Good Tuesday morning, my friends!
Sorry about the delay ... all caught up now, and WOW what a show! A lot of developments in episode two, both surprising and not so surprising ...
I mean, we all knew Matthew would save Downton Abbey. For goodness sakes, Highclere Castle (the real-life abbey where the show is filmed) is practically a star in its own right. Not that the downsized "Downton Place" wasn't charming. Like Branson said (or mumbled beneath his breath) most folks would call it a "fairy tale castle." And while I'm sure the family would have adjusted - clearly some better than others - it was the servants I was most worried about. After all, they'd have to pare down their staff and I wondered just who would make the cut. I also worried for Anna because she'd be that much farther away from her Mr. Bates.
And speaking of Mr. Bates ... good grief I'm a wreck over his ordeal! First off, he's made enemies - just his cellmate? or are there others? - but some quick thinking on his part (and a helpful tip) saved his skin. (What was placed beneath his mattress, anyway? I couldn't tell in that scene.) And from the previews next week it looks like someone might be messing with the mail and interrupting his and Anna's correspondence. But more importantly, I worry about the trouble he might find himself in - more than he has already. He's got quite a short fuse and there's a lot of pressure upon him. Anna's visit to Mrs. Bartlett was mostly unhelpful, as that lady seems convinced Mr. Bates did indeed kill Vera. And she intimated he had been violent before and that Vera had been quite afraid of her husband. I was hoping Mrs. Bartlett might have been in on it (Vera's plan that is) but it seems she was fooled. I hope we all haven't been fooled into being so sure Vera did in fact commit suicide. I don't want to think Mr. Bates is lying about what happened ... and I don't think he would. Not to Anna, anyway. Though he does seem pretty adament she move on with her life. But I think that's more about his fear/belief he will ultimately live out his life in prison. It's a sad, sad situation all around.
And another sad situation ... poor Edith!
Now, I've made no secret of my dislike of Edith's character (distaste is maybe a better word) but I felt SO badly for her last night. And I wanted to SMACK Sir Anthony right in the face! What a spineless, stupid man. I'm not faulting him for having fears about their marriage, but for goodness sakes - to end it all AT THE ALTAR? Nothing could be so cruel. It was such a horrible shock for Edith, but to be honest, I was not all that surprised. (And not just because I got spoiled on the internet yesterday!) Bill even said, in those moments when Edith was arriving and Sir Anthony was waiting at the altar - looking rather ill I might add - that this thing was just not going to happen. You could read it in the way the scene unfolded ... something was clearly going to go amiss ...
Well, good riddance, Sir Anthony, I say. Though I have to wonder if we'll see him again? I'd assume he'd make himself pretty scarce, socially speaking, from here on out. As for Edith's future, I do hope she finds happiness eventually. So much of her identity and esteem is wrapped up in how she compares herself to her sisters. I was glad to see her pull herself out of bed to get on with the day, even if she seemed rather resigned to her role as a "spinster." She does need to be doing something useful, I think. Look how wonderfully she rose to the challenge when Downton was turned into a soldier's rehab. Perhaps Edith will be the example of how women were establishing independence at that time? Not that I wouldn't like to see her happily paired off eventually. (Maybe that "Patrick" character will come back at some point?)
And speaking of independent women, Daisy is cracking me up. I love that she's questioning herself and her situation constantly. First her role in the household (when she went on strike, lol) and now how to speak out a little more. I think she's a bit sweet on Alfred, too - who seems like a nice enough guy if not maybe a little clueless.
The tension - to put it mildly - between Thomas and O'Brien will be very interesting to watch. I can't wait to see how/if she gets back at him! Remember these two snakes in the first season? They were thick as thieves. Now they're mortal enemies with competing interests ... who will strike next, I wonder?
And Isobel Crawley, in light of our recent quiz, has become all the more interesting to me. :) She can be pushy, yes - but I admire her forward thinking and sensible attitude. I like that she has a sense of respect and responsiblity for those "beneath her." What she is doing for those troubled women is wonderful. But what on earth is going on with that former Downton maid? She keeps saying she's not seeking help for herself, but rather, someone else? WHO? Another child? (Didn't her first child get taken on by the deceased father's family? Maybe I'm forgetting my facts ...) I can't wait to see what lies behind that door!
Oh, and Mrs. Hughes ... YAY for Mrs. Hughes! I was almost completely convinced she was going to have cancer. The show can throw its punches, after all. But thank goodness she is all right. I thought Mr. Carson was so cute in his "secretive" concern. Do any of you think there might be - or could be - more than friendship between them?
A few final thoughts ...
I thought the clothing was especially beautiful and interesting in episode two. I'd love to have a closer look at those hats and frocks - and thankfully, I have just the book to do just that!
Cora drives me mad sometimes - she's so pouty! But then she's really very gentle and kind-hearted - how she comforted Mrs. Hughes was just lovely. And I like that she kept such a level head about the financial crisis and potential move - yet she still respected the deep sorrow her husband felt over losing his home. She immediately supported her husband with soothing words and a confidence that he perhaps did not deserve. He did make a mess of things, after all, and she could have berated him for it. But that's not the kind of wife she is ... her priority is to support him and his needs.
(Yet it's times like these I still find myself so very mad at Lord Grantham for his discretion with that maid earlier in the series. I really have not felt the same about him since.)
Ok, last thought - the previews for next week. My gosh, the previews! What on earth is going on with Branson and Sybil?! As best Bill and I could tell, it seems Branson must escape Ireland (maybe some fallout from his political involvements) but he leaves Sybil behind. But where is she when she makes that phone call? And was his flight a mutual agreement, or did he - heaven forbid - run off on her? I can't imagine he'd go to Downton Abbey if he did. He had made such strides with the family, too ... I can't think this foible will earn him any points.
Well golly, I've exhausted myself, lol! There was so much in last night's episode, but I think I've touched upon all my points. :) I'm eager to hear what you all thought of the show and the most recent developments! If you have the time, please leave a comment below ...
And have yourself a healthy and happy Tuesday!