Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Top Five Lines from Downton Abbey, S6:E1

Alright, folks. Here’s the deal. I wasn’t going to blog about Downton Abbey this year. I’m supposed to be a “serious” writer this year. I’m supposed to write about big stuff, important stuff, life-changing stuff, so that I can build my platform.

Yeah. That.

But here’s the deal. I actually love writing about Downton Abbey (not that I don’t love writing about serious stuff too—obviously I do), and it seems some of you actually like reading my DA posts.

I also think writing should be fun. And helpful. And, at times, entertaining.


So, with all that in mind, I’ve made a momentous decision (cue the trumpets)—I will still be blogging about Downton Abbey this year.

I know. Your world has now been set right on its axis. You’re welcome.

I hope I can do justice to your expectations this year (kind of like British justice, as Robert said, “The envy of the world.”). Maybe then my platform will skyrocket.

*plants tongue firmly in cheek*

Now, as those of you who closely follow Downton already realize, we’re starting off with a bit of a problem: I’m a week behind. I haven’t blogged Episode 1 yet, but Episode 2 has already aired here in America (forget the Brits—they’ve seen it all already).

What are we to do?

We’re going to do what any good Downton character would do.

(Photo Credit: Paula Wilding)

We’re going to recap Episode 1 today and follow it up with Episode 2 tomorrow. Then we’ll be all caught up and you can come back here on Tuesdays for your latest DA Top Five from here on out.

Ready? Here we go!


Season Six starts in epic Downton fashion—with a hunt. Nothing says Downton Abbey better than men in top hats, red jackets with gold buttons, white jodhpurs, and shiny black boots.

And then there are Dogs! Horses! Drinks in silver cups!

(Oh, and don’t forget the creepy woman shooting daggers at Lady Mary.)

I think that pretty much sets the tone.

It’s 1925. (For some reason they are taking great pains to remind us of that this year.)

Of course, life at Downton isn’t all riding and hunting. It wouldn’t be Downton if we didn’t have a little drama, and the drama starts early this season with Mrs. Hughes, who, you will remember, is betrothed to Mr. Carson.

Yet, for a couple that is supposedly betrothed, they sure haven’t talked about much yet.

Of course, it is 1925. Remember?

1. Anyway, early on we get one of my favorite lines from this episode. A line that might just go down as one of my all-time favorite lines from all six seasons of Downton Abbey.

You remember, surely.

Mrs. Hughes calls Mrs. Patmore into her room to discuss something juicy because all the juicy gossip happens upstairs in the servants’ bedrooms. She closes the door and discloses to Mrs. Patmore that she’s just not sure if, after they are married, Mr. Carson will want her “as I am now.”

To which Mrs. Patmore, who by this time has made it perfectly clear that she’s no expert in marital matters, replies:

“Perhaps you can keep the lights off.”

I’m giggling just thinking about it.

2. Later, Mrs. Patmore (side note: why is she called MRS. Patmore if she’s never been married?) enters the kitchen, visibly upset because she’s agreed to do the dirty work for Mrs. Hughes and talk to Mr. Carson. Daisy picks up on this and asks Mrs. P. what’s wrong, using what I assume is an old English platitude, but one I had never heard before:

“A problem shared is a problem halved.”

I thought that was lovely.

3. Violet and Isobel are back to their old antics this season. I have a feeling Julian Fellowes is going to make the most of these two this time around because they have already shared some fantastic jabs.

One of my favorites was when the two were discussing the unfortunate decline in status of one of their neighbors who was forced to sell his estate at auction.

(The disgrace!)

Violet thinks it’s unseemly to have to sell everything, especially in front of all of those people, to which Isobel quickly retorts, “Well, you and I differ when it comes to the importance of things.”

Violet verbally slaps her:

“Does it ever get cold on the moral high ground?”

4. Anna learns in Episode 1 that she is no longer a suspect in Mr. Green’s murder—someone has conveniently come forward to confess to the crime. (I have a confession of my own: I didn’t even remember that storyline.)

Anna’s response to the policeman who brought the news was beautiful:

“Give her a message for me. Say I forgive her and wish her luck.”

5. You knew I’d get back to Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson, right? 

How could I not? Their story was so good this week! 

First we have Mr. Carson and Mrs. Patmore trying for a second time to have The Most Uncomfortable Conversation Ever. The light bulb finally goes off for Carson—what a great facial expression that was!—and Mrs. P. lets out a sigh of relief.

(It would have just been so much easier if they could have just said the word “s. e. x.” wouldn’t it?)

Anyway, they have come to an understanding. Both are relieved, yet they both aren’t quite sure what to do next. What should Mrs. Patmore tell Mrs. Hughes?

(It’s like junior high all over again!)

Mr. Carson then delivers the line that any woman of any generation in any place on earth would love to hear from her man: 

I love her, Mrs. Patmore. I am happy and tickled and bursting with pride that she would agree to be my wife. And I want us to live as closely as two people can for the time that remains to us on earth.”


Truthfully, every time I read that line I get tears in my eyes.

Later, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson are alone in his office, finally talking about what they should have been talking about all along. They agree that they will have a “real marriage,” as Mr. Carson calls it.


(Yes, I'm in junior high.)

Mrs. Hughes, still a little uncertain, says, “Well then, if you’re sure you still want me . . .” to which Mr. Carson replies, 

“I have never been so sure of anything.”


And then he kisses her tenderly.

Fade to black and all’s right with the world.

Until tomorrow.


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  1. I thought you were the one who told me that they called the women who worked in the household by the term Mrs. even though they weren't married because it was more appropriate. Perhaps it was someone else. There is most certainly a better explanation for it but I know that I was told that the housekeeper was always called Mrs. whether she was married or not. Maybe that's why "Mrs." Patmore is called that as well?
    Looking forward to the next installment of your posts. Wigs on the green, etc.

    1. I had totally forgotten about that, Linda, but I think you're right. Spoiler alert: wigs on the green will not be showing up in my next post. Sorry!

  2. Absolutely fabulous post! Hilarious, and of course, it is Downton.....

  3. Thank you for agreeing to continue. Reading your top 5 quotes lets me enjoy the episode all over again - which is perfect, since we have no replay button for the current season. You captured this one well.

    1. Truthfully, Lara, I like writing these posts because I get to relive them too. Glad you enjoy them!