Episode 2, Third watch
Mr. Collins writes to announce his imminent visit to Longbourn; Mrs. Bennet has high hopes that Collins will propose to one of her daughters, and also expects that Jane will soon be engaged to Mr. Bingley.
So I didn’t really promote yesterday’s blog for obvious reasons — but if you haven’t read it, I suggest you go back and do that now.
Not only because you will need it to understand what’s about to happen, but it’s also me apologizing again for not giving you a full blog yesterday!
We’re officially past the halfway mark now, and this one’s gonna be a doozy: We’re gonna tackle most of episode one today and all of episode two.
That’s right. You heard me. It’s a mega post.
Buckle up, friends. Shit’s about to get real real.
We left our crew at the Meryton Assembly. Mama Bennet is working all her good angles — and by good angles, I mean Jane.
Bingley’s eminently agreeable and obviously super into Jane, but his friend? Maaaaaan, fuck that guy.
Like, we all know Mrs. Bennet is annoying as shit, you don’t need to go full Medusa on the woman.
Apparently that guy’s name is Darcy and he just keeeeeps on digging a hole.
So Mrs. Bennet decides to hand him a bigger shovel, and starts shouting about how much she doesn’t like the guy once he walks away.
But at least Jane’s oblivious to it all, and she gets her dance with Bingley.
Darcy stalks around the hall, keeping a judgmental eye on the Bennet family who are gossiping and carousing all over the place.
Well, except for Mary and Lizzy. Not enough dance partners apparently, but I doooon’t think that’s the real reason why Mary’s sitting out…
Bingley insists that Darcy ask someone to dance, but he refuses. Too high and mighty for this sort of company. Why doesn’t he ask out Jane’s pretty sister? Lizzy or something?
Pretty? Hardly. He scoffs at the idea!
Whoops. Someone overheard you, Mr. Darcy…
No matter. Lizzy can find another partner and does. Repeatedly. All while being watched like a hawk by the rude Mr. Darcy.
Hey. Tired of this recap of the assembly yet?
Mr. Bennet definitely is, back at Longbourn. Would that EVERYONE had sprained their ankles in the first dance.
Lizzy doesn’t care that Darcy wouldn’t step out with her — and promises her father that she never will care, because she’d never dance with that man even if he asked.
At Netherfield, Statler and Waldorf in drag titter on the couch and judge how the evening went. Jane’s a pretty and kind girl, they say, but the rest of the Bennet family is obnoxious.
Mr. Hurst is drunk.
In contrast, at Longbourn, the sisters discuss Mr. Bingley, and come to the conclusion that he is all things a young man ought to be.
Lizzy says everyone else in the house can go hang but Jane thinks the Bingley sisters are kind and Darcy, perhaps just misunderstood?
Well, she was half right…
Lizzy’s best friend Charlotte shows up to invite the family to a party — and we fade into a scene there. Everyone, including the party at Netherfield, is there. Mama Bennet’s in a corner, loudly exclaiming the triumphs of Jane to anyone who will listen.
Not as though anyone could escape that screeching voice…
We meet the Forsters, Colonel and Mrs. — who have at least 20 years of age difference between them and I’m not judging I just think it’s creepy as fuck.
OK I’m judging a little.
Forster is the commander of a regiment who has just come into Meryton — I’m sure that won’t be a major plot point at all!
Sir Lucas has backed the Bingley sisters into a corner, both physical and metaphorical, and I’m starting to think that they and Darcy have a point and Meryton really isn’t showing their best side to these outsiders.
Darcy doesn’t seem to be suffering the same agonies though — he’s more agreeably engaged in watching a pair of very fine eyes sparkle across the room.
Lydia declares that SHE LOVES BALLS, thereby supplying us with fodder for dick jokes for the last 200 years. Inspired by the idea of a ball, she all but rips the sedate sheet music out of Mary’s hands and forces her to play some bangin club beats instead.
