Thursday, February 4, 2016

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey – S6;E5

OK, I just had to add this photo because that scenery! Ahhhh!

Whoa.

Did we see what we thought we saw?

Was anyone else this week transported back to an earlier time in Downton history when some crazy stuff went down?

(I’m looking at you, Mary.)

I’m guessing the writers wanted the series to go out with a bang as big as the one they started with.

(Pamuk, anyone?)

Alright, why don’t we just start out with the scene that everyone’s talking about. Let’s just get it all out on the table, shall we?


Oh wait, Robert just did.

(Sorry, couldn’t refuse that one.)

Let me set for you a different scene. Not the one on the screen with everyone sitting around the dinner table with Neville Chamberlain, sipping wine and eating delicate savories.

No, the scene I want you to imagine right now is the scene in my family room where my husband, daughter Kate, and I are sitting around in our sweats watching this genteel family bicker and rage against one another, behaving very badly in my estimation, in front of a Minister of State. We’re enjoying the banter, laughing about Violet and Isobel, and catching innuendoes that are flying across the table, when all of a sudden . . .

WHAT?!?!

Cue screaming and “OH MY WORD!!!” and incredulous laughter.

“Wait! Did that just happen?”

“I need to see that again.”

We rewind the T.V. and watch Robert ralphing blood across the table five times before we actually believe that what we thought we saw was actually what we really had seen.

Crazy stuff, I’m telling you.

And another daughter, who was upstairs doing homework during Downton (I know, she’s the rebellious type), yelled, “What is going on down there?!”

It was raucous, and it took a few minutes to catch our breath before we could go on and watch the rest of the episode.

[How did it go down at your house? I’d love to know.]

But, you know, aside from Robert’s melodramatic confession of love toward Cora while he’s lying on his left side (thank you for that, Dr. Carson), there really weren’t any great lines that came out of that scene.

Probably because everyone was just standing around with shocked looks on their faces saying, “Oh my!” and “Whatever shall we do?!”

Worthless bunch of ninnies.

So, even though Robert’s explosion across the table was one of the top five scenes in Downton Abbey history, it doesn’t make my top five lines list because there really weren’t any great lines there.

So, now that I’ve managed to talk that scene to death, let’s move on to my five favorite lines from Episode 5.

I’ll be honest, I had a hard time narrowing it down. But I say that every week, don’t I? So if I overlook one of your favorites, won’t you leave me a comment and let me know what line you liked best?

Moving on, in no particular order.

1. As long as we’re talking about the Robert incident (The Great Robert Ralph as it shall forever be known), I loved how the servants all stayed up waiting for news of their lord.

It was kind of sweet, really. They’re all sitting around the table, yawning to let us know that it was very late at night, when Carson rushes into the room to declare, “He’s going to be alright. They’ve performed a gastrectomy.”

Thomas, horrified, says, “What’s that?!”

And Carson, always wanting to sound superior, even when he doesn’t know the answer, replies,
“No business of ours.”
Doesn’t that just kind of sum up things for the servants? They see and hear all kinds of things upstairs—unsavory things, rude things, unbelievable things—but it’s not for them to have an opinion or even pretend knowledge about. It’s just not their business.

(For the record, a gastrectomy is either a full or partial removal of the stomach. For Robert’s sake, let’s hope it was a partial.)

2. So much this week was not spoken, but an exchange of looks.

Daisy and Andy

Mr. Mason and Mrs. Patmore (what?!)

Baxter and Mr. Molesley

Denker and Spratt

It’s all downstairs people—they are the ones who get what’s going on but can’t express their emotion (see #1 above), so they do it with a glance or a smile or a raise of the eyebrow.

I guess they do get to express their opinion in more subtle ways.


There were so many lovely looks exchanged this week, but one of my favorites was when Andy came to Mr. Mason’s rescue in front of Tom and Mary, offering to help with the pigs. Daisy looked up, clearly caught off guard by Andy’s chivalrous nature, and smiled a smile so wide that you’d have thought she’d never seen him before.

I have a feeling Andy had noticed Daisy before, though.

And then the looks, veerryy subtle, between Mrs. Patmore and Mr. Mason. How cute was that? Another moment in which I just thought, what?!

