25 Days of Pride & Prejudice: Day 9 – Staircases, Proposals, and Fresh Hell

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12/09/19

Episode 3, Second watch

Elizabeth learns that Charlotte has accepted a proposal from Mr. Collins; Jane realizes that the Bingleys are ignoring her.


We’ve officially entered the “dear god why did I agree to do this” phase of #25Days, wherein I paste a smile on my face and the tilt toward insanity becomes a full-on precarious fall.

And it’s only Day 9.

So my original plan was to start actual, semi-sober (and even less serious) reviews of each episode on the second go-around — but then I got drunk on Friday night and could barely hold my teacup, much less write a review.

And then I thought, “Well no matter, I’ll just write a series of semi-sober and even less serious reviews on the third go-around. There will be four total viewings, after all — and probably a fifth on Christmas Day.”

And then, dear reader — I fucking ran out of ideas today. I spent all damn day watching YouTube videos in between marathon binges of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I didn’t even roll out of my room until like, 1:30pm.

So you’re getting those reviews. But we’re gonna start with episode 3.

Because why. the. fuck. not.

No really, why not??? I mean, I’m the one makin’ the rules around here right? And I say, I’m gonna start on Episode 3…


OK, here we go.

(I will say this opening credit scene has been starting to annoy me. I love embroidery but this is a LOT.)

So to start, Kitty and Lydia come running in to give Lizzy the bad news about Charlotte and Collins and Lizzy is UNDERSTANDABLY SHOCKED.

Lizzy goes to visit the Lucases to “congratulate” her friend but in actuality, probably offers her a bag of money and a fast horse out of Meryton. Instead, Charlotte gives her the rundown on how marriage in 1813 actually works for women of their station, who are 27, plain-looking, and haven’t had any other offers.

Charlotte. Girl. I get you.

Lizzy reports back to Jane at home and clearly hasn’t learned any sort of lesson from Charlotte. Jane is entirely sensible about it while Lizzy does her best to channel her inner Marianne Willoughby and throws a temper tantrum.

A letter from Netherfield arrives and it’s at this point that I’m reminded of the sketch from Oh Hello, where Steve Martin tells the guys if you’re going to answer a fake, sad phone call on stage, you have to come to the phone happy. And if the phone call is good news, come to the phone sad.

If you’ve never seen Oh Hello, stop everything right now and go watch it on Netflix.

Obviously, Lizzy and Jane were having far too good of a time for the news to be anything but terrible.

Bingley has packed up and gone to London.

Once again, we are reminded that Caroline Bingley is a total bitch. And I think that’s the first look we get of Georgiana Darcy, in a weird, semi-Elizabethan, ruffled, pink collar.

She looks like she’s RegencyBounding a tea cake.

Jane is sure that Caroline Thee Bitch is trying to warn her that Bingley’s love lies elsewhere and not to get her hopes up.

Lizzy, who has given up channeling Marianne, is back to her old form, and sees right through that shit. She tries to make her big sis feel better with not much success.

We move onto a scene in Meryton with two of the silliest girls in all of England (and their sister Lizzy), who wave over Denny, Carter and Wickham in the town square.

What these grown men see in two 15/16 year old girls is beyond me and frankly I don’t want to know.

Wickham uses the opportunity to spread some more of his bullshit, and surprise, sur-motherfuckin-prise: Lizzy can dole out good sense but not take it herself.

You can see the cogs turning in Wickham’s mind as he takes advantage of every situation, turning it for his own advantage.

What a priiiiick.

After the redcoats leave, Mr. Bennet shows some good sense (and Mary too? Jesus, what’s going on here?) and warns Lizzy not to believe everything Wickham says about Darcy.

Then Mama Bennet starts talking about her kink for men in regimentals and we’re all left to wonder if Mr. Bennet has a spare red coat tucked away in a closet somewhere for quiet nights…

Apparently Jane has heard again from Caroline Bingley, who had the kind thought to twist the knife further and write to say they won’t be returning to Netherfield at all this year.

Jane bears it stoically and Lizzy chases after her to make sure everything is alright. Jane, showing solid common sense — if a stunning lack of self-confidence — tells Lizzy that she’s heartbroken, but will mend.

Lizzy suggests Jane visit London for Christmastime with their aunt and uncle. It’s blatantly obvious that Lizzy thinks Jane will run into Mr. Bingley on the street and it will remind him how much he loves her.

(Lizzy, in her own way, is just as cunning and blunt as her mama when it comes to putting her sister in the path of a rich man.)

Aunt and Uncle Gardiner arrive for Christmas, and my favorite goof in the whole series comes now, when Maria Lucas is VERY CLEARLY NOT SINGING ALONG TO “GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN” AND IT BUGS ME EVERY TIME.

Also, the tune for this wasn’t published until 1833, so this is anachronistic!

Mrs. Bennet goes off on another tangent about Charlotte and Collin’s forthcoming marriage, while Lizzy presents Wickham to her aunt — who is also from Derbyshire.

The cogs start spinning again and it’s obvious Wickham thinks he might be caught out in his lies … until Mrs. Gardiner admits to never having met the Darcy family, aaaaaand the lie factory starts up again.

We also get our first look at Mary King at the party, and I’m pretty sure there some gingerism going on here, poor thing.

Not sure what she did to deserve all that hate, other than be more financially stable than the Bennet girls. (Also the actress is a solid two feet shorter than Wickham so it’s rather comical to see the camera pan the width of the Grand Canyon between the two and try to establish chemistry.)