Darcy’s not the only one watching things closely. Charlotte points out that Bingley is clearly enamored of Jane, and if she wants to encourage him, she’s gonna have to be a little more blatant about it.
Come on Jane, grab his belt loops and tug!
Jane would NEVER do such a thing, Lizzy says, though that move totally works and you should try it sometime.
Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance, and if you have a shot at it, you’d better tie that shit down before you lose it.
Charlotte is also observing Darcy observe Lizzy, and remarks as much but like all foreshadowing — it gets ignored.
The next morning, Jane gets invited to Netherfield, though Bingley won’t be there. But it’s OK, because Mama Bennet has a plan. It’s supposed to rain, and if it rains, then Jane will have to stay the night there!
That’s a pretty bold plan for your unmarried daughter, but ok.
Jane arrives, wet and miserable. She basically has to faint at the dinner table before they’ll call for help.
If Jane dies of this fever, at least it will have been in pursuit of a single man! There is nothing more sacred for a woma– god, sorry, I just choked. Can’t even jokingly type that shit out.
Lizzy rightfully points out this is all ridiculous and she insists on walking to Netherfield and visiting Jane.
She tromps over field and fence, and frankly, this scene stopped being cute and a show of her individuality once I made my own dress and I realized what a messy and awful way to treat your clothes that would have been. And moreover, Lizzy’s not the one who has to clean that hem — it’s going to be Hill or the housemaid — and frankly the whole muddy hem thing is just decidedly not cute for me anymore.
She gets to Netherfield and bumps into Darcy. Barely civil pleasantries are exchanged and she’is taken to see Jane — who is worse than Lizzy thought. She’s going to stay for a few days and nurse her back to health, if Bingley would be so kind?
Bingley is so kind, and Darcy internally rejoices while the sisters groan. The Bennets are so low on the social ladder that it’s hardly worth even looking down there — you’d just get dizzy.
Mr. Hurst is, again, very drunk.
The boys go out shooting while Lizzy waits for Jane to rest and feel better. That evening, Lizzy goes down to dinner, and entertains herself after by reading quietly while the others play cards.
Darcy writes a letter to his sister, which reminds Caroline to point out how accomplished all the ladies they know are. Lizzy is NOT included in this list.
Darcy tries to say something nice about Lizzy’s reading anyway, but the damage is done. She doesn’t like any of this company, except Bingley perhaps. The evening cannot end soon enough.
Or perhaps it can. Mama Bennet has come for a visit and… it goes about as well as you can expect.
Lydia convinces Bingley to hold a ball once Jane is recovered
Now, all y’all can keep your Mr. Darcy in a pond.
I want Darcy in a hot bath 😍
Gee I wonder what he’s thinking of…
That evening, the tedium sets in and Caroline actually is polite to Lizzy for a moment. Which they both wind up regretting…
And Mr. Hurst is drunk again.
Meanwhile; the weird, little, rude flirting dance continues on between Lizzy and Darcy.
We learn that Darcy’s good opinion once lost, is lost forever…
And neither of these two have a very good opinion of each other.
Jane is finally well enough to go home, and while she’s sorry to say goodbye to Bingley, it’s Lizzy who can’t wait to see the back of that place.
Darcy, however, is SHOOKETH.
And that, my friends, is episode one.
Since today is a double post — you’ll get episode two in the afternoon!
So tune in later for an update, and those who do will get a special surprise 😉
See you later this afternoon…
I’m back bitchez! Miss me?
Haha jk no, no one missed me I know 😂
We’re back for round TWO, and EPISODE TWO all in one day.
(Aaaaaand we’re back with the embroidery. Goddammit. I keep hoping this beginning will change 😩 it never does!)
We open on Lizzy walking through the fields of Meryton, and cut to Mr. Bennet announcing that there will be a guest for dinner.
Everyone assumes he means Bingley, BUT NOPE. Mr. Bennet says he’s never met this person in his whole life.
Which means dinner is either going to go extraordinarily well — or it’s going to be a HOT MESS.
