Tag Archives: cora crawley

Downton Abbey Season 4: ep. 7 recap

Mary and Tony

Last night’s episode was one of the better of the season as plot lines that have been building started to play out, leaving enough in question to make me eager to see next week’s conclusion.

Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

Everyone upstairs and down are preparing for the church bazaar, which will be held on the grounds of Downton Abbey.  With Lord Grantham still in the states sorting out his brother-in-law’s involvement in the Teapot Dome Scandal, the planning falls to Cora, who finally has a use this season.

Mary and Lord Gillingham

Mary and Lord Gillingham

After the pig incident, Charles Blake and Mary have warmed up to each other.  So much so that Lord Gillingham makes a trip to Downton to check up on the two of them, telling Mary quite frankly that he doesn’t want to leave them alone together.  He also informs her that, after some soul searching in the Highlands, he’s decided to call off his engagement with Mabel Lane Fox, and that he still holds a torch for Mary (for reasons I still do not understand).  Charles Blake also announces his intentions to Mary, telling her he won’t give up without a fight.  Mary tells both men she’s not free, even though she wishes she were.  I have a hard time believing her, given that no mention of Matthew has been made for quite some time now, and Mary seems to very much enjoy the attention of both suitors.  I’m sure Mary’s resistance will eventually give way, and then maybe we’ll get to see a duel at Downton!  And I hope Charles Blake wins.

Mary and Charles Blake

Mary and Charles Blake

Love is in the air for Rose as well.  Well, love, or an entirely selfish need to express her hatred for her mother through her choice of husband.  “I want to watch Mummy’s face crumble when I tell her the news” isn’t exactly the best reason to say yes to a marriage proposal.  But it seems to be Rose’s.  Mary finds out about her secret affair with Jack Ross through Tom, who sees them together having tea.  Mary tries to impart some wisdom on Rose, who wants none of it, and becomes engaged anyway.  This spurs Mary into action, and after a visit with Jack Ross, she convinces him that Rose may love him a little bit, but he was more likely being used as a point to be proven.  Ross agrees, and bows out of the engagement.  And hopefully this boring, hackneyed sub-plot is at an end.

Tom catches Rose with Jack Ross

Tom catches Rose with Jack Ross

Much more interesting is the developing relationship between Tom and the town school teacher, Sarah Bunting.  They seem perfect for each other, have good chemistry, and Tom finally seems to be in a place where he’s ready to move on.  He’s actually able to laugh when he talks about his dear late Sybil and what a character she was.  Sarah’s got spunk, and I hope we see more of her.

Branson and Sarah

“Car trouble? What a perfect opener for me to tell you my whole chauffeur back story!”

Lady Violet shows us that one good turn deserves another.  Or perhaps she just wants Isobel out of her hair.  Either way, could she potentially be playing matchmaker, setting up Isobel with Mary’s godfather, Lord Merton?  Certainly seems possible.

And then there’s poor Edith.  Aunt Rosamund comes to Downton to help Edith make a decision on what to do next.  Edith’s idea is to have the baby and give it to one of the local farmers (Mr. Drew, from a previous episode), feeling he can be trusted with her secret (and she’ll still be able to see the baby).  But Aunt Rosamund isn’t so sure, and instead decides the best thing to do is to go abroad until Edith delivers the baby, and then adopt it out to “some childless couple.”  Cora is apparently so busy with the bazaar that she doesn’t see through the hastily constructed plan to visit Switzerland so Rosamund can learn French, but nothing gets by Lady Violet.  She’s been around the block a few times and knows why many unmarried young women go abroad at the spur of the moment.  Edith confesses all, and Lady Violet shows a bit of grandmotherly compassion, agreeing that this is the right decision for Edith, and even offers to pay her expenses, so Edith isn’t further in her aunt’s debt.  Whether Michael Gregson is still alive or has fallen off the face of the earth remains to be seen, but it looks like Edith will be booking passage to Switzerland pretty soon.

