Monthly Archives: February 2014

Downton Abbey Recap Series 4 Episode 8

As usual, these recaps contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t watched the episode.

Upstairs

The Team Blake Vs. Team Gillingham discussion continues. I didn’t like Gillingham at first. He seemed too much like a puppy dog. Hanging around Mary, waiting for her emotional scraps while dangling an off screen pseudo fiance, then an off screen fiance and finally an off screen ex-fiance, all in hopes of gaining her affection.

Then there is Charles Blake. The anti-aristocrat government worker who seemed more interested in taking down the great estates of the aristocracy than studying them. His story with Mary has rom-com quality, a Benedict and Beatrice , hate then love story. We thought we knew everything about him, until oops, Gillingham let it slip that poor Mr. Blake, is actually rich Mr. Blake, the heir to a distant cousin’s title and fortune.

Unfortunately, we must wait for series 5, but if these pictures are any indication, Mary’s new man and George’ stepfather maybe Lord Gillingham. However, I wouldn’t mind if Julian Fellows would decide to let Mary be single for a while. I get it, its a period drama, romance is par for the course.  But let’s consider that the time in between the first episode of the series and the last is only about a year a half, which means Matthew died just about 2 years after the final episode of this series. It’s not like Mary has nothing to do with herself. She has her son and the estate the take care of. Maybe letting her be single wouldn’t hurt Mary as a character or us an audience.

Edith had her baby and left her with the adoptive parents in Switzerland.  However, the adoption was never formalized and Edith is feeling guilty. After listening to her aunt for 8 months, Edith decides to make a decision for herself about her child. Inviting the pig farmer, Mr. Drewe to Downton she tells him of a “friend” (we all have those friends) who got involved with a man who her family did not approve of and had a child with this man. Now the child needs a home, Mr Drewe agrees to keep her secret.  The thing that baffles me about this story line is that while Rosamund knew about Edith’s pregnancy and Violet was quick to discover her secret, Edith’s own parents are still wearing rose colored glasses. How does a parent, especially a mother who had four pregnancies and three children that lived to adulthood not know or figure out that one of their daughters is pregnant?

Tom is spending more time with Miss Bunting. While the family is in London, he invites her to dine with him at the abbey and she corrals him to show her the view from the gallery.  It seems that Tom and Mary are on the same emotional track. They will never forget their spouses (nor should they), but neither seem completely ready to get involved in another relationship.

Lord Merton has become a rather ambitious suitor for Isobel. Personally, I think it’s good. We don’t know how long she has been widowed, but she deserves some happiness.

The big story line of the upstairs was two fold: Rose’s introduction to society, her dance with the prince and return of the Levinsons. We met Martha (Shirley Maclaine) last year, but we finally met Cora’s errand brother Harold (Paul Giamatti), still reeling from the Teapot Dome Scandal.  Rose’s time in London includes going to a night club with her friend Madeleine Allsopp, whose father, Lord Aysgarth  is dining with the Prince Of Wales and his mistress.  Back at Crawley house, Rosamund brings her “friend”, Mr. Sampson to the house who insists on going with the girls to the night club and steals a very intimate letter between the prince and his mistress.  Thus begins the Scooby Doo hour on Downton Abbey, where upstairs and downstairs collaborate to find the letter before it falls into the wrong hands and embarrasses the royal family.

Actually, the prince didn’t need the letter to embarrass himself and his family. In a few years, he will abdicate the throne to marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.

The only thing I found odd about Rose’s story line is that Mr. Ross was not mentioned at all. I know it’s eight months, but still. That struck me as odd.

While Lord Aysgarth proves himself to be a gold digger by proposing to Martha, who turns him down, his daughter might have more luck with Harold. He is at times very American, direct and a little rude. But he admits that he likes Madeleine and she in turns appears to like him.

Downstairs

Is it me, or was Anna and Bates not in this episode as much as they were in previous episodes? Their story line was that Anna gave Mrs. Hughes a jacket that her husband was not using to be donated to the Russian refugees. Inside the jacket is a ticket to London for the day that Mr. Green was killed, evidence that might prove Mr. Bates’s guilt. Mrs. Hughes consults Mary and in the end, Mary throws the ticket into the fire, which is wise, considering it was Bates who forged the letter that allowed Mary, Charles and Rose into Mr. Sampson’s apartment.

