‘Downton Abbey’ s4e6 – Granny’s house of cards

19 Feb

I’m trying not to get all teary-eyed this week that this is actually the UK season finale with only the Christmas special left to go of Downton Abbey for the whole year.  You may have to get me some kleenex next week.

“That will keep me warm while I’m crossing the ‘raging’ seas.” – Lord Grantham

Uncle Harold (Cora’s brother) is in so much trouble back in the States that they’re circling the wagons and dragging Lord Grantham into it.  Mrs. Hughes “interferes” so that Bates won’t be taken from Anna during this time…which means that Mary finally knows and has to interfere herself.  So Thomas is to be treated to a grand trip to America…and “all those handsome stewards.”

“It’s not your fault, Bates. It wasn’t hers, but it’s not yours.” – Mary

I adore Anna’s relationship with Mary.  They’re an odd couple, but being a part of each other’s lives has made such a difference to them both.  Over the years Anna has proven herself to be wise, trustworthy and truly caring, and — rightly so — has been elevated in Mary’s esteem.  Now it’s Mary’s turn to grow in Anna’s: “You’ve helped me, God knows, in the past.  And now I want to help you.”  There are no secrets between them…“once again.”

“I expect you to be happy and healthy and courting a girl from the village when I return.” – Thomas

So…Molesley overheard Thomas’ departing instructions to Baxter.  Somehow I managed to miss this beautiful morsel the first time I watched this episode.  Proof that if you don’t rewatch things, you do miss out!  But poor Molesley is not bright enough to understand what’s really going on and actually questions her about it in front of everyone at the lunch table.  Can’t wait to see where this goes…

While some characters remain immature, Tom Branson has become downright likeable as a result of his life challenges.  It’s amazing what a little maturity can do for a person.  Have we just met the next Mrs. Branson?  Empty Chair Girl will definitely be back.  You don’t give someone lines in Downton Abbey for nothing.

Rose wants to go to London…she wants to see “friends you’d approve of madly.”  What could go wrong?  But more importantly, how can she lie like that to people who love her and are so good to her?  She’s never had enough to do or enough others to do good for.  She missed all the WWI nursing opportunities.  So now she’s taking a lazy, crazy spin in the row boat with Mr. Ross.  Maybe France would be a good place for her.  France for Rose, India for Edith.

“[Plotting’s] a skill all women must learn.” – Mrs. Hughes

Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore are going to an awful lot of trouble over two kitchen maids.  To keep the peace downstairs, they unsuccessfully conspire with Mr. Carson to keep Alfred away.  Ivy turns on the flirting — again!  We never learn.  Maybe Alfred will get what he wishes for.

Granny becomes deathly ill, but puts on a stiff upper lip for the big send-off so Lord Grantham won’t worry about her on his trip.  Naturally, it’s Nurse Isobel to the rescue, who slaves for two days straight with no food or sleep or bath.  Dr. Clarkson keeps standing awfully close to Isobel to whisper in her ear in a quiet room with a delirious sick person…  But when Granny finally recovers, she’s treated to hosting Isobel for a long night of cards.  “Goodie, goody!”  Cora and Mary drop by to check on Granny, and I couldn’t help but wonder, are there any germs trying to make their way back to the precious babies in the nursery?

“We all have bad feelings – it’s acting on them that makes you bad.” – Cora

Oh, Edith.  How many wars must you go through before you figure out who you are?  You should trust your mom with your secret…she would fight for you.  She certainly went to great lengths for Mary’s reputation.

Aunt Rosamund is being so loving I’m a little worried she’s had her insides eaten out by body snatchers.  It’s ok, but very weird.  I found myself wondering about my own reaction if that were my own niece on the sofa opposite me.  I’m certain I’d do anything I could to give that baby life, and the best life possible.  Abortion as the only option would not be the conversation in my parlor.

What about the “going away to the country” options?  They’re wealthy and influential enough, and Edith is straight-laced enough, I’m not quite sure how abortion became a good idea.  And I’m very glad she changed her mind at the end.  I had a lot of trouble with the self-pity of the character, but quite honestly, isn’t that the thing that gets us all into trouble?  Selfishness is the root of all evil in the world.  And Edith just hasn’t quite evolved enough as a woman to figure that out yet.  She cannot play a martyr while rooting for the other team.

“Mr. Blake is not under Mary’s spell.”  Oh, Edith.  Glass houses and all that.  When will you girls give up your two-year old behavior and learn how to be grown-up sisters?  This is my big suggestion for the plotline for Season Five.

