Monday, January 7, 2013

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 1

They're back!

It feels like it's been a year since we've had fun with the Grantham/Crawley clan. Wait. It almost has been a year! The waiting has been grueling, but it's finally over and Season 3 has begun.

What fun!

And, as promised, I'm going to record my Top Five (or Ten) favorite lines from each episode. Will you join me?

It was a challenge, folks, to find only five great lines in the opening episode of this new season of Downton Abbey. I mean, when Robert refers to himself as a "Chicago bootlegger," who can resist?

(Personally, I had to roll my eyes at that one. I think many people in England still think of Chicago as the land of Al Capone. Good grief!)

And the words of wisdom that were bandied about in this episode! Like when Anna tells Bates: "Never make an enemy by accident." I may have to do a separate post on all the aphorisms used. Stay tuned.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode; it seemed to me to be kind of flat. I'm sure they were just setting us up for the rest of the season, which is important, but it seemed like nothing much really happened.

Well, aside from Matthew and Mary finally getting married. Whew! So glad that's official.

And that brings me to my Number Five quote(s) from the episode. I just loved when Matthew and Mary were standing at the altar (pretty much the only thing they showed us of the wedding, by the way) and Matthew looked at Mary and said, "To be honest, I wasn't sure you'd show up." To which Mary replied, "Good, I'd hate to be predictable."

That's my girl, Mary. Gotta keep him on his toes.

And while we're on the subject, did anyone else just crack up at the interchange between Robert and Matthew when M&M returned from their honeymoon?

Robert: How was the honeymoon? 

Matthew: My eyes have been opened.

Robert: Don't I know it.

Um, yeah. Awkward. How many of you would actually talk to your in-laws about your honeymoon? Like, ever?

I didn't think so.

Moving on to Number Four. Matthew and Tom had a couple of nice scenes together; I hope they continue this friendship.

Matthew: "We're brothers-in-law with high minded wives. We've got to stick together."

Ha! I've got a husband and a couple of brothers-in-law who could probably say the same thing.

Or how about this one, as Matthew is asking Tom to be his best man?

"If we're man enough to take on the Crawley girls, we've got to stick together." 

Think Matthew wants them to stick together? Redundant, yes, but cute.

Finally, I think Tom has Matthew pegged. As his best man, Tom has to do the job of convincing Matthew to just forget petty arguments about the family fortune and go ahead, bite the bullet, and get married. He tells Matthew this: “But you’re meant to be together. . . . Because I’ll tell you this. You won’t be happy with anyone else while Lady Mary walks the earth.”

Isn't that so true? So true!

Number Three. Tom was great last night, and I'm kind of liking his character. He's good for the Crawleys. I loved this interchange between Isobel, Violet, and Tom.

Tom: “I want to apologize for last night.”

Isobel: “Oh, there’s no need. We know it wasn’t your fault.”

Violet: “You weren’t the first drunk in that dining room, I can assure you.”

Tom: “Only the first Republican.”

Violet: “You’ve got me there.”

Number Two. We have to include the scene between Robert and Cora, don't we, when Robert confesses that he really didn't know how to handle the family finances and has lost everything. (Even I know the first rule of finance: diversify. Oh, Robert, Robert, Robert.)

Anyway, he tearfully confesses his idiocy to his wife and Cora responds surprisingly graciously.

Cora: Oh my dear. How terrible for you.

Robert: It’s not so good for you either.

Cora: Don’t worry about me. I’m an American. Have gun will travel.

Did it seem to you that there were an awful lot of silly American references last night? Maybe Julian Fellowes needs to take a trip over here. I'd gladly show him around Chicago just to prove that the ghost of Al Capone has been put to rest.

Anyway, just after that Robert and Cora share a very sweet exchange. (And, BTW, I'm so happy Robert has put Housemaid Jane behind him.)

Robert: Thank God for you.

Cora: You know what? I’m glad we have a wedding to celebrate. Let’s make sure it’s a great day. If it’s to be our last, let’s make it a wonderful last. And enjoy our lovely home and the lovely people we spend our life among.

Cora may be an American, but she's one of the only ones with some decent perspective.

Number One. We couldn't recap this episode without some Violet quotes now, could we? She and Martha Levinson (played by Shirley MacLaine) have some awesome sparring matches. Didn't you just love this line by Violet, referring to Martha?

“She is like a homing pigeon. She finds our underbelly every time.”

Or how about when Martha sees Violet for the first time? She says, "Oh dear, it seems the war has made old women of us both." To which Violet replies, "I wouldn’t say that. But then, I always keep out of the sun."


Anyway, my favorite line of the evening came as Cora announces to the family that her mother is coming for a visit.

Violet: I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.

Matthew: Isn’t she American?

Violet: Exactly.

And with that, I will leave you to contemplate for another week.

Wasn't it fun? Did I miss some of your favorite lines? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Strong work ... you must have been writing fast and furiously.


  2. RE: Comment 3 and the honeymoon. At first I thought it was a 'honeymoon' comment but I think they were agreeing that Mary one on one is simply exhausting ;)

  3. I loved when Martha said "let's hope that what's in you will carry you through these times to a safer shore.

  4. Ha, Glenda! I was up until midnight just watching the show because I had a meeting last night. :)

    Karen, you definitely have a point there. I think that comment could be taken many different ways.

    lovemyabbie, I loved that one too, but I wasn't quick enough to write it down. Lovely.

  5. You may think one of my favroties is sort of strange, but I thought it was a sweet commentary on Cora and Robert's relationship...when Cora was talking to Mary just before the wedding, she supposed Mary didn't have any questions but then suggested that 'it' could be 'great fun' referring to the honeymoon.

  6. Brenda! I totally forgot about that one. That was so cute! :)

  7. I love your ideas about the show! I agree that there was a lot of front loading for the season making the show seem flat, yet, I was still very happy to watch! I love your top 5 lines! The Matthew and Tom friendship should prove very interesting this season. Great writing, great costumes, great show!