Every season, the GBH Drama staff sit down to watch the latest and greatest in British dramas. And now, after years of waiting, it is my great pleasure to finally be here recapping season 2 of Sanditon! Romance! Drama! Sea bathing! It's all coming together: let's go.

Well, reader, last week sure turned into a weird battle royale! Do we think things will get better this time? I’m inclined to think yes, if only because we start the episode with Arthur adorably wishing a passing horse good ‘morrow. Why’s he in such a great mood? Because the Parker brothers are hosting a ball that very evening and it’s going to be amazing: nearly everyone important from London will be in attendance, and they might even be able to pay off their debt to Eliza! Things are looking up! Unfortunately, poor Arthur is mistaken. All the hubbub at the house is actually the local vendors taking supplies AWAY from the party; they aren’t going to deliver any goods or services until the army pays off their debts!

A woman says "Oh that is... that is bad news"

Across town, there’s more bad news. While Esther writes a super sad letter to Babs asking why he’s been doing some 1800s ghosting, she takes some of the tincture Dr. Fuchs prescribed. But from the shot we get of Horrible Ed doctoring a similar bottle with laudanum, I have a bad feeling our girl is on a very different type of medication. And speaking of lying men, Hurricane Heywood is dramatically packing her bags to return home because of such a creature.

Hurricane Heywood: There’s nothing for me here! That scrub almost let me drown, and I never get to see you either, Charlotte. You should just come home with me anyway; surely you don’t want to work for Mystery Dad anymore after he was so rotten last week.
Charlotte: I have to stay for the kids. And at least come to the ball before you go!
Hurricane Heywood: What, so everyone can laugh at me? And he’ll be there! UGH!
Charlotte, 100% right: Yes, this sucks, but I promise you will get past this heartbreak.
Hurricane Heywood, also 100% right: You say that because you’re feeling better yourself. Don't think I haven’t realized that you actually want to stay here in town for him.

Charlotte, of course, has no idea what her sister is on about, so baby Heywood lays it out for her: Colonel No Service isn’t a liar like Captain Loverboy, he’s obviously a great catch, and at least one of the sisters would be happy if Charlotte ended up with him. To that, I must unfortunately say:

A man says "I have never heard someone say so many wrong things, one after the other, consecutively, in a row."

In other news, Tom’s pretty sure there’s no way they’ll be able to get Colonel No Service to settle his debts with Sanditon’s shopkeepers, at least until Tom pays back his gambling debt.

Arthur, understandably pissed: So it’s ok for you to lose our money, but I can’t suggest reasonable improvements to the town? Great. GREAT. I told you he couldn’t be trusted, and instead of listening to me, you tried to make me feel bad for asking questions. You better tell Mary about this! In the meantime, *I* will see if there’s anything I can do to salvage the ball situation.

Yes Arthur! Tell him off and storm off in a huff! You’ve earned it! Speaking of storming off in a huff, it seems like Mystery Dad is doing the same thing: when Charlotte arrives at Thornfield By The Sea she spots her employer galloping away on his horse and hastens to hide behind a tree so she doesn’t have to face the music. Can’t say I blame her! Inside, however, she's forced to face the literal music: a grumpy Augusta is plonking away at the spinet, in a foul mood. See, it turns out after the disaster at the garden party, there’s pretty much no chance she’ll get to attend the much more exciting Sanditon Ball. Annoyed, she ALSO storms off in a huff, leaving Charlotte to chat with Fun Housekeeper.

Charlotte, grumpy: Well, can’t say she’s wrong. Mystery Dad hates fun parties and pleasant company so much I can’t imagine him attending a ball.
Fun Housekeeper: Hey, don’t talk sh*t about Mystery Dad! You’ve known him for 4 episodes; I’ve known him for years. There’s a lot more to our boss than meets the eye.

