Monday, February 4, 2013

Dishing on Downton, Week 5

Warning, as usual, if you haven't seen this week's episode, don't read on.
I had to see the first half of this episode this morning on DVD as the superbowl was still on when Downton started last night and it was too exciting to leave. (sorry the Niners just lost).

I thought this was a very real episode, when all that veneer of stiff upper lips crumbles all around. Robert desperately trying to hold on to his position of undisputed head of household, Cora hurting so much that she just wants to punish, even the dowager showing some cracks in her composure and Mary finally being so nice and kind all around. Nice scene with Matthew and Mary.

And have we finally got the Bates drama sewn up? I'd like to know how a prison warder and a convict could influence a woman far away in London. If Bates could threaten the other con and make him do what he wants, why did he not do it sooner??

Finally the thing that bugs me most. It takes two to tango. Ethel is the fallen woman who had no choice but to resort to prostitution to feed her child and yet nobody mentions that it was a young upper class officer, a man who should know better, according to their rules, who got her pregnant in the first place. Nobody blames him or seems to think that he did anything wrong.

This is particularly interesting to me as it's the theme of my new Molly Murphy book that comes out in four weeks from today. It's called The Family Way and it examines the moral issues and treatment of women who find themselves pregnant.

So what do you reckon? Branson will take over one of the farms and live nearby with the baby at Downton?  Matthew and Mary can't have children and adopt baby Sibyl? And when will O'Brien and Thomas stop being so naively trusting of each other. They both know the other is a bad lot and yet they go on believing each other!  Only two episodes to go, aren't there? How will we survive?


  1. Matthew and Mary are not allowed to be infertile!! lol If they don't reptoduce, who will inherit Downton and the earldom? Grr...Mary needs to get pregnant pronto.

    So glad to see in next week's promos that Bates is back. Thank God that will all be over.

    I, too, was annoyed the 49's lost. I was only rooting for them because Jim Harbaugh is a former University of Michigan QB. :)

  2. That is the question!! :>) How will we survive without having Sundays to look forward to and having Divas over each week for dinner and then the episode to watch together!! Thanks for sharing your take on this season. I think Mr. Fellowes is losing his touch perhaps - Season Three is not as top-notch as the previous 2 in my humble opinion.

  3. Alas, dear friends and fellow fans, but I was cheering for Mr. Poe's team but full kudos to the 49ers for a nail-biter of a second half. I doubt M and M are infertile. It took me three years to concieve, then my second child was born just eleven months after the first! So give them a bit more time. Glad the Bates line is tying up. I agree whole-heartedly about the hypocrisy of heaping all the shame on Ethyl and woman like her. Shame on Mrs Bird, Mr. Mosely, Mr Carson and Lord Robert! And I would like to have heard ONE of them make a single specific and concrete example of what she COULD have done to feed herself and child besides what she did. I hope Branson stays on. Downton NEEDS him and Matthew to save it. I love Lord Robert, besides being a bit vexed with him but he has never been TRAINED to run the estate, apparently.

  4. Im totally annoyed by the ethel storyline but honestly its probably truly historically accurate. What is *not* accurate is the fact that Crowley hired her. Regardless of our great compassion nowadays, a fallen woman was a fallen woman and she would never have been hired and it was NEVER the guys fault. Annoying and uneducated as an opinion, yes. Uncompassionate, yes. But thats the way it was. As awful as Carson is being, he's probably the closest to a true account of the views. The whole Bates thing is annoying too. Get it over already! I agree these stories are taking their toll. I will admit though, as much as I watch it each week, the season does feel a bit sheltered. Wheres some of the politics and social change-- flappers and turmoil and more aristocrats? This was the boom before the war...I guess I just love DA so much I want more. Ah well until next week....

  5. I enjoyed last nights episode. I hope Branson stays to take over the farm property and raise Sybil himself. He can be a single father for the time being. Since we don't know how long the series will go on this would work for a while until fans begin to want him to remarry.
    (The Forsythe Saga)
    I think that the men are acting just the way they did at that time and we shouldn't expect anything more from them. There were many women who helped other women in trouble so Isabel is doing fine in her attempt to rehabilitate Edith.

    Cora is showing some gumption and beginning to understand women's issues. I hope she begins to get involved, perhaps women's sufferage.

    Hurray for Maggy Smith. I love her, I love her, I love her. See the film Quartet.....

  6. I noticed from the previous comments that no one mentioned Daisy...she seems very happy with
    Mr. Mason's company...and he certainly seems to give her good advice...could he be sweet on her or
    is it just a father/daughter echo a previous writer, thank goodness Bates is getting out...that story line was wearing...although it will be interesting to see how he fits back into the household...I suspect that Branson will stay awhile...the hint came when Matthew realized how knowledgeable Branson is regarding farms..." grandfather had a tenancy in Galway...'' and he and Matthew seem to be bonding...and the promos seem to indicate that Edith will finally be able to get a job...only two more episodes, things seem to be wrapping up nicely..

  7. Is it just me, or has Daisy changed from a sweet, naive girl to a self-centered bitch? lol I really don't like her character anymore.

    From what I have read, the early 20s in England were hard years. High unemployment, lots of maimed soldiers trying to cope, and just generally not a happy time. I think the roaring 20s happened later in the decade.

  8. Interesting...your take on Daisy...I would not characterize her as you did...I believe she is taking control of her life, finally, and wants to advance herself up the most men of that time did...she is becoming a feminist...and good for her.

  9. I agree on Daisy. She's. been young and insecure until now. Her relationship with her father in law has given her confidence and naturally when she sees the guy she wants looking at another girl her claws are going to come out.

    She's just growing up and maturing. Don't forget that girls went into service at 14. She's still a baby.