If you’re looking for something to fill the Bridgerton-sized gap in your heart, look no further than The Buccaneers on Apple TV.
While the premise varies slightly from that of the Netflix period piece, it brings all the charms you seek, while simultaneously adding a dash of vibrance. Yes, on The Buccaneers, the girls are still looking to land a duke or a lord, but it’s not the end-all-be-all, and they are very vocal about how it’s a far cry from what some might deem to be the perfect setup or situation.
Romantic relationships are at the center, but not more than the romance between the five American women who explode onto the scene in London and kick-off, as the series teases, a “culture clash.”
When Nan St. George, her older sister Jinny, Lizzy and Mabel Elmsworth, and Conchita Closson arrive from New York, they take London by storm, ruffling the feathers of stiff Brits wherever they go with their free-spirited approach to living, or, as free as women in the 1800s were allowed to be. That freedom was quickly tamed for some, like Jinny, who eventually succeeded in her goal of marrying a problematic (she doesn’t know it yet) Lord James Seadown, described by his own sister, Honoria (Kate Winslet’s daughter for those who were trying to figure out the resemblance), as a monster, while others remain committed to being loud and full of life, like Conchita, though even her antics start to rub her friends, including the ever-understanding and supportive Nan. Can’t one night be just about her?
To say there’s tension between the ladies, who deem themselves thick as thieves, is quite an understatement.
Conchita, whose wedding to Lord Richard Marable, the brother of Lord Seadown, kicks off the entire series, is nearly muddled by controversy when Dick is a no-show, ends up getting the guy as he arrives slightly late and is convinced, by Nan, that his love for Conchita is stronger than the backlash he’s going to get from his parents. But turns out, he had every right to be worried because across the pond, Conchita, who was already with child for the wedding, is not having an easy time getting accustomed to the timid, husband-pleasing role of a wife expected of her. It doesn’t help that Dick’s parents show her no grace or understanding, making her feel that much more isolated. Dickie loves Conchita a lot—including her larger-than-life personality—but he doesn’t know how to navigate the situation with his parents, especially as Conchita tries to conform to the standard expected of her. As she puts it, it’s better to be quiet and approved of.
When the baby comes, things don’t get any better or easier for her, and she holds plenty of resentment for Nan for abandoning her, despite being fully aware that she was essentially forced to go away on a month-long trip to Cornwall with Mrs. Testvalley because she’s being a distraction to the other girls who are out and eligible to find husbands… like Jinny. Jinny feels inferior to her sister at every turn, and her final straw with Nan is when she accidentally drops her shoe into a cake during the ball while she’s getting acquainted with a dashing stranger, Guy Thwarte, who is drawn to her openness. The duo share a few adorable meet-cutes, establishing Guy as a contender for Nan’s heart, even though we’re told throughout multiple points in the series that she’s not interested in all the frivolous stuff.
In a moment of anger, Jinny pulls Nan aside to inform her that she doesn’t understand why their mother always takes her side because Mrs. St George isn’t her real mother. Talk about a bombshell of a secret! Jinny tries to take it all back over the course of the three episodes but the damage has been done. Nan begins to wonder who she is as her whole identity is thrown into flux. As Jinny urges her to just forget about it, Nan simply can’t shake it, eventually returning from Cornwall—where she just so happens to run into another very handsome stranger at the beach who is also an artist (and the Lord, a detail Nan isn’t privy to upon their first meeting), Theo—and confides in Guy, who Conchita invited to the party at Runnymede, which is supposed to be a girls weekend but is, unsurprisingly, crashed by the men at Conchie’s behest. She takes this free weekend as an opportunity to remind her husband why he fell in love with her in the first place—a mission she deems successful until she overhears Dickie talking with Testvalley about how his parents were right about her all along. She storms out before he gets to the part where he proclaims his undying love for her. On a side note, does anyone else think Dickie’s relationship with Testvalley is odd? She seems to be the chaperone for the ladies, but throws shade Conchie’s way on a handful of occasions.
Runnymede is where most of the pivotal action takes place. As mentioned, Nan tells Guy her big secret about being born out of wedlock, and he immediately calls it a night despite assuring her that there’s nothing she can say to change his mind about her. So much for that promise.