And since Fun Housekeeper is the only one who’s consistently been truthful this whole time, I have to say, I’m inclined to believe her. Meanwhile, at Lady D’s, she’s busy complaining about how much the impending nuptials between Horrible Ed and Clara will cost. Newsflash, Lady D, it’s only going to get worse. Before we have to hear any of the details, Esther swans in looking wan and out of it, so yeah, Horrible Ed’s definitely been drugging the tincture. Esther again asks if she’s got any mail, and weirdly Lady D seems totally unbothered by Babs' apparent sudden lack of interest in conversing with his wife. Horrible Ed, living up to his name, needles Esther about it, prompting an outburst which Lady D for some reason finds upsetting. Yikes, ma’am: pay attention to your surroundings, this is how they almost got your money the first time! Clara, at least, seems worried about Esther, so hopefully she’ll grow a spine and help sort this out.

Over at the army camp, Jilted arrives to tell his pal Captain Loverboy the bad news: Hurricane Heywood plans to leave tomorrow.

Captain Loverboy: I knew it: all hope is lost.
Jilted: I mean, look, she’s right to be mad at you, but she deserves to know why you lied.
Captain Loverboy: I can’t fix it.
Jilted: Not with that attitude you can’t! Also, dude, it’s not fair that she has to leave her fun summer vacation because you’re a trashboy. Think about her, not about yourself! Apologize! It’s the honorable thing to do!

But Captain Loverboy isn’t having any of it. Gotta say, not a good look! Back at Thornfield By The Sea, Leo asks Charlotte what the heck happened at the party. Charlotte tries to get her charge to focus on her lessons, but that’s not gonna happen: Leo is, understandably, WAY more interested in adult gossip. Just then, Mystery Dad appears and asks Leo to scoot so he can talk to Charlotte solo.

Mystery Dad: Look, we haven’t talked since the party. I offended you, and I didn’t mean to.
Charlotte: So are you here to apologize?
Mystery Dad: Sorry, but I can’t.
Charlotte: So you’ll explain why you acted that way?
Mystery Dad: You have no right to ask me that. Just stay away from that guy!

UGH, DUDE. I get that this is very obviously a sore subject, but that’s exactly the kind of thing that’s only going to make her WANT to hang out with the other guy! Anyway, over at the Parker house, Mary’s apologizing for leaving Hurricane Heywood alone, but alas: she’s got a whist date with Lady D. Mary doesn't even have time to hear Tom’s embarrassing bad news (not that he tries too hard to persuade her otherwise). On her way out, however, she spots a guy in a red coat approaching the house!

A man dressed as a teen girl says "ew"

Hurricane Heywood says she can’t possibly see Captain Loverboy, but her FACE says that she’s at least still a bit hopeful that he’s come to apologize. But he hasn’t: it’s Jilted at the door. Hurricane Heywood, of course, assumes that Jilted is here to talk to her on behalf of his friend, but he assures her that he isn’t: he didn’t even tell Captain Loverboy he was coming.

Hurricane Heywood: Great, then let’s not talk about him.
Jilted: Now look: don’t leave just because of him. You’ve got your sister, and Miss Lambe, and other potential friends!
Hurricane Heywood: Well a potential friend should have told me what’s happening instead of laughing about it behind my back. And I can’t believe I bought those bogus made-up stories!
Jilted: I tried to tell him to be honest. And they weren’t bogus, just borrowed.
Hurricane Heywood: From who?
Jilted: Doesn’t matter. Anyway, hope you can forgive me.
Hurricane Heywood: Ugh, it’d be rude not to: you saved my life, and this isn't really your fault.

Jilted! Buddy! That was the time to quote some of the poetry in your weirdo notebook, guy! Anyway, over at Thornfield By The Sea, Charlotte takes a break from being confused and mad at the same time to go try and cheer up Augusta. Her charge explains that she didn’t really expect to go to the ball, but that it’s still a reminder of what she lost: her parents were very social, and they talked a lot about the parties they would attend with her when she was old enough. Now, Augusta feels hopeless: why bother to prepare to enter society when Mystery Dad is such a weirdo recluse he’s unlikely to take her out?

