Episode 4, Second watch
Rejected by Elizabeth, Darcy returns to Rosings Park and writes to her, revealing the truth about Wickham’s character.
Alright, it’s fine, I’ve only been working for twelve hours and literally just got home but OK brain! Let’s put on Pride & Prejudice again because why the fuck not!
Oh I know why the fuck — because you fucking agreed to this FOR THE THIRD YEAR RUNNING.
WHY. WHY DID YOU DO THAT, YOU STUPID, STUPID PERSON.
I am going crazy. It’s not even happening slowly, oh no, it hasn’t snuck up on me at all. It walked out of my closet-with-shelves and swung a cricket bat right at my head sometime on Friday night and BOOM, I was nuts.
I think I even had a dream about Pride & Prejudice last night? And it wasn’t even a good one, it was like, mundane shit. I think I was like, embroidering.
If I’m gonna have a dream about Pride & Prejudice I had BETTER fucking orgasm or WHAT’S THE POINT?
This is getting disturbing. Let’s talk about the show…
(Back with the fucking embroidery.)
So, episode four. Darcy comes stomping out of the Hunsford cottage, and Lizzy is stomping around the room hyperventilating.
Then we get a lovely montage of Colin Firth’s tight little ass walking around Rosings Park, remembering what Lizzy just yelled at him as her head floats through the screen — while Lizzy pouts and cries some more back in her room and remembers what he said to her through his giant, floating, see-through head.
Darcy ditches his cousin to deal with their aunt alone and sits down to defend himself in a letter to Lizzy.
To Miss Elizabeth Bennet:
You’re fuckin wrong. Wickham’s a dick who lied to you and tried to marry my 15-year-old sister for her money.
Best wishes with that bullshit,
PS: Yeah I split up your sister and my friend. Fite me m8.
Or something like that. We do get to see a young Darcy and Wickham fish in the river together, and it’s pretty cute. But honestly, in that college scene, I can’t imagine that Wickham and Darcy didn’t have some sort of signal worked out. Maybe like a cravat on the door?
(Also aren’t you SUPPOSED to sleep around at uni?)
But also, Darcy totally rats out his sister Georgiana here. That little incident in Ramsgate could have ruined her rep, and Darcy just spills it all to Lizzy IN A TOTALLY LEGAL AND BINDING LETTER?
Way to keep it a secret, Darcy. Lizzy hates your guts for all you know and could use that info against Georgiana.
(Thank goodness Lizzy’s not the type to spread hot goss.)
So Darcy goes to deliver the letter, and runs across Lizzy walking alone in the woods. He gives it to her, and — take note, gents — THEN HE FREAKING LEAVES AND LETS HER COME TO HER OWN CONCLUSIONS WITHOUT MEDDLING OR PERSUADING HER.
Lizzy stomps home after reading why Darcy split up Jane and Bingley, and is informed by Maria Lucas that he and Col. Fitzwilliam came to say goodbye but Darcy GTFO before she could get back — and frankly, good. Lizzy’s still too steaming mad to do anything but throw a candlestick at his head right now.
We also get the backstory on how he and the Bingley sisters conspired to keep the two lovers apart while Jane was in town last season.
Darcy’s only excuse is that he didn’t think Jane was that into Bingley, so why did he keep them apart when Jane came to see Bingley in London?? Doesn’t that CLEARLY show partiality on Jane’s side???
(Apparently men were trashhhhh in 1813 just as much as 2019.)
As the remainder of the party at Hunsford walks to Rosings one last time, Lizzy’s dragging her feet every inch of the way. She’s so damn ready to go home and be with her own family. They might be a freak show, but they’re her freak show, dammit.
So when Lady Catherine suggests she should stay another few weeks, it probably takes everything she has not to launch across the chaise lounge at the woman.
Poor, sweet, dumb Maria Lucas is watching the battle like a tennis game with rapidly twitching eyes. Collins tried to but in and does this hilarious little finger thing, as though he needs to physically stop himself from talking in Lady Catharine’s presence. (Wish he’d do that all the time, tbh. Maybe invest in a muzzle, Charlotte?)
Maria decides to repack her cases, but Lizzy — in what I suspect is the closest moment in the series to Jennifer Ehle acting the most like her regular self — pokes at her and reminds her that Lady Catharine will never know how her bags are packed and Jesus Christ can they please beat it out of this hellhole post haste before she murders a member of the peerage?
