Monday, February 11, 2013

Downton Abbey 3x6

Last night I steeled myself up for not one, but two hours of Downton Abbey. The crazed excitement this would have induced "back in the day" died right alongside my fictional BFF golden-hearted Sybil a few weeks ago. So I was looking forward to it with the same amount of enthusiasm I reserve for 120 minutes straight on the Tower of Terror. There's a certain thrill in it, perhaps, but mostly you can't feel your heart in your chest as you plunge to certain death/really unfortunate photo ops/peeing of the pants. Such was the grimace on my face as I turned to go downstairs to watch it that my insightful and oh-so-darling-that-she-makes-me-tea-and-heats-up-a-scone-for-me-as-there-are-no-commercial-breaks roommate remarked that the writer, Julian Fellowes, is lucky that I have nine lives. Ugh! It's so true. I've fallen prey to his pen's outbursts of emotional slaughter so many times this season, it's practically a miracle of science that I'm still breathing. Sure, no one died in last night's episode, but somehow I still managed to lose another life! This might not have been the case had it only been one hour, but Julian Fellowes, clearly a dog-only lover as the yellow Lab on this show never seems to age, obviously has something against cat-like human beings like myself!
  • Not agaaaaaaaaaaaain!!!!!!!!!! Is this episode going to be B-as-in-bathroom-break Bates-centric? (brass knuckles +1)
"Now that you're back, I can develop as a character!"
  • At last, he's reunited with Anna. Phew! IT'S OVERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!! (smelling salts +1)
  • Hooray! Edith's going to London to make something of herself! (smelling salts +2)
  • Party pooper Lord G doesn't want Cousin Matthew encouraging her. (brass knuckles +2)
  • Dare I dream?! They're potentially firing Thomas upon Bates' return?!?!?! (smelling salts +3)
  • Ivy agrees to go to the movies with the sweet ginger from War Horse and BLAH. (brass knuckles +4)
  • Cousin Matthew's fighting the hard fight to make Downton self sustainable. Ugh. Cousin Matthew. You sustain my self. (smelling salts +4)
Let me go, lover. Let me be, set me free from your spell.
  • Branson holding baby Sybs... and I'm like baby, baby, baby, ohhhhhh!!! (smelling salts +5)
  • Hallelujah! The Catholic christening has been arranged! (smelling salts +6)
  • Be still my heart! Branson asks Mary to be the godmother! *molten chocolate for my tears* (smelling salts +7)
  • What?! His brother's coming to Downton?! And he's a rough diamond?! *grabby hands* (smelling salts +8)
  • Mary, the queen, insists he'll stay at Downton. (smelling salts +9)
  • My love for newbie Jimmy is starting to curdle rather quickly with him getting his panties in a twist about the sweet ginger from War Horse and turning to Thomas, of all people, for advice. (brass knuckles +5)
Excuse your reach, newbie!
  • *slow mo* NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! Newbie Jimmy sabotaging the sweet ginger from War Horse's serving skills! And poor Violet pays the price with a lap-full of deli meat! (brass knuckles +6)
  • Let's all fist pump for Violet continually standing up for Edith's writing! (smelling salts +10)
  • So apparently Mary can say whatever she likes to Cousin Matthew as long as it's followed up by MAKING OUT! (smelling salts +11)
  • While orphaned characters have a 100% success rate of making me automatic silly putty in their hands, newbie Jimmy fails to keep me there with his developing reliance on Thomas. (brass knuckles +7)
The terrible trinity.
  • O'Brien, you best stop stirring this newbie Jimmy/Thomas pot! (brass knuckles +8)
  • HELLO, ANXIETY!!!!!! What... is... this... newbie Jimmy... and... Thomas... montage?! (brass knuckles +9)
  • Stupid Ivy'd have to hear it from newbie Jimmy himself that he's not interested. Stupid Ivy. He's just not that into you! Also, are you blind?! (brass knuckles +10)
  • Thomas is in the hall! Stop! NO! (brass knuckles +11)
  • *THE CRINGIEST OF ALL CRINGES* And the sweet ginger from War Horse walks in on Thomas stooping down to kiss newbie Jimmy! Ring the SCANDAL bell!!!!! (brass knuckles +12)
Keep your toast to yourself, Thomas!
