What was intended as a day of fun turns into a day of agony for everyone on the Box Hill excursion. Things come to a head when, egged on by Frank, Emma behaves very badly, insulting Miss Bates. Emma is berated by Knightley and realizes that her behavior was shameful. She tries to repair things with Jane and Miss Bates, but Jane will not see her. Miss Bates tells her that Jane has cried all night and decided to accept a job as a governess. Meanwhile, Knightley goes to stay with his brother in London — he will be away for a while. When Frank's aunt dies, the Westons expect him to propose to Emma — but his actions set in motion a chain of events that both shock Emma and make her realize something that has been in plain sight all along.

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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers

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Warning: Contains significant plot spoilers

It is a glorious day and Knightley has invited everyone to pick strawberries at his estate, but things do not go quite as planned. Augusta presides over matters in her usual annoying manner. Anne worries about Frank, who has not arrived. Jane leaves Knightley's estate in a fluster, and Frank eventually joins the group in a very bad mood. Emma persuades him to come to Box Hill with them. She is sure he will enjoy it, and Harriet is going.

But no one enjoys the trip to Box Hill. Frank and Emma flirt and behave outrageously towards the group, particularly Miss Bates. Knightley looks on in dismay and later berates Emma for her rudeness. Back at home, Emma feels deeply ashamed.

She visits Miss Bates the next morning to apologize. Jane will not see her, and Miss Bates tells Emma that Jane has accepted the post of governess arranged by Augusta and cried all night.

On her return home, Emma finds Mr. Knightley. He is going to stay in London for a while. He is listless and not himself.

When Frank's controlling aunt dies, everyone tries to hide their delight. He will now be free to marry as he pleases. For the Westons, and Isabella Knightley, this means Emma. Emma, in turn, hopes that this will be Harriet.

All are shocked to discover that Frank is already engaged — to Jane Fairfax; they became engaged in Weymouth. After Box Hill, Jane had decided she could wait no longer and accepted the governess position, but she has now withdrawn. Anne assumes that Emma will be distraught, but Emma assures her she has no designs on Frank. She is, however, outraged at his behavior — both to her, and to Jane.

Emma tells Harriet the news and says that she feels terrible for encouraging her. Harriet explains that she has it all wrong — it wasn't Frank she had been talking of, but Mr. Knightley. Emma is stunned; she had completely misunderstood and feels sick at the very thought. She is forced into the realization that, if anyone is to marry Knightley, it must be her.

Knightley returns from London, concerned that Emma will be upset over Frank's deceit. Emma reassures him that she was not in love with Frank. Knightley admits that he is jealous of Frank — at least his secret is out. Thinking he means Harriet, Emma asks him to say no more. Knightley is about to leave when Emma tells him she will hear whatever he has to say. Knightley professes his love to Emma, and the two are united.

Emma panics about abandoning her father however, and is about to call off their engagement when Knightley says he will move in with Emma and Mr. Woodhouse. As news of their engagement spreads, another match is formalized into marriage — Harriet and Robert Martin.

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