Across town, Single and Loving It tells Georgiana they’ll have to have a short painting sitting today: her brother Gross Priest is at a funeral, and she has to do a lot of work to fill in for him in his absence. Georgiana, however, has a plan: Arthur is right over there, and he could chaperone instead!

Arthur: I wish I could, but I have a big meeting in an hour.
Georgiana: That’d be enough time, and I know Wannabe Byron would want to see you!
Arthur: Well… Ok!

As they practically skip off to be bohemian cuties together, Charlotte’s having another weird talk with Mystery Dad. He explains that while he still doesn’t feel bad about the intention behind his inappropriate end of the party ultimatum, he DOES feel bad about how he expressed himself: he’s sorry. Charlotte, a nice person, accepts his apology, and then does her job: she’s here to talk about Augusta.

Charlotte: Look, I know you have a super sad tortured backstory that it’s not time for me to know about yet, narrative-wise, but it’s not fair of you to let that influence how you treat Augusta. Or Leo. There’s a ball that Augusta longs to attend: how am I supposed to prepare her for society if you’ll lock her up at home? You’re making my job impossible.
Mystery Dad: Well then I guess you have some thinking to do re: this job.

Charlotte obviously isn’t happy with how that went down, and unsurprisingly, neither is Mystery Dad, who seems to almost instantly regret taking such a hard line. Meanwhile, at Wannabe Byron’s place, Arthur looks at his watch in horror and tries to extricate Georgiana: if they don’t leave now, he’ll be late!

Georgiana: Can you just… leave me here until after your meeting?
Arthur: Come on, dude, you know Mary AND Single and Loving It wouldn’t be ok with that!
Wannabe Byron: Ah, but there’s something special about working on art with a subject… alone. Surely you get that, as an artistic person yourself!

Oh NO, they played on his weakness for needing approval! I get wanting some alone time with your new potential love interest, but come on guys, Arthur is both the most supportive friend you have AND a human ray of sunshine! Rude! Thankfully, it seems like Wannabe Byron isn’t totally invested in living up to his recap name just yet, and they really do want to mostly work on the painting.

Wannabe Byron, noticing Georgiana’s choice to embrace her natural hair: You changed your hair.
Georgiana: Well you asked me how I wanted to be seen: this is the hair my mom gave me.
Wannabe Byron: And your dad?
Georgiana: He gave me an education and my money, which is sometimes not as great as it seems.
Wannabe Byron: If I had your money I’d travel the world, party, make art, and make love. And I’d never take a crappy commission again.
Georgiana, stung: Well sorry to be making you miserable.
Wannabe Byron: OMG, no, I don’t mean you! I’m not doing this for money, I’m doing it for love!

NOW LOOK. I really want that to be true, because I think they actually complement each other well. But I can’t shake the fear that he’s partly after Georgiana for her cash (and that he’s exoticising her while he’s at it). I hope I’m wrong, because they’re cute together, and clearly have some fire chemistry, if the kiss Georgiana initiates is any indication.

At cards, Mary asks Clara where she and Horrible Ed will live after the wedding.

Lady D: Well that probably matters where the company jets off to! Apparently they have a bit of a love it and leave it reputation: a friend of mine who lives in the last place they stayed said they ran up a bunch of debt and then skipped town!
Mary: But… that’s illegal!
Lady D: Well sure, but they’re war heros, so they get away with it. You might want to tell Tom — we could end up in a similar situation if he doesn’t crack down.

But the serious ramifications of that intel will have to wait: Esther randomly gets up from the game, high as a kite, and wanders off, leaving the rest of the table quite worried about her. Afterwards, Mary heads straight home to tell Tom — who appears to have entered an emo phase, hair-wise — the bad news. Horrified to hear that his expected windfall could quickly become the opposite, he comes clean about the dreaded dice debts. Mary, appropriately, is FURIOUS: did Tom learn nothing? Sidney’s sacrifice was for naught!

