Monday, February 2, 2015

Downton Smackdown

Of course last night was the Superbowl.  We're not actually a sports watching family.  We don't normally watch football (or baseball, or basketball, or...anything really).  When people ask my children who their favorite team is they usually look at them with a blank expression unless they can recall the name of a team that they've heard their friends talk about.

But, the Superbowl know...the Superbowl.  And, who doesn't love an excuse to cozy up with your family, bring out the celebratory soda & snacks and munch it up.  I mean the whole country is watching it.  It seems un-American not to watch.  And besides, how else could we possibly hold a Facebook discussion about the Superbowl ads & halftime show?

So, we watched the Superbowl.  But, I REALLY wanted to watch Downton Abbey.  I warned my boys that at 9:00 the tv was mine.  I did feel a little badly about making them miss the last hour of the game.  But, we're talking Downton Abbey here!  As much as friends assured me that they would have it recorded or that I could watch it the next day online, there's just something about watching when it airs on Sunday night.

I had promised the boys they could stay up until the end of the Superbowl.  So, the concession I made is that we'd switch over every so often just to see what the score was.  And, if the game was still going once Downton was over, they could watch the end.  As it turns out, they did get to catch the final few minutes of the game.

This means that the boys stayed in the living with me and watched Downton Abbey with me.  They've never seen it before, but they know I  am somewhat obsessed with it  love it ever so much.  The younger two fell asleep just a few minutes into it.  But, the older two watched with slightly confused, skeptical expressions on their face.  "What is this even about?" they asked.  "All they're doing is talking!"  Yes. Yes.  I know.  Now Shhh so I can hear.

So since I  offer my Downton thoughts in no particular chronological order I guess we'll start with the obvious - the Downton Smackdown.  Simon Bricker, the art afficianado, apparently thought he'd take his flirtation with Cora and bump it into high gear.  Taking advantage of the fact that Lord Grantham was supposed to be away for the evening he left his robed self into Cora's room.

Cora seemed appropriately shocked and told him he needed to leave.  But, he was insistent, convinced that this was what she wanted as well.  Her continued requests that he leave seemed a bit weak.  I wanted her to shout at him to get out of her room NOW before she screams.  But, in Downton Abbey people neither shout nor scream I suppose.

Of course, in the meantime...surprise, surprise....Lord Grantham arrives home early.  And as we see him walking toward his room, I was actually hoping that Bricker would make a move on Cora, for her to fight him, and to have Lord Grantham walk in on THAT instead of what actually happened....walking in on the two of them standing there facing each other in their robes.  UGH.  I really wanted him to have a chance to be a hero defending his wife's honor.

Instead, he assumed that Bricker was there at Cora's request and made a pithy comment about being home early. "Sorry to disappoint you.".  The thing that actually spurred him into action was when Bricker offended him further by suggesting that he didn't pay nearly enough attention to Cora and that he shouldn't have been surprised by something like this happening.

Annnnddd, let the smackdown commence!  I actually cheered when Grantham backhanded Bricker.  My husband came into the room to see what was happening.  It's not often that Downton Abbey elicits a vocal response.   There was the continued tussel with Lord Grantham mussing up his uniform when Edith knocked at the door.  Oh Cora.  Cora.  Ever the cool-headed one.  She cracks open the door to assure Edith that everything is fine....that mommy & daddy (my phrase) were just playing a silly game and knocked over a lamp.

Uh huh.  And, if you believe that dear Edith...well, one never questions things in Downton now do we?  And, when Bricker was dismissed to return to his own room leaving Lord Grantham to glare at Cora alone, Cora says this,  winning her the award for the understatement of the night, "Golly.  What a night".  I was so upset that Grantham decided to sleep in his dressing room and they didn't discuss the events any further.  This would have been the perfect opportunity for the two of them to really talk things out and strengthen their marriage.

