‘Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell’ Review ‘Arabella’


On this week’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, being a magician just got a lot lonelier when Jonathan Strange became a widower. Or so The Gentleman made it seem. Fairies really are troublesome creatures.

The Gentleman followed through with his plan of capturing Arabella and bringing her to his kingdom of Lost Hope. Like an elaborate card trick, he switched out the real Arabella for the soaked log he enchanted in the previous episode. While Arabella is being brought to The Gentleman by Stephen, her impostor is spotted roaming the countryside in the dead of winter. Fake Arabelle makes her way to the Stranges’ home, where after she spouts crazy-eyed nonsense, she dies.

jsmn-105-1Jonathan Strange is grief-stricken and wants to resurrect her like he did the zombie soldiers and Mr. Norrell did Lady Poole. He even reaches out to Mr. Norrell, offering to give up magic in exchange for Arabella’s life. Mr. Norrell, knowing the true consequences, doesn’t respond. Alas, Jonathan Strange is unable to revive Arabella (probably because she’s really a log) and with the coaxing of his brother-in-law, lays her to rest.

If Mr. Norrell’s lack of assistance regarding Arabella wasn’t enough to continue the rift between Jonathan Strange and him, he’s trying to put a stop to the book that Jonathan Strange wants to publish which would focus on the magic of The Raven King. Mr. Norrell is still being advised by Lascelles and, much to Childermass’ disappointment, regarding his opinion above others. But Childermass hasn’t been working for Mr. Norrell as long as he has without picking up a trick or too. Or perhaps his tricks are old ones from his pick-pocketing days. It’s been noted before that Childermass is actually a magician himself.

He decides to follow Jonathan Strange by turning himself into a shadow. Jonathan Strange is able to sense his presences though and offers him an apprenticeship. Childermass declines and instead promises that if Jonathan Strange fails, he’ll take his place as the second magician and he’ll do the same if Mr. Norrell fails. This amuses Jonathan Strange, however that amusement is short lived after Childermass warns him that Mr. Norrell means to have the publication of his book stopped. In a fit of rage, Jonathan Strange leaps through the mirror to Mr. Norrell’s house and throws a fit along with some rocks. He’s arrested on the spot.

The episode ends with Jonathan Strange escaping jail by hopping through a puddle on the floor of his cell. We’ll have to wait until next week to find out where he went.

Other notable moments:

  • At the beginning of the episode, Jonathan Strange helps win a battle against the French by creating a giant hand out of mud which picks up a soldier and crushes him.
  • When Jonathan Strange returns from the war he seems to have PTSD.
  • Segundus and Honeyfoot have discovered that the gibberish that Lady Pole spouts overtime she tries to say what has happened to her are actually fairy tales.
  • Unlike Stephen and Lady Pole, Arabella seems unaware of her situation and happy in Lost Hope.
  • Vinculus makes an appearance with an obscure warning.


Mr. Norrell and the Publisher

Jonathan Strange discusses magic with Lord Pole

Preview for the next episode

Photos and video courtesy of BBC One and BBC America.

Jenn Bishop
Jenn Bishop was TVSource Magazine's Soap Editor. She's a thirty-something fan girl of soapy television and anything involving Joss Whedon. She began sharing her views on daytime soaps in 2012 with her blog Save Our Suds. A former philosophy major, she loves discussing different view points with fellow TV addicts and aficionados. When not watching television, she enjoys art, live music, exploring the Midwest food scene, and drinking too many lattes. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceJenn.

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