Monday, February 9, 2015

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey, S5:E6 (Or "There's Something about Mary")

Before we begin today I have to remind you that the purpose of these posts is primarily for fun. I enjoy pulling out the funny, ironic, pithy, or profound lines from each episode of Downton Abbey because it’s fun for me and, I hope, for you, the reader.

I say this to explain, dear friends, why I will today avoid any lines having to do with one of the most heartbreaking storylines that has ever been told on this show. I will not be speaking of champagne or ice cream or new mummys or any such thing because it is just too much to take.

Just. too. much.

Oh Edith, what a mess you are in!

That said, let’s begin with Edith’s nemesis, her sister Mary.

1. There’s something about Mary this week and that is that she must, at all costs, be the center of attention. This week her sister is grieving and her cousin is enjoying a new relationship, both of which are taking the spotlight away from Mary, and Mary cannot take it. Not at all.

Early in the episode we find Mary and Anna talking together about Mary’s love life and the spiffy horse race she’s been invited to the following weekend. You can just see Mary’s wheels turning as she asks, ironically and without any sense of really meaning it: 
“Anna, do you think I’m looking 
rather . . . frumpy?”

Anna, of course, replies to the contrary because we know that Anna is getting paid to butter up her mistress no matter what. I wonder if underneath all of Anna’s sweetness she is really rolling her eyes at Mary’s very large ego.

Later, Mary does the dramatic and *gasp!* cuts her hair *gasp!* in an attempt to keep the attention squarely where it belongs—on her. She shows up to dinner in dramatic fashion to show off her new look. (Did anyone besides me harken back to when Sybil turned up to dinner with pants on in Season 1?)

Cora gushes, because her eldest daughter can do no wrong. Obvi. “Well, we really are living in the modern world!”

But Mary needs more approval than from merely her simpleminded mother, so she turns to Granny--“Granny, what do you think?”—who wastes no time telling Mary exactly what she thinks.

“Oh, it is you. I thought it was a man wearing your clothes.”

2. Edith, naturally, becomes upset that Mary has stolen her thunder yet again and in her grieving stupor she tells them all what she really thinks of them and leaves to take a tray in her room. (Atticus Aldridge doesn’t know what to think at this point, and Rose is simply too dumbfounded to be of much help to him.)

The family discusses whether they should even attend the riding event on Saturday, but Robert decides that maybe it will be good for Edith to have some time alone "to think." And here Violet brings us the relief we need:
“All this endless thinking. It’s very overrated. . . . I blame the war. Before 1914 nobody thought about anything at all.” 
 Amen, Sister.

3. Throughout this episode Robert tries to shun his wife for whatever did or didn’t happen between her and Simon Bricker. He punishes her endlessly by giving her the cold shoulder, even opting to *gasp!* sleep in his own room.

Can you imagine?!

Finally, Cora has had enough of Robert’s immature theatrics and delivers what may have been one of the best lines she’s given so far this season:
“Very well. If you can honestly say that you have never let a flirtation get out of hand since we were married, if you have never given a woman the wrong impression, by all means stay away. Otherwise, I expect you in my room tonight.”

It doesn't take much processing on Robert's part (Hello, Maid Jane!). He quickly casts aside the blankets and heads sheepishly into Cora’s room.

4. It’s the day of the big race and, once again, Mary throws the spotlight to herself by riding up on her big white horse. She’s dressed to the nines in order to lure both Charles Blake and Tony Gillingham (only to drop Tony into the arms of Mabel Lane Fox later, I’m sure).

Anyway, as she rides away on her horse, Isobel gushes, “I think she’s splendid.”

Always the practical one, Violet tells it like she sees it: 
“I think she’s cracked.”

Vi, I just think she’s manipulative (and some other choice words I can’t mention here).

5. OK, I’ve saved my favorite line of the night for last. You might have missed it, but it made me laugh out loud.

How sweet was Carson when he approached Mrs. Hughes about the possibility of their buying a property together? (Strictly business, of course.) And haven’t I been hinting at their getting together all season?

(You can pat me on the back and tell me I was right later.)

Anyway, Carson shuffles around a bit before saying, “Mrs. Hughes, may I make a suggestion that I think you’ll find a strange one but I ask that you consider nonetheless?”

To which, Mrs. Hughes replies, 
“Heavens! I’m all agog!” 

I think this phrase just might need to be introduced back into our vernacular because it so perfectly sums up so many situations.

You open the door to find unexpected overnight guests? “Heavens! I’m all agog!”

Your dog loses his lunch on your favorite rug? “Heavens! I’m all agog!”

Your daughter brings home a guy with tattoos covering every visible surface of his body? “Heavens! I’m all agog!”

It just seems to fit.

And with that, I’m going to call it another week of Top Five Lines.

So tell me, what were YOUR favorites this week? Leave me a comment and let's dish!

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