Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Downton Abbey Recap, I've got 99 Problems






It’s the day after the horsetravaganza and Edith is definitely AWOL. Tony, Charles and Mabel spent the night and now are hanging around feeling terribly uncomfortable witnessing this family fracas. Rosamund and Violet reluctantly admit they must finally come clean to Cora (but not Robert because NBGAF what he thinks) but before they can get her alone Mrs Drew knocks on the back door to throw Edith, and while she's at it Rosamund and Violet, under the bus.

A lady who smells like pigs is here to speak to her Ladyship
Cora summons Rosamund and Violet to her room so she can beat the living daylights out of them. They defend themselves by explaining that Edith didn’t stick to the original plan, which was for heaven’s sakes do not get pregnant, or the second plan, which was get an illegal abortion, or the third plan, which was leave the baby safely in Switzerland, or the fourth plan, which was hoodwink the pig farmer’s wife.  And she didn’t like the fifth plan, either--baby boarding school!  Since each plan is getting progressively worse, we can only imagine what they dream up for the sixth plan.

What the actual F*%! were you thinking? 

You old school in Paris that was covered in vines....?

Mrs Hughes asks Mary if she still has Mister Bates’s train ticket to London from that time she had a personal ethics crisis during that boneheaded Christmas Special.  Of course, there was one teensy detail nobody on earth noticed: the ticket wasn’t torn in half, which  “proved”  Mister Bates didn’t really go to London. Because naturally we are all up to speed on our 1920’s British train ticket trivia. (Marm and Lillian noticed there also wasn't a DATE on it, but that would have been too easy.) Miss Baxter, who is frequently in just the right place at just the right time, eavesdrops on Mary and Mrs Hughes.  Helpful hint, Miss Baxter, if you want people to like you better, perhaps you should stop listening in on their private conversations. Mary tells Mrs Hughes that she torched the pesky ticket. Womp, womp!

To be honest, I never would have picked up on that either 


Miss Baxter tries to apologize for squealing to the cops but stops short of spelling out why she told them what she knew, which was actually nothing,  instead of just buttoning her lip, because Julian Fellowes wants everybody to be frustrated and confused until the end of time. Also, THOMAS wrote the letter to the police and here’s Miss Baxter protecting him again.  We suspect that particular footnote would make Mister Bates even madder than he is now, don’t you?

It's in the script that I can't explain, or I totally would! 
I know, right? Julian Fellowes will be the death of me

Yeah! Julian Fellowes is the WORST
Rose’s  boyfriend and his parents have come to dinner. Rose tells Sherlock Holmes Atticus about Edith’s perplexing disappearance and he’s all, well, wouldn’t she be at the publishing company she just inherited?  The family’s perpetual dismissal of Edith’s many problems means that nobody considers the logical answer to the ‘where’s Edith?’ question.  

No, YOU'RE so smart!

Remember the time in, like, Season Three we were convinced that one old church guy looked like a Sith Lord? UPDATE: We have to take that back because Atticus’s old man TOTALLY looks like a Sith Lord. May the force be with you, Rose, because Darth Sinderby seems like a difficult PFF-I-L (potential future father-in-law).

I heard your dad was a Jew

I heard your dad was a Jedi

A radiant Isobel tells the assembled guests that Dickie popped the question and she said yes.  Robert offers a gracious toast to the happy couple, but Violet feels all sad between the arms.  If Isobel becomes Lady Merton they can’t play Parcheesi and walk to church together any more like two dear old widow ladies. So much for our Golden Girls!

Ugh, now I'll have to get a cat

That night in their cozy little cottage, Anna and Mister Bates talk about selling the London house they inherited from his mother, and buying a fixer-upper nearby. They dare to imagine things falling into place and how they can finally have some peace and harmony, which can only mean that Julian Fellowes is taking this moment to raise the misery hammer high above his head, ready to smash it right down on our little Bates family.

Now we can be happy at last!
Nothing bad will ever happen to us again!

