Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary (redcoast) wrote in __recapitulate_,
Sex and a dog-eared paperback dictionary

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Now, the last episode I’m not a big fan of, mostly because of the ending. It ends after we discover that Lydia and Wickham are marrying, and after we already know that Darcy has saved Lydia’s ungrateful behind. So we know he still loves Elizabeth. And we know Elizabeth loves him. Where’s the suspense?

Longbourn. Mrs Bennet is very pleased that Lydia will be married. So pleased she’s forgotten how displeased she was just a few minutes ago. She doesn’t like the idea of Lydia being married in “Cheapside,” and oh, for heaven’s sake. Elizabeth declares it impossible, adding, “You must see that.” “I do not see that!” Mrs Bennet exclaims. “Why should I see that? Why should that be?” And you can get that on a t-shirt! Elizabeth explains the pre-marital sex would be a barrier. Mrs Bennet concedes, and continues to complain about Mr Gardiner, etc. The girls try to make her see that Mr Gardiner probably had to pay Wickham a lot of money, but she remains obtuse. Remember what I said about most Jane Austen characters not learning from their mistakes?

Mrs Bennet sends Elizabeth to ask Mr Bennet something, and she gladly goes. In the Reading Room of Refuge, Mr Bennet looks tired and old, listening to his distant wife’s voice. They shut the door, and it improbably shuts out the noise completely. Elizabeth doesn’t think the situation is as dire as they considered it even a few hours ago. She asks if Mr Gardiner had to pay “a great deal of money.” Mr Bennet thinks ten thousand pounds, at least. That would equal either Darcy’s yearly income or Mary King’s entire fortune. Elizabeth is flabbergasted. Mr Bennet regrets not saving, and begins reminiscing about his bad decision, gambling that he would have a son who could inherit Longbourn. We already know this, and it’s a little creepy that he’s telling it to Elizabeth. But, it’s very revealing, anyway. “As it is, [Lydia and Wickhan’s marriage] is done with extraordinary little inconvenience to myself,” he says, cheerfully, and notes that it took about ninety pounds a year to support Lydia anyway. “I’m heartily ashamed of myself, Lizzy,” he says seriously, “but don’t despair. It’ll pass. And, no doubt, more quickly than it should.” I think it’s passing already, thanks to a certain enabler. Oh, come on, you knew Darcy paid.

London. Church. Lydia, wearing Ironic Bridal White, climbs out of her carriage, all smiles. In the church, Wickham pops into frame, and behind him appears–you guess it–our favorite enabler. This is the only time Darcy looks shorter than somebody else. Is Wickham taller than him, or is it the odd camera angle? Darcy is invading Wickham’s personal space and looks like a prison guard. Wickham looks his old charming self, so I guess Darcy made him have a cup of black coffee before the wedding. The ceremony is lead by a constipated-looking minister. The Gardiners are either grim or exhausted. Darcy, same as always. Wickham, the tiniest bit like he’d like to run out of the church. Lydia’s eyes are huge. Mr Gardiner voice-overs that Wickham’s “former friends”–i.e., Darcy–have purchased Wickham a commission in the north. I don’t understand the British military at all. You’d think they’d stop hiring guys who go AWOL on them. Col. Forster’s job will be to pay Wickham’s debts in Brighton, and–

–abrupt cut to Mr Bennet reading the letter from which Mr Gardiner was voice-overing. The Bennets get to settle up with the Meryton creditors. Oh, fun. The list is at least three pages long, and Mr Gardiner adds, “I hope at least he has not deceived us.” What a fine young man Mr Wickham is. The only question is whether the Wickhams will stop by Longbourn. Mrs Bennet thinks that’s a great idea and babbles for about twenty seconds. She thinks that Lydia should live in Hertfordshire, if only she could find a good house. Mrs Bennet rejects one for being occupied, one for smallish drawing rooms, and one for “dreadful attics.” “Mrs Bennet,” says Mr Bennet, “before you take any–or all–of these houses, let us come to a right understanding. Into one house of the neighborhood, they shall never have admittance. Mr and Mrs Wickham will never be welcome to Longbourn.”

