We’re on the home stretch now, folks!
All the main characters have decamped to Sanditon for the regatta. Hurrah! But after the shock revelations that Sid’s heart has been broken by Mrs Campion, Char is in a mood. It doesn’t get better when the said ex turns up in Sanditon, all London airs and beige clothes, and mistakes Char for the help.
So, naturally, Sid feels the thing he really should do to fix things is console Char with an erotic boat trip and a mini feel-up. Heave. Ho. Etc.
But lo! Who else tips up? Susan, the random woman dishing out the old Anna Raeburn to our Char at the glittering ball in Ep 6, that’s who! And, would you know it, fragrant Susan is a Lady Somethingorother AND, apparently, a mistress of the Prince Regent. She’s not here for the Toffs v Plebs boat race. Oh no. She’s here to Take Char in Hand and Put Things Right (maybe).
Meanwhile, over on the dark side…
You know in my recap of Episode 6 I said Lady Denham was Not Dead Yet. Well, I never spoke a truer word.
While Esther, dressed in a symbolic gown of green, is recapping to her on Edward and Clara burning the will and getting down and dirty on the floor, thinking she was more or less talking to the air, Lady D is actually listening. Then she (Lady D) rises as if from the grave, denounces the very very guilty parties and sends ’em packing without a farthing. Luckily, Esther has wished Lady D well in heaven, so she’s OK (maybe).
Back to the action.
Arthur prises Georgiana Lambe out of her bed where she is being bored to death with Bible readings by the Creepy Vicar and takes her down to the regatta for a spot of fun and cake. She says she resents being stared at by the masses for her reputation-shredding escapade with Otis and the abductor. He sensibly says she is constantly stared at so what’s the diff?
Stringer clumsily but sweetly makes a sort of advance towards Char, but she doesn’t even see it and thanks him for being a great shoulder for her broken heart (this metaphor has gone a bit wrong, but bear with). Then it’s the boat race and may the best man win. There’s a lot of in-out-in-out etc from the coxes. And the best man does win, except he is not Sid.
So, Sanditon looks saved, mostly by Sue, who might return with The Prince in tow. More hurrahs! Bonus: Tom and Mary Parker’s marriage is saved because he won’t go bankrupt.
Lord B goes to see Esther and offers to be a supportive friend in her hour of need without bothering her with that love stuff. She has a cry, and we love her for it (he does too).
Final scene: Char alone in the Sanditon project room feeling wistful. Enter: Sid. Blah Blah, he says, I’ve sent the snobby ex packing back to London and I am a better man when I am with you, or words to that effect, Your Honour.
Please, I beg you, costume department, stop with the long hair and put a bonnet on Charlotte. She’s looking like a woman of the street.
Good. We had naked Sid in the distance emerging from the sea, where he had gone to sort out his head. Plus a bit of manly chest and lower leg.
Difficult. Obviously nothing’s over until it’s over, and I feel there’s going to be a curve ball thrown in from left field because that is the job of the scriptwriter, but this is where we appear to be heading:
Esther and Lord Bab marry after lots of psychotherapy and couples counselling.
Char and… jury’s still out, I’m afraid, until Sid can show he has genuinely changed and wants children (he’s great with the nephs and nieces). Perhaps Stringer is not developed enough as a character to be properly in the running.
Georgiana Lambe moves in with Arthur and Diana and lives to a long age, single and happy. She leaves her fortune to street children.