The Courtship Episode 5
Archery, plus a breach of etiquette, a touch of villainy, and scandal looms...
Here’s a quick recap: Last week the two new suitors, Mr. Judge and Dr. Hatem, made an impression on Nicole, Mr. Cones provided emotional support, and Mr. Shanklin and Mr. Castronovo departed.
Grab your macarons and champagne, and let’s dive in!
The Daily Tea
The Daily Tea is delivered.
The Regency was all about chivalry, romantic gestures, and gentlemanly conduct at all costs.
This is what would crescendo into a long, meaningful love. Remember Mr. Darcy’s letter to Miss Bennet, and his proclamation: “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Romantic passion was to be earned, not expected.
Gentlemen, prepare to be all aquiver as an archery tournament beckons with a very special guest.
Elsewhere, love has a way of working up one’s appetite, and depending on what our suitors bring to the table, they could find themselves on the menu.
And finally, it may pay to heed the lesson of Pride and Prejudice - a good relationship challenges both parties to grow. Admit your mistakes, broaden your perspectives and then love can flourish.
The Special Guest
Everyone’s wondering who the special guest could be. Will it be another suitor?
The mystery guest finally arrives and it’s Dominique Rémy, Nicole’s older brother.
Dom’s always been protective, and now he plans to “gut-check and validate that these dudes are quality enough for my sister.”
He receives an enthusiastic welcome, and immediately gets down to business. He sits down with his father, Mr. Rémy, and asks, “Who should I be keeping my eye out on?”
Papa Rémy wants him to vet Mr. Bochicchio, Mr. Judge, and Dr. Hatem.
Then the parents announce that they must depart for a while, leaving the castle and the court under Dom’s care.
Tessa and Danie immediately revert to high-school kids being left alone for the weekend. “When the parents are away, the children will play,” Tessa says.
Danie’s totally on the same page. “Party over here, ooh ooh, party over there.”
The suitors learn that Dr. and Mr. Rémy have left, and they shift into substitute-teacher mode as well.
Mr. Holland: “Play time! Let’s take advantage!”
Mr. Cones: “So now I’m just going to kick back, be a pig, enjoy this time to be improper, and just live it up.”
He’s probably picturing skinny dipping and late-night runs to Arby’s for his beloved roast beef. It’s too bad the last two Arby’s in the United Kingdom shut down in 2001.
Mr. Edwards tells the suitors they’ll need “accuracy, skill, and determination,” as their goal is to impress Dom. He’ll be selecting suitors to attend a special family dinner in the castle.
The suitors enjoy varying levels of success. Nicole lands a shot in the ring nearest the bulls-eye, with some hands-on coaching from Mr. Judge. Mr. Bochicchio and Dr. Hatem miss the target completely, and then Dr. Hatem rudely brushes past Dom on his way to grab a mug of ale.
It’s time for the vetting to begin.
Dom and the Doctor
Dom pulls Dr. Hatem aside for a private chat, and he asks the standard interview question: “When you see yourself ten years from now, what do you see?”
Dr. Hatem says he’ll be trying to get a pilot’s license, and he’s not sure where he’ll be living. “But I know I’ll have a few bases in several countries.”
Then Dom asks about Nicole. “Do you see her in that future?”
Dr. Hatem is uncertain. “I don’t know yet. It would be premature for me to say yes.”
Dom’s disappointed that Dr. Hatem didn’t picture Nicole in his future plans, or even envision having a wife at all.
Dom and Mr. Judge
Mr. Judge fares considerably better. He talks about being from a small town, where everbody knows your secrets and your successes, and says his strong work ethic is one of his best traits and probably also his downfall.
Dom is impressed, deeming Mr. Judge to be sincere, confident, and passionate.
Nicole & Mr. Bochicchio
Mr. Bochicchio takes the opportunity to steal Nicole for a chat.
She wants to know how he’s feeling, after last week’s farewell dance.
He laughs off his brush with dismissal. “You and I had the best chemistry out of all the other suitors. So for you to send me home that would just make no sense.”
Lucky for him, her mood is light and she laughs with him.
Dom, Nicole & Mr. Bochicchio
Mr. Hunter and Mr. Holland tell Dom that Mr. B. is a little too free with his affections, even in front of Nicole’s parents and the other suitors. “He’s been taking liberties when he hasn’t earned that right,” Mr. Hunter says.
So Dom joins Nicole and Mr. Bochicchio, to find out for himself.
Mr. Bochicchio says he’s ready to settle down, but he can’t promise it will happen in two months. “‘Cause I just think that’s not realistic.”
Then he looks at Nicole, as if he’s just figured out that she might have a different expectation. He says, “And I actually didn’t even have a chance to ask you, is that something that, like, is serious?”
Pro tip, Mr. B: You really should have taken a break from all the kissyface to see if your intended was on the same page.
From her expression, he can see that she is, indeed, serious about a proposal. “Like, you’re looking for, like, marriage, and yeah, okay. Wow. Okay. So that’s—interesting.”
Here’s another pro tip: When you’re trying to make a good impression, full sentences are recommended.
It’s an awkward moment.
Dom & Mr. Bochicchio
Dom’s reaction? “Holy moly, I am just stunned. My sister’s heart is not a game.” He decides the two men should speak privately.
