Barchester Chronicles episode 4

Later at tea, Harding complains to Eleanor about how rude Slope is, though she is still sympathetic to Slope. He is alarmed to learn Slope is a frequent visitor.

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“I hate the bastard, and I said no.”

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“He’s kinda over here a lot.”

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“Damn.”

At another tea, presumably the next day, Harding rants to his other daughter, but this time he harps on what he couldn’t freely discuss with Eleanor–how bothered he is that his youngest daughter is willing to cultivate ties with this thoroughly loathsome chaplain.

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“This Eleanor/Slope friendship thing is just irritating, you know.”

Mrs. Grantly pours on the horror by hinting Slope is angling for an engagement, which has never even occurred to gentle Mr. Harding.

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“Just imagine when they’re married. We can call them, I dunno, Slonor. Or Elope. I like Elope.”

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“Wait, what? That guy could be my next son-in-law?”

They agree that the one saving grace is the opportunistic Slope knows nothing about how wealthy of a widow dear Eleanor is.

Speaking of the devil, while Harding has a mutual bitch fest about Slope at his eldest daughter’s house, Slope offers Mr. Q the warden job, though he obviously finds the environs unsatisfying.

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“Fucking noisy children outside.”

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Mr. Q.

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The Slope Proposition.

Mr. Q. is pretty bland himself, though his conversation with Slope is funny. He proves he is at least a thoughtful person by mentioning how uncomfortable he would be if he were chosen instead of the well-liked Mr. Harding.

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“Leave Harding to me.”

Slope reassures him there is no need to worry because Harding said no. Overjoyed, Mr. Q. wants to celebrate, and Slope mentions that Eleanor is at least willing to help with some of the tasks. This news causes Mr. Q. to mention in passing that it’s nice someone so well off is willing to volunteer and help the poor. The mention of money sets off Slope’s greedy spidey senses.

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“Did you just say she’s rich?”

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“I’ve wanted to be a golddigger since childhood.”

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“It’s party time.”

I don’t think chronologically it happens right away, but there is also one of my absolute favorite scenes in the entire show in this episode, where Slope  blesses the many children of Mr. Q. Just watch it. Nothing can do it justice but viewing it in all of its glorious awkwardness.

Next page: Slope continues his attempted conquest of Barchester.

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