Tag Archives: Julian Fellows

Thoughts On the full trailer for the Downton Abbey Movie

A good movie trailer is essentially a tease of the full movie. It gives enough away to tempt the audience to pay to see the movie, but it doesn’t (well hopefully it doesn’t) give away too much of the narrative.

The full trailer for the Downton Abbey movie was released earlier today.

Based on the uber-successful BPD Masterpiece television program of the same name created and written by Julian Fellows, the movie starts in 1927, a year after the series ended. King George V and Queen Mary will soon be visiting Downton, causing all sorts of commotion. I also fully expect there to be plenty of personal drama between the characters while the household is preparing for their royal visitors.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing this movie.

P.S. Whoever decided to end the trailer with a delicious verbal duel between Isobel (Penelope Wilton) and Violet (Maggie Smith) is a genius.

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To Marry an English Lord Book Review

Marriage, for many generations, was not about love, commitment and compatibility. It was about class, money and social standing.

In 1776, America broke away from England and became a free nation in her own right. About 100 years later, young American heiresses would reverse that trend by going back across the pond and saying I do to male members of the English aristocracy that had the title and the land, but not necessary the fortune to keep both going.

In 1989, writers Gail MacColl and Carol McD Wallace wrote To Marry an English Lord, a book about these young women who chose spouses from among England’s elite. Starting with the Gilded Age and ending with 1914, the book traces the stories of these girls. Compiling images, facts and press clippings from the era, the writers take the reader back to a time when marriage was more about duty and fortune than love and commitment.

My initial desire to read this book started with the fact that I am huge Downton Abbey fan and that Julian Fellows was inspired by the stories of these girls. What kept me reading was that despite the fact that these girls had no rights and were being used as cash cows by their husbands, was that they were able to forge new lives and thrive in a country that was not their own, at least by birth.

The most fascinating aspect of this book was how many members of the upper class have American blood in them. Winston Churchill’s mother was American as was the paternal great-grandmother of the late Princess Diana.

I recommend it.

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Downton Abbey Series 6, Episode 7 Recap: Mary the B*****, Thomas Attempts Suicide & Mrs. Patmore Has A Scandal On Her Hands

As usual, this recap contains spoilers, read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

In honor of beginning and endings (and the final episode airing on March 6th), I’m going to try a new format for my recap. Here I go.

After 6 seasons and countless fights, Mary get’s what is coming to her. Fueled by her own fears that a potential marriage to Henry Talbot will have the same results of her first marriage, Mary is in rare form, biting and sniping at the people around her. No more so, than at Edith who announces her engagement to Bertie, who is no longer an ordinary land agent, but Lord Hexum. Should Edith marry Bertie, she would outrank the rest of her family.

As anyone who has siblings can attest, no one knows you better than your brother or sister. Especially when it comes to pushing buttons. If any pair of siblings can push each other’s buttons, it’s Edith and Mary.  That leads to Mary outing Marigold as her niece and Bertie walking away, naturally feeling hurt. Not that I blame him.

I could talk about the fight between the surviving Crawley sisters, but it’s so much more fun to watch.

After they both calm down and Mary is finally gotten through by Tom and her grandmother, Edith returns in time for her sister’s wedding to Henry. While these sisters will never truly be lovey dovey with each other, they understand that one day, their world will change and everyone around them will be just a memory.

Downstairs had its own set of drama.

After being beaten down emotionally one too many times by Carson and feeling disheartened by his lack of progress in finding new employment, Thomas attempts to take his own life. But he is saved in the nick of time by Baxter, who despite the abuse that Thomas heaped upon her in the past, has become his champion. She’s a better woman than many of us would be in that situation.

After Mrs. Patmore’s bed and breakfast was revealed as the love nest of the not so Mr. and Mrs., a minor scandal erupts. The only way to make the scandal go away, is a visit from the Crawley’s to return respectability and propriety to Mrs. P. and her future as an entrepreneur.

Thankfully, the entire episode was not all drama. Molesley’s teaching career seems to going well and all is quiet on the pregnancy front with Anna and Bates.

Did anyone else laugh as loud as I did when Spratt was revealed as the writer of the advise column by “Miss Cassandra Jones”? Bravo, Julian Fellows, for giving us a moment of true comedy in all of the super heavy drama.