Tom: Wait, what?
Mary: Oh my god, Tom, did you really not figure this out yet? Sidney and Charlotte were a whole thing! They had a ship name! They were going to get married! And then your brother fell on his sword for you!

Welp, secret’s out, and Tom, understandably, is more miserable than ever. Similarly, over at Lady D’s, poor Esther is laid out on a settee and thus unable to fend off Horrible Ed’s “concern” for her welfare. He pretends he’s worried about her, tells her to rest, and then looks ominously at her tincture bottle. Will he feel bad and NOT continue to dose his sister? Only time will tell, but I doubt it. Luckily, Clara’s got eyes in her head AND previous experience with folks suffering from laudanum addiction, so she puts two and two together and confronts her fiance: wtf, Horrible Ed?

Horrible Ed: Don’t pretend to be upset, you knew about this plan!
Clara: Uh, no I didn’t! And you know she’s taking that medicine to try and have a baby; poisoning her this way is extra cruel!
Horrible Ed: Yeah, buddy, that’s kind of my whole thing? Look, it’s better for us if she can’t have a baby! And better still if Babs thinks she’s unstable!
Clara: Wait, this isn’t just about our son, huh? This is revenge!
Horrible Ed: Sure is! Now make sure she’s at that ball tonight or else!

Do I low key want Clara and Esther to team up and murder Horrible Ed? Undoubtedly. But that’ll have to wait: we have a ball to attend! “But wait,” I hear you say, “how can there be a ball when all the local business people won’t work?” Once again, Arthur has saved the day: he was apparently such a good customer to the baker that that gentleman has talked everyone into waiting a little longer for payment on Arthur’s behalf. Tom, impressed and delighted, thanks his brother profusely and runs off to get changed. Meanwhile, downstairs, Charlotte and Georgiana compare notes. Is Georgiana suddenly in a better mood? Yes, and coincidentally, the “painting” is coming along nicely! Charlotte, on the other hand, is still so bummed out about the whole situation over at Thornfield By The Sea that she’s considering quitting her job.

Georgiana: Uh, but what will you do for cash? Please tell me you’re not gonna go back home and marry that farmer.
Charlotte: LMAO, absolutely not.
Georgiana: Well, maybe consider that Colonel then? He’s hot and nice and you guys get along. Look: no one is going to measure up to Sidney. I will never love anyone as much as I loved Otis, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find other types of happiness.

Weird how that advice is half sound and half terrible! But before we can get more details on the other types of happiness Georgiana alluded to, young Hurricane Heywood joins the chat. She’s decided to attend the ball, because after all, the breakup was because of something embarrassing Captain Loverboy did, not her.

Women toast and say "hear hear!"

And, resolving to have a great time, they head off, not without a few digs about how Charlotte should dance with Colonel No Service. Speaking of whom, at the camp, he’s getting ready for the occasion, which tonight includes gearing up for a proposal. Jilted, who’s apparently destined to listen to all of his coworkers plan out their romantic attacks on the Heywood sisters, hangs out in the corner looking glum. Poor guy: it probably is hard to be the obvious best dude of the bunch and have nobody but the unseen internet realize it!

As the gals arrive at the ball, Tom pulls Charlotte aside for a SUPER awkward “I somehow just realized only now that I could have been your brother in law” chat about how he hopes she has fun tonight because it’s what Sidney would have wanted (and Tom wants her to be happy as well). Bless him, he’s such a goober. Across the room, the Denham party arrives and greets Dr. Fuchs, who hopefully will figure out wtf is up with Esther before the night is over. But first, Lady D has to go harangue Tom about the soldier problem.

Lady D: I warned you this was a bad idea!
Tom, finally finding a backbone: Ok, first of all, you were even more keen on the barracks plan than I was!
Lady D: Whatever man; what are you going to do about this? You brought this red-coated peril into our lives! I trusted you with my money, as did Whatserface!
Tom: Well maybe you shouldn’t have trusted me!