Jinny and Lizzy both set their sights on Seadown, essentially agreeing to let the best woman win, however, Jinny, who honestly may just be the worst of the bunch, hurls plenty of insults Lizzy’s way when she perceives that Seadown is no longer interested in her. It’s initially unclear what Seadown is playing at, but remember how his sister called him a monster? Well, it’s because he’s a controlling and abusive man, as we see when he takes Lizzy up to a room and orders her to strip down and lay naked in front of him as he blocks the door. It’s a humiliating experience, and one she can’t seem to shake, particularly as the next morning, Seadown proposes to Jinny. I was a little baffled that Lizzy didn’t tell Jinny what happened, but considering Jinny is exhibiting straight-up mean girl behavior, I’m also not surprised. Lizzy tried being a good friend, and Jinny basically threw it back in her face. Even as Lizzy tried to give her a subtle warning, Jinny demanded that she let her have this, so I guess good luck finding out on your own terms when the illusion of marriage wears off. And yes, I said marriage because shortly after said proposal, Jinny and Seadown eloped without any of their loved ones present for the big moment. It’s just the first of many controlling moments to come—though we already see him preventing Jinny from hanging out with her sister or even saying goodbye before she leaves. He’s trying to keep her away from everyone, though it seems he hasn’t shown her all that he’s capable of just yet.
As for Lizzy, she booked a ticket back home to America without telling a soul what happened. The girls worry, but without cellphones and internet, it’s not like they can get an answer anyway, so they simply move along.
But the biggest thing to come out of Runnymede is that Nan gets a proposal from none other than Theo, who tracked her down because he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He proposes quickly without much context so that the rest of the group doesn’t ruin it by informing Nan that he’s the Duke of Tintagel, a title he hates. For years, his mother has been trying to force him to find a wife and yet he never softened one bit around the many women throwing themselves at him. However, he’s completely smitten when it comes to Nan, likely because she saw something in the real him, the man behind the title that everyone clamors for.
As the proposal is going down, Guy arrives by horse, seemingly in a hurry to possibly also propose to Nan. We’ll never know because the moment he sees Theo down on one knee, he rushes off.
With all of the American ladies coming from wealthy families with new money (that’s absolutely not respected in New York) and the English with grand titles and not much income, the arrangements are considered to be mutually beneficial—status in exchange for money and vice versa.
It’s the driving force behind Guy’s feelings for Nan, initially, as his father orders him to seal the deal, even giving him his late mother’s ring to ensure it’s a success. When Nan confesses that she’s not actually Mrs. St. George’s daughter, he realizes that his whole get-rich plan has gone down the drain, but then he comes back the next morning after seemingly realizing that he still has feelings for her, only to be bested by well, his best friend.
Yep, Guy and Theo are the best of buddies… and we should’ve listened to Testvalley when she warned the girls that England was quite small. It also explains why Guy heave-hoed it out of there when he saw Theo pursuing Nan!
Following the proposal, Nan and her friends are invited to a grand ball where Theo hopes to convince Nan that she’ll love this lifestyle solely because she loves him. It’s something right out of a fairytale, until she runs into Guy, learns that he’s her prince charming’s BFF, and then realizes her hopes of becoming a duchess could just be ruined because of the secret she blabbed to a guy she barely knew.
But that isn’t even the biggest obstacle in all of this because while Nan has a clear connection with Theo—neither can stop grinning from ear to ear around the other—she’s also in lust with Guy. And the feeling is mutual. Have you seen the way that man looks at her, in front of everyone at the ball, from across the room? It’s electric.
He promises her that he’ll keep her secret (even though he’s never lied to his BFF4Lyfe ever before) because he thinks she’ll make a great duchess—as do the other English people, apparently. I’m not surprised that Conchita (who yes, is very self-centered and attention-seeking but is also likely suffering from PPD) is so dismissive of Nan’s issues as if they aren’t actually problems because things just seem to come so easily to her–without even trying, wanting, or looking, she stumbled upon two incredibly handsome men who want to be with her, while also getting the approval of his mother and public.
