More than one couple received their happy ever after in Sanditon season three. The most endearing pair in my eyes is Lady Susan and Samuel Colbourne, who were brought together as a formidable force to scheme and bring Alexander and Charlotte together. Who would have thought these two would capture our hearts so dearly, along with our hero and heroine? They are, in my eyes, a joy to watch on screen. I cheered for their romance to bloom into an enduring relationship.

Samuel Colbourne

Good gracious. Cast into the role of Alexander’s brother comes dreamy Liam Garrigan to grace our screens as the older brother. Liam describes his character on the PBS website: “He is a lawyer who lives and works in London and is possibly a little bit of a rogue.” We learn that he inherited Heyrick Park as the elder son but did not want to inherit the responsibilities of running it, as it was “saddled with debt.” He relinquishes it to the hands of Alexander, who takes on the task of returning their inheritance into a profitable enterprise. In the meantime, Samuel is in London, a lawyer, living as he pleases, disconnected from his family. He enjoys drinking and women and doesn’t take on significant cases, concerning himself with “petty litigation” in his career because he would rather slide through the profession than make his mark in the world.

When Alexander searches him out and insists he returns to Sanditon, he relents. It would have been interesting to watch Alexander plead with his brother, whom he hadn’t seen in ten years, to return, but alas we are only given a short scene of him insisting that Samuel come to Sanditon immediately. Challenged with representing Miss Lambe, Samuel answers the calling, although we wonder if he is up to the task of making it a successful one. He admits to Charlotte he would have never taken on such a critical case. Samuel realizes it’s time to mend broken relationships and do something good for once. An opportunity to make peace with his estranged brother has arisen.

Astute in his observations, too, Samual instinctively knows something is between Alexander and Charlotte. He probably knows his brother’s personality better than anyone, especially when he’s hiding the truth of his feelings. After all, that’s what the family does, we later learn, suppress those emotions regardless of the pain. The bantering between the two brothers is heartwarming, giving us deeper insight into Alexander, which the audience needed in season three. Samuel was the means of providing us with the family dynamics and insight into Colbourne’s past. It also opened an entirely new world of possibilities for Samuel.

Lady Susan

Lady Susan, often called Charlotte’s “fairy godmother” by fans, is a beloved character from season one. When I learned she was returning for season three, I was so happy. I didn’t, however, realize what a pivotable place she would hold as the season unfolded. Of course, bringing her back, the writers gave her a different last name than from season one – an apparent oversight and “oops,” the editors missed that tidbit. Didn’t they realize the obsessed fandom would catch that error, along with a few other items?

Lady Susan’s status in life is one of interest – a widow but also one of the King’s favorites and so-called mistresses. In case you are wondering, the relationship of Lady Susan and the King is fictional. Although the King may have had a mistress in real life, this storyline isn’t fact. We learn early in season three that Lady Susan no longer has the King’s ear, so to speak, as a newer and younger mistress has taken her place. Naturally, she’s the topic of gossip because Lady Montrose heard that she had been thrown aside like an old shoe.

Her fall from being a favorite in the King’s eyes may be somewhat devastating to Lady Susan as we witness soon afterward. Still, it opens up the possibility of being loved and cherished as she deserves. I’m giddy that the writers decided to pair Lady Susan with Samuel Colbourne. They soon find common ground in attempting to play matchmaker between Alexander and Charlotte, righting the wrongs set in motion. Lady Susan is convinced that Charlotte is settling for Ralph as we all do, and it is curiously suspicious about what she’s been told by Charlotte regarding her short stint as a governess. Lady Susan consistently encourages Charlotte to reach for more in her life and doesn’t give up. When she discovers that Samuel and her see eye-to-eye on the matter, they bond in a common goal, bringing them closer together. It doesn’t take long for love to bloom and Samuel to find his footing in life again.

We are also given a glimpse into Lady Susan herself and her past as she confesses to Samuel she came from a humble background. “You seem to be under the misconception that I am inherently grand.” She admits she married in circumstances much like Augusta finds herself in, having run off with Edward Denham. At thirty, she became a widow, left only with a title and no money. Perhaps becoming the King’s mistress was borne out of necessity for monetary survival. She never admits to Samuel that she belongs to the King for his pleasure but hides the secret from him.

The King, unfortunately, has decided he wants to spend time with Lady Susan once more and summons her back to court. The turmoil she feels is deep, and the heartwrenching declaration to Samuel that they enjoyed a brief interlude together gives the audience an inward groan. Thankfully, Samuel learns the truth about her position and beckons her to remain as his wife. His romantic and heartfelt gesture eventually helps Lady Susan relinquish herself from the King’s power and acknowledge that she is worth much more. She has paid her dues for her mistakes of the past, and it’s time to pursue her happiness.

Love Wins

How much more could we want as fans where this storyline is concerned? Samuel and Lady Susan will marry. A brotherly relationship is healed, and Charlotte gains a very wise and dear friend who will no doubt be her sister-in-law one day.

Oh, how I wish Sanditon could continue in some sense to see how these lives play out in the future. We will miss so much that we must daydream about it or read fan fiction to satisfy our curiosity and thirst for more.

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