It seemed odd to me that after 7 episodes, Thomas is jealous that the former chauffeur that is Tom Branson is now part of the family and must be treated with respect.

Daisy has an admirer in Mr. Slade, Harold’s valet, in both the romantic  sense and the culinary sense. So much so, that his employers gives his approval to invite Daisy to New York to work as his cook. Daisy turns the offer down, but Ivy takes it.

Whatever secret Baxter has, she has come to terms with it. Thomas keeps badgering her, but she is determined to move. She and Mosleley seem to be getting somewhere, which is sweet.

After all of the work the staff put in the for Rose’s coming out,  Cora instructions Mr. Carson to give them a day off. After a series of ideas that is met with rejection, Mrs. Hughes suggests a beach day. The final shot of the series is Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson holding hands, wading in the water. I’m sure the Elise and Charles shippers were dancing in the streets.

Analysis

The letter story line seemed a bit silly and the ending seemed like a non ending, especially considering the way series 2 and series 3 ended. But overall, I am satisfied with this series.

Dowager Moment/Quote Of The Week

Martha Levinson: I have no wish to be a great lady.
Countess Violet: A decision that must be reinforced every time you look in the glass.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who read my recaps. This is the first series that I’ve done this and while some recaps were better than others, I thank you for taking some time of out of your day to read them. See you next year.

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Quiet

*-Of course none of these characters are mine, I am just temporarily borrowing them.

Quiet

Barton Cottage was quiet, too quiet.

Mary Dashwood remembered the day she moved into Barton Cottage with her daughters. When her husband died, she knew their time at NorlandPark was coming to an end. Fanny, John’s wife was too polite to articulate her feelings, but she was not happy having to share her new home with her husband’s stepmother and step sisters.

The letter from her cousin, Sir John Middleton was a great relief for them all. Of course, Barton Cottage was far from the size and luxury of Norland Park, but the truth was, Mary had learned to appreciate the intimacy that the small cottage allowed.

They had moved in six years ago, it seemed as only a moment had passed.

Marianne and Elinor were both married and had blessed their mother with four grandchildren.

Margaret had also recently departed Barton Cottage.

Marianne’s husband, Colonel Brandon had been offered a position with the admiralty and had relocated his family to London. The excitement of London and the society it offered had drawn Margaret in and with an invitation in hand to spend the season with Marianne and Christopher, Mary watched her youngest child depart for London.

“Mama, it’s time” Elinor’s voice broke through.

“Of course” Mary agreed as Elinor’s husband, Edward Ferrars took the last of her belongings. With her children gone, there was no need to reside at Barton Cottage with just the servants. Mary had been offered a room at the parsonage with Elinor and her family.

“I will be in your way” Mary had protested when the idea had been suggested.

 “Mama, I promise you, you will not be in the way, Edward and I would love for you to stay and the children would love your company”.

 “No, you have your own lives, I do not want to interfere, I will gladly come when asked, but I am happy to stay where I am”.

 “Mary, I assure, you will not be interfering in anyway. We have discussed the idea with Marianne and Christopher and they are of the same mind, especially with Christopher being called to London”.

 “At least let me consider the idea” Mary asked.

 Two weeks later, Barton Cottage was empty. Mary had agreed that her time at Barton Cottage had come to end. It was indeed quiet.

The End

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Second Thoughts- A Modern Persuasion Fanfiction

*-I don’t own these characters.

Second Thoughts

He knelt down on one knee, offering her the ring. She squealed, and then accepted his proposal and the ring. Both of their families were thrilled. The chapel and banquet hall were booked, the invitations were sent out and the guests confirmed. The menu was planned, the band booked and the gowns and tuxedos for the wedding party purchased. The wedding of Frederick Wentworth and Louisa Musgrove was three weeks away and seemed to be going along without a hitch.

That was, until the groom developed cold feet. Some might say it was normal; after all, it was not often that a man married, but Frederick Wentworth was developing cold feet for another reason.

He was in love with another woman.

Her name was Anne Eliot; they had dated briefly eight years ago and fell madly in love. He had proposed to her impetuously and she had accepted. But their joy was short lived; only a week later, she returned his ring, citing their age and lack of money.