I still want to know what it was that Edith signed for Gregson.

“Look after my girls…especially Isis.” – Lord Grantham

So Mary politely thanks Mr. Blake for coming to say goodbye to his lordship, and he responds, “Evelyn wanted to.”  If I were his momma, he’d have gotten a full-on NCIS Agent Gibbs whollop upside the back of his head.  Cora’s concerned Mary’s comments to Mr. Blake are “a little rude”…maybe they are.  Maybe retaliation is not the best policy.  But oy with the poodles and the War of the Roses already.

And then there’s the scrambled eggs…and being discovered in last night’s clothes at the crack of dawn by the dumbstruck kitchen maid.  Mary and Mr. Blake take an after-dinner stroll to the pig farm only to discover the pigs are dehydrated and near death.  So they spend the night watering them and shoving “mud” pies in each others faces.  Well, I guess the ice is broken.  “The heroine of the pig drama” has just “increased the competition” for Evelyn.  And Gillingham returns to Downton.  Three suitors under one roof at one time.  Next week is going to be more fun than a barrel of thirsty piggies.

My spidey-sense went off during the brief conversation between Gillingham and Blake.  Why is Gillingham asking questions about the business of the Downton estate?  Red flag on the play.

“Charles thinks I’m blind where you’re concerned.” — Evelyn Napier has a very understated way of showing his feelings for Mary.  He doesn’t have to get out a club and whack her over the head to drag her into his cave like Gillingham.  My only question is, if he had to fight for her heart, would he?

“You’ve robbed me of nothing I wouldn’t gladly give.” – Bates

Anna is unhappy that she’s the cause of Bates missing out on the grand trip to America.  But there’s no place he’d rather be than with her.  It’s so much more convenient to plot your revenge from home.  Mrs. Hughes confronts Green practically the moment he arrives, very much unhumble and unrepentant, and the look on his face in that small room with all the sharp pointy objects gave me the hee-bee-gee-bees.  “Don’t you dare thank me — I’ve not kept silent for your sake.”  While her actions were brave and noble and right, you could see from Green’s face he was slicing her to little bitty bits in his mind.  That dude has probably killed somebody before.  Or will do very soon.  Bates, could we hurry this thing up, please?  The idiot rapist goes and tells the unignorant husband where he’ll be when he’s not at Downton.  I’m scared.  Hold me.

4 Responses to “‘Downton Abbey’ s4e6 – Granny’s house of cards”

  1. Urban Wife February 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    The thing that makes me smile is that this time around, Bates has learned a thing or two from his time in prison. I believe he will be fully capable of making sure that Green is gone for good and no one will ever be able to prove a thing. We shall see!

    Ugh. I just can’t get myself to like Gillingham. Out of the 3 suitors, I would say that Blake is the best choice (may do okay managing the estate), Napier is the safer choice (plus he would probably do better managing the estate) and Gillingham is the risky choice (wouldn’t trust him to manage the estate). I mean, after all, Gillingham was willing to have Mary as his mistress! That says a lot about a man’s character.

    I didn’t even catch Thomas’ comment to Baxter! Very interesting.

    Oh, Edith. Does she just go away and never come back? That would be nice. (I know, it sounds so harsh but really, how many times must she play the victim? She involved herself with Gregson and now is reaping a rather large consequence for it.)

    Hmm, more to say but I’m going to pop over and watch the PS&P episode now. :)

    • Jennifer White February 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Love the point about Gillingham’s character. People are like fruit…under the right conditions we ripen, or don’t. Gillingham is not quite ripe yet. But he could be if he wanted to. Thanks so much for taking the time to hang out with us…and enjoy our love for Downton with us! Are you making any special watch party plans? I know I’m wearing my navy hat with fascinator, but still have to figure out the rest of the outfit and low-carb snacks.

      • Urban Wife February 23, 2014 at 8:15 am #

        Gosh, I wish! A fascinator sounds perfect. The extent of my plans involve sipping tea and a snack. I know, super exciting.

        Thanks to you both for taking the time (I know it’s not easy!) to sit down and write/record the PS&P episodes. They really are great to watch! :)

      • Jennifer White February 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

        Fascinator hat has been put on hold. Other wardrobe is in progress…gonna be a great night!!! Truthfully, PSP is so much fun to make…I’m blessed to have a good friend who had the great idea to do it. So glad you enjoy it!

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