Good Monday morning, my friends!
Now, I must confess, I did a rather shameful thing ... I watched the latest episode of Downton without my husband! While Bill slept on early this morning (after making me coffee, and I do mean very early this morning, EB had us up at 4:00!) I found the episode online. Our plan was to catch up tonight because thanks - or really, no thanks - to the Pats game last night we skipped Downton. But when I realized I could watch it this morning on my laptop, I just could not resist! (Of course I will certainly watch it again happily tonight.)
It's the first time I've watched an episode on my laptop, rather than the tv, and I was quite surprised to find the small screen rather delightful! If only because the details of each scene were so vivid and close! I wanted to freeze the frames to closely inspect Isobel's front foyer, Mary's drawing room, Matthew's breakfast setting and even Daisy's pantry. :)
But enough of my confessions, let's get on with the conversation!
Hooray for Edith! I love that she's found something to do! I think there will be very ineteresting opportunities ahead if she decides (and is not talked out of) this journalistic path. I love that Grandmama told her to stop whining! And I hated that Papa belittled her endeavor (and her voice). I think it will be terrific for her to find success in an area that no other Grantham - particularly her sisters - has before.
Mr. and Mrs. Bates
A happy resolution to a sad and frustrating situation. Their communication was the one thing they had getting them through this awful ordeal. To take that away from them - it was injuring them both so badly. I am so eager for this storyline to move forward - I really am anxious to see the mystery of Vera Bates unraveled. Of course, if and when Bates is freed, where will he go? Will he return to Downton? Will there be a place for him? But I suppose that's getting ahead of ourselves ...
Mr. And Mrs. Branson
Well this is a rather ugly situation, isn't it? I really fear the outcome of this mess. Branson is so steadfast in his commitment to Ireland, I worry it will outweigh his responsibility to his wife and child. Sybil has had a taste of the danger involved in Branson's life and her instincts are to protect their child above all. How can we blame her for that? I fear Tom might, though. But what on earth does he expect her to do? Would he really go back to Ireland knowing he'd be arrested on the spot? What would that mean for his family? Nevermind what it would mean for the Granthams, I mean, how would Sybil cope with that loss? I'm nervous to see how things unfold between this couple.
Mr. And Mrs. Crawley
Tensions continue to simmer between Mary and Matthew. What was that brief conversation in the new drawing room (aka future nursery) hinting at? Mary had been to the doctor about hay fever? Hmmm ... I'm not buying that. And the way she shrugged off the (sweet, romantic) nursery comment Matthew made? Something tells me they are not on the same page when it comes to babies. (ETA - or maybe something's up with her cycles? Perhaps she'll have trouble conceiving?)
And then we have Matthew's inspection - and critique - of Downton's management. He's a businessman after all, and where he sees disorder he wants to put things right. But as Lady Violet wisely warns, this will put a lot of noses out of joint. (Mary's is already a bit bent, and Robert wanted to hear none of that talk.) Matthew as a character can be confusing I think, and I also think he's not fully invested in his role in the family. He has Mary as he wished, but I'm not sure he wanted all that came with her. On the one hand Matthew insists (as he did to Carson) that he's not to be involved in the running of Downton - he's just an investor - but on the other hand he's clearly going to advocate (push for?) change. Even if Robert seems loathe to hear it ...
Speaking of Robert, in addition to his stubborn addiction to "the old ways," what was up with that anti-Catholic sentiment? That seemed out of left field, and I wonder if it's some foreshadowing perhaps. He's really not my favorite character these days!
Another sad storyline! My heart goes out to this character and the life she's found herself trapped in. The scene when she said goodbye to her tiny son was a very tough scene to watch - especially for someone pregnant with her fourth son! I found myself torn between her choices. If I thought she had no hope of or help for a better life, I could see her sending her son to live with his grandparents - but I wish she would have accepted the money and kept her son. As did Mrs. Crawley whose heart is in the right place, but perhaps is still a bit fuzzy on the realities of the poor. As Ethel pointed out, Mrs. Crawley's son went to the top schools - in other words, who was she to press such advice? Of course, Ethel and Isobel are and were in completely different walks of life and so their choices would be limited by class in one way or another. The scenes from next week suggest Ethel goes to work for Mrs. Crawley - I wonder how that will work out?
The New Footman
Not sure what to make of him yet! He's good looking yes, and amiable, but is he a bit full of himself perhaps? I guess we'll have to watch and see. Thomas's smarmy attentions made me cringe - I really hope nothing comes of that! Not so much because Thomas is gay but more because of how slimy he is. You can see he's taken quite a shine to this new footman (for professional and personal reasons) and I really don't want to see him play that up. But from the previews it looks like Jimmy - not James ;) - is put off by Thomas and his attentions, and he confides so in O'Brien ... who could do so much with that kind of information.
The New Kitchen Maid
Poor Daisy! The girl just cannot catch a break! I love her relationship with William's father - he's so kind and paternal. And I just wanted to slap Alfred because he is so blind to the situation! And then he's flirting with the new maid right in front of Daisy who, he should have realized, has been opening up to him! That's probably a lot to ask of a young man at that time though, lol! The new maid - Ivy? - seems nice so far. I wonder how big a character she'll be?
Ok, well, I've probably forgotten to mention a bunch of important points, but I want to get this post up as soon as I can so I'll stop here. I'm eager to hear your thoughts my friends, so please leave a comment below if you have the time! And now to wake Bill and confess that I've watched our beloved Downton without him ... wish me luck! ;)
And have a great day!
P.S. A quite humorous and thoughtful recap is here - the paragraph about the prison had me in stitches (and you'll know which line I mean). :)