Fug the Show: Downton Abbey Recap, Season 4 Christmas Special


I have a LOT of comments about this episode, and they include: Why am I hanging out with Paul Giamatti so much all of a sudden? Since when is this thing a caper? Why can’t Julian Fellowes hire a British actor with a decent American accent? Is it really a Christmas Special if no one makes out? And, finally, why is it that the more I type “Christmas special,” the more I become sure that that’s what Julian Fellowes has named his handgun? That being said, Mary has a tremendous moment in this episode where I actually clapped with glee, and MY GOD, the clothes are FANTASTIC and the entire thing was beautifully shot and who doesn’t love a court presentation and tiaras and balls?!

FINALLY, thanks to you readers for being such an awesome and fun community of Downton fans this year. I am going to try to recap earlier episodes of the series over the summer, when we have fewer celeb events to tackle, if people would be interested, to MURDER time until we get to see the new season, but until then: cheers, and try not to push anyone down the well.

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Comments (237):

  1. wordphreak
    +2

    There are no British actors with “decent American accents”….

    • Jessica
      +52

      Really? I think Damien Lewis’s American accent is excellent, for example. Alan Cumming! Idris Elba on The Wire! Kevin McKidd on Grey’s. Hugh Laurie’s is excellent. Obviously they’re not going to get any of those people for Downton, but it can definitely be done.

      •  Katie
        +22

        +1 for Idris Elba. And for many other reasons.

      • Donna J
        +21

        Matthew Rhys is Welsh and his American accent is flawless.

      • Lizzy
        +4

        Hello – American Alessandro Nivola! He’s done a lot of period dramas and plays a devilishly handsome playboy perfectly.

      •  Heather
        +12

        Idris on The Office! “I am aware of my effect on women.”

      • Mavis
        0

        Plus our boyfriend, Ralph Fiennes!

      • hillary l.
        0

        I would add Hugh Laurie and Minnie Driver to the list of People Who Can Sound American. Orlando Bloom isn’t soooooo bad in Elizabethtown, though bless him he can’t say Oregon quite right (this is a difficulty since he’s trying to prove to relatives that he really is from Oregon, but in fairness many Americans can’t say it right either).

      • Gordon
        +1

        I hate to break it to everyone, but the “British” actor who played Harold’s American valet is not British. He’s American…lives in New York, and has an American accent. What most of you failed to notice is that he was doing a period American accent where he simply enunciates and doesn’t mumble…like most American actors do today. Accents have very interesting reactions in people: there’s a reason Kelsey Grammar, John Lithgow, Katherine Hepburn (and even Donald Sutherland sometimes) are often mistaken for having english accents. They all have soft American accents that aren’t as exaggerated as most people’s today. If the valet had spoken like most modern American actors today (imagine one of the guys from Girls) it would have sounded way too modern and out of place in the world of Downton. He did a spot on job with the accent for the time period. And besides, he IS American!

    • Squirrel!
      +20

      I’ve always been very impressed by Alan Cumming’s American accent on The Good Wife! It’s so good that when he speaks in his native Scottish lilt for Masterpiece Mystery, it seems a little disconcerting. ;-)

    • Tina
      +2

      I go to the theatre in London a lot and I’m North American. I hear a lot of British actors doing American accents. They’re not always perfect (see everyone in American Psycho not named Matt Smith) but I’ve seen supporting cast actors absolutely nail an American accent, and most of them are generally good at it. It’s part of drama training over here.

    • Jodi
      +3

      I would have to agree. Andrew Lincoln is barely understandable in The Walking Dead, and the AV Club WD board just explodes with delight whenever he tries to talk. KORL! (That’s what he calls his son, Carl, for the uninitiated.) I have to turn on closed captioning when I watch that show, and I’m American.

      Shirley MacLaine is among the most American people I can imagine, and even she sounds foreign speaking that dialogue. She tries to make it sound natural, bless her.

      I was disturbed by the cut she gave Violet at the end of the episode. They are sparring partners, but that was particularly cruel.

      Also, I would like to thank the Fug Girls for the link to Eleanor Parker. I wasn’t aware that she had passed away, and that makes me quite sad. I’ve always thought that Elsa Schrader was came across as the most beautiful, intelligent and self-possessed woman imaginable, and I’m sure that was Eleanor Parker shining through her character. What an incredible career she had.

      • marylou bethune
        +1

        Yes, there was never anyone who had the beautiful face and figure and poise that the Baroness S had. Exquisite.

    • InvaderTak
      +4

      TIm Roth. His is spot on every time.

  2.  jules
    +15

    Matthew Rhys on the Americans, one of the best American accents.

    • Brenna
      +2

      Agreed. I actually thought he was American until I heard him speak in an interview.

      •  AJ
        +7

        Isn’t that such a delight when you get a surprise accent experience? I recall the initial discovery of Idris Elba fondly.

  3. Lisa D
    +29

    I seriously love your recaps of Downton. They are perfect! The whole slide about Thomas being a hot jerkwad is amazing. “Nothing untoward happened to Isis!” And I agree the costuming this episode was fantastic. Rose especially.

    •  Looly
      +10

      The costumes WERE magnificent but I will respectfully disagree with Jessica about Rose’s ballgown. She is a slender girl and that dress made girlfriend look like she had some serious junk in the trunk.

      • Heather
        +19

        It was a scrolldown for me. I LOVE the color and the top was great and then that skirt looked like she was hiding a table underneath it.

        • juliannarose
          +6

          That style of dress (robe de style) was super super on trend for the era though. It was asignature of the house of Lanvin and a nod to court dress of the 17th century.

        • Princess Fiona
          +2

          Agreed, although I DID admire that her presentation gown and ball gown had the same shape.

        • Hermione
          +14

          Or a Gutenberg Bible.

  4. Nan
    +33

    Fug Lady Jessica, it has been LOVELY to read your LOVELY recaps. THANK YOU!! Rest assured, I would throw your train ticket into the fire so that you too can get away with MURDER (then we can hold hands as we wade into the ocean wearing fabulous hats!).

  5. Rachel
    +28

    I kind of hate Shirley MacLaine in this role, and I hated her telling off Violet! Also, the purloined letter thingy was pretty stupid and I dislike the way Fellowes inserts history so hamhandedly into the plot, as this foreshadowing of the Wallis Simpson story surely was. And Gregson being attacked by brownshirts. It’s as if there’s a pause and everyone in the cast stops to listen to ominous music. You might as well have someone marching across the screen with a placard that says “The Nazis are coming!”

    • TalleyL
      +29

      I have always hated Shirley McLaine in this! She’s not funny. Maybe it’s the writing and Julian’s prejudices showing, but she’s about as subtle as a two-by-four. I did enjoy her turning down her suitor, but other than that I think she’s entirely wasted in this! I like Shirley Mac generally, but just not in Downton.

      • meggiemoo
        +2

        She was wayyy too crotchety this time. I feel like when she appeared in other seasons, it wasn’t as bad as this was. It’s a humorless role, pretty much, and I think Shirley likely has a pretty great sense of humor. It would have been more fun if they’d made her a little raunchy, a little inappropriate, but still fun.

        • Heather
          +21

          I hate her in it TOO. She’s not nearly as fun as she ought to be, and when she got the upper hand on Violet I didn’t believe it for a second because she’s not playing this role NEARLY sharply and sassily enough to believably win that fight. I can’t decide who I’d recast her with, though, since I can’t plug in any of the Golden Girls (for age and deadness reasons).

          • Rachel
            +1

            Gosh, Bea Arthur could hold her own against Violet. Though, I’m pretty sure I’d still be Team DC.

          • greatwhitenorthchick
            0

            June Squibb. If you’ve seen ‘Nebraska’, June could take anyone. Also, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Alexander or Glenn Close would be great.

      • carrieglitter
        +8

        It sort of pains me to say this, but I also don’t think her acting is very good in Downton (I know that’s a sin to say things like that against the Grande Dames of Hollywood, but I’m sticking to my guns here).

        • Heather
          +10

          I concur wholeheartedly. I think she’s resting on grande dame laurels.

        •  lulu
          +1

          It doesn’t pain me to say it at all. She has been a dull thud both seasons. Since she wasn’t such a big deal this season, she wasn’t as awful.

  6.  Looly
    +8

    This was not my favorite episode, but your recap surely made it better!

    My major issue with this show – ISIS! The dog that never ages. Drives me mad.

    Also, with all of their money problems, not only do they not sell their London home or find the missing Gutenberg bible, but they don’t even hock some of their jewels. Did you see Cora’s necklace at the ball? WOAH.

    • Jessica
      +8

      Or any of the art! Unload some of those paintings, you guys!

    • Marie
      +7

      I think Isis is the second dog. The first dog was Pharaoh.

      •  Heather
        +4

        Indeed this is true. I read a story on Downton’s dogs somewhere. Apparently the white lab wasn’t bred until after WWII, so they’re anachronistic.

      • jenelope
        +4

        I saw an interview with the actress who plays Mrs. Patmore, Lesley Nicol, and she said that Rob James-Collier (EvilButler.com) told her that the first dog “went to go live on a farm,” and she had to have that explained to her. (Though evidently it isn’t true and the dog portraying Isis was replaced because she was a bit undisciplined around the Highclere antiques.)

  7. TalleyL
    +8

    So I didn’t actually play the drinking game, but I kept catching items as I was watching. Which increased my enjoyment of the episode quite a bit! The shot from the 2nd floor was even a (sort-of) major plot point! I just went back & looked at the list and I counted 14 “drink once”s, 3 “drink three”s, and 2 “chug”s. That’s a pretty good count. Some of those probably happened more than once, but the things I counted happened at least once.