My favorite scenes in this episode, belong to Isobel. The first scene is between her and Lord Merton, who seems honestly surprised about the invitation to his son’s wedding. My other favorite scene was between Mary and Isobel at Matthew’s grave. Feeling super remorseful for her actions, Mary is surprised by Isobel at the cemetery. The two women have a moment together and that is all Mary needs to move on with her life.

Next Sunday is another Alistair Bruce special and then after that, the final episode begins.

I think I had better start stocking up on the Kleenex now.

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Downton Abbey Series 6 Episode 7 Recap: A Day At The Races, Relationship Rollercoasters & Mr. Carson Learns To Appreciate His Wife

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

Upstairs

  • Robert (Hugh Bonneville) is no longer the invalid and is eager to return to his every day life. But Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) would prefer her husband to take baby steps.
  • Still smarting from the hospital issue (which thankfully appears to be finally resolved), Violet (Dame Maggie) is planning to go to the continent for a month. But before she leaves, thorough as she ever is, she leaves her mark. First, after Isobel (Penelope Wilton) shares the surprise invitation to Larry Grey’s wedding, the Dowager drops in on the future Lady Merton. After a few minutes, the bride to be admits that the only reason Isobel received the invitation was because the young lady is not thrilled with taking care of her future father in law. The episode then ends with the gift of a puppy. That is what I call a family matriarch, tying up all of the loose ends before leaving for Europe.
  • The Crawleys are off the races at Brooklands. Joining them is Edith’s (Laura Carmichael) new editor Laura Edmunds (Antonia Bernath). While Henry (Matthew Goode) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) are officially an item, the race and the ensuing crash that kills Charlie Rogers (Sebastian Dunn) creates questions about the future. In what maybe history’s first drunk call, Henry calls Mary after the race, drunk on grief and alcohol, proposing marriage. Mary breaks up with Henry. Tom (Allen Leech) reminds Mary that being hurt is part of life. My kudos go to Goode and Dockery for not saying much after the crash, but actions speak louder than words. Like the characters on-screen, the audience at home was surely thinking Matthew (Dan Stevens) and how his death left a hole that can never truly be filled.
  • After a very quiet and awkward dinner, Bertie (Harry Hadden-Patton) and Edith sit quietly in the drawing-room. Also filled with thoughts of life and death, Bertie proposes marriage. Edith’s yes is tentative and almost slips out the truth about Marigold. If he is as good of a guy as I hope he is, he will accept that there is no Edith without Marigold.
  • I keep wondering if Rose (Lily James) will return. There are only two more episodes left. Lily James has been a very busy girl over the past year, but it would be nice to see Rose one last time before we officially say goodbye to the Crawleys.

Downtstairs

  • Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) finally got a taste of his own medicine. Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) concoct a plan that Mrs. Hughes hurt her hand and is therefore, unable to cook. That means either one of two things: starvation or Carson has to cook (shocking, I know!). The look on his face was priceless and hilarious.  I don’t foresee Mr. Carson complaining about his wife’s culinary skills again.
  • Mrs. Patmore’s bed and breakfast is open for business and already tainted by scandal. The couple sitting in her dining room are Mr. and Mrs. but not Mr. and Mrs. to each other.
  • Julian Fellows sadistic streak toward Anna (Joanne Froggatt) and Bates (Brendan Coyle) seems to be over. There were no medical scares this episode.
  • On the educational front, Andy (Michael Fox) is given the opportunity by the local school teacher to complete his education and Molesley (Kevin Doyle) is offered a position as a teacher. Daisy’s (Sophie McShera) exams are coming up and her success is imminent.
  • Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) is still worrying about Mr. Coyle and his influence over her. I don’t think she needs to worry about that.
  • Thomas (Rob James-Collier) is still looking for another job. Though with Molesley receiving the offer of the teaching job, the job search may not be necessary.

Dowager Quote Of The Week

“Nobody is always friendly.”

Analysis 

There are two more episodes left. The drama is being amped up fast. Where it will end? We will find out very soon.

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Downton Abbey Series 6 Episode 4: Tom Needs A Job, Gwen’s Back & Daisy Has Not Learned Her Lesson

As usual, this recap contains spoilers. Read at your own risk if you have not seen the episode.

