I just love this show. It’s absolutely chockablock with people making terrible romantic/life choices in amazing outfits/homes, during war, which is simply my favorite genre of anything. This week boasted fewer fur turbans than last week’s installment, but DEFINITELY more threats of murder. To catch you up:
ANDREI: Oh, Andrei. Remember how he took off for a year at the spa and Natasha told him she’d wait for him? Well, the stress of an LDR got to her and she let Anatole Kuragin (Helene’s brother/lover) weave a spell of sexual thrall upon her (more or less) and yada yada yada, Natasha and Andrei are broken up and he’s pretty sad about it because he thought he truly knew her soul and also now he has to kill Anatole for being such a depraved rake. Oh, also his father dropped dead, and they had been in a fight (about how mean Papa Bolkonsky always is to Marya, Andrei’s Noble Sister). Oh, also, Napoleon is coming. So he’s got a lot going on. He barely even had time to check on his favorite tree.
PIERRE: Oh Pierre. Poor sweet Pierre feels that his life is useless, despite his becoming a Freemason. He’s mostly depressed because he’s in love with Natasha but is, of course, married to Helene. Who kinda facilitated Natasha’s ruin at the hands of her brother/lover. And who is also pregnant. With someone else’s child. And planning to annul their marriage so she can marry this hot dude who doesn’t seem that into it. Pierre doesn’t know a lot of this yet, however, as he’s hanging around the Battle of Borodino to see if he can be of use, and also to try to talk Andrei into getting back together with Natasha.
NATASHA: OH NATASHA.Where even to begin! I understand that you were lonely and missed Andrei and thought he might be over you, and his father was very mean to you (you could not know that his father might have been losing his mind [right?]), and I understand why you believed that running away with Anatole was a good idea: you really wanted to sleep with him. And you could not have known that WHOOPS Anatole is actually already married to some poor woman in Poland. But an elopement in the olden days was RARELY A GOOD IDEA in terms of One’s Reputation — even a thwarted one, like this — and so of course you are doomed to spend this episode crying, finding religion, staring sadly out the window, and having leeches applied to your arms.
MARYA: Things actually turned around for poor sad noble kind good Marya, because her father who tormented her dropped dead and also they made up before he drew his last, AND Nikolai Rostov rescued her from French troops and, it seems, fell instantly in love with her sweet, noble, kind, good self. Here’s hoping he manages to make this one last. He is, after all, engaged to his dumb cousin Sonya at the moment. (Serious question for people who remember the book better than I do: Is there a reason that Marya didn’t join a religious order, as that seems well suited to her? Other, of course, than “Tolstoy needed her single so he could marry her off for plot reasons,” which I also respect.)
DUMB COUSIN SONYA: Was not dumb this week at all, and, in fact, was the only person to tell Natasha that she needed to GET A GRIP vis a vis Anatole. No one listens to poor dumb cousin Sonya. Her aunt even reads aloud a letter from Nikolai that’s basically like, “I am totally in love with this incredibly kind heiress now!!!” right in front of her.
BORIS: Was hilariously forced to romance (and marry?) Julie Kuragin, who is a total sad sack and whom he wooed with his own (faked) sad sackery; had his ear massaged by Napoleon.