He was heartbroken and swore he would forget her. But he didn’t.

Last year their paths crossed again. He had met Charles Musgrove at the gym and had been invited back to Charles’s house for the game. What Frederick did not anticipate was that Charles Musgrove was brother in law to Anne Eliot.

He also met Charles’s sisters, the twins, Louisa and Henrietta, who had just graduated from college.

Before he knew it, he found himself proposing marriage to Louisa, who eagerly accepted.

Now he was three weeks away from his wedding to a woman whom he did not love and did not know how to tell her.

At dinner, Louisa dropped a bomb on him.

“Anne won’t be at the wedding”.

“Why?” he suddenly dropped his fork

“Something about her thesis, a once in a lifetime opportunity, I don’t remember the details”.

The next day, Frederick learned the rest of the story from Charles.

“It’s true. She got an offer to study at Oxford, on a scholarship. She has to be in London in two weeks”.

When they were in college, Anne had majored in English. Now she was going for her doctorate, her specialty was Shakespeare, her goal, a college professor.  Before they broke up, she had spoken about studying in England one day.

His heart dropped, she probably thought the worst of him.  She was soon to be half a world away. A lifetime time ago, they had both been foolish. He would not make that mistake again.

That night, he knocked on Louisa’s door, hoping he could figure how to break up with her.

“Your in love with Anne” the words came out of her mouth before Frederick could say anything.

“How did you know?” his mouth hung open.

“I may be young, but I know when someone is in love. It’s ok, I, um actually have a confession of my own to make”.

Now it was her turn to confess.

“It just happened, your friend, James Benwick, we started talking, then we starting making out. I’m sorry, Freddy”.

“Do you like him?”.

“I do”.

“Then you should go for it”.

She took off the ring and handed it back to him. Now that barrier was crossed, he had another barrier to cross.

The next day, Frederick waited. He had hastily written her a letter and as soon as her mail had been delivered, he shoved in and waited.

“I cannot wait any longer, knowing that you will soon be on the other side of the Atlantic.  My heart is yours, it was always yours. Do not tell me that you have forgotten me, for I have never forgotten you.  I admit I was angry, foolish and prideful, but you were never far from my thoughts.  Everything I have done is for you alone, have you not seen that? If I let you go to London without telling you how I feel, I will never forgive myself.  Just tell me that the love we had is not dead, for I know that you are the only one I could ever spend my life with.

Freddy”

  She smiled the smile he had not seen in eight years. He got out of the car, feeling his heart beating. This was his last chance and he would not blow it.

“What about Louisa?”.

“I cannot marry her, I am in love with you. Besides, she likes Benwick”.

“You do realize that I will be in London in a few weeks, I don’t know when I will be returning”.

“Yes, I do. There is an opening at the London office. I’m going to ask my boss on Monday if he would be willing to let me relocate”.

“You would do that?” Her smile that he loved returned.

“I would go the ends of the earth for you, we can’t undo the past, but I want this, I want us for as long as we are on this earth”.

“I love you, Freddy, I want to be with you, I don’t care what my father thinks, what my aunt thinks or what anyone else thinks”.

She kissed him and he suddenly remembered how sweet she tasted, what it was like to be near her.

“Do you want to come up, I could make some coffee and we could order in?”.

She held out her hand to him and he took it.

They spend day in her apartment together, talking about the past and dreaming about the future.  As the sun rose the next morning, they slept on her couch, her head against his shoulder.

He could have woken up, after all, but looking at her sleeping next to him, this was all he ever needed and wanted.

 

The End

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Confrontation- A Modern Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction

*-I do not own any of these characters beyond the Darcy and Bingley children.

*-Rated PG for language.

*-Please review

Confrontation

“That bitch, how dare she, in my home” Elizabeth’s rage was so great that she had to be bodily removed from the party and was not set down until she and Will were safe within the confines of their bedroom.

The comment had been partially heard by Elizabeth, but it was enough to break the mask of civility she had put up for the day. She had always disliked Caroline Bingley, but had tolerated her because she was Jane’s sister in law.  But that comment was the last straw.

Her husband remained silent.

“Dammit William, cant you see what she is doing?”.

“She is Charles’s sister, I cannot ask her to leave”.

