Capt. Charles Ryder finds that he and his men are relocated to the grounds of Brideshead Castle. Charles knows the place well and he recalls a time 20 years before when he met Lord Sebastian Flyte, the second son of Lord Marchmain and for whom Brideshead was home.
Episode 02 The aristocratic Sebastian invites his middle-class university friend Charles to spend a glorious summer at the amazing family home, Brideshead.
Episode 03 Charles and Sebastian return to Oxford but feel old and out of place. Sebastian feels that his mother is constantly watching him through her friends. In particular, both young men have to put up with Mr. Samgrass who is obviously reporting on all of their activities.
Episode 04 Sebastian's decline continues and there is little anyone seems able to do about it. He is terribly unhappy about his family situation and seems bent on destroying any relationships he may still have left.
Episode 05 Charles is invited to Brideshead for Christmas and learns that Mr. Samgrass and Sebastian will be there as well. Sebastian is as morose as he was before he left, if not more so. The atmosphere as Brideshead is gloomy. All of the liquor has been locked away and there is a tension among everyone there due to Sebastian's condition.
Episode 06 Charles returns to Paris to continue his art studies and is surprised with a visit from Rex Mottram. It would seem that he and Sebastian had stopped in Paris enroute to a sanatorium in Zurich but Sebastian has stolen his cash and disappeared, much as he did with Mr. Samgrass during the tour of the Middle East.
Episode 07 Charles returns to London in the Spring of 1926 during the General Strike and joins the Defense Corps which ensures the delivery of essential supplies. He meets up with Boy Mulcaster and Anthony Blanche. Charles learns that Sebastian is living in French Morocco with a German boy he'd met.
Episode 08 Charles returns to London, leaving Sebastian in Morocco. Bridey gives Charles a commission to paint a number of small oils of Marchmain House, the family's London townhouse which is about to be torn down. Having successfully established himself as an artist Charles sets off for Central America sketching and painting for two years.
Episode 09 With Celia seasick, Julia and Charles spend all of their free time together and soon begin an affair. He also learns from her that Sebastian has vanished completely. In London, Charles' new exhibition is a success, but his reluctance to go home finally brings an end to his marriage.
Episode 10 Two years have passed and Charles and Julia are still in love, spending as much time together as possible. They are astounded to learn from Bridey that he is engaged to be married. Bridey's admonition of Julia's relationship and his refusal to bring his fiancée to Brideshead has a profound effect on her, however.
Episode 11 In the winter of 1939, Lord Marchmain decides to return to Brideshead from Venice in view of the deteriorating international situation. It soon becomes apparent that he is in declining health and has in fact come home to die. He has taken a dislike to Bridey's new wife and suggests he may leave Brideshead Castle to Julia and Charles.