In this third of six installments, Lizzie is stunned when she hears that Mr. Collins, less than a day after proposing to her, has asked for the hand of Charlotte Lucas, (Lucy Scott) the eldest daughter of the delightfully dotty Sir William and Lady Lucas. Lizzie simply cannot understand why someone as sensible as Charlotte would marry such an idiot, but Charlotte obviously has her own reasons and Elizabeth leaves it at that, while convinced that her friend is tying herself to one of the silliest men in England!
Meanwhile, there is sadness in store for Jane when she receives a letter from Caroline Bingley telling her that the whole family is returning to London immediately so that her brother can conduct business and that she doesn't see any prospect of them returning. Jane is crushed by Bingley's obvious rejection but puts on a brave face. Mrs. Bennet, of course, has hysterics and screams the place down! In Caroline Bingley's letter, she hinted to Jane that she had high hopes that Mr. Darcy's younger sister, Georgiana, (Emilia Fox) would soon become her brother's wife and so Jane is left with no hope of a future with him.
To cheer Jane up, Elizabeth encourages her to go to London with their Aunt and Uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner (Tim Wilton and Joanna David) after the couple have been to visit. Jane does so and stays with them at their home in Cheapside. Heartened by her closeness to the Bingley family, Jane calls on them, but receives a very cold reception from the Bingley sisters and doesn't see Mr.Bingley at all.
On the home front, Lizzie travels to Kent to visit Charlotte and Mr. Collins. While she is there, she must endure the patronizing and very boring Lady Catherine and her sickly, insipid daughter, Anne. (Nadia Chambers.) She must also again tolerate Mr. Darcy for she learns that Lady Catherine is his aunt and hopes for her Anne to becomes Mrs. Darcy in the not too distant future. During the visit, Lizzie also meets Darcy's cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam (Anthony Calf), a delightful young man who is very close to Darcy. Unknown to the Colonel, he relates what he consider an amusing story to Lizzie when he tells her that Darcy is very pleased with himself because he was recently able to talk his good friend, Charles Bingley, out of a match with a woman whom Darcy considered highly unsuitable. Of course, Colonel Fitzwilliam has no way of knowing that the woman of whom he is speaking is none other than Elizabeth's own dear sister.
With all of this to deal with, Lizzie is totally gobsmacked when she receives an offer of marriage from none other than Mr. Darcy! His proposal is less than gentlemanly and he even goes as far as to tell her that marrying her is against his own better judgement. He seems very surprised when she refuses him and remains very calm when she accuses him of appalling ill treatment of her friend Mr. Wickham. He will say nothing on the subject but takes his leave with a very grim expression on his face and with Lizzie finding herself disliking him even more after he admits that he did indeed talk Charles Bingley out of paying further attention to Jane.
Another episode which simply MUST be watched. Barbara Leigh-Hunt is superb and hilarious as Lady Catherine and the dark, brooding good looks of Colin Firth make him the perfect Darcy. Do yourself a favour and watch this episode soon if you haven't seen it already.