  8. ceecee
    +9

    There were many LOL moments in this episode, not the least of which was “I know I can trust you to steer.”
    Daisy finally got a pretty hat! (the one she’s wearing at the beach)
    I cringed at the “Tom explains to Thomas about the woman upstairs” scene. Don’t explain, Tom. Just leaving ‘em guessing.
    I’m even more Team Gillingham than ever.

    • Marie
      +25

      And even if Thomas did go and tattle to Lord G, can he really get that mad considering he was snogging a maid in the same hallway just a few years ago?

    • Annie S.
      +23

      I’ve decided I’m Team Whoever’s Onscreen at the Moment, with a lean toward Team Blake. I think it’s hilarious that Edith has spent the past 11 years getting the short straw where men are concerned, and Mary’s got THREE suitable chaps (I’m including the hapless Evelyn Napier) chasing after her seemingly minutes after Poor Matthew’s demise.

      Poor Edith.

      • AM
        +15

        Couldn’t agree more. I mean, Edith’s cute. She has an interesting life (not the whole part no one knows about). Wouldn’t one of those three suitors (who aren’t married and don’t have a scratch on them from the Great War) and at least say hi to her once in a while?

        • Heather
          +36

          I feel bad for Laura Carmichael, the way they treat Edith as if she’s a hideous troll under a bridge.

      • Natasha Fatale
        +2

        Yes, wasn’t there a serious man shortage after the “Great War” – to the point where a whole generation of women never had the opportunity to marry and have families? Yet here’s Lady Mary with not one, not two, but three, healthy & wealthy aristocratic bachelors in hot pursuit…it beggars belief…

  9. Melanie
    +27

    1) Why all the fussing about how Grantham House doesn’t have room for everyone? Why not have some of them stay at Aunt Rosamund’s?
    2) Why did Rose’s friend actually end up liking Harold? He seemed an awkward ass the entire time. That whole plot line was just stupid.
    3) When Shirley MacLaine was so rude to her, Violet should have snapped back with, “And yet I noticed that when YOUR modern American son was in trouble, the first person you wanted was MY son, the old-fashioned English earl!”

    • meggiemoo
      +14

      Ugh…Paul Giamatti’s character was almost too awkward to watch…

  10. Marie
    +2

    THIS. WAS. PERFECT.

  11.  Rowynn
    +36

    Wow, I had so many problems with this episode! First of all, the Pig Man Adopts Baby plot. He says his wife loves babies, so she won’t even question when he comes home carrying Edith’s daughter, with some cockamamie story about an old friend of his who died and asked him to take her child. And Mrs Pig Man never says “What old friend?? Who?? Who were you such good friends with that she’d leave her child to you, and yet you don’t tell me her name, nor have I heard of her before.” Nope. According to Pig Man, she will not ask questions, she’ll just go “Oh goody, a baby!” As if he had just brought home a stray kitten or something.
    And likewise she won’t ever wonder why Edith comes around so much, I suppose, or why she seems inordinately interested in the baby of Pig Man’s deceased friend. No problems there that I can see, nope. Not to even mention the trauma of taking a child from the parents it has grown to know and love, or the trauma to the parents from losing the child. I feel for Edith, I really do, but she just dismisses the Schroeders by saying nothing was ever made official, so its no problem for her to just drop in and take the baby away from them. And then she has the nerve to tell Rosamund that she can’t understand, because she’s never been a mother.

    • Helena
      +9

      Right? Your husband brings home a baby for you to raise as your own, with an ambiguous story about a friend he’s never mentioned before, and it’s NOT going to raise a few potential problems in the marriage? Because I think there’s an obvious conclusion that most wives would reach.

    • me-me
      +7

      Oh, ditto all of this! The first thing I thought of is, those poor adoptive parents!

      I also kinda call foul on the “they made me breastfeed” comment. I highly doubt if refined English ladies would ever agree to anything of the sort. How vulgar! They would have had wet nurses, right? (Any Women’s Studies historians here?)

  12. Mary
    +34

    That Sarah Bunting…. she is so setting Tom up! “Want to see the view from the balcony” my foot. Wanted to see where to plant the bomb is more like it. She is terribly, terribly calculating. Why would a dedicated socialist want to see the house of her enemy, Tom?! WAKE UP.

    •  Rowynn
      +12

      Absolutely right! And not only is she up to no good, but she isn’t even likeable. As much as I’d like to see Tom tell her to take a hike, I also don’t like him acting all defensive and guilty, when Lord G asks him if he had guests in the house. It’s his home, why shouldn’t he have a guest if he wants? And for that matter, why IS he acting so guilty? Is it because he feels as if he would be betraying Sybil if he became interested in a woman, or is it because he still feels like somewhat of an interloper in the house, and doesn’t think he DOES have a right to invite a guest? Or is it because he thinks the Crawleys wouldn’t approve of a guest from the “lower” classes? Would he have been totally comfortable if his guest had been a social equal of Sybil? And no matter which it is, I sure was wishing he would sock Thomas in the nose and tell him to mind his own business.

      • Rachael
        +8

        Also, it’s not like Lord G should be getting all snotty about shenanigans (not that this was even one), since he’s Mr. Married and Yet Still Kissed an Employee several times.

      • BigTex
        +2

        I’m not convinced she’s planning a terrorist act, but her non-likeability is a serious enough crime for me. It does seem like they’re trying to set her up as a sassy kindred spirit for Tom, but like many here, I HAAAATE her! Pushy little troublemaker.

    • meggiemoo
      +23

      I really, really dislike Sarah Bunting. She is not interesting in the least, although your explanation of major plotting sounds more interesting that her just being his lackluster love interest.

      • Heather
        +26

        Why are they basically doing the exact same plot as with Edna Braithwaite, also? It’s the SAME THING. She needles Tom about his social standing, she “understands” his true self, she gets him into trouble because he’s too dumb to do anything but be led around by the knickers. I actually like the idea that he’s a man in search of self — getting him into politics would’ve been way more interesting, I think — but they are making him into a repetitive idiot this way.

    • Noreen
      +12

      She is now “Sarah Punting” to me. As in: punting her into the well. Uuuugggghhhh.

      • Natasha Fatale
        +3

        I too want to fast-forward my DVR every time Miss Smugface and her snobby, intolerant remarks hove into view – seriously, Tom, man up! Don’t take any sass from Evil Butler and don’t be led down the garden path (again) by an inappropriate lady friend. Into the Downton Well with her!

  13. Kristin
    +2

    First off, this poor pig farmer was just talked into actually BEING the pig farmer, and now he’s taking on a baby?
    Second, and this is a legit costuming question, would the sisters have been sharing clothes? I liked throughout the season how Mary had to repeat some of those purple (mourning?) dresses. It’s realistic to believe she didn’t have months and months worth of purple wardrobe. But I think Edith is wearing one of those same dresses in the scene with Aunt Rosamund. You’d think with as much money as they (used to) have, they’d each have their own tailored, custom made wardrobe.

  14. Patricia
    +16

    As slide 40 neared I despaired that you hadn’t managed to slip in one final jab at the lost GB. And then I got to the final line. Thank you.

    • Ash
      0

      In the scene where Tom was walking past the shelves of books while showing Sarah Bunting around, I literally screamed “SHOW HER WHERE THE GUTENBERG BIBLE USED TO SIT, TOM!!!” at my television screen… much to the chagrin of my confused husband.

  15. BrownEyedBetty
    +13

    The writing and the plot “twists” on Downton have been suspect for several seasons now. This is nothing new….although it’s fun to discuss it anyway. A lot of it doesn’t make sense but who cares? Julian Fellowes certainly doesn’t!

    I agree that Edith as a character and an actress is really getting a bum deal here. And remember that first (and literal) roll in the hay she had with the Farmer in one of the first seasons? She’s got a THANG for ‘em.

    Shirley MacLaine could completely ROCK this role if it was written better.
    It actually made me sad to see Paul Giamatti. He’s so much better than this.

    Does Cora have ANY OTHER FACIAL EXPRESSION than the simpering smile with a cocked head? Puh-LEASE.

    Mary’s Floaty Blue Dress was adorbs. If I could only swan through some only stately home wearing that with eager dudes in my wake! sigh.

    •  amylola
      +2

      Yes! finally someone points out Cora’s simpering smile. It drives me crazy. Distracts me from the story. It’s just weird.

  16.  AJ
    +15

    Dear Julian – Would it have killed you to tell us SOMETHING specific about Thomas and Baxter? Or give a resolution to Gregson (dead or alive)? Or to give us one smooch between Mary and Blake (after all, Gillingham is up one point on him there as he’s actually taken the initiative to lock lips with her)? It’s a season finale, after all.

    Or maybe I’m just too American and modern with my expectations for a TV show.

    • BrownEyedBetty
      +3

      Agreed. Or give us some solid reasons to return to watching next season? The only thing I’m hanging in there to watch is a Hughes/Carson hookup and what happens to Mary and (hopefully) Blake or another (hopefully) HOTT Dude that has yet to be cast. Damn You Fellowes!

    •  Anne
      0

      I don’t think that’s what the English use Christmas Specials for. It’s not exactly a season finale as such and more a standalone movie thing.

    • me-me
      +2

      Yeah, but we did not get any of this all season long, so throw us at least ONE bone during the Xmas special, amiright?