So she may be illegitimate, but that doesn’t mean that Mrs. St. George isn’t her mother in the grand scheme of things. After all, she took her in, raised her, and kept the secret. There’s no greater display of love. Though, I can’t shake the feeling that Testvalley is actually her real mother, which would be quite scandalous if I do say so myself.
Guy hopes that he and Nan can move on as friends, but she can’t get over that he left her at Runnymede after she shared something so personal with him. This helps her make her decision that Theo is the man she wants to marry, telling him that she’s fully in as they frolic on the beach together and share a first kiss. She then informs him that she’ll be making her way back to New York to talk to her mother (not her mother) as Theo asks to join so he can get to know who she really is (rub it in, why don’t you!).
Nan is on cloud 9 until she climbs into bed in the wee hours of the morning next to Mabel (whose love story didn’t score nearly as much time as it should’ve, but long story short, she had a forbidden and steamy rain makeout session with Honoria), who brings her down the earth as she informs her that Guy was very much at Runnymede when Theo was proposing.
At this point, the look of sheer panic spreads across Nan’s face as she realizes that she may have made a pretty big mistake, and it’s messy no matter which way you slice it.
From a practical perspective, Theo is by far the superior choice as he provides security and a future whereas Guy only pursued Nan from a financial standpoint, however, from a follow-your-heart perspective, I think that Guy might take this one. If he beat Theo to Runnymead and proposed first, she’d likely say yes without hesitation.
And at this point, all of us suckers who can’t shake a good love triangle, let alone a Victorian-era love triangle, are all officially hooked.
How will Nan move forward? Will Jinny ever realize she married a straight creep simply to boost her self-esteem? Will Conchita find a way to exist in England without completely erasing herself? How will Mabel and Honoria’s story pan out? And will Lizzy tell anyone what happened once everyone reunites in New York?
Admittedly, the show is a bit of a hard sell, especially if you’re looking for an authentic period piece. This isn’t that. I’m invested in all of their high society stories (moving at a very rapid pace), even if it’s largely historically inaccurate and a departure from the original novel. I am thrown off by their 21st-century vocabulary and mannerisms in the context of the 19th century far more than I should allow myself to be (it worked in Bridgerton and Dickinson, but this feels forced)—I know what they are going for, it’s just not being communicated properly as the juxtaposition of modern and classic is more jarring than it should be.
It takes a bit to get over the shrieking and overly excited and animated behavior of the girls, so I’m not surprised most of London finds them insufferable. The stereotype gets old quickly, especially as the English counterparts are horrified as they exude class and grace. There’s a fine line here, and the series crossed too far the wrong way. I’m fine with bending the rules and being carefree, I even encourage it in a feminist series, but it needs to be done right and portrayed in a realistic manner—you’d likely never see any young lady behaving as brashly in a social situation, public or not, in this time period.
What did you think of The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 1 through 3 premiere? Will you stick around?
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 7 Review – First Footing
It was far from a happy new year on The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 7 as a party held by the Brightlingsea’s tested relationships, particularly in light of Nan’s big secret about being illegitimate became the topic of conversation for the U.K.’s elite.
Nan, who so boldly declared that she was unashamed of where she came from in the previous episode, was suddenly feeling the pressure of the “whispers” (because in the 1800s, that’s how the hot gossip was spread, in addition to telegrams), and those whispers did a number on her relationship with Theo, who stood by her from the moment he found out and tried to be supportive (, yet somehow made her feel like a burden.
The truth here is that Theo could’ve been the perfect gentleman, and Nan still would have found something wrong with his actions. Nan was subconsciously finding any string to pull to push him away, and it just so happened to occur when she felt inadequate and assumed Theo was treating her as a charity case rather than seeing his actions as a testament of his love for her.
Theo supported her wholeheartedly (he doesn’t punish Nan for something she had no control over, as the rest of society does by questioning how she managed to land a duke and wondering if “witchcraft” had anything to do with it), but she ran from him and hid on a rooftop with Guy, which should honestly tell you everything you need to know about what her heart wants.
My biggest issue with Nan is that she’s selfish, something that Theo even pointed out during their fight. She’s dragging his name and reputation through the mud, yet refuses to take the blame for it, all while playing these mind games and driving a wedge between two best friends who, despite having a lot of respect for each other, end up throwing food at each other and engaging in an 1800s version of WWE.
