Writing these recaps to let my readers know what happened in a particular episode is one thing, but it’s not the totality. My posts are just words. It’s impossible for me to convey the emotions and every look and nuance of our hero and heroine as they traverse toward a happily ever after. I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful Ben and Rose did on screen. It’s overwhelming, to say the least. Now, on with episode two.
The King is coming!
Episode 2 opens with Charlotte taking a walk, holding a letter. We hear the voice of Ralph narrating the content. He hopes it isn’t long before Georgiana’s situation is resolved and Charlotte can return. The party is over. Charlotte has stayed behind to help her friend. Ralph is back at the farm, “counting the hours until we are married.”
Back in town, Arthur runs around like a chicken with his head cut off, ensuring arrangements are in order. The King is coming to Sanditon to hear a celebrated soprano from America perform at their musical event. He discusses with Lady Susan his plans, but after hearing her advice, makes a few minor changes and ditches the idea of bagpipes.
Tom has been attempting to procure a lawyer for Georgiana to represent her at the hearing, but everyone has turned down the case because the odds are stacked against her. Apparently, the Lord Chancellor appointed to hear the matter is not sympathetic to her cause.
Who would have thought that Sir Denham would be raking leaves? It’s the rake with a rake! (A dissolute or immoral person, especially a man who indulges in vices or lacks sexual restraint.) Edward only works hard when Reverend Hankins is in view. He’s also come up with the idea that he wants to write a “mediation in the form of a confessional poem.” What’s he got up his sleeve now? Edward, a poet?
Charlotte and Georgiana are having refreshments in the tea room, talking about her predicament. Suddenly, Leo runs up to them excited that Charlotte is still in Sanditon. Colbourne and Augusta approach. Colbourne apologizes for the interruption, and Charlotte states there’s no need. She’s always happy to see Leo and Augusta. Naturally, she cannot say she’s happy to see him too, lest she encourages the poor man. Colbourne sits at a table with his back toward the ladies and eavesdrop on their conversation. He hears about the difficulty of Georgiana finding a lawyer to represent her and of Charlotte’s willingness to delay her return to Ralph.
Lady Montrose doesn’t think her son should pursue Georgiana any longer since she may lose her fortune. It’s all about making a good match again. Lydia announces to her brother that she is going riding with Mr. Colbourne today. Lord Montrose leaves for a walk to try and call upon Miss Lambe regardless of his mother’s wishes.
Well, guess who is not writing poetry? It’s Edward. Snooping around outside, peeking in the tea room window at Augusta. As Colbourne and Leo exit, Augusta sees him and feigns an excuse to return because she’s left a glove. They proceed, and she hides behind a pillar to talk with Edward. She’s playing the game of deceit with the king of deceitfulness. Beware!
Colbourne returns home and immediately leaves for London, to the dismay of Mrs. Wheatley and Augusta.
In the meantime, Edward is trying to write a poem but not doing very well. Tom and Rowleigh are looking for a good place to build their hotel. He informs Mr. Pryce that Lady Denham has forbidden him to do business with him. Aghast at the announcement, he leaves to confront her. It doesn’t take long for him to change her mind. Of course, she wants a large share of the profits. The location of the grand hotel will necessitate the destruction of housing for the fishermen. And poor Lydia has shown up with her mother in the barouche for an outing with Colbourne, only to discover that he is not at home.
Colbourne is in the city he hates – London. He has one purpose in mind, and that is to find his brother. When they cross paths, he tells Samuel he needs to come to Sanditon now! A bit surprised that Alexander has shown up after ten years, he returns to Heyrick Park with him. Leo and Augusta have no idea who he is, and Samuel declares he’s the “infamous” uncle.
Georgiana is with Mary and Charlotte in their parlor, reading her written letter detailing the iniquity of her situation at Charlotte’s suggestion. They are interrupted by the arrival of Alexander and Samuel Colbourne, who stand on the threshold of the parlor door. (Nothing like a handsome pair of Regency men coming to the rescue.) Alexander apologizes for the intrusion. Samuel introduces himself as Georgiana’s new lawyer, and as he does so, Alexander’s eyes shift to Charlotte. He has that Darcy look, and we instinctively know Alexander is doing this for Charlotte. Before they leave, you can see the thankfulness in Charlotte’s gaze toward Colbourne, but she and he remain silent.
Sir Edward appears on a horse and crosses paths with Augusta and Leo on the Heyrick grounds. Augusta confronts him asking him if he thinks her a fool. She questions his sudden interest in her after he’s learned she is expected to receive an inheritance. She accuses him of piteous flattery. Augusta has a “sharp wit,” as we discovered in season two, which she is certainly wielding at Edward to test his motives. He leaves with his tail between his legs this time.
A soldier on horseback arrives and delivers a letter to Arthur Parker. He opens it and reads the horrible words, “On behalf of his Majesty…regretfully inform you that…unable to attend the musical.” Poor Arthur is devasted and immediately seeks out Lady Susan to petition the King. However, we soon learn that Lady Susan is no longer his favorite mistress, having given her over to a younger woman. The Dowager Duchess remarks to her children that she has been cast aside like an “old shoe.” Lady Susan no longer holds any influence over the King, evidenced by the painful admission to Arthur that she no longer has his ear.