    • witjunkie
      +1

      I can’t believe Blake didn’t plant one on Mary at the end there. We stuck with this nonsense all season, Fellowes, GIVE US OUR PAYOFF.

  17. Christy
    +9

    I was well chuffed with Daisy’s hat redemption in this episode. She looked lovely at the beach. Maybe it was just the huge smile on her face.
    I gasped when I saw Rose’s pink gown for her ball. GORGEOUS.

  18. Christy
    +18

    Also, I want the DG and Mrs. Crowley to be trapped together in small spaces at least once an episode. That rapid fire banter between the two is always entertaining!

    •  AJ
      +6

      YES. I was giggling with glee during their banter scene in the car headed for London.

  19. jen310
    +4

    Oh, Fug Girl Jessica, thank you for your brilliant fug caps of Downton. You are a treasure.

    If you do indeed recap the first three seasons make sure you watch the DVDs of the unedited British versions. You were right last week about the bad editing with scenes that were somehow chopped off before completion. PBS edits Downton scenes for some reason.

    I missed the first season on PBS and watched it on DVD before the second one aired. PBS cut out 20-30 MINUTES from season 1 (seasons 2 and 3 have only minor cuts but they are still there). Bates has more to his story in season 1 than shown on PBS which pissed me off when I rewatched PBS’ reairing of season 1 before season 2 aired and I realized there were scenes missing that were in the British version. Even Evil Butler and O’Brien had more scenes in season 1.

    I plan on borrowing and rewatching season 4 this summer as I have done with every season of Downton so I don’t miss anything.

    So to you and all Fug Nationals who want the entire Downton story, borrow (I go to the local library) Netflix, or buy the damn seasons and see what you’re missing.

    • Hermione
      +3

      Amazon Prime also has the original UK versions.

    • me-me
      0

      Thanks for the tip! Will do!!!

    •  Meghan
      0

      Good to know about the editing – American TV always gets the short end of the stick. I think they are still miffed about the whole “King George lost the colonies and we are going to blame them until the end of time by referring to them as ‘the colonies’ and not letting them see full episodes of our programs” Or programmes, if it makes you happy.

  20. Rachael
    +9

    A decided lack of true drama, despite the myriad plots, and yet I enjoyed the episode all the same. I had quite the wine-flush going by the time hour two started, though, and I was only half-heartedly trying to follow along with all the “drink now” moments. There were a LOT.

    Some of my favorite moments:
    Tom and Violet, “I know I can trust you to steer” — that was adorable, and I may have teared up a little.

    Rose’s clothing was beautiful throughout. Girlfriend dresses right. And I loved when Mary told Cora to just accept that Rose is a flapper. Very cute.

    When Shirley MacLaine turned down her faux suitor, I may have done a USA, USA, USA chant. It was her one really good moment of the episode. Otherwise, what is (I think) supposed to come off as charming ball-busting instead comes off as eye-roll-inducing snobbery.

    Mary’s “let battle commence,” was very awesome, particularly when paired with the turn and walk away. Go Mary.

    The beach scene was very charming, all the way around. The closing shot was all I could have asked for. Very much looking forward to summer recaps!

  21. Donna J
    +5

    Thanks for the these fabulous recaps, Jessica! I really look forward to them as I’m watching the show.

    I loved Mrs. Hughes and Carson wading into the water together. I don’t really want them to get it on physically, but I do think that was a real acknowledgement of their suitability and need for each other, in something more than just a platonic way. Lovely.

    Can’t stand that schoolteacher gal; she’s so bloody judgy!

    Was something itching the actress who plays Daisy when she was sitting on the sand, talking to the American servant? She was writhing and twitching and it was so distracting, I could only momentarily appreciate her sweet frock. And Mrs. Patmore’s hat – she’s wonderful.

    Lastly, I spent a delightful couple of hours last week reading Allen Leech’s twitter; he’s frickin’ hilarious, and besties with Thomas, whom he refers to constantly as evilbutler.com, just like Jessica does!

    • NinjaGaiden
      +9

      In case you haven’t already seen it, they refer to him as evilbutler.com because that’s Rob James-Collier’s actual website. He’s using it to raise money for MS for the London marathon. I think he must be a hoot to hang out with in real life, which makes me feel slightly bad for wanting to punch the smirk off Thomas’ stupid face.

      • Princess Fiona
        +3

        I wish RJC actually used his twitter. I bet it’d be hysterical.

  22. Eli
    +15

    I am glad this season is over in America so I can bioch about how boring it was (I watched it during the British run). I mean, hardly anything happened at ALL other than Anna’s rape and Edith’s offscreen pregnancy/birth. Thomas was marginalized, the Dowager Countess didn’t have any hugely memorable scenes (other than the one where Isobel was nursing her), and no real progress or growth was made with characters, relationships, or plot. I mean, in Season 2, a war happened, one of the servants died in said war, Matthew was paralyzed and then not, PLAGUE, DEATH, blackmail, a faux long-lost relative/heir showed up, Sybil scandalously married a servant, and M&M got engaged, all punctuated by some quality DC one-liners. This season it was like rape, murderous Bates, offscreen pregnancy, three men and a lady, pigs, and a purloined letter. Kind of yawn. I hope it gets better for next year.

    • Helena
      +6

      I know. My previously Downton-fanatic friend stopped watching when she read what was going to happen with the rape, and she asked me at the end of the season what else happened.

      Me: “…um…well…I know I WATCHED it…oh, there were pigs!”

      Her: “O_o”

      • Helena
        +7

        It’s like they spent what I assume was millions of pounds on the cast, costumes and sets, all of which, well, thumbs up for the most part, and then the night before shooting commenced Julian Fellowes realised that he’d forgotten to actually write a script.

        All the pretty in the world can’t carry a show for over ten hours of screentime if NOTHING is actually happening. It’s not enough to give Mary and the DC a few wisecracks and call it a day. The fact that almost every interesting thing happened off-screen continues to boggle my mind. I can’t think of a single other show where that’s been the case to such an extent.

        • Jessica
          +11

          Well, Mulder and Scully hooked up off screen on The X-Files whilst I was recapping it. Oh my god, maybe it’s me.

          • Lisa L
            +5

            I feel like this season, particularly this special, was a Setting Things Up Season so maybe the next one will really bring the dramz.
            Poor Offscreen Edith, her stuff could have been SO interesting, but it’s gotta be all about Mary I suppose. And purely because it will be more fun to watch, I’m gleeful about Edith going and getting her baby- it would be pretty true to form/ hilarious though, if we NEVER GET TO SEE THE BABY OR ANY OF THE PIGMAN VISITS. Just lots of whispered arguments with Rosamund and Violet about how much time she spends there.

    •  ohsohappy
      +2

      Style (costumes) is a poor substitute for Substance (script). I was disappointed.

  23. Rebecca
    +4

    I reallllly didn’t like this episode. I guess it was probably setting up for some new plot points for next season, but why not wrap up some of the plots you left hanging THIS season before bringing on a ton of new characters we don’t really know or care about yet? Like Harold and the girl…I’m sorry but I totally agree that I did not see what she was seeing in him. And the crazy caper to save the letter from the Prince….I don’t know, it all just seemed so silly and I do love silly in my tv shows (Hart of Dixie is one of my favs!) but that’s not really what I watch Downton for.

    Okay, so I’m not ALL negative here, I do love that it looks like the Love Triangle is going to go full force next season. I’m totally Team Blake. And I love that Mary really came into her own this season. She still has her whiny, bratty moments but I love that she’s stepping up to help ensure the longevity of Downton for George.

    I just can’t with Edith giving her baby to the Pig Man and just assuming this will all go swimmingly. I also don’t trust the teacher and I don’t want more heartache for Tom so naturally I want her to go away.

    I was so !!!!!!! at Carson and Mrs. Hughes. I thought, ‘I can’t wait to see what Fug Nation has to say about this!!’ haha.

  24. Elizabeth K. Mahon
    +18

    I thought it was hilarious that this episode turned into Downtown Abbey turned into an episode of Scooby Doo. The scenes of Bates offering his services as a forger/pickpocket and nobody batting an eye. And Mary deciding not to turn him in since his skills had proven so useful. Stay tuned for next season when Bates and Thomas have to go rescue Gregson from the Nazi’s in Germany. That is if he is still alive somewhere, with memory loss, thinking that he’s the Grand Duchess Anastasia. I also loved that Mary decided that she can now like Blake since he’s stinking rich.

  25. Amy
    +13

    The minute I saw those gorgeous costumes, I knew this would be an even more fabulous fugcap! A bit of trivia for you: when looking up to see if Freda Dudley Ward was a real person, I found that the real Freda is related to actor James Fox who was playing Lord Aysgarth.

    • Shannon
      0

      James Fox played “Jimmy” in one of my favorite movies of all time, “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing. If you want to see some FABULOUS ’20s-era clothes, watch that movie. They are to die for. And James Fox actually has a good American accent!

  26. Snebur
    +3

    Nan and others: Frieda Dudley-Ward was the mistress of the Prince of Wales before he met Mrs. Simpson. Women with husbands could be counted on to be discreet.

    • Elizabeth
      +3

      She must not have been all that discreet, if we know she was his mistress.

      • Shannon
        0

        Also: Freda was friends with Mrs. Simpson and jokingly asked her to “look after the little man” while she was off on holiday in America. Well, I guess we all know how Mrs. Simpson looked after him for her friend …

  27. Mo
    +11

    I could type for a long time…mostly telling you how I agree with EVERYTHING!! However I’ll just say that I won’t be sad if Shirley MacClaine and PG NEVER return. Also, why must Cora be written as such a completly daft useless woman. It makes me insane. Team Violet Always….Cora’s mother has NOTHING on her!

