Sanditon: 6 Things To Remember Before Season 3

Don’t you just love it when you find out that a show you adore is returning for another season? After being (wrongfully, many fans would say) canceled many moons ago and then having that poor decision reversed in May 2021, Sanditon is now coming back for its third and final season. While each installment of the Regency romance (which is based on an unfinished novel by Jane Austen) takes place on a pretty close timeline, it’s been nearly a full year since viewers have been able to check back in with Charlotte, Georgiana, Alexander, and all of the other people who populate the titular seaside town. 

As such, it may be hard to fully recollect the big happenings from that wild Sanditon Season 2 ending and where our favorites are (mentally and physically) as we head into Sanditon Season 3. So, without further ado, let’s get everyone all caught up!

charlotte and colbourne in sanditon season 2 on pbs

(Image credit: PBS)

Alexander Fired Charlotte!

Well, here we go. You likely recall enough about the second season to know that Charlotte gave up the idea of getting married after Sidney’s off-camera death and returned to town ready to become a working woman. And, she did, becoming a governess for the mysterious Alexander Colbourne and teaching his young tomboy daughter Leo, and older troubled niece, Augusta. 

Employer and employee were immediately embroiled in a brewing enemies-to-friends-to-lovers plot, and the Season 2 finale saw them have their second kiss and basically admit their feelings for each other. However, after the dastardly Colonel Lennox got into Alex’s head about his late wife (with whom Lennox had an affair that led to Leo), Charlotte’s new love decided he wasn’t good enough for her and fired her to “save” the young woman from his damaging influence.

After Augusta told her uncle that he’d made a big mistake, he tried to rehire Charlotte, who found a very ladylike way to tell him to go stuff his job, and shortly after, she returned home to Willingden.

rose williams as charlotte and cai brigden as ralph in sanditon season 2 on pbs

(Image credit: PBS)

Charlotte Is Engaged… And Not To Alexander!

This was, by far, the biggest shock of the previous season’s finale. The final moments showed that CharChar and her nearest and dearest were celebrating her sister’s marriage, with several of the sibling’s Sanditon friends in Willingden to enjoy the occasion. While getting refreshments after dancing at the reception, Charlotte introduces her assembled buddies to a rather dashing local farmer, Ralph Starling, and then… announces that they are engaged!

You guys? It’s been roughly two months since she left Sanditon and Alexander behind by this point, meaning that she’s clearly given up on any hope of finding a man who will stick to his love guns and actually propose to her after seeing that she also loves him. While Farmer Ralph (Not a good romance hero name. Sorry, it had to be said.) seems like a decent enough sort, there’s no way CharChar is really over Alex, so her friends (and the viewers) were left with our mouths agape!

georgiana on sanditon season 3

(Image credit: PBS)

Georgiana’s Mother Might Be Alive!

My goodness. Poor Georgiana has been through the wringer across two seasons. She’s lost two potential loves, her guardian (Sidney), and by the end of the second set of episodes has little hope of finding a man who wants her for her, as opposed to the healthy fortune left to her by her father. 

She sees a bit of hope, though, when Sidney’s brothers finally receive the belongings he’d left in Antigua (where he was when he died), they also find information confirming that Georgiana’s mom (who’d been a slave on her father’s plantation) was actually alive as of a few years prior, and wanted to see our lovelorn, mixed-race lady. Sidney had attempted to find her but had zero luck, so Georgiana will likely be attempting to track her down in the coming season. Huzzah!

ben lloyd-hughes as alexander colbourne in sanditon season 2 on pbs masterpiece

(Image credit: PBS)

Alexander Left Town With His Daughter And Niece

This just makes good sense, right? Alex badly bungled everything with Charlotte and his attempt to get her to return to work only served to confirm to her (wrongly) that he only saw her as his employee, instead of the woman who’d helped him crawl out of his emotional hidey hole in both a romantic sense and with being a father to his young charges. When Charlotte left town, he must have really realized how horribly he’d screwed up, because he took Leo and Augusta and decamped for parts unknown to give the family a new start. Though, as you might expect, all three of them will return for the new episodes. Cue the drama!

edward on sanditon

(Image credit: PBS)

Edward’s Being Punished For His Latest Scheme

This man just never learns! Season 1 saw him team with both his step-sister Esther and cousin Clara (both of whom he seduced to keep interested in his plans) to try and steal the fortune of their aunt, Lady Denham. The second season, however, showed that he was on the bad side of both ladies after his double dealings with them the first time around, and had been thrown out by his aunt when she realized what he was up to. 

Esther was happily married to Lord Babington, but unhappily unable to conceive, as a newly returned Clara revealed that she was preggers with Edward’s baby. He returns to town as a member of the military company now in residence, and soon convinces a desperate Clara to join him in making Esther look crazy so they can steal the money that Lady Denham is planning to leave her, while also allowing Edward to get the money of the next male family heir (his son) by marrying Clara.

The new mom (who is really not cut out for mothering) goes along with his scheme for a time, but feels truly bad about slowly poisoning Esther so that she seems ready for an institution. Shortly before Clara and Ed are to marry, she gives up his whole plan to their aunt, right in front of Esther and Edward. This leads to Lady Denham deciding to keep her villainous nephew around as a sort of servant, with her promising to give him a small allowance once he’s proven he’s a better person. Good luck with that Lady D! 

esther and the baby on sanditon

(Image credit: PBS)

Esther Is Raising Clara’s Baby And Returned To Her Husband

I don’t know if I’ve ever witnessed a sharper character turnaround than with Esther. She seems just as loathsome as Edward and Clara for at least half of Season 1, but by the end of the second season, it was extremely hard not to feel for her. Edward had made sure she seemed to be losing her mind, and had also cut her off from the letters from her loving husband that would have made life sweeter for her, so by the time his latest scheme was revealed, Esther really had some good news coming.

As noted, Clara was not mother material, and she knew it, so after she ratted on Edward, she left town and her baby boy behind with a note saying she wanted her apparently barren cousin, Esther, to raise the child. She happily complies, and takes the child to return home to Lord Babington.

If anything, no one can say that Sanditon doesn’t bring the romance, drama, and twisty intrigue, and I bet it will continue to fulfill our hopes in Season 3!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.