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‘Sanditon’ Season Two Finale Ends With Hope & Heartbreak

the women of sanditon deal with a lot

The TV series adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon has ended its second season with a mixture of heartbreak and hope for the future.

Spoilers for season two of Sanditon.

At the beginning of season two, our heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) has decided that marriage is not the path for her, despite getting an engagement offer from another farm boy. Having lost the love of her life, Sidney Parker (Theo James), twice over (once to another engagement and then to death, the clingiest maiden of all), she is determined to be a single, self-sufficient woman.

Of course, this is a Jane Austen-inspired story, so despite those goals, two men fell into her lap: the gruff, emotionally distant widower Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and the manipulative dickhead, Colonel Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones). In the penultimate episode, Colbourne and Charlotte shared a kiss, and #TeamHeybourne was flying proudly. Sadly, circumstances get in the way.

We find out that the reason why Colbourne and Lennox have beef with each other is because Lennox had an affair with the former’s wife. Their union resulted in Leo, who overhears this conversation and dresses up as a solider to ask Lennox if he’s her father. Thankfully, Lennox understands he is not set to be a father and reiterates that Colbourne is truly Leo’s father. Lennox can’t help but get into Colbourne’s head one more time, saying he is incapable of not destroying the woman he loves. Thanks, asshole!

In order to “protect” Charlotte, the sad boy decides to pretend as if he isn’t in love with Charlotte and pushes her away. When we jump to the future wedding between Allison (Charlotte’s sister) and her beau, Charlotte declares that she’s getting married to Ralph, a local lad, and it’s … the cliffhanger we leave the season on.

Head writer Justin Young spoke about the finale and where Charlotte’s thought process about the engagement. “Charlotte’s line in the first episode is that an engagement is a foregone conclusion,” Young said to Salon. “That’s the heartbreaking thing about it. She’s back in Willingden, and we can tell in that final moment that she’s doing this for her family. She’s doing this because it’s a duty, because she’s run out of options. She’s tried earning a living, she’s tried independence, and it’s failed.”

“I got a lot of messages of how angry people were about the end of Season 1,” he continued. “But hopefully now they know that there is Season 3, they will trust us—that this is not the end of the story, that we know where we’re going, that this is the kind of point we have to get to to set everything up for Season 3.”

But that’s not the only relationship that I’m concerned about. Georgiana has a really rough one. It is revealed that the man she’s been kissing and slowly falling in love with, Charles Lockhart, is the racist cousin who has been trying to steal her inheritance. He tries to explain that it started off as a con at first, but now has true feelings. Screw you, Charles Lockhart!

My heart broke for Georgiana because this has only added to the painful, isolated existence she’s had. Yes, she has friendships, but as the only Black person in Sanditon and someone targeted for their wealth, this is exactly the kind of betrayal she was worried about facing. Bridgerton may be the place of escapist fantasy, but Sanditon has allowed the realism of the time period to only emphasize the way in which Georgiana’s life needs more Blackness—which we might have in season three because of the reveal that her mother is alive!!!!

I am so beyond happy about this, but I also want to know more about why it was assumed she was dead. Sanditon has found its voice, its new leading men, and has me champing at the bit for more. I’m so excited to see what comes in season three.

(image: PBS)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.