I am convinced that the big scandal of Wickham-Lydia is emotional abuse. There may be some some legal trouble too, but George is very subtly manipulating Lydia, and I see this turning into an abusive relationship. Lydia may not disappear as in the book, but she will be trapped.
Here are the warning signs of abuse that I see:
- Change in Lydia's personality--Lydia has been significantly more subdued in recent episodes
- George makes her feel indebted to her--the mysterious something in Vegas, letting her come over all the time even thought it's not convenient for him
- Along with that, he makes her feel guilty about whatever it is he's done for her
- Lydia is isolated from her friends and family--maybe she's isolating herself or maybe George is mainpulating her away from them. Either way, no one else is there to see the changes in her personality, and George becomes the only source of recognition and affection
- George expresses jealosy at her having relationships with others
- George makes accusations--stealing drugs while babysitting, seeingsomeone else/cheating on him
- George forces her to do things she doesn't want--even if it's as small as admitting they're dating, and their exclusive status goes one step further into isolating her
- **Updates since episode 28
- George continues to make Lydia feel bad about herself.
- George actively keeps her from seeing her family. He makes the choice between him and her family an ultimatum and makes it seem like her family has always been against her.
- George threatens to leave. He's made Lydia dependent on him so his leaving would break her heart.
- George uses "I love you" as leverage for his apology
- George guilts Lydia "I've done everything for you" "It would kill me to leave you."
I'm fascinated by this down-spiral, half knowing what's coming but not knowing how it will be adapted. If I'm right and it turns out to be abuse, kudos to the writers for coming up with such an apt modern adaptation. And holy cow, the actors are phenomenal. George is not an obvious jerk; he's charming and seemingly protective. Lydia has been hurt before and based on her fight with Lizzie and the reputation she's established, she may feel like she doesn't deserve anything better, or she may need to prove that she can handle herself. She may not see what George is doing as a problem.
What do you think, fellow LDB fans? Am I overreacting and reading something into nothing? Did you notice any warning signs I missed? Where do you see Lydia and George's relationship going?