Woah! Despite my best feminist self, I feel a tiddly bit cheated.
I’ll dive straight in.
Lord Babington woos Esther with a carriage drive. She takes the reins and has a right old laugh. That’s more like it!
Georgiana warns Charlotte not to believe a word Sid says.
“Oh, give over,” we hear from the back row. “That Sid’s a lovely boy, and he’s promised to be good from now on.” What could possibly go wrong?
So they all go to the ball. It’s wall to wall chandeliers and mirrors. Char is decked out in silver. Lovely Mary Parker is pure Top Shop Christmas Party glitter. Georgiana tips up and gleefully leaps about with Arthur, much to the chagrin of his sister Diana, who fears she will be ending her days alone. “No!” says Arthur afterwards, “I’m not the marrying kind. Don’t understand how ladies work.” Say no more.
Dishevelled psycho Edward puts in an appearance, shouting at Esther about love, but she spurns him. The Esther/Lord Babs alliance looks pretty solid. Tick that one off.
What about the other one? Ummmm. Just as Sid is about to pop the question on the balcony, the scene of Sid’s earlier horrid horridness, a catastrophe befalls, well, just about everyone. Stringer’s grumpy dad, annoyed that his son has been given an opportunity in London Town, collapses with a fatal heart attack and while falling to the ground knocks a naked flame, starting a devastating fire and putting paid to nearly all Tom Parker’s luxury seaside apartments.
Stringer is heartbroken about Pa, yeah yeah, but that’s nothing compared to Tom Parker. He’s ruined, I tell you, and facing debtor’s prison. I would be tempted to say, “So what? That’s life, buster!” but Sid, dear dear boy, thinks otherwise and gallantly goes off to raise funds to save his brother. I know I mentioned it earlier, but bear in mind that The Brothers was Jane Austen’s original title for the work. Fam and all that.
And so it turns out. Sid returns with good news for Tom and bad news for Char. He’s only gone and pimped himself out to the odious ex Eliza and her massive coffers and permitted himself to become engaged. No wedding bells for Char. And probably a life dissipating his sorrows in the bars and bagnios of Covent Garden for Sid.
I had a lump in my throat when Char boarded the coach for home. Everyone knows the sorrow of a broken romance. But with literally two minutes for Sid to put everything right I knew that was that, get over it. Our man did gallop up to the carriage but only to plead with Char not to hate him (that is so mannish!). She was big enough to lie and say nooooo, everything’s fine, on you go, mate.
Statement: I accept historical accuracy isn’t really the point of the series.
Full marks for the fire machines. Gawd, but they were useless, though.
3/10 for Char’s hair and that’s only because she had a reasonable do for the ball and she wore a bonnet (not to the ball).
Not much apart from Lord and Lady Babington in bed. Shoulders only. We wouldn’t want to intrude on their precious bond, though, would we.