I also loved when Mr. Molesley was teasing Miss Baxter in the courthouse, asking if she’d like to see if her criminal friend would like to go change his plea. She also smiled broadly for, oh, about the first time ever. Hopefully Baxter can unwind just a bit, now that her legal troubles seem to be over.


I think the king of the sideways glance and the raised eyebrow, though, is Spratt. This week was no exception as he sat behind his newspaper, thrilled to watch Denker squirm in front of him, eyes raised and humming not-so-silently to himself.

Classic.

3. Speaking of Denker. I have never liked her character. At. All. I’ve even wondered why they’ve kept her around.

So you could imagine my glee (and then my horror!) when she got herself into trouble this week by speaking her mind to Dr. Clarkson.

(Obviously Denker hasn’t spent much time in the Carson School of Service to Our Betters.)

Violet receives a letter from Dr. Clarkson telling her about Denker’s bad behavior and almost has a heart attack. She immediately sacks Denker, but Denker won’t go down without a fight, talking back and trying to defend herself.


I guess Denker forgets who she works for, because Violet will have nothing of it, telling her, “It is not your place to have opinions about my acquaintance, let alone express them!”

Denker continues, “He can’t claim your friendship now, not when he’s turned against you.”

But Violet gets the last word, and it’s one of the truest words she’s ever spoken:
“If I withdrew my friendship from everyone who’d spoken ill of me, my address book would be empty!” 
4. Let’s go back to the infamous dinner. Neville Chamberlain is the Minister of Health at that point in history, and he’s brought in by Violet to be persuaded to step in and stop the takeover of the hospital.

Now, I knew the name Neville Chamberlain, and I suppose this scene would have meant a lot more to the Brits watching it than to me, a stupid American who can’t remember her pre-WWII history.

(This is a photo I found on the www. I thought it was kind of uncanny that they made the actor look so much like the real Neville Chamberlain. Weird.)

This is where my very smart husband came in handy. He remembered that Chamberlain was actually the Prime Minister at the beginning of WWII, and that he was the one who wanted to play nice with Hitler. He was a conciliatory type, just wanting everyone to be happy.

So here he sits with the bickering Crawleys or Granthams or whatever you call them, and his eyes dart back and forth between Violet and Isobel who, neither of them, won’t back down.


Finally, Chamberlain declares, “Goodness! I thought I was brought here to be lectured by a united group, not to witness a battle royale.”

Violet stops, mid-bicker, to ask, “Oh! Don’t you enjoy a good fight?”

And Chamberlain delivers the most ironic line of the night,

“I’m not sure I do, really.”

Forshadowing. For sure.

5. Finally, how could we forget dear Carson and Hughes? Marital bliss, am I right?

Not so fast.

First of all, it never really occurred to me until this week that Mrs. Hughes wouldn’t know how to cook, but of course she doesn’t. She’s been a working woman all her life, but not in the kitchen. She’s had her meals prepared for her as much as the folks upstairs have had, so when it comes to taking care of her husband, as Mr. Carson would surely expect, Mrs. Hughes doesn’t have a clue.

So Carson wants to have a cozy dinner together in their cottage. Newlywed stuff. So sweet.


Until Carson starts complaining.

“Is this meat done enough? . . .This plate’s cold, Tis a pity. . . . Bubble and squeak as a vegetable with lamb? . . .This knife could do with sharpening.”

The best line in this scene isn’t so much a line, per se, but a look again. As Mrs. Hughes sits down to her own dinner, she takes a spoonful of the delicious bubble and squeak (it is, after all, a vegetable, you know) and forcefully plops it onto her plate, giving her new husband a look that could kill.

But then, the line that just made me guffaw with laughter. Carson thanks Mrs. Patmore for their dinner, then asks her, 
“Another time, I wonder if you might go through the cooking of it with Mrs. Hughes. It’s been a while since she’s played with her patty-pans and she’s got some catching up to do.”

Aaand daggers.

Oh Mr. Carson, you’ve got a lot to learn.

Welcome to married life, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes!!!

*****


Now tell me, what did I miss? What was YOUR favorite line of this episode? Leave me a comment!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey, S6:E4

What’s in a name?

