Monday, February 13, 2012

Downton Abbey: In Sickness and In Health, Part 1

Forgive the "part 1." I watched Breaking Dawn: Part One this weekend, and can't break the habit. But the two-hour penultimate episode of series 2 deserves some fanfare, yes? On to the goings on in hour one. It's 1919 and the division between upstairs and down has never been more fubar.

Spoiler free thumbnail.

Who let Oral Roberts in the building?
Well, I suppose we should have all seen this coming. Matthew's "permanent paralysis" ended up being, well, neither. All it took was a fumbled tea tray to get Old Blue Eyes up and walking.

This scene made my cousin laugh out loud. I'm with him.
And I think we've officially entered soap opera land.

Hot for housemaid. Well, the platonic heart-to-hearts and idle flirtations between His Lordship and Jane just got a little less platonic and idle. Robert Crawley planted one on his newest housemaid but good. The war has left him feeling worthless and emasculated, so he responds by snapping at his wife and snogging the help.

Because he couldn't buy a sports car.

"Estranged wife suicide . . . don't do it." Ten points to Gryffindor if you got that '80s movie reference. In any case, did Mrs. Bates do it? Her untimely death has been ruled self-inflicted, but Batesie reveals that he purchased the rat poison that finished her off, and there are those unexplained scratches . . .

Freaking unexplained scratches ruin everything.

Anna encourages him to inform the police, because she's a good person. And we all know what happens to them.

Sweetheart, I think you should look worried.

Speaking of Anna . . .  Vile Sir Richard tries to bribe her to report on Lady Mary's comings and goings. She does the right thing and informs Mrs. Hughes and Carson, because that's what she does, and we are left more sure than ever that Mary and Matthew belong together. Even Carson bails on working for Mary and Richard because the latter is so distasteful. Lavinia is doing her part to delay their unholy alliance by cutting in line for her own wedding, wanting to marry at Downton when Matthew "can walk down the aisle." Barf.

God, how I hope vile Sir Richard is paying her off.

Which brings us to . . .

Dowager Countess Quote of the Week: "Marriage is a long business."

And that would be her judgmental expression, aka, her default expression.

Well said, Vi. Mary, Matthew, and, sadly, Branson, would be right to listen to you.

Hot for Chauffeur. Or is she? Though I've been waiting for the Sybil/Branson (Brybil? Sybson?) romance to take off for ages, I was left a bit unsatisfied at its progression. Though she does touch his face and run away with him, she seems to be doing so for all the wrong reasons.

Face touching? Hot.

"I want out and you're my ticket"? Not hot.

Mary and Edith save her reputation from an ignominious elopement, and though she promises to return to Tommy when her parents approve, I am now officially in the "he deserves better" camp.

Gratuitous Thomas Pic. Thomas the Snake has got himself snookered by a black market proprietor of sub-par foodstuffs, and he leaves the episode bankrupt and broken. But I'm really just grateful for any excuse to post this picture of what he looks like when he's not a conniving former footman.


 Thanks to Nat and Bill for the link.

Stay tuned for part 2: The Spanish Flu. No one expects it!

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