Previously on Downton Abbey: Anna decided the best way to deal with Bates was to treat him like shit, Mary turned down a marriage proposal, Cora got another ladies’ maid, courtesy of Thomas, and Alfred got a chance to maybe train at the Ritz.
Poor Bates emerges from his cottage, alone, and walks up to the house, where Anna stands in her room, alone, and applies some cover-up to her still bruised eye. She comes downstairs and finds Bates waiting at the base of the stairs. A little meanly, she tells him she doesn’t know why he always waits for her. Because you’re his wife and this is the only way he gets to see you now, Anna? He calmly replies that he wants to be the first to greet her. She says there’s no need and he says he’s going to keep this up until she explains what the hell happened between them. Reasonable enough. A dark-haired woman interrupts and is greeted as Miss Baxter. Presumably she’s Cora’s new maid. She asks about a sewing machine, and after she leaves, Bates asks Anna what she makes of the woman. Anna thinks she’s nice enough, and Bates wonders why she’s friends with Thomas, if she’s so nice.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: A Decent Man”
Previously on Downton Abbey: The Crawleys hosted a house party, Tom felt like a fish out of water, Isobel disapproved of joy, Mary got a maybe crush, Michael literally bought Robert’s love, and that thing of which we shall not speak happened to Anna.
Speaking of Anna, we start off with her right away, managing her stress by treating her husband like shit. Poor Bates asks her if he’s done something wrong and she briskly says no, she just really wanted to get Mary’s shoes polished, which is why she left their home that morning without waiting for him and now won’t make eye contact. She heads into the servant’s hall and Thomas asks about the black eye. She lies that she fell, and she can barely sit for more than two minutes before popping back up and rushing upstairs. Bates quietly asks Hughes if she knows anything here, because he’s not an idiot, but Hughes is like, ‘strange behaviour? What strange behaviour? I see nothing here!’ Poor Bates. She rushes off and Thomas asks what’s up with everyone. Carson says there’s something not quite on about high spirits at breakfast, so apparently he’s pleased to see multiple members of staff in distress instead of smiling.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: Are You Ok?”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary started to get some schooling on estate matters, Edith invited her boyfriend for a weekend house party, and Rose got a crush on a gardener.
Party time! You know, I’m surprised that Downton waited this long to have a house party episode. These sorts of events are great for drama, and if Gosford Park showed us anything, it’s that Fellowes is pretty good at writing these types of scenarios. I’m hoping this episode has rather better pacing than the last two.
Guests are arriving by the carload, and what lovely cars they are. Belowstairs, things are buzzing. One of the valets—belonging to Lord Gillingham—flirts with Anna.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: A Little Night Music”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Mary’s grief threatened to swallow up the whole place, so it’s no wonder O’Brien took to her heels and Edith took every opportunity to rush down to London to look amazing and party with the literati. Hughes and Rose meddled in things that didn’t really concern them, bringing back two characters nobody missed at all, and Thomas got the randomly racist nanny fired.
Oh, look at that, the title sequence is back. Guess Mary really has started to shake off the gloom.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: Letters from Beyond the Grave”
To borrow from the great Oscar Wilde, to lose one heir is unfortunate; to lose two seems like carelessness. And if we know anything about the master of Downton Abbey, it’s that he’s pretty careless.
Yes, we’re back at Downton Abbey, six months after Matthew’s death, and the place is literally enveloped in gloom. We don’t even get our usual sunny opening titles. It’s late at night, and a baby’s crying while Mary lies in bed, blinking at the ceiling. Elsewhere, someone sneaks down the servants’ stairs and into the misty morning. It feels a bit like we’re watching a Halloween special all of a sudden.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: Moving On”
I’m not going to beat about the bush here: this sucked. This sucked so badly I actually found myself apologizing to my family for making them watch it. And just to be clear, I’m not saying that because of what happens at the end. I hated that for other reasons than you probably think.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: ‘Ship Wreck”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Ethel caused a scandal by existing, things got super awkward between Thomas and Jimmy, Edith became a journalist, and Tom was given a job he was wildly underqualified for.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: That’s Not Cricket”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Bates was proven innocent, and because the wheels of justice are really well oiled on this show, he was declared a free man in about ten minutes. Robert popped his already stuffed shirt at the thought of Ethel serving lunch to the ladies of his family and Branson threw oil right on that fire by telling him Baby Sybil would be christened Catholic. And Matthew jumped in by having the temerity to suggest the estate not be run quite so idiotically.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: Move Along”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Sybil died giving birth to a daughter and Matthew decided it was a good idea for someone with a functional brain to start running Downton.
Mourners depart Downton after the funeral and Robert slowly goes back inside, where Matthew’s offering poor, shattered Tom any help he can offer. I’ve been rather hard on this character (and for good reason), but I do rather like the actor, and he’s really selling this shell-shocked horror and emptiness that someone in that position must be feeling. Robert comes in and tells Cora the guests were looking for her to say goodbye and she rather petulantly says she was right there, in the sitting room. We can see that, Cora. I realise you’re in hate with your husband right now, but there’s no reason to take that out on the guests. Sensing the awkwardness, Isobel says her goodbyes and departs, accompanied by Violet. Robert invites them to stay for dinner but Violet demurs, saying that grief makes one so very tired. She looks like she’s aged a decade. She kisses Cora on the cheek and urges her to try to get some rest now that it’s over. Cora doesn’t think it’s ever really ‘over.’
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: The God Question”
Previously on Downton Abbey: Branson got himself kicked out of Ireland, Edith found a new vocation, Ethel was looked down upon and gave up her child, and a handsome new footman arrived, to Thomas’s delight.
Late at night, Clarkson arrives to check on Sybil, whose been experiencing pains a bit early. Clarkson reassures her that everything is all right, and then goes out into the hallway to reassure the menfolk of the same. Branson is rather adorably relieved. Clarkson tells them the birth is imminent, though, and Robert tells him that another doctor will be arriving the next day. “If you think it advisable,” says Clarkson, in a tone that says he certainly does not. Well, Clarkson, considering your medical track record, yes, I think I’d call for competent backup too.
Continue reading “Downton Abbey: So…Yeah”