I think that should have been the title of this week’s episode of Downton Abbey.

Did you catch the theme? Name. Reputation. Honor. It was all there.

Interestingly, most of the epiphanies came from Downstairs. Not too surprising, I guess—the Upstairs folks continue to live in their dream worlds, whatever those worlds happen to be.

But the Downstairs folks. They are the ones who get it. The world is moving on. Reputation will get you places. Your name matters.

Take Mrs. . . . C-c-c-c-Carson, for example. Nobody can quite get their tongue around that name (thanks to Violet for that visual), so in the end Mr. Carson proposes that they all just keep calling her Mrs. Hughes.

Mrs. Hughes just smiles and says nothing.

Her name is intact.

And Daisy. The idealistic girl was willing to risk her reputation to get what she thought was “fair” for Mr. Mason (did you not love it when Mrs. Patmore referred to her as Karl Marx?!), and somehow, in the end, she looked like a hero.

Mr. Mason even tells her that it’s her good name that rescues him in the end.

So glad she didn’t actually have a chance to speak up when she tried to accost Lady Grantham in the hallway.

I’d call that a bullet dodged.

And finally, there’s Molesley. The sweetest man Downstairs. The one whose reputation is golden. The one who knows the importance of honor.


And the one who can quote Edmund Burke. (Points to anyone who remembers what he said.)

If I were Miss Baxter I’d thrown down my dishtowel and fall into his arms of rescue. He’s just waiting for that, isn’t he?

And so are we.

Anyway, my reputation will be mud if I don’t “get on” as they say Downstairs. So here we go with my Top Five.

There were so many good lines in this episode. I’m not sure how I’ll choose the best.

1. Let’s start with Violet, shall we? She had a couple of good zingers that made me laugh, so I have to include them.

First, over tea with her friend, Lady Shackleton, Violet presses her to take her side in the dreaded hospital debate. (Honestly, I don’t know where this story line is going. It’s baffled me from the beginning.)

Anyway, Lady S. asks Violet, “How can I present myself as an expert when I don’t know the facts?”

To which Violet responds, 

“Well it’s never stopped me!”

Later, as Violet and Isobel argue about the hospital for the umpteenth time over dinner, Edith tries to come to the rescue. “I suppose Cousin Isobel is entitled to put up an argument.”

To which Violet storms back:

“Well of course she is, but she’s not entitled to win it!”


I think Violet is running out of ammunition.

2. Let’s talk about the situation with Gwen for a minute. Again, it’s about the name.

Cora didn’t remember her. At all. Name forgotten.

Rosamund is enamored with the reputation of Mr. Harding, Gwen’s husband, giving Gwen an “in” with the Downton crowd. Reputation by association (or, in this case, marriage).


And then there’s Thomas (we’ll talk about his reputation in a moment) who exposes Gwen, thinking this will disparage her name, but his plan backfires. Remember? He brings up her former employment in the house in an attempt to embarrass Gwen, but Gwen is rescued by her own grace and charm.

And Sybil.

Gwen notes how Sybil helped her get her first job with the telephone company, which led to her meeting her husband. It’s a bit of a long story, but as everyone sits listening, they smile as they think of the best among them who was taken too soon.

Gwen tells the family,

“I’ll never forget her. Her kindness saved my life.”

It makes you wonder what would have happened to the family had Sybil lived.

Back to Thomas. No matter how hard he tries (not that hard, actually), his reputation seems to denigrate. Even Robert gave him a dressing down after the "Gwen incident" telling him he doesn't like to see such things.

Oh, Thomas.

3. Back up a minute to when the family was meeting Mr. and Mrs. Harding for the first time. Sorry, things are out of order today, but this one was too funny to pass up.

They are talking about education for women, the women’s college that they are all involved with now, and Isobel is preening over women’s issues the way she does.

Yea, women!

They ask to hear Gwen’s story, and she tells them that she didn’t have any higher education.

To which Mary replied, 

“Who did? All we were taught was French, prejudice, and dance steps.”

So clever, Mary! Just think of how charming you’d be if you actually HAD had an education.

4. Mary had some wonderful quips in this episode. As well as some jabs.

I’m not sure which category this quote falls into, but I loved it so I have to include it.

