Downton Abbey Recap: Edith Will Never Be The Queen Of Anything
Welcome back to Downton Abbey Season 3 Recaps! Remember, SPOILER ALERT! Also, please note, this week I accidentally paired Downton Abbey with the documentary The Queen of Versailles. I personally think this worked out well, as I was able to watch the trials and tribulations of the Crawleys with an eye to the Siegals, but it may have made me even extra jaded about the super-rich. Both families are insanely wealthy, living in castles with ungrateful children and dogs, employing hordes of people and on the verge of losing everything. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? Will the Crawleys, in a strange twist, move to Florida and start a timeshare business? Only time will tell...on to Episode 2.
This episode starts with the classic early-morning-getting-things-ready montage. Even though on one level I know this means those poor servants were up before dawn punching pillows and starting fires, this is the Downton I love. And what are the eager little helpers setting up for on this particular day? A wedding of course! Two weddings in only two episodes! Did they secretly change the working title to Downton Abbey: Say Yes to the Dress? I don't care at all because here is Edith! Oh Edith. Everyone is rolling their eyes at her (what a hateful family you have, little Edith!) but I'm excited for her. Her own wedding!
Downstairs, all is not well. It looks like Anna isn't the only detective, because Carson is on the scent of Mrs. Hughes' maybe-cancer.
And of course Thomas is back at his game of deviosity. I see no one posted a sign as I suggested last week. Can someone help old Mosely out please? For me? He's like a sad old panda bear.
The Grantham's gather in the library to discuss how the real estate agent will list their mansion, since of course they "have to give it up." Branson has apparently given something up too: all pretense of being political. I'm no tie expert but he looks pretty well dressed and comfortable, reading in the library with his in-laws. Never fear, the Crawleys actually own half of England so they can move a few miles away and rename the show Downton Place. Ha ha. What a ridiculous name for a show!
Of course, due to Matthew's RIDICULOUS moral code and extreme guilt and inability to accept the money THAT WILL SAVE THE FAMILY (from having to move a few miles away and fire like 5 of their 2 million servants), there is trouble in Matty/Mary paradise. This is what happens when you see the groom before the wedding.
Carson might be the best detective on this show! It's his shady criminal stage acting past! He tracks down the doctor and tricks him into giving up information on Hughes' health. I hope Dr. Clarkson has malpractice insurance!
Everyone whines while they get ready for a fancy dinner. Waa, what will I do with my second undue inheritance? Waa, why is my future son-in-law so punctual? At the dinner, or rather after, during Man Time, Branson's insurgency seems to have totally withered as he is now in black tie sitting calmly by as Lord Grantham calls him a "tame revolutionary." Later, he plays billiards. Dear "Tom": YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO IRELAND!
Lord Grantham seems to be overcompensating for his non-happiness over Edith's impending nuptials to a broken down old man by saying "happy" over and over again. This seems to be a pattern with him, so I suggest this new drinking game idea: Take a shot every time Robert lies about being happy. Go.
Oh yes! Finally we are back at the home for reformed ladies of the night, where the biggest challenge for everyone seems to be combing their hair and saying the word "prostitute." Sadly, as usual, not much happens except whore laughter when the disgraced maid runs away. Again.
Matthew uses his eyebrows to express the seriousness of the serious letter he received from Lavinia's father sent from beyond the grave. Of course, in the olden days, pre-text message, people had patience and no one expected a quick response, so you could just put serious letters in your pocket and then go to picnics. No big deal, just get to it later! This is only YOUR WHOLE LIFE AND THE LIFE OF YOUR FAMILY AND THE VILLAGE AND THE DOG AND EVERYTHING WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. As a person who can't even wait 10 seconds to read an email from Barack Obama, I don't get it. But moving on.
Sherlock Anna, (Anna Holmes?) is back on the Bates case, running around the city, paying possible witnesses (this is totally not legal right?). I wonder if she would be so tenaciously searching for answers if she knew about Bates' jailhouse confession.
In Old Time "Oz," things are heating up. Is Bates going to get shanked? Is he going to be the gang leader of this entire jail? I've always thought he has the jaw line of someone who calls the shots.
On a jolly ride to the picnic (they aren't at the g-d picnic yet??) Sir Anthony points out that riding in the front seats of cars is totally appropriate for ladies and that: "There's never been a safer method of travel." Then he adds, "Edith's a speed fiend. She likes to go at a terrific lick!" Um, what?
At the "picnic" (white table cloth lunch outdoors), Cora is stoked on downsizing. Your average empty nester, I bet in Episode 3 she suggests moving to Florida, making all my TV dreams come true.
The poverty hanging over the Crawleys has different implications for all members of the family, but Lord Grantham doubts they will need more than "8 servants, tops," so, you know, they'll be roughing it. The Dowager will have nowhere to live apparently. I guess they can't clear out one of the servants and give her a home, so unfortunately she will be on the streets and next thing you know she will be a disgraced ex-prostitute with messy hair trying to get a job with Mrs. Crawley. But wait! She presents a solution! She's going to start a shop selling "good manners and some conversation." Oh wait. That sounds like an ad on the back page of Downton Weekly. Uh oh. It's all happening. Damn my ability to see the future.