Edith and Violet

Downstairs the love square (which I guess we can call a triangle now that Jimmy’s out of the picture) finally, FINALLY came to an end.  Apparently Ivy’s warm greeting during his last visit was misinterpreted a touch, and Alfred writes her, asking her to marry him and move to London.  Ivy likes Alfred, but she’s young and isn’t sure what the world has to offer, so she declines.  Mrs. Patmore tries to keep the whole thing a secret from Daisy (can’t say I blame her given Daisy’s usual reaction regarding the Ivy/Alfred relationship), but she eventually finds out.  Daisy goes to visit Mr. Mason when Alfred comes to Downton in hopes of avoiding him.  But Mr. Mason, ever the wise man, tells her she should part with him as friends.  And in a very touching scene, Daisy does just that, making her the most mature person downstairs (for this episode, anyway).  Here’s hoping Daisy visits Mr. Mason more often.  Mrs. Patmore means well, but Mr. Mason seems a bit better at handling Daisy’s affairs.

Daisy visits Mr. Mason

Daisy visits Mr. Mason

An unexpected spark developed between Molesley and Baxter.  Somehow Molesley comes off much less pathetic when he’s around her, so this could be a good thing.  We still don’t know much about Baxter, though, only that perhaps she doesn’t come from the best family or the community she once lived in shunned her (based off her telling Molesley how lucky he is to live in a village where people respected him).  When Thomas returns from America, he asks Baxter if she has anything to tell, to which Baxter lies and says no.  She then walks off on Molesley’s arm.  But later we see her continuing to listen in on the conversations of the Crawley family (specifically in relation to the Anna & Bates issue).  I just hope the feelings she’s shown toward Molesley are genuine, because one “Edith” character is enough on this show!

Molesley and Baxter

And then there’s the Anna & Bates story line.  Anna finally reveals to Mary the name of her attacker when she learns that Lord Gillingham is staying at Downton.  Again.  Mary wants to go to the police but Anna tells her she mustn’t tell anyone.  Anna bears Green’s presence as best she can at dinner, during which Bates learns where Green will be staying in London.  When Bates finds out that Anna has to go to London (to accompany Mary while she sorts out the whole Ross/Rose debacle), he asks for the day off to visit York.  Why?  Oh, you know, “This and that.”  Sure, Bates.  Sure.  Maybe he just wanted to visit some old prison pals?

Mary can’t hold her promise to Anna for long, and informs her that she must tell Lord Gillingham to sack his valet, reassuring Anna that Bates won’t question why he shows up with a new valet next time he visits Downton.  Anna reluctantly agrees.  Mary meets Lord Gillingham for lunch while she’s in London and asks him to fire Green, though she can’t give a reason.  Since Lord Gillingham would stand on his head and quack like a duck if Mary asked him to, he agrees.  But then he arrives at the bazaar with the startling (well, to the characters, not really to us) news that Green is dead, pushed out into the street and run over by a bus.  Mary immediately goes to Anna about it, and while there were plenty of witnesses, and Bates has his York alibi (let’s hope he does, anyway), neither of them can help but notice that Bates looks happier than he has for weeks.

Bates and Anna

“No, really. I’m just smiling because I love a good bazaar.”

So, did Bates kill Green?  Or was it just a purely coincidental accident?  Anna tells Bates she hopes he hasn’t done anything foolish, anything that might jeopardize all they’ve built together. Bates’s answer:  “You know me.  When I do a thing, I like to have a very goo reason for doing it.”  Neither Anna nor the viewer seems to feel very relieved by this statement.

Next week’s finale features Rose’s coming out into society, and another visit from Cora’s mother, who looks like she’ll be bringing along Cora’s brother for us to meet for the first time.  Will Mary pick a suitor?  Will Edith ever find Michael?  And will we have yet another murder trial to attend (and if we do, how will we ever get through it without Matthew the solicitor there to explain it to us!)?

What were your thoughts on this week’s episode?

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Season 3, ep. 4 recap

Downton at night

Last night’s emotional episode brought out the best of what Downton Abbey has to offer in its acting and writing.  It was a tough one to watch, but the performances were brilliant and restored my faith in the series.  So, without further ado, let’s recap and review, shall we?