  28.  Rebekah
    +2

    I gave up watching Downton– it jumped several sharks last season and it got too painful to sit through– but I LOVE your recaps.

  29. nichole
    +2

    I loved this episode and the recap, although every time someone mentions Pig Man, I immediately go to this: http://amzn.to/Nv6JQb

    Did anyone else read that book in junior high?

  30. TaraMisu
    +8

    The costumes in this ep were amazing! Well done.
    I have huge problems with most of the story lines though, first and foremost the Pig Man/Edith/Baby/WTF story line. No. Just NO.
    The stolen letter bit seemed like it was just thrown in there, had no purpose.
    Branson and the teacher…. no chemistry there, she needs to go.
    Shirley MacClaine is SO wasted in this show. I guess its more the writing is bad, but how cliche’ is her character? And Uncle Harold too… I hope this is not how Brits really think American are :D

    • Roosje
      +8

      I actually think the stolen letter part had a purpose as it shows us Bates can forge handwriting which leads me to think he did actually kill his ex-wife. That would be quite a useful way to get rid of him, he’s such a boring character although Fellowes seems to love him

      •  Barbara
        +6

        I am POSITIVE he killed his first wife. So that makes two. Who will be his third……?

      • Elizabeth
        +3

        I wonder whether he forged the letter from Matthew.

      •  Jen from Cincy
        +5

        We already knew Bates can forge – remember when he forged that note saying Molesely lent him money?

  31. Lady Wesley
    +1

    Delightful recap of a pretty silly episode. But why pick on Cora for not aging? We’re nearly twelve years into this story, and not one single character looks any older than they did the day the Titanic went down. Which is okay with me. I’m just sayin’ . . . .

    • Jessica
      +1

      It was Cora because Cora happened to be the person onscreen when they flashed the date and location chryon.

    • Helena
      +1

      How old ARE Mary and Edith supposed to be now? Because they must have, what, VERY late teens, early twenties, in the first episode? So they’re now around 30?

    • catherine
      +2

      I actually just read an interview with Fellowes in an inflight magazine (of all places) and he said that he deliberately cast everyone 10 years too old for the first season and so now they’re all the right age. Who knows if he was just yanking our chain, but that’s his explanation.

  32. jen310
    +18

    Okay, just finished the fug cap and will say what I have been feeling since season 2 ended. Julian Fellowes is not the best writer. He has his moments and the show can be so much fun for a high-end soap opera but he gets so many things wrong.

    1. He ruined Bates. Bates was a good guy in season 1. I adored him and still do a bit but Julian doesn’t know what to do with him anymore. Bates goes from good to bad, bad to good, he has good sense then has no sense whatsoever. Let Bates be great. And I swear, if there is evidence that can be traced back to Bates MURDERING in the inside coat pocket of his overcoat that they somehow missed before donating it I’M DONE with Downton.

    2. He has too many characters whose stories go nowhere and then they drop off into the abyss never to be seen again. Season 2 gave us Edith’s English Patient Goonies love interest who may be the TRUE HEIR. That went nowhere fast but not fast enough. Jack and Rose could have been handled so much better, and the list goes on.

    3. He has never know what to do with Cora. He doesn’t know what to do with Tom although he used to but now not so much.

    4. He is excellent with Mary, the DC, Isobel,and Mrs. Hughes, but can’t seem to give Edith her due. He is taking Edith down a very, very tragic path as always.

    5. He has some storylines go on forever. Daisy/Ivy/Alfred/Jimmy. That went on an eternity and it wasn’t even that interesting a storyline. He could have spent a great deal of time on other better plot developments than that.

    There are many other example than but you get the idea. I still have love for Downton but it is starting to show its faults and lose a bit of its charm.

    TL;DR – Julian Fellowes is close to mucking up Downton even more and he needs the input of other writers or a story editor if wishes to capture the magic that was season 1.

    •  Rowynn
      +19

      Never mind other writers or an editor – all he’d need to do is read the comments on these recaps, as well as the recaps themselves, of course. Who could advise him better than us? We’re a community of intelligent, clever viewers, who love the show and want it to succeed, and who have absolutely nothing to gain except continued viewing pleasure. I don’t see how he could get better advice.

      • Noreen
        +8

        Agreed!

        Also, I’m not too proud to admit that Downton could get MUCH MUCH more off-course and I would still watch and revel in it. Where else can I get snobbery, scandal, dressing for dinner, and one-liners on modern television?!?!

  33. Helena
    +25

    AAAHHHH, the blessed relief of being able to stop sitting on our hands and keeping our lips super-glued shut! :)

    I assume also that the Reactionary Schoolmistress is supposed to be an endearing hook-up for Tom, and agree also that she comes across as pushy and irritating instead. It can’t be THAT hard to find him a nice girl. What about the sweet debutante with the ambitious father, Julian Fellowes? Imagine the CONFLICT. And she doesn’t make me want to push her down the Downton staircase.

    Respectfully disagree on the shining moment of Mary and “Let battle commence!”. I just – ugh. I really like Mary (although not as much as Poor Edith, which should probably just be her full Christian name now), but God, the smuggery. Imagine if a man had more than one woman after him and said to their face, “Let battle commence!”. If the women in question had any self-respect, they would read “battle” as “swift kick to the groin”.

    I still cling to the hope that there’s a twist coming in the Bates sub-plot, because otherwise his character has become both morally ambiguous AND stupid. I mean, you might get away with one or the other, but not both.

    And HEE at the final shot of Carson’s curiously ankles going sea-bathing.

    • Helena
      0

      *curiously hairless ankles.

      •  Heather
        +3

        I think the actor is a roadie cyclist IRL, probably shaves to prevent road rash.

      • carrieglitter
        +3

        My stepdad, who wore socks every single day of his life for like 40 years straight, has no hair on his ankles whatsoever. I guarantee Carson wears socks EVERY DAY (I realize that doesn’t account for the *actor’s* ankles, but maybe he’s very committed to the character and shaves them lol).

    • Heather
      +7

      I know, right? Stop being so passive, Mary. Just feel your feelings instead of making them do all the work.

    • Kit
      +21

      I’m with you on the “let battle commence” comment–yuck–what kind of ass says things like that?

      • Stephanie
        +13

        Thank you! I keep seeing people saying, “Good on her!” and commending her for this, but to me it just seems awkward and kinda sick. I, for one, dislike Gillingham INTENSELY. The man has never been able to get a clue. At first I thought he was a golddigger, now I just think he’s annoying.

        How many times do we have to hear his plaintive “I love you, I’ll never give up on you, marry me” followed up by her, “I’m not ready now, maybe never, don’t hold your breath.” If I were Gilly, I’d have licked my wounds and married my popular heiress and stayed away. I suppose Fellowes thinks this is romantic drivel that women will swoon over, but I find it off-putting and see Gilly as more of a stalker-character at this point.

        Blake, on the other hand, is swoon-worthy: love me for me, not my title and money. He is much more Matthew-like, too, with his unpretentiousness, practicality and work ethic. Besides, he’s better looking!

  34. Hypnotist Collector
    +7

    Brilliant recapping, but no mention of Edith’s incredible and beautiful Egyptian hieroglyphics dress, or the amazing velvet coats as they get ready to leave for London? Those were my favorites, the standouts in 90 minutes of gorgeous costumery.

  35. kay
    +7

    Firstly, thank you for recapping this season. I might’ve enjoyed the recaps more than the actual episodes.

    Secondly, I have an important question about spoilers. I was talking to a friend of mine about how hilarious your Downton recaps are and how she should check it out. And she got mad at me because I let it slip that Matthew had died. I was like, WTF! That episode was shown so long ago. I think you only get a “no spoilers” grace period of a couple of weeks. Beyond that, society doesn’t owe you a spoiler-free life until you get around to catching up. It’s your responsibility! I don’t go around telling people not to spoil Breaking Bad for me. It’s my fault I didn’t catch the ending. What do you guys think? How long until it’s okay to talk about plot points on shows?

    • Jessica
      +2

      First of all, thank you!

      I think if it happened in the previous season, you’re technically okay. I know it’s hard on the internet for something like Downton because we’re all getting them at different times, and I’ve asked our British readers and other readers who’ve seen this season when it aired in the UK not to spoil those of us who haven’t seen it yet (and we all really appreciated that). Because I’m in the US and our readership is largely American, logistically here at GFY it’s easiest to stick to the rule that “it’s fair game once it’s aired in the US.”

      IRL, when I am talking to my friends, I always ask them if they’re “caught up” with whatever we’re talking about, because I don’t want to spoil them inadvertently if they’ve fallen behind. But that episode happened well over a year ago — I myself was spoiled on it very early here because I had to Google Dan Stevens for something (I screamed), and his leaving the show was VERY publicized. So I get why she was disappointed but she can’t really get mad at you. I would totally assume that anyone who really care totally already knew about that, as it got so much press. I didn’t watch any of Breaking Bad until literally the day of the series finale, and although I managed not to get SUPER spoiled, I did get a bit spoiled and that’s my fault for waiting as long as I did to watch something that had already aired all over the world.

      • Rachael
        +2

        I would like to weigh in on this as someone who came late to Downton. Specifically, I started watching Season 1 roughly two weeks or so before the current season starting airing in the US, and as a result, I caught myself up in time to watch ep. 2 of the just finished season when it aired live, and watched live after that.

