Welcome back to week two of The Durrells in Corfu’s final episodes. It’s certainly turning out to be a bittersweet season of change and growth.
Last week, the Durrells had just converted their home into a guesthouse, but unfortunately, their first official lodger turned out to be a political fugitive. Inspired by the revolutionary spirit, Larry decided to leave home to concentrate on his writing. Gerry revealed plans for a proper zoo while Margo tapped her passion to start up a beauty salon. The full episode one recap can be found here.
This time a more mature Leslie attempts to fill Larry’s shoes. Margo has gone into hiding while she hones her craft and Louisa is having a hard time reconnecting with Sprios. Read on for the full rundown!
The Colonel, Leslie and the Wild Boar Hunt
Sprios has brought a new customer to the Durrells’ guesthouse. Colonel Ribbindane (Alex Macqueen) is a bombastic ex-Army officer who loves the sound of his own voice and bores his dinner companions with war stories. The Colonel warns that the Germans are up to their old tricks, but Louisa says she’s decided there won’t be a new war. Way to bury your head in the sand, Mrs. Durrell!
Even Leslie gets fed up with their guest’s tales of barbaric conquest stating that he doesn’t love war but believes in protecting his loved ones. Tuns out Les has been getting a bit broody lately and, at the mature age of 20, thinks he’s ready for a family of his own despite the fact he has no money or job prospects.
Since retiring the Colonel has decided to take up the hobby of big game hunting. Gerry, who obviously abhors the sport, calls Ribbindane an idiot and gets told off by his mother who fears losing a paying guest.
The kinder, gentler Leslie has resolved to give up the shooting life, but the Colonel offers to pay him handsomely for setting up a wild boar hunt. Daphne’s father just so happens to have wild boar in his forest and a hunting license, so Leslie pays him to stage the hunt there. He also offers to babysit Daphne’s baby who has taken a shine to him. He’s the “new kind of man who’s sensitive to women whilst remaining masculine in the extreme.”
Back at home, Leslie informs Colonel that a hunting ground has been secured. Concerned about the young man’s softer side, the Colonel orders Leslie to keep it red blooded. Leslie assures him when the time comes, he’ll be cocked and ready to go.
Gerry overhears this and pleads with Leslie not to go hunting. The brothers disagree about what constitutes humane treatment, but Leslie finally admits it’s about the 25 pounds the Colonel is paying him. Gerry decides to sabotage the hunt and enlists his gal pal Galini (Olivia Lebedeva-Alexopoulou) to help him stop the mad Colonel’s killing spree.
Spiros brings provisions for the hunting trip and the bad news that Leslie been conned by Daphne’s dad. There are no wild boars for miles around and he doesn’t have a license, it’s common land. Intent on keeping his customer happy, Leslie tries to find a swine substitute. When he can’t transform Gerry’s pig into a boar, he asks Basil to go on ahead, climb a tree and make a noise like a wild boar. In exchange he promises to help Basil impress Louisa.
On the morning of the hunt Daphne drops the baby off with Leslie. With no help from her unreliable husband and swindling father, she needs a break or will go mad. When Louisa isn’t available to babysit, Leslie bundles the infant into a knapsack and brings her along on the hunt.
The hunt was destined to be a disaster, of course. Turns out babies are frightened by gunfire. The first serious sign of the Colonel’s unbalanced mind is when he threatens to shoot the wailing child. From up in a tree Basil sounds his boar call and then things really go awry when Gerry and Galini emerge through the brush banging the house gong which the Colonel shoots a hole through. Leslie admits there are no wild boar and Basil tumbles from his hiding place in the tree. The angry colonel threatens to sue Leslie then has a battlefield flashback. He points his gun at Gerry and pulls the trigger while Leslie tackles him to the ground just in time to disrupt his aim. Shaken, Leslie shouts at the Colonel and runs over to embrace his little brother.
The men return from their debacle in the woods. Leslie offers to give the Colonel his money back, but he declines considering his gun wallah prevented him from committing murder. Gerry claims victory in stopping the slaughter. A rather loud row ensues which Louisa brings to an abrupt halt. Upset by the perceived disintegration of her family, Louisa indignantly stomps off to her room.
