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Like the song says, the world will always welcome lovers As Time Goes By. Oscar winner Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer star in this beloved British series as Jean and Lionel, former lovers who are reunited after 38 years. This volume contains the last three episodes of the second season. As the launch date for Lionel's autobiography approaches, the tentative couple have a too-close encounter with Penny, Jean's former sister-in-law, who invites them to spend the weekend at her country home. Hoping to conceal that they knew each other before she was married, Jean and Lionel are forced to concoct an escalating series of lies about how they met. In the next episode, Jean and Lionel's private life (they platonically shared a bed at Penny's) is Topic 1, but it's hardly "love in the afternoon" after Lionel angers Jean by inviting her on a free promotional cruise. Finally, My Life in Kenya is published and Lionel steels himself for the book signing, while an anxious Jean buys up 140 copies of the book herself. Lionel vehemently protests when "boy publisher" Alistair suggests goosing interest in the book by exploiting Jean as the "mystery woman" in Lionel's life.
At the heart of As Time Goes By is Jean and Lionel's wariness at rekindling their relationship. These episodes bring the second season to a touching and satisfying conclusion. Sometimes, Jean tells Lionel, they feel like complete strangers and at others like they've never been apart. She wonders what will happen to them. --Donald Liebenson
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