        I personally think that if you’re watching something significantly past when it was aired live, it is up to you to avoid spoilers. It would be nice for the general populace (recappers and such) to avoid putting major spoilers in their headlines, but it really is on the viewer to fend for themselves. If you were talking to your friend, and she didn’t declare up front that she was way behind on viewing, that’s on her. I always get very annoyed at people in the comments section of articles about shows who are like, “OMG thanks for the spoiler douche.” Well, you had to click to read an article, so you really spoiled yourself. And one CANNOT read the comments section on any article of any show they want to remain spoiler-free on, even if the article they’re reading is denominated spoiler-free. You’re asking for it.

        TL; DR: It’s up to the viewer, not everyone else, to keep his or herself free from spoilage, especially if he or she is way behind on viewing.

        •  Meg
          0

          YES. I had a roommate scream at me because I was about to say the name of a character who died in a Harry Potter movie when the book had been published, oh, five years earlier. Seriously, he thought that other people had an obligation to avoid spoiling something for him, despite asking me questions about the movie. All he had to do was say, “I don’t want to know anything about it!” and change the conversation.

          • Rachael
            +1

            Exactly. I mean, it was immensely challenging for me to exercise the self-restraing necessary to avoid Downton stuff while I was catching up. Recaps here, for one. (And IIRC I think I got spoiled on Matthews death because some jerk put it IN A HEADLINE which is a dick move, I think, in an age where it’s known that lots of people watch on different schedules.) But it’s really up to each individual to maintain they’re own spoiler-free existence, as difficult as that is.

            I was having a conversation with some co-workers the other day about shows we all watched, and it was pretty funny. Someone brought up one show, and one person would “oh my god, did you see…” and someone would interupt “NO, STOP, I’m ONLY ON EP. 3.” So someone would start talking about a different show, and the conversation would start, “did you see…” and again, “NO, NO, STOP, I’ve only just finished season 2.” And so it continued for several more shows, and we ended up with no shows in common for which we were all caught up. It was pretty amusing.

            • kay
              +4

              Thanks for chiming in ladies. I’m going to print this out and show it to my friend and tell her, “See, Fug Nation agrees with me!” Then I’ll reveal that Bruce Willis was dead all along in The Sixth Sense, ha!!!!!

      • nmlhats
        +1

        As far as I am concerned, the minute it airs on PBS, we in the US can talk about it. If you choose to DVR and not watch when it airs, spoilage is the risk you accept.

    •  Meghan
      0

      Kay, in my opinion – once a season is over “let battle commence”! That is, all episodes are open for discussion.

  36.  MissElaineous
    +9

    Jessica and Heather:
    1) thanks for making my productivity PLUMMET the last 2 months I’ve been fixated on your site. I had no idea I had addictive tendencies until I began coming here!
    2) you know how sometimes you put things up to a vote? I would love to know who Fug Nation is pulling for :Gillingham or Blake {and then of course the comments section would handle write-in votes} Perhaps some event-less day this summer you could put it out there?
    Thank you ladies!

    • Jessica
      +4

      Oh, good idea! I shall try and remember that, because I love it!

    • Eli
      +23

      TEAM BLAKE, right here. And that was before I knew he was ever so fortuitiously Sir Richy Rich.

  37. Princess Fiona
    +4

    OK, so. Did anyone else get the sense that maybe they hadn’t confirmed season 5 when they wrote and filmed this episode? If the show had been signing off forever, I would have been just as happy with this episode (maybe even happier – not that it was the end of DA, of course, but with this particular episode). So many of the plotlines had “let’s tie this up and put a bow on it, just in case”. Bates/Murder, Daisy/Ivy/Alfred, Thomas/Baxter/Molesley, Gregson’s MIA-ness, and of course Mary Is Over Matthew At Last. There are still openings for the storylines to continue next season, but no OMG CLIFFHANGER moments. And that sweet, sweet scene with Hughes and Carson wading in the ocean would have been a beautiful send-off.

    • jenelope
      +3

      I love that you put the slash between Bates and murder, because it really is like everyone on the show ‘ships Bates/Murder. They are Fellowes’ OTP.

  38. Heather
    +26

    I was thinking about the Edith thing, and I wonder if the reason they blew off the Gregson/Nazi reveal is because in 1923, would Edith or anyone have QUITE understood it? Like, if she referred to them so casually as guys in brown shirts who were crabby, it probably means they weren’t on top of what a big bad deal the Nazis were brewing into, so it might’ve felt strange in the moment to deliver the news and have Edith be all, “NO!!!! MEN IN BROWN SHIRTS?!?!??!??!?!?” Because she’d be jumping history a little just so that she had the same reaction we did. If that’s right then I almost like it BETTER that they tossed it off in the scene and left it to the audience to go, OH SHIT.

    But it does point to the problem of how I think Julian Fellowes just isn’t what we all want him to be. He pigeonholes characters and makes them repeat the same plots with different people (Bates and MURDER, Thomas and SCHEMING, Daisy/Alfred/Ivy for two seasons, Branson, Edith being unlucky in love). And the show is CONSTANTLY setting up situations and then letting the actual drama slip through its fingers. Edith’s entire storyline is a great example. He’d set her up as the independent brainy career girl with potential as a writer, and then rather than play that out, he stripped it away and gave her this other thing, and then never exercised its full potential. Sometimes I think he’s setting stuff up, and then nothing ever happens with it, or it gets brushed off. Like, at this point, I don’t even have any faith that we’ll hear of Edith’s daughter again.

    Maybe Fellowes doesn’t want to write a show where any of these people have lives outside the house that would require taking the action into the career world, or anything like that, but it’s a shame because if you’re going to leap the show through the timeline, you should take advantage of more social changes than just, “What will happen to the PIGS?”

  39. Beth Y.
    +4

    “Additionally, I think this character is supposed to come across as Deliciously Sassy, but she just comes across as Pushy.”

    So much this. Why do so many television writers confuse these two things? And if such women aren’t Pushy, they’re inevitably Bitchy. It drives me crazy.

    I’m beginning to think that Bates is actually an evil mastermind of some sort. Although maybe not, given that he left that train ticket in his pocket. Murderer, forger and pick pocket! Were there classes in that jail where he was incarcerated?

    Yea for Mrs. Hughes and Carson! I kind of like the comfortable, respectful friendship between the two of them becoming something more.

  40.  Heather
    +6

    As much fun as this episode was, and in spite of trying to adhere to the GFY Downton Abbey Drinking Game Rules, I found my mind wandering and missed a lot of cues, so I wasn’t drunk by the end. Which was good, as I avoided group texting any nude selfies.

  41.  ringthing
    +11

    Brilliant recap, I’ve been looking forward to it! Totally agree about the hot guy shortage at Downton but then in my opinion the last truly hot guy in the series was Mr. Pamuk.

    • Cynica
      +10

      YES. Thank you. Mary has never done better that poor Mr. Pamuk. Of what’s on offer, I’d prefer Evelyn Napier to Lord Poutylips and Mr. Not-quite-tall-enough.

    • Marie
      +17

      Branson was hot in season one when he was being all reactionary and rolling up his sleeves in the garage and touching Sybil’s waist! What happened?! I’ve decided it’s the pants. Bring back the green pants.

    • Noreen
      +35

      I feel like you commenters will find the humor in this: My husband has actually propositioned me with “You want to go get our Pamuk on?” Which is hilarious and endearing.

      For the record, my husband is still alive.

  42. Bella
    +8

    Wonderful recap.

    I rather agree with others that this season was odd, especially this episode. The letter caper seemed liked a time filler and not at all something the Granthams’ would concoct.

    Shirley MacLaine wasn’t given much to work with. I wonder if that is JF’s fault or if she was not available? Paul Giamatti was terribly miscast as the son/brother and that storyline was dull. So many dangling threads, but I still love it. Yay for Carson and Mrs. Hughes.

    Fuggirls, would you consider recapping Mad Men? This is the last season, the clothing is fab and I’ll bet Fug Nation would LOVE it.

    • Princess Fiona
      +1

      I would be down with those recaps. I don’t watch the show (I tried, couldn’t get past the first few episodes because of the rampant misogyny), but the costuming is fantastic and I’d love a GFY interpretation of the storylines.

      • Carol Lawrence
        +1

        RE Mad Men. All Fug Girls would enjoy Tom & Lorenzo’s Mad Men recaps. They analyze the costumes on the show, in their revelation of the show’s themes. Clothes as the medium for sociological and character analysis. Witty and mind-blowingly insightful. Here’s one: http://tomandlorenzo.com/2013/06/mad-men-in-care-of/

        Fiona, consider giving Mad Men another try. I find that it is a strongly feminist story. And its women’s stories and characters are rich and wonderful

      • Natasha Fatale
        +3

        The “rampant misogyny” was just that in the 50′s and ’60′s – take it from someone who entered the work force as a secretary in 1968 – MM is NOT exaggerating it in the least. And I am fully on board with the Fug Girls recapping MM – that would be fabulous – heck, it’s not like you two have anything else to do with you time, right? :-)

        • greatwhitenorthchick
          0

          I think you can add the 70s and 80s to that, unfortunately. I entered the work force in the 70s and misogyny was still alive and well. And I know it won’t shock you to hear that it still rears its ugly head, from time to time. Taking a long time for attitudes to change.

          I, too, would love recaps of MM. Their clothes is prime for Fug-analysis.

      •  Meghan
        +4

        But I love the rampant misogyny! It makes me appreciate being a women in the modern workplace. I only wish we still had drinking in your office during the day, because sometimes, it’s still stressful being a women in the modern workplace. That and I like vodka.

