Tag Archives: Tom Branson

Sarah Bunting

This post contains spoilers in regards to past and present Downton Abbey plots. If you are catching up on previous seasons and have not seen the latest episode, do not read.

One of the newest characters on Downton Abbey is Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis).  Introduced towards the end of the 4th season, Miss Bunting teaches at one of the local schools. She met Tom Branson (Allen Leech), the widower son in law of the Earl and Countess of Grantham at a political event. In the three episodes that has aired so far in the United States, Miss Bunting has managed to gain the friendship of Lady Rose (Lily James), helped to improve Daisy’s (Sophie McShera) education and has been at Tom’s side several times, while insulting several members of the family upstairs and riling feathers downstairs.

In introducing Miss Bunting as a possible love interest for Tom, Julian Fellows has awakened Tom’s dormant political nature. Ever since the death of Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) during the third season and the birth of their daughter, Sybbie, Tom has felt torn between his political past and his present as a father and a member of the Crawley family.

Personally, I don’t like Miss Bunting. Having opinions is well and good, but being a loud mouth who insults people is not the way to make and keep friends. The one lesson that any singleton should take away from this character, is that if you are attracted to someone, insulting their family and lifestyle is not the way to  keep that person in your life.

I think Tom is better off single or with someone else.

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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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Missing-Series 4 Spoiler READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

*-These characters belong with love and respect; belong to Julian Fellows, Carnival, etc. I am simply a humble admirer borrowing the characters.

*-The story contains a spoiler based for series 4, episode 1. Read at your own risk.

Missing

It all happened so fast. George’s birth and Matthew’s accident.

There were nearly a 100 bedrooms for Mary to choose from after Matthew died. But she chose to stay in the bedroom that she shared with him during their short marriage, to sleep in the bed where their son, their only child was created.

It took three months of coaxing from Anna and Cora to convince to Mary to allow the sheets to be washed.

Mary’s depression caused her parents to be concerned. She had never been melancholy sort, but loosing Matthew seemed to have broken her.

She might have not left her room, if it wasn’t for Georgie. George Matthew Crawley, Mary and Matthew’s son and heir to his grandfather’s title was the light of her life. Her grandmother kept insisting that Mary hire a nursemaid, but Mary declined. The only person to nurse her son was his mother.

Tonight was a party being thrown in her honor. Robert and Cora hoped that some new faces might bring a smile to their eldest daughter’s face.

When Sybil died, Mary missed her sister and sympathized with her husband. Tom had become part of the family and Sybee was adored by the adults around her. But until Matthew died, she did not understand the magnitude of such a loss, to parent your child without the one person who you loved above all others.

Tom had been her rock in past six months; she didn’t know what she would do without him.

“Are you ready?” Cora gently knocked before stepping into the room while Anna put the finishing touches on Mary’s hair.

“As I will ever be”.

“Will there be anything else, milady” Anna asked.

“No, Anna, that will be all, thank you” with a final curtsy, Anna left the room.

“You look lovely, my darling”.

“I hope so, mama”.

As Mary began to ascend down the stairs, she heard George cry.

“Georgie”.

“Mary, I checked on Georgie and Sybie. They are both sleeping”.

“Mama, please, I will be right down, I promise”.

Entering the nursery, Mary found both her son and niece sleeping peacefully.

“I do the same thing” Tom came up behind her.

“Sybil would be proud of you, Tom, the way you’ve built your life here”.

“I think Matthew would say the same thing about you. He’s fine boy, Mary, you should be very proud of him”.

“I am, every day”.

“Tom, Mary, are you coming?” Now it was Edith’s turn to call out.

“Yes, we’re coming”.

The party was a great success. Mary’s smile started to slowly return that evening. Though she would never truly get over the loss of her husband, she knew that everything would be alright in the end.

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Encounter

*-These characters are not my own, they belong to Julian Fellows, Carnival, etc.

*Story takes place a year after season 3, episode 2.

*-This story was written before Michael Gregson was introduced to the American audience.

Encounter

It was bound to happen eventually. The shopping district in Ripon was small enough; Edith knew that the day would come when she and Anthony would meet. That day was today.

The invitation from Tom had come the day before; he needed to run into Ripon to purchase some things for the house. The house remained in the same state since he and Sybee moved in a year ago, it was time to spruce it up. Mary was occupied, so Edith was happy to join her brother in law for the afternoon; a woman’s touch was exactly what the house needed.

“Good day, Mr. Branson, Lady Edith” they were greeted by the shop keeper. Between them was Sybee, who had recently started to walk. She was determined to go as fast and as far as she could, fighting any attempts by her father or any other adult to keep her out of trouble.

Tom handed the clerk a list of supplies while Edith took it up herself to entertain her young niece.

“What do you think, Sybbie? Should we ask papa if your old Aunt Edith can buy it for you?” Edith held out the small doll.

Sybbie reached for the doll, hugging it tightly.

“Tom” Edith called out, pointing to the doll.

