Monday, February 20, 2012

Downton Abbey: Christmas in February

Doesn't have quite the same ring as Christmas in July, but we take what we can get on this side of the pond. By the by, I've noticed some DA backlash on the Interwebs lately, so let me just say, I'm still a true believer. Slamming Downton because it has soap operatic elements (Matthew's miraculous healing, everyone keeling over from the Spanish Flu during one dinner party) seems to be a way of re-establishing the sort of high art/low dichotomous hierarchy (either of art, or of class) that the show's premise and plots are committed to blurring, and ultimately, obliterating. My piece being said, on to the merry recap!

The Twilight Saga: Matthew and Richard. The two spend most of the first half of the episode snapping at each other over Lady Mary. Richard is jealous and irritating, and Matthew, though still annoyingly guilt-ridden over St. Lavinia, doesn't want the woman he still loves anywhere near vile Richard. It even erupts into a thoroughly enjoyable upper-class fistfight between two men who have no idea how to throw a punch.

Don't close your eyes, darling.

Mary also finally discloses the details of the unfortunate Mr. Pamouk's death to Mattie, and it's worth it just to see his baby blues bug out at the word "lust."

Hit the road, Jack. Or vile Richard, as the case may be. When Cora lets the Turkish delight story out of the bag to Robert, he nonetheless gives Mary his permission (and practically his demand) that she cut the cad loose. The Dowager Countess has never been so happy!

She loathes him.

Her line of the night: "Life is a game in which the player is made to feel ridiculous," was aimed right at him.

Mary makes plans to flee to America to spend time with her must-be-less-awesome-by-comparison grandmother to ride out the scandal vile Richard promises to deliver.

Law and Order: York. Batesie's murder trial is consuming the hearts and minds of most of the household during this episode. Mrs. Hughes, Odious O'Brien, and His Lordship are all called as witnesses . . . for the prosecution. Seems they all overheard Bates making threats and/or infelicitous remarks about his wife in the days leading up to her untimely demise. In the absence of any other suspects, Bates gets sentenced . . . to death! Nooooo!!

I told you to stop talking!

Don't mess with Isis. Meanwhile, Thomas the snake, smelling an opportunity, tries to ingratiate himself with Lord Robert and slide into Bates's vacant valet position. When O'Brien suggests hiding something of the Earl's and then returning it to him, Thomas's eye lands on . . . Isis! He locks her up on the estate, and totally bungles the rescue. Luckily, Isis is safely returned, because I never would have been able to forgive him if anything had happened to the dog.

The only face of which I'm more fond than this one . . .

is this one.

WTF, show! As it turns out, Brybil's wedding took place in Dublin off-stage! Unjust! And Sybil is also pregnant, prompting Cora to urge Robert to thaw relations between the family and their black sheep. Also, Edith's old boyfriend is back. Whatevs.

Paranormal activity. They've got an effing ouija board downstairs. Mrs. Patmore, who has about had it with Daisy's refusal to spend time with her father-in-law, takes a seat and quite unconvincingly fakes a message from William which sends Daisy to the family farm. William's father as good as adopts her, and gives her the courage and confidence to ask for more responsibilities in the kitchen. It's sweet.

It's a Festivus miracle! part 1. Thanks to the best lawyering old money can buy, Batesie's sentence is commuted to life in prison! Huzzah? At the very least, it buys them more time to find the real killer (perhaps they should ask OJ to help?) and convinces Anna to stay at Downton rather than travel to America with Mary.

It's a Festivus miracle! part 2. At the servant's ball,

which is basically fanfic come to life,

Matthew, after some straight talk from Isobel, realizes that it's RIDICULOUS not to act on his feelings for Mary just because St. Lavinia died from the Spanish Flu. In a scene I desperately needed, he proposes, on one knee, basically in a snow globe.


In a bit of a cheesy turn, Anna and Daisy had just received a ouija-gram from a spirit in the house that a couple that truly loved each other should be happy.

I choose to believe the message came from Mr. Pamouk.

All in all, I was utterly satisfied. I'm certain that series 3 will bring more obstacles that keep Matthew and Mary apart, but for now, I'm enjoying the moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment