Happy Monday, dear friends. And it IS a happy Monday today because Downton Abbey Season 5 premiered last night.
I’m still thinking about it, laughing to myself over all the antics and hilarious possibilities for the upcoming season. They certainly didn’t waste time getting to the good stuff, did they?
As always and because I just can’t help myself, I’m going to post my Top Five lines of each episode.
(If you’re not a Downton fan, just come back in a couple of days. Please?)
As I said, they didn’t waste time getting to the good stuff by continuing story lines that were left hanging last season (Mary and Lord Gillingham? Edith’s baby? Thomas’s harassment of Miss Baxter?) and starting some new, potentially interesting stories (James and Lady Anstruther? Sarah Bunting? Molesley and Baxter?).
And, of course there was Violet, Dowager Countess. Always the star of the show, in my opinion.
And while Violet may be the star (and recipient of all the best lines), my favorite character is still Daisy.
1. So let’s start with Daisy, shall we? Because she had a bit of an interesting development this week.
Mrs. Patmore walks into the kitchen to find Daisy pouring over some accounting books and asks her what this is all about.
Daisy: I was rubbish at numbers in school.
Mrs. Patmore, laughing: Well all the best people were rubbish at numbers in school.
Thank you for confirming what I’ve always known, Mrs. Patmore.
2. Moving along, what is the deal with James and Lady Anstruther, whom we had never met until this week? James thinks he knows: she’s getting older and trying to recapture her youth with him.
And I don’t think he thinks that’s all bad.
Talking with Thomas in the servants’ hall, he reveals a bit of his thoughts about the Lady A situation.
Barrow: Still, it’s pathetic for a Lady to be pining over a footman.
James: Excuse me, I think it shows very good taste.
Hubris will be your downfall, James.
3. Hands up if you like Sarah Bunting, especially Sarah Bunting with our beloved Tom.
I didn’t think so.
There’s just something about that woman that bothers me. I think it has to do with her smug, sanctimonious, self-righteous swagger. But that might just be me.
Anyway, she did get a great line last night (hopefully her last) in the pre-dinner scene in the drawing room. Rose, attempting to be a polite hostess, introduces her friend Kitty Colthurst to Sarah Bunting, mentioning that Sarah is a teacher (which, by the way, is the most polite way to introduce someone—tell an interesting fact about the people you are introducing. A free etiquette lesson for you.)
The exchange between the two women is hilarious—especially Sarah Bunting’s zinger at the end.
Kitty Colthurst: Oh golly, how clever! What do you teach?
Sarah Bunting: The usual things: writing, mathematics . . .
Kitty: Crikey! Writing’s always beyond me, and I wouldn’t know where to start with mathematics.
Sarah: Well then, you must marry a man rich enough to ensure you’ll never need to.
I guess that’s my problem with Sarah—her zingers may be funny, but they’re mostly cruel.
4. The pre-dinner event leads, naturally, to dinner, which turns out to be the most awkward dinner party in the history of dinner parties, thanks, of course, to Sarah Bunting (I’m starting to really not like that girl). In the meantime, Lady Anstruther slips a note into James’s pocket. Sarah and Isobel can’t keep their opinions to themselves. And everyone gets into a huge fight over the war.
All the while, Robert strives “to keep things light.” (I guess that’s what makes for a good dinner party—light talk, nothing controversial.)
For once, Violet comes to Robert’s aid and ends up with the funniest line of the night.
Violet: Now, if you could all put your swords away, perhaps we could finish our dinner in a civilized manner.
Isobel: But I admire it when young people stand up for their principles.
Violet: Principles are like prayers. Noble, of course, but awkward at a party.
5. The episode ends with what will surely go down in history as The Great Fire.
Edith, in a fit of despair, throws her lover’s book into the fireplace. Somehow she falls asleep before she sees that some of the book has fallen onto the carpet in front of the fireplace, causing a huge fire.
Thomas, who had been skulking about in the hallway just to see if Jimmy and Lady A “needed anything,” smells smoke, rescues Edith, and saves Downton (and simultaneously his own you-know-what).
In the midst of all the fire havoc, Robert shouts out orders: “Get the sand buckets!” (Because I don’t know where they are.) “Tell everyone downstairs!” (Because God forbid I should have to do it.)
And my favorite line of all: “Save the dog!”
With that, I shall go try to rescue my own dog who, by the way, looks very much like Isis and who has been very naughty lately.
I can’t wait to see what they have for us next week. Until then . . .
Did you watch Episode 1 last night? What were your favorite moments?