The next day, Tom asks Sybbie if she wants to ditch leave England and go live in Boston. Sybbie’s all, Golly Daddy, haven’t you read in the papers about the state of Irish slums in Boston? The crowded and unsanitary conditions are a breeding ground for diseases like cholera, and 60% of Irish children there die before the age of six! If a little girl (such as myself) manages to survive to adulthood, she most likely would only be able to find a low paying and dangerous job such as those in textile factories or mills, or be forced into a religious order to live as a nun. Not only that, but the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 suggests that Irish immigrants are less than welcome in America. So, no, I don’t think it’s such a good idea.  And Tom’s all, when did you learn to read?

Get a clue, Daddy! 
Later that day Cora and Rosamund take the train to London and ambush Edith, who has stepped into the role of Savvy Publishing Boss Lady at dead Michael’s magazine empire (complete with a chic business-woman wardrobe), but has failed to imagine anyone might come hunting for her in the only logical place she might be.

Crap, who let you in here?
The doorman

They find a Starbucks and sit down to settle Edith’s future. Edith knows some French and how to play the piano, but is not fully prepared to be a publisher.  She considers going to America to live anonymously as a pretend widow, but what would Town & Country Magazine do without a pianist around to make marketing decisions? Her other option is to live in London and just pass Marigold off as her orphaned god-daughter, but both Cora and Rosamund poo-poo that one, which is too bad considering it’s the best idea anyone has had so far.  
Plus, Americans really like British people, don't they?
They will eventually, but not until the Beatles, Masterpiece Theatre, and Monty Python.

Down in the servants’ hall, Mister Molesley gets a letter from [the world’s finest father-in-law] Mister Mason. He invites Daisy and Mister Molesley out to the farm for a visit, which confounds Daisy. Even more astounding, Thomas suggests taking Miss Baxter along, as if an afternoon in the country somehow makes up for him writing that ghastly letter telling the police she had incriminating evidence against Anna and Mister Bates.

Our little Daisy!


As we predicted, Cora has cooked up plan six, which we can see from here is riddled with big deep holes:  Edith will come home to Downton (Hole #1!) while Marigold is stowed, temporarily, with the Drews (Hole #2!)  Edith will ask Robert (Hole #3!) if she can adopt the baby because the Drews have suddenly determined they can’t afford to raise a fourth child (Hole #4!)  The only people who will know the truth about Marigold’s true identity are Edith, Cora, Rosamund, Violet, Mister and Mrs Drew, half of  Switzerland, and the waitress at the Starbucks where Cora rolled out this plan (Hole #5!) What could possibly go wrong?

Big Marigold again? I'm so confused! 
Edith sees Mary on the train platform and has to think fast because obviously she can’t step off the train with a baby on her hip, now can she?  Mister Drew is there to meet them, so Edith drags him into their car,  because even Edith knows you can’t probably shouldn’t leave a baby on the train alone (Hole #6!)

Edith just needed a new hat! Haha! 

Little Marigold? Good grief--who's in charge of continuity on this show?
As the train pulls away, Anna looks up just in time to see that not only did Mister Drew stay in Edith's first class car, but there is also a baby in there. Whaaaaaat?

Is that Mister Drew? With a baby? (Hole #7)

Hey! Lady! Call CPS! 

I've turned your room into my yoga studio

Mabel and Charles stir up a stunt to convince Tony that Mary is ready to cut him loose. Just go, Tony!  Nobody cares, least of all Mary. Their dumb plan is: (cue some silly circus music) Tony and Mabel exit the movie theater and there stand Mary and Charles, smooching, which is somehow the last step to convincing Tony to stop trying to claim Mary and settle for Mabel.  Lord, we told you it was dumb. This schtick cements our belief that Tony got out by the skin of his teeth and Mabel got a raw deal, and we really hope they live happily ever after.

and I realized she probably was right
there must be fifty ways to leave your lover
Daisy, Mister Molesley and Miss Baxter go out to Mister Mason’s farm for lunch the next day.  Mister Mason convinces Daisy to get her GED, with Mister Molesley’s help, because education is the key to success.  We’ve heard that old saw before, Mister Mason, but when you say it, it sure sounds true!

