Downton, Three: Let’s Do This.

First off, I’d like to start this post by saying I just sent one of my boys back to his room because he came downstairs all grumpy-gills this morning and I wasn’t having it. The sun is out, we don’t have school. There’s nothing to be sad about so come back down when you’ve snapped out of it. I don’t even know why I admitted that except to say: that’s how things are right now. UPDATE: he just came back downstairs ten minutes later in a totally happy mood. I highly recommend this method. Will be sure to use again if necessary.

Also, Isabel and I were a touch under the weather Saturday and I ended up watching THREE Hallmark movies in a row, each one progressively sappier (slash worse) than the one before. But I can’t quit you, Hallmark movies. You are so great. I don’t care that I can see the pretty packaged ending coming from three miles away. I’ll take it.

We were supposed to go to more basketball games Saturday afternoon (after being at the gym from 5-9:30 the night before) (I know you love how I keep track of all my hours in the Angeldome, like I’m getting paid to be there…) (which I am not). But I woke up Saturday and took Augie to HIS game, at a different gym across town and by the time I got home, with a few hours before our next four-hour stint at another gym, I just wasn’t feeling it. At all. And the fact that (as my mom pointed out) I could sit still and in one place for that many hours of Hallmark television just proves that my body was fighting a little something. I went to bed Saturday night and woke up feeling great Sunday.

sheenazingALSO (I promise I’m done with the play-by-plays) I am SO HONORED to be nominated for an award over at sweet Bonnie’s blog…if you want to vote for me that would be awesome. Because if I win my category that would literally make me the Coolest Blogger! Can you imagine. Thanks to the kind soul who nominated me, I really am honored.

So let’s talk Downton!

Well, for starters, I really enjoyed the show that came on AFTER Downton last night, Grantchester, about a mystery-solving Vicar. As one of my dear friends said, when I asked if he caught Grantchester, “Downton Abby draws the plots out so slow – this show rapidly hurled along and had resolution by the end!”

His is a valid point and one that forces me (again) to admit that Downton is a soap opera. And if it wasn’t before, that’s what it has turned into.

sad downton

So many plot lines, where to begin?

1. Well, whadya know, Mary’s week in Liverpool didn’t work out like she hoped. Of course, I suppose the lesson we are to learn is good for her for taking a lover and figuring it all out, otherwise she would have waited and been stuck in a boring, loveless marriage until the end of time…wha? I’m confused but, okay. A week of fun with a man you were previously attracted to results in you realizing y’all aren’t actually compatible? Why didn’t his boring personality surface before?


2. Edith! The story keeps getting worse. I hope, as the previews are teasing me, that she is honest with someone about this situation before things get any more heartbreaking. And I felt such complicated feelings as the other two toddlers were paraded in for tea, that Edith is also a single parent, just like Tom and Mary, but not free to offer her child the life she would otherwise have.

In moments like this on the show, I often wonder what the little “lesson” is that we, the viewer, are getting. Is the lesson here that social norms and constraints kept women like Edith from having the love and joy they deserved? I’m starting to see (as one dear reader commented last week) that there is no new sin under the sun, just people’s willingness to discuss it.

Would Edith have been spared if she lived in a time where she was allowed to just live her life and not have secrets? She could claim her baby as her own and be a single parent — just like her sister and brother-in-law.

3. Speaking of secrets, I’m so confused about Anna keeping things from Mr. Bates. I can’t imagine that if two servants were married they wouldn’t just share everything with each other. And Bates the character has taken such a backseat this season. I was just remembering the days when he was IT, THE SHOW. But I guess they played out that storyline and we were all ready to move on.

4. “Granny has a past…” This will be an interesting storyline. But don’t you love how the Dowager wasn’t ready to just dive back in to old times with the prince? Propriety and all that.

5. Cora was the star of the show last night, in my opinion. First off, I always love her clothes the best. Does that make me old? I’m just always drawn to the fabrics, colors and necklines of her wardrobe. The orange wrap she wore to get ready for bed one evening was perfection.

I was a little intrigued that she hasn’t caught on to the flirtatious ways of the art critic (who, interestingly, played a servant in Gosford Park, so that was a little distracting). Maybe Cora is so accustomed to not being the center of attention that she didn’t realize what was going on. And Lord Grantham was just being protective, I think. He came off as a jerk but really he didn’t like his wife being out with another man. That’s fair, I think.

6. Poor Spratt, the Dowagers servant. Does he think he’s crazy? He knows what he saw, but Violet was so quick with an explanation. But of course, we knew Mary’s secret trip would come to light, and he was the character for the job.

