Emma – episode 7

June 5, 2005 on 6:45 pm | In Emma | Comments Off on Emma – episode 7

“Crystal Palace”

Many series have a turning point: an episode of pure beauty. Absolute rockitude, if you will. “Crystal Palace” is the turning point of Emma. William asks Emma to the Crystal Palace in Sydenham and she accepts without reservation. Meanwhile, Richard Jones has his own ideas about William’s plans! Again.

The Crystal Palace was beautiful and so, conversely, is this episode.

The Crystal Palace has to be represented in Victorian era anime. The representation of the 19th century’s most gratuitous use of money is rather different in Steamboy, but it’s still there. It really is a pity that the Crystal Palace burned down, because the only gratuitous monument Britain has produced since then is the Millennium Dome, and what has that done for anyone lately? It broke James Bond’s arm, and that is all that can be said for it.

Emma was surprisingly direct in this episode, possibly because she was out of her maid uniform. In Mrs. Stowner’s red dress, she is more free and easy. I would actually believe that she only has her maid clothes and nothing else.
Anyway, Emma and William have a grand old day at the Crystal Palace: Emma sees cultural artefacts pillaged in the name of colonialism and is scared by the dinosaur exhibit. They fail to leave, however, and are locked in overnight. Normally this would be a comedy situation, but it is played well here.

The other notable thing about this is that William’s butler Stevens and Mrs. Stowner play the same roles in their households: they are secret confidantes who know much more than they let on. On the matter of Eleanor, Richard is going very hard on making many promises that William has no intention of keeping. It’s not fair on the poor girl; she has no chance.

Isn’t Hakim really overstaying his welcome? I suppose one will make concessions for a prince.

There’s more to say, but I ain’t saying it. This one has the first “real” plot developments other than the fact that Mrs. Stowner is getting old. That said, big spoiler if you’re interested.

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