Monday, January 12, 2015

Downton Abbey Recap; Sketchy

EPISODE 1 Baby Mama Drama


It’s the morning after the house fire and Anna and Mrs Hughes are brushing ashes from the crispy remnants of Edith’s belongings.  Under the soggy pillow, Anna finds a picture of a baby.   We’re pretty sure Mrs Hughes has understood there was a baby hidden in this plotline all along, because as she herself declared in Season Two, she may not be a woman of the world but she doesn’t live in a sack!  Also, who looks guiltier than Edith? No one, that’s who.

what's this?

The War Memorial Committee trundles around town discussing the merits of various possible sites, all conveniently owned by Lord Grantham’s dynasty. Team Cricket Field (with Mister Carson at bat) argues for building the memorial,  rather inconveniently, smack in the middle of the town’s cricket field, which we use to play cricket every year. While Team Town Square (with Robert leading) wants the memorial, quite conveniently, in the center of the village.  Marm and Lillian, for the record, even though  it means agreeing with Robert, prefer the village location because, duh.

the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker
Jimmy, who has been fired for servicing Lady Anstruther the previous night, and Barrow have a sweet moment of farewell, which Jimmy ruins by vigorously reasserting his heterosexuality: So...I hope you find happiness. In a gay way. Not that I’m gay because I’m not. I mean it’s great for you. Not great, I mean, because YUCK. Well- I know you are into that but for me personally, I would rather have  bamboo shoots jammed under my non-gay fingernails, but it's perfectly fine if you like that disgusting stuff. So anyway, goodbye, probably forever. I most likely won’t write.

Same to you dude
Molesley rockets to the head of the pack, now that he’s the first --and only-- footman at Downton. First place in a race with just one runner is still first place! (and also last place.)  Congratulations!

I'll make you so proud, Mr Carson!
At luncheon Mary doesn’t miss her hourly opportunity to belittle Edith, and Edith starts imagining she might accidentally set Mary’s room on fire. It’s a comforting thought.

Nom nom nom Edith is a blockhead nom 

Might wanna sleep with one eye open Mary
Mary (who is clearly much better at fibbing to cover up her R-rated road trips than Edith) casually mentions she is going on a sketching trip, of all things, with a friend [who is also a liar]. Of course she will really be attending a weeklong orgy with Tony.

Yes, sketching! I love sketching!
Rose and Tom (the only people at the table with two braincells to rub together) instantly see that Mary’s story is fiction, but they don’t call her out.

Since when?

Over at the Drew house, Edith is stalking visiting little Marigold again. She invites herself to tea and poor Mrs Drew can barely contain her annoyance.

Me again!
Mister Drew’s plan, which he rolled out last night by the firetruck, is that Edith  will become the little foundling’s sponsor. Since she has nobody in the world to care for her, like, I dunno, a pig farmer and his wife willing to take her in no questions asked.

Just smile and nod
Mrs. Drew points out that Marigold actually does have somebody to care for her, right here in this room.

What is wrong with you?

That night Mary asks Anna to rustle her up something to, you know, protect against the consequences of...sketching, and of course that’s something Anna just cannot wait to do for Mary.  Feel free to pile some more humiliation on Anna, Your Ladyship.  She lives to serve.

Let's talk about SEX!
When Anna recovers enough to speak, she carefully suggests that perhaps Lord Gillingham could manage that department, but Mary, thinking sensibly for once, prefers to be the boss of her own baby farm.  With Anna pulling the plow, of course.

Anna is all, remember the last time know… with that Turkish diplomat and he died in your bed and your mother and I helped carry his vile naked corpse across the house, then I spent ten years wading through the sea of sh*t you brought down on all our heads and my husband went to jail for murder and we gave up every penny we had to save your reputation? Remember that? No?  All right then, as long as you’re sure about this.


Anna tiptoes into Walgreens and slips off her glove so the pharmacy clerk can see the wedding ring on her trembly hand, and holds out Mary’s copy of “Sex and the Single Girl” open to the description of the Mystery Family Planning Device selected by Mary.

