Usually I watch an episode twice before blogging. I didn’t want to watch the season finale again, so I waited almost a week before watching it again. So that I could cool down. In this blog post I will make a list of things I loved and hated about episode 6.
- Captain Fraser. I have loved everything about that character for the entire season. Once I realized he was the Colonel Brandon to Alison’s Marianne, I figured she would end up marrying Fraser. I didn’t think he would give up his position to become a farmer, but OK. Works out better for Alison, I guess.
- Arthur being Arthur.
Hated: everything else.
- I hated the Charles Lockhart reveal. I appreciate that there was a hint about a despicable cousin in a previous episode, but the way this plot line worked out felt a little too cruel for comfort. Do we have to keep punishing our heroines? (See my next # about Charlotte.) While at first (in the first couple of episodes) I was getting a weird feeling about Lockhart, the writers did a good job of convincing me and Arthur and Georgiana otherwise. They did this through Arthur’s voice and some clever wordplay and fine acting.
But what really gets me is that the writers made a point of having Georgiana speak of her own hardship on multiple occasions, from her childhood to her love for Otis M (and let’s not forget she still dreams of him because she has no one else to dream of), and then they punched her in the gut in the last episode.
OMG when Charlotte, Allison, and Georgiana are talking at the beginning of the final episode and say soldiers are not to be trusted (cuz, Colonel Lennox, but not Captain Fraser), and maybe they should stick to artists, that hurt. It really sucked to see the artist as a the con man. But is he only a con man (“a man without scruples”–as Sidney’s letter says) as the episode suggests? Just some heartless, racist bastard who never cared for Georgiana, even after getting to know her? It’s really hard to tell.
The portrait he painted of her is gorgeous, and the entire season’s message of being seen as you are was really powerful. WTH did the writers have to undercut that? They didn’t really wrap things up with enough time or grace to give this fan a satisfying ending. If he was just a jerk, show him being a jerk at the end; if there was something more, like he realized that he was a racist asshat and actually fell in love with Georgiana, let us know. But no. It’s a weird street scene and it’s quickly over.
In watching the portrait reveal a second time, and hearing Lockhart say “have I captured you?”–of course meaning captured your likeness–it hits differently knowing that he is trying to steal her fortune. Ouch. I guess the street scene where Georgiana confronts Lockhart is supposed to show us that he’s a bad guy because he calls Sanditon “stifling” and the Parkers “preposterous.” He does seem awfully nervous even before Georgiana shows up and says he didn’t know if she would show up. So that must reveal something about his intentions. Georgiana’s words repeated back to Charles surely is meant to kill any affection the viewer has for Lockhart.
The thing I wonder is why the writers go there. My theory that Georgiana is a version of Olivia Fairfield from the 1808 novel, Woman of Colour, holds up somewhat in that her cousin ends up trying to take her fortune. In the Woman of Colour Olivia’s cousin is not a bad guy, but he is already married, so….
Like Olivia, Georgiana really doesn’t deserve the treatment she gets in the end. The writers do a good job of exposing racism this season, even more so than in the first, but damn. Poor Georgiana. At least we find out her mother is still alive…, but whoa, whut? Her dad lied to her about her mother dying in childbirth? He fabricated a story for what reason? OMG, this stings at the end because while Georgiana’s mother is supposedly alive (and I have a theory about this that I won’t spill here), it appears that all Englishmen and white planters are assholes. Fine. OK. (Well, not Arthur. Arthur seems to have fallen for Lockhart harder than Georgiana did in the end! He is a sweetheart.)
- Then there’s Colbourne, whose actions make me think of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts”: “Why men great til they gotta be great?” Why is this guy so stupid in this episode? I stress this episode because he has been frustratingly obtuse in most of them, but I didn’t expect this ending for him. I know it’s a series that wants a third season, but the way this episode ends with Charlotte and Colbourne was really disappointing. Yeah, we were bummed when Charlotte didn’t end up with Sidney in season 1, but at least he married that other girl so that he could save the family. Well, maybe that still sucks. Ha ha!
I mean, the kiss under the tree between Charlotte and Colbourne was so juicy. Clearly he has passion. So what’s wrong with this guy?
Hell, even Lennox does the right thing when he learns that Leo is his daughter. And the viewer is led to believe that he feels something in the moment. While at first it seems like he says no I’m not your daddy to avoid accountability, we realize that he’s actually doing the kid a favor. In the camp scene where Lennox and Colbourne chat about Colbourne continuing to be Leo’s daddy, upon a second view of the episode, I am intrigued by what the writers are setting up: Lennox insists that Colbourne did not treat Lucy well. He says he hopes Colbourne treats Leo better than he treated Lucy. On a first view, I was like, naw, you’re the one who used her, but now I wonder. Was Colbourne awful to his wife? Did she have a good reason for staying in London and having an affair? We don’t know her side of the story, and Lennox’s was made to appear false, but now I’m not sure.
