Three episode special!
Honestly, you wait YEARS for a bloke, then several turn up at once. So it is for Natasha, who’s all grown up and decided fringes are SO last season. As is any other facial hair. The nice, uncomplicated (once he’s got the prostitutes out of his system) David Mitchell lookalike is rejected, despite the splendour of his mazurka (and his moustache). Uber-villain Dolokhov twigs she prefers a clean-shaven look and being unwilling to shave off his own splendid ‘dot and dash’ restrains himself to a mere mental undressing of her before trying his luck with Sonya. That doesn’t work, for Sonya is far too sensible. Natasha – pay attention.
Instead Natasha falls big-time for Andrei, who momentarily stops being gloomy, especially when they’re rolling down a snowy slope together. You’d think he would have learned after the demise of his first wife just to crack on with things. What does he do? Tells her he loves her but has to go away for a year cos his dad said so. Dad being a man who frothes at the mouth, wears a barrister’s wig despite having hair and regularly makes wood shavings for no discernible reason, even though he’s got 14,000 staff. Also, Everyday Sexism would have a field day with his unreconstructed twaddle towards his daughter. Not just him either. Watching everyone dismiss lovely Marya as being like the back end of a bus made me right narked. I hope she runs amok with a sword soon – that would show ’em. She’s certainly got more depth as an actress than Lily James, who relies far too much on big eyes, sleeve tugging and hair twiddling. Although Natasha is a Helen of Troy type part. Every man seems to fall in love with her because of her unique charm and breathtaking beauty, which is a helluva job to live up to.
Realising he should have made his move with Natasha when he had the chance depresses Pierre somewhat. Perhaps she’d heard him say ‘Remember me?’ to the pigs as he paid a call to her gaff, which might put anyone off. And he was doing so well. He’d passed an extremely stressful initiation ceremony into the Masons – I don’t think I’d want to be a member of a club that had me lying helpless on the floor while a load of people pointed swords at me and Ken Stott bobbed about like a deranged Hobbit, but whatever floats your boat. Then he had spent weeks touring his estates promising schools would be built, like a prototype Jamie Oliver. It had got him over the nasty business with Dolokhov and his wife. When Ade Edmondson had asked Pierre if war hero Dolokhov was ‘making his home with you,’ I don’t imagine he’d envisaged the home being his wife’s quarters but there you go.
Mind you, they were all tupping Tuppence (what a splendid name that actress has). Not just the big D, but the gullible Boris. And her brother, obvs. I’d got a bit confused with the Kuragins in fact, because I watched an episode of Dickensian recently and up popped both Tuppence and Stephen Rea. They weren’t wearing curtains though, so that cleared things up.
Poor old Nikolai also fell foul of the nasty Dolokhov. He was so butch when he returned from war, he’d even grown himself a nice little ’tache. He clearly didn’t understand that some are born moustachioed, some achieve moustaches and some have moustaches thrust upon them. He was the latter sort. As soon as he lost the hair, he also lost all the family’s cash to Dolokhov in what was surely a rigged card game and THEN, selfishly refused to even consider the nice rich bird his mum had lined up for him. No, he was going to marry Sonya, even though he’d told her an episode back that he wasn’t all that bothered really.
Nikolai spoke the truth about Andrei though. Why had he gone off as if he were ashamed of the Rostovs…? Maybe because their timing is always a bit off. Natasha and Ade pay an unexpected call on Andrei’s family and get the right hump because they weren’t ‘received properly.’ Why should they have been? Jim Broadbent was still wearing his wee willy winkie hat instead of his nice wig. Give the man his dignity. Or it might be because neither of the kids can work out what being in love is. I blame their mother. The twittery flutter she went into whenever Andrei was mentioned, let alone in the same room, indicated she wouldn’t mind a pop herself.
Or course the Kuragin sexed-up siblings would have no such qualms about who belonged to who. I don’t think their Pop was any great shakes in the morals department either. Never mind the shenanigans, what appalling manners they display at any kind of performance. She shouts all over the place at the opera and he gets his fingers a-wandering over Natasha’s flower and then starts all over again when the French actress is reciting away like mad at their party. Frankly, Russian Equity should have them barred.
They decide he must have Natasha. God knows why, she’s got no cash (although they all live in palaces), must just be for the larks and she seems powerless to resist. I don’t know why they all like him so much. He looks like a weasel, and not a particularly nice weasel at that. She regresses to the age of five, snubbing poor dear Marya who comes to apologise, telling Sonya she hates her just because Sonya is trying to point out he only wants to get his end away. (SENSIBLE Sonya – pay attention Natasha!) Pierre gets all ferocious and boots Anatole out of Moscow. Phew! He’s not just Grand Master, he’s Flash and Melle Mel with it. To the sound of heart-rending sobs, Andrei finally rolls back into town – let’s hope no-one tells him about Anatole, they wouldn’t, would they…?
P.S Not much war went on in these episodes. Napoleon has calmed right down apparently.