Sanditon, Season 3, Ep. 6, THE FINALE

So this is the end of my blogging about Masterpiece’s Sanditon because the finale has now been aired in the U.S. If you have not watched it, stop reading now! Spoilers ahead.

I decided not to binge watch Sanditon this season. I watched week by week, and I wonder if I had watched episode 6 immediately after episode 5 if I would have felt differently about the ending.

I did not like it.

There were too many loose ends to tie up in one episode, and especially a series finale. And with the season’s subplots (the Montrose family, Arthur and Harry, Lady Denham and Mr. Pryce, Beatrice and Dr. Fuchs, Samuel Colbourne and Lady Susan de Clemente, Edward, Augusta, Georgiana’s mother, Mary and Tom, etc.) everyone had to get their moment in the finale. This diminished Georgiana’s and Charlotte’s plots.

When the episode began, we were all worried that Mary might die. But no. She didn’t because…Tom made a deal with God and pressed a cross from the woman in the Old Town into her hand? Really, writers? This is what you gave us? I mean, it was nice that Tom saw the errors of his ways and ended up taking his wife’s advice to partner with Alexander Colbourne and revitalize the Old Town and create a school. But I wasn’t taken by the storyline as much as I am guessing the writers thought we would be. Fell flat, in my opinion.

So much of the final episode felt flat to me. Georgiana’s reunion with Otis Molyneux was OK. Her mom was instrumental in making it all happen, and was awesome in rejecting the money from Lady Montrose. And I’m certainly glad G did not marry Harry (for a million reasons). But I think we needed more time to see Georgiana get her happy ending. It kinda seemed like she was cheated out of it because of all of the other things happening in the final episode.

Even the plot point that was supposed to worry us–was Alexander Colbourne engaged to Lady Lydia?–did not cause me the least concern. I knew when Lydia said she was getting married that it would be to someone else from her past. This is very much like Eleanor Tilney from Northanger Abbey. Charlotte’s inability to simply talk to Alexander about it all, and then her running off to Ireland, was predictable (except the Ireland part). And Colbourne’s stopping her en route was also predictable. The part where he says she bewitched him from the moment he saw her also felt very reminiscent of other Austen moments, which was fine, but it felt lackluster to me. I wasn’t moved.

Why? As someone who has been invested in the Sanditon series since day 1 (was that in late 2019 or early 2020? OMG), I really expected to feel something as I watched the finale. In watching other episodes this season I was brought to tears. In viewing this one, nadda.

I thought the wedding scene was sweet, and it was interesting to see the Sanditon townies all there, but I wondered where her parents were.

As we flashed forward a year after the wedding and saw the school Colbourne invested in, I knew we’d see Charlotte as the teacher. I didn’t expect the school to be right there in fashionable Sanditon on the beach. OK. It seems unlikely that the poor Old Town kids and the Sanditon nouveau riche are going to go to the same school, but whatever. What really struck me was when Alexander showed up with a baby and handed it to Charlotte as she departed her job for the day, with teacher bag in tow. So, Charlotte is a mom of a newborn, a stepmother, a guide for Augusta, and a teacher. Wow. A woman can have it all, eh? Wonder Woman here.

And that was Sanditon‘s happy ending: even in 1820 (or whatever year it is), women can do it all: look pretty, be kind, raise children, etc. etc. Well, Charlotte chose this–that’s the message the episode conveyed. Women have rights. They have choices.

We saw this developing in the season. Georgiana chose to marry Harry so that she could hold onto her fortune, reputation, and power. Augusta chose to run away with Edward so that she wouldn’t have to marry some suitor she cared nothing for. Lady Denham chose to marry Mr. Pryce to get a second chance (with him) at love–and then she chose not to marry him to retain her autonomy (which I applaud). Mary chose to proceed with her plans to thwart Tom’s ruination of the Old Town. Lydia chose to marry someone she loves. Beatrice Hankins chose to tell her brother that he was preventing her from finding happiness because he was afraid of being alone. Finally, Lady de Clemente chose not to be the king’s mistress and to assumedly marry a man she loves. So many women making so many choices. This all sounds great.

And if that’s what I should take away from the show, OK. Would Austen approve? Probably?

But is Edward really going to be a clergyman?! Hilarious. Maybe Masterpiece or BBC or whomever should consider a follow-up to Sanditon. I’ve got it! A crime-solving clergyman who is none other than Edward Denham! I mean, Grantchester and Father Brown have been successful. Why not go back to the 1820s? Glad I sorted that out. Now to pitch it to the right people. If you know who they are, let me know!

In all seriousness, if you have read my blog posts from the last four years, thank you. Thank you for allowing me the space to vent my spleen. 🙂 Thank you for laughing with me and gasping with me at this series. I will miss it.

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