  • So naturally it's the most awkward turtle breakfast the servants' quarters has ever seen. (brass knuckles +13)
  • Edith's London outfit is ridoncky-donck cute! (smelling salts +12)
  • Gahhhh no! She's going to fall for this newspaper man, isn't she?! She's basically the Taylor Swift of the 1920s! Edith, Taylor Swift, whoever you are, I am living vicariously through you. Just be ultra-awesome for TWO SECONDS by yourself for me! Please! I'm not asking you to snorkel your way down to the Titanic here! (brass knuckles +14)
  • Violet asks Branson about farming... She knows what's brewing! Because she's brewing it herself! (smelling salts +13)
  • My fantasies about Branson's brother are entirely dashed, dang it all! He refuses to come upstairs and completely humiliates my Irish husband. No! No! No! (brass knuckles +15)
He just gets DEVILISHLY handsome with that mad spark in his eye!
  • But Branson tells him where to put it as he will not let him insult his kind mother-in-law! ZOMG, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!! *CREYES* (smelling salts +14)
  • Mary: "You'll make me untidy." Cousin Matthew: "Good." Me: '!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' (smelling salts +15)
  • "Convince me again." I VOLUNTEER! I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE! *KISS* (smelling salts +16)
  • All hail my queen! Who declares she will be having children one day! (smelling salts +17)
  • COUSIN MATTHEW'S FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!!!!!!! (smelling salts +18)
  • I love how Lord G finally agrees to go to baby Syb's christening when they say it's what golden-hearted Sybil would have wanted. *heart-clutch* Ohhhhh my dead fictional BFF! Everybody loves you so much! (smelling salts +19)
  • Edith announces she's a journalist! Own it, girl! (smelling salts +20)
  • You tell him, Lady G! You call Lord G out on how his manner is driving Branson to seek help from his disappointment of a brother! (smelling salts +21)
  • Bahaha! Very unladylike sounds burst out of my mouth when Violet asked, "What is the Scarlet Letter?" You aren't missing anything, Vi! It's as unsuitable as it sounds! (smelling salts +22)
  • Well, finally the sweet ginger from War Horse tells Carson what he witnessed. *rubs hands together in anticipation of Thomas' firing* (smelling salts +23)
  • Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!! Violet, you brilliant spirit animal! Suggesting that Branson take over Jarvis' job! (smelling salts +24)
  • Because, obviously, my Irish husband can't be left "with that drunken gorilla." (smelling salts +25)
  • Say cheese! Expensive cheese that probably costs more than my yearly salary! It's family photo time at the christening! (smelling salts +26)
  • Branson's hired! He's staying at Downton!!!! GIVING ME FEELINGS! (smelling salts +27)
  • Excuse me... what is... is Mary pregnant?!?! (smelling salts +28)
  • Out of my way! I'm going to pour the scalding hot water in this tea pot over O'Brien's head as she manipulates newbie Jimmy. Surely she's just doing this to get him fired in the hopes that it will promote her nephew, the sweet ginger from War Horse. (brass knuckles +16)
  • "You can kiss me, but that's it." Mary... darling... I hate to... be impertinent, but... me living vicariously through you should not involve you not that's it-ing Cousin Matthew! Please assure me this isn't a permanent thing! (brass knuckles +17)
  • *head in hands* Newbie Jimmy refuses to stay silent and is sure to bring scandal to Downton. (brass knuckles +18)
Leave! now! and! never! come! back!
  • This 18 year-old Rose that comes to stay with Violet is an INSTANT IRRATIONAL DISLIKE! (brass knuckles +19)
  • When Carson tells Thomas that he now can't give him a reference and makes him cry. (brass knuckles +20)
  • Really, B-as-in-bathroom-break Bates? You're too good for this fixer upper cottage? Don't you remember what I you have just suffered through in, I don't know, PRISON?! (brass knuckles +21)
  • I have a horrible feeling about Rose going to London with Edith. (brass knuckles +22)
  • But Edith recruits the best chaperone ever, Cousin Matthew! (smelling salts +29)
  • SYBBIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Baby Sybil's nickname! I love, love, love it! (smelling salts +30)
  • When Mary makes Edith promise not to let Cousin Matthew catch an earlier train from London, I feel she must be going to see a doctor about the having of the babies! (smelling salts +31)
  • Eughhhhhh!!!! *shiver* Why is Thomas lurking outside of Bates' cottage? Is he going to burn it down with his death glare?! (brass knuckles +23)
Happiness is a thing called Cousin Matthew meets literary references and "The Charleston."
