Wow. Honestly, just when you think you have everyone pegged, when you think you know what to expect, Sanditon throws something like this episode at you, simultaneously breaking your heart and mending it.
Georgiana Lambe has been through so much, and this episode just put one more patch of darkness on her beautiful soul. Give that girl some ice cream RIGHT NOW, you monsters! On top of that, we had some daring adventures, deeply romantic moments, self-aware revelations, gross sexy times, and unforgivable acts of fraud.
Basically, this episode was A LOT.
Charlotte arrived in London and it was just THE WORST, with people growling and pushing and throwing up. It was basically what every die-hard-small-town person thinks every big city is, so way to perpetuate stereotypes, SANDITON. Anyway, Otis’ mailing address turned out to be a bar, and someone else had picked up his mail recently.
Charlotte was of course attacked in an alley by some ruffian, and who showed up to save her but none other than Mr. Sidney Parker! What a coincidence (I love TV)! He had figured out Otis’ mailing address as well, and was serendipitously on hand to assist Charlotte in not getting murdered.
He cleared up the whole racist / slavery thing (he hates it I guess?) and explained that he didn’t like Otis because he believed Otis only wanted Georgiana for her money. Then Charlotte conveniently remembered that Otis is a member of the Sons of Africa, and low and behold, it was serendipitously Otis’ turn to give a rousing speech (I love TV)!
Otis never got Georgiana’s letter asking for a tryst, which means he DIDN’T set her up, and he’s just as worried about her as they are. He’s just a man in love, you see!
This fellow SOLD Georgiana (yes, the show went there, and yes, that horrible feeling in your gut is an appropriate response).
Okay you guys, here’s where this episode turns from fun and entertaining to brilliantly complex and layered, because WHO DO WE BELIEVE?? This obvious bad guy insists that Otis bragged about coming into a fortune through Georgiana, while Otis insists it was only to buy him time, not to actually gamble in her name.
Soul-crushing, right? Because we don’t know what to think. Otis did brag about Georgiana, and he must have mentioned how rich she is. That’s an asshole move, but is Otis an asshole? He clearly loved Georgiana, and he is obviously falling into a self-hatred spiral about his actions putting her in danger. There is no right side of this situation, no clear answer, which makes it all the more sad.
This gross dandy paid off Otis’ debt in exchange for Georgiana’s hand in marriage; a matter Georgiana had no say in. I’ll admit, I’m not sure how this is allowed. It’s legit kidnapping, right? Like, this is in no way legal. Right? Or is this an historical thing I’m ignorant of, where people would just bargain with other people’s lives?
Anyway, Gross Dandy informed Georgiana that Otis “offered her up” to pay his debts, which is again another half-truth (we think), and again made us (and Georgiana) doubt everything.
Sir Poopybum, Clara, and Esther were gathered ’round Mean Old Rich Lady’s bedside, oozing performative concern. Esther seemed like the only one who had actual concern, because as we all know, Esther has a secret heart of pure gold. Anyway, MORL told them that she already has a will drafted, which sent Sir Jerkington into an hysterical frenzy.
Meanwhile, in the midst of their search and rescue, Sidney and Charlotte had a delightful conversation-argument about how he doesn’t have human emotions, and he was like, “WOULD THAT WERE TRUE,” and she was like, “omg tell me more,” (with her eyes), and he was like, “I can’t, because it would reveal that my heart beats for you,” (with his eyes), and she was like, “you should love people more,” (with her eyes), and he was like, “IF YOU ONLY KNEW,” (with his entire being).
Hahahahahha, Sidney was a regular at a pleasure house!! I love this show. It didn’t take long for the madam to tell him everything about the “sale” (honestly, can you blame her), and so off Sidney and Charlotte went to rescue Georgiana.
Sidney jumped onto the Carriage of Grossness and convinced the driver to stop by punching him in the face. Then he opened the door and was like, “excuse me, but that’s my sassy heroine,” and Gross Dandy was like, “whatever, man, I wanted a funny sidekick anyway,” and Sidney was like, “sure, bud, no one wants a funny sidekick,” and they sauntered off with Gross Dandy yelling about a refund and a one star review on yelp.
Clara found the will and shared its contents with Sir Fartbrain, and it turns out Mean Old Rich Lady granted my wish and left all her money to SANDITON. She didn’t leave anything to her sorta-relations. I LOVE IT. Clara and Sir Buttbreath did NOT love it, however, and settled on terms before burning it. He will give Clara a fifth of the money in exchange for her silence. Then they had some sex atop a bizarre snake mural (WHY does the Mean Old Rich Lady have a sinister snake mural on the floor of her home? That’s between her and the werewolf who stole her heart when she was not a girl, not yet a woman).
Sir Shitbrains was like, “that was great, thx babe,” and Clara was like, “yeahhhhhhhh, gonna need more money to stay quiet about this, too. You just got played, playa!” Then she high-fived herself. It was very undignified.
Sir Stankbutt returned to Esther and was all, “there is no will, our aunt is crazy, we’re going to get all the money and be rid of Clara and live happily ever after, please no follow-up questions.”