He asks, “How do you feel right now about my sister?”
“I’m starting to like her a lot. She takes my breath away.”
“How does she leave here feeling confident in selecting you?”
Mr. B. is trying to figure that out. “I’m learning as I go…I’m not good with words, dude.”
Dom doesn’t care about the words, he cares about his sister. “In the same way that you’re worried about, ‘In two months, can we get there,’ for me, I’m also like, ‘In the two months, can we get somewhere?’”
If you’re making a playlist, the song for this scene should be “Road to Nowhere,” by the Talking Heads.
The Family Dinner
There are some suitors Dom would like to know better, so he’s invited them to dinner: Mr. Hunter, Mr. Judge, Captain Kim, Mr. Holland and Dr. Hatem.
Nicole was hoping to see a place card for Mr. Bochicchio, but he’s playing beer pong with Mr. Cones and the other suitors who didn’t make the list.
Dinner begins with pea soup, and then lobster. Mr. Judge gallantly cracks open the lobster shell for Nicole. “I don’t think any lady should open her own lobster.”
The suitors are sharing their memories of family dinners, when the meal is interrupted by the arrival of Mr. Bochicchio. Dom invites him to wait outside while they finish their meal, but he wants to speak to Nicole.
Everyone is shocked by the intrusion, but Dom reluctantly allows it.
For Mr. Judge, who was just telling the group about his difficult upbringing, it’s a “low blow.” He gets encouragement from Dom, “With life, it’s about how you get back up,” and a hug from Danie.
Mr. Bochicchio’s Confession
Mr. B. wants Nicole to know why is important to him to make sure a relationship is solid before making a commitment.
He talks about his parents, who had a great marriage. His mother fell ill, and his father quit his job to take care of her. A few years later, his father became ill, eventually passing, and the roles reversed.
“I just watched them go through this journey together, and it…showed me what real love was. It solidified what I wanted in a relationship. I just want to get to know somebody and know that it’s real before I get down on one knee and make it legit.”
His story brings Nicole to tears. She appreciates how hard it must be to share it, but she wants to know: “Could you even imagine falling in love with me, though?”
“If our relationship is continuing on the path that it’s on, then yes.”
She says, “I really, really care about you,” and they share a kiss.
After he leaves, Nicole tells the camera that Mr. B. opening up is a huge step, but “I would never marry somebody that my family didn’t approve of.”
Dom and Danie sit with Nicole, and they tell her how upset the other suitors were by Mr. Bochicchio’s breach of etiquette.
Dom says, “Definitely was very unexpected, and kind of brash.”
Danie says, “The timing was just so not right.”
Nicole listens silently, and then says, “I will say, though, Danny B. takes every opportunity to show me that he cares…I’m looking for somebody that just, no matter what, does what they feel when they feel it.”
Dom doesn’t want to see her get hurt, and he offers another perspective. “There are some negatives to someone who does whatever they feel, whenever they feel, all the time.”
Facing the Music
When Mr. B. returns to their quarters, he apologizes to the other suitors for interrupting dinner.
His apology isn’t enough. They express their displeasure with his actions, especially Dr. Hatem and Captain Kim.
He brushes off their concerns, with a smirk on his face.
Did Mr. B. just turn into a villain?
The Farewell Dance
There are three suitors on Nicole’s dance card: Mr. Hunter, Mr. Judge, and Dr. Hatem.
The other suitors move up to the balcony, and the music begins.
The first dance goes to Mr. Hunter. He tells her, “I know your love language is acts of service and touch. I want to do all the acts of service, and touch you all the time.”
Oh, my! A man who not only knows what love languages are, but can identify yours and act on them? Totally swoon-worthy. Is it getting warm in here, or is it just me?
She asks him to stay.
The second dance goes to Mr. Judge, and Nicole apologizes for the dinner interruption. “Know that I care about you and I see you, and I want to know more about you.” She realizes his family wasn’t always there for him. “While you’re here, this is your family.” It’s a sweet moment that ends in a hug and a kiss and a giddy twirl, while Danie and Tessa swoon and the other suitors look seasick.
Mr. Judge is definitely staying, so it’s time to call the doctor.
Dr. Hatem wants more time to prove they’re compatible, but the diagnosis is terminal. Nicole sends him packing, and he’ll need to flex his impressive pecs somewhere else.
Then There Were Eight
The other suitors descend from the balcony, and Mr. Chapman makes a beeline for Nicole. He gives her a hug, and says, “I’m begging for time with you—begging, I’ve been begging.” Then he leans in and whispers, “I think we will get time soon. I like begging for it, so I’ll see you soon.”
Previews for Episode 6
Mr. Edwards tells us that the castle “explodes into debauchery,” with a Roman-themed bacchanal, complete with togas and suitors feeding Nicole grapes. (That’s always been my secret wish, by the way, to lounge on comfy cushions while gorgeous, half-naked men feed me fruit and chocolates. Don’t tell my husband.)
Also, we see that the shirtless suitor enjoying a secret rendezvous in Nicole’s chambers is, indeed, Mr. Chapman, and Captain Kim calls him out on his behavior. “You didn’t have to be with her last night! You’re hiding this from her family! What are you gonna do?”
I have no idea how Mr. Chapman will respond, but I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to stock up on grapes and champagne, and wait breathlessly for the next episode.
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