Emma – episode 2

April 24, 2005 on 11:05 pm | In Emma | Comments Off on Emma – episode 2

“Two worlds”

It sounds obvious, but one should not watch an episode of Emma with an hour between halves; it leaves one with misgivings and feelings of terror. This is because, despite William’s affability, he is unable to understand his society. In some ways he is ahead of his time, and the problem with being ahead of your time is that it is inappropriate in regard to social mores.

In this episode, it is revealed that William actually does have a job, working for his father’s company; he just never attends, the cad. This is not his father’s issue; the problem is that William has not attended any balls in the latest Victorian social season. So William acquiesces and attends a ball, where he meets Eleanor. Eleanor is a blushing young girl who has one thing over Emma: she comes from the nobility, which the gentry aim to marry into.
Eleanor is a nice character; she is not scheming or vindictive. As a rival for William’s affections, she is unobjectional, if ultimately (see the title) unsuccessful.

The problem with this episode is simple: parasol shopping. Never ask a woman what a good present for a woman is, and then buy the present in front of her, and then not give her the present in question. That’s suicide, man!
Naturally, William intends this parasol for Emma. Yet, as a maid, Emma can’t possily accept so many, and so expensive, gifts.
“Really, it’s nothing,” says William.
“It is for me,” says Emma.
Somehow, by the end of the episode everything is resolved so neatly that one can’t help but forgive the clueless young rogue and his painful social stumblings.

Other highlights of the episode include the introduction of William’s siblings, attractive and nice people. The only problem with Emma is that scenes featuring Emma gazing into her mirror and combing her hair threaten to be rife.

Next episode: exotic foreigners, from foreign lands exotic!

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