First, you’ll remember handsome Henry Talbot, Lady Shackleton’s nephew. He’s mysterious. He’s from London, the son of a Parliamentarian. He’s oh-so-handsome. And he’s a racecar driver!


He offers her his card when they meet at Downton, and he tells her he hopes they can meet for lunch . . . or something . . . when she’s next in London.

Mary’s practically foaming at the mouth, but she’s playing it cool.

Flirting is her strong suit.

The two beautiful people do meet up for dinner in London (nevermind the fact that Anna is having a serious medical crisis—Mary’s going to have fun!) in a posh restaurant favored by car lovers. I smell a fling if there ever was one.


Mary glances coyly at the menu and says, 

I hope this means you’re boiling up to make a pass before we’re done.”

Talbot replies, “Probably. But will you accept?”

Mary, with a slight raise of an eyebrow says, 

“No. But I shall enjoy the process enormously.”

I think Henry Talbot actually blushed!!

I know I blushed earlier in the episode when Violet was talking to Robert about Mary and said, 

“Mary needs more than a handsome smile . . . and a hand on the gearstick.”

Honestly, Granny!

5. I hate only having to choose five lines because this week there were so many good ones. But alas, I must choose.

And this, I think, was my favorite of the entire episode.

Daisy and Mrs. Patmore are sitting in the kitchen together, gossiping as usual. Daisy says, “I wonder what Mrs. Hughes is up to.”


Mrs. Patmore, resting her chin in her hand, sighs. 

“Ah, she knows the mystery of life by now . . . unlike me.”

Poor Mrs. Patmore. Don’t you just want to see her find her one true love?

*sigh*

And with that I’ll leave you to go out and make a name for yourself.

*****
For the record, Edmund Burke once famously said, “All that’s needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

A good reminder to all of us.

*****


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey :: S6:E3


Well now, Episode 3 was a happy episode, wasn’t it? Even the foreshadowing was happy.

Daisy studying for her exams with Mr. Molesley helping her.

Anna smiling like the Cheshire Cat.

Edith taking charge of the magazine. And her mysterious helper staying up all night to get the magazine out. (Who was that guy again? And why is he helping her? Does he have editing experience? Is he looking for a job? What on earth?!)

Anyway . . .

Even though the foreshadowing was fun, the actual episode was also happy and marvelous and lovely.

WE HAD A WEDDING, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! And weddings are always wonderful.

But at Downton, every wedding must come with a little drama.

1. And so we begin with wedding drama. Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore head upstairs to the servants’ bedrooms where Mrs. Hughes is “showing off” her pathetic brown day dress that she chose to get married in.

As they climb the stairs, Mrs. P. tries to get her BFF excited about the wedding, but Mrs. Hughes will have nothing of it. She’s still complaining about the reception being in the Big House.

“I wanted a big wedding breakfast with all of us set at groaning tables having a jolly time.”

Mrs. Patmore asks, “Why can’t you have that?”

And Mrs. Hughes delivers a line I won’t soon forget:

Because it’s not how posh people do it. They stand around with nibbly bits gettin’ stuck in their teeth and that’s what we have to do.”

You know, I was at a party with some pretty posh people a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t see any nibbly bits caught in anybody’s teeth. I’ll have to be on the lookout for that in the future.

[Note: Several of you last week thought I was being kind of unfair to Mrs. H. for complaining about the wedding being held in the Big House. I get it—she should have the wedding she wants—but I still think she was acting rather like a spoiled child over it. And apparently it worked!]

2. Violet always pleases, doesn’t she? This week was no exception since she gets two spots on my list.

Her first great line came rather early on as she visits the Abbey to talk to Robert about this infernal hospital situation. She’s worried that Robert is actually thinking about the merits of Isobel’s side of things.


Robert admits that he’s been talking to Cora about it, to which Violet responds, “Well that is a mistake.”

Robert pushes back: “You can’t expect me to avoid talking to my own wife.”

Violet, without even blinking:

Why not? I know several couples who are perfectly happy. Haven’t spoken in years.”

3. And then there was the hospital meeting in Dr. Clarkson’s office. Isobel is in rare form up on that high horse of hers, insulting Dr. Clarkson about his soon-to-be-diminished authority around HER hospital.

