Miss Scarlet and The Duke Season 3 is, unfortunately, the show’s weakest season, but despite the hiccups, it features some of the most crucial moments necessary to develop our main characters. It’s about William and Eliza and a fake proposal with very real feelings at the helm. This is the season where we finally get to learn that Moses’ last name is Valentine, and even though William doesn’t admit it aloud to Eliza, being called out on loving her by his girlfriend, Arabella, is enough to hold us over until Season 4.
Still, though we don’t get much development between the crime-solving partners in crime, Miss Scarlet and The Duke Season 3, Episode 6, “The Jewel of the North,” gives viewers an unforgettable scene between William and Eliza that we’ll be replaying over and over. While the two are posing as a couple looking for a ring, William takes the attempt to sell the story of how he proposed up a couple of hundred notches. It’s not about how he did it, but it’s what he says that shows a clueless Eliza, himself, and the audience just how in love he is.
“I took her hand and told her she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And that whatever else I was unsure of in my life, the one thing that I knew was that we were meant to be together.” Since Season 2, we’ve known that William is head over heels in love with Eliza. We have concrete proof of it (despite his lack of understanding) in “Pandora’s Box.” The fascinating thing about both William and Eliza is that they don’t like being put on the spot—it’s not something either of them does well with, especially when their personal lives are concerned. But this moment was almost effortless for William, and Stuart Martin does an exceptional job of showing us why by allowing viewers to see that even though he hasn’t fully processed his feelings, these words aren’t fabricated.
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They aren’t a reflection of what their covers think of each other, but the truth of William sees Eliza—the most beautiful woman, the one thing he’s certain of, the one he’s meant to be with. Despite all the bickering, working with Eliza is the best (and most frustrating part of his day). She’s his beginning and end. And while we don’t yet know how she feels despite his feelings being fully displayed, it’s undoubtedly not unrequited. William’s barely figuring it out, but Eliza still has a ways to go. There’s much she needs to work on alone before even daring to welcome love into her life, but she certainly wants it—and her reaction to Arabella and William is the small glimpse of authentication we have for now.
Further, William and Eliza’s fake proposal is also the concrete sign that we’re going to get a real one someday. This show isn’t our first detective fiction or our first romance. We know the game. More often than not, scenes like this test the waters as they attempt to show what matters to our favorite characters and why. This isn’t our first sign that William cares about Eliza more than he can bear, but this is certainly the most glaring showcase of the detail that there could be no one else for him. She’s the one. In every way, on and off the field—at Scotland Yard or at home. To blatantly tell her that he misses their dinners and to lose himself in this fantasy of the places her eyes take him to almost makes up for the lack of scenes we got this season.
Because despite how short the moment is, it’s significant in all the lines it blurs, the thresholds it crosses, and the truth it brings to light. This moment in Miss Scarlet and The Duke Season 3 was William wanting more, showing us everything that he can’t keep concealed anymore, and the show almost inadvertently promising that this is the step forward we’ve been waiting for.