At the end of the previous episode Elizabeth, and her aunt and uncle Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, have met Mr. Darcy at his Pemberley estate, and he has made a very good impression on them. Mr. Darcy has mentioned that a number of his friends will be arriving the next day, and that it will include his sister Georgiana, whom he would like to introduce to Elizabeth.
This episode opens with Elizabeth returning from a day trip in the Peak district, and finding Mr. Darcy waiting for her at the Lambton Inn. He introduces Georgiana. Both women are very pleased to meet each other, and Georgiana says that Darcy has told her all about Elizabeth and what a talented pianist she is. Then Darcy brings in Mr. Bingley, who tells Elizabeth how pleased he is to see Elizabeth, who says that it's been several months since they have seen each other. Bingley remembers precisely: November 26. His time with Jane obviously left a strong impression on him. Darcy and Georgiana invite Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle to have dinner with them at Pemberley the next evening, which she accepts.
After dinner, in the music room, Elizabeth sings, accompanying herself on the piano, the popular song--Say Ye Who Borrow, to the tune of the aria Voi Che Sapete from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. She is warmly applauded by the guests--Mr. Darcy across the room, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Bingley, and Bingley's sisters and brother-in-law. Elizabeth then prevails upon Georgiana to play something. She plays the Beethoven Andante Favori. Elizabeth briefly walks away from the piano, where Caroline Bingley engages her with one of her usual catty remarks. She says that, since the military officers are no longer in Meryton, this must be a source of great sadness for the Bennets. She specifically mentions Mr. Wickham.
As soon as Wickham's name is mentioned, there is an abrupt silence; Georgiana instantly stops playing. Darcy starts to get up out of his seat. Elizabeth now knows, if there had been any doubt, that Darcy was telling the truth. Elizabeth runs back to Georgiana, apologizing for not being there to turn pages, and stands over Georgiana while she continues playing.
While Georgiana plays, in perhaps the most dramatic moment of the entire serial, Elizabeth's and Darcy's eyes lock in a romantic gaze across the room. The gaze lasts only a few seconds, but it's enough.
At the end of the evening, Elizabeth and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner say goodbye and go back to the inn. The Pemberley party returns to the music room. Caroline Bingley engages in one of her vicious tirades about how ugly and low-class Elizabeth is. Darcy has finally had enough. He tells Caroline that Elizabeth is the most attractive woman he has ever met.
After the others have gone to bed, Darcy wanders through the house, and into the darkened music room. There he briefly relives the vision of Elizabeth looking at him across the room.
The next day, Darcy travels to the Lambton Inn to continue his developing friendship with Elizabeth. But something terrible has happened. Elizabeth has received two letters from Jane, the first with the news that Lydia has run away with Wickham. At first the Bennets had assumed that they had gone to Gretna, Scotland, a famous place for marriages without parental consent. But the second letter said that they have not gotten married, and that Wickham never intended to marry Lydia. It is not known where they went, but their father has gone to London to search for them. Jane begs for Elizabeth and the Gardiners to return.
When Darcy arrives, Elizabeth is very upset and in tears. She explains the situation. Darcy tries to comfort her as best he can. He is a complete gentleman in this, and very sympathetic. Elizabeth is in despair of ever finding them. When there is nothing more Darcy can do, he leaves, promising to respect the family's privacy.
In that era, such a scandal is ruinous. The family is shamed, and none of the women will be able to marry any decent man. And, because of the entailment on Longbourn, the family will be left destitute.
Elizabeth and the Gardiners pack their belongings and head back to Hertfordshire. When Darcy goes back to Pemberley, Caroline makes another catty comment about Elizabeth; Darcy abruptly leaves the room.
Elizabeth and the others arrive at Longbourn, they see that Mrs. Bennet is extremely agitated and nearly hysterical. They try to calm her down. At dinner, Mary engages in her usual incredibly thoughtless moralizing.
Then Jane shows Elizabeth a letter that Lydia had written to Mrs. Forster just before the elopement. It was shockingly mocking, contemptuous and insulting. Jane and Elizabeth come to the realization that the whole family has been damaged, and that none of them will have much chance of an advantageous marriage.
Mr. Collins arrives at Longbourn to express his sympathy and "condolence" to the family. (Kitty, never one to enjoy discussion of serious topics, runs and hides as soon as she sees him coming.) He is, as usual, extremely thoughtless and hypocritical in his supposed expressions of sympathy to the family. Perhaps this is unintentional, but it is certainly habitual. Finally, he gets to taste the sting of Elizabeth's sharp rhetorical skills as she throws his words back at him: if, as Collins says, the family is shamed so that no decent person will want to have anything to do with them, perhaps Mr. Collins himself should leave. After all, a clergyman can't be too careful, especially one who enjoys the condescension and patronage of Lady Catherine.
Meanwhile, Darcy has also gone to London to see what he can do to save the situation. Largely because of his feelings toward Elizabeth, he wants to help the family that he had ridiculed earlier, and he will use his enormous resources to do it. This incredibly wealthy and powerful man prowls around in a seedy neighborhood of London, bribing street urchins for information. They tell him where he can find Mrs. Younge. He finds her and demands that she tell him where to find Wickham. He goes to where Wickham and Lydia are staying. The confrontation is not shown, but was obviously severe.
Mrs. Philips (Mrs. Bennet's sister, living in Meryton) comes to tell Mrs. Bennet's the gossip from town--extremely scandalous stories of Wickham's gambling, financial irresponsibility, drunkenness, destructiveness, and debauchery.
Mr. Bennet has returned from London. He has not found Wickham.
The whole family is in a state of despair. Mrs. Bennet stays upstairs in a state of complete despondency. Mr. Bennet tells his daughters that it is his fault that this happened. Kitty makes a remark that causes him to explode at her: "No officer is ever to enter my house again, or even to pass through the village!" And Kitty will never be allowed out of doors until "you have proved you have spent 10 minutes of every day in a rational manner." Kitty is in tears. Mr. Bennet then relents just a bit, and says that, if she behaves herself for 10 years, he will take her to see a show.
A letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner. Lydia and Wickham have been found. They are willing to be married on the condition that Mr. Bennet provide her fair share of the £5000 inheritance, and a lifetime allowance of £100 per year. They assume that, for the settlement to be so cheap, Mr. Gardiner must have provided a lot of his own money, perhaps £10,000, which Mr. Bennet could not possibly repay.