As she blabs on and on, Isobel comes off as brazen and proud and rude, as usual, even calling Clarkson just “one more local doctor.”

Everyone around the circle just sits there with their mouths hanging open. 


Finally, breaking the tension, Violet cocks her head and sarcastically asks Isobel:

Did you . . . drink at luncheon?”

I don’t know why, but something about the way she asked that question had me laughing so hard.

And Isobel didn’t even get the joke.

4. Now on to the good stuff—the wedding. So many great lines that I’ll have to pick just a few.

First, how about when Baxter and Anna come in with that troublesome wedding jacket in their hands?


“We’ve come to dress the Bride!”

To which Mrs. Hughes says,

“Well now, there’s a sentence I thought I’d never hear.”

And then there was the actual wedding ceremony itself. So simple. So understated. They didn’t even show much of the ceremony—I guess Carson and Hughes wanted to keep it private.


But they did show Carson putting the ring on her finger while stating his vows, which I absolutely loved.

“With this ring; I thee wed.
With my body, I thee worship.
And with all my worldly goods I thee endow.”

*sigh*

Why don’t we say vows like that anymore? They are so beautiful, so poetic. And they carry so much weight.

*sigh again*

And finally, how about that toast? Carson with just the right words again. The man knows how to make a statement, doesn’t he?

“I will not be prolix, but it must be right that I mark that I am the happiest and luckiest of men. That a woman of such grace and charm would entrust her life’s happiness to my unworthy charge passeth all understanding.”

So sweet.

5. And then. The happiest surprise of them all (although, for the record, I called this one during the first episode)! Tom!

(Oh yeah, and Sibbie! Daaahling!)


I had to go back and watch this scene again just to capture the looks of surprise and joy on everyone’s faces. I’m sure mine looked just as thrilled.

I’M SO GLAD TOM’S BACK!!!! And I’m pretty sure he’s back for good.

And I’m pretty sure there will be another wedding down the road.

And no I haven’t watched ahead.

I loved how Tom summed up his time in America and his reason for coming back:

“It’s quite simple. I had to go to Boston to figure something out. I learned that Downton is my home and you are my family.”

Oh yes you are, Grantham clan. You’re in it with the chauffeur forever it looks like to me.

And thank goodness for that, amiright?

Till next week. . . .

*****

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Four Books for Your New Year


Part of what makes blogging fun for me is the chance to preview new books or books that haven’t even hit the shelves yet. Today I’m sharing some of these new books with you. The quiet of January seems to be a perfect time to catch up on some reading—maybe one or two of these would be just right for you.


Choose Joy by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver

Get your Kleenex ready for this one. My real-life friend, Mary Carver, has compiled several blog posts that tell about the life, illness, and death of Sara Frankl, and I couldn’t be prouder of Mary’s accomplishment here.

A little background: Sara suffered from a rare genetic disorder (brought about by a car accident when she was in college of all things!) that became so severe that she could not leave her home. As a young, homebound woman, Sara found an outlet and a connection to the outside world through her blog, Gitzen Girl. The wisdom, kindness, and generosity of spirit that Sara shared with her readers were qualities of a woman far beyond her 30- some years. In this book, Mary shares Sara’s life and background along with some of her more poignant posts.

I was a faithful reader of Gitzen Girl, following Sara’s trials until her death in 2011, and I, like Mary, was deeply affected by Sara’s life and words. I think you will appreciate Sara’s wisdom and thoughts about life in this beautiful book as much as I did.



Again, I’ve read Kristen’s blog, We Are THAT Family, since it began, and I have loved her heart, her wisdom, and her parenting style. In this book, Kristen lays out how she and her husband have raised their kids in a counter-cultural way. So much of what Kristen says here resonates with me, and I highly recommend this book. I’m sure many parents who read this will be challenged to think carefully about their families, about society, and about how we raise kids to be world-changers.

Yes, there is much in the book about teaching gratitude, as the title suggests, but as I read the book I couldn’t help thinking that a few of the chapters weren’t so much about teaching kids to be thankful as they were about how Kristen and her husband parent their children. The title was a little confusing to me.

