Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our weekly Downton Dish.

Warning... if you haven't seen this week's episode of Downton Abbey, DO NOT READ THIS POST!

Are we brilliant or what? I think either I or those who commented predicted every nuance of this week's episode. The Spanish flu killing Lavinia, Jane the maid and Lord Grantham, Bates being arrested, O"Brien trying to make up for past sins. The only thing that hasn't happened yet is Richard dying of something horrible. But he has to stay around to torment Mary for a few more episodes. What do you think--they will be going in to their wedding when Matthew declares he has never stopped loving her and she rushes into his arms? Or will we have to wait for another season?
Maybe it is as some of you suggest--Richard killed Mrs. Bates and that will come to light just before Bates is to hang and Mary is to marry Richard.

I'm beginning to think my books are rather undramatic. I need more cliff hangers, nail biters, long pregnant pauses, evil villains.

Although I am absolutely hooked--I came into our condo in Arizona after driving for 12 hours from San Francisco and the first thing I did was to turn on the TV to catch Downton,  I have to say one thing that bugs me--well, several things bug me, but the one I'm complaining about tonight is the long meaningful stares. Those long periods of silence when people look at each other, in close up, or give thoughtful stares into the distance. It's almost become a cliche.

What I liked about this week was the theme that one doesn't have to be noble to act with nobility. The Irish chauffeur who is marrying Sibyl, the maid Jane and the young woman who refuses to give up her baby behaved better than Lord Grantham.

So let's hear what you thought--and speculations for next week. Thomas after the butler's job?


  1. Good morning,
    I confess to feeling a bit awkward and odd posting a response to a blog, especially the blog of an author whose works I read and enjoy immensely. I'm not much of participant in social media, but I do read multiple blogs including this one.
    I, too, am loving Downton Abbey. I confess that the costumes are what caught me to start, but I've quite enjoyed the soap opera aspect as well. Everything you write is, in my opinion, spot on, but I can't decide how much of a cliff-hanger next week's episode will be since I don't know if English television programs are that similar to American. Do you think that all the story lines will be wrapped up next week? And by the way, I also agree with you wholeheartedly that the best part of this episode was the honorable behavior of all, although I do include Lord Grantham since he did, in the end, do the noble thing.
    Thank you for ALL your writing, the books and the blogs. You give me hours of enjoyment.

    My best,

  2. I do agree with everything you said, Rhys —- but I find I just don't care if the entire world goes bonkers as long as Anna and Mr. Bates are happy! There was one five minute stretch I missed last night when my son called from college; I came back and asked my husband what happened, and he said, "Everything!" Must watch the DVR now, just for those five minutes.

  3. You are good, Rhys! I suspect the season will end with a cliffhangers and we won't get answers re Mr. Bates, Matthew and Mary, and Sir Richard until next season. (I really hope someone kills off Sir Richard! Can you say hunting "accident"?)

    I was surprised Sybil said yes since she didn't seem attracted to the chauffeur until now. Stupid girl! You don't marry someone just because he loves you.

    I absolutely LOVE Maggie Smith as Violet. I want to be just like her when I grow up. :)

    Cathy AJ
    Nice contrast between Jane and Ethel. Maybe Ethel does have the backbone to create a new life for herself by pretending to be a widow so she can get a job again.

  4. Me, too, I want to be Maggie Smith as Violet. I wish the stupid American filmmakers would wake up to her kind of appeal. I haven't been as addicted to a TV show since Jewel in the Crown and that was, what, almost 30 years ago?
    I love them all, even Lady Mary, whom I disliked in the first episodes. Well, maybe not O'Brien and her smarmy sidekick. I'm already dready Downton withdrawal when it's over.

  5. I hope you don't mind my going back to the issue of "Patrick's" accent. Though I agree the icy water would not have changed his speech, I must disagree that adults always retain their accent. My mother didn't. She was 21 when she came to the U.S. and she developed such an American accent that when she called a radio announcer to remind him that tennis is played at WimbleDon, not WimbleTon, he asked why she was interested. She explained that she was born and grew up in England, and he said "I thought you were a Georgia peach-you sound southern." Tongue-in-cheek she replied, "Well, I'm from Southern England."

  6. Branson the now ex-chauffeur has obtained a job in journalism. Maybe he'll uncover something detrimental to Sir Richard. Just killing him off seems too obvious, while ruining his business and social aspirations (before his presumed eventual demise) might be more satisfying. An added benefit would be more appreciation from Sibyl's family for her choice.

  7. I do worry about Thomas. Although he certainly got his come-uppance with the bad goods from the black market investment, his seeming determination to be good and nice and helpful and make himself useful in the crisis leaves me feeling that Carson and all should be watching their backs rather carefully.

    Disappointing that Lord Grantham did not behave well, which seemed oddly not in character and not necessarily in line with the other story lines in the script, but perhaps he is reformed now and will regain his dignity and wisdom. Here's hoping!
    I think the wee parlormaid (whose cake flopped so miserably) may be a part of Thomas's undoing, but I couldn't predict how.

  8. Rhys, I agree about the Downton Effect of making a writer think that her own writing (mine, not yours) is wan. The tension when Cora was so ill, and Lavinia seemed to be plunking right along with only a touch of the 'flu, had me guessing which one of the two would die. I knew someone wasn't going to be in Season 3. Only this morning I read in the companion book (such gorgeous photos!) that a cruel trick of the the Spanish Flu was to quickly kill young people. Had I known that, the direction of the plot would have been more obvious.

    We can only hope that Richard meets with an untimely end, although if he weds Mary, the Edwardian Soap would be guaranteed a long run as Mary and Matthew (and another wife for Matthew?) sat through years of dinner parties.