That guy is the worst.
After depositing Georgiana safely in a room at Tom’s house, Sidney went downstairs to tough-love some self-actualization from his brother. This was pretty great, and I’m glad Tom is finally admitting his faults and taking some responsibility. You own those eff-ups, Tom!
Then Tom, ever the #Sidlotte shipper, told Charlotte all about Sidney’s ex-fiancé who broke their engagement and thus his heart. “So you see,” Tom said, leaning in close to whisper, “he is damaged, and you can FIX him.” And Charlotte smiled coyly to herself. “And fix him I shall, Tom. Fix him I shall.”
Sidney brought Otis to the house in order to have a proper goodbye, and it HURT ME, you guys. Otis gave a pretty speech that almost made us believe him. But the beautifully tragic aspect of this episode is, we didn’t quite, did we? And neither did Georgiana.
He loved her, but how much of that love was influenced by his debts and her fortune? We don’t know, and now, neither does she, and OWE MY HEART, HOW DARE YOU??
The thing I love about all this is that it didn’t give us a cut-and-dry answer. There is no misunderstanding to clear up, no “ah-ha!” moment that tells you whether he’s a hero or a villain. He could be telling the truth. He could be lying. He could truly love her and want a life with her, while at the same time, he could need her money. This situation is complicated, and I respect that the show didn’t uncomplicate it for us.
Not only did Sidney bring Otis to say goodbye, but he also paid all of his debts. Is Sidney, a… *gasp* a HERO??? *stupid little giggle*
Babs snagged them invites to a swanky party to talk up the regatta. After all the commotion, Charlotte didn’t want to leave Georgiana, but then Sidney was like, “but my chest aches when you are not near,” and Charlotte was like, “what was that?” and Sidney was like, “what’d you say?” and Charlotte was all, “no, you said something,” and Sidney was like, “the regatta was your idea so you should come to the party,” and Charlotte was like, “oh, I thought you said-” and Sidney was like, “get fancy, girl!”
I’m guessing Charlotte borrowed a dress from Mary’s closet, or maybe some cartoon mice made it for her, and then off they went!
Hello Crow! He hilariously hit on Charlotte before remembering who she was, then flat-out refused to help them with their marketing project, and wandered off to debauch. #CrowSpinoffPlease
Instead of talking up the regatta (absolutely no one cared), Sidney decided to flirt it up with Charlotte, telling her that she’s perfect, and to never change, and that she is his sun or something. Then Babs is all, “my romantic situation is the exact opposite of yours, ha ha, isn’t that funny?” *sobs* This made Charlotte panic and retreat to a quiet area of the party already occupied by a charismatic scheming rich lady of previous Austen fame.
Lady Susan! It’s Lady Susan, you guys!! And Lady Susan is ALSO a #Sidlotte shipper! She listened to Charlotte’s woes, and then was like, “that boy is in LOVE, and so are you, my dude.”
THOSE SMILES! Sidney and Charlotte danced, and the difference between this dance and their first dance in episode one is truly startling. It was heart-palpitation-inducing, is what I’m saying. My sweet lord. Anyway. *deep breath* Then Sidney began talking to some random hussy (I hate pitting women against each other, so I’m sure she’s not a hussy, but at this point HOW DARE anyone try to come between our sweet #Sidlotte like a damn hussy [not a hussy]), and Tom BETRAYED OUR HEARTS by telling Charlotte that Sidney can finally be happy with his first love.
Tom! You were supposed to be on our side! Ugh.
And that’s that! Sanditon continues to barrel forward, with little signs of slowing down.
- I write myself notes while watching the episode so I don’t forget any first impressions, and this episode I wrote myself: “snake floor sex, I have questions.”
- We have two overweight characters so far in Sanditon; first, Arthur, the love of my life, second; a villain who tried to force marriage on a young girl for her money. While Arthur is one of the best characters in existence, his weight is often played for jokes; something to be laughed at and judged. And now we have Gross Villain Who Is Gross. Sanditon is obviously not the only show to represent overweight characters as either bad or foolish, but I was hoping with all the efforts the show was taking to shift the narrative, they would also try to tackle overweight representation. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all, I guess. (Something for season 2, perhaps?)
- The ruffian in London pulled a knife on Charlotte, right? He was about to stab her? Like… Charlotte almost just got straight-up murdered. Then he ran away. Look, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like maybe the show is telling the wrong story here. #TheSanditonMurders
- “I don’t belong anywhere. It’s like you said, I’m an outlier.” Sidney being dramatically emo was very funny and I want more.
- “You cannot determine who you fall in love with. It is an affliction. Like the measles.” Haha, Lady Susan! Be in every episode! This cameo was very fun, and a nice little nod to Austen fans. I like to think all of Austen’s books connect, like a regency era MCU.
- The character’s opinions on funny sidekicks are completely their own, and do not reflect the views of this recapper, who is herself a funny sidekick.
OKAY THANK YOU KEEP ON FOLLOWING YOUR HEARTS!