Frankly, I’m here for both.
It’s a relative — a one Mr. Collins — who we find is the person who will inherit Mr. Bennet’s estate and money after he’s gone.
Primogeniture is a biiiiitch.
Apparently Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collin’s father never got along, and he wants to “heal the breach.”
Now this tells me a couple of things.
One, Mr. Collins is not a first cousin of the Bennet girls — a sticking point when people point out how icky it is that he’s sniffing around them.
Two, we know this because Mr. Bennet refers to him as a cousin, not as a niece or nephew. And though I’m not entirely knowledgeable about the minutiae of how family members were referred to in the Regency era, I think we can assume that if he was a nephew, Mr. Bennet would have called him such. After all, Lady Catherine calls Darcy (her sister’s son) her nephew, and not merely a cousin.
Third, the lack of similar names tells me that Mr. Collins is related to the Bennets through his mother’s (or more likely his grandmother’s) side.
Since Collins is supposed to be at least a decade or two older than the Bennet girls, I’m gonna make the following assumption:
Mr. Collins the Younger is related to the Bennets through a older, female relative, who married Mr. Collins the Elder — who undoubtedly acted just like his son (perhaps even more so) — and Mr. Bennet could not stand to be in his company.
That also means that if Mr. Bennet has to dig so far back in his family line to entail the rate away to Mr. Collins… the Bennets have been popping out girls, and ONLY girls, for a few generations now.
Anyway, I just wanted to point that out. Back to the show.
Mr. Collins has got a parsonage and a patronage — and he’s been told it’s time to marry.
Now, this is where I think Mr. Collins deserves some credit.
He did NOT have to come to the Bennet family to ask one of their girls to marry him, and help them keep Longbourn in the family.
That was a real mitzvah, Collins.
Now that being said, he also did NOT have to run their face in it every time he opened his mouth. (Idk what the opposite of a mitzvah is, but the word “schlemiel” springs to mind…)
I suppose Mrs. Bennet’s the ultimate schlimazel here.
So Collins arrives at Longbourn and immediately makes it clear that he’s the joker in this pack.
(Mary’s primping here kills me every time.)
Lizzy drew the short straw and has to sit next to him. And something strikes me here as odd when he starts waxing poetically about Lady Catharine for the first time — did he just say he’s been invited to dine at Rosings Park TWICE? Wait a second, how long has he been there? Later on, Lizzy is invited something like ten times over ether course of as many weeks when she visits.
So either Lady Catharine hates Mr. Collins as much as we do, or Lizzy was VERY intriguing to Lady Catharine… or to her guests… and I’ve never caught that detail before.
So Mary’s getting damp panties across the table, while Lizzy and Jane are trying to deflect Collins’ attention as much as possible.
Aaaaaaaaand now we’re all imagining Collins using his free time to think of compliments to just hand out to women like free candy out of a white van.
The girls play outside while Collin’s walks around the garden with Mrs. Bennet. He tells her he’s got his eye on Jane — and for once, Mama Bennet’s propensity for gossip comes through, and saves Jane from the hangman’s noose. Jane is very likely to be engaged soon, but won’t you consider one of my other daughters?
Kitty and Lydia are too young.
Mary’s too somber.
But Lizzy is juuuuuuust riiiiiiiight.
So Goldicollins goes on a walk with the sisters to Meryton, and drags Lizzy with him.
(I love the quiet huffing and puffing by David Bamber here, as the girls walk easily and Collins is exhausted from trying to keep up conversation the whole way.)
The girls run into a new officer walking with their friend Denney in town. His name is Wickham and he’s AWFUL*cough*ly handsome. Even Lizzy is caught up in it a little.
Ah well, anything to distract herself from Collins’ attentions. She probably would have flirted with a log.
Lydia and Kitty invite Wickham to their aunt’s party that evening and he demurs, a nice little nod to old fashioned manners, which Lizzy approves of.