Upstairs

  • The issue with the hospital is becoming rather tiresome. Cora (Elizabeth McGovern)/Isobel (Penelope Wilton) vs Violet (Dame Maggie Smith) is become too intense. Please Julian Fellows, tell me that this story line will be put to bed soon.
  • Not that Tom Branson (Allen Leech) is back, he needs a job. With Mary (Michelle Dockery) running the estate, Tom has to once more find his footing in the world that is Downton Abbey.
  • Speaking of Mary, the Dowager and Lady Shackleton (Harriet Walter) are playing matchmaker. This time it’s Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), who Mary met at the end of season 5 at the rented country estate of Rose’s (Lily James) in-laws. While I have not been completely spoiled, I do know that Henry is more than a match for Mary.
  • With the drama with her former editor in the past, Edith (Laura Carmichael) is looking to hire an editor, while her father, Robert (Hugh Bonneville) continues to deny that his health may not be what it once was. But Cora is beginning to suspect that a trip to the doctor is needed. Rosamund (Samantha Bond) returns to her childhood home to convince Edith become a trustee of woman’s college. Rosamund thinks she is playing matchmaker for Edith with the college’s treasurer, but something entirely different and wonderful occurs.
  • In a mid-season surprise that made this fan very happy, the former Gwen Dawson (Rose Leslie) returned to Downton. Not as a housemaid, but as Mrs. Harding. Her husband, John  (Philip Battley) is the treasurer of the women’s college. Of course the first one to recognizes Gwen out of her uniform is Thomas (Rob James-Collier), who got too big for his britches this episode. But let’s stay upstairs for a little while longer before we venture downstairs. As soon as the light bulb goes off for the Crawley’s, Gwen starts talking about Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay). Bring on the waterworks. As a result of this lunch, Mary begins to question what she is doing with her life.   In case you need a reminder of Gwen’s time as housemaid, here it is.

Downstairs

  • Back to Thomas. Now that Mr. and Mrs. Carson (Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan) are on their honeymoon, Thomas is in charge downstairs. He likes to be at the head of the table a little too much. Of course, it takes Robert to remind Thomas about the true nature of leadership.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Carson return from their honeymoon at the end of the episode. The question is, what shall they be referred to as. For comfort’s sake, Carson and Mrs. Hughes. It’s nice to see that some things never change.
  • I am thoroughly convinced that Julian Fellow’s sadistic streak has gone too far. Now that Anna (Joanne Froggatt) is pregnant, he decides to scare her, Mary and the audience by giving her what appears to be another miscarriage. Thankfully, Mary and Anna are able to get to London and confirm that Anna has not lost this pregnancy. The joy on Mr. Bates’s (Brendan Coyle) face that he is to be a father is contagious. I truly hope that we will see Baby Bates by the end of the series.
  • The merry war at the Dowager house has quieted down, at least for this week.
  • Miss Baxter (Raquel Cassidy) is approached by the police. Her former colleague who convinced her to steal the jewels years ago has been implicated in a similar crime. If Miss Baxter were to testify for the police, she might help them to put him away for good. Molesley (Kevin Doyle) tries to convince her to testify.
  •  Now that Yew Tree Farm is empty, Daisy (Sophie McShera) is convinced that Cora has gone against her word to give to Mr. Mason (Paul Copley). Against the recommendation of her co-workers, she nearly knocks Cora down, thinking that Yew Tree Farm is going to someone else, but just at the last second, Robert tells her that it is going Mr. Mason.  That that was too close for comfort for me.

Overall 

We are about halfway through this final series. That means that the loose ends will slowly start to be tied up. I like the potential of Henry Talbot and Mary. It takes a certain kind of man to keep Lady Mary Crawley happy. As for the rest of the plot this episode, the pacing is good, I hope I will be pleasantly surprised and happy with the final episode.

Dowager quote of the week: On the subject of Henry Talbot as a possible match for Mary, “She needs more than a handsome smile,” Violet says upon seeing Mary with Henry, “and a hand on the gear shift.” Who knew the Dowager was that dirty?

See you next week.

 

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Downton Abbey Series 5 Episode 1 Recap: Sex, Poor Edith And A Hint Of Jane Austen

Like all recaps, these posts contain spoilers from last night’s episode. Read at your own risk if you have not see the episode.

