Sunday, January 25, 2015

Downton Abbey Recap; A Decent Proposal

EPISODE 1 Baby Mama Drama


Downton Abbey, now with more WINE!

Today we discover the Crawley family does eat lunch, although we've almost never seen it happen. Rose’s pop, Cousin Shrimpy, has returned from India for a visit.  Robert asks dumb questions and Mary kicks him under the table. Later she tells him that Shrimpy is planning to divorce his rattlesnake of a wife, Cousin Susan, who we remember as the meanest woman alive.

Srsly papa


Violet wants to clear up a few things with the Dos Equis guy Prince Kuragin after his startling appearance at Rose’s tea party.  She brings Isobel along for moral support. The Russians have a swell hangout in the crypt of a church in York, where than they have soup together among the dusty coffins and dream about the good old days. Like when they got to have tea above ground.

Looking' fly, Vi. I can't even afford haircuts

Mister Carson dumps every tiresome extra task on Cinderella Molesley to punish him for asking for the title of First Footman, instead of Only Footman.  We don’t think Mister Carson likes Molesley as much as we do. Poor Cinderelly!

Where are all those dang mice when you need them?

Carson can tell we are going to need a lot of wine for this episode

Lord Merton summons his courage and goes to ask Isobel for her hand in matrimony.  Isobel has been dreading this because she’s pretty well set already, without the added nuisance of a middle-aged husband, even a charming one like Dickie Merton, but he pitches a curve ball by declaring his abiding love for her. Yay Isobel and Dickie!  Disarmed, she promises to think about it.  

I heart you, Isobel

Well at least my boyfriend's wife is dead. Unlike SOME PEOPLE I KNOW.

Mary (accompanied by Anna) goes to a dress show in London with Rosamund.  She plans to break up with Tony while she is in town. Mary spots Charles Blake across the runway.  She is charmed, but that’s before she realizes Charles is accompanied by none other than MABEL the chump LANE-FOX, whom Tony jilted in order to pursue Mary.  AWKWARD, especially now that Mary intends to give Tony the heave-ho. She accepts a dinner invitation from Charles because she’ll be single again soon anyway.

Are you stalking me, Charles?

Just wait until you meet my date, Mary

Anna delivers Mary’s Google-maps directions to Tony’s flat and for some reason, goes to Picadilly to see for herself where Mr Green met his demise.  She doesn't notice the cadaverous looking man follows her from place to place.  This can’t be good.

Could Julian Fellowes be hinting that Anna pushed that disreputable Mister Green? Perish the thought.  We had reluctantly conceded that Bates might indeed have snuffed Green to avenge his wife, but we refuse to think Anna squashed that poisonous toad; no offense to toads.  

That evening at The Cracker Barrel, Mary tells Charles she’s planning to break it off with Tony because she doesn’t feel like marrying him after all, but without explaining why because that’s how we roll around here.

You don't say! 
Nope, I don't
So the next day, under the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Park, Mary lays [some of] the rubber on the road. Naturally, Tony is not taking her vague explanation lying down. He shouts about Having! Sex! In! A! Hotel! With! Mary! Fun fact, Tony: Public humiliation is not the winning ticket to Mary's heart.

Inside voices, please
Back in Yorkshire, Edith gets a phone call from Michael Gregson’s office at Real Simple Magazine, which has apparently been limping along without his editorial supervision for the past two years.  She is warned that more information on his mysterious disappearance will soon be revealed.

He might really be dead and not just avoiding me

Frankly, we had trouble with that one too, Edith

Thomas returns from his secret mission to “visit his ailing father”, (who has retreated from the edge of death.) Mrs Baxter thumbs through the Teen Vogue Barrow dropped in the hall, looking for clues, but Barrow pounces on her, snatching the magazine and whacking her on the nose with it.

Dancing lessons? 
As she is headed upstairs that night, Mrs Baxter hears sounds of distress from the downstairs bathroom (who knew there was a  downstairs bathroom?) Mrs Baxter cautiously taps on the door to offer assistance (although IDK what kind of help she could give someone with potty problems. Offer to fetch him some prunes?)  Barrow blocks the doorway but she sees ominous drug paraphernalia spread out near the sink.  Dancing drugs? Old timey heroin?  

