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I am crazy about Sanditon Season 3. In the initial five episodes of this last season of the beloved Masterpiece on PBS series, all that matters is love. It’s not just heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and her Season 2 love interest Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) who will have you squeeing like a tween at a boy band concert. Almost every Sanditon character, new and returning, gets a taste of romance in the show’s final season. Sanditon Season 3 is the show at its soapiest, smartest best and it’s well worth the wait for long-time fans.

Sanditon Season 3 begins with the return of Charlotte to Sanditon for Georgiana Lambe’s (Crystal Clarke) twenty-first birthday party which she has put together with special care. However, she didn’t come alone; she brought along her farmer boyfriend Ralph (Cai Bridgen). Ralph isn’t exactly evil or cruel but he’s dull and certainly less sure of himself than any of Charlotte’s previous partners. Incidentally, Alexander Colbourne has also returned to Sanditon after sometimes outside the place. Through her niece Augusta (Eloise Webb), however, these lovers’ paths are bound to intersect during Georgiana’s grand soiree.

True fans understand that there was somewhat of a reset between Sanditon Seasons 1 and 2. The first season cliffhanged ending with Parker revealing his love to Charlotte while maintaining that due to financial circumstances, he had no choice but to marry his former wife Sidney Parker loves me but he must get married again because she is rich widower and I am poor man yeah right?. The idea was that their story would be resolved later but James quit in between ITV cancelling it and PBS buying it back up again which resulted in him being killed off meaning they were making space for new characters as well as putting charlotte through several episodes of a broken heart and then some more episodes of bereavement. Although she would have eventually fallen in love with Colbourne the brooding one, their wires got crossed. Words became jumbled up. Thus CT left Sanditon to become engaged to the farmer who her parents had selected for her. Having returned to Sanditon Charlotte realizes Ralph is not good enough for her but can she see it too?

Rose Williams’ portrayal of Charlotte is as subdued as ever before. The strain of remorse can be seen all over her face as she goes through the motions of another day living in regret. On the other hand, Ben Lloyd-Hughes brings out Colbourne’s confident side well especially when he smiles at things that do not really amuse him because he knows something is behind them and wants to keep his cool rather than spill it out. Charlotte seems to have been living under a rock since their short fling last season, while if anything Colbourne has come alive again after years in hiding like a bear cub emerging from its den in spring only takes the tiniest fraction off the top; there are still bright patches here and there and even just a glance speaks volumes between Williams and Lloyd-Hughes.

Sanditon Season 3 has more to offer than the star crossed love between Charlotte and Colbourne. It is Georgiana’s birthday, signifying that she has officially come of age and can inherit her fortune, but an unwelcome surprise from the past once again threatens her future. At the same time, Miss Lambe is being pursued by a cash strapped Duke who is Lord Montrose (Edward Davis) with a hidden secret. Tom Parker (Kris Marshall) elsewhere is trying to build his grand hotel while Edward Denham (Jack Fox) flirts around at redeeming himself and Augusta embarks on her first romance. Alexander Colbourne’s dashing brother Samuel (Liam Garrigan), also known as ‘Xander’ in their family is also introduced here. (That nickname was unexpected!)

Sanditon Season 3 isn’t high art, but it’s perfect comfort TV. It blends Austen’s hallmarks with some truly progressive new storylines. In fact, Sanditon Season 3 weirdly outdoes Netflix’s Bridgerton in terms of addressing race, sexuality, and even age old romantic clichés! (One storyline even feels like a cheeky riff on Daphne and the Duke’s fauxmance!) But what makes Sanditon’s final season so enchanting so far is how it still leans into wholesome values like love, community, and kindness.

I can’t wait for Sanditon‘s final season to conclude; it will be fascinating yet sad for me at the same time. I fell head over heels for these characters in Sanditon and I don’t want my stay there to be over yet. The last season of Sanditon captures your imagination and provides a fitting end to a well-loved show.

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