THE SHOW: Monarch of the Glen
THE PAIRING: Archie MacDonald (Alastair Mackenzie) and Lexie McTavish (Dawn Steele)
THE EPISODE: Season 3, episode 9. Aired December 30, 2001
THE CLASSIC MOMENT: Archie confesses his feelings to Lexie and they share a dance and a kiss.
Monarch of the Glen was a charming BBC series that aired from 2000 to 2005 and tells the story of Archie MacDonald, a young man trying to open his restaurant in the city, only to be called back to his home of Glenbogle (a castle with thousands of acres and numerous tenants living on the land) where he becomes the new Laird – completely uprooting him from all his plans. Glenbogle (and by extension his family) are in trouble and they need him to rescue their dying heritage by accepting the call. Of course he does all that and leaves his city life behind.
Back at Glenbogle, he first falls for Katrina – his childhood friend. It was always a bit of a love triangle between Archie, Katrina and Lexie. But as the series continued, it was clear only one woman actually had Archie’s heart: Lexie McTavish. Loyal, fierce and determined to be there for him and Glenbogle no matter what, proved Lexie to be the better choice. Lexie lives and breathes Glenbogle after all.
So after Katrina chooses a career over love (arguably because Archie actually wants her to leave), his feelings for Lexie, Glenbogle’s housekeeper and cook, begin to awaken. After a couple years living in the same house, and with Katrina gone, Archie could finally see what was right in front of him all along.
On the other hand, Lexie was aware of her own feelings for Archie from the beginning, but she knew the obstacles of a Laird being with a housekeeper were at best a bit hopeless and silly even in the modern world. Plus, could Archie ever love her back when he had women like Katrina in his life? Lexie is Glenbogle’s Cinderella dreaming of a life inside a castle married to the prince, but to her it is a dream that can never be a reality.
In season three, episode 9, Glenbogle prepares for the Midsummer Ball and Archie wants to make sure everything goes perfectly. Unfortunately, Stella (a woman helping run the estate who also falls for Archie) tries to sabotage it so she can stay at Glenbogle. Thankfully, Lexie figures out what is going on and helps save the Ball from ending in catastrophe. And while she bought a dress to attend the Ball, she’s unable to wear it because she has to cook for the event instead when they lose their chef.
Seeing Lexie come through for Glenbogle and for him one more time, finally helps Archie wake up to his own feelings. Which brings me to this week’s Classic Romantic Moment.
ARCHIE AND LEXIE’S CINDERELLA MOMENT
After the Ball, Lexie’s in the kitchen washing all the dishes, when Archie enters. They talk about the success of the ball with their usual friendly banter. But this time, Archie’s demeanor is quite different than usual.
“You are a wonder,” Archie tells her.
Lexie brushes off the compliment laughing that he’ll never find another housekeeper like her. She doesn’t see that he’s standing quite seriously behind her.
“You know, all this time there’s been something working away at me inside. These last few days, I realized what it is,” Archie hints.
“Crofter’s stew probably,” she jokes
“Lexie, I love you…I think I always have.”
Lexie stops in mid-action, completely shocked by his declaration and turns to look at him. “Life isn’t a fairy tale Arch. We don’t get a happy ending,”
“We do if we love each other,” he argues determined to convince her.
“But you’re the Laird. I’m still the housekeeper.”
Unphased by her objections, he continues, “I want you to be my wife.”
Surprised by yet another shocking declaration, Lexie stops.
“I couldn’t live up to that. I’d let you down. I couldn’t bear that,” she admits.
“You won’t let me down. You never let me down,” he replies.
“Oh, that’s different. This is what I know. This is where I belong.”
“You belong with me,” Archie states completely sure of his feelings.
Lexie nods her head no in objection. “Don’t. I’m not right for you.”
“There are all kinds of excuses for letting happiness slip through your fingers. Let’s not do that. Let’s take our chance,” he pleads.
But his pleading doesn’t soften Lexie’s resolve.
“Look at this place….” Lexie says, brushing him off and turning back to cleaning. Archie walks off, clearly upset. She puts down the dishes and stops to take in what just happened.
Outside, Archie looks over the Loch to clear his head. The decorations from the Ball are still there, surrounding him as he thinks. But then he hears someone approaching.
He turns to see Lexie carrying a book box, wearing the red ball gown she bought for the Ball. She’s clearly changed her mind.
Lexie turns some music on and then turns to look back at Archie across the ballroom floor.
“Take a chance,” Lexie says.
With resolve in his step, he hurries over to Lexie to give her an epic, romantic kiss; one for the storybooks. It seems Lexie gets to be a princess in the castle (her dream) after all.
They pull apart.
“I don’t have a ring,” Archie admits. Resourceful as always, Lexie finds a loose soda can tab to use instead.
“No excuses,” she says with a smile. Archie puts the tab on Lexie’s ring, finalizing their engagement to each other.
The soda can sparkles with just a touch of magic you’d expect in a fairy tale of the prince marrying the servant girl.
They look into each other’s eyes with love and kiss before Archie sweeps Lexie into an enchanted waltz.
A beautiful and haunting Scottish melody plays as the two dance happily until it fades to black.
Did you ever watch Monarch of the Glen? Were you happy when Archie finally professed his love for Lexie? Let me know in the comments!
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