Just say no
Even when presented with a perfect opportunity to get revenge on Barrow, tied up with ribbon on a silver platter, Mrs Baxter instead tries to help him. She’s way nicer than we would be.

Stop trying to be nice to me

The next day Simon Bricker trails Cora all around the house and gamely pretends to be interested in the art hung all over the place.  Robert catches the art historian admiring his wife and worms in between them like a fussy child.

I'll just stand here
In the drawing room after dinner that night, some old guy actor from general casting appears on set and we can’t understand why Violet is being so personal with a stranger until she calls him Shrimpy. We strongly suspect that Cousin Susan may have actually strangled the original Shrimpy.  Violet enlists Shrimpy2 to help find Princess Kuragin.

Excuse me, who are you? 
For some reason Isobel urges Tom to invite that rancid Miss Bunting to dinner the following night and Cora agrees that he should, because she’s had just about enough of Robert anyway, but this is obviously THE WORST IDEA EVER because Miss Bunting is a crazy @ss wild-card radical who shouldn’t come within three miles of Robert.

Hey look it's Wine O'Clock

Although it seems like they all just got up from the table, Mary has come home, and it's dinner time AGAIN. Mister Bricker spends the fish course playing footsie with Cora who is embarrassed because even though she is flattered by the attention, Robert IS SITTING RIGHT ACROSS THE TABLE.

a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou
Robert can't believe what he is witnessing, and ignores Miss Bunting’s churlish remarks until she calls him a heartless despot who can’t identify his own slaves by name.

Say Bob, why don't you call your servants into the dining room so we can humiliate them and start a class riot?

Is that a double dog dare?
Mrs Patmore and Daisy are summoned and both attest to Robert’s kindness, even though Mrs Patmore is still smarting from Robert's failure to help her with the Dead Archie dilemma.  Daisy sees an opportunity to praise Miss Bunting for teaching her fractions and helping her imagine smashing the glass ceiling.

Tomorrow the world, Your Lordship!
The two cooks go back downstairs to plate up the next course and they start eating again. Robert is like, welp, perhaps Daisy’s homeschooling isn’t so bad after all.  But the tirelessly tiresome Miss Bunting will not relent.  Every person at the table groans with second-hand mortification.

More wine please

Lots more wine

While everyone is slamming the last of their wine, Miss Bunting makes one final, unforgivable Socialist dig, pushing Robert past the brink of his tolerance.  Robert might be a pest, but he isn’t a monster, and we feel sorry for him. And even sorrier for Tom.

Please shoot me

Good night, Irene! News of the dinner from hell is all over the servants' hall.  In his office over a sherry with Mrs Hughes, Mister Carson declares that a leopard can’t change his spots and Mister Branson should probably set sail for America in the morning, and heave that poisonous Miss Bunting over the railing in the middle of the Atlantic ocean while he's at it. We absolutely do not want Tom to move away but are on board with Mister Carson's idea for drowning Miss Bunting, even it makes Daisy sad, but Julian Fellowes decided long ago that Daisy will never get what she wants.

In the morning Norm, Tommy and Roger go to town meet the surveyors at God’s Little Acre.
Robert isn’t too keen at having fifty ticky tacky houses ruining the verdant vibe of their little  village.  Robert grumpily says sorry/not sorry to Tom for yelling at his terrible girlfriend.

Lemme show you where the Starbucks will go

Officer Krupke drops by again to tell Mister Carson that a plainclothesman tailed Anna to Picadilly Square (that was the creepy stalker),  and to make sure she was definitely at Downton on the day Green was killed, right?  Mrs Hughes shoots Mister Carson an OMG! Anna-was-with-Mary-in-London-the-day-Green-died look--but Barney Fife the constable seems satisfied, for now, and leaves.
Open and shut, good sir! 

And now Marm and Lillian could use a glass of wine, too.  

Recap by Marm and Lillian
Links By Lillian
Editing by Marm
Captions by Marm and Lillian



  1. We stand corrected: That really is the same actor playing Shrimpy--without the beard and the agonized expression caused by living too near Susan. Does anyone else remember that the Shrimpies actually have a grown daughter named Annabelle and maybe one other adult child? Extra points for finding the episode! ...Marm

  2. *Satisfied sigh*
    Your captions this time were PRICELESS, ladies.


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