7. “You have to take control of feelings before they take control of you.” Sage advice! And I love Mary’s love for Tom. I love that they have each other as a sounding board and how their friendship has grown. It’s very endearing.

mary tom

Line of the night: when Violet refers to Isobel’s friend as “your aging Romeo.” So great.

What did I miss?


  1. The Edith story line is breaking my heart. Poor Edith can’t catch a break in any aspect of her life, and I would like to see something good happen to her that doesn’t then turn bad. And the dowager was a hoot last night, as always. And I can’t stand Rose – she drives me insane. I sometimes just tune out the show when she’s talking – she’s so vapid and self-involved.

  2. Rose is odious. I agree!

    And the secrets all these married folks kept from each other is indeed disturbing. But I’m going to love the Dowager this season. (as if I didn’t already adore her).

    And aren’t Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes endearing> That’s my favorite so far.

  3. Michael-Ann says:

    I loved the Dowager’s line : ‘In my day a lady was incapable of feeling physical attraction until she had been instructed to do so by her mama.’ She obviously didn’t follow this. Maybe that is why her granddaughters have been so scandalous. Just a thought.

  4. Well . . . Not to get all Hallmark-y on you, but what about Tom and Mary getting together?

    They sure wouldn’t bore each other! And they’ve both been through the sudden loss of a beloved spouse — and they have a good rapport and are genuinely fond of each other . . . Think about it . . .

  5. I loved when Mrs. Hughes mentioned that the visiting Russians were getting very emotional while viewing the artifacts. Definitely a profound contrast to the usual display (or lack thereof) of emotions in Downton.

    Poor Mr. Gillingham! I didn’t particularly care for his character to start with. Any romance between him and Mary didn’t seem believable. But, I honestly thought HE was the one who’d end up doing the dumping & not the other way around. That was an interesting little twist they threw in there.

    What’s going to happen with Thomas? It seems like something more is going on than him going to visit his supposedly dying father, only for his father to take a turn for the better & Thomas deciding to take a week’s vacation. Something’s a brewing I tell you.

    And, I’m SO glad Baxter finally came clean with the rest of her story to Cora. Now, will she also share the rest with Mosley? And, what was happening in that preview for next week with Baxter & Mosley. There seemed to be some sort of mental breakdown happening.

    • Weren’t Mary and Tony children together? a)She should have known a lot about him b) Maybe she was trying to play it safe with the second marriage but moved on from that, maybe surprising herself.

  6. Oh & WHAT in the world with that schoolteacher lady???? Forgetting her name at the moment. Good golly. She keeps showing up & saying something inappropriate every single time! She made an elderly Russian man cry for crying out loud. You could at least see Rose hesitating before inviting her this time. She seemed to feel obligated to do so.

    But, Cora’s ability to diffuse an explosive situation is exceptional. I’ve often thought Cora to be a bit dimwitted. But, I will say this about her. I think she is genuine. And, she is talented at making the best of awful situations. And, I’m starting to wonder if she’s not as dimwitted as I first thought.

  7. Is it odd that I want Tom and Mary to fall in love? Probably.

  8. I like how we saw Cora express vulnerability tonight and I liked hearing her reminisce about arriving in England as a young woman. Goodness, what a culture shock that must have been! ….

    Lord G’s comment to the effect that she had no opinion worth hearing was not at all cool. I am starting to like him less and less as the seasons go on. I think they are showing him feeling panicky about all the changes in the world he’s always known, and his response is to retreat even more into his “I’m the boss” attitude. Not good, Lord G! Even a lord should be a little humble.

    I realllllly hope Edith comes clean about her daughter. The ramifications would be huge, but at least the truth would be out.

    Does anyone else think that the footman from Baxter’s past will be showing up at Downton one of these days? Probably with Thomas? That would be fascinating.

  9. I am becoming increasingly annoyed at the slow pace of story development and the re-hashing of old story lines. Couldn’t Mr. Fellowes come up with something new and interesting for Anna and Bates? Thomas? Edith? Do we really need 3 episodes of Edith imposing on the foster parents? MOVE IT ALONG ALREADY! I do not see one iota of attraction between Branson and the teacher. That “love interest” is completely unbelievable. Does Mary have any emotion other than disdain?

    Still watching, but not sure I’ll sign up for season 6 unless it’s a lot more fun.

  10. Tom is my favorite character and it is killing me that they keep giving him the same lines and scenes.

    I’m thinking – what about him and Edith? What if they run away with their little ones to America to start over?! idk. It was weird that the mom at the farm FREAKED OUT when she couldn’t find Edith and the little girl. Is this a foreshadowing.

    Cora – so classy. So so classy. Love her and loved this episode where they showed more of her.