Elizabeth did not know why, but she agreed that Caroline be invited to their home for the mutual 1st birthday party of Anne Darcy and Fanny Bingley. She had promised herself that she would a proper hostess and not under any circumstances let Caroline get under her skin.

But she did, she would have tackled Caroline if Will had not dragged her away.

“She still believes the fantasy that you marry her, Will and somehow, Georgie will marry Charlie”.

“It’s been five years, Lizzy, I hardly think that after all of this time and two children, even Aunt Catherine has accepted us…”.

Of course, that had only come about after letting Will stand up for the both of them, Elizabeth had enough. She declared in no uncertain terms that until the day Catherine respected their marriage, their children would be off limits to her.  It was only after the death of Catherine’s only child, Anne, and the subsequent birth of their daughter Anne that Catherine began to thaw to the idea that her nephew was happy.

“Caroline has had eyes for you for years, only you have been too blind to see”.

“Did you think that I didn’t know that?”.

“Then why did you not tell her you were not interested?”.

“I don’t know why I didn’t say no back then. Please, I beg of you, hold out for a little longer, I will talk to Charlie”.

He could still see the fire in her eyes.

“For me, please Lizzy”.

“Fine, I will behave, but one more comment and she is out on her ass”.

“Thank you, can we return to the party?”.

“Yes, we can” Lizzy agreed.

“Are you ok?” Jane asked as Lizzy and Darcy returned to the party. Dear sweet Jane, who seemed to let nothing bother her, especially annoying her sister in law.

“Just peachy”.

“It’s my fault, Lizzy, I was the one who brought up the idea to invite her, she is family…”.

“No, that ok, I can deal with her, it’s only a few more hours”.

Then she turned around to see Darcy and Caroline talking. Without warning, Caroline attempted to kiss him. Any attempt or promises to control her temper disappeared.

Lizzy pulled Caroline away from Darcy and knocked her to the floor.

“Get your hands off my man, now”.

“We are just talking, weren’t we Darcy?”.

Before he could respond, Elizabeth nearly pounced on Caroline “I want you to listen to me and listen well, for I will not repeat myself. We are married; he is the man I love and the father of my children. Nothing you do or say will break up this marriage and if you attempt to do so, you will be sorry. Am I understood?”.

“Darcy, you must control her, she is like animal”.

“No Caroline, she is right. I have always tolerated you because your brother is my best friend, but I will not have you coming to my home and insulting my family. Elizabeth is my wife and will be until the day I die. I have never been attracted to you, nor will I ever be”.

“You cannot be serious, she is a….”.

“What is exactly do you think my sister is?” Caroline unexpectedly turned to face her sister in law.

“She is a…” suddenly the words disappeared.

“Whatever you accuse my sister of; I must be guilty of the same crime”.

“Charles?” Caroline turned around, looking for her brother.

He was about to respond, until a little voice broke the tension.

“Daddy, my shirt is dirty” Lizzy and Will’s four year old son, Bennet stood there, his shirt covered in chocolate ice cream.

Caroline looked at the boy, who was most certainly a Darcy, but he also has his mother’s striking eyes. Then she saw the pictures.

The pictures of their wedding, the pictures of their children. The pictures of the life together that would never be hers.

Elizabeth Bennet had won, she was Mrs. Darcy, wife, mother, lover to the man she would never be with.

“C’mon buddy, lets get you cleaned up” Taking his son by the hand, Will led him upstairs.

“If you excuse me, it appears I have worn out my welcome” she was determined to leave with her dignity in tact.

As she walked out, she took one last look. She had spent too many years hung up a man who she had finally realized had no interest in her. Maybe one day, she would find a man who would return her affection.

 

The End

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Nine To Five- Still Revelant

This past weekend, I saw Nine To Five. It was in movie theaters 34 years ago and I don’t know why I haven’t seen this movie before, I am glad I did.

The movie, for those who have not seen it, is a buddy workplace revenge comedy about three female employees who take revenge on a hated male boss. Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) is recently divorced and in the workplace for the first time in her adult life. Violet Newstead (Lilly Tomlin) is the veteran, working at the company for 12 years and watching the men rise in professional status while she is kept in the same position. Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton) is the personal secretary of the boss, Franklin M Hart Jr (Dabney Coleman). He is constantly hitting on her, admiring her looks and spreading a rumor that she is his mistress.