Bingley rides up on his white horse — seriously, the man literally rides a white horse. How’s that for foreshadowing — and Mr. Darcy is with him. But Darcy’s SHOOKETH again, and not for a good reason this time.
Wickham and Darcy seem to know each other, and though Wickham doffs his cap ever so slightly in deference, Darcy says nothing and rides off without waiting for Bingley to be finished talking to Jane.
Lizzy notices all this with a keen eye but says nothing.
Later that night, at their Aunt Phillips’ house party, Collins starts to sound like a broken record player — if that had been a thing in Regency England.
He manages to accidentally insult Mrs. Phillips, who deposits him at a whist table as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, Wickham finally gets Lizzy alone, and charms her fully. He inquired after Mr. Bingley, and Lizzy gets in a jab at Darcy.
That’s all Wickham needs to dive into the whole story of him and the Darcy family.
(What is it with sharing deep personal secrets to strangers in this plot?!??)
Apparently Darcy screwed over Wickham once upon a time, and Wickham doesn’t want to spread rumors but no one should trust Darcy or be his friend.
Don’t trust anyone who says they don’t “do” drama.
(ERRYONE does drama.)
Lizzy falls, hook line and sinker. Darcy is on the OUTS. Not that she needed much encouragement anyway.
Poor, poor Wickham! (And that’s the one and ONLY time I’ll ever even jokingly write that!)
Lizzy tells Jane all about it that night, but Jane’s not buying it. How could Mr. Bingley be friends with someone like that? Surely, her favorable opinion of Mr. Wickham is PREJUDICE’ing her opinion of Mr. Darcy’s PRIDEful demeanor?
(See what I did there?)
Bingley comes through on his promise to hold a ball at Netherfield, inviting the whole Bennet family, including Collins.
And if ANYONE had bothered to notice Mary here, or ask her how she felt, I think they could have easily fobbed Collins off on her and everyone would have been totally happy with the outcome.
But no, if I’ve learned anything from this plot, it’s that younger sisters get the bottom of the barrel every time!
Jane comes and saves Lizzy and Wickham from Collins with a case of GREAT DOCTRINAL IMPORT — which is an excuse I’m going to start using literally all the time now.
Robin, why haven’t you done the dishes?
WATCHING MRS. MAISEL IS OF MUCH GREATER DOCTRINAL IMPORT.
Robin, why wasn’t this project turned in?
T’WAS NOT OF GREAT DOCTRINAL IMPORT.
See? It works for everything.
Lizzy and Wickham walk around talking more shit about Darcy, feeling very satisfied with themselves. Wickham starts talking shit about Darcy’s sister too, to Lizzy’s satisfaction. And apparently, Darcy’s to marry Lady Catherine’s daughter — a sickly girl named Anne.
Lydia runs into Collin’s half naked in the hall — that is to say, Lydia is half naked and not the other way around, thank god.
On the evening of the Netherfield Ball, the Bennets arrive and Lizzy and Jane are escorted in by Mr. Bingley himself.
This is a far fancier affair than the little Meryton Assembly, but there’s someone missing from the crowd — Lizzy can’t find Wickham.
She does find Darcy though, staring at her and looking as dour as ever.
Denney comes over and confirms that Wickham is missing, and it’s all due to Darcy’s presence.
Drats, foiled by Darcy again!
Jane and Lizzy try to fob Collins off on Charlotte, but he refuses to leave Lizzy’s side for the first two dances.
And hooo boy, I’m not sure what Collins does could be considered dancing by any stretch of the imagination.
Darcy’s laughing his ass off over by the band, waiting for his turn with Lizzy. But in the meantime, the rest of the Bennet family (sub Jane) are busy making fools of themselves.
Kitty and Lydia are laughing and partying too loudly, creating distractions and generally busy being annoying teenagers.
Mrs. Bennet is proclaiming to anyone who will listen — and quite a few people who aren’t willing, but happened to be standing within 10 feet — that this party is a compliment to Jane, and she expects an engagement any day now.
