Slope, flush with triumph, goes to the Signora to gloat. But she’s not willing to allow him that.
I suppose he thinks while he’s having a win streak, he might as well try his luck in acquiring a rich wife.
As dislikable as Slope as is, I must confess Rickman looks handsome as hell in this scene to me. I mean, I’m probably biased because I’ve always thought Rickman was an attractive man in general, even when he was older or saddled with unfortunate clothing, ala that Shelley episode, but here it’s like he’s almost got a 20s matinee idol thing going on, mid-Victorian setting be damned.
The Signora is less impressed with The Rickman than I am, though, and takes the opportunity to fuck with him on a number of issues. First, she brings up Eleanor because she’s not stupid and knows Slope has been visiting her too.
Then she mentions her own absent husband. I had assumed he was dead (and presumably Slope did too), but that apparently wasn’t the case at all.
Then she basically admits to him that her entire point is to show him he’s not really as devoted as he claims he is because he is so ambitious.
And then she seems to make an improper suggestion, cloaked though it may be in 19th century innuendo.
He initially seems very hurt–and just like in that episode when he looked so sad after Mrs. Proudie scolded him and I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for him, I did have a momentary pang of sympathy for the loathsome Slope here, despite the fact that everything the Signora said is true.
But his sad face passes quickly and morphs into a very pissed-off face.
But Slope, even in disappointment and rage, is still nothing if not crafty, so he never comes out and tells the Signora that he wishes her head would explode into a million tiny pieces. She rubs his face in this by coyly telling him he must forgive her. He sort of does, but his refusal to say anything is conspicuous. Also, he just doesn’t look super into the whole forgiveness thing right now.
Next page: Mail call at Barchester.