This movie is so incredibly funny, the satire is right on target.

But there is also a truth in this movie.  34 years later, the issues that these characters are dealing with are still relevant today. Equal pay for equal work, having a flexible work schedule or day care for working parents, creating a positive working environment and giving both male and female employees equal opportunities to rise professionally.

This movie still stands the test of time, even after a generation.

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 7 Recap

This recap contains spoilers from this weekend’s episode. Read at your own risk if you haven’t watched the episode yet.

Upstairs

The list of Mary’s suitors is down to two. The tepid Mr. Napier is gone, but Anthony Gilllingham is back; his off screen fiance has become his off screen ex-fiance. He stares at her with adoring eyes, a la, a puppy dog. She convinces him to fire Mr. Green, but does not reveal the reason.

If I were a betting woman, I would put my money on Charles Blake.  But only time and Julian Fellows will tell.

The doomed relationship between Rose and Jack is over, as both Mary and Jack know that when she pays him a visit. It was not Rose, but Jack who ended it. In his words “A marquis’s daughter and a musician…” That said it all. Call it a youthful infatuation, a rebellion, whatever label you want to use.  Rose is young and head strong, if it was 2014, this relationship would hopefully not be an issue. But the show is set in the early 1920’s and this relationship is doomed from the get go. At least Jack knew that the best thing to do was to end the relationship.

With her usual acuteness, it didn’t take Violet long to figure out why Rosamund had not only visited Downton unannounced, but had offered to take Edith to Switzerland for four months, all expenses paid.  I feel for her, it’s not an easy decision to make. We would hope that her mother would be included in this decision making process, especially when a third grandchild is on the way. But either Cora was wearing rose colored glasses or she was so engrossed in the bazaar that she wasn’t paying attention to her daughter.

Violet re-introduces Isobel to Lord Merton, who is Mary’s godfather and the father of the childhood friend of Sybil who tried to get Tom drunk the night before Matthew and Mary’s wedding. The conversation about their lives and their children is going well until oops, Lord Merton does not remember that Matthew is dead.

We know more about the young woman who Tom sat next to at the political meeting.  Her name is Sarah Bunting (Sarah Lewis) and she teaches at one of the local school. She is also as political and anti-aristocrat as Tom claims he used to be.  She could either be the woman who heals his heart or be the second coming of Evil Edna.

Robert is in America for the end of the episode, having rescued Cora’s brother Harold from scandal.

Downstairs

Alfred is coming back to Yorkshire due to his father’s funeral. He writes to Ivy proposing marriage. Sounds like Robert Martin’s proposal to Harriet Smith in Emma.  Daisy starts off the episode with another childlike hissy fit.  But after spending a day with her father in law, she finally comes to the very mature conclusion that Alfred does not return her love and it is time to move on.  This story line has been bordering on the inane since the first episode, at least it’s over.

With the return of Lord Gillingham comes Mr. Green and the death stares of Mr. Bates.  With Thomas in America and the staff working at the bazaar, John requests a day off. Onerous music follows him as he leaves Downton. When Mary and Tony meet for lunch in London, he tells her that Mr. Green is dead, hit by a bus. It was an accident, witnesses by many. An accident, I wonder or a man taking revenge for his wife’s rape?

Molesley, despite being the Edith of downstairs, seemed to have found kindred spirit in Baxter. He also beats full of it Jimmy at the bazaar and offers a gentleman like arm to Baxter after Thomas returns home.  Maybe the Edith of downstairs will be Edith no more.

Analysis

I love how Mary has grown as a character from the first episode. She started as a spoiled, selfish young woman to a mature woman who is taking charge of her future and her family’s future.

Martha Levinson (Shirley Maclaine) is back this weekend, bringing her unknown son Harold (Paul Giamatti).  This is the 2013 Christmas episode and the last episode of the series. Unlike last year, I have been very good about not being spoiled.  I am curious to see how this series will end and what morsels we will be left with to hold us through to next year.  I have enjoyed series 4, overall and I look forward to series 5.

Dowager Moment/Quote Of The Week

“All life is a series of problems which we must try and solve. The first one, then the next, and then the next, until at last we die.”