Why couldn’t Colbourne offer his wife “comfort”? On Twitter someone said maybe he’s impotent. I’m not ready to go there, but what was his problem?
<<<Cue random Colbourne riding a horse on a beach scene (ooh, so broody, so tortured)>>>
When Colbourne tells Charlotte that he only feels “shame and regret” about letting his passion slip out and use his position as “master of the estate” over her, I was truly yelling at the screen: stoooop. Then he fucking fires her and he says he’ll tell the girls that Charlotte left of her own accord. Ass-hole. Watching Charlotte leave while crying made me want to cry. Rose Williams acts this part so well. I felt that emotion right there with her.
When “Xander” tells Mrs. Wheatley that he has done this “for her sake,” I again yelled, no. Stop it. It seems that Colbourne enjoys closing himself off–it’s his comfort zone. When Colbourne listens to Augusta’s reasoning about Charlotte and rides to town to see her, the viewer is surely all woo-hoo! yay! but, no, this doesn’t go the way we want it to go. I thought that Colbourne was going to ask her to marry him, but Charlotte stops him. What?! She has been yanked around and has had it. She is leaving Sanditon. Does Colbourne try to stop her from leaving? Nope. But clearly she learned something from him, for she also lies about her feelings, saying she mistook her emotions for “affection” (aka, love). So, they are both stubborn. But when she says she couldn’t feel emotions for a man who has disrespected her as he has, I was like, yeah, I hear you! Dodged a bullet, Charlotte? “Enough!” she says. And we are like, yup.
And where are the Colbournes going at the end of the episode? Will we see them again in season 3?
- And….then….boom! At Allison and Captain Fraser’s wedding reception, we hear that Charlotte’s gonna marry Ralph Starling the FARMER! Aw hell no! Great way to end the episode, I admit, but gee whiz.
- OMG, Clara’s character was all over the place this season. The writers seem to be split on how they see this bad girl. As a reminder: she shows up pregnant, and we don’t get any proof of the child being Edward’s. Then she aims to get Lady D to take care of her (which she does). Then she has the baby and can’t stand to be in the same room with him. Then she agrees to marry Edward for the sake of her son (supposedly). Then she allows Edward to continue to drug Esther. Then she does the right thing and tells everyone that Edward has been drugging Esther. Finally, after not marrying Edward and not wanting to be sent to some remote cottage far from Sanditon, she leaves her boy with Esther because she again supposedly wants him to have a better life…without her and with a rich family, though not the Denhams.
I don’t know if I’m buying this–just as I thought Lockhart and Colbourne were problematic in their eventualities, I am not convinced that Clara is as selfless as this season makes her out to be. I mean, remember season 1. Did she really transform because of motherhood? Really?
So what’s next for Sanditon?
From an interview with the actors: Masterpiece asks Crystal Clarke (who plays Georgiana), “What might we expect in Season 3, and what do you hope for Georgiana?” and she replies, “You’re going to see parties, you’re going to see glam. It’s exciting. It’s a highly caffeinated Sanditon.” Ha! Love that last bit, Crystal!
Rose Williams (who plays Charlotte) replies to a question about the revelation that Charlotte is going to marry Ralph, and says, “I found it very hard to shoot because I didn’t like her decision. I felt like, I can’t believe she’s doing this. This is so far from what I wanted for the character that I was like, ‘These words …’ I found it very hard to say those lines—I could barely say the words—because I felt so frustrated for this girl. Why have you done this? You’ve worked so hard to create this independence and now you’ve just given in. What are you doing? That’s how I felt.” SAME, Rose. SAME.
When Masterpiece asked Ben Lloyd-Hughes (who plays Colbourne) what might we expect in Season 3, he says, “I think Season 3 will bring even more excitement, romance, fun, and tears in both forms. I think one thing for sure is that this is not the end of the story. We know that, 100%, and that is really exciting.” What do we know? That it’s not the end of Colbourne’s story? Beats me.
Anyway, I really enjoyed watching both seasons of Sanditon, even though both seasons’ finales had WTF endings. At least there will be a season 3. After all, when Charlotte got dumped at the end of season 1 and then I heard that Sanditon was canceled, I was really frustrated. Now I offer a plea:
Dear writers of Sanditon, whenever the show is really over, please don’t treat Charlotte and Georgiana like shit. Give them happy endings. It’s what we all want.