Yikes! Speaking of red-coated peril, Colonel No Service crosses the room to ask Charlotte to dance, and while I detect a hint of regret in Char's face, Hurricane Heywood isn’t mucking around, and accepts on her sister’s behalf. While they cut a rug, he makes a snide comment about Mystery Dad, to which Charlotte answers that she might not be working for the fellow in question much longer. Colonel No Service, of course, assumes that that means Charlotte is considering marriage. Before they can sort out this misunderstanding, however, she spots a very glum Hurricane Heywood and flees to go support her sister. Alas, in the process, she and Georgiana accidentally take Hurricane Heywood right into the vicinity of Captain Loverboy, who doesn’t seem to be the least bit contrite, if the crowd of eligible misses surrounding him is any indication.

Hurricane Heywood: Ok, well this is nonsense. Off to confront my terrible ex!
Captain Loverboy: Oh, wow, it’s you! I was so sad to hear you were leaving town!
Hurricane Heywood: Uh, since you never apologized, I kinda doubt it! I can’t believe you chickened out: your friend was the one who tried to make things right!
Jilted, in the corner:

A smiling woman peers out from behind a large plant.

Captain Loverboy: Only because apologizing made my feelings hurt and I didn’t like that! Look, can’t we just move past all this and dance?
Hurricane Heywood: Absolutely not! I was foolish, but I hope you get it together so the next girl you date doesn’t suffer.

And with that, she returns to her smiling friends, who take her back into the other room to hopefully find some punch or whatever. You know who else came to this ball to fight? Esther, who doesn’t hesitate to tell Clara and Horrible Ed that she thinks their fake engagement is gross, and that she can’t understand why Lady D approved. Horrible Ed, naturally, volleys back: just because her marriage is in trouble doesn’t mean she should crap on their happiness!

Esther: Happiness? Clara is shackled to you, dude! She doesn’t like you any more than I do!

And then Horrible Ed hands her a glass of champagne, knowing she’ll fumble it due to the whole POISON thing. While Clara helps Esther clean up, Horrible Ed shoots his shot with Lady D, telling his aunt a horrible and made up story about a relative of Esther’s who was institutionalized. Lady D brushes him off, but we can’t be sure how long her support for Esther will last, especially as I’m pretty sure the fresh glass of wine Horrible Ed hands to his sister might be laced with even more laudanum.

In a much more fun situation, across the room, Wannabe Byron convinces Georgiana to dance with him! They’re having a whale of a time, and when Mary asks Arthur if he thinks they can trust the artist, Arthur doubles down on supporting his friends. I, too, am enjoying watching Georgiana get to have some fun for once, so I really hope Arthur read this situation correctly! But the fun is about to end: Esther, super out of it, lists onto the dance floor and has to be carried off by Horrible Ed. Lady D tries to cover up the faux pas, asking for a less jaunty tune, and in the confusion, Wannabe Byron drags Georgiana off somewhere.

In a side room, Dr. Fuchs examines Esther and unfortunately comes up with a truly bonkers diagnosis: her thinking must be impaired because of “her flawed womb.” She’s hysterical!

A young woman makes a face that says "seriously??"

Lady D, thankfully, is smarter than that: isn’t it weird, she wonders, that Esther only started feeling poorly after she started taking his tincture?

Dr. Fuchs: Impossible: the tincture is a placebo! It’s just there to give her hope!

And with that, Lady D bundles Esther off home before she embarasses herself more. Annoyingly, Clara spends this whole conversation looking upset and conflicted, instead of speaking up. Look, I know she’s overcoming a lot of stuff, but where is the solidarity?! Back out in the ballroom, this evening is about to get a whole lot more confrontational, because guess who just rolled up to the function? Yes, it’s Mystery Dad!

A woman says "What a twist" to her companion

Charlotte and our brooding friend lock eyes across the room and SMILE, eyes a-twinkle, and then young Augusta makes a beeline for her governess.