Nan’s incredibly courageous in many aspects of her life, but she’s not able to just declare what she wants, even when given the opportunity many times over, causing so much tension and turmoil, but never really owning up to her part in it.
Theo basically gave her a way out by asking her if she loves Guy, yet she dismissed the question and turned on him for knowing about her illegitimacy and saying nothing.
Theo’s perspective makes a lot of sense as it was never his secret to tell. He didn’t want to embarrass her or put her on the spot. Nan’s stance also has merit as she was wary about divulging this big thing in her life as she felt like when she told Guy, it pushed him away.
Nevertheless, the secret drove a wedge between them as she felt as though she had to hide a part of herself, making it impossible to confide in him the way she did with Guy as she thought she’d lose everything. And, in turn, it allowed her and Guy to become closer as he knew her better than anyone. It’s not exactly a recipe for success for a newly engaged couple.
But still, none of that addresses the situation at hand—her feelings for Guy that she’s been repressing.
Guy was forced to recite word for word what he wrote in the telegram (which he somehow remembered despite being drunk as a skunk), passionately professing his love for Nan in front of Theo, and I honestly have no idea how she kept her composure and didn’t just jump into his arms.
He was wearing his heart on his sleeve, telling her that his heart was eternally hers, even if they could never be together. I’m swooning because it was the most perfect and beautiful letter.
But instead of this massive moment forcing Nan to make a decision, they both skirted around their feelings once again.
Guy and Nan are just like two ships passing in the night—when one of them is ready to take action on their feelings, the other shoots it down, and vice-versa.
After Guy declared his love, Theo gave her a chance to own up to her feelings, but naturally, when she tried to ask Guy if he still meant all those things, he shot it all down telling her that they need to stop doing this dance and informing her of his engagement to Jean, which I don’t actually believe is real because if they were to be wed, wouldn’t she be with him at the party?
Guy likely believes that he’s doing the right thing for Nan as she has a more promising future with Theo, and he doesn’t want to hurt his best bud either.
You should never choose the man with the title over the man that you can confide in and comfortably lay on the roof with, as your fingers brush with desire and every touch is electric, however, when Guy said they need to “free each other,” he gave Nan no other choice, and thus, the episode ends with Nan and Theo driving away in their carriage, the engagement still on, as Guy apologizes to Theo for not being honest with him, asks him to take care of Nan, and will likely regret letting the girl of his dreams slip away for the millionth time before circumstance brings them back together again.
I know that this whole love triangle is necessary for drama-sake, but I just want to shake Guy and Nan. On the other hand, I pride the lot for being so open and honest about no more secrets as that’s incredibly rare when it comes to complicated romances on TV… however, for that reason, it’s also so frustrating as to why Nan and Guy allowed it to continue when they were given a chance to run off together and live happily ever after, no harm, no foul.
Nan doesn’t even care about becoming a duchess, so what’s keeping her with Theo? Though I imagine if she were to ever find out about her mother’s predicament, and the fact that she told Tracy she’s divorcing him once Nan is married and she gets the power of being a duchess’ mom, she would go through with the wedding for her sake.
Nan and Guy’s feelings might not be obvious to anyone else, but Patti picked up on the flirtation immediately, and I expect when it comes down to it, she’ll be the one to convince Nan to follow her heart so she doesn’t end up in a relationship with a man she resents, though in this case, Theo is nothing like Tracy and actually loves her daughter.
I’m firmly on Team Guy because Nan is one of the lucky people in this world who gets to choose her partner based on love. She complicates a matter where there should be no complication, and when looking at the problems of the other “Americans,” she has it easy.
Jinny’s relationship with Seadown is crumbling behind the scenes as she’s finding it harder to pretend, especially as she’s expecting. No one ever uttered the word “pregnant,” but she touched her belly enough times to indicate that she was with child—a child with a monster who continued to harass and embarrass Lizzy at every turn. Did no one notice him being a complete creep when they were playing the blindfold game? Someone needs to hold that man accountable.
Jinny attempts to run away at one point but comes right back out of fear of what he might do to her. I feel for her, but she also avoided all the red flags and warnings from her friends so while she’s a victim, she’s also dug herself into an impossible situation.
