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Why is this show so good? I have only one episode left, and what am I going to do then?

I really like that Valentine and Mark get on so well. You know, this whole story is pretty much a cautionary tale about having sex with strange women in railway carriages and not using protection (which, btw, I realize needed to be there to get the story going but strikes me as rather out of character for our think-everything-through-eight-times protagonist). I mean, if Christopher was single when he met Valentine, he would have had a very happy marriage where, in addition to them being in love/compatible/whatever, she would have gotten along well with his family, given him kids that were definitely his own, and enjoyed living in Yorkshire. Plus, despite being dirt-poor, she is the right class/religion so nobody would have raised any eyebrows. Condoms, look it up!!!

This is not related to anything in PE, but I just realized that BC would make a perfect Lord Peter Wimsey - he's got the whole blonde, upper-class, high-strung, intellectual, WW1 shellshock thing going already. Though talk about being typecast :) Joking aside, they really should make a good adaptation of one of the Sayers books - they are so good and so underrated.

That was such a nightmarish scene, with the soldier coming in with half his head blown off, and then Christopher washing off his hands that are shaking so badly he can barely stick them in the bowl, and one of the soldiers cleaning his boots and babbling how the dead guy wouldn't have wanted the captain's boots dirty and Christopher having yet another thing help break him because the dead guy asked for leave and he didn't give it, and if he gave it, the man would still be alive. I am getting the feeling he is going to be utterly screwed up by the end of this story.

There isn't much shipping in this episode because one half of my OTP is in England and the other half in Flanders, but this scene! He's shaking partly from cold and party from horror and all he is thinking of his her face, as a comfort in this nightmare. Ohhhh :(

Christopher bets that he compose a sonnet in a set time and his fellow officer bets he can translate it into Latin in the same amount of time. This was surreal enough to be out of Jaroslav Hasek - they are both very educated and rational but the war is not the place for that and they are desperately trying to assert some control over themselves and surroundings, to remind themselves of sanity and what they are, really.

He thinks Valentine came to visit him, and takes off running. Which is really sad, because it's Sylvia.

I just like the uniform.

He comes to visit his wife and sees her with the man she ran off with years ago (actually in the same hotel). And his face!

This scene, where they almost make love but ultimately don't - I think it's the last nail in the coffin. Because (a) he's about a millimeter from having a nervous breakdown (b) he thinks he may die any moment, being at war and all (c) he's been celibate for 5 years - if that is what it takes for a guy to consider sleeping with you, and even then it ultimately doesn't happen, that relationship is deader-than-a-doornail dead. Though - once again - it's Sylvia's desire to play games that causes things to capsize. If she also didn't invite her ex as some sort of a weird lesson, they wouldn't have been interrupted, giving Christopher time to think and snap out of it, and she might have gotten her sexy times then.

He is being transferred to the trenches due to Sylvia's stuff but also his own - he is someone who believes in absolutes in a grey world and that makes people uncomfortable - he is someone who genuinely believes things people pretend to believe but don't really because that would make for very uncomfortable life. I actually loved this scene, where the general talks about Sylvia (the general finally found out she is...not a saint) because you can see Christopher try to explain his position (about not divorcing etc) and you can see the General look at him with pity - and in a pragmatic way, the General is right - if your wife runs off with another man, you either divorce her or you take her back properly and pretend nothing happened. (Though I must point out, Sylvia never apologized - who knows how things would have went if she did. I think not much better - I think some things relationships don't get over, especially since he never loved her to start with - he found her desirable and exciting but he never loved her). Of course, it occurred to me that his hatred of divorce isn't just due to his values - he is protecting himself too - he is an intensely private person (you can see how he hates talking about this even the little bit he does to the general) and divorce would break it all open.

Date: 2012-10-21 03:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottishlass.livejournal.com
I always thought that one of the reasons why he did not divorce Sylvia was his misunderstood pride.His whole life wiht her would be made public and I don't think he would stand having ppl know that they lived like that, that he lived like that (which seemed very unmanly in Edwardian times). Additionally, he is so damn filial and he doesn't want his family to suffer, esp. not his brother.

Date: 2012-10-21 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Yes - I am sure it would be all over the papers and he couldn't bear that, for his family or himself. Of course, ultimately he seems to have decided to hell with it, in terms of at least living in sin, even if not divorcing her, and that's good. There is such a thing as too much principle.

Date: 2012-10-21 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cleobulle.livejournal.com
I found it jarring that Christopher was so eager to have sex with Sylvia after we'd just seen him clinging to the memory of Valentine's face amidst all the chaos. And he was sniffing her nightgown as if he longed for her as well. Somehow, I don't see it as something only brought on by the horrors of war and the celibacy thing. He seemed to genuinely care for Sylvia.

I wasn't particularly annoyed because Parade's End is not a romance and thus I was not as invested in the fate of the Christopher/Valentine couple as I could have been. But I still found it kind of weird.

On another note, I found the first few minutes of episode 5 hilarious. It's the aftermath of The Event in episode 4 and the way the scene played out was just genius. I'm laughing just writing about it :o)

Date: 2012-10-21 05:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
Well, the dude has been without a woman for a good long while and we have been given no evidence he has anything wrong with his libido so it made perfect sense to me. Heee, if it was me, I'd totally be hopping in the sack with the first hottie that came along, let alone one's lawful spouse ;) MMV though.

I think the scarf thing goes to that too -longing for a woman - though I told tor Mr Mousie that for a second I thought that his deep dark secret was that he was the Edwardian version of Glen or Glenda. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_or_Glenda)

I cannot wait to watch ep 5 ;)
Edited Date: 2012-10-21 05:38 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-10-23 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] algelic.livejournal.com
The entire horrific nightmare he went through in the Army seems like self-punishment. He didn't need to be there but he felt suffocated at home with his pretense of a marriage. It's like War was the only honorable excuse he could use to escape Sylvia (and even THERE she followed him).

I cheered when the General was bluntly saying he should have divorced her. Christopher should have had an honest close friend who would actually shake him and yell at him to escape.

Date: 2012-10-23 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
I agree it was self-punishment. The thing is, the war fits in with his patriotism but is there any doubt that the fact that his personal life is that awful and hopeless plays a reason for him to join (and let's face it - if he was married to Valentine, even if he volunteered, he wouldn't have Drake's enmity and could do intelligence work at home and not be in the trenches. And he'd want to, as opposed to in the story as it is, wanting to get away and possibly get killed).

He doesn't have many friends (none, if you exclude McMarster who proved awful) but I think even if he had a friend who kep harping about divorce etc it would not do much good - he is very stubborn - it takes the trauma of the war and accumulation of Sylvia's horribleness to finally bring him out of his "glass cabinet" enough to be happy.

Date: 2012-10-26 01:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
where are you watching this? I searched around but couldn't find a free version :(


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