Warning: Major spoilers for episode 4 ahead!

The episode started out calmly enough.  Sybil’s baby is nearly due and everyone is anxiously anticipating its arrival.  Lord Robert has brought in Sir Philip, baby deliverer to the aristocracy, even though Lady Cora feels that Dr. Clarkson can appropriately handle the job.  I can’t say I blame Robert for doubting Dr. Clarkson’s abilities to some degree, given the misdiagnosis of Matthew last season (which Robert is quick to point out).  As a compromise, Cora is allowed to bring in Dr. Clarkson and both will attend Sybil during the delivery.

Mary and Sybil

Meanwhile, Sybil talks to Mary about wanting the baby to be brought up Catholic, and Mary promises she’ll fight in her corner should the need arise.  Mary mentions that she wants a family, which seems contrary to her statement to Matthew when they were in the nursery in the previous episode.  And Matthew is apparently concerned about his fertility, and brings it up with Sir Philip (though, after the way things turned out, I think I’d disregard his advice if I were him).  Matthew and Mary continue to have almost zero chemistry, and spend all of their time talking about money and the estate.

Look! They're touching!

Look! They’re touching!

Edith

Edith receives an offer to write for a newspaper.  She’s excited, but her dear Papa is quick to dismiss the news, stating that they only mean to exploit her and her title.  I saw a little glimmer of hope in Edith’s biting remark that no one supports her.  I keep hoping she’ll come around to the fact that she needs to get out on her own and make her own happiness.  Maybe this is the first step.

Anna and Bates

Elsewhere Anna and Bates are reunited in prison.  And my hunch was apparently correct–Vera put arsenic in the pie and was scrubbing her nails to get rid of the evidence.  Mrs. Bartlett’s testimony will set Bates free, but only if they can get it from her before she finds out it will prove the man she despises is innocent.  Something tells me that the unfriendly cellmate and jail warden will muddy the waters a bit and drag this storyline out even longer.

Ethel and her disastrous kidney souffle

Ethel and her disastrous kidney souffle

Just when we thought we might have seen the last of Ethel, she returns this episode as Mrs. Crawley’s new project.  She takes her on as her maid, causing the immediate resignation of Mrs. Byrd.  She’s not the only one in an uproar about this turn of events–Mr. Carson hears the news and lays down the law that no maid or footman is to go near Crawley House.  Mrs. Crawley has a good heart and she wants to give Ethel a second chance, but I wonder if she’s bitten off more than she can chew.  While I’m not the biggest Ethel fan, I’ve actually warmed up to her character a bit since last episode, so I’m interested to see where this goes.

Alfred and Ivy

Ethel’s new appointment isn’t the only thing causing a stir downstairs.  We’ve got a really complex love…polygon going on here.  Daisy likes Alfred, Alfred likes Ivy, Ivy likes Jimmy, and Jimmy likes…?  Then of course you have to throw Thomas in the mix, as he likes Jimmy also.  Which is of course working to the advantage of Mrs. O’Brien, who is throwing Jimmy at Thomas every chance she gets.  I don’t like this game she’s playing, and I feel Thomas is really going to get hurt (and after this episode, I have some sympathy for Thomas, so this bothers me even more).

Daisy and Mrs. Patmore

Daisy continues to walk around with a perpetual scowl and takes out her frustration on Ivy.  Mrs. Patmore gives her some sensible love advice (finally the meddling comes in handy!) and tells her that Alfred won’t like her any more for treating Ivy poorly.  She also opens her eyes to the fact Ivy likes Jimmy, not Alfred.

Sir Philip and Dr. Clarkson

Sir Philip and Dr. Clarkson

But all of these subplots felt like background noise when Sybil goes into labor and Dr. Clarkson expresses concern that all is not well and that Sybil may be suffering from eclampsia.  Sir Philip wholeheartedly disagrees, basically telling Dr. Clarkson to butt out and not to worry the family unnecessarily.  But as the evening progresses it becomes more apparent that Dr. Clarkson’s diagnosis may be correct, and a decision has to be made.  Follow Dr. Clarkson’s advice and Sybil will be rushed to the hospital for a c-section, which may or may not come out all right, but is the only way to prevent her from succumbing to eclampsia.  Or follow Sir Philip’s advice, who says he knows he can confidently deliver the baby safely and is still doubtful she has eclampsia.