Matthew continues to whine like a baby about how amazing Lavinia's dad thought he was. Apparently he knows that's what his mystery letter says so he will never, ever, ever in a million years read it. His life is like a National Geographic spread on really hard lives.
Back at the prison, the guards don't know what they are up against. Oh these poor prison guards. Don't they realize that Bates is a true hero who always avoids a frame-up?
Speaking of tragedy and frame-ups, I hope Thomas is happy with his humiliating destruction of sweet innocent man-baby Mosley. I know that Mosley is just an unfortunate civilian causality in this war between the Downstairs Downton Evil Twins, but can they at least pick someone less pathetic to hurt? And doesn't Mosely have a drinking problem? He's fragile! LEAVE HIM ALONE.
Cora is suddenly a humanitarian with possible cancer victim Mrs. Hughes, promising her they will always take care of her. Even in Downton Place with only 8 servants?! Really??
And finally! The racy Edith-talk reaches its climax (ha) when Sybil implies that Edith won't sleep at all on her dirty, dirty wedding night and the Dowager replies: "Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit." Of course, if anyone is a match for Violet it is Modern-Haircut so she says: "Well you started it!" Actually funny use of the favorite take-down of 10-year-olds worldwide, Sybil. I take back 30% of the mean things I have said about you.
And surprise surprise, Meddlesome Mary has looked at the secret mystery letter. She's the kind of wife that reads your emails and GPS locates your phone and always checks your browser history, but lucky for everyone, Lavinia's dad knew THE EXACT PERFECT THING TO SAY, which was, basically, "I know you didn't love Lavinia but come on, everyone knew you had to marry Mary in the end. Big fan of the show!"
Let's head downstairs, shall we, for a Slow Burning Romance Alert: Are Hughes and Carson the new will-they-won't-they couple of Downton?
Also downstairs: Daisy saves Downton by being the one who sent the death-bed letter from Lavinia to Lavinia's father, explaining that it was off with Matthew, but he was still a total mensch anyway. Give that Daisy a raise! And a new dress!
As we get ready for the second wedding (finally!), Violet says what everyone seems to be thinking: "Edith is beginning her life as an old man's drudge!" Why is everyone so harsh on poor Edith?! I know I've said this before but, I mean, she's blonde! And Anthony seems to actually like her! Oh well. Plot point apparently.
At the wedding, Edith's dress is much nicer than Mary's. She's wearing the same headpiece that Mary wore for her wedding and it looks much better on her. Small comforts. I guess it is a British thing to not watch the bride walk down the aisle? Anthony is keeping his eyes forward, just like Matthew did, and I am sorry but it seems rude when these ladies dressed up so nicely and paid so much money for dresses they are only going to wear once!
OH NO! In the perfect extreme Downton moment: ANTHONY JILTS EDITH AT THE ALTAR and she will remain a virgin forever. This is better than the burn victim love affair! Is it a rule in the world of Downton that Edith MUST NEVER TASTE HAPPINESS and that she must always be humiliated? But even at her lowest moment, Edith knows how to get in a good jab. "Just look at them, Sybil pregnant, Mary PROBABLY pregnant." Can we please, please get a good love interest for this girl? Or at least a hobby? She's a gem!
The Crawleys seem to love emotionally blackmailing Matthew. First it was Mary forcing him to accept the money or never get laid again and now Robert is forcing him to become a part owner of Downton or take responsibility for the destruction of everything good and holy (the selling of the house).
Downstairs, Anna reminds Daisy to respect gender roles. "I suppose they [men] must get used to us speaking our minds but with most of the men I've ever met, if you started to court them, they'd be so terrified they'd run a mile." She's a "Rules" girl! So that's how she snagged wife-murderer Bates.
No matter. Daisy's got her own mind and I'm beginning to like this obscenely tall footman, Alfred, who is going to fall in love with her and doesn't know what canapes are.
Things start to (continue to) simmer between the Villains of the Abbey, but who cares!? We've got good news! Hughes doesn't have cancer!! Carson seems happy about the diagnosis. Next step: holding hands! Will they? Won't they? Stay tuned for next week!
5. Mosley: He will probably never get ranked again because he is such a sad, sad, sad sack and this is really a pity ranking because I feel bad about his constant mistreatment, like a C-minus when you deserve a D, but your French teacher knows you are dyslexic. I like your eyes, Mosley. Chin up! It gets better.
4. Edith: Not her best episode, in terms of life going her way. But I still think she has potential and she won't let this setback keep her down for long. If anyone's moving to Florida and finding a rich husband, it's Edith.
3. Alfred: Newcomer Too-Tall is killing it by trying to imply he likes Daisy and being disgusted by rich people food. He's looking less William-y by the day! Keep it up Alfred, we are all on your side, even if you are O'Brien's nephew.
Tied for 1. Hughes and Carson: You guys! I love your light banter, your mutual white lying and I really want you to get together! Possible couple names could include: "Harson" or "Cughes." Way to go team!
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