It's about to be an all-out battle, guys....repressed British-style.
Caroline wants Darcy.
Bingley wants Jane.
Darcy doesn't want to want Elizabeth, but let's be real, he does.
Elizabeth wants to finish writing her fan fiction Game of Thrones....and possibly figure out why Darcy keeps staring at her all the time.
Darcy writes a letter. Elizabeth does needlework. Caroline throws her line out to her prey and waits for a tug.
CAROLINE: You write fast, Mr. Darcy!
You probably write so many letters!
Tell your sister I want to see her!
Oh! Your pen broke! Let me fix it! I'm actually good at that!
(HISTORICAL INTERLUDE: In those days it was a quill, guys, but they still called it a pen, apparently. Every so often you'd have to sharpen it with a knife)
You write so evenly!
Tell your sister I think it's awesome she plays harp and her designs for a table are great and I just think she's so great because everything is great and HELLO I AM ACTUALLY IN THIS ROOM EXISTING PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO ME PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!
Darcy coughs. Did you say something?
Then Darcy, Bingley and Elizabeth begin a lengthy argument about letter-writing and whether people should be persuaded by their friends' advice (foreshadowing!) and so forth, whilst Caroline plasters a beautiful British smile on her face and shoves that irritation right back down to where it came from.
During a lull in the conversation Darcy asks Caroline for music. She practically sprints to the piano and begins to play.
And Darcy makes his move.
"Doesn't this music make you want to dance a reel*?"
Elizabeth is silent.
Darcy repeats the question.
"Yup, I heard you Darcy, but I know you just want me to say 'yes' so you can frown on my choice of dances*, so nope, I don't want to dance a reel. Despise me if you dare."
"I don't dare."
Darcy drops the mic. And Elizabeth is all, What the...?
* Alright, so I just learned what a reel is and what this whole conversation is about, so I thought I'd share it with you. A reel is a lively dance that's considered to be low social status. It's also the dance that Darcy saw Elizabeth do at the Meryton Assembly, where he said, "She is tolerable, but not handsome to tempt me," which started Elizabeth's disgust with him in the first place. So when Darcy asks Liz to dance a reel, Darcy thinks he's scoring brownie points by offering to do a dance Liz is familiar and comfortable with, while Liz thinks he's trying to find a reason poke fun at her, and her low-brow upbringing.
Moral of the story? Stay away from the reel, men. There's just no way it's going to work out for you.
And Caroline? Well, having just fueled the fire of Darcy and Elizabeth's sexual tension, she gets Liz out of the room and goes back to reminding Darcy of how humiliating the Bennet family is.
Next week: More sexual tension! More repression! More tea!
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Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.
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