‘Downton Abbey’ s3/ep3 – Mismanagement

31 Jan

Isobel now faces some of the real differences between the classes with her current “project.”  It’s all well and good to try to right a wrong, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Unfortunately, a day is all it takes for Ethel to give up Charlie to his grandparents.

Mr. Bryant is just as cuddly as ever, but Mrs. Bryant has real class.  The bubble of Ethel’s youthful hubris has finally burst, and she’s seen for herself some terrible realities of life.  I can’t even begin to imagine what a terribly hard choice that was to make.  But was she wrong to despair so entirely?  Having an expensive education is not what makes you a great person.  Even in their changing society she has lost the ability to imagine possibilities for her son…or herself.  And now that she’s given Charlie up, there’s no way she’ll ever get him back.  Alas, I will continue to hope that the screenwriter has an upcoming plot outlined where Mr. Bryant meets an untimely end, and Mrs. Bryant invites Ethel to come live with her and Charlie in a cottage by the sea.  And Charlie grows up to be Prime Minister.

Perhaps Isobel’s real project should be getting her maid in check.  It’s not like her to do nothing.

“Some manners would not go amiss.”
“I do not feel it’s my duty to wait on the likes of her.”

If only the world was a polite place.  Then none of us would have any “projects” to attend to.

Edith has found a project of her own: women’s suffrage.  She pens a letter to the editor that her father is sure the editor would never dare publish.  Oops.  Matthew, Mary, and, of course, Tom are all behind her 100%.  Chin up, Edith. We useful spinsters must keep a stiff upper lip and all.  Observe that breakfast in bed has not improved Mary’s disposition.

The toaster!  The sand buckets!  How I heart period drama.

“Is it not enough that we’re sheltering a dangerous revolutionary?  Could you not have spared me that?” – Carson

Bates is smiling again.  Now that’s a sight Anna and I both have been pining for.  The Great Letter & Visit Blockage of 1920 has ended, and all shall be well.  I suspect that once he’s free (because he WILL be free) those two crazy kids are gonna have the strongest marriage of them all.  For all this separation, they’re really learning to cherish the important stuff.  Free Bates!

One storyline I’d love to see more of is Bates’ prisoner pal.  Didn’t quite catch his name, but I’d sure like to hear his story.  Is he single and available for Edith?  Nevermind.

“Clearly nothing worse could be said of any man.” – Matthew

Mary has lost her ever-loving mind.  First, she’s not at all concerned with the mismanagement of her inheritance.  And second, how many scandals must there be before she learns?  “Oh, do hire the handsome one and cheer us all up, Carson.”  Because handsome never got anybody in that house in trouble before.  Jimmy/James/Jimmyjohnjames had better keep his wits about him.  It’s not his fault he was born so pretty, but there’s at least one vampire in the house looking for the chance to relieve him of his blood, and his name is spelled T-H-O-M-A-S.  Ewww, ewww, ewww!  Just stay away from soap, whatever you do, Jimmyjohnjames.

Perhaps Thomas should have advocated O’Brien getting married rather than shaming her that she hadn’t.  It would have given her a project of her own, but now he’s managed to provide her with another.  Rue.  The.  Day.

“We all live in a harsh world.  But at least I know I do.” – Tom

Sybil has finally grown a voice of her own, but Tom’s rolling his eyes at too little too late.  “You’re very free with your ‘musts.’” Tom’s so lucky he has his “disappointing” Sybil.  My reply to a guy who would ditch me to save himself would have involved a “must” and a “bite me.”  Grrrr.

Is anyone else wondering if Mary is going to have trouble producing an heir?  She looks worried.

“You have a pure heart.  And if he’s a proper man, he’ll know that.” – Mr. Mason

Daisy’s off to the farm for Mr. Mason’s blessing on her pursuit of Alfred, who’s no more interested in her than having another hole in his head.  But William’s dad is as precious as he ever was.  Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he left that farm to her.  She’d better work on getting less freaked out by the pigs.

Poor Lord Grantham is on something like his fifth strike this season.  Maybe the effects of The War to End All Wars have finally unhinged his mind.  Maybe peace has made his world a scarier place than it ever was before.  Making openly anti-Catholic remarks with a tame revolutionary as the father of his forthcoming first grandchild?  And one insightful Twitter comment I read said something to the effect of, “Should they really let the man who bankrupted the estate be responsible for the management of it?”  Matthew’s got to do what he’s got to do, and lucky for him, he’s got a first class head on his shoulders.  When Lord Grantham won’t discuss the matter (too bad he can’t hear himself dismissing Murray who also warned him about the investments), Matthew takes up the issue of strategy with the Dowager.  Pure genius.  Now if only his wife would get on board…M&M would be unstoppable.

But maybe the Dowager can help him with that, too.

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