Augusta: I don’t know what you said, but you’re my favorite human, NEVER leave! Ooh, there’s about to be a dance!
Mystery Dad, joining the convo: LOL, you know I don’t dance.
Charlotte: Bro, you’re literally at a ball, so what’s your plan?
Mystery Dad: Good. Question.

Charlotte, 1. Mystery Dad, 0. Elsewhere, a decidedly less happy conversation is happening. See, it turns out that our good buddy Wannabe Byron is not long for Sanditon, and plans to leave for Europe tomorrow! Georgiana is, understandably, upset: wasn’t he going to say anything?

Wannabe Byron, employing my least favorite rhetorical device: This IS me saying something! Anyway, why don’t you come with me?
Georgiana: Oh, as a traveling mistress? No thanks.
Wannabe Byron: No, as my wife!

A woman gasps dramatically

Mary, choosing this moment to enter the room: Georgiana! I thought you disappeared! Come with me!

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?? We’re not about to find out. Back inside, Mystery Dad is doing an admirable job dancing with Augusta, who’s having a great time. And because of how these dances work, his next partner is none other than Charlotte, and while they have a breathless, tensiony dance, they also have a breathless, tensiony chat.

Mystery Dad: So, have you rethought your position re: being our governess?
Charlotte: I’ve been considering it, yeah.
Mystery Dad: Well I hope you stay… for Augusta and Leo, and certainly for no other reason at all, no ma’am. You’ve had a huge impact on all of us. We’d be… very sad to lose you now.

Charlotte, kinda overwhelmed, excuses herself and scampers off, leaving Mystery Dad to handle his feelings solo. Meanwhile, Arthur tracks down Tom, who’s still moping about getting hustled by Colonel No Service.

Arthur: Dude, his whole job is strategy; it’s not surprising he was able to trick you.
Tom: I think I’ve just been desperately searching for someone to replace Sidney, and gravitated to the closest available option.
Arthur: I get it, and Sidney can’t be replaced. But you have something he didn’t: vision. You’ll think of something!
Tom: I shouldn't have been trying to find a stand in for Sidney in the first place though; not when you were there the whole time. Love you, bro.

AWWWW. And in another adorable sibling moment, inside, Hurricane Heywood corners Charlotte for girl talk.

Charlotte: I don’t get it — I just had romance vibes again?? WTF?
Hurricane Heywood: You know you’re allowed to have feelings again, right? It’s not a betrayal. Anyway, here’s your boyfriend now!

But it turns out that there is some confusion between the sisters vis a vis who Charlotte is feeling feelings about: the man entering the room is actually Colonel No Service, and without a lot of preamble, he launches right into a proposal.

Colonel No Service: I’ve never been defeated in battle, but you’ve conquered my heart. You’re a super cool gal and I want to be with you forever and ever. There’s a beautiful estate nearby; I looked into buying it.
Charlotte: What?
Colonel No Service: You know what I’m asking: will you marry me?
Charlotte: No, dude! I’ve been very clear this whole time: I don’t want to get married. No thanks!
Colonel No Service: Oh you! Stop playing games; no need to be coy! I’m here to rescue you from the horrible fate of being a sad penniless governess!
Charlotte: But I don’t love you.
Colonel No Service: Love will grow if you let it.

And then, reader, he grabs her and kisses her, very much against her will. Charlotte tries to fight him off, prompting the colonel to grab her wrist super hard and tell her that she should understand her place. Disgusting, I hate it, and so does Charlotte, who tells him she knows what she deserves and storms off, crying. Naturally, she runs right into Mystery Dad, who seems to be willing to lay off the theatrics, and instead asks her what’s wrong. When she can’t answer, he draws the correct conclusion that Colonel No Service did something messed up, and follows Charlotte into the hall.

Downstairs, Jilted rolls up to Hurricane Heywood.