So, of course, we ironically segue to Mr and Mrs Wickham being welcomed to Longbourn. Lydia charms with a little speech about being apart for so long, yet coming back “just the same.” Yes, that’s the problem. You are just the same. Darcy and Elizabeth learned their lessons. You’ve learned nothing. Mrs Bennet gives me the willies by saying that Lydia’s “grown.” Wickham, next time elope with someone older. Wickham, by the way, treats the fuss with a mix of embarrassment and smiles. He really is a charming bastard once you know he’s evil. As a good guy, he bores the pants off me. Ambiguous-faced Mr Bennet tells them to go in; Lydia stops her stony-faced older sisters to inform them that she goes first, “because I am a married woman. Mrs Wickham. [pause] Lord, how droll that sounds.”

Uhh. ... Longbourn environs? Meryton countryside? Grassy hilly place, anyway. The girls are walking, and Wickham is irritating me by riding his horse in a wide circle around them. Lydia, next time elope with someone more mature. Lydia teases Elizabeth about liking Wickham, but Elizabeth claims she never did. “I don’t particularly like your way of getting husbands,” Lizzy grumps. Lydia giggles at Wickham’s riding skills–double entendre unintended–and says that she wanted a guard of honor at her wedding. “But the officers could not be spared from their duties,” she says resignedly, “and in the end, there was no one there but my aunt and uncle and Mr Darcy.” Great shock and surprise. Not from the audience, of course. Lydia explains Darcy was Wickham’s “groomsman,” which cracks me up, and then realizes that she’s broken her vow not to mention Mr Darcy. “And I promised him so faithfully!” I wonder if the “he” is Wickham or Darcy. Or both. We’ve missed out on a great comedic scene, of Darcy coaching Lydia not to say anything about him to her family. You know he was secretly hoping all the while that she’d break her promise. Elizabeth immediately begins composing in her head an indignant letter to the Gardiners, demanding details.

Gracechurch Street. Which is near, but not in, Cheapside. The adorable Gardiner children play, or do home school, as Mrs Gardiner writes back, claiming that she had figured Elizabeth already knew about everything. This is because she thought that Darcy and Elizabeth were already engaged, she implies. And she thought that because of the secret visit Darcy made to Elizabeth the morning before they had to rush back to Longbourn. It’s all rather complicated.

Elizabeth receives the letter as the voice-over continues. Darcy stubbornly insisted on doing everything himself, and Mr Gardiner wasn’t very comfortable with the idea of pretending he was the one who paid for Lydia’s well-being.

Flashback to Darcy in the Gardiner’s house, where he seems completely comfortable. You see, he forced his acquaintance with the Gardiners to get off on the right foot, and it worked! Elizabeth was right! Darcy darcies about responsibility, fault, blah blah blah, it’s really because he’s in love with Elizabeth but he won’t say so. He says it was his fault for never telling anyone about Wickham, because he was too proud, which isn’t entirely true. He told Elizabeth, and the Bingleys, or, in other words, everyone he “knew” and was comfortable with, as much as he could without bringing his sister into it. And without that, nobody would believe him, thanks to Wickham’s slander, so what could he do? But neither I nor the Gardiners can argue with a man in love who doesn’t care that his excuse doesn’t make any sense because he knows that they know that he’s in love, and they know that he knows that they know. So they shake on it. Mr Gardiner gives his wife the eyebrow lift of, “Well, that saves one niece’s reputation by the skin of her teeth, and marries another one off to a rich, handsome, decent guy. Let’s have Mr Darcy round for dinner.” It’s a very expressive eyebrow lift.