I also noted several ways in which their parenting style and ours are different—we all parent just a little differently from each other anyway, don’t we? But I still found several chapters challenging, convicting, and helpful for young parents.


Hope for the Weary Mom Devotional by Stacey Thacker and Brooke McGlothlin.

More real-life friends here! Stacey, who started Mothers ofDaughters (where I contribute monthly) and Brooke, who started the MOB Society (for moms of boys), first linked writing arms to bring us Hope for the Weary Mom. In their most recent book they share 40-days of devotional thoughts aimed specifically for those of us who struggle to feel seen, loved, and understood along our journey of motherhood.

I loved this book because the devotionals are short, scriptural, and point us to the heart of God for moms. I could relate so well to those early days of motherhood, feeling alone and pretty much a mess and wondering if anyone knew how hard it all was for me. Brooke and Stacey reassure us that God sees, He knows, and He cares deeply about moms.

If you have young children, or if you’re a mom whose looking for a sound, scriptural devotional, I recommend this book.


Hoodwinked by Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk.

This books was a surprise to me. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it because, like most people, I do judge a book by its cover. And, in my opinion, this cover isn’t the best.

But when I dug into the heart of the book, I found that I really enjoyed it. In fact, on almost every page I found myself thinking, “That’s me! I did that! I thought that!”

Hoodwinked is a book about debunking the myths of motherhood and replacing the lies we all sometimes believe with Scriptural truths. For me, the chapter titled “Myth #2: The Way I Mother is the Right (and Only) Way,” was worth the price of the book alone! And also? I loved the phrase “Mommier-than-thou” that they used to describe some of our more judgmental mommy moments. Had me laughing out loud.

In each chapter the authors somehow manage to be convicting about the myths we hold on to and grace-filled about the ways we have felt judged as moms. Filled with biblical truth and practical knowledge, this is a great book for moms who need to push a reset button in their thinking. As I said, I was surprised about how much I liked this book.

So mamas, are you looking for some wintertime reading? Why not check out one or two of these books. You might find yourself laughing or crying, but they might also help make those long, dreary days of winter go just a little bit faster. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey – S6; E2

You all know why I love writing these Downton post, don’t you? It’s because I get to go back and watch the episode a second (and sometimes third) time. And when I watch the episode by myself, I catch so many more great lines than just the ones that my family and I laughed at (or swooned at) the night before.

Which is also why some of my favorite lines might be a little obscure to you.

A couple of you mentioned that you fully expected to see the “wigs on the green” line here this week. While funny, I suppose, Isobel was just being her self-righteous self and that doesn’t always appeal to me. So that won’t be showing up. (Although I guess it just did.)

And since cooking is one of my favorite things, Mrs. Patmore’s line, ““I know it’s cheating, but I might have to buy a jar of horseradish,” totally cracked me up and should have made my list this week. But, alas, I didn’t have room for it. (Except I did. *wink wink*)

And then there was the line I loved this week that wasn’t so much a line as a look. Remember when Mr. Finch, the livestock man, wanted to talk to someone in charge about the Fat Stock Show in Molton? Mary told him that she was replacing Mr. Branson as the estate agent, and poor Mr. Finch looked like he had swallowed . . . well . . . a finch.


So many great moments in Episode 2.

But I must get on to my top five lines.


1. This episode opens with Mary and Edith sniping at each other . . . again. Over breakfast. Poor Robert can’t even eat his eggs in silence.

They read their letters, and Mary speculates that Rose must be pregnant. Edith asks Mary why she thinks that, and Mary says it’s because Rose says she might not be able to travel in the summer.

Huh?

Edith gets the last word, however, when she says,

“As usual you add two and two to make 53.”

I’ll be using that one.

2. Anna confides in Mary (way too much, if you ask me) about her problem maintaining a pregnancy, and immediately Mary insists on helping her. She decides to take Anna to her doctor in London.

Anna rebuffs Mary’s offer of help—it will cost too much. She’s probably worried that Mary will get her into this mess and then neglect to actually pay for it. But Mary is adamant.

“Don’t be silly! You’ve earned it fair and square keeping my secrets. Hiding that fearful Dutch thingamajig and carrying poor Mr. Pamuk down the gallery at the dead of night.”