Mabel thought that her decision to get married would provide her with a cover so she could be herself and continue on a dalliance with Honoria, but she’s learning that isn’t the case. During their brief yet heavy conversation, Honoria delivers the most gutwrenching line to Mabel—“I hate you for making me feel like I could be loved.”
Honoria has truly made the most progress in these seven episodes, flourishing into a self-realized and brave person, who broaches the topic of Richard’s relationship with Testvalley. She informs him that she knows he was sexually abused by her and doesn’t think he should continue carrying the shame, which prompts him to come clean to his mother, who, in a shocking twist reveals that she always knew and pretty much did nothing about it other than send her away before he could bring “any shame” to the family.
When he tries to inform her of the damage the relationship caused him, she’s dismissive and tells him to stop acting like a baby and be a man. I’d be surprised by this cold display, but it’s in line with what Honoria and Dick said about their parents earlier in the episode, and it’s honestly no surprise that Seadown is who he is. They probably know all about that too and just turn a blind eye as poor Jinny suffers.
Honoria finally taps in Conchita when Dick is emotional on the roof. Though he doesn’t tell her about the extent of the hurt, he does apologize for bringing her into his suffocating family, as she consoles him and tells him that he’s stuck with her as family now. Conchita is his lifeline—and his way out, so I hope he takes it.
When seeing what everyone’s dealing with, Nan’s problems feel so small and inconsequential—whomever she chooses to be with (and it should be Guy), she’ll have a life filled with love, wonder, and experiences, the whisperings be damned because both men think she’s entirely perfect just the way she is.
What did you think of the penultimate episode? How do you think the season finale will pan out? Will Patty’s decision to divorce Tracy influence Nan’s decision? Will Guy attend the wedding? Will Nan get cold feet at the altar?
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 6 Review – It’s Christmas
It’s Christmas on The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 6, and while the festivities are underway with the British sipping tea and the brash Americans fittingly indulging in a snowball fight, there is also plenty of drama bubbling up to the surface, with Lord Seadown landing on Santa’s naughty list of TV characters. In those “end of the year” roundups, let’s all make sure he ends up at the top of the “worst” and “villains” lists, okay? Thanks.
Seadown takes his manipulation tactics to the next level, but in the process, seems to create a new enemy out of Nan, who will surely keep him on her radar from now on for exposing her private secret to the duchess in an attempt to humiliate her.
His behavior may have done a number on Lizzy—and though she’s been fighting that shame for quite some time, she’s also not one to back down from the fight—but Nan is empowered by this newfound freedom; she no longer has to carry the weight of being illegitimate or worry about Theo finding out.
Instead of allowing it to have power over her, she embraces it, boldly and confidently announcing it to everyone during the Christmas lunch, and proudly owning who she is.
Seadown may have been under the impression that he could knock Nan down a peg, but his plan wholly backfired in his face (and admittedly, it was pure joy to see the look on his face when he realized it), giving her even more power as Theo now knows the truth and still chose her—the American he fell in love with.
It’s not surprising that Theo wasn’t as shook by the revelation as the duchess as he knows better than anyone that you cannot choose how you’re born, so there should be no reason to hold it against Nan. And when you wield as much power as he does, you should be able to choose who you want to marry, based on love or whatever it is that you value.
His declaration of love is positively received by Nan, at least on the surface as she seals it with a kiss, but those glances toward the door—and awaiting Guy—tell a different story. At this point, Nan seems to be in love with the fairytale of Theo that provides her the opportunity, however, her heart is yearning for Guy, whom she spends much more time with throughout the episode.
At every turn, she was finding herself in his presence, willingly. The sexual tension between them could be felt every time they stepped into a room together (the stolen glances, Guy’s catalog-perfect sweater, the fact that he kicked off a conversation by saying he “just ate a walnut,” the moments were all so perfect and made us—and Nan— fall even harder). Sadly, they never allowed themselves to be honest with one another. So much went unsaid, even as Nan questioned what was in the lost telegram—things that could’ve changed the course of their respective decisions.
