Monday, February 6, 2012

The Morning After Downton Abbey: A Mysterious Visitor

Welcome back my lords and ladies, my butlers and housemaids, to Downton,where the end of a war does nothing to end the drama! Spoilers for last night's episode ahead!

The Dowager Countess, puppet master extraordinaire. Starting off with Violet, because she's my favorite. Aghast at Isobel's plans to turn the Abbey into basically a public house after the war's conclusion, she conspires with Cora to direct Mrs. Crawford's good intentions elsewhere, giving rise to Violet's quote of the week. In response to Cora's observation that Isobel insists on martyrdom she notes,
"We must tempt her with a more enticing scaffold."

That is her fabulous thinking cap.
The scaffold in question? Work with war refugees.

The Canadian Patient. The big story this week is a new addition to Downton's convalescent home, a man burned beyond recognition and boasting a shady backstory.

If it's Ralph Fiennes under there, I'm going to lose my shit.

This dude claims to be none other than Patrick, the long-lost and assumed drowned with Leo on the Titanic Grantham heir! He tells a tale of a serendipitous rescue from the freezing Atlantic waters, a bout with amnesia in Canada, and a miraculous restoration of his memories when he got blown up in battle. Edith believes him (perhaps because she was so in love with Patrick?); Mary, not so much. He disappears at the end of the episode, leaving the family (Matthew especially) unsure as to the estate's status. Me? I don't trust this ersatz Patrick.

Martyrdom must run in the family. Speaking of Matthew, he's not exactly bouncing right back from traumatic spinal injury. He mopes around Downton, never missing an opportunity to remind everyone that he will "never be a proper man."

Also, Lavinia is back. Bleh.

Engaged to the enemy. In addition to acting very new money by vowing to install central heating in his new home with Mary and trying to poach Carson, Sir Richard is also doing his best impression of Marky Mark from Fear. He offers Anna extra money to report back to him on Lady Mary's comings and goings, reveals that if Matthew weren't paralyzed and engaged he wouldn't let her "anywhere near him," brings Lavinia back to interrupt their contact, and gives Mary a very creepy "don't cross me" speech/kiss outside the kitchens.

He's about to reveal his "Lady Mary 4-Evah" tattoo.

This can't be the end of that. Batesie needs to stop talking. After his comment to his Lordship that he wishes his wife were "the late" Mrs. Bates and a last, unwitnessed, confrontation between the two, he turns up scratched and she turns up dead.

Doesn't seem suspicious AT ALL.

Baby Mama Drama. Carson catches Mrs. Hughes sneaking food to Ethel, and is pretty mean and unforgiving towards the latter.

Judge much, Cheerful Charlie?

Also, Major Bryant is . . . . DEAD.

Forbidden Love (part 1).  Is it just me, or is New Maid Jane making eyes at Lord Grantham?

She's offering more than a plate of fruit, methinks.

Forbidden Love (part 2). I suspect Lady Sybil is only toying with my working class hero Branson, but she did elicit this swoon-worthy vow from him: "I'd wait forever."

The rolled-up sleeves? Into it.
War is over, if you want it. Armistice Day is celebrated at Downton with a prayer . . . and a miracle?

Matthew might have felt a twinge. I might have felt a miraculous healing coming on.

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