Collins takes the opportunity to assure himself — and Lizzy in the process — that they both lucked out when she rejected him.
We all must endure the world’s grossest finger waggle and Charlotte’s gag-me face AND FINALLY, Lizzy and Maria get their asses on the road.
When they arrive at Bromley to change horses, Lydia and Kitty are waiting to greet them with cold ham and pork and salads and every good thing. And they mean to treat the travelers — but Lydia has spent all their money on an ugly hat and Lizzy must pay.
The poor serving boy tries to get some of that hot goss, but gets shooed off by Lizzy — but not before being undressed mentally by the three teen girls in the room — and we learn that Wickham and Mary King are not to be married after all.
Lydia thinks Wickham is safe but Lizzy knows it’s the other way around.
Run Mary King. Run fast. Run far.
All four finally pile into a carriage and I’m surprised Lizzy doesn’t have a migraine when they finally get home.
But no, she dives into telling Jane all about Darcy’s proposal and Jane is shocked! Shocked I say!
But she’s even more shocked that Wickham is such a bad character. Jane tries to make excuses for him, saying that there much have been some sort of misunderstanding — perhaps it’s a bit one-sided to solely take Darcy’s word?
WHICH IS SOME SOLID, SAGE FUCKING ADVICE THAT NO ONE TAKES. AGAIN.
(Honestly, I think Jane Bennet may be the smartest, least emotionally-stunted character in this whole damn series.)
But no. Lizzy entirely believes Darcy now, and Wickham is on the outs. Never half-measures with this woman, jeez.
I don’t have a sister, but I have to imagine that these scenes are very sisterly. I do have a best friend who I consider as close as a sister could be — and she and I have these types of conversations.
Lizzy wants to know if they should tell everyone about Wickham (again, Darcy, do not bandy about your sister’s life-ruining story!!!!) or if they should just let the matter go and cut out Wickham from their circle?
It’s Jane’s idea not to expose him — and Lizzy does acknowledge that she has no right to tell everyone about Georgiana’s folly. They mutually agree to give Wickham a wide berth and let sleeping dogs lie.
And this is where everything goes to shit, later.
The Bennet family sits down to breakfast and Lydia complains about the regiment leaving town for Brighton, but Lizzy is glad to see them go — a subtle hint about Wickham that only Jane is going to pick up on.
Lydia wants to go to Brighton but Mr. Bennet says absolutely not. This brings on a temper tantrum — a role that only a youngest sister can take on.
Meanwhile, Jane is playing the martyr in the garden — a role that only an eldest sister can play.
(I see why Lizzy is the peacemaker now … she’s a middle child!)
Mrs. Bennet has no idea what went wrong, and complains about Bingley and the Collinses and the British entailment system and everything else in the world to Lizzy, all while wielding gardening shears, which is truly terrifying.
They’re interrupted by Lydia who says she’s been invited to Brighton by Mrs. Forester, and Lizzy tells her to chill tf out because Mr. Bennet will never agree to it.
Surprise! He agrees.
Lizzy is pissed. She’s not wrong that Lydia shouldn’t be allowed to go alone, but also I can’t help but wonder how much of her ire is caused by her youngest sister getting more attention and more latitude from their parents. Lydia gets all new dresses to go to Brighton while Lizzy’s probably been wearing Jane’s hand-me-downs since birth.
THIS is the moment when Lizzy should have told her dad, at least, about Wickham. I’ve never been sure why she doesn’t, but… 🤷🏻♀️
At a party in town, Col. Forester lives by the motto: “Happy wife, happy life” and assures Mrs. Bennet that Lydia will be taken care of while they’re in Brighton.
Wickham slithers his way over to Lizzy, who truly sees him now and instead of ignoring him — decides to seed some confusion and doubt of her own.
Wickham wants to know how Rosings was.
Fine, says she. I met Colonel Fitzwilliam. Do you know him?
Uhhhh, yes, uh, vaguely. He’s much mor charming than his cousin, don’t you think?.
Oh yes, indeed — though … Darcy’s not so bad once you get to know him.
*Wickham blinks rapidly*
The lie factory cogs are turning FURIOUSLY.
(How best to turn this queen back into a pawn…?)