Was there anything else that happened last night?  Oh yes.  Well, poor Edith, in addition to being shooed away from the drama taking place in her parent's room was once again shooed away by the Drewe's...even to the point of them threatening to leave the farm taking Marigold with them if she didn't stop popping in.  She brought Aunt Rosamund to meet Marigold in an awkward scene.

This is such a hard situation for me to watch.  On the one hand, I feel so sorry for her adoptive family.  Of course Mr. Drewe hasn't shared with his wife that Lady Edith is actually the mother of their adoptive daughter.  Part of me feels like if she knew this perhaps she'd be more sympathetic toward Edith....although, in reality, it would probably just make her all the more protective of Marigold.  And, they've raised her from infancy.  Marigold is their daughter and they're all she's ever known as parents.  But, oh, how my heart aches for Edith.  She wants to be with her daughter.

And, it seems that she is going to take matters into her own hands in some way.  At the end of the show she made that mysterious phone call from the privacy of the servant's hall.  With Aunt Rosamund and her grandmother trying to convince her to send the child to a school in France, Edith's desperation level is at an all-time high.  But, what will she do?

Barrow looks sick, sick, sick.  And, his 'treatments' haven't been doing any wonders for his already oh-so-sunny disposition.  I just keep wanting him to be nice.  I want him to connect with someone in the house who helps him feel the love and acceptance he so desperately needs.  Now that his only friend, Jimmy, is gone we see Baxter attempting to show him kindness.  But, Thomas is like a wounded animal backed into a corner & he only lashes out at her.

Bunting is gone!!!!  I think we were supposed to feel sorry for her?  Sorry for Tom?  I'm not sure.  And she loved him?  Well, let's back up a little.  There was a lot of standing in the rain for Sarah Bunting and Tom.  The first time being when he was returning her to the village and they had a discussion about his relationship with the family.  'Why do you despise them so much?" he asks.  "Don't you?"  she wonders.  Hello!  Miss Bunting, do you know Tom AT ALL???  Tom looks appropriately taken aback and reminds her that his wife was one of them and that his child IS one of them.  Tom says that he thinks it's best if the two of them don't see each other anymore before someone gets hurt (like Bunting in a smackdown from Lord Grantham....ok, not likely.)

So, like many things in Downton, it's not entirely clear if Bunting had planned to leave anyway or if Tom's brushoff was the impetus to leave.  So, in yet another scene in the rain, Tom quickly rushes to catch up with her when he learns she's leaving that day.  In this exchange Bunting says that she loved Tom and she could have loved him more if he would have let her.  Tom thanks her for reminding him of who he is and gave her a send off kiss.

Good bye Bunting!  If you come back, mellow out a little would you?

A couple other quick thoughts....

 - I'm kind of over the 'Who killed Green' mystery?  Can the Anna and Bates story just move on already?

 - Mary, Charles Blake, and Mabel Lane Fox - What was the point of that little surprise dinner get together Mr. Blake?

 - Rose has a new potential love interest.  Her Russian refugee friends aren't particularly fond of him though when they learn his family were Jews from Odessa who were run out by their own regimes.  I had been feeling sorry for the poor fallen Russian aristocracy until we see that their circumstances didn't humble them very much and their bigotry is still alive and well.

- Daisy has become Miss Bunting's mini-me?  She certainly has gotten some pretty strong opinions over the last few episodes.  It will be interesting to see what else develops for Daisy.

What struck you about last night's episode?


  1. Oh, I love your review! (I saw your comment over at Testosterhome.) I had many of the same thoughts running in my on head. The way Cora handled the Bricker fiasco had me climbing the walls. That was not the time to be calm! (Although her comment to Edith literally made me LOL.) I was shocked that Bunting actually left. I love the new character Atticus. I just hope he stays a good buy. :-) I want to write much more but my hubby is wondering where I am. ;-) My thoughts about the episode are here, if you are interested. :-)

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for visiting here. I'm popping over to your blog as soon I finish typing this reply. I love reading other people's takes on Downton Abbey.

      And, oh my goodness, I'm still processing last night's show! There was so much. They finally started moving some story lines along.


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