The two giggle like schoolgirls just thinking about the Pamuk episode.

And so do we.

Later, Anna tells Bates that she and Mary will be headed to London for a quick overnight trip.

Bates doesn’t even question the trip because those poor servants had no say in the matter. When the mistress of the house wants to go to London, you drop everything and go.

(What if Anna had her bunco group coming over that night? She’d totally have to cancel her plans.)

Anyway, Bates sees this as an opportunity for Anna to get some rest after her most recent miscarriage.

“Well, be sure to put your feet up.”

Anna replies,

“Yes, I’ll be . . . putting my feet up.”

Anyone else catch that bit of irony?

3. I guess I can’t avoid talking about the hospital takeover, although I wish I could. That storyline is already boring me to tears.

(BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW ABOUT CORA’S HAT IN THE HOSPITAL SCENE?!—the one with the pheasant feathers. Oh my gorgeousness. I am loving all of the clothes so far this season.)

So Cora goes to the hospital for a tour (as if she’s never been there before, right?) with Violet and Dr. Clarkson (Team Vi). While they are there, who shows up but Isobel, whom Cora thinks is right about the whole takeover thing (Team I).

Eventually Cora decides to leave, but not before Isobel can get in one last lick:

“I’ll come with you. We must give them time to gnash their teeth alone.”

Which is exactly what Dr. Clarkson and Violet do.

“I can’t deny it,” Clarkson admits, “Lady Downton would have made a powerful ally.”

Violet, shooting daggers at him says,

I hope you’re not implying that she would be more powerful than I.”

Oh never, Violet. Never!


4. Could we have a moment of silence for the tenant farmers?

(Wait.)

(Wait.)

(Wait.)

Who knew that they lived under such fear of losing their homes and their livelihoods pretty much every single day? I sure didn’t. But it’s starting to make sense to me, especially after Daisy’s rant in Episode 1.

And Poor Mr. Drewe. (Cue Cora’s pseudo-sympathetic tone.)

The man has his hands full, you’ve gotta admit. What with the pigs and Mary as his new boss and his four kids and his crazy-a** wife to deal with.

His family had been at Yew Tree Farm for over a hundred years for goodness sake!!

Didn’t matter.

I really almost lost it during the scene between Mr. Drewe and Robert at the end. There was no loud discussion. No pleading. Nobody claiming injustice.

Everyone just knew that Mrs. Drewe had screwed up royally and something needed to be done. Someone would have to pay and it sure wasn’t going to be the Granthams.

But Mr. Drewe took it like a man and said he’d start looking for a new tenancy in the morning. Adding this killer:

“We made a plan, lady Edith and I. But we forgot about emotion. And emotion’s what will trip you up every time.”


Sure is, Mr. Drewe. Sure is.

And then Robert has to go and show his human side!

“God bless you, Drewe. God bless you and your family.”

Pass the tissues.

And hand the key to Mr. Mason on your way out.

5. I think I’ve saved the best for last. Carson and Hughes.

(Sounds like a comedy team from the ‘40s.)

I think they had their first fight in this episode. Last time they were just discussing The Unmentionable, but this time it was all out war over their wedding venue.

The Great Hall of Downton Abbey is unsuitable for the wedding, according to Mrs. Hughes, but Carson can’t seem to tell the family “Thanks but no thanks.”

Now, could we just stop and think about that for a moment? The Great Hall. Of Downton Abbey. Unsuitable?

Just who does Mrs. Hughes think she is??

I’d give anything to have a wedding in a place like that. And these days you’d pay a pretty penny to have a wedding in the Great Hall of Downton Abbey, if, indeed, such a place existed.

So seriously, who is Mrs. Hughes to thumb her nose at such a generous offer?

She might need a little time out to think about her actions.

But Mrs. Hughes has a point to make (as does Julian Fellowes), and make it she does.

“I want my own wedding to be done in my own way, is that so outlandish?”

You gotta give it to Carson. He tries. He really does.

“It’s my wedding too.”

(I think I’ve heard that one before, too.)

But Mrs. Hughes holds her ground and delivers my favorite line from this episode.

“I am the bride. We’ll be doing it your way for the next 30 years, I know that well enough, but the wedding day is mine.”

Enough said.


*****

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