The struggle for power amid the clergy of Barchester decends into all-out war, as Mrs Proudie, The Archdeacon and Mr Slope fight it out and the Bishop stands by, helpless.
Mr Slope changes his mind and begins to champion the cause of Septimus Harding, in the hope of marrying his wealthy daughter, Eleanor Bold. But his flirting with Madeline Stanhope and support of the Bishop turn Mrs Proudie against him.
Eleanor Bold is horrified that her tolerance towards Mr Slope leads to a proposal of marriage at Miss Thorne’s annual fete; she is further persued by the indolent Bertie Stanhope and returns to Barchester disgusted.
Mr Slope reaches beyond his grasp, and having made enemies Mrs Proudie and all around him is forced to leave Barchester. Signora Neroni selflessly advises Eleanor that Mr Aradin loves her, and with encouragement from Miss Thorne proposes.