an honorary Parker — and their enviable friendship is at a high again. Georgiana teases what I anticipate her plotline will be next season: finding her mother.
Meanwhile, a miserable lunch unfolds at Lady Denham’s, which seems to be leading to Esther losing her inheritance. But! Finally! Clara! Clara confesses Edward’s entire scheme. And Esther? She still sticks up for Clara, despite it all. Which, I think, leads to Clara’s further change of heart: She departs Sanditon, presumably to the house Lady Denham arranged for her, but leaves baby George for Esther. If Esther’s happy, we’re happy, right? And she sure seems happy.
In other giant house news, Colbourne is playing fetch with his dog! He loves his dog! We love a man who loves his dog! Charlotte arrives at Colbourne’s house and he asks to speak with her in private. To propose? Oh readers, quite the opposite. To apologize for abusing his “power as her employer.” Charlotte, our strong, independent Charlotte, is crushed.
Yes, Augusta convinces him to come to his senses, but it’s too late. Charlotte tells him she’s “resolved” to leave Sanditon. There’s no turning back for her. So Colbourne… leaves. He doesn’t fight for her. And so Charlotte… leaves Sanditon.
Did you gasp when “TWO MONTHS LATER” popped up on the screen? I dumped a bag of popcorn! It’s Alison and Fraser’s lovely wedding, of course, and everyone seems so happy and content and fulfilled. And then. Charlotte is talking to Georgiana when a young man joins the group. It’s Ralph — okay, honestly, he doesn’t seem THAT bad? But I digress — and he asks if Charlotte’s shared “their happy news.” Georgiana’s eyes go wide. “Ralph and I are to be married.” *END SEASON*
It’s a lot to process. Which is why I’ll be in your inbox one last time next Monday, to share a few more thoughts — plus lots of questions and predictions for Season 3!
Til next week,
P.S. Next week I’ll also share a survey so you can tell me what you thought of Sanditon and Here for the Drama, and if you think we should continue this newsletter for another PBS Masterpiece show!
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