You could be Margaret Thatcher!

Yeah! Daisy Mason, the Iron Lady!

Surrounded by her unenthusiastic family, Edith rolls out her plan (the sixth plan) to adopt the Drews’ foster child and raise her at Downton Abbey. (Better hide Marigold GREGSON’s birth certificate, Edith.) Except for Cora, everyone thinks it’s an outstandingly stupid notion.  Just then Barrow staggers in carrying Isis, the world’s longest surviving labrador, at least so far, and dumps her on the rug.  Robert is choked up and tells the family that Isis has cancer and could kick down any time.  Edith can feel her platform collapsing and quickly says, so little Marigold can come live with us, right? Right?

Edith, are you still talking?

Marigold who? God, Stop pestering me, Edith! 

Anna tells Mrs Hughes that she saw Mister Drew in Edith and Cora’s train car, and there was a baby in there too.  A baby that looked an AWFUL LOT like that picture they found under Edith’s pillow.  A baby that would be just about the right age to have been born while Edith was in Switzerland. But Mrs Hughes already knows.  Mrs Hughes knows EVERYTHING about EVERYBODY. That's why her hair is so big, it’s full of secrets!    

So what should I do?
Let it go
Cora and Robert have invited Lord Merton’s nasty sons Larry and Terry Barry Tim Gray meet Isobel. The most despicable son, Icky Larry, who as you recall slipped a roofie into Tom’s drink the night before Mary and Matthew’s wedding, which made poor Tom act all drunk and belligerent, and now has a lucrative career as a professional Internet Troll.  Icky Larry is rude and mean and we truly hate him.

Of course the Crawleys will let just anybody in.  A lawyer, an Irish chauffeur, a Jew -- anybody! 

What did you just say?
Way harsh
Come at me, Bro!

Yeah! Bring it!
Well aren't you the turd in the punchbowl, Larry

Molesley gallops downstairs to report on the hullabaloo. He’s all, and then Mister Branson rolls out his inner angry Irish radical and calls Lord Merton’s son the B-word! ...and the staff laughs about how corny it is when rich people come unglued. Anna feels sorry for Mrs Crawley, who really doesn’t deserve such wretched stepsons, and Mister Carson scolds them for using bad language.

Lol, rich people! 

Somehow all the shouting and napkin flinging just seems charming to Atticus, whose father is, after all, a Sith Lord, and he proposes to Rose on bended knee, just like she has always dreamed.  We had our doubts about that naughty Teen Rose, who is no rocket scientist but did turn into a kind thoughtful person and even snagged herself a pretty cute fiance, although we probably have not heard the last of this Jewish issue.

He liked it so he put a ring on it
Gary Jerry Tim, who is nearly as repellent as Larry, stomps into the house to stamp his feet and whine.  Isobel is crushed by the horrible dinner party and tells Dickie she can’t think about marrying anybody right now and not to call her for a while.  Poor Isobel!  Poor Dickie! Grown up children are the WORST, or at least his are.

Come on Dad, let's go home or I'll miss the new episode of South Park!

Where was Mary Stopes when I really needed her?

Okay, this last scene is sad for real.  The actress who plays Isis does a very convincing job portraying a dying pet, and Marm and Lillian feel all the feels.

Is it weird if Isis dies on our bed?
No weirder than anything else in this house
Recap by Marm and Lillian
Links By Lillian
Editing by Marm
Captions by Marm and Lillian

Episode 8, A Rose By Any Other Name


  1. YOU ROCK.
    From the Jew/Jedi to the actress playing Isis to the zany circus music cued up--this episode! I'm like, GEEZ, BAXTER--just TELL THEM ALREADY.
    And GO ROSE!


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