Wickham interrupts Elizabeth’s Darcy fantasies. He’s come by for a round of damage control, vis-a-vis Lydia’s little slip. He says that Elizabeth and Wickham were always “good friends.” Bullshit. If they were friends, what was all that breaking-up business about? He keeps addressing her as “sister,” which is creepy. You know he’s thinking about having an affair with her. He lies about Darcy. Elizabeth teases him. Wickham says some mean things about Georgiana, and Elizabeth grows less teasing. He brings up the living he never got again. “I did hear that there was a time when sermon-making was not so palatable to you as it seems to be at present,” Elizabeth says, smiling. “That you actually declared your resolution of never taking orders, and were compensated accordingly.” And that’s the worst scolding Wickham will get, because when he looks embarrassed, Elizabeth says that they are “brother and sister,” and therefore there’s no reason to argue. He kisses her hand and they stomp off to the house.

The Wickhams leave. Mrs Bennet is tearful. She yells at Mary, and tells Lydia to write. “We married women don’t have much time for writing,” Lydia giggles. Wickham has a nice little speech about his new family, and his new “dear sisters,” as he gives Elizabeth the subtle look of, “Please don’t expose me and I may sleep with you.” Elizabeth gives him the “In your dreams and I’ll do what I want” look back. Wickham climbs into the carriage, and says his best line: “Let us say not farewell, but as the French have it, au revoir!” “He’s as fine a fellow as ever I saw,” Mr Bennet says, as the carriage pulls away. “He simpers and smirks, and makes love to us all. Oh, I’m prodigiously proud of him. I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce such a son-in-law.” Which is interesting if you consider that both Mr Collins and Wickham nearly married Elizabeth. And just wait for Mr Darcy.

Musical montage. Elizabeth and Jane sadly walk. Mary plays the piano, and they incorporate her missed notes into the score. Neat. Kitty trims a hat and throws it away. Mrs Bennet harasses Mrs Hill and stays in her room. Mr Bennet reads in his Reading Room of Refuge and looks happy. Elizabeth sulks in her room and blows out the candle. Again, the room stays half-lit.

Mrs Philips comes to Longbourn. What is that on her head? A hat? She voice-overs as she walks in the front door that Bingley has re-appeared in Netherfield.

Netherfield. The slightly-underpaid servants appear. The windows are opened. The chimney is smoking. The food arrives. The birds are killed. Bingley is back!

Jane and Elizabeth are hanging plants in a storeroom that we’ve never seen before. Jane assures her sister that she isn’t affected in the least by Bingley’s return. No. Not at all. Because she’s over him. And isn’t expecting anything at all. No way. In fact, she’s glad that she’ll rarely see him. Not because she’s scared to see him! Or that she’s scared she won’t see him! She doesn’t care one way or another. She’s only dreading what other people will say, those who don’t realize that she’s so gotten over him that she barely noticed when he moved back into his house. And–Lizzy, stop grinning like that. Right now.

Longbourn. Mrs Bennet is grousing because Bingley has been back for three days and hasn’t come by. She complains that Mr Bennet hasn’t visited him. “You promised me last year that if I went to see him he’d marry one of my daughters,” Mr Bennet grumps, “and it all came to nothing. And I won’t be sent on a fool’s errand again.” Why, we’re back at the beginning again. Kitty sees Bingley out the window. Jane doesn’t care one way or another because she is over Bingley. So over him that she can definitely see him and it won’t matter to her at all. “Run and put on your blue gown. No! No, stay where you are!” Mrs Bennet shouts. Kitty notes that someone is with Bingley, “Mr–oh, what’s his name, you know, that tall, proud one.” I know this one! thinks Elizabeth. “Mr Darcy,” grumps Mrs Bennet, “I believe it is. Well, any friend of Mr Bingley’s will always be welcome here to be sure. But else I must say that I hate the sight of him.” Elizabeth squirms. But Mrs Bennet is only that way about Darcy because he once snubbed Elizabeth, so she’s acting out of very sweet loyalty. Oh, there’s Bingley, girls. Quick, act natural.