Jilted: Wow, so once again you’re friendless and abandoned.
Hurricane Heywood: LOL, you always know how to comfort a gal. Anyway, what a bummer that I’ve wasted my entire summer on THAT clown.
Jilted: Feel bad about it tomorrow when you’re back home. Tonight, you’re at a party and looking better than anyone in the room: I must dance with you.
Hurricane Heywood: Hilarious. I see you’re back to joking.
Jilted: I assure you, I’m not. You look perfect.
Hurricane Heywood: You know, that is even nicer coming from the rudest man I know!

Cute! Less cute: in the hall, Mystery Dad tells Charlotte this was what he was trying to warn her about. Charlotte, still not a pushover, argues correctly that Mystery Dad never actually directly warned her about anything, he just made weird vague pronouncements that she shouldn't talk to the colonel.

Charlotte: Look dude, how was I supposed to know who to listen to? He told me you stole the woman he loved and I should avoid YOU. What actually happened?
Mystery Dad: This isn’t the place for this conversation.
Charlotte: I need to know who you are, man!

And of course, this is when Augusta rolls up and asks what’s going on, only to be told the family is heading home. But don’t despair: we shall have our answers, because Charlotte is going with them. When they all return to Thornfield By The Sea, Fun Housekeeper, who’s come down to tell Mystery Dad that Leo is being a tiny menace again, is understandably confused: what’s Charlotte doing here? But before she can get actual answers, Leo runs in to ask about the ball. Fun Housekeeper, who I suspect might ship it, quickly bustles the girls off to bed and leaves the adults alone. Unchaperoned! At night!

A man grooves while eating popcorn

Back on the dance floor, Jilted and Hurricane Heywood continue their snarky banter, and if I’m not mistaken, a certain young lady starts to let herself feel a bit of a spark with her former enemy. And I’m not the only one who notices: Captain Loverboy, watching from the corner, finishes his drink with a confused smile. I guess if he’s going to be a flighty liar he can at least also be a good loser, so cheers to that.

Across town, Horrible Ed continues his sabotage attempts, telling Lady D they have to start thinking about having Esther committed. Lady D is obviously reluctant to have this conversation, but then Clara runs in looking for the baby, who’s missing. You can all guess where this is going: Esther’s got him. She tries to explain that she heard the baby crying and went to go comfort him (as she’s been doing this whole time), but in her delirious state, it doesn’t look great. She quickly hands Baby George over to Clara after some prompting, but the damage might be done.

Meanwhile, at Thornfield By The Sea, the longed for explanation for Mystery Dad’s hatred of Colonel No Service is finally here, and it’s wild. See, when Mystery Dad and his wife Lucy were first married, he’d just inherited the country house. Being an introvert and newly in charge of the estate, he wasn’t eager to hang out in London for the social season, so he came back and left Lucy in the city. And that’s when she met, and evidently fell in love with, the colonel. She kept delaying her return, and finally Mystery Dad tracked her down in London and found out she was pregnant… with Colonel No Service’s baby. The colonel had, unsurprisingly, abandoned her, and she was too ashamed to tell Mystery Dad. He unfortunately didn’t handle it great, and still feels horrible about it. Lucy never really got over it, and, physically weakened after the birth, wandered into the rain, got sick, and died. Charlotte, of course, is very moved by this story, and holds Mystery Dad’s hand, telling him he should forgive himself.

Charlotte: I get that this is why you avoid Leo, but if you don’t try to process this, you won’t have the future you deserve.

And apparently they’re on the same wavelength about what that future could look like, because he reaches over and kisses her, and this one she returns. Vigorously. But it’s not all tearful, firelit smooches: someone else overheard this very intense conversation: Leo! Our favorite wee hellion clearly hadn’t been told the secret of her parentage before, and runs off before the kissing starts (so I guess… silver lining?). How will she react? And what can be done about scummy Colonel No Service? We’ll just have to wait for next week’s season finale (already? HOW?) to find out!

Episode 1 recap: guess who's back
Episode 2 recap: shady characters, sedition, and a spinet
Episode 3 recap: Centaurea cyanus
Episode 4 recap: an indecent proposal