Downton on Parade

john bates

What a great week on Downton! I cried twice. At least. But who’s counting?

I’m always tempted to give a play-by-play rundown here but those reading already know what happened.

But briefly (my husband and boys missed this week because they were Sunday night hooping it up):

Lord Grantham still in U.S. Bates getting warmer with figuring out who done it. Baxter still sewing. Anna tells the truth and now we are getting somewhere! Rose is getting engaged oh no she dint. Edith is going on a Swiss vacation. Granny is nobody’s fool and I love her for that. Mary is about to witness a serious tho-down between two equally awesome men who seem willing to fight for her affection. Love may or may not be in the air for Mrs. Crawley. Flowers!

Let’s discuss:

1. First off: are you Team Gillingham or Team Blake? Can we weigh the pros and cons? I’m really asking. Both men seem so wonderful. But would Mary be happier with someone like Lord Gillingham, who is used to her lifestyle and world view. Maybe things are changing so much during this time in history that it wouldn’t really matter.

2. Which leads me to Tom. I just want the school teacher to go away. Do I say that every week about whomever is carrying the torch? The thing is this: if Tom married a commoner then it’s really going to complicate things for the family. How can he stay connected? And also, all these women fawning all over him makes me so uncomfortable. He needs a beautiful respectable lady who won’t make him feel further distanced from his in-laws. By which I mean: marry up. Again.

3. I wonder if Baxter’s sewing machine is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild. It gets as much air-time as many of the servants. What is Baxter sewing, sewing, sewing all the time?

4. Going back to last week’s episode: Mr. Blake and Mary and the pigs. Thoughts on this as follows: jumping. the. shark. I just didn’t see that as part of Mary’s personality. Does Mr. Blake really bring out the FUN like that? If so, then Mary should welcome his advances. That is a side of Mary we have never seen, but also reminded me a little of who she was a billion years ago in Season One, Life with Pamuk.

5. Babies! The babies came into the library and my goodness they can clear out a room. Too funny. Nobody wants cry babies at their afternoon tea. But it was very sweet how Mr. Blake held baby Matthew. Let’s read volumes into that moment of action and dialogue: Mr. Blake can handle holding a baby. Marry him now!

6. Mr. Green is going down. That’s what I had in my notes. Little did I know… Of course Mr. Bates did it. Right? But I do appreciate that he doesn’t officially know from Anna so maybe we can hold onto hope that we won’t be forced to watch him suffering in prison again. Just let the Bates’ live in marital servant bliss.

7. Ivy. Daisy. Alfred. MRS PATTMORE. Oh that moment between Daisy and Mrs. Pattmore. I’m getting misty eyed remembering it. What a beautiful thing for Daisy to face her fear — her fear of rejection, her fear of loss. The only way around it is through it, my momma always says. And it was so true for Daisy. She found peace in wishing Alfred the best and she knew in that moment she was going to be okay. So  much better to release the feelings than try to stuff them down and pretend they aren’t there. And Mrs. Pattmore’s pride in Daisy was so dear.

8. Mary and Edith’s sisterly relationship makes me so sad. I know it’s always been bad but I’d kind of forgotten. Mostly because they are rarely in the same scene. Last night at one point Edith was getting her plans figured out and Mary walked in and I had this moment where I thought “Edith can confide in her sister” and…nothing. Her sister should be her greatest ally! They need each other.

9. Another moment of truth was Mr. Molesley telling Baxter no one likes Barrow,  just so you know. It was so refreshing. I felt like this episode had several examples of this, sort of outing the secrets and getting things into the light.

10. And yet! Discretion. It’s so inspiring. I loved that Tom was willing to Mary the facts and he was quick to leave after that. No sitting around hashing it out. Here is what I know and it’s the information you need to deal with this situation.

11. Rose is such a pill. Using that singer to agitate her mother. Thankfully everyone is in on the secret.

12. Cora’s clothes. I want her entire wardrobe.

13. I’ve decided the Balducci boys will all stand when a lady rises from her seat at the table or the front room. Training starts…now!

14. Favorite lines of the night:

“Oh golly.” This is going to be my new cuss phrase.

“I don’t believe in types. I believe in people.” Tom! You are so good.

“I’m not used to feeling lucky.” Mr. Molesley, we are rooting for YOU.

“This is very reckless.” Another phrase I’m going to incorporate in dealing with the boys.

15. And of course, beyond all this awesome, the highlight of the episode was Lord Grantham returning and the sweet embrace between he and his bride. So very beautiful indeed.