Mrs Hill announces the gentlemen with a little grin. Everyone stands and bows. Mrs Bennet warmly greets Bingley, talks for about thirty seconds before finally saying hello to Darcy. Darcy is nonexpressive and silent. Bingley sits and Darcy hovers over him. The girls embroider, and the two oldest are very uncomfortable. Say what you will about Mrs Bennet’s manners, her babbling here nicely covers the awkwardness the lovers feel. They can sit silently and avoid eye contact while Mrs Bennet talks the afternoon away. Mrs Bennet mentions Lydia’s nuptials, and Darcy decides to look out the window. Again, you can put Mrs Bennet’s complaints about Lydia’s marriage announcement not being done properly in the absurd pile, or you can observe that her behavior brilliantly covers up the elopement. Mrs Bennet tosses a barb Darcy’s way about his supposed mistreatment of Wickham. Elizabeth dies, and quickly changes the subject, asking Bingley how long he will stay. Bingley glances at Darcy, and says they haven’t decided yet. But–he makes eye contact with Jane and gets stuck on saying, “I hope.” Aww. Then he looks at Elizabeth, like, will you please accept Darcy’s proposal already, ’cause things are easier on me when you two are getting along. “Well, when you have killed all your own birds, Mr Bingley, I beg you would come here and shoot as many as you please on Mr Bennet’s manor,” says Mrs Bennet. Shout-out! Then she reluctantly includes Darcy in the invitation. Darcy looks angry; but since we’ve spent the last five hours getting to know him, we recognize that we have no clue what Darcy is thinking. He could be thinking about his shrubbery, or his sister’s piano lesson, or what Elizabeth is wearing underneath her dress, or “Did I leave on the coffee-pot?” Anything.

Jane and Elizabeth bond. Because they both are so over their men. Oh, yeah, the first meeting was a little embarrassing, but once you get over that, you’re home free.

Netherfield. Darcy is leaving, being pursued by a peeved Bingley, who just found out that Darcy never told him that Jane was in London. “I can offer no justification,” Darcy says nonchalantly, “it was an arrogant presumption based on a failure to recognize your true feelings, and Miss Bennet’s.” Then he apologizes, sincerely but serenely. Bingley, who stopped being angry almost immediately, stares at him. “You admit that you were in the wrong,” he repeats. Sure, says Darcy. Totally wrong. Way wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. “Then I have your blessing,” Bingley says. “Do you need my blessing?” Darcy asks. “No,” Bingley realizes; and we have a moment of Bingley Is Asserting Himself before he caves in, and adds, “but I should like to know I have it all the same.” If Darcy was a giggler, he would giggle. Instead, he just says, “Then, go to it,” and hops into his carriage, mentally estimating how long it will take Bingley to propose to Jane. His carriage isn’t even out of the driveway before Bingley sees some slightly-underpaid underling, and yells, “Bring me my horse. At once. Quick, man!” Because Bingley Is Asserting Himself!

Longbourn. Mrs Bennet runs into Jane’s boudoir, still in her nightclothes, all aflutter because Bingley is coming. Jane slowly composes herself at the news. Mrs Bennet pulls Sara away from Elizabeth’s hair and tells her to get Jane dressed. Kitty has lost her locket. Jane tells Kitty to meet Bingley, Mrs Bennet says, “Hang Kitty!” and Kitty cries. Elizabeth has to finish her hair herself, probably wondering sadly if Darcy will show up or not. Basically, that was a “Chaos ensues” scene.

Longbourn parlor. Bingley is there. Silence. All the girls have their clothes on in the right order, I see. Jane isn’t wearing her blue gown, but a nice white one. Mrs Bennet, in a “just making conversation” way, asks about Darcy, and Bingley says he left for town. He had to re-alphabetize the filing system in his London office, you see. Mrs Bennet “subtly” winks at the girls. Elizabeth deliberately looks at the ceiling. “What’s the matter, mama?” Kitty asks. “Why do you keep winking at me?” Mrs Bennet rolls her eyes, and then says, “Wink at you? Why should I wink at you, child? What a notion! Why should I be winking at my own daughter, pray? But now you ask, it puts me in mind. I do have something I would speak to you about.” She calls Mary and Kitty from the room. Elizabeth is determined not to leave, so as a compromise, she picks up some sewing and tries so hard to become invisible she actually dematerializes. You could put a hand through her. Mrs Hill comes in, and tells her she’s “needed upstairs.” Elizabeth should have surely detected in Bingley signs of proposalus cuspus, given her experience, but she really doesn’t want to leave Jane alone. (In the novel, Jane asked her not to leave her with Bingley.) She gives Jane an I’m-sorry-be-back-soon look, and leaves.

