That being said, there are moments in the story when your heart swells with oh-thank-you-Thomas-Hardy-for-
Could it be or is it actually worse when it's mutual?!?! Because surprise: this is the only proposal gone wrong that actually assaults my tear ducts. Tess can't bring herself to tell Angel the secret she's keeping, but she also won't allow herself to tarnish his name by marrying her. She loves him too much to marry him, but she fears she'll lose his love forever if she tells him the truth. Heart through the shredder!!!!!! While you're not so subtly yelling, "JUST TELL HIM! YOU LOVE EACH OTHER! IT WILL BE OKAY, GOSH DARN IT!" you also sort of understand that she's not ready to tell him, especially after he's just listed off all these wonderful qualities that she wants to believe are true. But, oh... Oh! Look at his faaace! He doesn't know there's a secret. He doesn't know! Oh mah gosh! THIS IS WHAT HEARTBREAK FEELS LIKE!!!!! AND NIAGRA FALLS IS RUSHING OUT OF MY EYEBALLS AND WHAT THE HEY, THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE IN MY KITCHEN CABINETS! Ahem, you see, dear readers, I decided that in order to "review" this proposal properly, I had to go back and watch the series from the very beginning so I could truly wrap my brain around the emotion of this moment. Of course, this just means I ended up with a case of blurry eyes and "oh everything's fine *sniff*," whenever roommates walked in on my self made pity-for-Tess-and-Angel party. So by the time I hit this scene, it is just like CREYES FOR EYES defined, alright? Gemma Arterton is the perfect Tess and she really does an incredible job of walloping you in the gut here with her torn expressions and "I only ever want to love you." Gahhh I feel like I actually witnessed this regretful rejection in person! It's so difficult!!!
It's a lovely proposal; running across the field to her and his beautiful voice opening with, "Tess, you're not to Mr. Clare me ever again." I'd have said yes, of course, but I am not as strong as Tess. But then, she'll be powerless to say no soon enough. You just... I can't... Why... Gah... If only she had told him everything right there! If only she could articulate her history and her feelings! Before the merde hits the Victorian fan of morality laced with double standards. Where's your humanity, Hardy? Hardy!!!!!! If I could assault a dead man, y'all... Ooo buddy! My FEELINGS are of the ALL CAPS variety and akin to wild horses tramping on Thomas Hardy's grave with a vengeance. Not that I'm terribly bitter or anything. Speaking of being two faced, part of the reason that I love this story so much, though, is how tragic it is; there's perfection in the tragedy. But oh... oh my shattered heart.