Branson

Poor Tom, I felt so sorry for him standing there, eyes wide, as the two doctors bicker back and forth, and he has to make the decision that will impact the health of his wife and his baby.  It seems that Robert makes it for him though, stating that Sir Philip’s certainty is better than Dr. Clarkson’s speculation.

Sybil and Branson

Sir Philip successfully delivers a baby girl for Tom and Sybil, and everyone relaxes, feeling that Sybil’s out of danger.  Cora apologizes to Robert for doubting him and for siding with Dr. Clarkson.

Sybil and Cora

Sybil tells her mother about Tom’s plans to become a mechanic in Liverpool, and how she doesn’t want that for him, that they should be moving forward, not back.  She wants to know she has her mother on her side.  Cora tells her to rest and they can talk about it later.

Later that night Mary rushes into her parents’ room, telling them to come quick.  Unfortunately Dr. Clarkson’s diagnosis proves to be correct.  We all watch helplessly along with the family and the two doctors as Sybil dies from eclampsia.  Cora and Tom’s reactions are absolutely heart-breaking.  The news travels through the house, overwhelming everyone with shock and grief.  The performances here were phenomenal, from Thomas crying in the hallway and being comforted by Anna, to Carson’s look of devastation while telling Mrs. Hughes that he’s known Sybil all her life.  But the most heart-wrenching of all was Cora’s.  She promises Sybil that she won’t let anything happen to her baby or to Tom, that she’ll take care of them both.  And she’ll always be her baby (and that’s all I’ll say, so I don’t have to grab the tissues again).

Thomas and Anna

The day after Sybil’s death the family is still in a state of (understandable) shock.  Mary and Edith say goodbye to their sister, Edith wondering if they could ever mend their fences now that they are all the other has left as sisters go.  Mary: “Probably not.”  Well, probably true, but ouch.  I suppose we can’t expect Mary to put her bluntness aside, even at the death of her dear sister.

Mr. Murray comes to see Anna about her new information related to Bates’s case (I know he was scheduled to come then–but at this point I was so emotional over what happened to Sybil I didn’t care about this subplot and just wanted to see how the family was coping).  While there, Matthew, in a rather un-Matthew-like move, pulls Mr. Murray aside to talk about the mismanagement of the estate.  This felt so out of place to me–and I can’t say I blame Mary for being angry when she walks in to find her husband and her father’s lawyer talking business the day after her sister’s death.  It was insensitive of Matthew, and seems out of character for him.

Matthew and Mr. Murray

Mary walks in on Matthew’s meeting with Mr. Murray

We get a fresh wave of tears when Lady Violet enters the house (and another fabulous performance by Maggie Smith).  Cora relates that she plans to write Dr. Clarkson a letter of apology for their behavior, that they should have listened to him instead of Sir Philip, and if they had Sybil might still be alive.  This was directed at her husband, of course, who at least has the decency to admit that he was not entirely without fault in what played out.

Cora

A determined Cora

I was sorry the show lost the character of Sybil.  While her role has been fairly flat this season, in the previous ones she was so likable, so full of life and spunk, and she really helped to balance out her other two sisters.  With her gone, the whole family dynamic is going to change.

It seems the clash between traditionalism and modern thinking, an undercurrent throughout the season, finally burst to the surface with the death of Lady Sybil.  Robert calls in a knighted doctor to handle Sybil’s delivery because that’s what aristocrats do.  He has unwavering belief in Sir Philip’s abilities.  Cora calls in Dr. Clarkson, who may not be knighted, but who knows her girls.  She believes in his medical knowledge and that he knows what’s best for Sybil.  When the crisis occurs, Robert chooses the traditionalist path, and Lady Sybil becomes a victim as a result.  Of course, we know there’s a chance she may not have made it through the c-section, but Robert wouldn’t even entertain the idea.  He’s clinging to what few certainties he feels are left in the world.  And he’s just had his eyes opened through the death of his youngest daughter.  And I have a feeling, or at least I have a hope, that Cora won’t continue to sit idly by and let her husband run the show.  It’s time for change to come to Downton.