“I’ll pay for it”.

“No” Edith protested “Let me spoil her a little; it’s my pleasure”.

The bell above the door rang to reveal Sir Anthony.

“Sir Anthony, this is a pleasure, what can I do for today?” the shop keeper asked.

“My niece had her first child last week. I would like to send a gift for the child, but I am just clueless as to what to get”.

“I think I know what will do” the shopkeeper directed her clerk to direct Sir Anthony to the appropriate gift.

Tom instantly turned to Edith, knowing that she had not quite gotten over being publicly jilted at the alter. Today was the first time that Edith and Anthony had been with close proximity since their aborted wedding.

“Mr. Branson, Lady Edith” Sir Anthony turned to greet them.

Then Sybbie let out a cry and Edith said a silent thank you.

“Pay me back another time; he doesn’t deserve your time or your tears” Tom whispered to her, taking the doll to the front to include in the final bill. He might be a bit rash every now and then, but he had a good heart.

“Thank you”.

“Papa?” Sybbie asked, realizing the doll was no longer in her grasp.

“Why don’t you take her outside, I will be there in a minute?”.

As she waited for Tom, Edith took a moment to reflect on her life. She was not Lady Strallan, she might never marry or have children of her own. But this was her life and she was determined to make the most of it.

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The Baby Of The Family – WARNING SEASON 3 SPOILER- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

WARNING THIS FANFICTION CONTAINS A HUGE (AND I DO MEAN HUGE) SPOILER FOR SEASON 3. I WILL NOT BE OFFENDED IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO READ THIS FANFICTION UNTIL YOU HAVE WATCHED SEASON 3.

These characters belong to Julian Fellows, Carnival, etc.

 The Baby Of The Family

Sybil Branson was dead. Her last gift to the world was her daughter, who would be named for her mother.

Her husband, Tom and her family watched as her body convulsed uncontrollably. Then she was gone.

They wanted to believe it was simply a bad dream. They would wake up tomorrow and Sybil would be alive and bonding with her new daughter.  

But they were not dreaming. Sybil was dead, her warm smile, her spontaneous laughter, her passion was all a memory.

Her elder sisters, Edith and Mary, who could never resist an opportunity to argue with each other, were silent.

 Even her grandmother, the towering and sharp tongued Dowager Countess was at a loss for words.

In the servant’s quarters, they also remembered Lady Sybil. The elder servants remembered her as a vivacious and inquisitive child, always curious about the world around her. The younger servants remembered her as warm and giving, never cruel or manipulative as some of her class could be.

The next morning, Mary could not contain her tears. She had never been one to cry, even as a child. But today she cried, for the loss of youngest sister, for her niece who would never know her mother.

“Mary, my darling” Matthew held her as she cried.

“I miss her”.

“We all do, but for Tom, we must be strong. He will need all of us in the coming days”.

Mary knew that her husband was right. She would wipe her tears away and remember Sybil as she would have liked to be remembered.

The church was full. Mary and Edith sat next to each other, taking turns holding the baby. Though they didn’t speak, but they were of one mind. Their niece would never feel the loss of her mother; they would make sure that Sybil would be known to her daughter.

Robert and Tom were also of the same mind. They both loved Sybil dearly and they loved her daughter. Whatever disagreements they had, that was the past. It was time to unite, for both Sybil and her daughter.

There was nothing any of them could do now. What was done was done. Their focus was now Tom and baby Sybil, to provide and love and support that Sybil, with her last breath, wanted them to have.

What they didn’t see what the shimmering light in the corner appear and disappear. Sybil was watching over them, waiting for the day when they would join her in the next life.

Fifteen Years Later

“Sybil, dear, don’t run” Without looking up, Cora knew that the quick footsteps on the rug in the library belonged to her eldest granddaughter.

“Cora, let her be”.

“How are you, grandfather?”.

Robert would never admit it publicly, that Sybil was his favorite grandchild. His daughters made him a grandfather five times over. Mary and Matthew had three children and Edith had one, marrying Sir Anthony after he proved himself worthy of her, despite leaving her at the altar less than a year before. But Sybil was his favorite because she was the mirror image of her mother.

“I am well, my dear. Thank you for brightening an old man’s day”.

“Grandfather, you are not that old”.

Before the conversation could continue, another pair of footsteps was heard on the rug. Tom and Matthew entered, allowing the footmen to take their coats.

“Tom, there you are. How was the train?” Cora asked.

“No more than usual”.

“Sybil, your aunt has been anxious to see you. Why don’t you join her for a bit?”.

“Yes, Uncle Matthew” Sybil ran up the stairs with the same exuberant energy in which she entered the library.

“I’m glad both of you are here. Cora and I want to show you something”. Unearthed nearly a year ago was portrait painted many years ago of Mary, Edith and Sybil. It was portrait of three innocent young girls, of a simpler time and place.

No one noticed light that shimmered above them in the afternoon sun. Sybil was still with them, watching and smiling.

The end

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