This week I felt like one of the themes was regret. Daisy regretted telling Alfred that James was in the boot room with Ivy. Mary regretted telling Lord Gillingham no.
And Tom. Poor Tom had the biggest regret of all: "I am already full of regrets. There is nothing but regret in me."
We'll get to that later.
First, let's talk about Anna. I didn't choose any of her lines this week because they were all too sad and filled with regret. I have no idea how this situation will play out, but I did notice a few things this week when I went back to watch the episode a second time. Did you notice in the first breakfast scene--it was the morning after . . . that . . . and all of the house party members' servants were gathered with the Downton servants for breakfast--that Anna was seated right next to "Mr. Gillingham," the man who had raped her the night before? I didn't catch that the first time, but whoo-boy! if Anna didn't stick around there very long. What a horrible place for her to be.
Did you also notice that, immediately upon their return from London, Carson told Anna that Lord Gillingham had arrived and she nearly jumped out of her skin? "Is his valet with him?" she asked immediately.
Oh, poor Anna. In every scene my heart broke for her. I just want to scoop her up, take her home with me, and just give her a place to feel safe. Hopefully she will come to her senses soon and tell her husband the truth. But what then????
Alright, I could discuss this forever, but I have class in a few minutes and lots to do today. Better get on with it.
1. My first favorite line came right at the beginning, in the servants' hall where everyone was gathered for breakfast. Anna, naturally, was jumpy. Mr. Bates was confused. And others were downright crabby. Thomas decided to add some levity to the situation.
Thomas: What's the matter with everyone this merry morn?
Carson: I always think there's something foreign about high spirits at breakfast.
Me too, Carson. At least until I've had a cup of coffee.
2. In the scene when everyone is leaving the house party, all gathered around the front door saying goodbye, Lord Gillingham and Mary have a brief exchange. (More regrets.) But in that little scene, "Mr. Gillingham" (I guess that's what they called someone's valet--"Mr" followed by whatever the Lord's name is), Downton's rapist, awkwardly approaches Lord G. and tells him everything is packed up.
Mary and Lord G. exchange glances as if to say, "Well, wasn't that highly inappropriate?"
Instead, Mary says something about how nice it is that Lord Gillingham is so well looked after, to which Lord Gillingham replies: "I know it seems rather ungrateful, but I can't pretend I really like him."
Hmmmmm. A bit of foreshadowing, perhaps?
3. You gotta love Mrs. Hughes. I think she's been the bedrock of the season so far. While Robert and Cora continue to live in LaLa Land, Mrs. Hughes has her feet firmly planted on terra firma. And, wow! Does she know a thing or two about living life! Was anyone else surprised by her dressing down of Edna this week? Or that she even knew what the book Married Love was all about?
[As an aside, I did a little research and actually found a copy online of the 1919 book, Married Love:, by Marie Stopes. In her preface she says, "I have some things to say about sex, which, so far as I am aware, have not yet been said, things which seem to be of profound importance to men and women who hope to make their marriages beautiful." She says lots of other things, too, some of which aren't quite so virtuous.]
Anyway, here's how the scene in Mrs. Hughes's office (sorta) went down.
Edna: How do you know I'm not pregnant, B-----?
Mrs. Hughes: You're not pregnant, and I'll tell you why, you sneaky witch. You had this filthy book hidden in your room that tells you everything you need to know about not getting pregnant!
Edna (shocked): You've been in my things!
Mrs. Hughes: Darn right!
Tom, looking sheepish: What if I said I'd marry her and she wasn't really pregnant?
Mrs. Hughes: Oh, don't worry about that. She'd find some other randy drunk man to get her pregnant.
Edna: So? I'm just going to go talk to that clueless lady upstairs. She'll believe me over you-who-have-worked-here-forever-and-have-saved-her-butt-more-than-once-without-her-even-knowing-it.
Mrs. Hughes: No you won't. And you know why you won't? Because if you ever want a reference, or a job, preferrably in your natural lifetime, you'll hold your tongue.
Meanwhile, Tom just stands there with his head moving back and forth like he's watching a tennis match.
And with that, Dame Edna was gone. Almost. Don't let the door hit you on the backside on the way out, Edna!
4. Next scene. Edna is rushing up the stairs with her book in her hand, and she brushes past Thomas. He gives her some snide remark, and she turns on him, saying the one thing everyone wishes they had the chance to say to Thomas.
Edna: Do you ever wonder why people dislike you so much? It’s because you are sly and oily and smug, and I’m really pleased I got the chance to tell you before I go.
Thomas: Well, if we’re playing the truth game, then you’re a manipulative little witch and if your schemes have come to nothing, I’m delighted.
Two of a kind, those two.
5. You knew I'd save the best for last, didn't you? My absolutely favorite line of the episode, and one which I fully intend to bring into my own vernacular, was the delicious line from Mrs. Patmore: "Daisy, get a wiggle on!"
And with that, I must get my own wiggle on.
(Just in case you didn't get the context, getting one's "wiggle on" means "hurry up!")
So tell me, what was YOUR favorite line?
Top 5 Lines from DA, S4:E1
Top 5 Lines from DA, S4:E2