What an episode!  It certainly made up for the somewhat lackluster start of the season.  What did you all think?

Missed an episode?  Read my episode 1, episode 2, and episode 3 recaps.

9 Comments

Filed under Downton Abbey, Period Pieces

Downton Abbey Season 3, ep. 2 recap

Well, that was interesting.  I’ve got some mixed emotions about last night’s episode–some parts were excellent, other parts contrived and eye-roll-able.  Let’s just get right to it, shall we?

Warning: Spoilers for episode 2 ahead!

Preparing for wedding

Upstairs the house is preparing for another wedding, this time for neglected middle child Lady Edith.  But everyone seems more concerned with the inevitable selling of Downton Abbey and the move to what Cora has termed “Downton Place” (which sounds like a great name for a soap opera, which this episode took plot cues from at points).  Matthew is still being badgered by Mary to accept Reggie Swire’s money and save the estate so the family is not forced to move into….a gorgeous country home with accompanying village that they own…?

Downton Place

Certainly it is no Downton Abbey.  And I can understand Mary not wanting to leave the home she grew up in, one that’s been in her family for generations.  But is it really worth putting your newly wed husband in guilt-ridden agony for months on end by constantly harping about the money?

Matthew

Yes, please, let’s talk about Reggie Swire and my guilt over Lavinia’s death. AGAIN.

On the day of the picnic at “Downton Place” Matthew receives a letter from the deceased Reggie Swire, which he refuses to read, much to flabbergasted Mary’s irritation.

Side note: This was my favorite "Mary outfit" this episode.

Side note: This was my favorite “Mary outfit” this episode.

So Mary takes it upon herself to read the letter, much to flabbergasted Matthew’s irritation.  And this is where my eye-rolling commenced–Reggie Swire’s letter reveals that Lavinia, on her deathbed (though I suppose she didn’t know it at the time) wrote her father a letter about calling off the wedding and Matthew’s chivalrous “I’m going to marry you anyway” attitude.  But wait, no one saw Lavinia write such a letter, or saw it leave the house (and for that matter–where did Lavinia get the paper and pen to write it if she was lying in bed the whole time?).  So Matthew accuses his wife of forgery–which to be honest, I wouldn’t put past Mary at this point in her desperation to stay at Downton.  He takes back his accusation, but doesn’t believe the letter’s legitimate.  But if it is real, it relieves Matthew of all guilt, regret, etc. in one tidy little note.  Why, what a handy, convenient little plot device!  First thing next morning Mary goes downstairs, her hair undone in her haste, to learn that Daisy was the one who posted the letter.  And in one fell swoop guilt is swept away and Downton Abbey is saved!  Good thing Daisy’s own moral dilemma over marrying William didn’t cause her to forget to post the letter.

Daisy saves the day.

Daisy saves the day.

So now that’s settled, it’s time for Edith’s wedding.  At least Matthew is kind enough to ask Mary to wait until after the wedding to inform dear Papa that he doesn’t have to move, so as not to steal Edith’s thunder.  Because you know Mary would have.

Edith's wedding gown

Despite countless efforts to convince her otherwise, Edith is prepared to walk down the aisle and give her life to taking care of an older man with a lame arm.  And boy does that get hammered home about a thousand times in this episode.  It’s featured in every discussion between Lady Violet and Lord Robert, and every conversation between Sir Anthony and Edith.  So I guess we should have been prepared for what would happen next.

Edith & Sir Anthony

Poor Edith!  Her very happy day, the one that was supposed to be all about her, turns into a train wreck as soon as she arrives at the altar and Sir Anthony stops the proceedings by announcing he cannot marry her.  In front of everyone.  And to make matters worse, Edith drags the scene out by begging him not to leave her.  Granny has to step in and tell her to let him go, which he promptly does.  I know Sir Anthony did it because he loves Edith and did not want her to end up spending her life with a man she’d have to take care of, but he really picked a bad time to finally make his mind up about it.