Upstairs, Elizabeth pleads to be allowed downstairs, but Mrs Bennet says “five more minutes,” and looks smug. Either five minutes later or in defiance of the edict, Elizabeth bounces downstairs, and barges into the parlor, interrupting Jane and Bingley doing something by the mantel. Elizabeth apologizes, but they tell her not to go. Elizabeth tries to dematerialize again as Bingley whispers something to Jane and leaves the room, beaming. “Well?” Elizabeth asks. Jane suddenly begins almost sobbing with happiness, and hugs Elizabeth. “I’m so happy! It is too much,” she gasps. “It is too much. Oh, why can’t everyone be as happy as I am!” Elizabeth beams, but her eyes are sad. “He loves me, Lizzy,” Jane says, “He loves me. He told me he always loved me, all the time! He didn’t believe–oh, I must go and tell mama. Why, he has gone to papa already! Oh, Lizzy! Could you believe things would end in this happy way?” “I could and I do,” Elizabeth replies. Jane then says, “I must go to my mother. Oh, Lizzy! To know I shall be giving such pleasure to all my dear family. How shall I bear so much happiness?” I transcribed all the dialogue for two reasons: first, Jane’s outburst of happiness gives us a description of what Elizabeth will be feeling when she gets her happy ending; and secondly, that you may understand how poignant it is when Jane kisses Elizabeth on the cheek, and, unbeknownst to her, Elizabeth’s happy expression dissolves into tears. Jane leaves Elizabeth to her bittersweet feelings.

Longbourn lane. Mr Bennet invites Bingley to come shoot with him. “There are few men whose society I can tolerate with equanimity; but I believe you may turn out to be one of them.” Bingley thanks him, and Son-In-Law #2 rides off. (Bingley should write Elizabeth a thank-you note for getting Darcy off his back about Jane.) Mr Bennet sincerely congratulates his oldest daughter, and foresees their married life. “You’re each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy that every servant will cheat you; and so generous that you will always exceed your income.” “Exceed their income?” Mrs Bennet snorts. “What are you talking about? Don’t you know he has five thousand a year?” I told you we were back at the beginning. She prattles over Jane for a while, then Jane is alone with Elizabeth. She wishes that Elizabeth had a similar fate. “If you were to give me forty such men, I could never be as happy as you,” Elizabeth replies. “Til I have your goodness, I can never have your happiness.” Then she jokes that she could meet another Mr Collins. They giggle. I am most seriously displeased that Darcy’s poor communication skills have knocked this relationship off its proper course. So there’s nothing for me to do but disguise myself as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, enter the story, and drive to Longbourn to harass Elizabeth.

Kitty, who’s now watchman for Longbourn, sees the carriage first, and warns Elizabeth and her mother. They’re looking out the window when they hear the faint strains of Lady C’s voice. Mrs Hill tries to get her to mind her manners–you know you’re rude when the servants tell you to shape up–but Lady C just barges right into the Parlor. Mrs Hill announces her just in time. Hill deserves a raise. Lady C sits herself down, and looks at the silent Elizabeth, Kitty, and Mrs Bennet. “That lady, I suppose, is your mother,” she says. Elizabeth introduces her. “And that, I suppose, is one of your sisters,” the Lady C snaps, indicating Kitty. “No, that’s the dog,” Elizabeth replies. Okay, she doesn’t. Mrs Bennet, who seems to have met her match at last, acknowledges Kitty. Lady C, who will be an interior decorator in a future life, calls the parlor “inconvenient.” “Why, the windows are full west!” Mrs Bennet, who hasn’t said one embarrassing thing, tries to start a conversation with that, but Lady C stands up, saying she noticed a “prettyish little kind of wilderness” and wants to “take a turn” there with Elizabeth. Elizabeth knows that people asking her to take a turn with them is always a bad sign, but she doesn’t have much of a choice.