  • Ah! Cousin Matthew and Edith in a 1920s-Dante's-Inferno-night-club!!! Loving their bonding adventures! I want a comic! (smelling salts +32)
  • Quite predictably, insta-dislike Rose is caught having an affair with a married man. Classy family connections are wasted on the wrong people! (brass knuckles +24)
  • Ooo la! Cousin Matthew convinces her to leave Dante's Inferno with the power of DANCE! (smelling salts +33)
  • "Yes, but it was an hour every day." Violet on raising kiddos. (smelling salts +34)
  • For the briefest moment, I actually like B-as-in-bathroom-break Bates when he asks newbie Jimmy, "Why do you have to be such a big girl's blouse about it?" and then points out to Carson the culprit most likely behind his recent behavior. (smelling salts +35)
  • *GASP* Cousin Matthew runs into Mary at the doctor's office where she's using an alternate name. What is all this secrecy??? (brass knuckles +25)
  • Mary's having a follow up for an operation?! Julian Fellowes, you keep your health problems away from my favorites! (brass knuckles +26)
  • But it's okay! It's okay! Because "now we can start making babies" is LITERALLY a line that came out of Cousin Matthew's mouth! This is better than Downton fan fic! Because this is real life! You know what I mean! (smelling salts +36)
  • They're trying to keep insta-dislike Rose's scandal hush hush, but Violet overhears everything upon their return. Should be interesting! (smelling salts +37)
  • Bates is good for something for the second time ever, telling Lord G that O'Brien's had it out for Thomas for quite a while now. (smelling salts +38)
You don't have any friends! Nobody likes you!
  • Yes! Yes! Yes! Violet essentially kicks Rose to the curb. (smelling salts +39)
  • I really dislike Thomas, but it still bugs me that he won't take O'Brien out with him. Can't you be evil just one last time? For old time's sake? (brass knuckles +27)
  • Blah blah blah blah blah blah Lord G's upset AGAIN that no one's on his side. Yes. I feel so sorry for you. Must be tough living in a MANSION. (brass knuckles +28)
  • 1920s Taylor Swift i.e. Edith reverts to some old school potential suitor stalking via operator. (brass knuckles +29)
  • Bates blackmails O'Brien, but with what?! With what?! I am excited, BUT WITH WHAT?! (smelling salts +40)
  • Ughhhh newbie Jimmy just has no mind of his own. I hate to say it, but... officially resent. (brass knuckles +30)
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FOR THE LOVE OF DOWNTON!!!!!!!!!!!! Lord G wants to find a way to keep Thomas around?! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! I was this close to some post-golden-hearted-Sybil happiness! This close! (brass knuckles +31)
*throws napkin on table then buries head in gloved hands and weeps over his UNADULTERATED BEAUTY*
  • Oh my darling Branson, using nothing but his own damn eloquence to smooth things over with Lord G. (smelling salts +41)
  • In return, Lord G finally ropes Branson into playing cricket! "For God's sake!" (smelling salts +42)
  • At laaaaaaaaaaaast! This Ethel storyline will be dead and buried as she's moving to take a job closer to baby Charlie. (smelling salts +43)
  • UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!! IS HAPPENING!!!!!!!!! TO MY BODY!!!!!! BRANSON AND COUSIN MATTHEW AS SPORTSMEN!!!! (smelling salts +43)
  • But no matter how much they make him play cricket, Branson declares, "I'll still be an Irish Mick in my heart." (smelling salts +44)
It's a Christmas miracle! I'm almost fond of you!