Charlotte and Lizzy are once again sitting out the dance, but this time, Charlotte’s engaged and the difference between the girls’ situations weighs heavily on Charlotte. Clearly, she’s not used to being the one at the center of attention.

In a moment of panic, Charlotte makes Lizzy promise to write to her, and also all but bribes her to come visit Hunsford when her family comes in March.

It’s deep winter in Meryton and we learn Wickham has given up on Lizzy and pursued Mary King to another town instead. Lizzy reads a letter from Jane, wherein she learns that CAROLINE IS BACK ON HER BULLSHIT.

Caroline and Mrs. Hurst were abominably rude to poor Jane. (SHE WAITED FOR THREE WEEKS DAMMIT!) I just want to smack her face when she comes to see Jane finally, every time.

At least it’s the final straw on the camel’s back that Jane needs to finally see through Caroline’s bullshit, but of course she takes the wrong conclusion from it all and assumes Bingley doesn’t care for her anymore.

All of a sudden, it’s springtime, and Lizzy and Wickham go for a walk — since he’s back in town and she’s about to leave for her trip to Kent to see Charlotte, as promised at Christmas.

Lizzy, somehow, STILL does not see through his bullshit, and all but gives him her blessing to continue treating women like crap.

Maria Lucas continues to be one of my favorite characters, simply by being so adorably dumb and trusting. And Sir Lucas puts his foot in it by complimenting Charlotte’s fortunate marriage right in front of Lizzy.

They arrive and Collins is simply BRIMMING with anxious energy to show off everything about his home to rejected-fiancé Lizzy and his new father-in-law. (Shelves!!! In the closet!!!!)

Charlotte explains to Lizzy that she encourages her darling husband to spend most of his day doing things away 👏 from 👏 her 👏 which apparently is the secret to a modern, happy marriage.

Lizzy gets to see Anne DeBourgh from afar and deems her sickly ass to be *perfect* for Darcy.

Cough cough, motherfucker

She gets a better look at Anne when they visit Rosings for the first time, with all its 64 (64!!!!!) windows. Collins delivers a wonderful backhanded compliment about how Lizzy looks, then we finally get a long, slow panning shot to ol’ sourpuss face herself:

Lady Catherine grills Lizzy about her family and upbringing, and I’ve never been sure if she was asking all those questions Lizzy because she knew Lizzy had rejected Collin’s proposal, or if because she’d heard something about Lizzy from Darcy already — and wanted to see how this girl stacked up against her own daughter.

All of a sudden, we find out Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam have come to visit. Charlotte supposes it has something to do with Lizzy, which she brushes away as impossible because Darcy surely dislikes her and much as she dislikes him. (Oh, foreshadowing…)

Of course, the colonel is everything Darcy is not, and Lizzy is absolutely charmed. I often wonder if Fitz had a thing for Lizzy, or if he was just trying to play wingman for his cousin?

Lizzy straight up asks Darcy about Jane and Bingley in London and Darcy lies. But I do see where Lizzy’s polite teasing of Darcy might have come off as flirting — giving him the wrong impression.

Lady Catharine’s dinner party is probably the most boring social occasion of the 19th century, and Darcy’s open contempt for Fitz’s seat next to Lizzy at the piano bench is plain as day.

Lizzy continues to tease Darcy, because — not unlike my own reaction to such situations — she probably deals with uncomfortable social situations by being overly friendly and poking fun at people.

Lizzy writes to Jane of her triumph in having dodged Collins and endless tedium at Rosings, but Darcy shows up to interrupt her and makes Proposal Attempt #1, which is to say — he’s so obviously there to propose but can’t get the words out.

But Lizzy is oblivious and brings up Bingley and Jane again, which probably triggers Darcy’s guilt. They FINALLY start to get along when he gets cold feet and retreats to a safer distance.

Lizzy goes for a walk instead and bumps into Fitz, who is far more agreeable a companion than his prickly cousin.

But Fitz’s attempt at wingmanning goes awry in the worst possible way: He lets slip that Darcy recently “saved” his friend Bingley from a terribly embarrassing marriage and Lizzy guesses correctly that he meddled with Jane’s love story.

She claims a headache to get out of going to Rosings that night, but Darcy will not be deterred and visits her at Hunsford.

It’s Proposal #2, and though he finally gets the words out this time, Darcy manages to insult Lizzy, her sisters, both her parents, her aunt and uncle, her choice of friends and her social standing.

Yeah, Lizzy’s life is definitely all those things, but only SHE gets to complain about them, asshole!

Lizzy is not amused.

It doesn’t matter how adorably flustered Darcy is — he’s being a dick. Lizzy tells him as much in no uncertain terms, first politely and then more forcefully as Darcy gets indignant. Would she rather he lied to her about it all to flatter her?

Seems as though she would, actually, yeah. A little more, at least.

To add insult to injury, Lizzy also tacks on all of the bullshit Wickham has been handfeedinng her as proof of her dislike, and orders him out of the house posthaste.


And there our episode ends, my friends. Quite the cliffhanger! I WONDER WHAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN NEXT!?

JK, we all know what happens next. But tune in tomorrow anyway, and make sure you share every day of #25Days of Pride & Prejudice to be entered in our Jane’s Birthday Giveaway prize 🙂

Ta-ta, toodle-loo, and all that jazz,

-R

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