‘Downton Abbey’ s3/ep4 – Rest in peace

31 Jan

Oh — this one hurts to write about.  I may have to do something entirely different here.  It’s just too hard to talk about, and I’m not even related to Lady Sybil.  So how about we try “this episode in quotes” instead.  Here you go:

“My darling, you want to live here until you die, for our children to live here after us, for that to even have a chance of happening I can’t let the whole thing disintegrate.”

Matthew finally has to spell it out for Mary what it will mean if Downton Abbey continues in the same direction its always gone.


Mary’s response to having a Catholic Christening at Downton.  Followed by a promise to fight Sybil’s cause when the time comes.

“I don’t know if the vicar knows any more about God than I do.”

Sybil doesn’t give a fig about the differences between Catholicism and CofE.  And clearly she’s been in seminary while she was away in Dublin.

“There.  You feel a slight increase in the resistance?…Never go past the point where the clock is comfortable.”

Thomas, ahem, explains to Jimmyjohnjames how to correctly wind the clocks.  Also our very first glimpse into Thomas’ background.

“Don’t go down that road.  Once you do, there’s no way off it.”

Precious Anna.  Somehow she believed that there were many people who wanted to kill Vera, and one of them proved successful.  Now that she understands the depth of the woman’s depravity, Bates intervenes once more to protect Anna’s beautiful heart from self-destruction.

“Goodbye, Mrs. Bird.  And good luck.” – Isobel “Braveheart” Crawley

Translation: Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out.

“It’s Bates…who’s made all the trouble for us…”

This prison guard has apparently never caused anything bad that has ever happened to him.  I suspect by the time Anna is through with him, he will be wearing a very different uniform.  One with stripes.

“Maybe he harks back to a time when money was abundant…I think he equates being business-like with being mean — or worse — middle class, like me.  Middle classes have their virtues, and husbandry is one.”

Truer words were never spoken.  Matthew continues to display his good sense by taking his wife’s hand and including her in the truth of their situation.  Well done, husband.

“Never fear, Duchess, I’ll get a baby out of you one way of another.”

I seriously doubt Lord Grantham will remember this remark from Sir Phillip by the end of this night.  But the maids will when it takes all day tomorrow to get the wine stains out of the table cloth.

“We’re anxious…”

Matthew, dude, you’re a total crack up.  I’ll get you a biology book and put it in the Dolorean for you.

“Anxiety is an enemy to pregnancy.”

Anxiety is an enemy to everything.  But Sir Phillip should have taken his own advice — and not been anxious about having an untitled county doctor around.  If his ego had not dismantled his brain, he would have come to Downton at the Crawleys’ request but told them Dr. Clarkson could handle it and that he would be glad to remain (at their dinner table) as a favor in case of an emergency.  Perhaps he should consider having that unsightly ego removed.

“You were right, though.  The proof was out there, and you found it.”

Lord Grantham gives credit where credit is due.  Well done, Nancy Drew.

“He saw my letter to the Times and wants to give me a regular column…once a week, and I can write about whatever I like.  It would be the problems faced by the modern woman rather than the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but even so…”

This week: “How to instruct someone to polish your diamonds properly when you do not have a ladies maid of your own.”  Next week: “How to attract another woman’s husband by driving his tractor.”  Is anyone else cracking up at the thought of Edith writing on the plight of the modern woman?

“Nothing means more than she does.”

Except his own neck.  Except Ireland.  Except whatever it is that he thinks about anything.  Oh, Tom.  Now there’s wine all over my table cloth.

“Why don’t I run down in the car after dinner and fetch him?”

Good ol’ useful spinster Edith.  Smoothin’ feathers and gettin’ the job done.  It may be possible you’ve inherited some of your mother’s American blood.  But don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.

“Alfred won’t like you any better for being rough on her.”

Amen, Mrs. Patmore.  Dear Daisy, you’re on track to become the next O’Brien if you don’t get your head on straight.  And maybe if you had a good girlfriend you could manage these crushes a little better.

“Dinner’s been cancelled.”

Translation: “You’re gonna have to await the stork for further instructions.”

“If there’s one thing that I’m quite indifferent to it’s Sir Phillip Tapsell’s feelings.”

Granny just hit the ball out of the park.

“I cannot allow you to interfere…”

…with my plot to kill my patient and ruin my career, Dr. Clarkson.  Really.  You took me away from my sherry for this?

“She can’t have started her career by making a kidney souffle…If we’re to avoid a midnight feast, it’s too late to turn back.”

The HMS Isobel has sailed.  The good news is Ethel has left her previous employment.  The bad news is Mrs. Bird has promoted herself to tattle tale.

“Please.  A woman of my age can face reality far better than most men.”

Keeping score with me?  That’s Granny: 2; Peacocks: 0.  At this point I’m really starting to wonder why strong-willed Sybil did not have an opinion about her own medical professional before the good Sir Phillip was invited.  No way she would have let them mess with her former employer and mentor who gave her support and direction.

“She’s a lovely person…like you.” – Thomas
“I’d like to tell him to keep his distance.” – Jimmyjohnjames
“So you’d like to get your marching orders then?” – O’Brien, her bangs blowing without any wind

“It looks as if WHAT?!?!?!”

Mama Cora, American woman, unleashed.  Somebody give Elizabeth McGovern a SAG award.

“But you were so sure!…But you don’t agree with him, do you, Sir Phillip?”

Papa Bear, that shovel you’re using to dig that hole has got to be getting awful heavy about now.  See the blood draining from Sir Phillip’s face?  I don’t think he’s capable of answering you.  Sybil and Tom and nameless baby girl will be paying for you gents’ mistake.  THIS should be Edith’s first column.

“Carry on, Daisy.  As we all must.” – Carson

“Don’t know why I’m crying, really.  She wouldn’t have noticed if I died…In my life I can tell you not many have been kind to me.  She was one of the few.” – Thomas

“She was the only person living who always thought you and I were such nice people.”
“Oh, Mary.  Do you think we might get along a little better in the future?”
“I doubt it.  But since this is the last time we three will all be together in this life, let’s love each other now as sisters should.”

Same song, fifteenth verse.  This character issue is getting old.  As in Methuselah.  If Sybil’s death can’t change Mary’s mind about her relationship with Edith, what is it that can?  Here’s another column for you, Edith.

“What will we do with Branson now?”

An excellent question indeed, Mr. Carson.  I have my own theories on that one.  But this meeting of the top three downstairs minds is precious for its own sake.  Mrs. Patmore’s memories of Sybil learning to cook in the kitchen.  Mrs. Hughes’ determination to show kindness to the former chauffeur.  I’d say the downstairs has risen to new heights during this terrible time.

“If I had any beliefs, that would shake them.”

Say it ain’t so, Bates.  Don’t tell me a woman like Anna was willing to marry you, and stand by you, and an Earl calls you his friend, and risked his reputation for you, and O’Brien was willing to testify for you even though that didn’t work out so well, and you can still look into our eyes and say you have no beliefs.  Maybe you shouldn’t talk so loud in front of the prison guards.  I have a feeling they want to give you something of their own to believe in.

“All we can do now is cherish her memory, and her child.”

The poor Dowager.  She went to bed having a beautiful new great-grandchild, but she woke up without a granddaughter.  I do disagree with her somewhat about the blame thing, but I agree with the sentiment that blame is not going to bring Sybil back from the dead.  Cherishing Sybil’s life and the life of her child is all there is left to do.

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