  • I can't believe I'm saying it a second time, but Edith is looking super cute when she goes to London to hand in her resignation. Can we have a shopping date when you're done with this dummy? (smelling salts +45)
  • How original! Newspaper man is basically Mr. Rochester! Taylor Swift does not go with Mr. Rochester, Edith! I repeat, Taylor Swift is not Jane Eyre! Run away, Edith! Run away!!! Run away from the Rochester who looks and sounds nothing like Michael Fassbender! (brass knuckles +32)
  • We're all agreed that Violet will pretty much do whatever she has to to get what she wants, but "happily it was not needed" to chop up baby Charlie to get what she wanted in this particular instance. (smelling salts +47)
  • You worthless piece of-! BATES! You didn't ask what the "her ladyship's soap" blackmail" meant?! All of these HORRIBLE SEASON ONE FEELINGS are rip-roaring to the surface!!!!!!! That was the only thing worse than golden-hearted Sybil's death! *MY EYES AS MT. VESUVIUS* OH! THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE OF MY LIVES! YOU'RE WELCOME, JULIAN FELLOWES! I AM NEARLY DEAD! (brass knuckles +33)
  • As predicted, Molesely is completely useless at cricket and this fills me with an abnormal amount of glee, because I just delight in this character's disgrace as I'm apparently a dark and twisty. (smelling salts +48)
  • Yuck! Lord G promotes newbie Jimmy to first footman to keep him quiet about his keeping Thomas on board. (brass knuckles +34)
  • But no. The drama continues as the sweet ginger from War Horse called the police. (brass knuckles +35)
  • Phew! Lord G gets him to show a little kindness sans promotion. (smelling salts +49)
  • Branson! Daddy Branson! Proud daddy Branson! Hot proud daddy Branson! (smelling salts +50)
  • BE STILL MY HEART!!!!!!!!!! He asks Lady G if he and Sybbie can live with them! (smelling salts +51)
  • *fans self* Cousin Matthew is looking forward to a new life and new baby-making! AhhhhhhhhdkfsldfkjslkfjslkfjslkJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (smelling salts +52)
  • Daww!!! Lord G's finally on Cousin Matthew and Branson's side! (smelling salts +53)
  • BRANSON WINS THE MATCH FOR THEM! BRANSON WINS THE MATCH! BRANSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (smelling salts +54)

Weird how smelling salts restores the balance in my universe by winning 54 to 35 and yet I still don't feel like it was a landslide. The bad things were so bad that I'm left feeling kind of meh about this episode. I mean, major thumbs up for Branson being a hot Irish single daddy and for the Cousin Matthew/Mary FEELS, but... This Thomas business? I've wanted him gone since day one. I do hate the way Carson spoke to him even if he ultimately did the right thing by him, but in the end, I still want this thorn-in-everyone's-side gone! And where was the Daisy plot line? I don't give two hoots about Ivy's warped love rhombus, but naturally because I care about Daisy's impending life of service vs. life of farming decision, it was completely nonexistent. And if Edith can't be happily single for two ticks, can't she at least have a love interest we can get excited about? Listen, I love me some Mr. Rochester, but only in a shallow if-he-looks-like-Michael-Fassbender-or-Toby-Stephens way (I exaggerate, but I really don't want to go down this road). Just being honest! Can't we bring back Evelyn Napier for her? I've always liked him. Everyone likes him! He's rich, he's handsome, he's honest, he looks dashing in his red coat on fox hunts... Wouldn't it be glorious if in some cosmic twist of fate, Edith brought home- nay! Was pursued! By a young man like that! If she had to be seriously wooed by a guy her own age who is, in fact, a fresh and excellent catch and not the sad leftovers of the sick or the dead? That would be ethereally delicious! Like tiramisu! Plus there's the delightful dynamic of him having tattled on her writing to the Turkish ambassador about Mary's season one scandal. It's so potentially juicy! I can't even! And Bates. Baaaaaaaaates. Ultimately he can't prove useful. No. Instead of getting Thomas out of the way to make room for fresh characters I'd actually like to see getting screen time, he manages not only to keep him out of jail, but he gets him a promotion! A promotion! GOLDEN-HEARTED SYBIL IS DEAD, BUT BATES GETS OUT OF JAIL AND THOMAS GETS A PROMOTION!!!!!

P.S. I think it's worth noting that this is exactly how I envision Julian Fellowes, writer and creator of Downton Abbey:
That's right. Julian Fellowes is the French chef from The Little Mermaid and my poor little heart and FEELINGS are les poissons. "Wiz a cleaver I HACK them in two! I pull out what's inside and I serve it up fried!" And then, of course, there's the technique, "First you POUND the fish flat with the mallet!" Just gleefully dissecting me to bits comme toujours! Anyone else see the resemblance?!


  1. I had a feeling you'd use a picture from that very last scene! As the three of them were shaking hands I was thinking to myself, "Sally is feeling all the happy feelings right now!!" Apparently I was right!

    1. Ah! You know me so well! It was the single greatest moment of Downton so far this season, in my humble opinion, and it truly had me FEELING ALL THE ALL CAPS FEELINGS!!!