But alas, they both decided to stay the course with Nan choosing to remain engaged to Theo, even after she felt “relieved” when she thought the wedding would be called off, as Guy spent Christmas with Jean, away from all the chaos of the estate.
I especially feel sorry for Jean as she’s the only one left in the dark about the love triangle at hand, though, as someone who gifts cheese as a Christmas gift, I find her to be the ultimate catch. Any man would be lucky to have her.
For now, it seems like the love triangle has been resolved as everyone is somewhat pleased with their choices, however, we’ll see if Nan and Guy can keep their distance or if they’ll continue to find ways to be in each other’s orbits until their feelings can no longer be denied. And when that day comes, surely, the duchess will be much more upset that Nan managed to embarrass her family and destroy “500 years of civility and sacrifice” on multiple occasions.
Seadown’s wrath didn’t just stop at Nan as he made sure to gaslight Jinny on every occasion, forcing her to take an uncomfortable bath (why did he pour the water over her face like that?) before telling her that he loves her less when she’s around her friends and calling her notion of wanting to be a friend, sister, and daughter “childlike.” This guy is the absolute worst—but the saddest part is that Jinny feels like she has to accept this behavior because she’s been told her whole life to find a husband and walking away from him would bring the family embarrassment.
He’s not even subtle about his monstrous behavior, lifting Lizzy up after she falls in the snow and carrying her all the way to a room to essentially scold her. How did no one think that was weird and creepy?
Jinny’s gut instinct was that something was up, but when Lizzy informed her about Seadown’s actions at Runnymeade, she dismissed them and victim-blamed. It was heartbreaking since Lizzy finally confided in her friend and was coming from a place of real concern and worry, only to be dismissed, but it’s hard to place all the blame on Jinny when she’s also the victim.
They do, however, say that if someone shows you who they are, believe them, and in this case, Seadown has a significant amount of red flags that simply cannot be ignored.
Jinny stood by as he completely embarrassed her sister, attempting to ruin her chances at love and happiness, all the while noting “Your shame is not my shame,” a stark contrast to the sisterly love she displayed at the beginning of the season. I’m just hoping Jinny comes to her senses and escapes this toxic relationship before it’s too late and too dangerous. He keeps trying to isolate and estrange her from her loved ones in hopes of gaining more control over her, but it’s rather unhealthy to make your significant other your whole world.
Now that Nan has witnessed his brutality first-hand, maybe she and Lizzy can swap stories and pull in Honoria, who knows all too well that her brother sucks, and set a plan in motion to save Jinny. Her strength lies in her sisters and besties, a fact Seadown is clearly aware of.
Honoria, however, is likely mending a broken heart after Mabel accepted Miles’ proposal. I know the moment probably caught her off-guard, however, Mabel did warn her she was working on a plan to stay in London, and considering the times and the atmosphere, this is the only plan that will ever work. And it’s a union that’s mutually beneficial because it will appease the parents while allowing them both to do whatever (and whoever) they want.
If you aren’t getting married for love, you better be getting what you want out of the marriage, and it seems like Mabel’s the only one who seems to have it all figured out!
Conchita and Dick did actually marry for love—and the two can’t live without the other, nor can they go a few hours keeping their hands off each other. However, I struggle to find the joy in their relationship because of whatever his weird connection to Mrs. Testvalley is.
After Honoria and Conchita bonded about being more free-spirited, she realized that her brother finally has the chance at happiness and freedom that they all seek out. She then informed Mrs. Testvalley of that, after seeing her spy on Conchita and Dick, meaning that Honoria was clearly aware of her brother’s relationship with the governess. It’s unclear if she’s gone for good—though when Dick tries to convince her to stay, she tells him that Conchita is one of many who will never understand “us”—but I remain convinced that she’s also Nan’s biological mother, so I hope we get more insight into her character and the control/reach she has over him.
And that concludes the episode titled “It’s Christmas”, with Christmas at Tintagel’s ending on a rather controversial note for everyone involved—and here you thought your family holidays were bad.
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 5 Review – Failed Betrayal
The Buccaneers Season 1 Episode 5 reunited Nan, Theo and Guy, a friendship that took on a very weird vibe following Guy’s very candid telegram in which he poured his heart out for his best friend’s fiancé. A telegram that Nan, unfortunately, never received and that ended up in the hands of Theo instead.
