Sanditon, Season 3, Ep. 1

It’s the final season of a series “inspired by Jane Austen’s unfinished novel,” a show I have loved watching and blogging about. The first episode of the latest season did not disappoint in its continuation of season 2’s plot lines and twists and turns that became a part of the fun of watching this series. It also introduced some new characters and reintroduced us to Lady Susan de Clemente. Also, I see what you did there, writers, with the Lady Susan reference.

When we finished season 2 we learned that Charlotte had returned to the farming town of Willingden, and we also got a glimpse of Ralph Starling, the dude who had been in love with Charlotte forever and a day apparently and planned to marry her. She actually left Willingden to avoid the guy, but when season 3 begins she’s engaged to marry him! Noooooooo, Charlotte! Because she has been burned by love before it seems she is resigned to settle for marriage with someone tolerable, but barely. I mean, he doesn’t read poetry.

It’s hard to imagine Charlotte marrying Ralph. Not only is he a simple guy who wears a stupid hat and doesn’t like to take any risks or step outside of his comfort zone (he doesn’t even want to play beach bocce ball, for god’s sake), but he seems to dislike all of Charlotte’s friends and feels that he can save her from the life that a place like Sanditon would offer her. “Save”–I cringed when he said something like, aren’t you glad I’m saving you from this? Um, no, Ralph. No way she’s gonna marry that guy and have 12 kids. Kudos to the writers for showing Charlotte what that life would be like by introducing Mary’s maid and her kids: misery. Right now I am not a fan of Ralph or what marriage will do for Charlotte and Georgiana (more about Georgiana later in this post).

I was glad to see Colbourne again. And he smiled a lot in this first episode and was ready to ask Charlotte to give him another chance, and then doofus Ralph walks up and ruins it. {facepalm}

Speaking of doofuses…Edward Denham. Come on. That guy is bad to the core. And Miss Markham had better watch out. He’s a fortune hunter, and though it seems he was interested in her before he found out she is an heiress, knowing that she has some money means he’ll likely do what he can to get his hands on it. She’s smart, but she’s already falling for him. Nooo!

The hydropathy scene was super weird IMO. Was this a thing in the time period in which this series is set, which seems to now be 1820 or later because of the Keats poem reference and the fact that George IV is king? Yes! Read this article to find out more about what the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh have to say.

Edward’s church scene was amusing because as educated viewers we know there’s no way in heaven or hell that guy is gonna change. Yet, Doktor Fuchs and the clergyman seem to think they have each changed him. Hubris? Yeah. Science vs. religion? Yup. Thanks for slipping that in there, Sanditon writers.

But best of all, I love that Beatrice is in the middle of it all. Yes, Beatrice! She’s getting her moment. I kind of imagine her as a grown up Mary Bennet. An autodidact, she says of herself. How cute that she has a crush on Fuchs. Where will that go? I hope it ends up with Beatrice getting out from under the thumb of her brother. How sweet that Fuchs is going away for a week and will write to Beatrice, and Lady Denham can take charge of Edward’s hydropathy.

Taking charge of things is what the newest Sanditon characters are about to do. The Montrose trio is sure to ruffle some feathers with their plans to improve their situation. I said “ruffle some feathers” because Lord Montrose was repeatedly called a peacock for addressing Georgiana the way he did. When we first meet him we get the sense he’s a playboy–out all night, engaging in risque behaviors. I assumed he was drinking and gambling, but later in the episode we learn that he is not interested in women as much as he is in men. We, and Georgiana, see him in flagrante delicto in a bathing machine with a man.

I have always thought that Arthur was being portrayed as a gay man, but not openly. Now we have an openly gay character on the show. I wonder if some of the Janeites watching are freaking out. I find the agreement between Montrose and Georgiana to be a temporarily satisfactory one, for it allows him to seem like he’s courting her (thus getting mama off his back) and her to discourage all the suitors who just want to marry her for her money. I wonder if Montrose and Arthur might turn out to be a couple? It would not be allowed in Austen’s time for them to do so publicly, of course, so y’all can calm down when you say, but historical accuracy!

Right now I’m not seeing much by way of Lady Lydia’s character, but perhaps she will turn out to be a bigger adversary to Charlotte than seems the case. At the very least, the show is using her as a pawn to get Charlotte to remember that she loves Colbourne, not stupid Ralph. So, I see what you’re doing there, writers. Cliche, but I’m here for it.

I’m slightly amused by what seems to be this season’s overarching cliche: everyone must partner up. Is there anyone in this show who will not end up with a partner? Even Lady Denham is getting what appears to be a love match with Mr. Pryce, who scowls as much as she does, except when he realizes who she was–mystery will be revealed, right?

So, I guess the game we’ll play is who gets married, to whom, and who doesn’t get married? At least Tom truly loves Mary. If he didn’t, this show would put me off to marriage entirely. But…even Mary voices dissatisfaction with the role of wife and mother–simply, it’s not enough to fulfill a person. Crap! I guess a woman getting married for love might not be enough. Charlotte, run now!

I’m closing this post by mentioning my favorite character, Georgiana. Seems like things might go her way at the start of the episode, but then again the prior two seasons also started this way. Usually, it takes multiple episodes for Georgiana to realize that life sucks, but in season 3 episode 1 that becomes clear when Charles Lockhart busts in ruins her coming out party. She just signed the paperwork to receive her inheritance, and then the villainous cousin returns to give her a write saying he’s contesting her right to the inheritance because he is a male heir. Forgive my language, but the only word that comes to mind is “fucker.” This guy. For real? Yeah.

And where is Georgiana’s mother? I still think she’s Mrs. Wheatley, but we’ll see.

What did you think about season 3 episode 1? Do you have any strong feelings about the new characters? Returning ones?

One response to “Sanditon, Season 3, Ep. 1”

  1. […] else will end up together? This is the game I’m playing. (I mentioned this in my previous blog post.) Let’s see: Beatrice and Dr. Fuchs (such a sweet letter), Lady Denham and Mr. Pryce […]


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