There are romantic issues for everybody.
Last time on Pride & Prejudice: Both Collins & Wickham showed up.
To start off with, Charlotte Lucas accepts Collins’ offer as she knows this is her best chance at avoiding spinsterhood and later tells Elizabeth how she keeps her life as separate from her husband’s as much as possible. She’s clearly making the best of things, but it’s still sad how she had to marry someone she clearly isn’t terribly fond of, let alone loves.
Caroline Bingley and Mister Darcy have for now successfully separated Jane and Bingley. Both Lizzy and Jane were somewhat aware of Caroline’s involvement, but Lizzy gets further upset with Darcy when Colonel Fitzwilliam lets slip about Darcy’s meddling. It’s a nuanced situation- the viewers know that Jane sincerely cared for Bingley but also saw Missus Bennet’s premature gloating and plotting to use the marriage to have her other daughter meet and marry other rich men, so it’s also possible see why Darcy would want to interfere. He did overstep his bounds, but it was a sincere gesture of friendship from what he knew of Missus Bennet… just as Lizzy’s dislike of Darcy made sense based off what she experienced with Darcy and let her confirmation bias be persuaded by Wickham.
Both Lizzy and Darcy showcase the pitfalls of pride and prejudice against each other. Lizzy’s pride got hurt due to that initial rejection of dancing with her, and let her prejudice blind her to Darcy’s attempts to show his softer side. Darcy’s arrogance led him to make an embarrassingly phrased proposal (seriously, don’t insult the lady’s family when asking to marry her, even if- or especially if- there’s truth to the insults).
Wickham was treated sympathetically by Lizzy, though the bit where Lizzy acknowledges that she must not have deeply cared for him if she’s so blasé over him pursuing a wealthier girl. In contrast, she’s rather bitterly pleased by Anne’s sickly and cross appearance to be a ‘proper’ match for Darcy, indicating that she does feel strongly about him. At this point, it’s negative emotion, but still.
It’s also repeatedly highlighted that Lydia is more a girl than a woman even by Regency standards, making me already even more sympathetic to her later folly. It’s very possible that the Bennets were premature in letting her ‘come out’ into polite society, meaning she lacked any maturity to handle adult affairs.
Lady Catherine is stuck-up and snobby. Really, that bit where she claims she ‘could have’ been a good piano player annoyed me, since surely she could take the time now to master it. At least she’s not (yet?) claiming that Anne would have been a prodigy in all feminine arts if not for her poor constitution.
I’m now halfway through the mini-series and greatly enjoying it. Well, I experienced severe second-hand embarrassment for both Lizzy and Darcy during the proposal scene- I got where Darcy was coming from, particularly as I too have trouble politely expressing myself at times, and I perfectly understood Lizzy’s offense given her current understanding of Darcy.
Lizzy and Jane continue to have an adorable sisterly bond, though it’s a bit bittersweet to see that they’re by far closest to each other over any bonding with their little sisters. Mister Bennet similarly views the younger three as “silly”, which makes me wonder how much- if at all- he was involved in raising the quintet. I’ve heard the theory that the Gardiners were more involved as role models for Jane and Lizzy, but then started having kids of their own, meaning that Mary, Kitty, and Lydia had Missus Bennet as their primary parental figure.
Poor Mary- she hasn’t quite learned that her father’s and Lizzy’s moments of light-heartedness and true affection is a large part of why they get away with snarky commentary on others’ actions while she does not due to her severity.
Next time on Pride & Prejudice: Elizabeth realizes her mistake in judgment.