‘Great Expectations’ Episode 4: Recap & Review – Pip’s Business With Mr. Drummle

The third episode of “Great Expectations” had Pip being introduced to the city of London and how it cannot be misunderstood. Mr. Jaggers manages to show him a dirty side of London that no one outside the city is aware of. Pip is also informed that Estella is all set to marry a rich businessman, Mr. Drummle, and Pip is enraged to know that Mr. Jaggers and Drummle plan to work together as business partners to start a maritime insurance company. Will Pip be a part of it or walk away?

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Spoilers Ahead


Pip’s Business With Mr. Drummle

Pip, as per the instruction given by Mr. Jaggers, begins working with Mr. Drummle; for Mr. Jaggers and Drummle began the maritime insurance company together. Pip is the man who would give both partners plenty of information about any person who would be interested in drafting maritime insurance for cargo that is being sent from one part of the world to another via London. Mr. Drummle, since he is also a trader, knows the trading routes; meanwhile, Mr. Jaggers, being a lawyer, would help draft the legal formalities for the insurance. Pip would be the person who brings them the client information.

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Pip grew up on the riverside, helping him acquire a good bit of detail about the number of ships that pass and who is carrying what in them, thanks to his habit of picking up the sailor dialect. This time, Pip is helping set up a business deal between Drummle and a French trader named Dorget, who has a history piracy as well. Dorget is set to transport some furs, but unknown to Drummle, he is also a slave trader who is shipping off humans to other parts of the world. Only Mr. Jaggers has and is planning to use this information to make sure Dorget is arrested by the Royal Navy, and as an extension of that, Mr. Drummle would get into trouble as well for signing the insurance for his ship. Mr. Jaggers also let Pip know that the chaperone for the conversation between Drummle and Estella had fallen sick, and he had to replace that person with Pip. Pip is enraged again to see Mr. Jaggers’ love for all things evil, but the boy has no choice but to obey the instructions.


Estella In London

Pip is informed that Estella is visiting London to meet her fiancé, the rich nutmeg merchant Mr. Drummle. Though Estella is least excited about the match, as she has made clear to her adopted mother, Lady Havisham, she has no choice but to accept this offer of marriage. Pip has also been informed that he will be chaperoning the first meeting between the newly betrothed couple, as set up by Mr. Jaggers. Though Pip is not interested in knowing the conversation between the two, Pip, just like Estella, has been forced to carry out this job.

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As Estella walks into Drummle’s office, she is shocked to see Pip as the chaperone, and Pip being himself, is unable to keep himself quiet. Pip is specifically asked by Drummle not to utter a word when he and Estella are conversing, which is only for thirty minutes. Drummle is excited and nervous to be conversing with a woman half his age, and Estella is stunned to know her mother would choose the man for his wealth over his physical features for her daughter. Estella, though, makes it clear that she hates the one thing that Drummle has made a business of – nutmeg. Estella repeatedly tells him that nutmeg is something she is allergic to. On the other hand, Mr. Drummle makes it clear that he wants to be the perfect rich husband for her, and he would expect her to be the perfect society wife who would support all of his endeavors whether she likes them or not.

Drummle also ends up letting her know that, if it comes to it, he will have to resort to physical violence as a last resort. Something which Estella was not shocked to learn because men at that time were known to have a violent streak. Estella has a conversation with Pip, who lets her know what he thinks of the match that has been made. Estella claims she has no choice but to accept Mr. Drummle as her partner because she will be disinherited by her mother if she rebels. Pip, though, promises her that he intends to become a rich businessman and a kind gentleman who would make her happy. Estella, knowing what her future will be, is just happy for Pip and not for herself because she knows her mother will never agree to the match. Estella, on heading back to her hometown, lets Joe and Biddy know that Pip is unhappy in London, and she requests that they bring him to this town so that he can go back to being his old self. A lovable young country boy.

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‘Great Expectations’ Episode 4: Review

“Great Expectations” Episode 4, like the last three episodes, is an hour-long episode and does not serve the purpose of making the show interesting at all. The amount of time the writers have dedicated to making the show verbose gets tiring after a point. The story is simple, but it is made long, stretched, and convoluted by adding plotlines that beat around the bush. There is no time given for another plot to develop. Keeping to the dark theme of the show does not help in making the overall ambiance of the show engaging enough. The plot involves Pip being the informant and helping Mr. Jaggers destabilize Mr. Drummle and his business, but the whole arc in the episode is written in a manner that feels a lot more stretched, while the point has been made loud and clear.

The screenplay had to be better than this and make the viewers understand Pip’s pain at losing Estella. Estella is also afraid of losing her inheritance just because her mother had her heartbroken years ago. These emotions could have been explored more in-depth, given the length of “Great Expectations” Episode 4, but the writers spend so much time making the show a verbal fest, and that too with lines that half the time do not even make sense unless you hear them two or three times.

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“Great Expectations” Episode 4 again does not manage to explore the evil side of Mr. Jaggers, who repeatedly tells Pip about a cruel version of himself. Pip is also a complex character, a boy of 18 who is going through his rush for his first love; nothing has been explored by the writers, even with the dark theme in hand. Mr. Jaggers, as a character, had plenty of scope to be the man who loved putting people in awkward situations, but again, Jaggers has been written plainly. I wish there was more to these lead characters that were shown to us on the screen. On paper, Pip, Estella, Jaggers, and Lady Havisham seem a lot less interesting, and sadly, none of that transpired well on the screen. We are hoping the “Great Expectations” mini-series will turn out better as it nears completion.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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