Now, before you start feeling sorry for Theo, he showed a different side of himself during the episode, a side that Nan has never seen before, and I’d argue one that revealed his true colors. He later informed her that he wasn’t being himself during the Bonfire night at Guy’s (celebrating Guy Fawke’s failed Gunpowder Plot, no less, which allowed them to deliver some very on-the-nose lines about Theo “burning Guy to the ground” without anyone batting an eyelash), however, is that really the way anyone treats their best friend… a best friend that he knows is going through another kind of hell in the aftermath of his mother’s death?
Theo basically throws it in Guy’s face that he’s poor now and can’t afford the servants and staff, which is just ugly and telling. Of course, his attempt at belittling Guy comes from a place of insecurity as he knows how Guy feels about Nan, and he’s desperately afraid of losing her. If he hadn’t revealed that Guy’s whole plan was to find an American girl with money to save the family fortune, Nan likely would’ve remained very conflicted about her feelings for both men, but once she realized what Guy was playing at—which we know was his initial motivation before he actually fell for her—she shot him down as both a friend and a romantic interest. It was brutal and heartbreaking, especially when you consider that it’s not that far off from what Lord Seadown’s parents were doing by marrying him off to Jinny. Why was it a problem when Guy wanted someone wealthy but not when the others did?
The unfortunate truth is that Guy’s feelings were, in fact, authentic, and the passion displayed between them when they shared a kiss was proof that Nan should’ve followed her heart to the man who would be her equal. Theo can apologize all he wants, but his actions speak far louder, and he went out of his way to invite Jean, on Guy’s behalf, to get him away from Nan. And when Guy expressed zero interest in Jean, he suggested that she’s a “very nice girl”–ahem, someone with money–whom he should give another chance.
Also, it would have been great if Nan pieced together that Theo’s actions were a result of seeing the telegram as it was fairly obvious what was going on.
We already have one St. George sister in a toxic and controlling marriage, and not that I think Theo is anywhere as bad as Seadown, but there are definitely red flags.
Speaking of Jinny and Seadown, the poor girl is walking on eggshells around him and apologizing for being such a disappointment. The more we see this relationship, the more we see him breaking down her spirit, a glimmer we see return when she and Lizzy ditch the maze and go off for a fun day together. Lizzy is determined to make Seadown pay for the shame he caused her, particularly after the heartwarming and inspiring conversation she shares with Guy, who informs her that it’s not her shame to carry.
She antagonizes Seadown at every turn—and I can’t blame her, it’s too easy. It was just heartbreaking to see Jinny sit outside of the bedroom when he locked her out as punishment.
There’s also Mabel and Honoria, who had a moment of bliss together playing pretend before Mabel broke her heart by informing her that she’s so tired of playing pretend when all of her friends are praised and celebrated for their romantic endeavors–many of which are far worse than an LGBTQ relationship, but you know, the times.
And then there’s Conchita and Dick, who are madly in love with each other but not on the same page when it comes to their life together. From their brief interaction, it’s revealed that she made the decision to move out with her baby, which Dick supports, though he knows it’s not going to sit well with his parents. However, it seems like he begins to doubt his decision when he sees how happy Conchie is and remembers how much he loves her—maybe trading in his power for freedom would be the wise choice in this situation.
Of course, there’s so much we still don’t know about Dick, including his prior relationship with Mrs. Testvalley, so it’s hard to determine where his heart lies or whether he’ll be brave enough to risk it all for his family.
By the end of the episode, it’s clear that none of these newfound relationships are actually rooted in happiness, though everyone is going above and beyond to pretend that they are. Nan has chosen to stick by Theo’s side and go through with the wedding, though I anticipate many bumps in the road as she’s unable to shake her feelings for Guy. She may be heartbroken and disappointed by the revelation that he was using her, but that doesn’t mean getting over him or forgetting about him will be any easier, especially as he’s always going to be around as her fiancè’s bestie.
Will Lizzy hold her ground or will Seadown scare her off? Will Jinny eventually confide in her girls that she’s married to the devil? How will Mabel and Honoria move on with their relationship? And will Conchita and Dick find a way to be together?
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