 

 

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Monuments Men Review- Monumental, Maybe

History is a surprising thing. Something when you think that all of the details have been shared, a new twist appears.

This is Monuments Men.  The movie is based on a book by Robert Edsel, about a group of art specialists who are dispatched to Europe just after the Invasion of Normandy during WWII. Their mission to find and save precious works of art that are in danger of being destroyed by the Nazis.

They are led by Frank Stokes (George Clooney). The motley band of anti heroes include James Granger (Matt Damon),  Bill Murray (Richard Campbell), Walter Garfield  (John Goodman),  Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban),  Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), Sam Epstein (Dimitri Leonidas) and Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville).

Among World War II movies, this is something new and different. It was little long, but I enjoyed the movie. The movie had a fish out of water quality to it, being that the characters that were part of the Monuments Men were not young men in their teens and early twenties, but men old enough to be their fathers.  Cate Blanchett as the only woman, whose character is critical in assisting our heroes in reaching their goals is in the beginning questionable on where her loyalties lie, but it becomes clear as the movie progresses on what she is looking to get out of this journey.

I enjoyed it, I just wish it was a little shorter.

 

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 6 Recap

*-As usual, these recaps contain spoilers. Read at your own risk if you haven’t seen Episode 6.

Upstairs

Can we talk about Mary and Charles Blake in the mud and then eating scrambled eggs, which she made?  That was a rom-com setup if I ever saw one, especially with the pig man conveniently not around when he is needed.  A part of me says that any man that Evelyn Napier, who tepidly attempted to tell Mary that he is attracted to her,  brings to Downton and attracts Mary’s attention should come with a warning sign.  However, Charles Blake is smart, attractive and realistic and he has a Benedict and Beatrice relationship with her.  And of course just as we think that Mary and Charles Blake might be going somewhere, Anthony Gillingham returns and dodges the question about his off screen fiance. Did we honestly think that Julian Fellows would let us off that easily?

Robert has to go to America to bail out Cora’s brother. We all know why Hugh Bonneville wasn’t seen for the rest of the episode. He is in Monuments Men, which I hope to see very soon.

Do you remember that childhood rhyme about the kissing couple? Rose and Jack, sitting in a boat, k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes an explanation about why her parents have biracial grandchild.   She also does the walk of shame and evades Rosamund’s questions about why she really in London. Wasn’t there a little movie called Titanic about a doomed couple called Jack and Rose on a boat? I don’t think this will end well.

I like the changes in both Edith and Rosamund’s characters. Rosamund, who previously was Downton’s resident Yenta, promised Edith her complete support, even if it meant a scandal.

Edith, over the past four seasons has grown from an angry, hurting and vindictive young woman to a mature woman who must make some real life altering decisions. The kudos goes to both Laura Carmichael and Julian Fellows, as both performer and writer to show the audience how this character has grown.  The decision on whether or not to abort her pregnancy just broke my heart.

Some have used the story line as a platform for their pro-life views.  The way I see it, Julian Fellows did not use Edith’s decision as a platform to share his opinion on abortion as either pro-life or pro-choice.  I don’t think a recap of a television show is the right place to share one view’s on this topic.  However, I will say that the decision she made was the  one she thought was best for her, her future and the fetus that will become her child.

That being said, let’s go down a to a lighter topic.  Isobel plays Florence Nightingale to  Violet, who does not want to show her son that she is sick. Forced to go to the political event alone, Tom briefly meets a young woman who might become the next Mrs. Tom Branson?

Downstairs

Bates does not want to go America with Lord Grantham, still worried about his emotionally fragile wife.  Mary convinces her father to bring Thomas instead. While in America, Thomas gives Baxter the task of reporting back to him the reason that he and not Bates was to go to America.

Alfred returns for a visit and Daisy and Ivy are back to the same old argument. Am I the only one who is tired of this?

With the return of Lord Gillingham, comes his valet. While the rest of the downstairs, is laughing, Mrs. Hughes and Bates are both sending death stares toward Mr. Green.  Elsie “Mama Bear” Hughes is back,  not afraid to face Anna’s rapist.