Prettyish Little Kind of Wilderness. Elizabeth has put on her black velvet top and sexy orange gloves. She looks divine. Lady C strides around the Prettyish Little Kind of Wilderness, and suddenly accosts Elizabeth, saying that she has already discovered Lady C’s motive for visiting. Elizabeth disclaims that she has. Lady C says that two days ago, she heard that Jane was going to be “most advantageously married,” and that Elizabeth was engaged–to Darcy! Lady C circles Elizabeth like a hawk, calling the engagement “impossible.” Elizabeth wonders why Lady C bothered to come, if it was impossible for them to be engaged. Lady C wanted the “report” “universally contradicted.” Elizabeth thinks that Lady C visiting Elizabeth proves the rumor true, “if such as report exists.” Lady C demands to know if Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth. “Your Ladyship has declared it to be impossible!” Elizabeth replies. “It ought to be so! But your arts and allurements may have made him forget what he owes to himself and all the family,” Lady C says, and one must admit that was Darcy’s view pre-proposal. Elizabeth points out that if she has seduced Darcy, she would never admit it. Lady C says she is “almost” Darcy’s nearest of kin, and therefore “entitled” to stick her fingers into his business. Elizabeth says that that doesn’t entitle her to Elizabeth’s business, “nor will such behavior as this induce me to be explicit.” Unless “explicit” means “profane.” Lady C exclaims that Darcy will marry Anne de Bourgh. Elizabeth says that if that were true, then Lady C has no reason to fear Elizabeth. Lady C proves she knows nothing of Edvard Westermarck when she admits that “from their infancy, they were intended for each other.” She names an exaggerated list of things that Darcy will suffer from his attachment to Elizabeth. “These would be heavy misfortunes indeed,” Elizabeth says. Lady C is shocked. “I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment.” “That will make Your Ladyship’s situation at present more pitiable,” Elizabeth replies, “but will have no effect on me.” I want Elizabeth on my debate team. Lady C tells her to not “quit the sphere in which [she] was brought up.” Elizabeth snaps that she is in Darcy’s sphere: “He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter. So far we are equal.” Lady C brings up Elizabeth’s mom and the excellent Gardiners. Elizabeth says that if Darcy doesn’t object to them, it’s none of Lady Catherine’s business. “Tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?” Lady C blares. Long pause. “I am not,” Elizabeth replies. Lady C relaxes, then demands Elizabeth never become engaged. Elizabeth refuses and ends the conversation. Lady C chases after her, swinging her cane and yelling about Lydia’s “infamous elopement!” “Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?” Lady C melodramas in a perfectly framed shot. “You can have nothing further to say,” Elizabeth says, seething. “You have insulted me by every possible method.” Lady C yells further accusations at Elizabeth as she scurries out to her carriage, and accuses Elizabeth of “ruining” Darcy. Oh, poor Elizabeth. “I am only resolve to act in a manner that will constitute my own happiness without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me,” Elizabeth says. I should point out she’s adopted some of Darcy’s speech patterns. Lady C says this means war. She climbs into her carriage, where Ailing Anne ails. “I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet; I send no compliments to your mother, you deserve no such attention.” She gives Elizabeth the Look of Death. “I am most seriously displeased,” she snarls, and drives on. So much for Elizabeth trying to tell her she isn’t the center of the universe.

