Without dropping too many hints for those who have not seen it, here are my gut feelings about the characters both old and new.
Charlotte Heywood – My initial impression is Charlotte is broken, grief-stricken, and deeply hurt from her experience with Sidney. Her facial expressions through the first episode tell the story, as well as some of the comments she makes to her sister and Mary. It’s heartwrenching to see her as such, and some of her attitudes are driven by the underlying pain she is experiencing. She almost reminds me of Sidney, taking a path to protect herself and believing marriage is not for her. It echoes the same sentiments displayed in season one. Now the shoe is on her foot, and the question is, who will heal Charlotte from the pain of the past? Even though Mary and her sister are adamant she should not pursue the lowly vocation of a governess, her very decision to run away may take her directly into the arms of the man she will love next. Regardless of the grief that Charlotte carries, there is still the underlying strong personality and independent woman of thought we all came to love. It becomes quite evident during her interview with Colbourne when she puts him in his place about a woman’s place in the world. It’s one of those moments that makes you proud to know Charlotte.
Alison Heywood – She’s a bubbly personality that stands starkly in contrast to her hurting sister. She’s much like Charlotte in season one, eager to experience all that Sanditon has to offer. The one difference is that she has come to Sanditon to find a husband, unlike Charlotte’s initial purpose when she arrived. She is extremely naive, impetuous, but cute as ever. Her eagerness for her own happiness, however, clouds her judgment when it comes to Charlotte. After a few insensitive teasings directed at Charlotte about marriage, it’s obvious that she doesn’t understand the depths of her sister’s pain. When Charlotte points out that she didn’t come back to Sanditon to find a husband but to forge a new path for herself, Alison reacts with anger. The sisters don’t see eye to eye. It will be interesting to see how she evolves throughout the season.
Georgiana Lambe – Georgiana appears much happier. She has more freedom, not being a prisoner under Sidney’s guardianship. A sense of power has returned to her life because she can make her own decisions, even though people attempt to make decisions for her. She is pressured by Tom to marry, and the Hankins continue their moral guidance and encouragement of her to wed as well. However, she will have none of it, as her distrust because of Otis remains in her life. Men want her for one thing – her money. She and Arthur have become the best of friends. However, as Charles Lockhart is introduced to her, we all know that things are about to change. Unfortunately, she still pines over her picture of Otis in her locket. Will she ever be able to let go of her lost love? What difference does it make now, Georgiana? I think in the meantime, she’s going to live vicariously through Alison’s adventures while continuing to mistrust other men. We will have to see how the flamboyant Charles Lockhart wears down her resistance.
Check back soon, as I write about Charles, Lennox, and Colbourne.