Monday, January 30, 2012

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey, Episode 4

A few years back, B and I, along with my sister, Jenn, and her husband, Tom, took a little trip across the pond to celebrate our anniversaries. While there, we ventured (“venture” is a nice way of saying a nail-biting, seat-gripping, hellacious attempt at driving on the motorway) up north to the county of North Yorkshire where I fell in love with the beautiful countryside, the rolling hills, and the quaint villages of the area.

(Side note: this is really and truly where we stayed. It was amazing. I want to go back there.)

Imagine my delight when I learned that the fictional story of Downton Abbey takes place in this part of the country. The village that they often refer to on Downton Abbey, Ripon, was just down the road from the charming village of Masham (yes, the very one where the Black Sheep Brewery is located) where we stayed.

But in fictional Downton Abbey-land, things are never as they seem. The actual house that is used in the filming is not located in the north of England, but is rather set south of London. Most likely none of the show is filmed in the north; only the place names are borrowed.

And the characters we have come to love? They are not always what they seem either. Is Mr. Bates harboring a secret of some sort? How could Edith kiss that farmer? And is O’Brien actually growing . . . a heart?

Well, the people of North Yorkshire are up to their usual antics again this week, saying one thing but really meaning something else entirely, which brings me to my top five lines from last night’s episode.

We had some classics last night. Lines that will go down in history as some of the truly great moments (*sigh*) and some of the truly great put-downs in DA history.

Here are my favorites from Episode Four.

5. Anna to Bates: “I’d rather have the right man than the right wedding.”

Don’t they just make you want to swoon? If things don’t get put right for these lovebirds I honestly don’t know what I’ll do.

4. Violet, about their “new” telephone: “Is this an instrument of communication or torture?”

I know! I know! The answer is . . . torture! If you live in my house, anyway.

3. Violet again, as she tries to get Dr. Meaneypants to let William come stay in their own house: “I am no Jacobean revolutionary, nor do I seek to overthrow the civilized world. We just need one bed for one man.”

In other words, “I’m not trying to start trouble here, Dr. Meaneypants. Just let the kid have a bed to die in. Oh, and may I remind you this is my son’s house you’re occupying?”

2. Violet again (do you sense a pattern here?): “It always happens. When you give these little people power, it goes to their head like strong drink.”

As if she’d know what strong drink feels like. She sips on those teensy-weensy little cordial cups after dinner.

1. My absolute favorite line from last night, and possibly from the entire series. Violet (I know!) trying to explain to the Vicar why he should marry William and Daisy . . . and quickly!

She tries reason, but resorts to intimidation: “Finally, I would point out, your living is in Lord Grantham’s gift, your house is on Lord Grantham’s land, and the very flowers in your church are from Lord Grantham’s garden. I hope it is not vulgar in me to suggest that you find some way to overcome your scruples.”

Slight rising at the corner of her mouth as the scene fades away.

Oh, Violet, I want to be you when I grow up.

Q4U: What did you think of last night's episode? Are you watching Downton Abbey? (If the answer to that was no, you should be!)



  1. Shelly - I just caught the episode tonight and I agree with Violet! She makes the show these days!

  2. When she said #4 I knew you would be using it in your quotes if you did it again.

  3. Love, love, love Violet ... 'nuff said.

  4. I am a huge fan and I'm blaming you for it, because it was your post on FB that led me to look for it!

    Love Anna & Bates - she is the cutest most faithful girl.

    Poor Edith. That is all.

    I said the same thing about the heartless one. Reallly -she may be going soft.

    I felt horrible for Daisy - but how sweet William loved her and just wanted to provide for her. I think she would have loved him eventually.

    Matthew - oh Matthew and Mary- what is to become of them???? I think we won't know for sometime...

    :) I could go on....

  5. Isn't it fun??!!

    Stacey! So great to see you here!

  6. the Hubs and I watch every Sunday! I was just mentioning to him what a gem Violet is and tried to remember her line to the vicar - thanks for posting it!!

  7. O'Brien? A heart? NEVAH!

    I was really very proud of Lady Mary's behavior in this episode, at least with regard to Matthew and his fiance's crushed heart. I have a feeling she'll be up to her old antics again next week, though. She's Scarlet O'Hara tough, gutsy and unscrupulous, that one. Sometimes I feel like a lot of this story line is just a spit-polished British re-write of Gone with the Wind.

    But I LOVE IT!

    (Hmmm... I wonder if it'll be Daisy who don't know nothin' 'bout birthin' no babies one day soon?)

    Anyway ... Another favorite line from Violet was the one right after the torture device line: "Hello, SHRIMPIE? Yes, this is Aunt Violet ... I won’t beat about the bush, dear. Whom might we know on the board of the General Infirmary?” That one made me snort.

  8. Meghan, I didn't catch that Shrimpy line. I could NOT tell what she was saying (and we listened to it a few times). Thanks for the clarification.

    I think you may be on to something, my dear. Scarlet O'Hara indeed! Miss Mary is very much like her. But is Matthew going to be her Rhett Butler???? Let's hope not.

  9. I know I should be...we've just started watching Sherlock. Have you seen it? It's AWESOME! Id din't think I'd like it but I got straight into it almost from moment 1!!


  10. Girlie, I hoard these
    episodes like a kid
    hoards Easter candy,
    waiting for the right
    {quiet!} time to brew
    up a cup of tea, snuggle
    under my wool throw
    and IMMERSE myself
    in the world of D.A.!!!
    LOVE all the lines that
    you chose. Violet has
    grown so much since
    the first season. I hope
    to be able to do the same
    when I reach her age.

    Thanks for the recap. I
    want to watch it, again!

    xx Suzanne

  11. Just discovered this show a couple weeks ago and love it! I love Violet's lines - she cracks me up! And now I'm eagerly waiting for my husband to finish studying so we can watch this week's episode (I've got him hooked now too!). :)