Great Expectations (2023) – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Episode 2

Sara closes the windows on their home to start episode 2 of Great Expectations, as Joe gets to work on his project. Thereafter, we find Miss Havisham forcing Pip and Estella to participate in a game in which he must locate Estella whilst wearing a blindfold; if he succeeds, he owns her completely. However, as he moves around, she places obstructions in his path, making the game harder.

Estella and Pip discuss her life inside that mansion. She talks about how horrible it’s been and how she must find a wealthy man to help her escape. After that, Pip gets whacked in the face by Herbert, after Estella claims that Pip is in love with her. To see him duel and defend her, Estella is coercing the two into a fight. She then interrogates him about all of the plans he has for his future to develop into a gentleman.

We are then transported to the Old Bailey and we see a person pounding on a judge’s door. The judge hesitates to pull the trigger. Jaggers compels the judge into signing the relevant forms for a prisoner’s release. A short while later, he charges outside to free his client prior to getting hanged.

Pip discusses his day out with Estella when he gets home. Mr. Pumblechook cuts him off before he can finish by telling Joe and Sara the wonderful news about Miss Havisham’s affection for Pip. Sara doesn’t like the way Pip conducts himself, however, he goes on to tell her he wants to leave as soon as possible and start a new life elsewhere.

The smart student who Pip teases at school, Biddy, seems to be with him. Pip explains his desire to hire her as his tutor so that he can charm Miss Havisham and Estella. Thereafter, Pip is receiving training from Miss Havisham and Estella at her home about how to approach a woman in public. Then there is a flashforward, and a more mature Pip and Estella are seen meeting at the gate.

It is revealed that Pip is soon to be turning 18, so Miss Havisham and Estella have quite a surprise in store for him. Pip is informed by Miss Havisham that he must be skilled in horseback riding, combat sports, dancing, as well as sex. They continue taking him up the stairs, where his birthday present is having sex with Mrs. Givens. Oddly enough, after a very reluctant Pip obeys, Mrs. Givens turns around, looks at him, and smiles while they are in church.

Jaggers converses with a writer as he prepares a letter for Miss Havisham concerning Pip. He goes on to say that he will tame the boy to be what she requires him to be. Shortly after, Estella teaches Pip some French, which has recently become necessary for him to learn. Eventually, Pip rushes over to Biddy and asks her to start teaching him.

Pip is informed by Miss Havisham that he will ask a woman who can only communicate in French to dance at a society ball he will be attending. Pip has a bumpy start, but he manages to start dancing with Estelle. Miss Havisham questions Pip’s feelings for Estella following the dance, as he tries to explain that his objective isn’t to find love.

Miss Havisham doesn’t really care, though, and needs him to go above and beyond to win Estelle over. Finally, she gives him some cash (in the form of opium) and instructs him to purchase some new clothing.

Pip goes to the port to offer the opium and receive payment for it. In an effort to impress Estelle, he goes to the house wearing his new clothes. When he arrives, Estelle is sobbing while watching from the window. She greets him, but Estella informs him that Pip has finished school.

Thereafter, she runs back inside, and a very perplexed Pip is unsure Pip of what he’d done. When she hurries in, he whispers “I’m in love with you”. Later that day, when Jaggers enters the bar in search of Pip, he begins drinking as the episode comes to a close.

The Episode Review

This period drama which is a dramatization of Charles Dickens’s well-known novel of the same name, aspires to be gloomy in both its plot and tonal range. But it hasn’t yet generated any powerful feelings. Despite Colman’s outstanding performance, I wasn’t completely captivated by the main characters or the overall storyline. The show has the capacity to develop and dive deep into its themes, so it might not be appropriate to judge it at this point.

In this episode, Miss Havisham abruptly stopped Pip from visiting her estate, but it’s not apparent as to what spurred her action. It’ll be interesting to watch the episodes here on as these characters’ true motives will be made clear, providing insight into why they act the way they do and clarifying the plot.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Great Expectations here!

  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment