‘Downton Abbey’ s6e3 – Wedding crashers

24 Jan

All I know is, when you casually throw a wedding in mid-season, there’s gotta be somethin’ crazy amazing heading our way the rest of the season. Hold that thought.

The Dowager’s in the last throws of desperation to hold on to village hospital as is. Cup of tea for Granny. Freight train’s a-comin’.

I’ve been a little confused this season about why Dr. Clarkson would side with the Dowager when he has always been a forward thinking voice of reason throughout the entire series. Watching this episode — watching the look on Dr. Clarkson’s face when Isobel attacks him unfairly — all the sudden I remembered his proposal to (and rejection by) Isobel. Is it possible that he’s taken Granny’s side against Isobel because of Isobel’s relationship with Merton? When Isobel refused Clarkson, didn’t she say something along the lines of “I’m just not really interested in marrying again?” And now she’s said yes to a local peer…when she said no before to the “lowly” local doctor. Ouch. Dr. Clarkson is a great guy, but he’s still human. I just wonder if the two things are connected.

Edith staying alone in a flat in London. No wonder Granny’s world is on it’s head.

Thomas is still job hunting, to the greatly expressed pleasure of Carson. He happens upon Sir Michael, a clearly unhinged man from a previously great family. His nostalgia is touching and disturbing. The walls of his manor home are so bare it seems he’s even sold the paint. Not only does Sir Michael open his own front door, but his wet clothes (assuming here that he washed them himself) are hanging to dry on the screen by the fire in the one room he both lives and entertains in. The state of the living is far worse than the state of the dearly departed. Meeting Sir Michael is one of 100 reminders of the changes happening all over England — it’s hard to know whether we should feel sad or glad by them. So much like the world we live in today, isn’t it? It feels like every five minutes technology changes, and because our world relies on technology so heavily now, it means our world changes just as fast, and dramatically, as the technology does. When the world of Downton Abbey began, the world moved at the speed of a locomotive. Today it moves at the speed of a quantum computer. All that to say…what growth will we have to look forward to here in 2016? What ghosts will we live with? Thomas did the right thing running out of there, ungracious though he was. Taking a job with Sir Michael would have been like taking a store management position with Macy’s.

Speaking of changes and all — how much longer will Bertie have a job on his estate? And an even more important question — are any of us buying that Bertie is magazine savvy and that he helps Edith succeed at getting a magazine published in less than 12 hours? This season almost has more questions that answers. I really like Bertie, though I’m wondering about his mental stability in his preference for Edith. A guy that nice, talented, employed, respected…where’s the girlfriend? Anyone else see two different Ediths? A “Country Edith” and a “London Edith?” Her accent is so posh this episode I don’t feel I’m worthy of even watching her. So posh I’m still wanting to know how the occasional amateur columnist made a mock-up with a land agent. The secretary did it. Audrey must be the answer.

In spite of her over-the-top accent, Edith finally says two very important things: 1) she’s going to hire a “caretaker” for the magazine (so grateful the mock-up has not gone to her head; and it also shows she knows that’s not really what she wants to do with her life) and 2) “I know now I need a purpose” (good, sound solid thinking someone should have coached her on a long time ago). So let’s get to it then, Edith. What’s next for you and the magazine?

Why didn’t the mock-up remain in London at the magazine offices where it belonged? How did it end up in the parlor at Downton at tea time? Lord Grantham is especially keen to view the rag.

Daisy’s doing fires again.

Lady Grantham’s gloves are very “snappy.” Love it. And her apology to Mrs. Hughes is spectacular. Her character certainly has a good grasp of giving speeches.

“I know [Spratt] has a great many relations who seem to get married and buried with numbing regularity, usually on very inconvenient days.” ~ Dowager Countess

I could NOT believe she said that. Only Violet Crawley would have the nerve. Speaking of Spratt’s great many relations, Sgt. Willis returns to question Spratt about his sister’s son who has escaped from prison. And so Denker’s next blackmail gig begins. You know, if it weren’t for Denker, we’d probably never see the downstairs in the Dowager’s house.

“What an interesting family you have, Mr. Spratt. Mine are quite dull by comparison.” ~ Denker

Which is because Denker got all the crazy genes. Just sayin’.

Molesley looks so cozy reading there by the fire. He thinks he has “missed everything,” but I’d argue he hasn’t missed anything of real importance. In fact, he has been a part of precious difficulties in life few in his world know anything about, things he allowed to build priceless character within himself. He’s far richer than he knows.

Drumroll, please. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Preparations for the Hughes/Carson Wedding are well underway. Mrs. Patmore’s baking the cakes, the gardener’s collecting white roses, and the Crawley’s are putting it all on their account. Including the bruhaha over where the reception will be held. Mary and Cora duke it out, and the victory goes to Mrs. Hughes. And then the brown dress fiasco happens.

Mrs. Hughes is so practical she can’t spare the thought for being married in anything other than her frequently worn brown dress. Mrs. Patmore orders her a special…brown dress. The ladies both upstairs and down conspire to remedy the situation, which leads to an unexpected wedding eve explosion in Cora’s bedroom. Mr. Carson packs a suitcase — is the couple to go on a wedding trip we haven’t heard of or are they moving into a cottage on the estate? The loveliest moment is the wedding ceremony held in the same church that everyone else has married in…a quiet reminder that we are all the same in God’s eyes, no matter our station in life. His love for all of us is quite equal indeed. The happy couple doesn’t kiss or hold hands as they process out of the church to the bagpipes. There’s a beautiful spread in the schoolhouse, just as Mrs. Hughes, now Mrs. Carson, always wanted. Children are free to play in the yard, everyone they know is welcome to attend, and Carson makes a sweet speech before kissing his “charming” bride in front of everyone. Mrs. Carson looks just like a delicate, precious flower standing there. A whole new part of their partnership is beginning. And then a surprise guest arrives.

Why does Branson get to come back on the show? What’s afoot? What does he think of the Drewe situation? Could we get Matthew back, too?

It also occurred to me this episode that Mary has lost her Carson. Carson being caught between his two most important women last episode was partly due to Mary trying to put her oar in one last time to keep her Carson, the man who practically raised her and is nearly a father to her except that she can’t have anything to do with him in public. Anyway, now that Mary is “manless” again, this means it’s time for another man to arrive on the scene. Dude — we’re three episodes in and Christmas special guy still hasn’t come back. How in the world can her story possibly wrap up in just a few more episodes? Let’s get this show on the road — in a sporty little roadster, preferably.

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