Meanwhile, Charlotte and Lizzy and discussing Wickham’s story when who should walk up but Darcy — to beg Lizzy for a dance.
Lizzy can’t believe she had to say yes, but Charlotte points out that Darcy hasn’t danced with anyone else, and that she’d be a fool not to be polite to a man who is 10x more important than a lowly army officer.
Lizzy goes through the motions of the dance with Darcy, not enjoying a single moment. But, like me, she tries to make uncomfortable situations easier by cracking jokes.
Unfortunately, that is 💯 the opposite of Darcy’s comfort zone.
(As a side note, you can totally see Jennifer Ehle’s wig here and Mary’s gettin’ her flirt on with Collins behind them.)
Also, this dance is highly intricate and quite beautiful. I’m impressed with whoever the dancing coach was for the production — this wasn’t easy to teach the cast, I’m sure. (I’m also fascinated by the woman in this dance who decided wearing a large feather and a heavy lace veil was a good call.)
I also want to say that there was a part of this scene that confused me for years until Bianca and I took an English line dancing class a while ago. Sir Lucas comes up and talks to Lizzy and Darcy in the MIDDLE of the dance, and I could never figure out how that worked out?
But in many dances, especially if there’s an odd number of couples, a set of partners will move down the line and eventually get to the end, and will have to sit out a movement until it’s time to join back in again and they can continue down the line in the opposite way.
That’s why Sir Lucas has a moment to chat with them, and it’s only a moment: Lizzy and Darcy are at the top of the line and are waiting to hop back into the dance.
Lizzy’s mortified at the country manners on display inside Netherfield.
She flat out tells Darcy she doesn’t know what to make of him. And while I’d like to believe that’s true, I think Lizzy knows what she *wants* to believe, and heads confidently in that direction. Darcy asks her not to judge him too harshly but as Lizzy points out… first impressions are usually the only ones we get.
During dinner, the Bennet shitshow continues, and Caroline pulls Lizzy aside to warm her about Wickham.
But good advice given in a bad way isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on; and a person who is disliked for poor reasons — not matter how bad they might actually be — might as well be a maligned friend.
So in short, Lizzy doesn’t trust Caroline. And she doesn’t trust Bingley’s account of the man either, when Jane comes to her with what he knows of the story.
When Bingley calls for music, Mary leaps to the instrument, and gives a terrible performance.
Mr. Collins has found out that Darcy’s Lady Catharine’s nephew and introduces himself — a huge social faux pas. Darcy gives him the cut direct.
At least Mary’s confidence is high enough that she’s oblivious to the social embarrassment… and the howling of the dogs… that is, until her father publicly calls her out for it.
And that snotty shit from Mrs. Hurst, playing Mozart so competently? What a show off!
Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet’s gossiping about a future engagement is loud enough for Darcy and Bingley and Jane to overhear — embarrassing everyone.
Lydia and Kitty are back on their bullshit, causing a ruckus and truly, this is not a good showing for the whole family.
The next day, Collins wants to talk to Lizzy — ALONE.
And thus proceeds the most awkward marriage proposal in the HISTORY of marriage proposals. Has there ever been a man who so deeply misunderstood a woman’s character?
No means no Mr. Collins!
But Mama Bennet is piiiiiissed. And Collins, once he figures out that Lizzy is serious, is piiiiiissed. And Lizzy is piiiiiissed.
In fact, the only person who’s not piiiiiissed is Mr. Bennet, who tells Lizzy that if she marries Mr. Collins, he’ll never talk to her again.
Charlotte Lucas arrives just in time to whisk Mr. Collins away for dinner, in the hopes that some time away from the Bennets will calm everyone’s nerves…
Surprise! It won’t!
And thus ends our marathon review sessions, but not the end of #25Days! So keep sharing these posts every day for a chance to be entreated in our giveaway! We’ll announce the prize pack in just two days, on Dec. 16 — Jane’s birthday!
Catch you tomorrow,