Longbourne. Mr Bennet pokes his head out of the Reading Room of Refuge, and he calls Elizabeth in. He tells Elizabeth he’s gotten the strangest letter. From Mr Collins. Elizabeth, who is a little out of sorts, is intrigued. The letter begins with congratulations for Jane’s upcoming marriage, then moves on to congratulate Elizabeth on snagging an “illustrious personage.” Unfortunately, his aunt, Lady C, doesn’t approve. “Mr Darcy, you see, is the man,” Mr Bennet explains. “Mr Darcy! Of all men! Who never looks at a woman except to see a blemish ... Mr Darcy, who probably never look at you in his life before.” Mr Bennet notes that she isn’t laughing, and asks if she’s being “missish” and was insulted by the letter. Elizabeth claims she is “excessively diverted,” just puzzled. “Pray, what said Lady Catherine de Bourgh?” Mr Bennet says. “I suppose she came to refuse her consent, aye?” Elizabeth laughs, but when Mr Bennet turns his back, she looks like she’s going to throw up. Mr Bennet ends with his motto: “Well, what do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them, in our turn?”

Parlor, with the inconvenient windows. Mrs Hill announces Bingley and Darcy. Elizabeth looks like she might cry again. Darcy makes eye contact this time, at least. Bingley strongly hints they all go for a walk.

Countryside. Walking. Kitty, tired of being a fifth wheel, runs off to bother the Lucases. Darcy and Elizabeth are alone. Finally. Elizabeth waits about five seconds, then does what Darcy cannot do, and dives right into the topic at hand: “Mr Darcy, I can go no longer without thanking you for your kindness to my poor sister.” Finally! Elizabeth thanks him on behalf of her ignorant family. Darcy, who has been listening impassively, replies, “If you will thank me, let it be for yourself alone; your family owes me nothing. Much as I respect them–” Ha! “–I believe I thought only of you.” He hesitates, then blurts out, “You are too generous to trifle with me, if your feelings are what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged. But one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.”

Fin. Al. Ly.

Elizabeth admits her feelings have done a one-eighty. Darcy nonreacts. “Kiss, damn you, kiss!” the audience chants, but they go back to walking. “Phooey,” the audience says. Darcy looks around; she loves him and yet all these colors remain the same? The autumnal leaves haven’t suddenly turned green?

Darcy tells her about being confronted by a pissed Lady Catherine, and that she unintentionally “taught [him] to hope as scarcely [he] had ever allowed [himself] to hope before.” He says that if she didn’t want to marry, she would have told Lady C outright. Elizabeth laughs. “After abusing you so abominably to your face, I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations.” They talk about their proposal and pre-proposal behavior. Darcy singles out her saying, “Had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner,” by which Elizabeth didn’t mean anything in particular, but which has had great significance to him. He says–and he sure talks a lot once you get him going–that his parents taught him principles, but let him do whatever he wanted, and he was thereby spoiled. “And such I might still have been if it hadn’t been for you,” he turns and gives her The Look, “dearest, loveliest Elizabeth.” Yay! A lot of people were disappointed because they didn’t kiss then, but come on. They haven’t seen each other for about a month. Are they ready for lip-locking yet?

“Engaged to Mr Darcy! No, you are joking. It is impossible!” Jane exclaims. I told you Elizabeth would eat her words when she said that it was “impossible” for Mr Collins to marry Charlotte. Elizabeth, grinning uncontrollably, assures her she’s not joking, and that she’s going to marry Darcy. Jane exclaims that Elizabeth “dislikes” Darcy, and Elizabeth replies, “Perhaps I didn’t always love him as well as I do now, but, in such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable.” Jane demands to know the date of origin of such amnesia-causing love. Elizabeth jokes that it started when she saw “his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.” I say “jokes” because a lot of stupid critics thought she was serious. Everyone knows she didn’t start loving Darcy til she saw him in his wet white shirt.

