Well now, Episode 3 was a happy episode, wasn’t it? Even the foreshadowing was happy.
Daisy studying for her exams with Mr. Molesley helping her.
Anna smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Edith taking charge of the magazine. And her mysterious helper staying up all night to get the magazine out. (Who was that guy again? And why is he helping her? Does he have editing experience? Is he looking for a job? What on earth?!)
Anyway . . .
Even though the foreshadowing was fun, the actual episode was also happy and marvelous and lovely.
WE HAD A WEDDING, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! And weddings are always wonderful.
But at Downton, every wedding must come with a little drama.
1. And so we begin with wedding drama. Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore head upstairs to the servants’ bedrooms where Mrs. Hughes is “showing off” her pathetic brown day dress that she chose to get married in.
As they climb the stairs, Mrs. P. tries to get her BFF excited about the wedding, but Mrs. Hughes will have nothing of it. She’s still complaining about the reception being in the Big House.
“I wanted a big wedding breakfast with all of us set at groaning tables having a jolly time.”
Mrs. Patmore asks, “Why can’t you have that?”
And Mrs. Hughes delivers a line I won’t soon forget:
“Because it’s not how posh people do it. They stand around with nibbly bits gettin’ stuck in their teeth and that’s what we have to do.”
You know, I was at a party with some pretty posh people a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t see any nibbly bits caught in anybody’s teeth. I’ll have to be on the lookout for that in the future.
[Note: Several of you last week thought I was being kind of unfair to Mrs. H. for complaining about the wedding being held in the Big House. I get it—she should have the wedding she wants—but I still think she was acting rather like a spoiled child over it. And apparently it worked!]
2. Violet always pleases, doesn’t she? This week was no exception since she gets two spots on my list.
Her first great line came rather early on as she visits the Abbey to talk to Robert about this infernal hospital situation. She’s worried that Robert is actually thinking about the merits of Isobel’s side of things.
Robert admits that he’s been talking to Cora about it, to which Violet responds, “Well that is a mistake.”
Robert pushes back: “You can’t expect me to avoid talking to my own wife.”
Violet, without even blinking:
“Why not? I know several couples who are perfectly happy. Haven’t spoken in years.”
3. And then there was the hospital meeting in Dr. Clarkson’s office. Isobel is in rare form up on that high horse of hers, insulting Dr. Clarkson about his soon-to-be-diminished authority around HER hospital.
As she blabs on and on, Isobel comes off as brazen and proud and rude, as usual, even calling Clarkson just “one more local doctor.”
Everyone around the circle just sits there with their mouths hanging open.
Finally, breaking the tension, Violet cocks her head and sarcastically asks Isobel:
“Did you . . . drink at luncheon?”
I don’t know why, but something about the way she asked that question had me laughing so hard.
And Isobel didn’t even get the joke.
4. Now on to the good stuff—the wedding. So many great lines that I’ll have to pick just a few.
First, how about when Baxter and Anna come in with that troublesome wedding jacket in their hands?
“We’ve come to dress the Bride!”
To which Mrs. Hughes says,
“Well now, there’s a sentence I thought I’d never hear.”
And then there was the actual wedding ceremony itself. So simple. So understated. They didn’t even show much of the ceremony—I guess Carson and Hughes wanted to keep it private.
But they did show Carson putting the ring on her finger while stating his vows, which I absolutely loved.
“With this ring; I thee wed.
With my body, I thee worship.
And with all my worldly goods I thee endow.”
Why don’t we say vows like that anymore? They are so beautiful, so poetic. And they carry so much weight.
And finally, how about that toast? Carson with just the right words again. The man knows how to make a statement, doesn’t he?
“I will not be prolix, but it must be right that I mark that I am the happiest and luckiest of men. That a woman of such grace and charm would entrust her life’s happiness to my unworthy charge passeth all understanding.”
5. And then. The happiest surprise of them all (although, for the record, I called this one during the first episode)! Tom!
(Oh yeah, and Sibbie! Daaahling!)
I had to go back and watch this scene again just to capture the looks of surprise and joy on everyone’s faces. I’m sure mine looked just as thrilled.
I’M SO GLAD TOM’S BACK!!!! And I’m pretty sure he’s back for good.
And I’m pretty sure there will be another wedding down the road.
And no I haven’t watched ahead.
I loved how Tom summed up his time in America and his reason for coming back:
“It’s quite simple. I had to go to Boston to figure something out. I learned that Downton is my home and you are my family.”
Oh yes you are, Grantham clan. You’re in it with the chauffeur forever it looks like to me.
And thank goodness for that, amiright?
Till next week. . . .