Brideshead Revisited (1981)

I’ve completed a series of episode-by-episode reviews of the marvelous television miniseries Brideshead Revisited. I’ve decided to make it easier to access these posts as part of a group by making this page as an index. I’ve also added a short synopsis of each episode so that you can find what you’re looking for quickly. Enjoy!

 

Episode 1: “Et in Arcadia Ego” – Charles Ryder, a middle-aged officer in the British reserves during World War II, rediscovers Brideshead when his unit is placed there. He remembers his first interaction with the house as a first-year college student, as well as his early impressions and burgeoning friendship with Sebastian Flyte, one of its residents.

Episode 2: “Home and Abroad” – Charles and Sebastian’s friendship is strengthened by a summer together at Brideshead, as well as a trip to Italy to visit Sebastian’s father and his mistress.

Episode 3: “The Bleak Light of Day” – Sebastian’s growing alcoholism – highlighted by a drunk driving charge – is addressed not just by Charles, who does not know how to change Sebastian, but by Sebastian’s mother and her agents at Oxford.

Episode 4: “Sebastian Against the World” – Sebastian becomes more claustrophobic about his mother, Mr. Samgrass, Oxford, even Charles.

Episode 5: “A Blow Upon a Bruise” – Charles helps Sebastian get drunk while the two of them are on vacation, a gesture which severs the uneasy cordiality which he had shared with Lady Marchmain.

Episode 6: “Julia” – Over a dinner with Rex Mottram, who has married Sebastian’s sister Julia, Charles is appraised of what has happened to the other members of Sebastian’s family through the story of Julia’s engagement.

Episode 7: “The Unseen Hook” – In an attempt to bring Sebastian back from North Africa to see his estranged and dying mother, Charles comes to understand the fullness of the change in Sebastian.

Episode 8: “Brideshead Deserted” – Charles’ professional career is given some thought; he returns from an expedition for painting subjects in the New World on an ocean liner, where he is reunited with his wife, Celia.

Episode 9: “Orphans of the Storm” – During a colossal tempest, it transpires that Charles and Julia, reunited themselves, are just about the only people on board who are not seasick. They fall for each other.

Episode 10: “A Twitch Upon the Thread” – Bridey is getting married; Cordelia is returning home from nursing during the Spanish Civil War. Bridey makes a comment which leaves Julia stricken; Cordelia provides news of Sebastian for Charles.

Episode 11: “Brideshead Revisited” – Lord Marchmain comes back to Brideshead to die, and we return to the Second World War and Charles’ first visit to Brideshead in half a decade.

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