By Jennifer Abella
Previously on “Emma Approved” … Emma was in a Very. Bad. Place.
Episode 68 (The Boy Is Mine): Emma feels awful she has to break Harriet’s heart again by breaking the news about Frank and Jane. Harriet’s like: No big deal, it’s cool. Emma is surprised — but Harriet is more surprised that Emma even thought Harriet was in love with Frank. Harriet says she needs someone less intimidating … like the guy who saved her from embarrassment at the Elton engagement party. Who was Alex. RUHROH. Harriet says she’s pretty sure Alex returns her feelings. I like the body language here, with Emma physically drawing away from Harriet. Emma says maybe he’s just being nice and it’s Harriet’s turn to get mad at Emma. Turns out Alex asked if Harriet was seeing anyone right now. WHAAAT. Which is what Emma is thinking too. Harriet takes the high road and hopes Emma will be happy if Harriet and Alex work out. Alone again, Emma’s freaking out, saying she can’t believe it. She can’t see him with anyone, well, anyone except … oh hello lightbulb, my name is EMMA. And just like that Emma realizes what we’ve all be pushing for since time immemorial.
Episode 69 (Strange Days): Emma is desperate to avoid Harriet. So desperate she calls in B-Mart as a diversion. YAY, Bobby! He and his floppy hair fix Emma’s computer in a jiffy. He goes to check Harriet’s computer “unawkardly” since she’s out but things indeed get awkward (although cutely so) when she returns. She asks him to lunch, but he demurs. Emma apologizes to Harriet about Alex and Bobby and generally ordering Harriet around, even though it kills her to say it, she says she will accept Alex and Harriet together if they happen. Alone with the camera, Emma comes to a tearful conclusion: She’s in love with Alex. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Just as she finishes saying that and moves on to other things (she’s going to start paying attention to people around her), Alex — yes Alex — comes through the door, unbeknownst to Emma and walks right back out. WAIT WHY DID YOU WALK AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, ALEX? WHY?
Episode 70 (At Last): Emma is being a responsible adult and doing hourly consultations again even though she hates them. Alex walks through the door and she immediately hugs him. She’s in tears. He says he came down because he knew the Frank and Jane news would upset Emma. I love that as wrong as she was about everything — Harriet/James, Frank/Jane, etc. — Alex is wrong in this case, when it matters the most. Everybody’s blind. She says she was never in love with Frank, which makes Alex so happy. He apologizes for the way he left, adding that didn’t make sense for him to leave when … there was someone in the office he cared about so much and he was miserable being away from her. (AWWWWW) Thinking immediately of Harriet, Emma plays it chipper and quickly changes the subject. Clearly disappointed, he mopes out of the office. Emma knows he wanted to tell her about him and Harriet, and she’s determined to be professional about it. So she goes to his office to face the music “as his friend,” she says. He asks if that’s what she wants. He realizes she has no idea what he’s talking about. He gets up and brings back flowers for Emma. She realizes: Flowers are romantic. He confesses he’s in love with her: If I loved you less, I could talk about it more. querioregfsdngmk;byt. Oh sorry I couldn’t see the keyboard through my HAPPY TEARS. Emma asks him about the business and their families and their friendship. And then they kiss and I just literally can’t right now. HUZZAHHHHHH. She declares their kiss “very Emma Approved.” I concur. But then he asks what she was so worried about before. And it takes her a second to remember. HARRIET. Oopsie.
Episode 71 (A Little Less Conversation): Now that we’ve got Alex and Emma settled, what to do about poor Harriet? Emma’s practicing her speech for Harriet when Alex comes in. He says she might not have to worry about it — and is interrupted by a very cheerful Frank, who’s there apologize to Emma. Frank even says Alex might not have made a move if Frank hadn’t come into the picture. Emma looks SO HAPPY, y’all. Frank fills us in on the Jane situation: She’s thinking about things and starting her own foundation. Frank explains why he sold his company: because Jane was angry his company had done something to hurt one of her causes. He’s obviously still in love with her. While Frank and Alex go off to have coffee, Emma breaks the news to Harriet about Emma and Alex. But Harriet already knows, and she’s taking it really well actually. Emma says she was wrong about everything and that Harriet she should do whatever feels right to her.
Episode 72 (After All): Here it is: the last episode. Harriet and Emma are affixing something to the ceiling of Harriet’s office — they’ve got some scheme cooked up, it seems. Aww, and Harriet is wearing a lovely dress with birds printed on it — nice costuming choice. Harriet startles when Bobby enters. Turns out somethings “wrong with her computer.” He can’t find anything, though, and gets up to leave; she panics to get him to stay. He’s looking at her like a crazy person. Then she asks him for a second chance to go on his quest (the cranes, remember?). He’s surprised and happy. She asks him: If you got your wish after fulfilling your quest what would you wish for? AND THEN HE KISSES HER. Gooooo, Bobby! And suddenly a thousand paper cranes fall from the ceiling. [Side note: Many of the cranes were made by “Emma Approved” fans at an online-video convention.] Meanwhile, Alex has to hold Emma back from going to Harriet’s office to peek. Alex asks if she’s told her father about her and Alex yet? He says he’d be willing to leave the business if that’s what Mr. Woodhouse wants. He’d rather he be her partner in life than in business if necessary. Harriet comes in to take off with Bobby. And it’s all YOU get a happy ending! And YOU get a happy ending!
At the end of the last video, Harriet discovers footage of Jane and Frank, so if you watch more videos, I recommend theirs, which show their interactions at her desk.
Final thoughts: Overall, “Emma Approved” really grew on me over time, even if it took me a while to love it. I wish we had seen Mr. Woodhouse, and the Isabella arc seemed like filler, but I thought the modernization of the novel (the workplace setting, the Boxx restaurant opening, etc.) worked well.
Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.