Unfortunately, Mrs. Forester pulls Wickham away before he can reply. And Lizzy knows she is well-rid of the reptile — and thinks she just scored the last point.
Lydia’s off to Brighton now, and good riddance. (Would that there’d been a carriage crash or something at the end of the drive.)
The Famillé Gardíner shows up in the next moment, ready to drop off the kids with Auntie and Uncle Bennet for a few days, and take Lizzy on a trip to the Lake District.
But whoops, Mr. Gardiner doesn’t have as much time off as he thought he would. Would Lizzy be OK just visiting Derbyshire instead?
Yes. Yes she is more than OK with that. JUST 👏 FUCKING 👏 LOOK 👏 AT 👏 DERBYSHIRE 👏
As they travel, we get a lesson in Regency-era social politics, as Mrs. Gardiner explains she was never in the first circles of DURBEESHYURH society — and does not know the Darcy family despite being a gentleman’s wife and growing up in the same area.
Clearly, the family is very rich and very old and (previous generations, at least) were sticklers for the rules. Lizzy’s starting to see why Darcy pointed out they were not exactly of the same social strata.
Meanwhile, Darcy is oblivious to Lizzy’s travels in DURBEESHYURH and we get his tight little butt in a most fantastic fencing scene. (OK, I imagined his tight little butt, but come on. It’s there.)
He SHALL conquer this crush on Lizzy! HE SHALL!
(Lol, you shalln’t, buddy.)
The Gardiners and Lizzy stop at an inn nearby Pemberley, and her aunt — still thinking Wickham is the #1 guy for her niece — suggests they visit the great home to see where he spent his youth.
Lizzy demurs, until she’s assured by a chambermaid that Darcy is most certainly NOT at home, and yours are available for inquisitive tourists.
And dear god, Pemberley is beautiful.
(I know this is a review of the miniseries, but I think Keira Knightley’s disbelieving, slack-jawed snort upon seeing Pemberley in the 2005 movie is still my favorite on-screen Lizzy reaction.)
Maybe the owner of such a beautiful estate is a little less repulsive, Aunt Gardiner asks?
Yeah, maybe. A very little, Lizzy concedes.
So the visitors get a tour of the great house from The Crypt Keeper, who is wayyyyy too excited to find out that THE MISS KNOWS THE MASTER?
The world’s oldest woman also confirms that Wickham is a prick, and Darcy is the hero of our story.
Thanks for the exposition, Crypt Keeper!
OK. So, look. I didn’t grow up with this adaption. This next scene really has no significance for me. I acknowledge your love for it and I support you in your kink for wet white shirts — but it just does nothing 🤷🏻♀️
So I’m just gonna post a bunch of gifs and we can pretend like nothing happened here once you’re done, OK?
Cool, you done now? Ya changed your panties? Go do that, I’ll wait.
So Lizzy’s been touring Pemberley and realizing what she gave up on a bit of faulty information and is probably kicking herself right around the same time that Darcy goes for a swim in a nasty-ass pond on his estate.
He’s returned a day early, and on his way back to the house, he runs into Lizzy wandering the grounds of his very own home.
Adorable confusion and much fluster follows. After he confirms everyone is in good health, Darcy LITERALLY RUNS to change into suitable clothing so that he can greet Lizzy and the Gardiners properly.
Lizzy is trying to make a French Exit as hastily as possible, but Darcy must have done track as a kid because he beats them to the carriage and I KNOW that cravat was not simple to tie.
Darcy is on a full 180 — he’s adorably happy to see her and actually makes a freaking effort to be kind and charming to the Gardiners. I think this is as many words in a row as we’ve ever heard Darcy say.
Aunt Gardiner knows what’s up and distracts her husband so Darcy and Lizzy can walk together alone. (Good Guy Aunt Gardiner!)
And as Lizzy finally climbs into her carriage, with a promise to return tomorrow and meet Darcy’s sister — she flashes back a flirty smile at a much-changed Darcy who can’t keep his eyes off her.
Ah, were we all so lucky.
Stay tuned for the fifth episode tomorrow, where Darcy and Lizzy try to make good on those flirtatious smiles, Caroline Bingley finally gets her comeuppance, and Lydia goes and ruins it all — as little sisters are wont to do. (So I’m told.)
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Catch you tea addicts on the flip side,