Barchester Chronicles, episode 5

Taking his lead from the bishop’s answer to his question, Slope starts pressuring a very reluctant Mr. Q. into withdrawing his acceptance of the warden position.

10--keep the day job

“Maybe you should keep your day job after all.”

11--because reasons

“You should do this because . . . reasons.”

To Mr. Q.’s credit, he does not go gently. He first whines that his wife has already told all of the local merchants about the new job.

12--who didn't you tell

“Jesus, who didn’t you tell in town?”

Then he reminds Slope that he’s the one who brought him the offer to begin with. This prods Slope into some crawfishing that is almost inspiring in how overt and shameless he is in doing it. Slope acknowledges he may have conveyed more of a secure promise than really existed, and anyway, the acceptance was conditional on Harding not being interested, which is no longer the case.

13--never misled you

“No, I didn’t mislead you–except when I did.”

Slope also promises greater favor later if Q. does this and says nothing. Finally, Mr. Q.’s resistance breaks down.

14--you suck

“I’ll never trust again.”

With Mr. Q.’s assent to the plan, Slope is willing to let bygones be bygones.

15--let's shake

“Hey, don’t be like that. I like to shake hands with a man after I destroy his life.”

Now, before this point, I’ve always had to concede that Slope knows what he’s doing when it comes to manipulating people and situations, as terrible as he is as an actual human being. However, this scheme seems a bit shoddy by his standards. He’s leaving too many loose ends, methinks.

Regardless, Mr. Q. breaks the news to his wife, but she’s not having any of Slope’s shit. She believes Mrs. Proudie is the one who withdrew the request and Slope was just the messenger. She’s on a mission to confront the bishop’s wife and register her rage.


“This act of aggression will not stand!”

Slope updates the bishop on Q’s miraculous change of heart.

17--I'm a prophet

“Mr. Harding will happen! I may be a prophet.”

Meanwhile, Mrs. Q runs to Mrs. Proudie, who cannot stand her crying but is royally pissed off when she learns Slope withdrew the offer.

18--hell no

“This incursion on the bishop’s authority will not stand.”

Next page: Clash of titans.


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