Monday, January 19, 2015

Downton Abbey Recap; My boyfriend’s back and there’s gonna be trouble

EPISODE 1 Baby Mama Drama


Oh hey, it’s a picture of Lillian first thing in the morning!  And Marm made us breakfast, too, how thoughtful.  Oops, no, it’s that scandalous Mary and Tony rolling around in bed at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool.
But then--
Whoa, Mary, what’s with the sour patch, kid?  Did Anna endure the Walgreens clerk-from-hell so you could give us The Face?  Does Tony "sleep" with his socks on?  


After a week of dining in public and being flagrantly indiscreet while clearly not-on-a-sketching-trip, Mary is mere steps from getting away scot-free, when who should see her? By the kind of coincidence so loved by screenwriters, Sneaky Eyes Spratt just so happens to be in great big Liverpool for his niece’s wedding, and just so happens to be across the street from the hotel, at the very moment the two lovebirds just so happen to emerge with their luggage.  And just so happen to kiss goodbye.

Smooching in public; why not?

Because nobody we know will see us, tra la! 

Meanwhile, back in Yorkshire, Thomas seems to have been handed a storyline that doesn’t portray him as the typical terrible bastard we’ve come to expect.  He bums Mister Carson’s private telephone to make a mysterious call, and then fibs that  his father is dying and he’d better get there quick before Dad kicks down.  We aren’t yet aware of this switch from crumb to cupcake though, so we try to guess what evil Thomas is cooking up now.

Hello, 1-800-PSYCHIC?

At teatime Tom reports that a builder wants to put fifty new houses on a parcel of the Grantham estate in the village.  But Robert declares that nobody’s building any bungalows while he’s still king of the world the Earl of Grantham!   The nannies bring the little heirs into the library for their afternoon visit.

I decree no urban sprawl in my kingdom

Whose kingdom?

Edith watches her family happily playing with the children.  She thinks about eating an entire cake.

Cake will always love me

Spratt returns to the Dower house and is beside himself with the heavy burden of his salacious secret. Violet grabs him by his starched collar and wrings his neck until the story spills out.  Always a quick study, Violet calmly replies that she knows all about Mary’s...overnight business trip to... the Northern Landowners’ Convention (good save, Granny!)  and is supremely offended that Spratt would dare hint at impropriety.

Whatchu talkin' bout?

Mary’s default solution is to load up her headaches onto Anna’s back AGAIN, so she asks Anna to hide the consequence-prevention-device and instruction manual somewhere in her and Bates’s wee cottage.  Oh, if only there were one little hiding place somewhere in vast Downton Abbey where nobody ever goes!

Always happy to take your secrets home with me, literally, M'lady
Downstairs, Mrs Hughes intervenes on Mrs Patmore’s behalf.  Remember Season Two when Mrs Patmore’s nephew, Archie, was executed for cowardice during the war?  Well, now poor dead Archie doesn’t get his name carved on his hometown’s monument because like, treason, duh.  Mrs Patmore wonders if his name could be carved on the Downton monument instead, since Mister Carson is head the War Memorial Committee and all.  But  Mister Carson is all  “like hell we will” and both Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes scowl at him.
Absolutely not

Is that your final answer?


When Mary returns to the Abbey, Violet summons her for tea to explain what the FRESH HELL SHE WAS THINKING.  Spratt meets her at the door.

I hope you enjoyed Liverpool, Your Ladyship.

Nobody asked you, Spratt.

Moseley advises Miss Baxter to bust out and tell Cora the rest of the TERRIBLE SECRET, but only if Cora promises to lock it up and throw away the key.  For some boneheaded reason everyone who lives in this house feels compelled to leak just barely enough of any story to screw up everything, for years and years even, while all parties stay miserable and confused the whole dang time.  On the other hand, if the standard were full disclosure always, there would only have been one season; so rather than be infuriated, we have trained ourselves to be grateful for this  nonsense intrigue.

A bad man made me do it but I won't rat him out, the end
I agree that men are dreadful, but won't ratting him out make ME feel better?

Cora travels to London to meet with her dressmaker, and incidentally to attend an art exhibit with her number one fan Simon Bricker. She generously invites both Robert and Edith to come along but  Robert has some fuddyduddy soldier party to attend and Edith offered to babysit Marigold while Mrs Drew takes little Billy to the dentist.

And look, here's one with an angel asking why the hell there's a baby on the ground!

Girl, I like how you talk about art.

You make me feel so young! You make me feel there are songs to be sung!

Robert’s fuddyduddy soldier party gets cancelled so he catches a train to London as a special treat for Cora.  We don't doubt she will be surprised, because he hasn’t done anything actually nice for Cora since, well, ever.  Since Robert is Robert, he is peeved that Cora isn’t there playing checkers with Rosamund but has instead flounced off to dinner with that dog-whisperer Simon Bricker.  Robert is already ticked about the incident with Isis, but now he is really boiling.  What does Cora know about art?  That cad Bricker probably wanted to hear all about the dog!  Cora is a little drunk and not interested in a scolding so she goes to bed.

Surprise fail

When Mrs Drew comes home, she thinks her worst fears have come true and that Edith has kidnapped Marigold, but then finds them looking at the chickens with her husband. She is pretty pissed about this whole business and lets Mr Drew know that she is nearing the end of her rope.

Oh hey!

You can sleep with the chickens tonight!

Robert is still smarting about the Bricker thing, but Cora isn’t having it.  Why shouldn’t she go to a museum? Why shouldn’t she go out to dinner if she wants to?

Give it a rest.  And stop calling them Russkies. 

Rose gives a tea party for her Russian refugee pets to look at some dusty old artifacts.  Poor Rose finds Miss Bunting in the kitchen for Daisy’s math lesson and, unable to shake her mannered British instincts, invites her upstairs to meet the guests. Miss Bunting responds to this gracious offer by immediately insulting a Russian nobleman before Tom can clamp his hand over her blabbermouth.  
Look, if we wanted to be harassed we'd have stayed in the old country. Do Svidaniya!

Cora smooths their ruffled feathers by waving a few rusty Russian trinkets under their noses, and they all crowd, teary-eyed and homesick, around the table of souvenirs.  Violet spies an old fan and remarks that it was given to her personally when she and the previous Lord Grantham visited St Petersburg, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth before the Revolution.

It was a gift from the young Prince

By yet another oh-hell-no coincidence, the shaggy Russian is none other the Dos Equis guy the prince who gave Violet that fan (oh, come on), and all present are uncomfortably aware of some bit of shared past.  But then we begin counting on our fingers to determine how old Violet must be now.  How old would you say that guy is?  

Mary corners Violet  as the Russians get back on the bus.  She suspects Granny might understand her sketching trip a little more than she let on.  Isobel needles Violet as they share a ride home, but Violet shuts her down. Lillian and Marm can’t wait for a real live storyline for Violet, even if we might have to imagine her kissing the most interesting man in the world

Anything you'd like to share with the class, Granny?

Hey yah, hey yah, your boyfriend's back! 
Recap by Marm and Lillian
Links By Lillian
Editing by Marm
Captions by Marm and Lillian



  1. Just have to say it again, I love your recaps!! Thanks!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. When he sees the new and improved you, he will see that the break up didn't shatter your spirit. You were able to do something that you didn't even do while you were together with him and that shows strength and perseverance, two qualities he won't be able to resist. how to make him regret losing you


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