He liked it so he put a ring on it

The snarky clerk, who clearly used to be a high school health teacher, gives Anna the evil eye and suggests instead an aspirin to hold between her knees.  Luckily for Mary, Anna manages to wrench the offending object from the clerk’s judgy hands and flees, pitching some change over her shoulder as she dodges out the door.

Judgey Wudgey was a pharmacist
So Thomas tells Moseley Miss Baxter’s TERRIBLE SECRET is that she stole her boss’s jewelry and he asks why she would do such a despicable thing. Miss Baxter probably has a perfectly reasonable explanation, but it would be much too easy to just explain and then everyone lives happily ever after.  As we know from watching Mister Bates and Anna struggle with TERRIBLE SECRETS, the writers can wring many more episodes, or even a whole season, out of everyone’s ultra-British refusal to just SAY WHAT HAPPENED right up front.  The instant we realized this was a rerun, our tolerance level dropped like a stone.

Does anyone else have deja vu?

Isobel and Violet are invited for tea with Lord Murton at his great big chilly house in a nearby village. Violet is disappointed to see that Isobel isn't swatting away the wisps of romance wafting around the room.

Tea for 2 3

Charles Blake, after being dismissed by Mary, brings an acquaintance, art historian Simon Bricker, to Downton to see some ratty old painting he’s interested in, and incidentally to berate Mary for ignoring him for most of last year.  Mary chips off an icy little apology for breaking his heart, but we think Charles dodged a bullet.  Save yourself, Charles! Run!

Lol, sry 4 Ur loss

Mister Bricker suggests that Downton is home to some very beautiful works of art, including Cora! Cora is flustered by Mister Bricker’s open admiration.   Robert has been so boorish lately that we are happy for her.  Mister Bricker certainly is charming! Robert certainly is a noob! You go girl!

Was your father an artist? Because you are a masterpiece!

Art was my favorite subject in school, teehee!

But at bedtime Robert is all bent because Mister Bricker is much more sophisticated than he is, and even worse, has the audacity to be friendly to Isis. Robert is so dense he didn't realize that Bricker was hitting on his wife.  There is nothing more inexcusable, Robert grouses, than a man who flirts with another man’s dog!

What am I? Chopped liver?

Rose, desperate for her own iPod a modern radio, tells Robert that King George will be broadcasting a speech on the radio, (which they all endearingly call a wireless) and decides the patriotic and respectful thing to do would be to get one at Rent-A-Center so they can all listen.  Radios may be tacky, but nobody is more Royalist than Robert,  so a radio it shall be!  This works well for Rose who, in addition to ready access to Kingly speeches, envisions long dull Yorkshire evenings happily filled with jazz.

Does Otter box sell a case for these?

Just busta move! 

God save our gracious king
Long live our noble king
God save the king

Send him victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us

God Save the King
Thomas is  not particularly uplifted by the King’s message.  He is all pissy about his only friend being canned.  We have no idea how Anna, whom Thomas has backstabbed repeatedly and undeservedly, can be gracious enough to offer him consolation.  He’ll probably just blame something else really awful on you, Anna (like, for example, a burned blouse or, I don't know, murder.)  Lillian and Marm vote for leaving Thomas alone.

Everyone thinks I'm a jerk
Perhaps you could try not BEING a jerk

The local constable drops by Downton to say, so remember that time that guy got squashed by a bus and everybody thought it was an accident?  Well darned if a witness didn’t come forward and tell us she heard Dead Mr Green bellyaching about being treated badly while he was here at the Abbey.  Got any excuses ideas about why he’d have said that?

Take a bite outta crime

Meanwhile Mary arrives in Liverpool for her sketching trip sexcation with Tony, to find that he has arranged for adjoining suites. How very French!


You can keep your hat on
Recap by Marm and Lillian
Links By Lillian
Editing by Marm
Captions by Marm and Lillian


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