It's hard to believe that our time with the The Durrells in Corfu is nearly over. Only one episode remains before we say goodbye to Louisa and her brood forever!
Last week, you may recall the Durrells guesthouse had gained a rather unsavory reputation amongst their more conservative neighbors. Gerry experienced his first heartbreak and Margo found a unconventional way to get through to her angst-ridden young charge. The full recap is right this way.
This time around, the King of Greece is set to make an appearance and the Durrells are in the thick of the celebrations. The estrangement between Spiros and his wife continues as they each find companionship with a British National and Margo meets an intriguing passenger on her train journey back to Corfu. The entire rundown follows below!
The King’s Visit
The island of Corfu is abuzz because King George II of Greece is coming for a visit. Louisa says he “can help restore national pride and stiffen resolve against Germany and Italy.” She suggests they stay in the locals’ good books by participating in the celebrations.
Leslie and Louisa attend the planning meeting of the King’s visit committee. Theo mentions that the royal ship will sail by the Durrell house and perhaps the family could come up with a creative presentation honoring the monarch. Louisa and Leslie’s jokes about being a princess and political assassination fall flat. Theo suggests Leslie take over as the local Boy Scout patrol leader. He loves the idea and says it’s got all the best parts of the Hitler Youth. But none of the bad bits, he quickly adds.
We discover the current scout leader (and captain of the fire brigade) is retiring because the boys are getting too high-spirited for him. Leslie says he’s used to unruly behavior because of his headstrong family. At first the boys don’t seem too keen on an English leader, but Leslie has brought gifts of sweets and harmonicas to win over his new charges. One boy named Stavros, however, is still not impressed.
Theo stops by the Durrell compound to see how things are progressing. He asks Gerry if he could organize a tableau of animals for the king to enjoy as he sails past. Young Durrell agrees as long as the king doesn’t expect an immobile display.
In the kitchen, Theo examines the pies and cakes Louisa and Spiro have been playfully baking. Leslie fills him in on his spectacular Boy Scout showcase complete with fireworks which Theo requests he tame down. Theo also inquires if Mrs. Durrell has room for some members of the royal advance party. She assures him she can accommodate a few and that Spiros does indeed have his own room.
To please Louisa, Gerry has joined Leslie’s scout patrol and obviously plans to be a disrupting force. Stavros is another thorn in Leslie’s side announcing that his father says the British are bad and the Nazis are better. To top it all off, no one is interested in learning how to tie knots, and have abandoned Leslie to take a look at Gerry’s zoo.
The anarchy continues the next day when Leslie calls the troop together to rehearse their routine for the King’s visit.
Meanwhile the guesthouse is overflowing with seventeen people, many whom are non-paying members of the royal entourage. Gerry and Leslie have to sleep on the floor in Louisa’s room and Louisa says she envies Margo snuggled up in her bed in England. Also she hasn’t heard from Larry in ages. Her children are like planets orbiting her and she thanks Leslie and Gerry for staying nearby.
The big day arrives, but things don’t go to plan. The royal entourage want to decorate Gerry’s animals with flags and paint. The scouts do a practice run of their flag routine only to form a swastika which scandalizes Leslie and the crowd of dignitaries. (The handiwork of aspiring Nazi Stavros no doubt!) Fortunately for Leslie, a last-minute change of plan has the King’s ship taking a new route and missing the guesthouse altogether. The crowd departs in great haste leaving the Durrells in peace.
The End of Spirouisa?
Spiros and his wife are still estranged. He remains at Louisa’s guesthouse and Dimitra continues to carry on her “discreet” affair with Basil. Leslie can only hope that Spiros and his mother will be so happy together that he’ll stop caring what Dimitra is up to because, as Basil likes to remind him, he’s to blame for setting this plan into action in the first place.
Leslie’ s guilt grows when Spiros explains his philosophy on relationships. Basically, before marriage have as many women as you like, but once you take your vows you should be faithful and honorable. His father cheated on his mother a lot and it broke her heart. Spiros promised her he would never be like his father.
Basil eavesdrops on this conversation then tells Leslie he will end his liaison with Spiros’s wife even though it will mean going back to his deathly boring existence in Dorset. He will be the one to break the news to Dimitra and will depart after the King’s visit.