Analysis

Julian Fellows continues to surprise us.  Not only with the decision for Edith to keep the pregnancy going, but also for the scene between Mary and Charles Blake in the pig pen. We haven’t seen that kind of smile from Mary since last series, before Matthew died.  We’re coming to the end of the series, I have a feeling that Julian Fellows has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

Dowager Moment/ Line Of The Week

“Goody, goody.” Violet, playing a game of Gin Rummy with Violet after spending the last few days in bed. Tempered, but still Violet.

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Downton Abbey Series 4 Episode 5 Recap

*-Recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

Upstairs

Edith is pregnant. That’s right, she’s got a bun in the oven, going to join her sisters in the state of motherhood. And Michael is still conveniently still missing.  I’m not one to point fingers, but wasn’t it Edith who used the s-word against her sister in the first series after the Pamuk incident?

Speaking of Mary, Evelyn Napier has brought his boss, Charles Blake  (Julian Ovenden) to Downton. Their relationship can only be defined as Beatrice and Benedict like. Anyone well versed in the rules of rom-coms can predict where this is going. Lord Gillingham who?

Isobel and Violet are back to their Odd Couple ways (Do I smell a spinoff?) In an effort to prove that young Mr. Pegg did not steal from the Dowager, Isobel goes to her house and pretending to be tired, does a little sleuthing (Another sequel, perhaps, Isobel Crawley, Mistress Sleuth). She finds what was conveniently was thought to be stolen.

The surprise for Robert’s birthday is to bring Jack Ross and his band. Not surprisingly, Rose was found with Jack after dinner making out in the servants dining hall.  Sybil’s relationship with Tom has nothing on Rose’s teenage rebellion and her relationship with Jack.

There was the inevitable awwww moment when George and Sybbie were brought into the nursery after the discussion between Mary, Isobel and Tom about their lost loves.  It was a simple, sweet scene that Julian does not often put in, but is appreciated when it is part of the show.

Robert has to go America to rescue Cora’s brother Harold from a scandal.  Welcome to America.

Downstairs

Carson looked as if he might burst, not only when Jack enters the servant’s dining, but when Jack has the gall to sit in his chair at the head of the table.  He tried to be polite, but you knew he wasn’t happy.

Anna and John go to a nice restaurant for dinner, but the hoity toity matrei’d denies them a table, despite making a reservation.  That is until Cora conveniently puts her two cents and they get a table.

Jimmy has become Mr. Willoughby, or Gaston, whichever floats your boat. Either way, he went from merely cocky to a jerk. Good for Ivy, standing up for herself.

One of the candidates who made it in the training program in London dropped out, so Alfred is off the London. Daisy rages while Molesley finally does something sensible and accepts the footman position.

And finally,  Baxter or O’Brien 2.5, despite receiving a warning from Cora that her conversation with Mary about Anna does not leave that room, goes to Thomas with the details of the conversation.

Analysis 

Edith’s pregnancy was not the big shocker that I thought it would be.  It wasn’t that hard to predict.   Charles Blake seems to be another Matthew in the early moments with Mary. Is Julian Fellows setting a pattern of Mary’s romantic partners?

Did anyone else notice the not too subtle wink wink nudge nudge to Elizabeth McGovern’s  professional past? The line about Ragtime music towards the end of the episode. Back in the day, she played Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime.

Dowager Moment/Line Of The Week

Isobel: How you hate to be wrong.
Countess Violet: I wouldn’t know. I’m not familiar with the sensation.

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RIP Phillip Seymour Hoffman

A long time ago, Billy Joel wrote “Only The Good Die Young”.

He should have said only the great die young.

James Dean, Natalie Wood, River Pheonix, Heath Ledger, James Gandolfini.

Sometimes the greatest talents aren’t destined to die of old age. They die well before that, when they are still at the peak of their greatness.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s name can now be added to this list.

He died this morning of an apparent drug overdose.

I saw him in the most recent revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play, Death Of A Salesman.  While he was a few decades younger than the character and Brian Dennehy, who had played the character in the previous revival, it felt like I was seeing this play and introduced to this character for the first time.

His Willy Loman was a man of big dreams, caught between the past and the present, between dreams and reality. It was an incredibly powerful performance. I wish I had seen it more than once.

My heart and my prayers go out to his friends and family.

While he is gone from this world, his work and his legacy will remain.

RIP

 

 

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