Edith

But, I will say that while I wanted Edith to win the day and get her man despite what everyone else said, this gives us a chance to see a potentially more fleshed out character.  Laura Carmichael’s performance as the jilted bride was fantastic.  And now, instead of having all three Crawley sisters settled down into married life, we have one whose character arc could go in any number of directions.  So here’s hoping Edith picks herself up and finds a less traditional path for her life.

Matthew delivers the good news to Robert.

Matthew delivers the good news to Robert.

And just in case we weren’t positive that Edith doesn’t matter that much, we’ve got a scene where Lord Robert quickly dismisses Edith’s broken heart with a “she’ll get over it” and then is overjoyed to learn his son-in-law, thanks to his newly unburdened conscience, has saved the day, and in his thanks makes him a partner in the estate.

Mrs. Hughes smiling at Mr. Carson's serenade to the silver.

Mrs. Hughes smiling at Mr. Carson’s serenade to the silver.

The downstairs stories felt a bit weak to me this episode compared to the altar jilting happening upstairs.  We continued to bite our nails over the diagnosis of Mrs. Hughes.  Lady Cora (who finds out from Carson, who finds out from Mrs. Patmore, who apparently can’t keep a secret for a gold clock) tells Mrs. Hughes she knows about her health, and wants her to know she’ll always have a home at Downton.  A very touching moment, and it seemed to make Mrs. Hughes feel a bit closer to the family, as illustrated when she allows Alfred to talk badly about Sir Anthony for leaving Lady Edith at the altar.  In the end, it looks like the scare was for nothing, as the results indicate a benign tumor.  As Mrs. Patmore tells Carson everything is okay, I kept waiting for Mrs. Hughes’s relieved face to droop as if she were putting on a brave face and not telling the truth about her diagnosis.  But it never happened, so perhaps the health scare was just another minor plot point to pull us along for a few episodes before wrapping up neatly.

Cora & O'Brien

Cora under the misimpression that O’Brien will be leaving her.

Elsewhere we’ve got O’Brien and Thomas playing a slow, vindictive game of tennis.  Last week Thomas made trouble for Alfred (and therefore O’Brien), and then O’Brien retaliated by taking Lord Robert’s shirts.  In this episode Thomas starts a rumor that O’Brien is leaving, catching poor Molesley in the middle.  And now the ball is in O’Brien’s court–so what’s she going to serve Thomas with next week?

Bates finding the contraband his cell mate planted.

Bates finding the contraband his cell mate planted.

And then we’ve got the ongoing Anna & Bates saga.  Bates’s cell mate is out to get him for unexplained reasons, but Bates receives a tip off from someone on his side, which allows him to hide some contraband the cell mate has planted before the jail wardens raid the room.  Anna continues to devote every spare moment to freeing her husband, this time interviewing a friend of Vera’s who lived nearby.  If you’re playing “collect the clues,” we know that Vera ate an arsenic-laced pie.  The neighbor indicated that Vera made the pie the afternoon before she was found dead, and when she came to visit her she noticed that Vera was scrubbing under her fingernails like mad–my guess would be to make sure there were no traces of arsenic that would lead anyone to suspect she had put it in the pie.

Ethel and Isobel
Ethel appears again in this episode to say the same line over and over: “I shouldn’t have come.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I was done with Ethel last season, so why do we have to keep picking at this thread?  Yes, I get that we’re trying to show the gritty, not so pretty side of life after the war, and Ethel represents that.  But I’ve just never cared much about Ethel for some reason.  However, Cousin Isobel seems dead set on helping her, and my guess is she’s going to wriggle her way into Ethel’s life whether she wants it or not.