Upstairs

Julian Fellows continues with his semi-sadistic hatred of Edith. The episode opens with Edith bicycling over to the Drewe farm to see her baby girl, who is being raised by Mr. and Mrs. Drewe. While Mrs. Drewe has swallowed the story about Marigold’s “dead” parents, Mr. Drewe knows more than he lets on.  Back at the Abbey, Mrs. Hughes finds a book with Michael Gregson’s name written in it. At the end of the episode, she nearly burns the house down, when, in grief, she throws one of the letters from Michael into the fireplace, but it misses the mark.

Robert and Cora’s 34th wedding anniversary is fast approaching, but Robert is blase about the fact. What starts as a simple anniversary dinner with the family nearly turns into a rumble when Rose invites Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis), the schoolteacher from the village, who Tom met last season. Miss Bunting is not shy about sharing her political views, especially her approval of The Labour Party and the leader, Ramsay MacDonald.

While Charles Blake has yet to appear this season, Tony Gilllingham is back and still pursuing Mary with a vengeance. His latest scheme is trying to convince her to go away with him for a few days. He even goes so far as to boldly enter her bedroom when she is only in her dressing gown. We all know what happens to single men who dare to enter Lady Mary’s room.

Tom has not yet completely warmed up to the idea that he is part of the family. The mere presence of Sarah Bunting re-awakens his old political ideas. I have a feeling that Tom will be doing a balancing act this series between his former self and his present self.

We see briefly, the youngest and cutest members of the Crawley family, Sybbie and George. Sybbie’s nickname for her grandfather is donk. All together now, awwww.

And finally, Violet is playing matchmaker, a la Mrs. Bennet. Her co-conspirator is Lady Shackelton (Harriet Walter, Fanny in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility) The person she is matching for is Isobel. The the two men are Dr. Clarkson and Lord Merton. While Isobel tried to gently turn them both down last series, I have a feeling that Dr. Clarkson may need to up his game if his competition is a peer of the realm.

Downstairs

In this week’s mid life crisis moment, Mr.  Molesley tries to impress Miss Baxter by putting dye into his hair and trying to cover his slow balding. The person who notices is not his intended target, but Robert, who asks if Mr. Molesley is Latin.

Speaking of Miss Baxter, we know something of her secret. In an effort to get the monkey known as Thomas off her back, Miss Baxter tells Cora that she stole jewelery from a previous employer and was in jail for three years. When Thomas tries to tell Cora, she reads him the riot act (Go Cora!). But then Thomas saves Edith from death by asphyxiation from the fire and is the hero once again.

Daisy is convinced that because of all of the years she has spent in the kitchen, she has missed out on years of school and has an urge to return to schoolroom. Mrs. Patmore does not agree with her.

Bates and Anna are back to their pre-rape relationship. In fact, I think, if he would have, Bates would have taken his wife home for a little private time. But it is only the first episode, so we may see another roller coaster that is the married life of John and Anna Bates soon enough.

Jimmy’s old employer and Downton’s newest cougar, Lady Anstruther (Anna Chancellor, Caroline in the 1995 miniseries and a descendant of Edward Austen, one of Jane Austen’s brother’s) has come to Downton for obvious reasons. And it’s not just for visiting Cora.

And finally, Mr. Carson is appointed to lead the committee to build a war memorial in the village. The traditional choice has always been the Earl and not his butler. The times, they are a changing.

Analysis: First episodes of any season usually require some catching up (not that we need it), but it felt like it was a little too much re-hashing of the end of last season. But it is only the first episode, so only time will tell.

Dowager Quote Of The Week

Lady Shackelton: Of course, a single peer with a good estate won’t be lonely for long if he wants to be.

Lady Grantham: You sound like Mrs. Bennet.

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A Year In The Life Of Downton Abbey Book Review

Most successful television shows have some sort of cultural impact. Some may initiate a haircut of the moment such as the Rachel  during mid 1990’s or a well known catchphrase  such as “Did I do that?” from Family Matters.

Few shows have had the cultural impact that Downton Abbey have had. Even fewer have a line of merchandise.  There is the tea (several of which I personally recommend), the Christmas ornaments, the t-shirts, etc. Ahead of the season 5 premiere in January, author Jessica Fellows (niece of the show creator, Julian Fellows), has published her third Downton Abbey related book.

A Year In The Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations Traditions and Recipes is different format than Ms. Fellows two previous books.

While the previous books, like this book, contained interviews with the cast and crew, this book is is in calender form. Starting in January and ending in December, the book details the lives of the characters during each month of the year. Added to this book is recipes, a feature which is a nice addition.

I recommend this book.

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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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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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