Margo Goes into Hiding
Last week, Larry announced he was leaving the nest. This week Margo has smuggled out her belongings and moved to a secret location in Corfu. This comes as quite a blow to Louisa, both as a mother and the only woman left in the house. No one else seems concerned about Margo’s abilities to fend for herself including Theo who encourages Mrs. Durrell to give her daughter a chance to demonstrate her resourcefulness.
It just so happens that Margo is lodging with Theo. Her former boss is happy to help, but his new housemate is rather disorderly for a man of his symmetry. He urges Margo to tell her mother where she is, but she’s not ready to let go of this little bit of independence yet.
As Louisa searches through Corfu town for her daughter, Gerry barges right into the middle of his sister’s secret hiding place. Wanting to consult Theo about the Colonel, Gerry notices female items strewn about the house. For a moment he thinks his friend may have a young, sexy scientist girlfriend. But on closer observation, Gerry recognizes Margo’s beauty stuff. Theo asks Gerry to hold off telling his mother.
In addition to living at Theo’s, Margo is seeing a few intrepid customers in his living room. With a bit of trial and error, Miss Durrell goes from almost burning someone’s hair off with red-hot curling tongs to giving that same client an attractive hair style. I wouldn’t go for the permanent curl quite yet though.
Louisa finally discovers Margo’s whereabouts when Larry lets her location slip in a letter. The frantic mother runs into town and embraces her runaway daughter. Margo announces that she is going back to England to train in the beauty profession and do something brave on her own. And to get away from her dominant mother who never really relied on her in the first place. To be fair, any 18-year-old will tell you home is not where their mother is.
Louisa’s Complicated Love Life
So at the end of the last episode, Louisa and Spiros decided to become friends again. But apparently going back to the way things were is harder said than done. Their intimacy has been damaged and Spiros is constantly advising Mrs. Durrell on how to behave around other men. Jealous much?
On the other side of the coin, Louisa’s long-term houseguest and distant cousin Basil has fallen in love with her. In an attempt to win her heart, he queries Louisa on her favorite things. She lists dancing, bridge, seafood, Dandie Dinmont dogs and her children’s happiness before he stops her with an abrupt, “That’s enough!”
After delivering hunting trip provisions to Leslie, Spiros witnesses both the Colonel and Basil make suggestive comments towards Louisa. He protectively asks if they have tried to seduce her. Louisa responds angrily saying that she’s the one who should be jealous because he’s the one with the full bed to go home to.
On a campaign to convince his mother that he’s the new Larry, but less pretentious, Leslie encourages Louisa to confide in him. She tells him that Spiros’ jealousy is pointless since they can’t be together. Leslie suggests either throwing herself into hard vigorous work, trying to convince Spiros to leave his marriage or asking his wife to step aside. It seems there is no good compromise for three unhappy people.
Meanwhile, Basil has wasted no time in finding a gift for his beloved that will serve as a symbol of their connection– a wooden bridge like the type you find over a stream. Louisa is puzzled but Basil must run as he has some boar impersonating to get on with.
After the hunting debacle Basil checks in with Louisa to see how she liked his surprise only to find that when she said she liked “er bridge” she meant the card game. No matter. As romantically as he is able, Basil explains his gift is a wooden metaphor of his love for her. Louisa has no qualms about rejecting his affections and pointing out they are related after all. Basil realizes he is no competition for Spiros and informs Louisa he’ll leave tomorrow. She suggests Basil should stay, relax and find someone nice, just not her.
Spiros brings the Australian dancers back to the guesthouse– they’re here to skinny-dip before joining Larry up the coast. Spiros asks Louisa if he should apologize for caring about her.
She tells him:
“This isn’t caring. This is having your cake and eating it. It means, you have a wife you want to keep and me here waiting for you, just in case.”
They tried to be normal together, but couldn’t do it. Spiros apologizes and leaves.
For the time being, Leslie has had his fill of babies and Basil has decided to stay on. They plan send the Colonel off with a drinking party.
Louisa finally has some women around her. Lugaretzia has returned from resting her bad back (or bottom), Florence has come to call and, of course, the dancers are ready to party. As they giggle and drink, Louisa admits it still might be nice to have some men around.
The way things are going you’ve got to wonder if Louisa will be a lonely widow running a guesthouse by the end this series. Don't you think after three plus years in Corfu she'd be less needy? And will we ever see Larry, Margo or Spiros again? Is Leslie really finished with Daphne and his fatherhood ambitions? There’s plenty to chat about in this episode so please bring your thoughts to the comment section.