    • Nbpitman
      +1

      Yes, please!

  43. Princess Fiona
    +9

    And now that I have my previous comment off my chest, here’s some more thoughts.

    1) I have a sneaking suspicion Aunt Rosamund “spent some time on the continent” once upon a time. Or maybe I was just hoping the story would go that way; I feel like there were some Meaningful Looks from her whenever Edith would throw out a “you can’t know what it’s like” type line. And back in the abortion episode, when she says “If you insist on doing this…” I fully expected the next line to be “let me arrange it,” not merely “I’m going with you.”

    2) I totally could not keep track of which of Rose’s black-haired friends was which. I admit I also knew nothing about the Prince of Wales mistress thing, so I had trouble following that whole storyline, which didn’t help. I need to go back and rewatch it with some context.

    3) I also wish I had more knowledge of the whole coming out/debutante process. What was with the funny feather headdresses (on everybody)? Are all the girls escorted by a non-maternal lady relative, and why? I was also hoping for more reminiscing about Mary and Edith’s presentations/coming out balls (and wasn’t Sybil’s refusal to be presented a thing in Season 1?).

    4) I hate the pushy schoolteacher. Haaaaate. I really don’t know what Julian Fellowes should do with Tom, but hooking him up with her is not the answer.

    • Jessica
      0

      The link I posted on the slide that features Rose’s presentation dress explains a lot about the process.

      • Princess Fiona
        0

        Excellent! I will click through, later.

        • Natasha Fatale
          +5

          Another note on the presentation at court – if you’re going to be accurate about the Prince of Wales headdresses and the other etiquette required – why would you show people turning their backs on the sovereigns and walking away! I couldn’t believe it when Cora and Rose did that – I fully expected a Man at Arms to come charging over and drag them to the Tower of London!! You wouldn’t do that nowadays! You certainly wouldn’t do that to King George and Queen Mary! (who, apparently, was an even greater stickler for royal propriety than Queen Victoria). Why did JF not show the proper court etiquette and have people backing away from the monarchs, like they would have done? He’s a most exasperating fellow, is he not? Off with his head! :-)

          •  Meghan
            +1

            I’m so glad I’m not the only one who noticed that they turned their backs to the monarchs. I actually talked out loud to my television about that little slip. I love British history and had just finished watching a PBS King George and Queen Mary show and it does make me think that JF is just lazy sometimes.

    • Jennifer O.
      0

      Sybil was presented, off-screen, right at the end of S1 I think. She makes comments in S2 about all her fancy dresses being from her one and only season right before the war.

      The poufy train-ish off-center headdresses were weird.

    • Elizabeth
      0

      <>

      YES!!!! I was actually stunned that they didn’t go there.

  44. jeanine
    +5

    Why does it never come up about Gregson’s wife? Not only did Edith have the baby out of wedlock but she was messing with a married man. I thought they were all investigating him – and they can’t find out that little bit of information??????? If he disappeared as soon as he arrived in Germany, he would not have had any time to arrange for the divorce.

    • Helena
      +13

      Yeah, it’s RIDICULOUS to me that the daughter of an earl in the early 1920s is going up to London alone to meet with an older, middle-class man, whose whereabouts her family later investigate for her, and at NO point that does the apparently not-particularly-secret fact of his institutionalized wife emerge. Robert and Cora kind of massively fail as responsible parents.

    • NinjaGaiden
      +7

      I think that’s precisely why Edith keeps turning down her father’s offer to hire a private investigator to look into it. The Downton family doesn’t know anything about the wife. Remember that Gregson told Matthew about it while they were in Scotland, but then Matthew died before he could tell anyone else. So as far as they know he was completely available.

      • Helena
        +4

        Yeah, but I don’t think it should take a private investigator for the Granthams to find out that Edith is boinking a married dude. Because Gregson wouldn’t be able to keep his wife secret, particularly in a relatively high-profile job. Someone would know about it, and as soon as a daughter of a peer started going to public nightclubs with him, SOMEBODY would tell her father. I find it very unlikely that an earl would actually let his unmarried daughter run about London with a man without doing some fairly serious checking on him anyway, even before all of the Germany stuff happened. Especially when he’d already been burned once by a daughter romancing an unsuitable man behind his back.

        Another of JF’s plot points that we’re obviously not supposed to look at too hard.

  45. ckone
    +23

    High points: the snipe-fest between Violet and Isobel in the car whilst traveling to London, hilarious and great for aging circulatory system. Then, Mary the Resurrected, letting everyone know, “I’ll do it; I don’t mind lying”. Awesome.

    • Rachael
      +12

      Oh, yes, I LOVED Mary’s “I don’t mind lying” line. So matter of fact. It really made me laugh.

  46.  spinja
    +9

    Great recap.
    “Nothing untoward happened to Isis” in the Thomas slide had me laughing out loud.
    In total agreement with Heather”s analysis of the problems in the writing.
    I keep going back to the first season, which was all it was supposed to be originally until it became so popular.
    Remember that the very first person we see in the series is…Bates.
    I am hoping the whole thing has been one long Hero Journey for him, but was appalled (disgusted) with the rape scenario this year. The sadistic cavalepier treatment of the fans last year – killing Matthew on Christmas Day! – and Fellowes saying they wanted to explore the emotional repurcussions of rape…gah!
    Not to mention the treatment of Edith. It is not God who has it in for her , it is Julian Fellowes.
    This lovely to look at fantasy is the product of his smug brain.
    Sorry. And he loves Mary.

    •  Rowynn
      +8

      Fellowes wanted to explore the repercussions of rape? But he didn’t, really, unless you mean the effect of rape on the victim’s husband. Anna got one tearful scene in which she tried to express her feelings, and that was it. After that, it was all MURDER, all the time.

      •  spinja
        +4

        Yes, that’s what he said in an interview.
        And of course you’re right.
        Unless this really is the Story of Bates. That’s the only way it makes sense to focus so much on him post-assault.
        But I think it just goes back to the awkward writing again.

      • greatwhitenorthchick
        0

        I was pleasantly surprised at how the rape was handled. I thought it would have been probably more culturally accurate for everyone to just sweep the whole thing under the carpet, like it never happened. They showed that everyone believed and supported Anna, and did what they could to make it right. I’m not so sure this would have happened back in the day.

  47. AmyA
    +4

    Wasn’t there a teeny tiny wink from Bates about how men keep important things on them they don’t want stolen (or something like that) when he pick pocketed the Letter? It still doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as an explanation for his keeping the ticket stub, but whatever. I do wish that The Downton Powers That Be would trust the logic they’ve established on the show without shoehorning all this intrigue and fol-der-all and recycling of plot lines and let their characters grow and progress in an organic way. All that being said, I’m sad now, that this season is over and the recaps are over. Thank you for a wonderful season!

  48. sandra
    +1

    i disagree about the DC’s comments to tom. when she says “these are your people,” i thought she was basically trying to warn him against hooking up with the teacher, no?

    • Heather
      +9

      I think it was both. I think she was reminding him of his place, and also saying, “And we’re not really so bad are we?”

  49. Meredith
    +19

    For some reason, I don’t care how stupid things are in this show. I just love it. But I will admit that I spent a huge portion of the episode yelling, “Tom! Get it together!” So hopefully he gets it together next season.

  50. Pinkstreaks
    +3

    I am so looking forward to your retrospective recaps of earlier seasons – I look forward to the recaps as much as the episodes!

  51. Bridget
    +12

    I suppose it’s futile to complain about how many plots don’t make sense, but I have to vent about the letter.
    Lord G tells Bates a forged letter, supposedly from the card sharp, is needed. Bates: “we’ll need a sample of his handwriting.” Lord G, “No problem. The card sharp sent me a bread and butter letter after his last stay at DA.” And soon thereafter, Lord G whips out said note and hands it to Bates.
    Soooo:
    a.) Lord G keeps every thank you note he ever gets from all the toffs who stay overnight at DA–including a note from someone he doesn’t like who stayed there, what, over a year ago? (Is this like the imaginary vault under the house the blackmailer has in the latest season of Sherlock?)
    And b.) Lord G has a super-duper filing system for retrieving just the note he needs at a moment’s notice. And Lord G, who can’t find his own pants, (or keep track of a Gutenberg Bible) finds the note himself instead of sending Bates to find it, presumably so we can see the dramatic handing over of the note.
    And c.) Lord G brings his super-duper fully-retrievable collection of notes with him from Yorkshire just in case he needs them when he visits the London house.

    Oy.

    • Jessica
      +7

      I thought the letter was a thank you after Rosamund dragged him to one of Rose’s parties and Lord G and Cora didn’t fling him out on his ear? So it had just come in the last few days. I do agree that it’s unlikely that he would have kept it though.

      I do love the idea of him having his Thank You Notes ALWAYS at hand though. We

      • Bridget
        0

        I’m pretty sure Lord Grantham said “after he stayed,” and I’ve always thought that was what a bread and butter letter was–a thank you note you send after staying at someone’s house.
        But maybe you’re right. I remain irrationally annoyed by this plot point.

        • Nan
          +8

          Actually, Fug Jessica is correct, I just watched it again on PBS. But our Fug Jessica is not like the Dowager Countess of Grantham:
          Isobel: “How you hate to be wrong!”
          Violet: “I wouldn’t know, I’m not familiar with the sensation.”

          [I am waiting for an opportunity to use this line in real life with one of my sisters, along with taking everything as a compliment :) ]

          • Bridget
            +1

            Heh. Well, actually I am all too familiar with the sensation. Of being wrong.