Elizabeth again has to defend her much despised fiancé in a more serious scene with her father. Mr Bennet thinks she’s gone nuts. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t doubt Darcy’s affection at all. Mr Bennet says he’s given Darcy his consent, which means that he’s speaking to Elizabeth right after finishing with Darcy. We missed a great scene of Darcy/Mr Bennet interaction. It takes a leap of imagination to speculate what went down between them. “He’s the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never refuse anything,” Mr Bennet admits, and Elizabeth giggles because her fiancé is so scary. He seriously tells her to think twice. “My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life,” he says. “He’s rich, to be sure; but will he make you happy?” Elizabeth asks if his only reservation is his belief that Elizabeth hates Darcy. It is. “We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.” Aww. Elizabeth says she loves Mr Darcy, and adds, “Indeed, he has no improper pride,” and two months before it would be impossible to imagine her saying that. “He is perfectly amiable. If you only knew his generous nature. I didn’t always love him, but I love him now so very dearly. He is truly the best man I have ever known.” And oh. So. Sexy.

“Well, my dear,” says Mr Bennet softly, “if this be the case, he deserves you.” Aww. He kisses Elizabeth on the head, and blinks back tears.

Church. A much happier preacher than in London announces that they are joining of the hands for this man–Bingley–and this woman–Jane–and this man–Darcy, as expressionless as always–and this woman–Elizabeth–in holy matrimony. A double wedding? Ick. Double ick. If they mess the vows up, we’d end up with a gay/incestuous wedding ceremony. Hey, there’s Col. Fitzwilliam. Maybe he should marry Miss Bingley; she’s single. As the preacher guy says the bit about not entering marriage lightly, to satisfy carnal desires, Mr Bennet looks at his wife.

“... but reverently. Discretely ...” Mary and Kitty watch.

“ .... and in the fear of God ...” Charlotte looks at her husband.

“... duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.” Mr and Mrs Gardiner smile at each other.

“First it was ordained for the procreation of children.” On “children,” we strangely cut to Lady Catherine, on her lonely throne, with Ailing Anne. She must be boycotting the wedding.

“Secondly, as a remedy against sin and to avoid fornication.” Lydia, sprawling in bed (but fully clothed), kicks at Wickham, who smiles at her but goes back to killing brain cells.

“Thirdly, for the mutual society, help and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other ...” Elizabeth sneaks a look at Darcy; then Darcy actually smoulders at her during the wedding.

“... both in prosperity and adversity ...” Bingley smiles at Jane. The double wedding ceremony makes it obvious that the couples were matched by their hair. Seriously. Bingley and Jane have blond curls. Darcy and Elizabeth have dark curls.

Post-ceremony happiness. Bingley jumps into a carriage with Jane. Darcy and Elizabeth–oh my God, Darcy is beaming! No, really, he’s smiling and showing his teeth and everything! He’s hard to recognize when he does that. He’s happy because he and Wickham are finally brothers. Darcy and Elizabeth get into their own carriage. Elizabeth, I notice, touches Darcy’s thigh for a moment. You’re married now, Lizzy, you can touch him all you want. For a minute, it seems like this is going to be like one of those Indonesian weddings when they lock the bride and groom into a room and won’t let them out until the marriage is consummated, only with the family and friends not letting them go until they kiss; but then the horses move, and we’re off. “Three daughters married!” Mrs Bennet cries. “Oh, Mr Bennet, God has been very good to us!” Yeah, He isn’t even angry that this is the only time you’ve mentioned Him this entire miniseries.

In the carriages, Lizzy and Darcy mutually smoulder; they move closer, gradually; then faster; we have a near hat-to-bonnet collision, pull to the left, Darcy, the left! But no, he makes a daring decision, and turns his head to the right–she turns to the left–they swivel–his nose is touching her cheek–now their chins are touching–oh no, Darcy is moving up–too far up–he corrects himself–he has lower-lip-to-upper-lip contact–now he’s pulling back–and moving in for a full lip-lock! I repeat, we have lip-lock!

The only criticism I have for the kiss is that the shot they picked favored Elizabeth; it would’ve worked better to see more of Darcy’s non-expression.

Anyway. This classic mini-series is a production of BBC/A&E. Next up is X-Men. See ya in Westchester, New York!
Tags: p&p, p&p 1995
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