Daisy, besides informing Lady Mary that she posted the letter for Miss Swire, didn’t have much of a role this week, except to ask Anna if perhaps she should speak her mind more like the American girls.  She also seems to have her eye on Alfred.  I’d like to see an outspoken Daisy, maybe it’ll spice things up downstairs a little bit.  Because, for me at least, this back and forth between O’Brien and Thomas just isn’t cutting it.

Sybil and Edith

Just a few final thoughts–give me more Sybil and Tom!  They were barely in this episode, but I loved Sybil’s saucy little comment to Edith about not sleeping on her wedding night.  And Tom was in black tie!  But I thought he’d never buy such frivolous clothes–what made him change his mind?  And why wasn’t he more outspoken about the family having to potentially downsize to a house that has its own village attached to it?  Maybe he’s trying to play nice for his wife’s sake?  It looks like next week’s episode is going to feature the couple more prominently (and Tom leaves his pregnant wife behind in Dublin because he’s on the run?  What on earth will Granny have to say about that?).

I hope now that the ghost of Lavinia has been laid to rest we can see more cheerful moments between Matthew and Mary.  Yes, I know they’re going to bicker and squabble, but they’re newlyweds.  Surely the honeymoon period hasn’t ended already.  Give us some more light-hearted “proposal in the snow” type moments!

And even though the day ended in heartbreak, Lady Edith’s dress was stunning and in my opinion trumped Lady Mary’s.  I think the very simple gown Lady Mary wore fit her pragmatic personality, but Lady Edith’s dress with the detail work on it was just gorgeous.  So even though she didn’t actually get a husband on her wedding day, maybe Edith can take solace in knowing that her dress was prettier than Mary’s?  Maybe?

Finally, I know that Downton Abbey has soap opera tendencies (like last season’s misdiagnosis that allowed for Matthew’s miraculous spinal recovery), but I really hope we don’t have too many more all-too-convenient plot devices that allow for difficult situations to be easily fixed.  That letter from Reggie Swire still bugs me.

All right everyone, now it’s your turn!  What were your thought’s about episode 2?

Miss the premiere of season 3?  Read my recap.

10 Comments

Filed under Downton Abbey, Period Pieces

First ten minutes of Downton!

Mary and Matthew discuss their future home.

Mary and Matthew discuss their future home.

So PBS & Masterpiece gave a wonderful late Christmas present yesterday by presenting the first ten minutes of Downton Abbey season 3.  It had some trouble loading for a lot of people, but I’ve had better luck getting it off the PBS Facebook page than Masterpiece’s.  Here’s the link: Downton Abbey Season 3 Sneak Peek

Warning: spoilers ahead if you don’t want to watch the first ten minutes and be completely surprised when the season premieres Jan. 6.

Anna gives Bates a list of names she found while cleaning out his and Vera's apartment.

Anna gives Bates a list of names she found while cleaning out his and Vera’s apartment.

The first ten minutes are chock full of drama both upstairs and down, and if it’s any indication as to how season 3 is going to go, it seems very promising.  The focus appears to return to the house and the people who live in it and the people who help run it.  We’ve got a debate about lending Lady Sybil and Branson money to attend Lady Mary’s wedding, something Lord Robert staunchly protests (unlike other family members, he feels town gossip will be less if they stay away).  We’ve got Lady Mary and Matthew debating where to live after the honeymoon (with talk of taking Mary to bed, oh my! Scandalous).  We’ve got Lord Robert losing Lady Cora’s fortune in a very bad deal with a Canadian railway (apparently he was never taught to diversify his portfolio), thus threatening the entire future of the estate.  We’ve got O’Brien bypassing Carson and using her influence over her ladyship to bring on her nephew as a new footman.  And we’ve got Anna discovering some new evidence that might help clear her husband’s good name.  All in the first ten minutes!  A fantastic set up to the conflicts that will play out in the third season.

Carson, upset O'Brien bypassed him to get her nephew hired as footman, declares Alfred is too tall for the position.

Carson, upset O’Brien bypassed him to get her nephew hired as footman, declares Alfred is too tall for the position.

Has anyone else watched the preview?  What do you think?  Are we in for a great season of Downton?

1 Comment

Filed under Downton Abbey, Period Pieces