  1. Great recap! I agree with you on all points, even misty eyed memory of Mrs. Pattmore’s pride.
    Team Blake. For the win! Mary consulting him about her suspissions on Mr. Green’s “accident” tells her feelings and admiration. Also her beaming face when he was holding her baby! I wished the baby would have instantly calmed down when he held him to cinch it.

  2. I said on FB last night that if all of Downton Abbey were just a series of scenes with The Dowager Countess, I could die happy. I’m fairly sure that her facial expressions ARE a member of the SAG

  3. It has been a FABULOUS two weeks of DA, agreed. I feel like the characters have shown so much depth these last two episodes (Rose excepted).

    One thing that bugs me: Cora seems so oblivious to the fact that Edith is suffering with a huge secret. Where is that mother’s intuition? How does Granny get it and Mom doesn’t?

    I’m totally on Team Blake. Love how he wanted to hold the baby. I also think it’s good when a man challenges you a little.

    Your #13 cracked me up because I just blogged something to that effect — I was writing about period dramas and the women who love them (like me), and how they inspire me to mold my two boys into perfect little gents. They won’t grow up with their own valet, but at least they can grow up with manners, by gum!

    Loved Tom’s line about believing in people. He’s turning into one of my faves. Also intrigued by the hint of romance between that sad-faced thin Lord something-or-other and Mrs. Crawley. Hmmm…..

  4. Totally agree on Cora’s clothes, Mrs. Pattmore, and the sewing machine.

    I like Baxter and hope she stands strong in the face of Thomas’ machinations. The best part of last night was that he wasn’t in the episode until the last five minutes.

    My biggest disappointment is in Cora. Can a daughter living under your own roof be in the crisis of her life and you remain wholly unaware of it, preoccupied, as your are, with the darn bazaar? As the mother of a daughter, maybe I don’t want a truthful answer to that question. But, really, can’t she plop down on Edith’s bed and ask, “How are you? How are you coping with Michael’s disappearance?” But, no, it’s all “Oh, Edith’s going to Switzerland! What a surprise!”

  5. Love your recap, I too noticed how all the men scrambled to their feet when Edith got up from the table (while Rose just sat there and continued eating). Also how everyone abandoned ship when the babies came into the room. I think Edith’s aunt is brilliant for coming up with the new plan and props to Granny for figuring it out so quickly, although she didn’t clue in until her own daughter got involved. So it seems she knows her own daughter inside and out and knew she was plotting something. Last episode, I loved how Edith chose to go the pro-life route and how her aunt was trying to talk her out of it the whole way. I think I’m going with Team Blake, for now, and I’m kind of liking the new Tom romance (at least it keeps him at Downton and not shipping off to the states).

  6. So, so much to say, too! 😉 Okay, first off, I want to know what Thomas has on Baxter and how he got her the position– it seems he “owns” her, and he needs her to keep an eye on the people upstairs for him. Slimey.

    Tom, Tom, Tom. He’s come a long way. I love how he’s really not digging the new chick. She’s all about “doggin’ on the man” but it turns out “the man” is a lovely family who has been really good to Tom, and he’s not too pleased with her on that. Go Tom.

    Wow. Bates. I think he “took care of a situation” in a nice and tidy way and that’s the end of it. The Catholic in me hates what he did, but on a visceral level– swoon.

    I actually LOVED this line from last week’s episode: “Shall I call the pig-man?” If I had a dollar for every time I said that…. 😉

  7. I completely blew past the recap, b/c I’ll watch this Friday with the Hubs….but so hoping Mr. Green gets his. Is that wrong???? On another note, in a Downton “Quiz” that’s all the rage these days on the FB…apparently I am Mr. Bates….interesting! Will be back to read the recap on Saturday!!

  8. Team Blake all the way. Mary has come so far as a woman since the first season, but he brings back just a little of the fun in her. I can’t stand the other guy! And yes, go away annoying teacher lady!!!!

  9. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary says

    I am actually on Team Tony….for now. I just don’t feel like I know Charlie enough. One scene with the pigs but nothing after that. And hello, Tony is so so handsome. Almost as handsome as Tom. Who is too good for the school teacher and I’m glad he’s standing up for the family.

  10. My sister in law raved about this show telling me she thought my daughters and I would love it. One time when we were at her house one of the episodes was on and one of my daughters was there with us and we settled in to watch. It was fine and then there was a scene with two men together kissing etc., is that type of scene rare? Because I’m constantly hearing about how morally good the show is and wonder if I just caught the wrong episode.