  52.  roser
    +4

    LOVE THESE RECAPS!!! Yes, I too was screaming at Tom – so somebody makes you feel bad about being you again? And she’s a pushy pain in the ass and not even cute. Tom is adorable, but he’s turning into a moron. . .

    I too dislike Shirley Maclaine in this role but I thought Paul Giamatti was kind of touching by the end of the episode. And may Edith come into her own next season!

  53. Jodi
    0

    I thought I caught a whiff of foreshadowing at the ball, when Freda Dudley Ward is watching the Prince of Wales dance with Rose, and Blake is watching Mary leave the room with Gillingham. They both looked very tragic. We know what happens to her Freda Dudley Ward, and so I don’t have much hope for Mr. Blake.

  54. jenelope
    +8

    One of the things I hate most about Miss Sarah Bunting, schoolteacher-at-large is that she shares her names with Sars. I HATE feeling guilty every time I think how much I dislike Sarah Bunting.

    I totally get why Madeline warmed up to and then sort of fell for Harold Levinson. I have treasured Paul Giamatti since “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Also he resembles a very good friend of mine a great deal, so there’s that.

    Martha Levinson is a character best enjoyed in small doses. You do NOT act like that to the DC! You don’t know her life! Although I did appreciate her with Lord Alsopp who totally deserved the leading on Mrs. Levinson gave him.

    My single favorite line of the entire episode: Daisy saying, “I’m never excited.” She was lovely for the whole episode, I thought.

    •  Allison
      +11

      I laughed really loud at that line from Daisy!

    •  Meg
      +1

      I felt obligated to like the character because she has Sars’ name but now . . . not so much.

  55. Camille
    +2

    Love your Downton recaps! Been looking forward to them after every episode airs, love the idea of you going back and recaping past episodes. :)

  56.  MissElaineous
    +11

    The writers made it clear in the first season that Edith was unlikable, pouty and self-serving. Over the next two seasons, they tried to drop little crumbs of hope to us, that she had a caring, loving, and vulnerable side {finding just the right book for the wounded soldiers from her family’s library~AH maybe THATS when the Guttenberg Bible went missing! ~ I digress.. believing that soldier WAS actually long lost Titanic Patrick, .being left at the altar etc, falling in love with Gregson.} One might think, “she’s not so bad after all and I wish her some happiness.” But after EVERYTHING that her Aunt R did to facilitate the secret birth of her illegitimate daughter, what a mean slap in the face to throw that “well you couldn’t know, you’ve never been a Mother” comment at her. How hurtful and cruel and “Season 1 Edith” that was. Now I remember why I didn’t care for her.
    BTW, what sort of selfish Mother would go reclaim that baby months after her adoptive family has grown to love her and made her part of their family? I hope THAT bit of drama happens mercifully off-screen.If you actually go through with this, Edith, prepare to be bitch-slapped by Karma.

    • Katie
      +6

      THIS. Last night I watched the second half of this episode with my seven-year-old daughter and she was appalled at the thought of Edith going to Switzerland and taking the baby back from her adoptive family. She said “but that is her baby’s family now, they are her parents. It’s really selfish of her to do that, even if she does want to see her baby.”
      My seven-year-old understands what a terrible idea this is and Edith doesn’t?!

      •  Jamie
        +1

        I’m sorry but i totally disagree. You say you have a daughter – would you give her up? I admire Edith for wanting to do anything it takes to be near her baby within the confines of the times. This is her “very much wanted child” as she said. She only left her in Switzerland out of complete desperation and under duress. And it doesn’t seem she’s been back from there all that long, even (this was hard for me to determine).

        • Jessica
          +5

          I think many people who’ve given their children up for adoption wished it could have gone any other way, and yet still realize that it’s in the best interests of the child to leave her with their loving adoptive family — the only family they’ve ever known. I think the entire reason they had Edith note that she breastfed was so that they could make the argument that she and the child are bonded enough that her taking the baby away from her adoptive family ISN’T a brutal thing to do.

          Otherwise, the Swiss family truly are the only parents her baby has ever known, and they’re a family now, and coming back and saying that you’ve changed your mind is unutterably, wretchedly cruel to a variety of people on Edith’s part. As for her being under duress, she agreed to that plan. She wasn’t forced by her parents to give the baby up — she did this, in many ways, to get out of telling them she was pregnant. She went to Switzerland, she had months to keep thinking about it. I have a TON of sympathy for Edith but I think that deciding to give a child up for adoption, placing her with a loving family, and then changing her mind is a bad move and it’s one that’s going to backfire on her. It’s coming from a place of love, for sure, and I have a HUGE amount of sympathy for Edith, truly, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do for anyone.

          Poor Edith.

          • Kat
            0

            Also, Edith is only thinking about what’s best for HER, not the baby, not the Swiss couple, not the pig farmer and his family, not her family, only herself. That’s what makes it selfish to me. The baby could have had a great life living with a wealthy Swiss couple in a beautiful and neutral (in the light of what’s to come) country, instead it’s being raised on a pig farm, without the educational and financial opportunities it would have head.

  57. karen
    +7

    I am all Team Madeline for Tom Branson. She is not rich and snooty but she does have “credentials” – perfect. (plus she is pretty and seems sweet and maternal.

    I am beginning to wonder if Bates might have tripped Green with that cane – as it was murky as to what caused the fall.

    Edith will probably become a successful, very modern career woman in the publishing world as she assumes responsibility at Gregson’s office. As soon as someone mentions that Edith is spending an awful lot of time at the pig farm in Rosamond’s presence, the chain of events will have Edith take her daughter to London and raise her herself.

    Alfred will show up totally transformed into a suave self confident chef at the Ritz. He and Daisy will start their own restaurant either at Mr. Mason’s farm, which she will inherit or with money from sale of it.

    I think it was wrong that Cora presented Rose instead of Violet, who deserved the honor.

    I loved the holding hands scene with Carson and Mrs. Hughes but hope JF has the sense to keep it sweet and platonic.

    I am not sure that Mary deserves either Gillingham or Blake.

    •  MissElaineous
      +7

      on that note, why in heavens name did Shrimpy and his wife NOT attend Rose’s presentation? If distant relations could cross the pond, why couldn’t her own parents be there??

  58. tatiana.larina
    +4

    As Tom and Lorenzo brilliantly predicted, the final episode is a version of Oprah: “YOU GET AN ARISTOCRAT! AND YOU GET AN ARISTOCRAT! EVERYBODY GETS AN ARISTOCRAT!” Isobel gets a lord, Blake turns out to be a toff to out-toff all toffs in London. And I hated the apparent adulation of the show toward Prince of Wales, who by all accounts was a nasty piece of work.

    • Heather
      +11

      Oh, I thought there were definite undercurrents of, “This guy can’t keep it in his pants and is kind of an idiot.”

  59. Liane
    +5

    Was it just me or was Mrs. Patmore noticeably thinner this episode? I spent the whole time worrying she was ill.

  60.  Barbara
    +28

    One of my friends has a theory: Aunt Rosamund is really Edith’s mother, and she gave the baby to her brother and sister-in-law to raise (in the absence of an accommodating pig farmer). This would explain A LOT about Edith and how she is treated by the rest of her family.

  61. Carol
    +4

    I watched the entire episode stretched out on the couch – as God intended – but I sat bolt upright when the presentation came along! I was so excited! So many tiaras! Royalty! Royalty speaking to OUR ROSE! Yes, yes, she annoys me half the time but STILL. Also: how sad that her and Jack Ross just kinda slumped away into the shadows? But of course she was marrying him for all the wrong reasons! HE was the one with more at stake! And I don’t mean jeers and indignant glances! Oh well.

    I am SO GLAD Mary threw away the train ticket. Just because Bates was in London at the time that horrible Green was chucked under a lorry doesn’t mean HE DID IT. Although, yeah, maybe…..but STILL!!! I must get a grip.

    I’m sad the season is over – and I am infinitely less wretched than last season when dear Matthew met his fate. But now I get to read the recap AND you’re gonna recap other episodes!! YAY.

    •  Hermione
      +6

      What if Bates was going to kill Green, and the Lorry of Justice beat him to it?

  62. val.
    +4

    Gosh this was really boring for a finale. Also… I was so confused for a while because Rose’s friend (the one PG “liked”) and the prince’s mistress looked, like, exactly the same. It took me til about halfway through the episode to figure out who was who.

    I also hated Mary’s “let the battle commence” line, too. I mean, what’s really so awesome about her that makes her think both these guys will hang around indefinitely, just waiting on her to decide? Tacky.

    I really didn’t like anything about this episode. It all seemed so contrived, even for DA.

  63. Stephanie
    +5

    Does anybody know or have any guesses as to what was going on/went on with Blake and Freda Dudley Ward? They had some significant glances and he even said something to her about his unfailing loyalty. I was trying to figure out what their past may have been together and was disappointed not to get even a taste. However, I assume we will explore this–and 7 billion other plot points, apparently–in S5.

    •  MissElaineous
      +2

      Right…when they were introduced didn’t she say something to the effect of, “I KNOW Mr. Blake.” and then shot daggers at him for the duration of the scene.

      • Jessica
        +1

        I assumed that was just that she knew him because he too is a Secret Fancy Rich person, and they’re friends, and she knew he hadn’t told Mary of his Secret Fancy Background.

  64. Katie
    +2

    I have a love/hate relationship with this show and pretty much decided not to watch it this season. But I LOVED reading your recaps and laughed out loud each week. Please keep it up when they air another season. I care just enough to be curious but not enough to watch. Great job!