Louisa realizes now that most people assume she and Spiros are living in sin. In a heart-to-heart with Florence, she confides that she’s tired of “being hung for a crime I haven’t had the pleasure of committing.” She confesses she wants Spiros badly, but she’s petrified by her record of disastrous romances. Not that it matters anyway since while Spiros may not love Dimitra, he’s wedded to her in every sense. Florence offers up some gossip she’s heard about Dimitra’s indiscretion- her lover is a foreigner so Dimitra doesn’t feel that it counts. Louisa says, “Thank God Larry’s away or I’d suspect him.”
Outside Basil’s room, Louisa hears him singing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” with some Greek phrases mixed in and puts two and two together. When she confronts him about his affair with Dimitra, he admits to it. In his defense he says he thought it might help her chances with Spiros. He adds that Dimitra only considered have relations with him because Louisa and Spiros were already having an affair. Louisa, of course, denies any inappropriate relationship and Basil thoughtfully takes the blame for coming up with the idea rather than pointing the finger at Leslie.
Louisa decides it’s time for the women to talk this mess out. She goes to clear up the misconception that she and Spiros are having an affair. Dimitra explains that she was tired of Spiros being under Louisa’s spell whilst putting up with a husband who yells and thinks he owns you. Basil has been kind, generous and listens to Dimitra. She also informs Louisa that Leslie was the architect behind her affair with Basil. Louisa tells her that Basil is leaving, and that Dimitra and Spiros need to decide if they have a future together.
Later Spiros comes home to collect his nice suit just as Dimitra and Basil are having their farewell visit. Basil claims he’s saying goodbye to all the people he met on Corfu before he departs. Spiros thanks him for taking the trouble to call on his wife, adding it was a nice thought.
Once the King’s entourage has buggered off, Louisa tells Leslie she knows he was behind the plan to get Dimitra and Basil together. Relieved she knows the truth, Leslie apologizes. Louisa isn’t too hard her son but says there’s been too much deception. They should admit the whole truth to Spiros, despite his earlier threats.
Margo Finds Love on a Train
When we last left Margo, she realized she needed to get back to her family in Corfu. This week we find Miss Durrell in Paris ready to board a trans-continental train. Her car is full of passengers from all over Europe- Italy, France, Germany and a handsome young Greek man. (Am I the only one wondering why she didn’t stop by to see Larry first?)
Over the course of the journey, Margo engages her fellow travelers in discussions about Murder on the Orient Express, the probable nationality of the suspect, neutrality, fascism and the importance of family. My, hasn’t Miss Durrell’s time away expanded her mind? She also offers to share pilchard and pickle sandwiches made by Aunt Prue, but no one’s that brave.
At the last leg of the trip, only Margo and Nikos (Ioannis Tsoumarakis) remain in the car. Turns out Nikos put a threatening sign on the door to deter other passengers from joining them. He tells Margo he’s been trying to be alone with her since he first saw her. He thought he was being interesting, but she assures him (that despite the copious flirting) he was just being unpleasant. They proceed to kiss. No surprise there.
Finally, Margo arrives, entirely unannounced. She gets a warm welcome from Louisa and her brothers. They are introduced to Nikos, who Margo informs them will be staying on at the house.
The episode ends on a rather unsettling note. The Durrells have ventured into town with their celebratory baked goods. There they find Theo who is still not sure where the King is supposed to be. Gerry and Leslie apologize to one another. Inexplicably, a George Formby film is projected onto a wall in the town square and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.
Spiro shows up after a day spent trying to chase down the King in this taxi. Thinking Basil has already left, Louisa spills the beans to Spiros about the identity of Dimitra’s amour and Leslie’s part in the whole debacle. Of course, Basil is still in Corfu and unaware of the danger ambles up to the Durrells. Spiros punches Basil and then tells Louisa he can never forgive her and her family for interfering in his life and marriage.
So only one episode remains in the saga of the The Durrells in Corfu. How do you feel Spiros handled things? Wasn’t he still having his cake and eating it? Is it remotely possible that Spiros and Louisa won’t reconcile, at least as friends? Will Larry, like his sister, be drawn back to Corfu by the unrest in Europe? All will be revealed next week, so let’s discuss the show while we can!