TIDBIT: For those who don’t know, Sophie Winkleman, who plays Lady Susan, is a titled Lady in real life. She’s married to Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince Michael of Kent, the late Queen’s paternal cousin.
Again, Lord Montrose seeks out Arthur because he witnesses how distraught he is and shows concern. Arthur finally tells him his predicament and fear that the famed American singer will no longer wish to perform since the King will not attend. Lord Montrose has an idea of how to rectify the situation and is eager to help.
Charlotte and Georgiana arrive at Heyrick Park. Samuel Colbourne wishes to speak privately with Miss Lambe about the pending case. Colbourne and Charlotte take a seat outside the parlor door to wait. Samuel Colbourne begins asking Georgiana questions with increasing intrusion into her privacy and laced with accusations. He’s testing her to see if she can take the atmosphere in court when Lockhart and his attorney start mud-slinging to gain her inheritance. It upsets Georgiana to such a state she becomes unsure whether she is strong enough to endure. The case, however, will proceed with or without her.
Colbourne and Charlotte sit beside each other, clearly distressed by each other’s presence. A roaring fire is between the chairs; the portrait of Colbourne’s dead wife above the mantel. He remarks that he thought she was supposed to leave for home after the party, and she states that she stayed for Georgiana. Colbourne asks if Ralph is still in Sanditon, but Charlotte says he has returned to his farm. He says, “He’s a farmer, like me.” What! In a laughable moment, Charlotte glances at him with a smirk stating, “Nothing like you.” Her nerves and fiddling with her gloves cause her to drop one to the floor, and Alexander quickly gets up from his seat, retrieves it, and hands it back. He’ll do anything for Charlotte. Despite the situation, he continues to show her his love through action.
Alexander and Samuel are having a drink together in his study. He hands it to him and remarks, “you’ll be leaving then.” His brother thinks that Sanditon has changed for the better and will stay awhile. They exchange brief conversations, and then Samuel suggests they have a shooting party. With hesitation, Alexader agrees, saying it will allow Augusta to meet more eligible suitors. Samuel counters with a comment that Alexander must think very much of the young lady to go to London and find him to help. After all, they haven’t seen each other in ten years. With a snap, Alexander states emphatically that he was her employer and nothing more. With a cheeky grin, Samuel clarifies he was speaking of Miss Lambe. Augusta comes to the door, unbeknown to Alexander that she has received a note from Edward, and fakes a headache so she won’t have to attend the recital. The deceit grows.
Miss Greenhorn, the celebrated singer, is preparing for the evening. Arthur is in a tizzy because he hasn’t told her the King will not be present. Lord Montrose attempts to calm his worries. When Arthur does tell her the truth, he is relieved that she will sing regardless.
People begin to arrive at the function before the performance, mingling with each other. Charlotte and Alexander exchange glances. She gazes at him while he is conversing with the Dowager Duchess and Lady Lydia and he likewise returns the glance.
Charlotte proceeds over to Lady Susan to give her condolences about the King’s absence, telling her she will find someone who will provide her with the love and constancy she deserves. However, Lady Susan challenges her back about Charlotte’s continued excuses not to return to Willingden and the life she has resigned herself to. To Lady Susan, it means that Charlotte does not really want to marry Ralph.
Edward and Augusta secretly meet to go for a walk. He’s crossing the line, walking with an unchaperoned young lady, and both of them are taking chances.
As it’s time for the performance, everyone scatters and grabs seats. Charlotte and Alexander scurry to sit down and realize they have chosen adjacent seats. They look at each other, glance uncomfortably the other way, and sit stiffly in the chairs while Arthur proceeds with the introductions. It’s a comical moment for the audience.
Miss Greenhorn comes on stage, says a few words, and states that she will sing Porgi Amor from Le Nozze di Figaro, dedicating it to any ladies in attendance that are suffering heartache of their own, hoping they will find strength and comfort in her performance. As she sings the song, which lyrics include, “Oh, love relieve my grief and give me consolation“ and “Give me my beloved back or let me die.“ (I must insert a thanks to a Twitter acquaintance who posted this information.) Colbourne glances at Charlotte, and the scene of their hands touching unfolds. It’s beautiful! After the performance, everyone rises to clap, breaking the magical moment.
Samuel Colbourne glances at Lady Susan, who is visibly distraught. He comes over and kneels beside her, asking if she enjoyed the music. He introduces himself, and she responds, assuming he has heard the gossip about her. He never listens to gossip but prefers to “fathom out” people for himself. It’s the beginning of good things to come.
The music has so inspired Georgiana that she makes a sudden change of mind to attend the hearing. She approaches Mr. Colbourne and wants to know when they will leave. “Tomorrow, first light.” Georgiana asks Charlotte to come with her, and Lady Susan flashes a look about her continued delay to return home. She’s knows Charlotte is taking every opportunity to stall the inevitable.
The suspense continues. The longing between Charlotte and Alexander increases. New relationships flourish.
On to episode three.