  65. me-me
    +3

    I would really like to comment on each and every slide in this set, but suffice to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for acknowledging all the many crazy things that happen in this crazy show (half of it doesn’t make sense or match to previous seasons, no one asks anyone what is wrong, everyone jumps to conclusions instead of simply asking WHAT IS HAPPENING, Edith cannot do anything right, all the very best and most exciting things happen off-screen and someone has to clumsily explain them).

    But the clothes and sets and scenery are all so wonderful, and I live in hope after that final scene (and Ivy’s departure, ha!). Thanks for all the recaps!

  66.  Nicole B.
    0

    Thank you so much for the recaps this season. I plan on watching Season 4 over the summer — probably over 1 rainy weekend. I doubt I will enjoy the actual shows as much as I have the recaps. I would definitely enjoy earlier season recaps as well.

  67. Cecily
    +3

    Love, adore, as usual, your reviews were spot on. I felt like those last eps were cramming so much, and plotlines were strained, abandoned, or both, and I sadly didn’t enjoy the Shirley MacLaine/Paul Giammatti appearances at ALL, did nothing to move the plot, awkward/implausible… Overall, a disappointment, except for the clothes. And oh, the clothes, so fabulous.

  68. fritanga
    +4

    Utterly fantastic recap, Jessica. Thank you.

    I thought I was Team Blake too, but I’ve finally placed him: he was Michael Kitchen’s son on Foyle’s War, except he had much lighter hair and looked a lot less like Robert Palmer (and was kind of a stiff-upper-lip dweeb).. So I don’t know if he’s good enough for Lady Mary. I hope Fellowes either brings back Ser JorahSir Richard next year (per your suggestion) or does find someone commensurate to Mary’s hotness and hauteur. I can’t see her getting in a froth over Blake at all.

    As for Poor Lady Edith – I hope she and Tom find each other. They may not be in love, but they like and respect each other, and their getting together would solve a multitude of problems (until, of course, Gregson shows up like Rolf in The Sound of Music, turned to the Nazi Way of Thinking).

    I also hope Fellowes takes Tom and Lorenzo’s suggestion and soon spins this off into the future Downton adventures of George, Sybbie and Their Secret Lovechild Cousin Whatsis, in a weird cross between Brideshead Revisited and Call the Midwife. I’d watch the hell out of that, too.

  69.  Meg
    +2

    Please do recap the previous seasons.

  70. Eg
    +4

    So many things to say BUT:

    Am I the only one who thought Madeline was an excellent schemer and was playing uncle Harold for all he was worth?

    Did anyone else get the feeling that there was going to be a big reveal that Rosimond was actually Edith’s mother?

    • Natasha Fatale
      0

      Did anyone else think that the actress who played Madeleine looked like Joanna Lumley (“Pats” from Ab Fab)? A much younger Joanna Lumley of course (although “old” JL still looks fab). I think the actress’s name is Poppy Drayton and there’s no mention of any relation to La Lumley, but she sure looks like she is swimming in the same gene pool.

  71. tatiana.larina
    0

    Is there any good reason why the Levinsons went to Rose’s coming out while Isobel didn’t? If she’s a commoner, they are, in the fine phrase of Mark Kermode, colonial commoners, and there’s nothing as common as a colonial commoner. Perhaps Paul Giamatti’s agent twisted JF’s arm to give him more lines, or JF just couldn’t resist inserting the scene in which Harold tries to shake hands with the Prince of Wales, but on the screenplay level, it doesn’t make much sense to me.

  72. rachelee
    +3

    I haven’t been to the site in a while so had no idea you were recapping this! Now, I get to go back and read all the recaps – I am so excited!! With all due respect to Television Without Pity, all recaps should include screencaps. Anyway, thank you – this recap is awesome.

    On another note, I really wish that they’d shown more of Edith wearing that fabulous dress with the neckline that crossed in front. (I think it was at the ball, when she said that she wished they could “make a scene” because it seemed cathartic and Mary disagreed, natch.)Girlfriend has great shoulders! don’t think we ever got to see that dress below the neckline.

    • Jessica
      0

      Me too. We didn’t get a good look at it at all, which is why it’s not in here.Hopefully they’ll repeat it? And thank you!

  73. Jennifer
    +1

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep recapping the old episodes this summer! This is the internet highlight of my week. :)

  74. Laura W
    +1

    Thank you for the note about the feather requirement (although I thought it looked a bit silly). Very enlightening!

    Also, I’m surprised you didn’t mention the scene where the DC and Isobel are exchanging barbs in the car. I was totally laughing out loud! Best scene of the whole episode, in my opinion.

  75.  Hermione
    0

    Yahooooooooo! I’m so happy you’re going to do earlier Downton!

  76. Kat
    +4

    I hope for Edith’s sake that kid never figures out it almost could have been raised by a nice, presumably wealthy Swiss couple. Instead of, you know, being raised on a pig farm.

    I found Edith’s actions this episode really selfish, although of course the situation is hard for her. She also totally screwed over the Swiss couple who’s probably gotten attached to the baby and then just had it taken away again on a whim.

    Also, this plan is not going to work!!! Seriously, no way!!!

  77. Snebur
    0

    JF should do more with the Prince of Wales. Another of his mistresses, one who introduced him to Mrs. Simpson, was Thelma, Lady Furness, also an American.
    Thelma was Gloria Vanderbilt’s aunt, but that is another story.

  78. nmlhats
    +2

    Did anyone catch the passing remark that the estate Blake is in line to inherit is in ULSTER!? Here we are just after most of Ireland separates from the UK, and Ulster is smack in the middle of the drama, with part of it becoming Northern Ireland and the rest remaining with the new Irish Free State. Do we even know which part of Ulster the estate’s in? Will Tom Branson somehow come into this picture, going back to his homeland to manage Blake’s estate in Ulster while Blake marries and helps Mary at Downton? Can Mary be pressured to move to Ireland if she marries Blake? It doesn’t seem practical and I don’t think she would leave Downton. You know how they love to pull actual historical events into the storylines…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_Ireland .

    On the other hand, I still kind of want Mary to end up with homeboy Gillingham.

  79. Gordon
    0

    I hate to break it to everyone, but the “British” actor who played Harold’s American valet is not British. He’s American…lives in New York, and has an American accent. What most of you failed to notice is that he was doing a period American accent where he simply enunciates and doesn’t mumble…like most American actors do today. Accents have very interesting reactions in people: there’s a reason Kelsey Grammar, John Lithgow, Katherine Hepburn (and even Donald Sutherland sometimes) are often mistaken for having english accents. They all have soft American accents that aren’t as exaggerated as most people’s today. If the valet had spoken like most modern American actors today (imagine one of the guys from Girls) it would have sounded way too modern and out of place in the world of Downton. He did a spot on job with the accent for the time period! And besides, he IS American!

    • Jessica
      0

      Actually, if you read the recap, there’s a whole explication of his background. I noted that he’s actually got a very complicated background and is a British/American dual citizen who grew up in England and has been schooled and worked both places, including in GB for Julian Fellowes as a child actor in British parts, and at the RADA, which would lead to a jacked up natural accent.

      • Gordon
        0

        Well I saw him in a play last year and spoke to him afterward and he sounded as American as apple pie! Maybe he did exaggerate it a bit but I didn’t think so and that’s the way he sounds in real life. Was speaking to a friend the other day and she said that even Paul Giamatti and Shirley Maclaine’s voice sounds sorta fake on Downton. Maybe hearing the “American-ness” puts people off in such a British environment. Anyway, accents have different reactions in different people but I think he sounded totally American and not British at all. And I wanted him to take Daisy away!!!

  80.  Meghan
    +3

    You’ve summed up this final episode very beautifully considering it was really more like 4 episodes smashed together. So many subplots and goings-ons and over-explanations on staffing the London house and whatnot. Like Julian suddenly realized it was THE LAST EPISODE OF THE SEASON and wanted to make sure that even if it was your first time watching you would know what was going on.
    I completely agree on the “over-American” sounding accents, like a 30′s mob movie…”Yeah, now see here, ya two-timin’, lowdown dirty scalawag”.
    My biggest annoyance was the Tom/Thomas “girl at the house/caught you/no, it’s not like that ” scene. Tom does not have to explain himself to anyone. His daughter lives in the nursery (apparently never leaves that room, actually) and Tom is a member of THE FAMILY. Thomas, down a well…indeed.

  81. France
    0

    Yes! Recap previous seasons! YES! YES!

    BTW, have you ever noticed that Gavin Rossdale and Bates resemble each other? There’s a punchline there, somewhere….

  82. Sophia Loren
    0

    Hm. I loved the Scandalous Letter Caper. And Uncle Harold and PG’s portrayal of Uncle Harold. I thought Freda was gorgeous.

    And I kind of feel like Mary favored Blake BECAUSE she thought he had no money or title and therefore she would remain a more independent woman in their relationship. If she really wants to spend her life invested in George’s future at Downton, she’s not going to pack up and take care of Blake’s Ulster estate. Or Gillingham’s molding rat trap, wherever that may be. I’m one of those who think he’s a gold digger.

    I loved that she was ready to lie, disliked her challenge to “let the battle commence” and was really annoyed when she considered turning Bates in. One, I agree with Mrs. H and two, I’d rather have Bates be tiresome out of prison than in it. I’m sure he murdered his first wife, I think old Lord G is at the bottom of the teapot dome scandal and I love the idea that Edith is Rosamund’s daughter.