Barchester Chronicles, episode 5

Meanwhile, he writes a letter to Eleanor, letting her know her father can have the warden position. Proving he’s still equal parts creepy and ingratiating, he starts one paragraph talking about how he misses her sweet son and then works in a slightly racy (for Victorian times) reference to the rustling of her long silk dresses when she’s wrangling the whippersnapper. Ooh lah lah.

46--letter writing

“On to the next phase of my grand evil plan.”

She receives the letter at the Grantlys’ home, and as you might expect, it causes utter chaos.

47--what the hell

“Are you shittin’ me?”

48--uh oh

“I’m not even capable of processing this right now.”

49--rational rage

“Maybe we shouldn’t burn other people’s personal mail, no matter how much we hate the sender.”


“So . . . that bit about my son and my long, silk dresses is a little weird, but I’m happy for Dad!”

Though they do let Eleanor read her letter–isn’t the fact that it’s even up for debate a bunch of patronizing shit?–her sister still confronts her about it.

51--tell now

“I think I need to read your mail.”

52--how about no

“How about no?”

Eleanor shares the happy news about the warden post with her dad, who has some problems, understandably, with the way the news was related to him–specifically the fact that Slope refused to tell him face-to-face.

Because Grantly is Grantly, he calls a formal meeting between himself and Eleanor to confront her about corresponding with Slope.

54--it's a creepy letter

“I’m sorry, but how is this letter not creepy, Eleanor?”

55--piss off

“It’s my life, bitch.”

Grantly is pretty obnoxious in this scene, but I will give him credit for being the only person in the family who comes out and mentions what they’re all terrified of–a Slope/Eleanor wedding. It’s still a shitty thing to do, but if they’re going to fight about it, they might as well both be clear on what the argument is about.

56--not welcome

“You don’t even understand how unwelcome he is here. Like, he makes me miss your dead husband.”

Eleanor’s not really feeling the love for his honesty, though.

57--mind business

“I’m leaving.”

Before she leaves, Arabin the Bore has some things to say.



Eleanor is not impressed. In fact, she’s pretty angry that he and Grantly have been discussing her possible relationship with Slope behind her back.

59--screw you

“You disappoint me too. Go away.”

The ending scene with Arabin seemed an off-note in an otherwise excellent episode, mainly because it gives the impression she had been interested in him until she found out he’d been talking about her with Grantly. But the previous dinner scene with the two of them never suggested that he was interesting or that she was unduly taken with him. I can’t figure out if some of his scenes were omitted, but even if they were, he just doesn’t conjure up much charisma in either of his appearances. But whatever–this episode still gave us some scenes that were absolute gems.


Best Line: “Today I have been modestly and moderately triumphant.”

Best face–Anything from that scene with the Signora. So many good ones. But I think this one is my favorite.

32--i won

“I am the shit right now.”

Next time: “Episode 6”


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