It’s nice for Eleanor that her desire to marry Arabin the Bore has panned out, but for me, the real highlight of this episode is the clash between Slope and Mrs. Proudie that has been inevitable from the first moment they disagreed with each other. It is every bit of the shit storm fight you could hope for.
Slope is summoned to the bishop’s office, with apparently no idea what awaits him.
From the start, it is clear the talk will not be a pleasant one for him.
Slope tries to argue that if the bishop has something to discuss with him about him, then Mrs. Proudie can leave. His plea is immediately shot down when she ominiously informs him she can then stay because “there’s nothing to duscuss.”
The bishop starts off by verbally flailing around and acknowledging that there have been some problems with Slope.
Slope presses him to name exactly what he’s done wrong and insists that he is good at his job and is above reproach.
Mrs. Proudie then cuts in with what has bothered her since Episode 3–his social connection with the Signora. I bet she’d shit if she knew he had proposed to the Signora a couple of episodes ago.
This shit starts to get intense–but also hilarious–as Slope jumps out of his chair and starts haranguing Mrs. Proudie. He actually makes a valid point–he met the Signora in Mrs. Proudie’s house, so he doesn’t see how she can object on social grounds.
Slope seems to think that settles the issue, but there’s clearly more the Proudies want to tell him. He seems to think it’s just another issue they want to shout at him about, probably the newspaper article or maybe his shameful treatment of Mr. Q. He’s ready for it, but he insists it must come from his actual boss, not the boss’s wife. Touche, Slope.
Slope, for all of his scheming, doesn’t seem big on contingency plans and he also seems to think the bishop will be easier on him, so he is absolutely floored when the bishop tells him he’s fired.
Slope quickly recovers his sass and machinations by insisting that he has some other tricks up his sleeve if they want to fire him.
Mrs. Proudie does not fear his planned assaults by newspaper and lawyer. Instead, she tells him he can go beg Mr. Q. for a really shitty job in Puddingdale.
Slope’s not a big fan of this recommendation.
Slope finally sees that he has no recourse, so he slinks out, but not without having the last word because, let’s face it, he wouldn’t be Slope if he didn’t try to get the last word in.
His dramatic exit is so good that it really deserves a GIF:
After the eviction of Slope, the series wraps up with a dinner featuring the Grantlys, Harding, Arabin the Bore, and Eleanor. All is well with Barchester–Arabin the Bore will be dean, he will marry Eleanor, Harding will live with them, and Mr. Q. will be the warden.
And that’s a wrap on The Barchester Chronicles.
Next page: Assorted summaries.