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'The Pursuit of Love' recap season 1 episode 3 recap — romance, war and that tragic ending

Linda and Fanny in The Pursuit of Love episode 3
The Pursuit of Love saw Linda and Fanny inseparable until the end. (Image credit: BBC)

The final episode of The Pursuit of Love has aired, and what a rollercoaster of an episode it was. As World War II dawned, Linda and Fanny found themselves in different countries and leading very different lives. But as always with these friends for life, they were soon drawn back to one another and remained close until the very end. 

WARNING: spoilers ahead for all three episodes of The Pursuit of Love.

THAT heartbreaking ending 

Anyone who hasn't read Nancy Mitford's classic story about Linda and Fanny will have been totally unaware that the main character was going to meet a tragic end. But somehow, despite it being sad that Linda didn't get to grow old (un) gracefully, there is something fitting about her dying young and happily in love with the handsome and mysterious Fabrice De Sauveterre. Like Fanny's mother, 'The Bolter' said at the end of the episode: "lives of women like Linda and me aren't so much fun when we begin to get older". 

We also can't help loving the fact that Fanny is the one bringing up Linda's son, and the fact he is called Fabrice. Sadly poor little Fabrice has been left without parents after his father also met an untimely end, having been killed while serving in the war and becoming a French war hero. 

There is no one better in the world to raise little Fabrice than Fanny, and with so many brothers and sisters around him, he is sure to have a great future. 

The Pursuit of Love episode 3

Lord Merlin was the star of the show from start to finish.  (Image credit: BBC)

Lord Merlin... still the star of the show

While Linda and Fanny were clearly the central characters for The Pursuit of Love, we can't help think that the brilliantly charismatic Lord Merlin was the star of the show. Andrew Scott was captivating as the Radlett's next-door neighbor, bringing to life every scene he was in. 

The moment when he and Davey found out that Linda was the mistress of the renowned Fabrice De Sauveterre was just brilliant. The two characters work perfectly together and their amusement was infectious. We're calling for a Lord Merlin spin-off drama — we need to see more of his white horses and rainbow-colored pigeons! 

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Linda's devotion to finding true love 

Linda and Fabrice in The Pursuit of Love episode 3

Linda died happy after finding love with Fabrice. (Image credit: BBC)

While The Pursuit of Love is about Linda's desire to find true love, the core of this entire drama has got to be friendship. There was something so perfect about the love Linda and Fanny had for one another, and it seems that while Linda was always on a quest to find the perfect man, she already had a life full of love while Fanny was by her side. Even a World War couldn't keep the pair apart, and they were together right until the very end.

All episodes of The Pursuit of Love are available to watch on BBC iPlayer and on Amazon Prime Video in the US.

With The Pursuit of Love now at an end, here are some suggestions of dramas to get into... 

Claire Crick
Claire Crick

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.