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!)